The BAR was always my dream gun. Or it was. Back when I knew nothing and only looked at capabilities on paper, and then not looking TOO closely.
I have loved the look of the BAR. It just looks so solid.
I don’t really like the concept. My opinion is that the US forces should have adopted a true light machine gun such as the Bren.
Advantages of the Bren
- Standard magazine capacity was 30. BAR held 20.
- Top loading magazine. Better for prone firing.
- Swappable barrel
On the other hand it would be foolish to say one is better than the other. The BAR served for 30 years through three major wars (WWI, WWII and the Korean war).
According to Wikipedia other countries modified the BAR to make it more like a LMG:
Poland (Browning wz.1928), Belgium (FN M1930) and Sweden (KulsprutegevÃ¤r m/21 and m/37) developed and issued BAR variants during the 1930s which had pistol grips and quick-change barrels.
Read more at the New Jovian Thunderbolt’s excellent blog.