View Full Version : BAR or other semi-auto - how much accuracy loss?

March 1, 2005, 09:44 PM
I was thinking on getting a Browning BAR in .338 winmag, or even better, if I could find it, .35 Whelen, not so much because I'd need follow up shots, but just because the recoil would be dampened somewhat. But if I do this, how much accuracy would I be giving up, in real terms - this would be for hunting very large NA game (elk and up) and medium game on the dark continent (if I ever make it there). Now I'm thinking a controlled-feed turnbolt, since some of the game in question could be P.O.'ed. If I run with a turnbolt in .35 Whelen, what's the cheapest route to this - factory offerings?

March 1, 2005, 10:04 PM
They make nice 100 yard guns. I don't think you can see to make that quick second shot anyway, due to the blast, recoil etc. especially with a cannon like a 338, so why worry about a bolt action? There are bolt actions that are short throw, so one can be very quick about it. With the ballistic coefficients of 338 caliber being as superb as they are, the gun can carry really long shots. You waste the whole setup IMHO if you have an inaccurate platform even to a smallish degree.

March 1, 2005, 10:06 PM
My stepfather has a BAR MarkII Safari in 7mm mag. I can tell they are very accurate and also kick hard. I suggest you get a high quality aftermarket recoil pad like Pachmayr or Sims as the factory pad has no give to it.

March 1, 2005, 11:54 PM
how much accuracy would I be giving up, in real terms
The most popular rifles for long range target shooting are semi autos, so how much accuracy would these extremely competitive high power shooters be willing to give up?

If a bolt gun was more accurate, they would be using one.

There are various reasons to choose one over the other, and the use of the rifle is a valid consideration, accuracy is not a problem with either one.

March 2, 2005, 12:27 AM
For the kind of shots one takes hunting, you will not be able to tell a difference. The BAR is very accurate - often more accurate than the average turnbolt.

Just because manual feeding rifles are the best benchrest rifles there is no reason to assume that a hunting rifle will have those same attributes, or those attributes have any bearing on effective hunting at sane ranges.

March 2, 2005, 10:54 PM
I am sorry, but you fellows are crossing platforms. Please carry the heaviest chunk of metal you can up and down the mountains and then come to discuss the hunting bolt gun versus the auto bench gun. The majority of differences, like portability, number of rounds carried, etc are definitely more important when the gun is being used than they are when guns are being discussed.

March 2, 2005, 10:58 PM
They say bolt action rifles are more accurate but that always isn't true. Unless it is a sks or ak-47. If you get a AR-15 it would be just as accurate. I had a BAR and i got them all in 1 hole one time on a 3 shot group. With a scope. (All of the bullet holes where together = 1 hole) Recoil will be a big facter in larger cals though. If you need to keep shooting. I would get it in 270 or 30-06 so you would be able to almost keep the sight picture if you use a scope.

March 3, 2005, 08:00 AM
Can you even take an autoloader to Africa?

I like BARs, but they are a tad heavy.


March 3, 2005, 02:26 PM
I've been checking out a BAR in 30-06 for a friend, and I'm not at all happy with it's performance. It'll shoot a 3" group on a good day with all the planets in alignment. It's very typical to walk away with a 4 to 5" group with this gun. IMO I'd give the BAR a pass.

March 3, 2005, 02:36 PM
That accuracy is not typical. Either the rifle is damaged, or there is something wrong with the ammo or optics (or shooter).

March 3, 2005, 04:35 PM
Handy and I actually agree on something! Any gun is only as accurate as the person shooting it!

bill k
March 3, 2005, 04:43 PM
I have a BAR Safari grade 338 win mag with the boss system. I've only used factory ammo in this rifle and it groups on average of one inch at 100 yards, 2.5 at 200 yards with 3 shots. The recoil is extremly light because of the boss system as well as it being an auto loader.

March 3, 2005, 05:04 PM
I've never seen one converted to .35 Whelen but I've seen a couple in .338/06 for sale. I'd like to get one in 338WM myself, my 30/06 Stalker doesn't kick enough. :D I thought about converting it but after considering resale value and ammo avalibility it didn't make much sence. I'm thinking that with a good recoil pad the 338WM would make the perfect Elk gun/Griz protection.

