Okay, it’s another one that’s not remotely forgotten. But we have to cover the BAR before we can effectively go into the more obscure variants of it that ARE forgotten. We’ve added a Browning Automatic Rifle page in the Vault, with a WWII manual, a couple post-war depot-level ordnance manuals, and more.
Let’s consider for a moment just how impressive the BAR is. John Browning developed it on his own initiative, not in response to a military procurement request. He starts work in 1916, hold a public demonstration in 1917 (upon which it is adopted despite never being requested), and by 1918 it’s in major combat use. And this is with the same Army that spent 20 years trying to avoid adopting the Maxim, and would go on to take many more years to accept the Garand rifle. Browning’s mere two-year development timetable is really unparalleled in US small arms history.
On top of that, it would remain a standard issue weapon for 50 years, and be the basis for the MAG 58, which continues to serve in a great many armed forces to this day.
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