View Full Version : Browning BAR Accuracy?
June 4, 2008, 10:21 AM
How good do you guys think I should expect a Browning BAR to shoot? The gun is a 30-06 that I inherited from grandpa. It’s a BAR, grade 2 I think, its got some engraving but nothing super fancy. 22” barrel, made in the 60’s or 70’s I think, not sure exactly, it is Belgium made though. I would say its in good – fair shape. It has definitely been used. A few nicks in the stock, stock finish has seen better days, a little of the blueing worn away on the bottom of the receiver from being carried so much, but overall pretty well maintained.
I am in the process of working up some loads, and I am just wondering what a realistic expectation is for this gun. We have all heard the stories of BAR’s shooting 1” groups at a million yards or whatever, and I know that some can be made to be really accurate. My dad in fact has a 7mm mag that will easily shoot MOA groups out to 2 or 3 hundred at least. I am just wondering what an average is.
The first couple tries at a load for it have shot in the 2” range give or take at 100 yards. Honestly this is probably fine for what I will use it for. Just wondering what the opinions around here are.
If I would like to get better accuracy out if it than what I can get from playing with handloads, what could be done?
June 4, 2008, 12:01 PM
BARs are typically fairly accurate. I have seen some that shot 1" or better very consistently. They have pretty good triggers, and are heavier than most bolt rifles, which helps the shooter by not beating them up, which typically improves marksmanship.
To improve the accuracy of your particular rifle, try cleaning it well and lubing, then adjust the forearm screw so the forearm does not touch the barrel. The forearm screw has a lock nut built into it for just that purpose.
June 4, 2008, 12:26 PM
Scorth, you're the man.
June 4, 2008, 12:34 PM
Check the crowning bro, If its old....USE A GO OR NO GO GAUGE! Please bro save your face......After using scortchs advice(P.S. you want the BBL to be 3 buisness cards away from the stock...yes it WILL vibrate that much) Some other things you might want to try are
*Mix up the ammo, see what your rifle likes
*Maybe get the rifle re-crowned if its worth it....If its old and the finish is important to the historic value of the rifle....forget it bro....buy a new rifle. Not only accurate rifles are interesting.
*Check the barrel for copper fouling....if your cotton patches are coming out blue..this means there is a buildup of copper fouling and htis will decrease accurately greatly. Attempt to use copper solvent...and in extreme cases bore paste(Use as directed) To clear out the fouling.
*CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!
Try these and well see what your BAR can do. I dont think the germans were very happy with the accuracy. ;)
June 4, 2008, 12:49 PM
Copper fouling in the barrel was a problem when I got the rifle. Its as clean as it can possibly be using Hoppes #9 now though. I must have run a hundred + patches through it lately. Just using a loop thing for the patch you'd never know it, but if you get it soked with Hoppes, let it sit for a bit and run a brass jeg through and you'd get the telltail blue-green streaks. I may get some stuff specifically designed for copper fouling and see if I can get any remaining out though.
I will try to get the forarm adjusted as you guys mentioned too. That is great advise, I was not aware that could be done. I know that right now it is tight to the barrel.
I doubt I will go as far as recrowning the barrel. That money would be better spent on other things. The rifle is a hunting rifle and I am not going to do a ton of target shooting with it once I get it as good as I think I can. Its good enough for hunting right now, and I have other rifles that I can use for long distance work. I just want to get it as good as possible, without spending hundreds of dollars to get it to 1MOA groups vs 2MOA groups. Its not worth it for a rifle that the majority of the shots are going to be offhand throught the woods.
June 4, 2008, 03:10 PM
I have shot a few of those over the years and they would shoot a 2 inch group at 100 yards without a lot of load searching.
My neighbor had one that stacked about 3 to 4 inches. He sent it back to Browning. Still did it. He sent it back to Browning and they replaced it. Never new the explanation.
Anyhow, anything 2 MOA or less would be acceptable to me with a BAR.
June 4, 2008, 04:32 PM
Copper fouling in the barrel was a problem when I got the rifle. Its as clean as it can possibly be using Hoppes #9 now though.
Hoppe's doesn't do jack with copper fouling. Get some Sweet's and/or JB bore paste.
