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  #1  
Old 02-22-2004, 04:59 PM
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the Browning BAR 358


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I was considering buying a Browning BAR 358 rifle. But i gotta know what your general opinion is. Is it ballistically a good caliber? Would it have any collectible value , down the road? I currently have a Win m-88, in a 358, which i feel glad to have. But i have never shot it. Anybody ever shot the 358? How bad is the recoil? Do you thimk it would be worth picking up? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2004, 07:07 AM
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Chuck,

It gets great marks from me all the way around. I can't speak to the collector interest piece, but as a hunting arm in the scrub and hardwoods, I consider this gun/cartridge without peer.

The only thing of concern with me is that the trigger is not the best, and the older magazines could be at times problematic. I think that Browning has fixed the magazine problem, but I have no idea if they have made any progress on the trigger.

It will still shoot under an inch and a half all day long, and the recoil is not bad, imagine generally a thump between a 308 and a 30-06.

Two thumbs up from Old Dad.

Steve
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2004, 11:42 AM
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Your Model 88 if pre sixty- four and with the premium for the .358 chambering could bring as much as 1200.00 if only in good condition. More if the condition is better . I think there is your collectable right there. If it isn't a mint specimine ,with some usage wear on it already you wouldn't hurt it's value by shooting it with care not to fall down a mountain side while holding on to it. For Pennsylvania though you might want to look for a Browning BLR in .358 if shooting your Winchester isn't in your plans for some reason. You could atleast put the gun to good use hunting with it as Pa wouldn't be to keen on you frolicking around the woods during season with the BAR(If your a hunter I guess?).


444fitch
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2004, 12:37 PM
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BAR/BLR in .358

Chuckinator,

I have two BLR's in .358 Winchester; the older BLR 81 and the new BLR Lightweight. I like the older BLR 81. Not for the steel receiver vs alloy on the Lightweight, but because it just feels/fits better. The "Lightweight" moniker is deceiving because, although it weighs a very few ounces less, it is "chunkier". Longer receiver, bigger wood, larger diameter barrel, all add up to a platform that, IMO, is not an improvement over its predecessor except from a strength standpoint. The same short action Lightweight is chambered in .270 WSM, 7mm WSM and .300 WSM and the .450 Marlin.

I have a Belgian BAR in .270 and one would have "pry it from my cold dead hands" for me to part with it.

My suggestion is to attend a gun show and handle/shoulder the BAR, BLR 81, and BLR LW and see which one fits best. As far as your choice of caliber is concerned, you can't do any better for 250 yards and under in the lower 48 than the .358 Winchester. And a proficient shooter could probably stretch that to 300 yards.
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  #5  
Old 02-23-2004, 12:55 PM
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When i first saw this post i thought the "BAR" was a mistype Seeing as it was posted in the Lever section , but wasn't sure there wasn't a BAR chambered in .358 , so didn't give it second thought. After walking a way from the Computer for awhile my curiousity was killi'n me and Dang if I can find any reference to an BAR (autoloader) in .358 . If the original post was refering to the B"L"R as noted in my reply then were on the same page from the git-go. Good luck


444fitch
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2004, 12:25 AM
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NITRO
I have a Blr 81 and the new lghtwt both in .358. The 81 shoots great,I havn't shot the lghtwt I was wondering how they compared?Thanks.
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2004, 01:17 AM
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Sorry for the typo guys. It should have read bLr. Not Bar, Browning Automatic Rifle. I am seriously considering, the purchase of this rifle now. All the feedback sounded good. Shooters forum is truly a wonderful thing! As far as the 88 goes. I guess i just don`t want to shoot it. Although there are alot of them in service today. As far as $1,200, being the premium on the 358. I wish that i could find another one for that price. All the ones i`ve seen sold were sold for around $2,000 and up. No joke. At a Pittsburgh gunshow one sold for over $2,400! I guess different areas have different demand. Thanks for all the reply`s keep em comin
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2004, 12:43 PM
JDL JDL is offline
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chuckinator,
I have the first model BLR in .358 and as another poster remarked, the trigger isn't great, but overall, I'll give it a 9 out of a possible 10. Accuracy is great, the action is smoother than any other lever,and it is a pure pleasure to carry around the woods!!-JDL

Last edited by JDL; 02-24-2004 at 12:47 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2004, 05:00 PM
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The BLR model 81 in 358. is a awesome close to med range gun. Great job on the black Bear we harvested last year. 250 lbs bear went about 50 yard before it bled out. Awesome all around. Deer, Moose,or Bear. this gun is a Keeper! Lots of power and it will still reach out 200-250 yds. I wish they still made the old steel receiver blr 81. My cousin found one New last year for 1000. The guy would not take a penny less. Unfired in the box. And it had really nice wood.
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2004, 06:13 PM
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Blr '81

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin shooter
NITRO
I have a Blr 81 and the new lghtwt both in .358. The 81 shoots great,I havn't shot the lghtwt I was wondering how they compared?Thanks.
Marlin Shooter,

I have not fired the new one either. I have new rings & bases and a Leupold 3-9x40 Vari-X II scope ready to go. I prefer a lower magnification scope on the BLR but I had a LNIB 3-9x40 on hand that I picked-up at a gun show about two years ago. The '81 shoots so good I may keep the new LW in NIB condition for now in case Browning decides to discontinue the .358 chambering, AGAIN.

Am considring the BLR LW in .450 Marlin. With its box magazine you can load pointed bullets and to an OAL of 2.80" vs flat point bullets to an OAL of 2.60" (and that's a stretch) in the Marlin 1895.

Keep me posted. I would be interested in knowing how your LW shoots. In the meantime, when I do mount the scope and start burning powder, I'll post a range report.
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Last edited by NITRO; 02-24-2004 at 06:21 PM.
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