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  #1  
Old 01-29-2015, 12:56 PM
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Browning BAR Reliability and Over All Opinion


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Hello, i've recently came across the Browning BAR model and i'm interested to hear what people think of them. Are they reliable? How do they hold up to the M1A and the M14 platform rifles? If it seems like the right gun for me, I plan on using it in Alaska. More specifically, I'm wondering how it holds up to the Below Zero weather (using anti-freezing lube, or using no lube at all.)

Last edited by McGee; 01-29-2015 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:48 PM
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BAR malfunctions

Glad you asked. It would/wil take an entire page to relate all of the jams and malfunctions that I had with the two brand new BAR rifles that I have. Best if you can search back for the posts that I wrote last year about the deer lost, elk missed et al before I got smart and stored the rifles in the back of the closet. But after sending them 2 times (that is TWICE, count 'em) back to Browning who returned them "fixed" only to have them jam on me within the next 8 shots. I won't repeat the details unless someone wants them since I don't want to take up so much of the thread.
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:52 AM
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I've read alot of posts from people saying that their BAR has never had any problem, and a lot of posts where they have tons of problems. I think alot of this has to do with the gas port infront of the cylinder. People have been changing them out and replace them with bigger holed ones because their rifles were cycling too fast and causing jams. Some have been polishing the piston and cylinder too, then never having problems. Check this thread out too, it may help you with your BAR's.

http://www.shootersforum.com/gunsmit...-problems.html
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2015, 05:26 AM
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Which bar?

WHEN YOU REFFERENCE 2 military combat style weapons, you couldn't possibly be thinking of using the WWll BAR could you?
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2015, 06:15 AM
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No, i'm sorry for the confusion. I was referencing the Browning BAR hunting rifle. (Modern BAR in production, holding 4 rounds...)
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:57 AM
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I've owned several Browning BARs over the years and cannot recall ever having one jam on me. The one that remains in my collection now is a 1968 GRII in '06. It's still functions great and is a very nice rifle. I have not owned any of the newer long trac or short trac versions. My newest was a BAR II Safari in .270 Win which I recently sold to a very good friend. He loves it.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:23 AM
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Alaska

Makes me think of extremely harsh/cold environments, possibly coastal/salty & big potentially dangerous animals. SO I would pay a great deal of attention to what the locals use, what lubes they use, maintenance regimens, why & what is strong and least likely to be able to freeze up. I've heard the Winchester & Rugers that do not use a boxed trigger mechanism/housing like a Remington are less likely/harder to freeze up. It's hard to beat a bolt action for the torque/strength when it comes to cartridge extraction.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:09 AM
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The only BAR I have experience with worked well if kept clean and lubed, and there was a marked reduction in felt recoil as well. But my preference for reloading my own, the necessity of hunting in cold, and my old timer love for simplicity and reliability made me move to bolt actions only many years ago.

It is not a comment on BAR rifles at all really, but if I was going to hunt in any kind of "hostile" environments, and I wanted to use ANY suitable ammunition, and especially if I wanted to use reloaded ammo, I would stick to bolt actions for their superior ability to handle all those things.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:36 AM
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Bar

Well the four of us who bought brand new BAR rifles did nothing about changing anything out or messing with the insides. and all have either sold or quit trying to hunt with them. and McGee you mention holding 4 rounds? Well the CLIP will hold 4 rounds. I got a new safari model in 30-06 and put 4 rounds in the clip and could not close the floor plate. No amount of pressure. Took it back to the dealer who sold me an extra clip for $42. still cannot close the hinged floor plate. Sent the entire gun back to Browning (I think down in Warsaw, Mis or somewhere) and they returned it after a few weeks. It seemed fixed, the floor plate closed with mild pressure. The rifle stil would not and never would chamber any of my reloads. I got tired of carrying a 3-shot clip and decided to try with one in the chamber and full clip of 4. The first shot fired and the returning bolt somehow stripped the next round out of the clip backwards ( How in the World did it do that??) and deposited the live round inside the receiv er behindthe clip. I could hear the shell rattle around in the action. took it up to my gunshop and took the gun apart and retrieved the shell. I still had the box in whiich Browning had returned itso I boxed it up and sent it back. I called about two weeks later and asked what they found, the lady went to ask the man working on it and was told that "he was paid to smith and not to talk to customers". so I got the rifle back in a week or so with absolutely no explantion. Having been a loyal Browning man since 1962, I keep them But hanging on a wall or hidden in the closet. None of us here will trust one to really fire when it is important.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saskshooter View Post
The only BAR I have experience with worked well if kept clean and lubed, and there was a marked reduction in felt recoil as well. But my preference for reloading my own, the necessity of hunting in cold, and my old timer love for simplicity and reliability made me move to bolt actions only many years ago.