June 4, 2008, 07:04 PM
Turn the BAR upside down when cleaning with harsh solvents to keep them out of the gas system. I never shot a BAR worse than 1 1/2".
June 5, 2008, 11:53 AM
I've had excellent performance for accuracy and killing deer with 150-grain Sierra bullets (both boat-tail and flat-base) and IMR 4064. Starting load, I guess, would be about 50.0 grains. I figure I'm max at 52.5, but I know my chamber is a tad toward the upper limit; I can pick up range brass and not full-length resize.
February 28, 2010, 05:40 PM
Scorch and Lavid202,
I have a BAR 7mm RM that I traded for about 9 years ago. I do not know how old, just that it is Belgium made, assembled in Portugal.
Now about adjusting the forearm; I must not have the same type of screw on mine, cuz it fits on the outside, and I can only adjust how far out the sling post comes out, it does nothing for stock clearance.
Upon inspection, the left side of the barrel by the foremost left side of the stock, has worn the bluing off where it is obviously the barrel is rubbing the stock when fired.
I seem to have plenty of clearance below the barrel, just not the sides, especially the left side. I tried a washer on the post guide on attached to the barrel assembly, but it seemed to be too much space below the barrel, and added only minimal space along the sides of the barrel.
Can I just sand the stock down a bit on the frontal sides to clear? Or how would you suggest I make the adjustments?
February 28, 2010, 10:49 PM
Yes I'm also not sure where that screw will be, I've never seen anything like that on my BAR, and the manual says nothing about it.
February 28, 2010, 11:04 PM
I've mentioned this in numberous other posts and some may be tired of hearing it, but since you asked. My Dad has a BAR in .270 Win made in 1981, lowest grade i believe (blued, no engraving) that shoots dime sized 5 shot groups with 150gr Rem Core-lokt. They cost me 12.97 a box a couple years ago. My BAR Lightweight Stalker .270 Win does the same. I don't tire of shooting them and I guess for good reason. Now we just need to get browning/FN/Winchester to make a long trac (.270 Win and like size cartridges) with the 10rd box magazine like the FNAR and SXAR.
You can look up the manufacture date on the Browning website:
Good luck and give a try at duplicating the cheap boxes with your hand loads.
March 1, 2010, 10:54 AM
I think I might have gotten a lemon when I had mine. I bought a brand new BAR Safari grade in .25-06 a couple years ago. I bought a Burris base, Burris rings, and a Burris Fullfield 4.5-14 scope on it. It was a beautiful looking rifle. But for some reason, it wouldn't group for anything. It would go from one side of the paper to the other in the same group. The groups were so bad, I'd say I was shooting 10 inch to 11 inch groups at 100 yards. I bought a lead sled thinking that I might have developed a bad flinch. I'd hold the hairs right on the X and still shoot horrible groups.
I ended up selling to someone who said that they could get it to shoot better. Something about the forend screws being too tight or something. Last I heard, it still wasn't shooting good for him.
Most people talk about good accuracy from them. I probably just had a lemon. Beautiful guns though, especially the Safari grade with the engraving.
March 1, 2010, 04:17 PM
I have a Belgian made BAR (I can't remember if it's 1967 or 1969) in .30-06. When I got it in probably 2000, it had never been fired. I took it out with a few different types of ammo...rarely got any better than about a 3" group. It's a beauty, but so far I haven't fed it the right type of ammo. To be fair to the rifle, I've only tried about 3 kinds so far...and haven't tried ANY reloads. If I get to 1.5", I'll be happy. Incidentally, I used this rifle to take my biggest buck at 204 yards a few years back..it's "deer accurate" anyway!
March 1, 2010, 06:00 PM
I have one in 30-06 that was made in 1990. I originally shot it at 50 yards and got one ragged hole with 6 shots. This was with Winchester Silvertips. The classic ones not the ballistic tip ones. When I moved out to 100 yards I tried to switch to the Winchester Ballistic Silvertips. I didn't get good groups at all. They were all over the target. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I finally tried some other ammo. I tried Remington Core Lokts, Winchester Power Points, Winchester Silvertips(again only at 100 yards this time), and the Winchester Ballistic Silver tips mentioned above. I couldn't get it to group well at all at 100 yards. Finally I tried some Federal Fusion ammo and to my surprise the groups shrunk down to about 1.5"-2". This is still not great but it's decent. I then tried some Federal Soft Points and at first I got about a 3" group with them. However, last time I shot it I was getting much smaller groups than that with them. After talking to quite a few guys I heard some say theirs got 1" or smaller groups but around 2" seemed to be what most of them said. So now I've just stuck with Federal Fusions or Soft Points. They both seem to shoot well.
