Experimental Tripod Mounted BAR

    Springfield's Experimental BAR Tripod Kit (Springfield Armory Museum)

    While exploring the Springfield Armory Museum’s online archive I stumbled across an interesting experimental modification made to an M1918A2 BAR. The archival entries don’t offer much information but the photographs show an experimental kit developed to enable the BAR to be mounted on a tripod.

    The BAR dismounted with the elevating screw folded back (Springfield Armory Museum)

    The photographs feature a BAR mounted on a modified M2 tripod, originally designed for the M1919 medium machine gun. The tripod mounting kit includes a combined cast mounting point and carrying handle which appears to fit over the BAR’s foregrip. At the rear there is an elevating screw assembly which is attached to the bottom of the trigger guard and can be folded back to fit into a cup which is attached to the butt stock by a strap. The photograph captions mention old and new elevating screw assemblies suggesting the design evolved during development.

    A right side view of the BAR in its experimental mount (Springfield Armory Museum)

    Other alterations to the BAR appear to be minimal and the weapon still feeds from a standard 20-round box magazine, although this is not shown. The Ordnance Department photographs are all dated 21 July 1944, indicating the experimental tripod mounting kit was developed during World War Two. Why the kit was developed is unclear as it aims to allow the BAR to be used in the sustained fire role. The BAR, however, was inherently unsuited to this role as its rate of fire was limited by its 20-round magazine and lack of a quick change barrel. The kit would also have added to the BAR’s already substantial 8.8 kg (19 lb) weight. It does not appear that the BAR tripod mounting kit was ever fielded.

    Matthew Moss

    Matthew Moss – Assistant Editor.

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs www.historicalfirearms.info, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of www.armourersbench.com, a new video series on historically significant small arms.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]


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