View Full Version : Browning BAR

October 19, 2010, 08:55 AM
What can anyone tell me about these rifles as far as accuracy and reliability. I am interested in one.


October 19, 2010, 09:31 AM
Yes they are very accurate and very reliable. I've had them in 7mm Rem Mag, .30-06 and .300 Win Mag.
Later they came out with the Safari Grade which is really the same rifle with a few improvements.
Browning pretty much makes the best rifles in all actions to this day (to include of course Remington, Winchester, Ruger, Savage, Etc).
The Remington auto is also nice!

October 19, 2010, 09:48 AM
Thanks. I am thinking about one in 7mm-08 or 308. I'm thinking they would be pretty quick handling.

October 19, 2010, 09:51 AM
Be careful with the receiver on the Brownings. Don't scratch them! The finish is beautiful and perhaps more sensitive to rough use than the Rem.

October 19, 2010, 09:54 AM
Had 1 in 7mm rem mag, accurate, reliable, beautiful and yes finish is sensitive to rough use.

October 19, 2010, 11:06 AM
Sensitive finish is kind of a bummer, since I want it to use. How about the Lightweight Stalker? I wanted a left-hand one, and in bolt guns that is a deal breaker, but in a semi-automatic it wouldn't bother me as much if it was right-handed.

October 19, 2010, 11:13 AM
Some guys claim to get moa groups with them, but the majority I've seen are very picky on ammo, and once you find and ammo it really likes 1.5-2" groups at 100 yards are about as good as it gets. There are more reports of this kind of accuracy than there are of moa accuracy although some are really accurate. These guns are beautifully made, and very reliable though. The accuracy is good enough for a hunting rifle which is what they are, but they are not target rifles.

October 19, 2010, 11:19 AM
Get the BAR Safari!

EDIT: Not to mention, LOOK at it:D

October 19, 2010, 12:04 PM
Yes, a BAR Safari!

October 19, 2010, 12:12 PM
Safaris are better? I looked at them on the Browning website. They have a muzzle break? Does that make it a lot louder?

October 19, 2010, 12:51 PM
One of the most accurate semi-automatic sporting rifles available. They typically shoot 1.5" or so. A BAR that shoots MOA or better is not unthinkable.

October 19, 2010, 05:35 PM
Is there any velocity loss with a semi-automatic?

October 19, 2010, 05:40 PM
I am looking for one that will be good for antelope hunting at 400 yds. I am going to go to Wyoming to hunt, and a friend who just got back from there shot one at 477 yds measured with range finder with a 270, but I am thinking that the 7mm-08 will do just as well at that range on an antelope, but I am open to advice.

October 19, 2010, 05:41 PM
You can get them with or without the BOSS system, there is also a BOSS that does not have the porting.

October 19, 2010, 06:50 PM
The BOSS is about as ugly as you can get.

The non-BOSS BAR Safari in 308, 270, or 30-06 is about as nice a deer rifle as you could ever hope to have. Both form & function.

October 19, 2010, 07:25 PM
I have a BAR in 308 with the BOSS. Very accurate rifle.I bought a set of gun chaps to put on my to protect the finish. No worries for me.

Black Frog
October 19, 2010, 08:19 PM
This year I was sucked in when I stumbled across Browning made their BAR Stalker in a 308 CARBINE configuration, limited run and non-cataloged. Synthetic stock, matte finish with fluted 18" barrel. I always wished that Browning had made a shorter-barreled semi auto.

Couldn't pass it up.

Topped it off with a Leup 1.5-5x heavy duplex and it is quite nice. Grouped exceptionally well using plain old Rem 150gr Core-lokt ammo on the first range outing:


Only complaint for me so far is that I wish the stock were a bit higher for (me) better scope alignment.
And the trigger is kinda mushy, not crisp.

....but it shoots great....

October 19, 2010, 09:27 PM
Have one in 7mmmag good lookin tuff no problems ever shoots around 1.5
groups its a fine hunting rifle IMO.

