If you have seen our 2 cents blog before then you know we are huge fans of John Browning. I personally believe he was the greatest firearm designer of all time, and for that reason we decided to put together a bit of History on the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle BAR since it is featured on Top Shot’s Season 4.
The M1918 BAR was not John Browning’s first automatic firearm, but it was his first lightweight portable automatic rifle. Previous automatic designs of his that hit production were the Colt-Browning M1895 “Potato Digger” and the M1917 Browning Machine Gun. The problem with the M1895 and M1917 was that they were extremely heavy. As the United States entered World War I, there was serious demand for a lightweight automatic firearm for trench warfare.
That demand would be supplied thanks to John Moses Browning. His answer was the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, or BAR. It was chambered in .30-06 Springfield and had a firing capability of 650 rounds per minute. All the while maintaining the famous reliability and durability John Browning was known for. Most importantly, it was portable enough to be transported by a single soldier.
One of the more interesting bits of history on the M1918 BAR is that Val Browning, John Browning’s Son, was one of the first soldiers to put it to use in WWI. Val Browning would later follow in his father’s footsteps and design firearms, just as John Browning had followed in his father’s footsteps.
Multiple US Patent Drawings for the M1918 BAR and variants:
The YouTube video below is courtesy of ARMS VAULT