I will say for some reason this gun is always super hard to sight in. I had it shooting a few inches low. I moved it up and watched the crosshairs in the scope go up. I shot again and it hit the same spot. I moved it a couple more clicks and it jumped up about 4". I've had 2 different scopes that have done this on this rifle so it's not the scope. I've also watched the crosshairs move in the scope when I was adjusting it. So I don't at all understand it. Once I get it zeroed it seems to do okay though. I usually just get it close and leave it alone.
If you get 2" groups I'd be happy with them. For a hunting gun this is fine and to me it's just a great feeling fun to shoot gun so I like it even though it's not super accurate.
I did have the forearm touching the barrel so I sandeded it down. I didn't see a way to adjust it. It's not got less wood on one side than the other due to one side touching and the other not however, it doesn't look too bad.
Here are a few targets I shot with mine for reference.
When I originally compared them this is the group I got with Federal Soft Points
Here is what it did with the Federal Fusions
When I went to make sure it was still sighted in for hunting season this year I shot two decent groups.
I shot all of these with Federal soft points in 150 grain.
I shot that one and had the one flier. I also shot a few more times after that picture and had one more flier but 2 more hit right with those two. I decided to fine tune it a little more and adjust it up some.
After doing some adjusting on the scope I shot this group
Overall, I'm pretty happy with how the Federal Power Shok soft points preform and at $14 a box they are the cheapest I've found. They are plenty accurate enough to hunt with. I like the Federal Fusions slightly more but they are also usually $26-30 a box vs the $14 of the Power Shoks.
I wonder if some of the fliers and some of the bad groups aren't just me pulling a little. I'm not sure. While this rifle doesn't kick that hard for a 30-06 I do a lot better with rifles that kick less. I can't tell if it's the rifle or the recoil causing that though.
So as you can see I get decent groups but nothing spectacular.
March 2, 2010, 08:30 AM
My go-to gun for years and years has been my Browning BAR MkII Safari in .30/06 (with BOSS). Best factory stuff I've used were 165gr Winchester Ballistic Silvertips and suprisingly enough, 165gr Wolf surplus ammo, I believe they were just regular-old Soft Points... With either of those, I'm pretty much guaranteed to shoot 1MOA out to around 300yds or so.
Best handload I've used; I'll have to look it up when I get home, my favorite loads are highlighted in my manual.
March 7, 2010, 02:21 PM
I have a late 80s BAR in 7mm RM. It is a good shooting gun. I can shoot 1.5 inches with the right factory loads. I have never had an ejection or FTF issue with it and I have used it for many years. I am now considering getting one of the newer ones in .243 just for a change of pace.
March 7, 2010, 06:20 PM
I have one in 30-06 that was made in 1990. I originally shot it at 50 yards and got one ragged hole with 6 shots.
What kind of scope do you have on that BAR Homey? It sounds to me like parallax is your problem.
March 7, 2010, 08:24 PM
Leupold VX-I 3x9x40 at first. Now I have a Burris Fullfield II 3x9x40 on it.
February 14, 2015, 04:45 PM
My strings like the above picture. Like a curved arc.
March 25, 2016, 08:59 AM
I have both 7mm and 30-06 in Belgium Browning BARs. The 7mag loves 175grain and will shoot 1" groups with cheap federal blue box. The 30-06 was a little finicky at first with 150gr. It looked more like a buckshot pattern at 100 yards. Finally I tried 165grain and it shot 2" groups. I loaded up some Hornady 165 sst and got better. After months of playing I have my load. I'm shooting 7/8" 3 shot groups. 50grain of H-335 and 165grain sst. I couldn't believe it at first so I shot 6 different 3 shot groups. Here's what she can do. Browning BARs are finicky, try heavyweight loads loaded slower around 2500-2700fps.
March 25, 2016, 10:34 AM
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