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Why wasn't the BAR given an extended magazine?

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by superbee, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Again, to shoot the BAR effectively in full auto, one must be in the prone position. A longer magazine would make that impossible.

    One might look at the post-war M14, FAL or G3 which were a bit of a compromise between a battle rifle and squad automatic weapon. Those again had 20 round magazines and for the same reason. Once you flip the fun switch they are uncontrollable unless the shooter is prone and you can't shoot prone with a longer mag.
     
  2. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    The original BAR was intended to provide "walking fire" (ie, not prone). There was a cup for the stock to secure itself in the gunner's belt. That and the lower ROF setting made it suitable for non-prone shooting. Skip along to the A2-series BAR and they tried to make it an LMG. Many GIs did away with the extraneous parts to have an automatic rifle. There are many MOH citations describing the BAR being used in this capacity.
     
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  3. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    And it didn't work well because of muzzle climb, though since the rest of the squad were shooting Springfields it was no doubt reassuring to have one around. In WWII it became the squad automatic weapon, the base of fire, a very different tactical niche. It's best use (and intended role) was from the prone as suppressive fire while other members of the squad flanked. In that role it was effective (though not as good as the British Bren), because the Bren with its top mounted magazine could use 30 round mags which increased its rate of fire by 50% between mag changes. Yes, either could be fired in bursts from the shoulder or hip, but that is the exception to the rule.
    The Bren had a 30 round mag for the simple reason that it too, was meant to be fired from the prone as the squad base of fire. Anyone who has ever fired an M14 with the fun switch on auto will know exactly what I mean - the muzzle climbs. The BAR was much heavier, but even in short bursts (from the shoulder) those rounds quickly went skyward.
     
  4. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    BREN also had a quick change barrel, big plus for LMG role.
     
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  5. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    What he said. You're comparing apples and oranges. The BAR was a fish out of water. The brass had an idea of how "best" to employ it. GIs said "yes, sir" and did it their way.


    ETA we can't post emojis?
     
  6. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    but 'walking fire' is not accurate at all..secured to the belt? can we get a picture of this? you're not going to hit a barn 'walking fire' or 'non-prone' with the BAR...waste of ammo
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    From forgottenweapons.com
    [​IMG]
     
  8. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    As with all shooting-- it requires practice. It's in the same vein as hip-shooting. Realize this type of warfare was in its infancy. The idea stemmed from the French with their Chauchat. Had they gotten more use out of the Chauchat, the idea would have died on the vine.

    Got some info on case tapers:
    .30-06: 46.33 Taper Length, .38 Taper Width, .008 Rads Taper
    .276 Pedersen: 37.26 Taper Length, .82 Taper Width, .022 Rads Taper
    7.62 NATO: 35.77 Taper Length, .21 Taper Width, .006 Rads Taper
    5.56 NATO: 33.39 Taper Length, .29 Taper Width, .009 Rads Taper

    So, 5.56 N has more taper than 30-06 but it is present.
     
  9. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    I always thought that the reason the Bren mag was curved was because of the .303 round has a rim. The 308 NATO and 7.92 x 57 Mauser versions had straight magazines, I think.

    Hmmm, AK-47 round is rimless and its magazine is curved.
     
  10. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    great job as usual Takao and thanks......so stock goes in there??? very interesting....

    that's going to take a lot of practice.....anywhere over close range, I doubt it would be effective, as Kodiak points out......appears it would take long arms to effectively use the cup....very interesting ...thanks all
     
  11. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    Well considering it was for trench warfare and it would be facing bolt action rifles and bayonets almost exclusively while clearing a trench I can definitely see the advantages. Any real ranged shooting would be prone or at the shoulder but while hustling on the attack it's effective enough against the weapons of it's time.

    There's also the fact that it takes some of the weight off the arms when walking through the mud and craters of no man's land. At 16 pounds any little bit helps.
     
  12. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Certainly a different way of doing it. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything similar.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    As a Regimental shooting officer I once over indented for small arms ammunition for training the shooting team and was left with 12,000 7.62mm rounds to expend in a day. We had a fun afternoon firing the LMG (7.62mm Bren) from the hip. It was quite accurate over 50m

    Bren Magazines should not be loaded with more than 25 rounds. Loading the magazine to capacity weakens the springs and leads to stoppages.

    The WE of a platoon was one Bren per section. The section and platoon battle drills were designed by the Central Battle School for platoons of 40 men After visiting troops in the field in Sicily after leaving his appointment as Chief Instructor of the Central Battle school, Lionel Wigram, recommended a different way of organising a platoon. He recommended using all of the Bren guns under the Platoon sergeant and the riflemen under the platoon commander and fighting the platoon as a big section. Part of the reason was to maximise controlled firepower and partially to make the best use of the limited number of what he described as "gutful " men. He considered that a platoon rarely went into battle with more than 24 men and of these only 8 could be counted on to take a pro active part in an engagement.
     
  14. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    we practiced hip/quick shooting [ we used a different term, which I forget ] with the M16....it would be a quick double tap---2 rounds only.......we would hit the target, but from what I remember, target distance only about 5 to 10 yards away....it takes a lot of practice to be fairly accurate with 'hip' shooting at that small distance, with the 'tiny' M16.....accuracy meaning a hit on torso size target......this was combat oriented......would be very difficult to hit a man size target over 50m away with an M16 double tap, hip shot without mucho practice

    we did same with M16 magazines........I did fire the M60 from hip once....we were doing live fire in Ecuador, and the MG gunners let me have some fun...it was just general firing, not really at targets..
    'quite accurate'...? over 50M from hip? first time shooting from hip? can you be more specific with the accuracy? number of rounds fired each pull, time firing, target size, hits, distance, etc....was it combat oriented? or more target shooting? thanks...great input

    we practiced walking fire with M16s one time....seemed 'silly' for military combat....slow movement, makes you a slow, large target, etc......you walk left foot first, all steps..this gives 'continuous' stability.....just like the SWAT cop on the far right in this N Hollywood Shootout video--as seen starting at the 7 minute mark in link....
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zJV9l0dWwg

    but we also did 'standard' walking fire, ....left right left, etc, firing on left foot only......this is not efficient at all

    great picture GPatton, thanks......looks like it has some stability....that's a big mo, though
    .we need more pics with these threads, I think....worth more than the 'words'

    maybe we called it ''snap shooting''.....
     
  15. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    Oddly, the shortest man in the squad was given the BAR. The idea was he'd be harder to hit.
     
  16. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    Came across this in a book about Johnson's rifles & MGs. The LMG mag used a single stack of 20rds. Note the curve of the magazines.
     

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  17. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    Here's a cut-away view of the BAR 20rd mag. Note the rounds are starting to curve.
     

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  18. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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  19. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    it was a world war 1 design and the intended use, battlefield marching fire and trench defense, didn't seem to require a 30-round mag or interchangeable barrels.
     
  20. Allied-vs-Axis

    Allied-vs-Axis New Member

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    To my knowledge their was a 30 round clip (somewhere really close to the end of the war) but Soldiers didn't like it due to the extra weight and still having to luge around a 20lb machine gun. Although I am not 100% if this is true so somebody please fact check me on this.
     

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