Browning Automatic Rifle, Cal .30, M-1918A2
Operation Air cooled, gas operated, magazine fed, shoulder type M1918A1 selective fire (fully and semi-automatic) M1918A2 fully automatic Caliber .30 (7.62 mm) Muzzle velocity 853.4
mps (2800 fps)
Capacity 20-round detachable box magazine
Bandoleer (BAR belt): 12 magazines
Magazine changeable in 2-4 seconds (but averaged 6-8 seconds in combat)
Weight 8.33 kg (18.5 lbs)
Overall length 119.4 cm (47 in.)
Rate of fire 550 rounds per minute
Effective range 550m (600 yds)
Ammunition (1) Ball M2; 150 gr bullet, 50 gr charge
Tracer M25, M1: for designating targets and signalling
Armor piercing M2 (black tip); 165gr/53gr
Armor piercing incendiary: for lightly armored flammable targets
The initial M1918A1 version of the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was first used in combat by American soldiers during World War I, and many saw service in World War II. The BAR
received high praise for its reliability under adverse conditions.
In 1940, the model M1918A2 was adopted. Unlike earlier models, it could only be fired in two automatic modes--slow (300 to 450 rpm) or fast (500 to 650 rpm)--but not in semiautomatic
mode. Both versions were widely used in the second world war. The USMC preferred the semiautomatic mode in some tactical situations, and modified most of the M1918A2 guns to include
that capability. A buffer spring in the butt greatly reduced recoil, to the advantage both of firing accuracy and shooter endurance.
The M1918A2 also mounted its folding bipod (2.38 pounds!) on a special flash hider near the end of the barrel. Since the bipod could easily be detached in this model, it very frequently was!
but not often in defensive positions, where it was very effective. The flash hider, which was the point of attachment for the bipod, was not usually removed. Hiding the flash from enemy
troops when firing on them isn't the purpose of the hider, all automatic weapons are easily visible when fired at night. It blocks the muzzle flash from the vision of the shooter, maintaining his
night vision. That's important!
The Army infantry squad of nine men was tactically organized around a single BAR. The Marine squad of thirteen men was organized around three fire-teams, each organized around a BAR.
The much greater fire power of a Marine platoon with its nine BARs over the Army platoon with its four BARs was a great combat advantage.
The BAR was a popular weapon in WWII, because it was very reliable and offered an excellent combination of rapid fire and penetrating power. The BAR's only serious drawbacks were its
lack of a quick-change barrel (to reduce the chance of overheating), and its weight (BAR, with bipod and a loaded bandoleer, came to about 40 pounds).
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