Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

New Jovian Thunderbolt has written about his past love for the BAR ( M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle)

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.

A beautiful looking rifle.

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

An ugly machine gun (Click to expand image)

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 (Kulsprutegevär m/21 and m/37) developed and issued BAR variants during the 1930s which had pistol grips and quick-change barrels.

From an A-Team episode

Read more at the New Jovian Thunderbolt’s excellent blog.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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2 of 17 comments
  • Brand Brand on Dec 23, 2012

    Teens Filled

  • Idahoguy101 Idahoguy101 on Aug 06, 2013

    The Bren gun replaced the WW1 Lewis gun. The BAR was adopted in 1918. Twenty years before the Bren. WW2 was a war of production and the United States wasn't going to switch production in the middle of WW2.