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BAR opinions

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Hippycrowe
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BAR opinions

#1 Post by Hippycrowe » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:12 am

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sIVTDo2Xno0

This guy makes good videos but some of his opinions are questionable I do not think the BAR was obsolete by WW2.

I think it could have been improved on some but the fire and maneuver tactics were a good fit for the BAR. The 1918a3 I had was very accurate but I did take off the bipod.

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Re: BAR opinions

#2 Post by TNGhost » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:28 pm

Ian does a good job with his videos and they are a real boon to firearms enthusiasts. He does best when he sticks to educating us on the facts, as he possesses a great wealth of firearms knowledge. When he starts to stray down the path of his opinion, he tends to get a little lost between what is and what was, and the fact that arms, like the BAR, while they may not seem optimal to him, actually served very well and were popular with many of those using them. His opinion seems influenced by a lot of "internet mythology", where his technical and historical data are not.

You'll notice he manages to throw shade at the M60 and the M14 as well in this video. Lately it has become very faddish to criticize some of the iconic weapons of the most successful and powerful military the world has seen, and he seems to have jumped on that bandwagon to an extent. A lot of the same criticisms of the BAR regarding its obsolescence ahead of WW2, can also apply to the Thompson (weight, dubious "improvements") yet it too was a popular, efficient and effective iconic arm through WW2 and beyond. Heck you could point a lot of these criticisms toward the Garand as well, and we all know its pedigree.

I do enjoy watching his vids and have learned a lot from them, especially about some of the more obscure firearms he profiles. You're right though, his opinions in this one are off base.

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Re: BAR opinions

#3 Post by Hippycrowe » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:49 pm

Almost all weapons are too heavy when marching for miles, I kinda lost respect for this guy when he done a video on how bolt action rifles are useless in modern war. I agree a bolt action rifle other than a sniper is really obsolete but he made a comment that the WW1 rifles were not that accurate. I know the 1917 and 1903 are very very accurate and his complaints about them not being accurate are because he may not be a good shot. Marines killed Germans at 800 yards open sight when they were forming up for an attack against the Marines.

One thing about all the complaints about American firearms being obsolete is that we won,and inflicted more casualties in most battles. Thr Germans had some of the best and worst stuff and very well trained men but the combined tactics of the US air superiority over welmed them.

I really liked the 1918a3 I had I just couldn't afford to shoot it I would go through 500 rounds in an afternoon.

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Re: BAR opinions

#4 Post by indy1919a4 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:43 pm

Well we all have opinions... Price of freedom.. But when I 1st watched this I screamed, pounded my fist, tossed the computer on the ground.. I for one felt the BAR was perfect. (and it still is).. But some of the Improvements from FN models and the Monitors are kinda nice.. and maybe there was some room for improvement. (God save my soul for such a thought)

Ian did not like the BAR Bipod and how it works,, But I think it helps with the take down by turning the rifle upside down.. (Something you will not find on those Fancy pants FNs).

But sadly I am shocked how complex the BAR is to take down, lots of little parts.. Can not imagine cleaning this is a muddy fox hole, in the middle of the night with someone in the dark just over the hill wanting to do you harm. The gun must not have jammed much in combat.

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Re: BAR opinions

#5 Post by Hippycrowe » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:43 pm

I looked at the manual for the one I owned and thought I am not taking this apart but I must say a BAR is easier to take apart than a G43 rifle a friend of mine had. Wow you needed 3 hands and 12 fingers to re assemble.

My uncle carried one in the reserves before he went to Vietnam, but he was 6 foot tall with 23 inch bicepts lol so he had no problem lugging it around.

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Re: BAR opinions

#6 Post by indy1919a4 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:47 pm

I will not take the g43s side

But when I got a BAR apart for the 1st time I did have my doubts about all the parts fitting back..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzZ03Pa0OVU

to me this one shows the advantage of the BAR bi-pod for cleaning

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUaGI3OdGOA

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Re: BAR opinions

#7 Post by vandle » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:15 am

Hippycrowe wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:12 am
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sIVTDo2Xno0

This guy makes good videos but some of his opinions are questionable I do not think the BAR was obsolete by WW2.

