Browning Automatic Rifle M1918
Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:50 AM
I've been away for a while, but here is somenthing that I think will help you to forgive my absence.
It was born as a Browning Automatic Rifle M1918 (with provision to full auto fire and semiauto), made by Winchester. However, as happened with thousands of BARs, it was upgraded to a M1918A2 version (only full auto fire) during WWII. Its barrel was also changed in August, 1944; the stock was also replaced, by a hard plastic-like model.
My bet is this gun was supplied to Brazilian troops upon their arrival in Italy during the last half of 1944, to fight attached to the US 5th Army, under Gen. Mark Clark. Brazilian troops left Brazil unarmed (with only few exceptions like high officers and MP personnel) and were fully equipped after arrived in Italian soil.
Anyway, the gun is a firing specimen and it is in good and working condition. I must to confess that I bought this one for impulse, only motivated by my reminiscences of a kid watching reruns of “Combat!” TV show, where the PFC Kirby was always firing one of those with its characteristic slow burst sound.
It has been in my vault since then (2004), and I never managed to get some decent pictures of it. Photographing long guns is a completely different proceeding, and all my techniques that I developed to use with pistols, doesn’t seem to work. In order to mitigate the fuzzy effects, I adopted a white background and made some changes, but I didn’t get the right hand with that. Well, here are the results. I promise to upgrade to pictures when I get better shots.
Hope you enjoy it – at least you didn’t have to wait for my 2000th post to see it.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:52 AM
Posted 12 January 2011 - 10:42 AM
The 8-44 date on the barrel appears to be an arsenal applied marking - as the contour of the barrel indicates that it is a WW1 production "short contour" aka "slim jim" barrel. This barrel profile was discontinued during WW1 production by Marlin and Winchester - but not Colt. Winchester was the first to my knowledge to go to the full, heavy profile barrels, which Marlin Followed with a "mid" profile, then shortly thereafter duplicating what Winchester had done. Your barrel is uniquely WW1...
In the A2 moderization program, a number of changes were to be made - including removing all of these "short contour" barrels. I've seen several examples that did not have this update made.
Its great to see decent photos of a Modernized A2 - as it answers some of my questions as to potential finishes...
Question about the Brazilian connection - how did you end up at your conclusion? Pardon my ignorance.
Edited by Greaser, 12 January 2011 - 10:43 AM.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 12:35 PM
Posted 12 January 2011 - 12:42 PM
Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:40 PM
Posted 15 April 2011 - 01:16 PM
I have some "brothers" of your BAR...One BAR 1918 Winchester serial number 100 044 ( who served in the British Home guard in the early of WWII) and an other BAR 1918 Winchester serial number 100 391. Both are modernized in 1918A2 version.
So not a big difference in the serial number but my have the "BROWNING MACHINE RIFLE" marking and you have the second type " BROWNING AUTOMATIC RIFLE" marking.
You have a 1918 trigger guard modernized with the magazine guide plate but with a second type of change lever.
You have the early bipod type, and the first type of rear sling swivel assemblies for the plastic stock.
Posted 15 April 2011 - 06:16 PM
Between the BAR and the Garand it would be a real tough choice which is my favorite.
Several years ago I shot an M1918 full auto...it was a WW1 era piece.
The gun was incredibly accurate in short bursts and very controllable even for a 30-06.
It took a week to lose the smile on my face
Posted 11 July 2011 - 02:17 PM
Posted 11 July 2011 - 02:27 PM
Posted 11 July 2011 - 07:22 PM
Put lip stick on the muzzle and I would take her anywhere on friday night.
Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:28 AM
As you may know, the "PBS" marking on the barrel, which as you state was replaced in August 1944, indicates the work was performed by one of the Peninsular Base Section Ordnance shops (the PBS, with HQ at Naples and then in central Italy with the advance along the Italian boot peninsula, was the MTO equivalent of the ETO "advanced base " command in Paris). So I think your hypothesis about the BAR having been originally issued to the FEB is most probably correct.
Posted 12 July 2011 - 10:35 PM
Why do you think it was used by the BEF in Italy?
I understood Douglas Jr lives in Brasil and acquired his BAR there, presumably from Govt stock. He speculated about the FEB connection, and the PBS markings tend to confirm his idea.
Or, did I misunderstand something?
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