It is not a comment on BAR rifles at all really, but if I was going to hunt in any kind of "hostile" environments, and I wanted to use ANY suitable ammunition, and especially if I wanted to use reloaded ammo, I would stick to bolt actions for their superior ability to handle all those things.
I agree with Sask. My only experience with a BAR was on a hunt with a young man who had one in .30-06. The day before, we went to sight in (confirm zero) and he got a jam on the 3rd or 4th shot. "That's never happened before" he said.

I'm just about to start my 4th decade of hunting with bolt guns and it never has happened to me. I doubt it does in the next 3 or 4 decades either.

Do what you wish, but in Alaska, if it were me, there'd be no way.
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2015, 12:02 PM
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Thanks for the advice, it seems the hype over the BAR's doesnt really hold up.
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:29 PM
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I'd suppose that might matter if your take on a BAR was from one experience years ago, with a firearm you had no idea if cared for and without ever touching one. Just saying....
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:48 PM
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My ShorTrac has been a good rifle so far. Only used it in a couple rifle matches (plus practice and some load work), though. The ShorTrac Hog Stalker, and the FNAR, have adjustable gas blocks. I tightened mine down just a bit to reduce action speed and reduce case mouth denting. I did have 1 failure to fully extract after making the first adjustment, and that's reasonable since my goal was to make the action _just_ cycle for my exact handloads.

Tnhunter, do the current-production Safari models have adjustable gas blocks?

I don't know whether the operating mechanism parts are the same between the ShorTrac/LongTrac (aluminum receiver) and the Safari (steel receiver) or not. There's a Browning patent for the ShorTrac/LongTrac that is quite recent, so I'm thinking there's at least moderate differences, but I wish I knew for sure.

I'd buy another BAR in a heartbeat if I was looking for a semi-auto. For Alaska? I wouldn't have a problem using a semi there, but I'd want to make sure I had ammo or loads developed there, for there, and that I had local knowledge of best practices in terms of lube, etc. In an overall way, a manually-cycled action type is going to be more reliable in the extremes of conditions.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:04 PM
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Think mine was made in 80's . I have owned it for at least 15 years. Very accurate, easier on the shoulder then my BDL which is also in 30.06. I'm getting ready to do some load development for both. Afterward, I'll pick my primary hunting rifle for this year. My BDL which is an early model is def more accurate with factory loads. We shall see how it goes with my own load development though.
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2015, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGee View Post
I've read alot of posts from people saying that their BAR has never had any problem,
Yep - Never had a problem with mine.
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:07 PM
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My best friend bought a BAR in 7mm mag in 1968. I too thought it would not hold up. His grandson is still killing deer and elk with it.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:03 PM
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Went out of Valdez bear hunting long time ago. Fellow fired only 2 rounds w/ no problems.
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2015, 08:40 AM
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Thumbs up Bar

I have had a Browning BAR for over 30 Years a Grade 2 in 30-06

Replaced the action spring with a Wolff power spring

Clean the piston area yearly.......know how to take it apart .......and it will give years of service.

I am more fond of the older made in Belgium ones than the newer ones.

If you can get 1" at 100 yards in accuracy your good.......

Reloading takes a Small Base Sizer Die that RCBS made just for the BAR 's in the 70's.

IMR 4350 is what the gas system was designed for at the time.

Good rifle but in Alaska most of my hunting is done with a Win 70 Pre 64 or Rem 700.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:55 PM
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I have owned 3 of the Browning Bars in various calibers and they all shot very accurate groups from the bench. The only issue I ever had was in real cold weather -5 degrees that morning, wind chill was -21 degress. The action was very slow to function!

So as far as I am concerned, semi-auto rifles that you may used to defend your home, are not suited for dangerous game, this is a NO NO. The double gun would be #1 for dangerous game (but they start out at $10,000 or $12,000 bucks) but a good lever gun or model 70 bolt action .375H&H is more to my liking in Alaska. Yes, many are using the lever guns in 45/70 and a few in the .405 Winchester.

I do not like the Browning Bars with the alloy receiver! I want cold steel (trouble free down the road and will last 3 times as long) every time out the gate, unless I am shooting rats at the dump.

Last edited by 2Bits; 02-25-2015 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:58 AM
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I'd place a bolt action at #3 in Alaska for a rifle I'm using on dangerous game. That would be behind a BLR in 325WSM or 450 Marlin and a double rifle chambered in 9.3x74R or heavier. My personal choices, of course.
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