I think the BAR in itself may not have been obsolete but the tactics in which it was originally designed for has long been surpassed.
WW2 in most cases was very mobile and called for lighter weapons.
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Re: BAR opinions

#8 Post by Hippycrowe » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:32 pm

True it was designed in a time of trench war the funny thing is during Korea tactics went back to trench war and the heavy matching guns were perfect like the BAR and water cooled 1917. Massed charges and spoiling attacks were the tactic. When I say heavy I mean the weighed a lot.

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Re: BAR opinions

#9 Post by Tommy Atkins » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:31 pm

The BAR was an "Automatic Rifle" & it did that splendidly.
It fell short when attempts were made to use it as a "light Machine gun", which it wasn't.
Looking at its major competitor, which was designed as a light Machine gun, the BREN, it had features the BAR lacked. 31 round mag, QD interchangeable barrel (with a "cool" handle) & so on.
I'm not knocking the BAR it was a fine weapon, but when you shoehorned it somewhere it was never designed to fit it fell short.

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Re: BAR opinions

#10 Post by HectorFuego » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:11 pm

The BAR didn't play well with the volcanic ash on Iwo Jima. Neither did the M1 Garand. Bolt action Arisakas had the advantage there.

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Re: BAR opinions

#11 Post by indy1919a4 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:40 pm

HectorFuego wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:11 pm
The BAR didn't play well with the volcanic ash on Iwo Jima. Neither did the M1 Garand. Bolt action Arisakas had the advantage there.

Hector
I would be really interested in some details of this.. Many thanks for this...

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Re: BAR opinions

#12 Post by indy1919a4 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:48 pm

Tommy Atkins wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:31 pm
The BAR was an "Automatic Rifle" & it did that splendidly.
It fell short when attempts were made to use it as a "light Machine gun", which it wasn't.
Looking at its major competitor, which was designed as a light Machine gun, the BREN, it had features the BAR lacked. 31 round mag, QD interchangeable barrel (with a "cool" handle) & so on.
I'm not knocking the BAR it was a fine weapon, but when you shoehorned it somewhere it was never designed to fit it fell short.
There are alot of wild little variations thunked up for the BAR, One that I thought I would love is the Monopod in the stock.. But its a pain to shoot..

But here is a real beauty a Belt fed BAR...

https://www.historicalfirearms.info/pos ... ember-1933

And alot of cool Swedish variations..

http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/artiklar/k ... sh_kg2.htm
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Re: BAR opinions

#13 Post by Charles Lipscomb » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:21 am

My Dad had only good things to say about using the BAR in korea 1952-53.
But he was 6' 3" 220lbs. And before he joined he made deliveries for a dairy. Dropping of crates milk and juice around Washington D C .
Its one rifle i would realy like to own.
In prep for that day when i ordered some stuff from century way back in the mid 90s i bought 3 BAR mags.
Only after my Dad died did it occur to me to have him sign them.
If i had done that, the rifle wouldn't matter.
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Re: BAR opinions

#14 Post by HectorFuego » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:55 pm

indy1919a4 wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:40 pm
HectorFuego wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:11 pm
The BAR didn't play well with the volcanic ash on Iwo Jima. Neither did the M1 Garand. Bolt action Arisakas had the advantage there.

Hector
I would be really interested in some details of this.. Many thanks for this...
My dad was in the 3rd Marine Division, 9th Regiment, 2nd Battalion and landed on Iwo Jima on D+5. He was in combat the next day, carrying a BAR. He said it was constantly failing due to the ash getting in the action. He would field strip it, clean it, test fire it, and then when he needed it the most it would fail. As the BAR fires on the forward stroke of the bolt the ash would cause enough friction it slowed down that stroke so much that it would not fire. The Garands didn't fair much better, and he said that at one time the ONLY functioning rifle in his "outfit" was his lieutenant's M1 Carbine.

If you search on-line you can find the 3rd Division action reports for Iwo Jima, written by all the senior officers who survived. It's over 400 pages of single spaced, typewritten information evaluating every aspect and tool used during the battle. More than one of them mentioned the difficulties keeping semi-auto or automatic rifles working in the ash filled environment. At first they thought it was due to poor firearm hygiene by the troops but later realized it was caused by the ash.

Note that my dad suffered a severe blast concussion from an artillery shell on March 2, 1945 (that's when his casualty card was filed out) and never saw combat again. Fortunately he survived or I wouldn't be writing this.

