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Location: shapleigh maine
Joined: 08/31/2006
Posts: 32
Browning BAR questions

hi,

my son just bought a used 1987 Browning BAR in 30-06. any advise as to which weight and brand of bullets are most likely to give the best accuracy to begin dialing it in?

he'll be using it for deer hunting here in Maine, mostly 100yds or less shot opportunities.

we've never hunted with a semi before, any reports of jam-ups on the BAR?

also, anyone aware of any Browning gun owners forums?

thanks, - jay

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Browning BAR questions

That's a pretty broad question about the ammo. The BAR is an excellent semi-auto rifle, however most of my experience with Brownings is with their handguns, mainly the 9mm P-35 Hi-Power pistols.

Hang-ups and jams can occure in gas operated semi-autos when using vastly under powered ammo (recoil reduced loads), or the gas system is severly fouled from lots of firing and no cleaning. Just keep it clean and make sure all moving parts have a very thin film of good quality gun oil (in cold weather use a dry lube). Also while sighting in, try to leave at least 3 minutes between shots to avoid overheating the barrel and chamber, especially while shooting ammo that is loaded with faster burning powders. Overheated barrels lead not only to poor accuracy, but cases getting stuck in the chamber and not being able to extract properly. Shooters at the range tend to overheat barrels on an autoloader more than a bolt action gun.

Differents ammo and loads will function different in different rifles. Do some testing using ammo from Remington, Winchester, Federal, or Hornady. For deer just stick with 150 grain standard soft points with a muzzle velocity of 2700 to 2900 ft/sec. With the exception of the great grizzlies and polar bears a .30-06 with a 150 or 165 grain bullets can cleanly harvest any game animal in N. America and most of the world. With premium 180 grain or heavier bullet, that .30-06 can be used for grizzlies too.

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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
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Browning BAR questions

I think in here somewhere, Dugaboy made a statement that was very good. Something like choose the best bullet for the biggest game you are likely to shoot and use it for everything.

In 30cal cartridges I've always leaned to 165gr bullet's. For 150gr bullet's I've never worked up a load I like but, most people have. I think maybe it's a mental block with me that I really think the 165gr is the best in standard 30 cals.

Were I to go out and try to find a factory load, I think I'd try 150 and 165gr loads and just use whatever shoots best.

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Location: shapleigh maine
Joined: 08/31/2006
Posts: 32
Browning BAR questions

thanks for the advise so quickly!

Western, with respect to the tip about dry lubricant what kind do you recommend and could we just pretty much use it year round?

- jay

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
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Browning BAR questions

For a dry lube I like "Remington Drylube" or "Hornady One Shot cleaner / dry lube". Either work well.

For general lube I like RemOil. It's a thin liquid, almost a mineral spirit, but it is the best stuff I've used. Just a thin film, it will wipe dry and leave a very long lasting teflon film that reduces friction. RemOil is excellent stuff even in cold conditions.

With a BAR you'll likely just be using one shot per hunt anyway. I can tell you from personal experience that the lubricants I mensioned are used with excellent results on my semi-auto handguns during rapid firing training sessions with no hang-ups. Also use these in my waterfowl auto loading shotgun (Remington 11-87 SP), and have never had a hang-up or jam, even during cold, wet, freezing, dirty conditions.

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Joined: 12/03/2005
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Browning BAR questions

The 165 grainers would be my choice as the 180,s are going to have a bit more recoil if he finds that a problem
150 grain bullets for the 06 will not have near the advantages. I'd avoid them.

WesternHunter's picture
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Browning BAR questions

Trust me on this one, a 150 grain bullet from a .30-06 is far more than plenty capable of taking most any big game. Keep in mind that this poster said the rifle will mostly be used for deer. Personally I think that the .30-06 is a great deer cartridge, though a bit much for deer sized game, but still an excellent all-around big game cartridge for sure. I think that the various rifle cartridges in 6mm, .25 cal, and non-magnum 7mm cartridges offer plenty of range, energy, and penetration to kill deer sized game, but that's another argument. lol

In a gas operated semi-auto such as the BAR a 180 grain load won't produce as much felt recoil as it would in a bolt action gun. From a BAR felt recoil will not be much of a factor in general.

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Location: shapleigh maine
Joined: 08/31/2006
Posts: 32
first day on the shooting bench

thanks very much again for all the good advise offered here.

due to my son's work schedule yesterday was the first chance he had to shoot his new ( to him ) gun. it was a rough week for him to have to be patient and wait for the first crack at it.

from all the input from here and from others, we thought we had an idea of what to expect about how it would shoot and handle. to say that it exceeded our expectations is a real understatement. from the first few shots it patterned really tightly, recoil was a total non issue ( he decided to go with 180gr Rem core-lokt ) and the action, including a few 3-4 shot sequences, was silky smooth.

as we say here in Maine, it shot "Pissah".

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Location: upstate New York
Joined: 06/21/2006
Posts: 140
Browning BAR questions

Hi I own the same gun and have been using Federal Premiums in 180 nosler partitions. They work great every time. Good luck.

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Location: Rivers,Manitoba,Canada
Joined: 04/17/2005
Posts: 53
Browning BAR questions

I've got an older BAR 1969 and she works great with no jams.Just remember to keep the gas port clean and you'll have no problems.I hunt sometimes in very cold weather and have never had a problem.I like the 165 gr.bullets and usually buy federal premiums in 165 sierra's.

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Location: Alaska
Joined: 11/25/2005
Posts: 33
Bar

I second clean the ports and she will work fine

If you reload RCBS small base dies should be used

I like to use the Lee Factory Crimp Die to apply a crimp works great.

Factory load mine has always liked Winchester 180 gr Silvertips.

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