Like johnbt, I've heard that Africa is afraid of those evil semi-autos so check it out first. They are afraid that it might stir up trouble in oh-so peacefull Africa. :barf:

March 3, 2005, 09:06 PM
My experience with a 30-06 BAR was the same as described by arthur. The first shot was always dead on perfect while following shots hit around an inch higher than the last. I'm not sure if this was caused from the barrel getting warm or something else. It did not matter who shot the gun, the resulting groups were always the same, with shots hitting an inch higher than the previous shot. In five shots a typical group would be around 4-5". In addition, the gun is extremely loud and muzzle flash is very bright as well, probably due to the BOSS system that is installed.

March 4, 2005, 08:19 PM
i dont know about the BAR but i had a remington 742 in .243 that shot nice and tight

March 7, 2005, 08:13 PM
Well Handy, I can shoot 3/8" groups all day long with my .223 and almost the same with my .243. 1/2" with my .270, so I'm going to say it's not the shooter.

The scope is a swarovski and seems to be pretty solid, but without trying a different scope I can't guarantee. The gun itself just came back from Browning for repair, and they claim it's good to go.

Re other's experience, I have seen lots of posts with people who say they are tack drivers, and about an equal number from people who get unhappy performance. All I can say is this one is nasty IMO and needs a lot of TLC and $$ dumped into it before it's a shooter. BTW, it's the Belgian BAR, not the japanese.

From my experiences, the gun seems to be heat sensitive, which shouldn't bother hunters but shows a MARKED increase in group size after the 4th shot. It's also touchy about being clean, showing an increase in group size after 12-14 shots.

March 7, 2005, 10:14 PM
1969 Belgian BAR, Grade 1, in .30-06. Shoots my 168-180gr handloads, 5 rounds, into 1" at those very same 100 yards. Too bad I don't dare shoot it at game or targets further than that range... :rolleyes: (That elk in my freezer just plain didn't exist, either. I carried the gun up and down a few mountains, damned near died of exhaustion, etc.)


Methinks something is wrong with the non-accurate BAR mentioned elsewhere in the thread.

March 8, 2005, 10:01 AM
Thank you Gewehr (and others). :) Dang, I wish I could get one in .35 whelen without a lot of expense.

March 8, 2005, 12:33 PM
Rem is making 7600 pumps in 35 Whelen again. They hold up well.

If you can find a used 06 BAR, here's a guy that can rebore it for $200. I saved the thread because he's local to me. There's also a guy in Lynwood WA, Z-hat in Montana, and one in AZ that I've heard of, I dont know what they might charge.

Besides cost, resale value, ammo, etc. remember that this would void the warranty too.

I'm thinking that a .338WM BAR with a Simms recoil pad would probably kick about like an 06 bolt gun. No sweat.

March 8, 2005, 02:31 PM
Dan Pederson in Prescott Arizona
[email protected]

March 8, 2005, 05:24 PM
I am QUITE intrigued by a pump gun in .35 Remington (the 7400) - the reliability of a manual repeater with almost the speed of a semi-auto...hmmm. I know that Remington also offers the 700 CDL in .35 Rem as well. Thanks again all.

March 8, 2005, 09:42 PM

Gotta put in my 2 cents worth. I had a Mark II BAR in 300 WSM. Don't know if it was that short cartridge or what, but it didn't feed worth a crap. The recoil from the first shot would actually knock the second cartridge out of the magazine! So it became a single shot rifle. I was unhappy with it so I traded it for a Winchester Model 70 [bolt action, course] in 300 Win Mag and I am just as pleased as puddin with that gun. I don't see what advantage a 3 round autoloader would have in the field over a bolt action. I wouldn't buy another BAR in a short magnum cartridge, or any magnum cartridge. Recoil was not punishing because of the Pachmyer recoil pad but the gun did not seem capable of functioning properly with magnum recoil. Maybe the boss system is the way to go with this gun. Mine did not have it.