October 19, 2010, 10:51 PM
I do not own a Browning BAR, but did purchase a used FNAR in 308(sporterized/ tacticooled version of the BAR by the parent company FN) approximately one year ago. Although my FNAR is heavy, it is extremely accurate and very deadly for hunting here in Georgia.

The only time I shot it off of a sandrest was when I sighted it in with a scope. Otherwise, I shoot it to hunt, shoot it freehand, or with a bipod (it is approximately 11 lbs with scope). I can get one inch groups at approximately 100 yards slowly shooting it at a target standing up (have in the past, with witnesses). If the current BAR is close to the FNAR I would advise a purchase. If you want an uglier (yes FNAR haters I said it) version you might look at it. Especially if you can find a seldom shot used one with heavy barrel.

October 19, 2010, 11:37 PM
There are many on the used market. My Dad has one from 1981 and I've got a light weight stalker from 2001. Both shoot dimes sized groups...a dime will cover the whole group at 100 yards...with Rem Core-lokts and federal blue boxes. Both are in in 270 Win. However, the guns are to hold one in the chamber and 4 in the magazine but when I load this way, I always get a misfeed. I think there is too much pressure from the full magazine to cycle the bolt. Problem doesn't exist when I only load the magazine...3 in the mag one in the chamber.

October 20, 2010, 02:33 AM
Thanks guys.

I am going to get one. Now I have to decide WHICH one. I am leaning towards the 7mm-08. I have a Savage in that caliber and really like it.

October 20, 2010, 06:05 AM

If you already own the 7mm-08 why not get a caliber to diversify?
The BAR is capable of 300 Win Mag.

October 20, 2010, 09:26 AM
Funny you should say that Pythagorean, because I had been thinking about it and that's I have decided to do. I really like the 7mm-08 because of the accuracy and mild recoil, but decided that it would be redundant. I am in the process of deciding which caliber and model right now. I like the idea of the Safari rifle, but don't like that muzzle break. I'll check into finding one without it. I also like the look of the Lightweight Stalker, but am also considering a dedicated left-hand model, though as I said earlier, I don't think the right-hand ejection would really bother me. I thought it was ironic that in the catalog the Lightweight Stalker is listed as being heavier than the standard model. Go figure. How do these rifles handle the recoil of the magnum calibers?

October 20, 2010, 09:52 AM
In 1996 I bought a Browning MK II Safari in 30.06. Due to not wanting to mess up the pretty wood stock, I put a Bell and Carson synthetic stock on it and hit the woods deer hunting. I have taken several deer with it and I must say it as accurate as some of my bolt guns. I shoot rifles left handed but I never found the ejecting cases to be much of a problem. I have often thought about buying a left hand Bar, but right now I can't justify the cost. I would have to say that the Browning is one of the best semi auto hunting rifles on the market. It beats the Remington hands down and I don't know how it would compare to a Benelli.

You have heard the positives but one last thing (negative). I have hunted in some nasty rainy weather with the Bar and had to tear it down after a day of hunting to dry the water out of it. I once put it back together and didn't get something right with the spring that makes the bolt release return to its normal position. I let a gunsmith work on it and after he worked on it that part worked fine, but on ocassion after the first shot the bolt would jam open and not chamber another round. Other words at that point I had a single shot semi auto rifle. I hated that because the Bar was my best feeling hunting rifle. Well I let another gunsmith work on it and he said he shot it and it was ok. I get back home and I am sighting in the rifle and the bolt locks back again after the first shot. It happened more than once on that range day. I got mad and put it in the gun safe, where it sits today. My main deer hunting rifles now are stainless bolt action rifles. I really don't know what to do with the Bar other than maybe send it back to Browning. If anyone else has a clue about what is causing the bolt to lock back, I sure would appreciate some feedback. I have tried different magazines and it does the same thing.

Enough said about that. If my Bar was functioning the way it should I would be carrying it this deer season.

