Ohio Ordnance Works
The Browning Automatic Rifle is a beast of a gun. I’m not talking about the svelte modern hunting rifle; I’m talking about the chunky BAR the US Marines lugged across the scraggly patchwork islands in the Pacific. That big son-of-a-bitch the Japanese hated. I don’t blame them. I sure wouldn’t want to face a Leatherneck with a shoulder fired full auto rifle throwing .30-06. The BAR, which was designed way back in 1917, was already dated in the 1940s, as heavy rifles were slowly replaced by lighter and lighter squad automatic rifles. Yet there’s still a mystique to the old gun. Ohio Ordinance has been making semi-automatic BARs for years, but they’re making news with an “updated” version that they showed off at the SHOT Show this year.
The first thing you notice about the new BAR is the emphasis on the updates. Ohio Ordinance has made a block that attaches to the back of the receiver that allows for use of a mil-spec AR stock. This and other changes take a good bit of weight off the rifle. A WWII era BAR weighed in around 19lbs. This one is closer to 14 pounds.
This new heavy rifle will shoot 1 MOA, and has an effective range out to 1,200 yards. While we haven’t shot it yet, the rifle does feel steady. The extra weight helps cut down on the shake that comes with some skinny plastic hunting guns.
They have also redesigned the BAR magazine to hold 30 rounds instead of 20. This keeps the rifles competitive in a world of standard capacity magazines, and gives the gun a bit of an edge over some other .30 cals. The new mags will work in original full and semi auto versions of the BAR, too, and are selling for $60.
Ohio Ordnance will be taking orders in March and hope to ship in May. The estimated price for the new BAR is $3,700.