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Old December 1, 2016, 08:38 AM   #1
svidden
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Inherited a '72 Browning BAR 30-06, and I have a few questions

Hi everyone,
First time poster here, but I have been reading the forum for a few months now. I am a typical souther MN hunter. I don't collect a lot of guns, and only buy what I plan to hunt with. I put in my range time to get familiar with my guns and know where I am hitting come field time. I don't do a ton of target shooting. Today I own a 1994 Browning BLR '81 featherweight, Ruger 77 10/22 and a Winchester Sx3 12 gauge.

I recently inherited a 1972 Browning BAR 30-06, that looks to be a Type I and grade I. Serial # 72M08461. It has the plain stock and receiver finishes. No engravings or gold plated trigger. The rifle is very clean, with only slight finishing blemishes from occasional field use. The receiver looks fresh, and the metal finish is in great condition. The wood finish is a little scuffed from use, but nothing major at all. The rifle was my uncles that was handed down to him from my grandfather (his father). My uncle reloaded as well, so the rifle came with a couple hundred rounds in 150, 168, and 180 gr and the reloading equipment (I will have more questions on that later). I hope to get this gun setup in time for next years hunting season. I thought it would be wonderful to use my grandfather's gun for years to come and hopefully pass it on to my son. I feel very lucky to inherit such a beauty.

I have a couple questions on the vintage of this rifle and what I can do to set it up for hunting, mostly whitetail hunting in MN. I am thinking hanging up the BLR due to the tricky "safety" system and hammer use during cold hunting seasons.

1. The rifle is stamped as Belgium Browning BAR. Is this 1972 model a true Belgium, manufactured and assembled in Belgium? I understand that this was not necessarily the case with later models.

2. Would this gun contain an all steal receiver? I understand now days, the receivers are aluminum alloy. Does this increase value or demand for such a rifle? I have no intentions of selling, but I am just curious what I have here.

3. The gun came with two-piece weaver scope mounts. Am I better off with a single piece Leupold or similar mount? I am thinking about installing a 2x7 or 3x9 scope in a 30 or 32mm. I am not so sure about 40mm or larger lenses.

4. I understand the BAR is not a "competition-accurate" rifle, but they can be smooth shooters if you keep them clean and perform well for the average sportsman. I am hoping to get this rifle sited within hunting specs out to 200 yards. I typically prefer not shoot at live game beyond that mark. 250 would be too far for my preference. Would this be a capable feat, as long as I am doing my part behind the trigger?

5. I mentioned it came with 150, 168, and 180 gr ammo. Which gr would be most preferred to start with? I have a couple hundred rounds of each and would consider setting up my uncles reloading gear when it gets to that point.

6. I ordered a Dewey one piece cleaning rod with the plastic coating to clean from the muzzle. The manual that came with the rifle instructs me to clean from the muzzle. Which makes sense. There is no bolt to pull etc. Should I also pair this cleaning rod with a muzzle guard?

7. Are there any cleaning procedures that change when cleaning a gas piston auto-loader? I am much more familiar with cleaning bolt and lever rifles.

That's a handful of questions, but I am trying to learn as much as I can about this rifle during the off season, and maybe scrape up a little deal on a scope during the holidays.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

Shawn
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Old December 1, 2016, 09:05 AM   #2
Wyosmith
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Ok, here's what I can tell you about your questions.
#1. I don't know.
#2. Yes, it's steel. Aluminum didn't come out until later. To be sure take a kitchen magnet like the ones used to stick on a refrigerator, and see if it sticks to the receiver.
#3. The Weaver mounts are just fine. The receiver doesn't need any extra "stiffness" and the steel mounts are also fine, but are just adding weight for no good reason.
#4. BARs are the best of the "sporting semi-autos" (in distinction to the military type semi-autos which can be just as much sporting rifles as any, but we need to have some term that we all understand)
Some are not very accurate , but they are the exception, not the rule. I have seen many BARs that will shoot 1.5 inch groups at 100 years and quite a few that shot close to MOA. To understand this in prospective, it's safe to say the rifle is more accurate then you can hold it if you lack a solid bench rest. The M-1D Snipers rifles of WW2 and Korean Wars would shoot about 1.5 MOA as a rule. They were good to 800 yards in the hands of a good marksman, and there were several cases of them used effectively at well past that range. So yes, the BAR you have is probably good to any range you would ever want to kill a deer in MN. Try it with different loads, but in all likelihood you'll find a load that will keep them touching a quarter at 100 yards.
#5. Bullet construction is more important then bullet weight. But for deer any soft point of 150 grains or more is OK. Those that don't come apart on impact are better than those that do, but all will kill deer. I would try some of each and shoot what the rifle likes, at least to start out. Learn as you go with the reloading. Stay away from max loads on the BAR. It's plenty strong, but function can be a problem if you get the pressure too high.
#6. Yes, a muzzle guide is a good thing to have. If you mare very careful with the rod you don't actually need a guide, but they are cheap and easy to use, so it's just a good idea to use them.
#7. Cleaning the gas system is no more then wiping it down with bore solvent 2-3 times a year. Not much to worry about there.

Happy hunting.
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Old December 1, 2016, 04:17 PM   #3
mete
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Those are the days when a shortage of wood gave them the idea that drying the wood faster cold be done by a salt treatment .Check the metal for rust where it contacts the wood.
A rod guide is a good idea. I use a 22 rimfire case with a drilled out head . It's perfect for my 6.5x55 using a 22 rod.
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Old December 1, 2016, 04:51 PM   #4
svidden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mete View Post
Those are the days when a shortage of wood gave them the idea that drying the wood faster cold be done by a salt treatment .Check the metal for rust where it contacts the wood.
A rod guide is a good idea. I use a 22 rimfire case with a drilled out head . It's perfect for my 6.5x55 using a 22 rod.
Noted. The receiver is clean with zero rust but I will double check though.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
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Old December 1, 2016, 06:07 PM   #5
DaleA
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As a previous poster said, cleaning rods are fine and a guide is fine too but not necessary if you're careful. I've been cleaning my guns this way for years and years.

But if you want to do breech to muzzle cleaning there are now LOTS of options for you. Here's just one.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/78...n-cleaning-kit

A buddy had a similar one from Remington and it worked fine but not with .22LR guns because the .22 brush was too long to make the bend into the chamber...quick solution would have been to snip the brush (or maybe we were doing something wrong) but the system worked fine for all his other guns.
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Old December 1, 2016, 06:20 PM   #6
svidden
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Originally Posted by svidden View Post
Noted. The receiver is clean with zero rust but I will double check though.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
I pulled the forearm and butt plate. All screws were very free to loosen. The barrel was free of any rust. Just a little powder residue. The butt plate screws were clean as well but a little black discoloration was found on the end of the butt stock where the plastic butt plate was seated. I can't find any rust on the metal surfaces where metal meets wood. Is it safe to say after 44 years this one would be free of salt wood?

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
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Old December 1, 2016, 06:25 PM   #7
kilimanjaro
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I have one of these, in 30-06, and you'll be happy with it as a shooter out to 200 yards, no problems there. I've not scoped mine, but with iron sights it's a very good rifle. You can have confidence in your BAR from an accuracy standpoint.

Congratulations, these are good rifles and you won't regret keeping it around.
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Old January 6, 2019, 01:29 AM   #8
perpster
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Know this is an old thread, but wondering how the inherited BAR Mark I worked out for svidden.
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Old January 6, 2019, 08:35 AM   #9
Art Eatman
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perpster, probably best to try a PM, if he still visits this website.
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