Ohio Ordnance: Heavy Metal

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Ohio Ordnance’s booth at SHOT is very impressive. Immediately you are greeted by a giant M2 machine gun and a semi-automatic FN MAG type firearm:

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These rifles are available for sale to the well-to-do enthusiast who wants an FN MAG without spending over $100,000 for a transferable.

The gun that Ohio Ordnance is most well known for however is their semi-automatic Browning Automatic Rifle. On display they had a classic version (weighing in at 19.4 pounds) and a modern take they have designed as a sort of “what if the BAR was around today” type rifle:

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Street price on the classic version is around $4,000 and the owner of Ohio Ordnance said it is more than capable of sub-MOA accuracy.

These guns have been modified to fire from a closed bolt by an ingenious in-house design that they have patented. They also export these to Europe and provide them to films and television programs. While I would love to have the classic version in my safe, I just can’t justify a $4,000 semi automatic 20 pound rifle. That however does not detract from the cool factor!


Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog who was born and raised in Texas with years of experience in hunting, shooting competitions, and general collecting. A degree in History from Baylor University has contributed to his love of both early and modern firearms technology, but Alex is most fond of machine guns and other NFA toys. Alex also owns a firearm manufacturing business licensed to produce title I and II weapons.
You can reach Alex at [email protected].


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  • Edward Franklin

    I’m amazed anyone made it away from the Ohio Ordnance booth with their eyes intact after seeing that ‘modern’ BAR. I’d much rather see them come out with a repro of the Colt Monitor Machine Rifle, given basically none of those exist on the market today.

    • HSR47

      The Colt Monitor rifle is, in point of fact, very similar to what OOW has all tacticooled up: shorter barrel, independent pistol grip, improved muzzle device. The only real difference is that the state of the art has changed dramatically in the 50+ years that separates booth rifles,

      • McThag

        A pear is also similar to an apple… But if you want one, the other will fail to suffice.

    • Brandon Bowers

      Well, I’m saving up the pennies. 30 rounds of 30-06? I’ll take it and the weight penalty for it with a smile.

  • Jeff Smith

    Aren’t FN’s FNAR and Browning’s (newer) BAR modern versions of the BAR?

    That modern BAR is beautiful. Do they have any plans to produce it?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

      It is in production and ready for sale!

      • Jeff Smith

        Thanks for the response! Please get your hands on one and review it!

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

          Ha, that would be the great Phil White’s task. He is the man when it comes to getting stuff to test!

    • José Pulido

      No. The BAR that the FNAR comes from, and is sold by Browning, is JM Browning’s SON’s design. The “automatic” in that particular “BAR” means “autoloading” rather than “full auto.”

      The 2 BARs are related only by blood. One built for precision, one built for high volumes of fire.

  • Lance

    The belt fed you had is a semi auto M-240 Bravo. They make M-2s and M-240s in semi auto. Once someone made semi auto M-60s as well. I hate tacti cooler screwing up a classic like the BAR with crappy rails and collapsing stock leave the classics alone.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

      M240 is the US designation of the MAG.

      • Anonymoose

        And the version OOW produces is specifically a semi-auto M240B. I don’t see why Lance is getting downvotes for pointing out that it’s not simply a generic 1950s-style MAG.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

          Valid point!

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        And it took the better part of two-plus decades for the U.S. Army to really understand the true value of the MAG58 GPMG sufficiently to adopt it as their M240B? It continues to amaze me that, with all its superior resources and universal knowledge, that the Ordnance Board, Selection Committee or whatever passes for the deciding authority in our country nowadays continues to subscribe, at least to some degree, to the “not made here” syndrome, and ends up wasting valuable time, resources and taxpayers’ money on sub-standard alternatives.

        Many countries across the globe, including a substantial number of so-called “Third World” nations, adopted the MAG58 as their standard GPMG on the common-sense basis of its firepower, reliability and adaptability long before the United States woke up to this realization. And now we read and hear of so many opinions praising the virtues of the M240B as if it were the greatest original thing since the invention of the wheel, just because we decided to adopt the MAG58 as an “American” weapon in the shape of the M240B.

        That is the reality of recent history, regardless of opinion or what one chooses to hear. The sooner we get off our parochial high horse and understand that “exceptionalism” is not an exclusive attribute, the better — especially if we expect to stay ahead.

  • Fromthesidelines3

    “These guns have been modified to fire from a closed bolt by an ingenious in-house design that they have patented” – which the author will not bother to describe further?

    Might as well say “this gun is extremely clever because of proprietary technology which I’m not going to tell you about”. Oi vey.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Did you want to see the schematics in the article? Or you could just go look at a gun somewhere. If only there were a place to see one…

    • BuzzKillington

      What do you need to be told about? Do you not understand what a closed bolt and open bolt system is? Did you need them to tell you how they did it? Do you read an article about the release of a new AR15 and say, “Heyyyyyyyy! They listed specifications but they didn’t tell me HOW they made it!”

  • BuzzKillington

    Was able to win the traditional BAR model (with walnut stock) in a raffle at an NRA event. It is a heavy mother! But those 20lbs and the gas operated system make the 30-06 round feel similar to shooting a 5.56. I brought out my Rem700 in .308 one day along with the BAR and it had without a doubt a more stout recoil. The BAR was an awesome win, but too heavy to do anything with other than shoot from a bench. Would much rather have a Garand (probably goes without saying).

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Lucky guy — I envy you! Please don’t forget, though, that the BAR was originally what we would nowadays call a Squad Automatic Weapon, so given the cartridge compatibility with other standard infantry weapons of the period ( .30-06, per the M1 Garand rifle and Browning M1917A1, M1919A4 and M1919A6 MMG’s ), it was considered very adequate ( if not ideal ) for its intended role in actual combat operations.

      • BuzzKillington

        Yea, OOW hooked that package up. Came in a Pelican case that is custom cut for everything, bunch of mags, and every extra they sell for it. Big package of goodies.

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          Wow, that is a great package deal! I had communicated with OOW briefly on the TFB or FW sites in the past, and they seemed to be very knowledgeable, open-minded and friendly, besides offering a great product. Now, I envy you even more! :). Hope you have lots of good times with your family, friends and BAR!

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    I seem to recall a spirited discussion on Ian McCollum’s Forgotten Weapons web site a good while back about the OOW BAR. From the available information, about the closest thing to a genuine FN Type “D” BAR ( sans the obviously modern tactical furniture ) was the OOW offering, albeit in semi-automatic configuration per the BATF-restricted requirements plus other detail differences.