View Full Version : Anything I should try to get my Browning BAR to be more accurate?

October 24, 2009, 12:55 AM
I have a Browning BAR in 30-06. This is one made in 1990 or so. Not the newer ones but not the really old one either. I've can't get this thing to group worth a darn. I was thinking of selling it a while back but decided to keep it and hunt with it this year unless I get another rifle to hunt with. Anyway, at 100 yards it's not very accurate which is whats made me think of selling it.

I've tried many different kinds of ammo. I've tried 150 grain Winchester Power Points, 150 grain Winchester Ballistic Silvertips Tips, 150 grain Winchester Silvertips, 165 grain Winchester Soft Points(I think I shot these at the target), 165 grain Remington Core Lokts, 150 grain Federal Power Shok Soft Points, 150 grain Federal Fusions.

So as you can see I've tried quite a variety of ammo. The best ammo I've tried has been the Federal Fusion. I seem to be able to manage about 2" groups at 100 yards with that. Imo that's not very good. The Federal 150 grain soft points are probably second best but the groups open up to 2.5" or 3" or so.

I've made sure the forearm isn't touching the barrel. Although, it will move some as it's not super tight and you can't tighten it anymore. I've read this is a common problem with the BARs. I've kept it clean and gotten all the copper out. I can't feel any rough spots on the crown. No burs or anything on the crown that I can tell. I've tried both the Leupold scope that was originally on it as well as the Burris that's currently on it. I've also made sure the mounts and rings are tight. I don't know what else to check.

Here are pictures of the groups I shot.
Here is the group with Federal Fusions

Not great but not horrible I guess. Fine for hunting.

Here are the groups from the Federal Soft Points

As you can see these are a little better.

The Winchester Ballistic Silver Tips are horrible. They would shoot 1 or two together then shoot way and I mean way off.

Is there anything else I should try or is this about what I can expect from a BAR? BTW I'm shooting one or two shots then letting the barrel cool so It's not that the barrel is getting hot. I can also sometimes shoot one or two touching then the next 2 or 3 will be inches off.

October 24, 2009, 01:17 AM
Maybe try reloading. You can experiment and find out what ammo the gun really likes. That may cut the group size down a bit.

October 24, 2009, 03:20 AM
One thing to consider: Most of the bullet weights you mention are 150gr. Maybe your rate of twist doesn't like 150 gr. bullets. A Remington 700 in 250 Savage made me a believer that different bullet weights can make a radical difference.

October 24, 2009, 03:43 AM
How long is the Barrel? My FNAR really likes 168gr, and even 180. Try a Box of the 180 and see if you can group any better.

October 24, 2009, 03:47 AM
I think it's hungry for some heavy bullets.
180-220's should work better.

BTW, are you using a scope?
If the scope is good and the mounts are tight, then move to the ammo problem

Good luck!

October 24, 2009, 04:31 AM
Have you tried placing a target the same size and approximate shape of the kill zone on whatever you're hunting with your BAR at 200 yards? I have a BAR in .338 win mag. It will never be a target rifle, but it is reliable and able to group well enough to easily place rounds in the kill zone of anything I would be hunting with it. At 100 yards I use a 6" shoot 'n' see when zeroing my BAR. It's not a sub MOA rifle, but will shoot MOA, or close to it with good ammo. You might also want to check the recoil buffer and make sure it is still in good shape. I like my BAR. It does what it's supposed to do. Mine is a '74 Belgium rifle.

October 24, 2009, 05:14 AM
I think that the majority of the previous posts/posters could be onto something, HomeTheaterMan.

I've got a Browning A-Bolt in .270 Winchester. I Handload for it. I load quite a few bullet styles/brands/weights. The 110 grain TTSX and 150 grain Norma Oryx have been By FAR the most accurate. Those 2 weights are the Light and Heavy for .270.

I have several different brands/styles of 130 grain bullets, and the best group I've gotten so far with the 130's, was 1 1/4" using the Older, Original Barnes XFB. I have 130 grain Hornady Interbonds, but they are about as accurate as the XFB's.

The 110 grain TTSX is amazingly accurate, and the heavy Oryx are a little less accurate than the TTSX, I get a repeatable 3/4" at 100 yds with Oryx.

October 24, 2009, 10:41 AM
I've really been considering getting a starters reloading kit. I'm just not sure I want to get one and have to figure out what shoots good this close to hunting season. I may try it in the off season though. This seems like the answer.

As for barrel length I really want to say that it's a 22" barrel but I'm not 100% sure. It's whatever they came with from the factory.

As for bullets most I've tried are in the 150 grain range. The main reason being that's mostly what is readily available here. I have tried 165 grain Remington Core Lokts as well as 165 grain Winchester Soft Points. That's what I used to shoot until I started not being able to find them as they were always sold out. I think I tried the Winchester soft points on a target to check groups but I'm not 100% sure. I know I shot them some and shot them a lot at 50 yards. I think I tried at 100 too. I know I tried the 165 grain Remingtons with bad luck at 100 yards. I've never tried 180 grain ammo of any kind so I may have to pick up a box of that to try.

One thing I didn't think to mention in the first post is that I shot it at 50 yards and it shoots great at 50 yards but once you step out to 100 is where it starts with lousy groups. I shot it at a friends house where he has a nice setup but it's only a 50 yard shooting area. He has one of those gun vise things that can hold the gun. I used that instead of sand bags that I normally use. I'm not sure that it was better or worse. Anyway, I shot at 50 yards with Winchester 150 grain classic silvertips. I shot once and hit the target. I shot another 5 times and couldn't figure out *** was going on since I wasn't hitting the target. I walked up to check it out and you could see where the one hole had all 6 bullets through it. It was quite a bit bigger than just if one bullet had gone through but you could see it was just one big hole where all 6 bullets had gone through. When I step out to 100 yards with the Silvertips they are all over the target. I this his vise setup may have helped me shoot a little better than sandbags but I've also read it's not a good idea to use a setup like that. It was kind of like the lead sled but that wasn't the brand and it wasn't quite as fancy. Didn't have all the weights on it.

However, off sandbags I can also do great groups at 50 yards. So I can't figure out why it groups at 50 yards and not at 100. When I called Browning the man on the phone told me that wasn't possible but I know that's how it is as I've seen it several times.

October 24, 2009, 10:49 AM
Try some 180 gr factory loads. I assume you have a scope mounted on your BAR. 180 gr loads are real common in 30-06 in my area.

IF not, your groups are about what I shoot with open sights and thus I wouldn't worry about it. Good groups at 50 yds... hmm that is about the best you have with regular 20/20 vision. At 100 yds, it is beyond my ability to hold the POI any better than you shoot. I still try, but my expectations are not as high as with a reasonably good scope.

October 24, 2009, 11:00 AM
I've got a Burris 3x9x40 scope on it. I previously had a Leupold of the same size but thought it might be the problem so switched to the Burris. I don't have any sights on this gun anymore so I can't test out the open sights.

I wonder if it's not part of my problem of the target looking so much smaller at 100 yards. I'd really think that if it wasn't for the fact that I can shoot the bulls eye out of the target at 100 yards with my muzzle loader with the same power range scope. Next time I want to try a higher power scope.