October 20, 2010, 05:15 PM
I shot a 7 Mag BAR once and it kicked less than my bolt action 308....or close to that anyway.

October 20, 2010, 06:48 PM
Concerning recoil you have to remember one of my most favorite rifles is a Ruger No. 1 Tropical in .458 Lott. It is NOT an auto so I get the benefit of feeling it all!
To me a rifle doesn't start recoiling until it hits the .338 Winchester level in a bolt or solid breech action.
Recoil in the BAR is smooth.

October 20, 2010, 06:57 PM
I have a 30.06 Safari with the BOSS system and it is the most accurate rifle I own! Once you choose you ammo and dial it in, you are set. Make sure you lock-tite the number ring on the BOSS b/c it will move on you.

October 20, 2010, 08:30 PM
I ordered a Lightweight Stalker in 270 Win. today. Can't wait to try it out. If I like it, which I am sure I will based on everything you guys have said, I may get one in 308 Win. or even 300 Win. Mag.

October 20, 2010, 08:52 PM
I've had mine for 15 years....common grade 270 beautiful but heavy. Accurate and I love this gun. Prior to getting this guy I switched rifles every few years...I've stuck with this guy and it's never failed me...ever.

October 20, 2010, 11:41 PM
I hav a BAR in 300wm. I also have a m70 and ruger #1 in 300wm. I found the BAR recoil to be punishing in comparison to the other two rifles. But, also found it to be the most acurate of the three. I added 8 oz. of mercury to the stock and recoil is now tollarable. Now it it is punishung to carry.:p

October 21, 2010, 12:22 AM
If I were to get a semi-auto hunting rifle it would be the BAR, probably an old one though. The BAR has long been THE semi-auto sporting rifle, Rem. is not in the same league. The new Benelli and Win. may be equal or even better, but I am a traditionalist and can't get over their looks.

October 21, 2010, 08:12 AM
My 78-year-old uncle called last night about his 1st year .30-06. A cousin had just called him to see if he would sell it and he wanted to know if I wanted it when he decides to let it go. Uh, yeah. It's been his deer gun since the day he bought it, except for the 7 years he used his brother-in-law's Marlin .444, and it's held up just fine finish-wise. No, I can't get the Marlin.

His son isn't into guns and told him not to leave behind that mess of guns for him to take care of, sell off, whatever.

I volunteered. :)

This isn't a surprise because this is the uncle who gave me the Mountie in '63 and who I bought a Nylon 76 lever for some years ago.


October 21, 2010, 09:32 AM
I looked at a used Benelli when I was at Cabela's yesterday. It was in good shape and had a $1059.00 or so price tag on it. I had never seen one before. They are very sleek and feel and point great. Probably better than the BAR. This one was in 300 W-something. I couldn't read whether it was magnum or short magnum on the tag. I might go back and look at it again. It'll probably be there for months.

October 22, 2010, 07:51 AM
I've owned two. Bought them back in the early 70's. The first one was in .300 Winchester Magnum and the other was in .338 Winchester Magnum. They were my moose hunting rifles. Loved 'em both and both were very accurate. I never had any issues with either one. Hunted from a wood shack up on the Albany River in Ontario one year. I was sitting on the bank, just enjoying the sunshine when a Bull came out on the opposite shore. Approx 350 yards. Shot the Bull with the .338 and the first round got his attention. The second shot piled him up on the bank he was going up to get away. Both rounds were killing shots. But I've never shot a Bull that died instantly from one hit. They weren't all that hard to kill, they just didn't know they were dead.

Never had any issues with the durability of the finish either. Maybe it was just because they were an older model, I can't say. All I really cared about was that they worked every single time.

November 21, 2010, 05:13 PM
I use my Safari Mark II BAR in the .300 Win Mag with the BOSS system for shooting whitetails here in Fl and Al. I reload and shoot 180 gr Hornady Interbond and 165 gr Hornady SST. Not exactly moose, but they go down where they stand.