Hector
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Re: BAR opinions

#15 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:45 pm

The BAR is just a BAR. A fairly heavy gun in today's world with only 20 rounds that can fire full auto for a very short amount of time. Making it not quite a machine gun and not quite just a semi-auto rifle. Its 30-06 round had a great deal of stopping power, even at long range so it came in handy quite a bit. I know of USMC veterans throwing away their M1 carbines during Korea's Frozen Chosen campaign due to the M1 carbine's lack of stopping power. It is what it was, a kinda stop gap weapon until something better came up. Remember it was invented during WWI and by WWII it was getting long in the tooth as it wasn't a full MG and M1 Garands were plentiful, unlike in WWI. I'm sure its short full auto burst was used to keep heads down for maneuver quite a bit. Even a twenty run clip at semi-auto can suppress fire better than any bolt action rifle. Remember, US tactics in WWII were built around fire and maneuver and the BAR could get that job done in a pinch.

I remember reading an account of a Japanese private saying his Arisaka seemed worthless when compared to the effects of a machine gun and he was right. German squads were built around the machine gun, not their bolt action rifles. British infantry squads had everybody carry extra clips not for their Enfields, but for the squad's Bren and German squads did the same for their MG42. This evidence is not without merit. As for accuracy, it is often how much lead you can put in the air, not how accurate it is. If you ever saw Bruce Willis in Last Man Standing, there is a demonstration between two body guards with 1911 pistols. One is a crack shot, the other fills the air with two clips from a 1911 in each hand. The gangster says, while the crack shot is good, you don't want him to be your protector when compared to the guy blasting away with two 1911s. This is why the 9mm Beretta replaced the 1911, it could put more lead in the air as it had a larger magazine. Of course, 9mm is real close to 38 caliber and the army needed the 1911 to stop Phillipino guerrillas hopped up on drugs assaulting them as the 38 revolvers they carried didn't do the job with one hit, but that's another whole argument. Rate of fire matters quite a bit.

I saw R Lee Ermy blew away a quite capable No1 MKIII Enfield with a M1 Garand and the Enfield beat the pants off the 1903 Springfield as it had twice the magazine. You don't need to hit the bullseye, just the torso and sometimes just putting down enough lead down range is enough to slow an assault. Accuracy is a relative term in combat. The bolt action rifle was absolete when the Garand showed up, let alone due to the many sub machine guns already issued. Fortunately, the US could afford to equip their troops with better quality weapons in better quantity than their foes and even allies. I honestly think the M1 carbine was the first assault rifle, not the Gewehr44. It was easily made to fire full auto later in the war and came out first and in quantity. Most squad action was under 400 yards and with iron sights, your front sight can be larger than your target unless it is standing up.

I remember when I had to teach my political science professor on the relative firepower of a USMC squad verses a Japanese squad. The Marines (except the 1st division on Guadalcanal) all had either semi-auto or full auto weapons (not to mention bazookas, flame throwers and satchel charges) while the Japanese had slow firing bolt action rifles. I don't think each Japanese squad even had a machine gun, or if it did, it was one of those relatively heavy stationary ones, not exactly suited for fire and maneuver warfare. Unless the Japanese were dug in, they got butchered. As for volcanic ash, not every island had that like Iwo did. BTW, the professor had to back track a lot of what he said about the Japanese army afterwards. I also filled him in on casualty rates and such. I was just a mere undergrad amongst the grad students at the time.

As for a great gun,, the US standard 30 caliber machine gun seems to be tops in my book as it is a full machine gun. The Bren gun still isn't in my book. A 30 round clip do not a 200 round belt make. Also, 1200 rounds per minute of the MG42 just eats up ammo too fast for its own good, not to mention barrels. Surprisingly, the USMC's Tony Stein rigged an aircraft mounted 30 cal MG with a wooden stock that fired 1200 rounds per minute and used it to great effect at the battle of.....Iwo Jima. He died earning the MOH using it sand and all. Had to go back for ammo quite a bit though. He is from my home town of Dayton and I heard he was a bit of a machinist, a common trade around here.

BTW, I'm a huge fan of the BAR. Hands down favorite gun of WWII. I know you have zero knowledge of combat weapons, or guns in general when you don't know what a BAR is. I tell any AR-15 owner that if I open up with a BAR, the sound alone would make anybody lugging a AR-15 think twice about return fire. This was before I even heard one, which only made my point even more. The first thing I ever buy if I win the lottery is a BAR, no question about it. Still, it was getting long in the tooth due to weight and magazine capacity, which is rather obvious.

Best Regards,

Mark

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