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The Browning Automatic Rifle, or the "B.A.R.", (properly pronounced by its acronym "Bee Ay Are", not "bar") was an American Support weapon used during WWII the Korean War and the Vietnam War it was actually deployed into the battlefield on the last year of world war I.


Soldier with a B.A.R in the Battle of Okinawa

The B.A.R. (Browning Automatic Rifle) was first issued in February 1918, designed by John M. Browning and manufactured by Browning, Colt, Winchester repeating arms Co., and Marlin-Rockwell Co. This automatic weapon, which fired from an open bolt so it would stay cooler under sustained fire, allowed the individual soldier to lay down a tremendous amount of fire, provided a clear advantage in the trench warfare of World War I, and with this weapon came a tremendous amount of responsibility for its user and required specialized training to use. However, top American brass were afraid that if captured the weapon would be reverse engineered and used against American troops so it wasn't put into service until late in the war. As a result it was introduced too late to see much action. The weapon saw use between the World Wars by American gangsters who obtained these weapons from surplus, or stole them from armories and the police. The infamous Clyde Barrow, of Bonnie & Clyde, was known to use a modified version of the B.A.R. The B.A.R. was used widely during WWII and the Korean War by American forces and even saw some action during the Vietnam War. It is still regarded as one of the best weapons ever made,and will be around for many more generations to come. Although officially retired from U.S service in 1957, it is still in full use by dozens of smaller nations across the world.

The B.A.R. during World War II was issued as a squad support weapon, designed to provide suppressing fire while the assaulting teams flank the enemy, though manuals of arms of the time called for each squad to be issued one B.A.R., infantry would try to acquire an additional B.A.R. for increased firepower. The weapon fires the .30-06 caliber cartridge (the same round as the Springfield 1903 rifles, M1 Garand, Browning 30.Cal machine gun and the Johnson LMG.) loaded in twenty-round magazines. It fulfilled the role of a S.A.W. (Squad Automatic Weapon) and is very effective at providing suppressing fire for squad tactics as well as high penetration power. It was generally issued with a folding bipod but soldiers in the field usually discarded them to save weight


  • BAR M1918: initial model, used during the final part of the First World War and the inter-war period ;
  • BAR M1922: Variant of BAR light machine gun, adopted in 1922 with a bipod, a monopod in the butt and a heavier barrel with cooling fins ;
  • BAR M1918A1: improving the M1918, produced in 1937, with the addition of a bipod ;
  • BAR 1918A2: version of BAR produced since 1940 with fully automatic firing capability with two cadences "slow" (300-500 tpm ) and "fast" (500-650 tpm ) and detachable bipod . After his butt became plastic. tonou This version is the most common of BAR;
  • FN M1930/Browning wz . 1928: Variant originally produced by FN of Belgium for the Belgian Armed Forces ( M1930 ) and Polish ( wz. 1928). Fired the ammunition 7.92 mm Mauser and had a pistol grip instead of stock. Later it was also produced in Poland;
  • FN BAR Type D: subvariant FN M1930, with a detachable barrel for quick replacement ;
  • Kulsprutegevär m/21: variant of BAR, built in the U.S. under Swedish specifications . Differed from the M1918 because it has a detachable pistol grip, bipod and use dotted caliber ammunition 6.5 x 55 mm. Later it was also made by Carl Gustaf in Sweden
  • Kulsprutegevär m/37: variant of m/21 with a quick change barrel, introduced in 1937 and used by the Swedish Armed Forces until 1980s;
  • BAR British .303 cal: Variant with .303 caliber used in limited numbers to arm Home Guard ( British Territorial Defence Militia ) during the Second World War;
  • Colt R75: commercial variant of BAR produced by Colt during the 1920s and 1930s for the civilian market and for agencies to maintain law ;
  • Colt Monitor R80: subvariant of R75 with a 18 inch barrel, breech box lighter coverage of output and clearing ejecçã of mouth ;
  • Ohio Ordnance Works 1918A3 SLR: modern version of the BAR, with limited capacity to shot semiautomatic developed for the civilian market ;
  • Barrow Scattergun: custom version of the BAR M1918, used by criminals in the 1920s, with the butt sawed and removed. He is famous for its use by Bonnie and Clide.


  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • People's Republic of China: A large number were seized from Republic of China during the Chinese Civil War.
  • Republic of China
  • Costa Rica
  • Colombia
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • Nazi Germany: The Wehrmacht captured a number of Polish-made Browning wz. 1928 guns and used them until the end of World War II under the designation of IMG 28(p).
  • West Germany
  • Greece
  • Haiti
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Republic of Korea
  • Laos
  • Liberia
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • South Sudan
  • South Vietnam
  • Soviet Union: A number of wz. 1928s were seized from the Poles

    United States Marine Corps firing their BARs

    by the Red Army and used during the war.
  • Sweden
  • Thailand: Locally known as the ปลก.88 or ปืนเล็กกล 88.
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom: Issued to the Home Guard in World War II
  • United States
  • Uruguay


  • Caliber: 7.62x63mm (.30-06 M2)
  • Weight: 8.8 kg empty
  • Length: 1214 mm
  • Length of barrel: 610 mm
  • Feeding: detachable box magazine, 20 rounds
  • Rate of fire: 450 or 650 rounds/min, selectable

See also

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