November 21, 2010, 05:57 PM
I've been hunting with my BAR MkII Safari (w/ BOSS) in .30/06 for quite some time now. That rifle has hunted everything with me; hogs and whitetail in the southeast, elk and mulies in the Rockies, and more recently, blacktail, brown bear, caribou, and moose in Alaska.

The finish on both the wood and metal is none the worse for the wear. A few scratches are inevitable, but I've never been one to abuse my guns either.

Mine shoots MOA all day long. Thread position is ~4.5 for the BOSS, shooting 165gr SGK. Anyone that doesn't belive me is welcome to fly to Kodiak and prove me wrong. Until then, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

I am left-eye dominant and mostly ambidextrous, so I shoot left-handed and I've never had a problem with flying brass.

I own 8 different Browning centerfire rifles, 3 Browning shotguns, and 4 Browning rimfires, one could say I like Brownings a bit....

Are you sure nothing was pressing upward on the bolt catch lever? It's on the right side of the receiver, towards the bottom, just behind the fore end. If anything is applying very much pressure at all (inadvertant thumb, sandbag, twig stuck in there, etc) it will turn a BAR into a single-shot. I'm thinking this could be your problem since the gunsmith shot it without incident. Give it a try and see what happens. Good luck.

November 21, 2010, 08:46 PM
jgcoastie, Thanks for the suggestions. Nothing was pressing against the bolt catch lever because 2 different shots were at deer, shooting free handed. Just a good thing the first shot hit and I didn't need a second shot. Its just not fun carying a semi auto wondering if it will function ok when needed. I am sure there is some issue with the bolt catch lever or spring. I have been seriously thinking about letting another gunsmith look at it or sending it back to browning if the gunsmith can't figure it out. I really like that rifle as a deer gun and it is the best feeling one in my hands that I have.

November 21, 2010, 10:00 PM
Can't answer your question about reliability or accuracy but the ones I have hefted convinced me I sure didn't want to carry it around all day:D

November 22, 2010, 12:29 AM
My BAR is chambered for .338 Win Mag. It is a Belgium made ('74) rifle that is older than quite a few of the members on this site. It is reliable and accurate. Other than battle scars accumulated over the years in the field you'll find they hold up well.

November 22, 2010, 06:57 AM
Can't answer your question about reliability or accuracy but the ones I have hefted convinced me I sure didn't want to carry it around all day

The old BAR Safari rifles are really being phased out at Browning, in favor or the new updated BAR Shortrac and BAR Longtrac models. These rifles are significantly lighter than the old BAR Safari.

I cannot believe that this discussion went on for so many weeks, without any mention at all of the newer BAR models.

A BAR Shortrac in .308 Win weighs only 6 lbs 10 oz



November 22, 2010, 09:27 AM
I bought a Lightweight Stalker because it has a synthetic stock, in 270 Win. Ironically, this 'lightweight' model is slightly heavier than the regular BAR. Go figure. Trigger is not bad at all. I have a BLR that has a significantly heavier trigger pull, but is a very quick-handling rifle.

November 22, 2010, 09:58 AM
I had replied earlier on but I've got to do it again. My .300 Win Mag model as well as the .338 Win Mag were not light rifles. Mine were both early 70's models and with the Redfield 2-7's I had on them brought the weight up some, to be sure. Never really considered them for my deer rifle use though. Not when I had a Win M100 Carbine, a couple of Win 94's and a Rem 740 to use. But seeing that light issue from Browning sure piques my interest again. I'm back in the market for a quick handling semi and one in .308 might just be the ticket.

November 22, 2010, 11:49 AM

The Lightweight Stalker in 308 is 7lb. 2oz. The Short Trac is 6lb. 10oz. I don't know what they weighed in the 70s, but they must have been put on a diet, because those listed weights are on par with most bolt guns now. My Lightweight Stalker in 270 win. handles very well.