In short, does a Browning BAR Safari Mark II or BAR Mark III make decent varminter?

TomTeriffic

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I have read claims that the BAR can rival many bolt guns in the MOA department. Could you see yourself with a BAR in a chuck field, a prairie dog town or in a field of gophers? Fox and yotes?

I figure in .243 one could have a great rat gun as well as a great deer gun in the venerable Belgian Browning auto rifle. It's a gun now that retails for $1,200 to $1,500 so might as well get as many guns in one as you can by caliber selection.

Would a .25-06 BAR be an even better caliber for anything and everything from gopher to deer? This assumes one is not a handloader.

How tight have you shot a scoped BAR Mark II from the bench or bipod with just factory loads and in what caliber suitable for chucks and deer both?


 
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G

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I personally think that if you want a semi auto rifle, for accuracy and ease of cleaning, an ar-15/10 would be more practical. You aren't limited to only one caliber, most ar rifles can produce excellent accuracy, and they are completely customizable.
 

TomTeriffic

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I consider the BAR for its prettiness, however. Army M16's and M4 Carbines are not known for sub-MOA accuracy.

I never thought about the BAR for field strip-ability, so I decided to look it up on yoo-toob. I was in the army and know an AR rifle like the back of my hand. The BAR certainly isn't the most field-strippable hunting gun I've ever seen. There is indeed more to cleaning one of these devils than either an AR or a bolt gun. I was an automobile mechanic by trade so I feel I would have the aptitude to tear down one of these. I can handle my Remmy 870 pump well. I might have to get a couple of special tools to pull a BAR apart though. At least the carbon fouling is separate from the breech area as the bolt carrier is not gas-impinged like the AR.

 
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turbobrick

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I consider the BAR for its prettiness, however. Army M16's and M4 Carbines are not known for sub-MOA accuracy.
I would agree that mil-spec AR pattern rifles are probably not sub-moa guns with military ammo, they weren't intended to be, especially since they were intended to be an iron sighted carbine. But, any modern commercial or home built AR with good components and ammo will absolutely be MOA and be an excellent varmint gun. The BAR is a sweet rifle, and considering its heft would be great for varmints from a stationary position in an appropriate caliber. If I were building a semi-auto varmint rifle it would probably be a small frame AR in 6.5 Grendel, 6ARC, .223, .224 Valkyrie, or something like .204 Ruger. If I wanted something to span the gap, I'd be looking at a large frame AR in .260 Remington, 6.5CM, 6CM, or .243.
 

TomTeriffic

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The question is now: does a BAR in .243 or .25-06 shoot tighter groups consistently with factory ammo? .243 is still sufficient to take a whitetail doe in the woods with the right load specs. for deer.

This man pops a yote with a BAR in .243.

 

turbobrick

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The question is now: does a BAR in .243 or .25-06 shoot tighter groups consistently with factory ammo? .243 is still sufficient to take a whitetail doe in the woods with the right load specs. for deer.

This man pops a yote with a BAR in .243.

.243 is an excellent deer cartridge, no problem there. I'd consider a BAR to be hunting accurate in practical distances.
 

TN2shot07

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The question is now: does a BAR in .243 or .25-06 shoot tighter groups consistently with factory ammo? .243 is still sufficient to take a whitetail doe in the woods with the right load specs. for deer.

This man pops a yote with a BAR in .243.

How each rifle groups is really gonna be a mix of the rifle you end up with, finding the ammo they like best, and your ability but shooting moa shouldn’t be an issue. Both are more than capable of taking deer and varmits and have a pretty wide selection of factory ammo available.
 

TomTeriffic

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How each rifle groups is really gonna be a mix of the rifle you end up with, finding the ammo they like best, and your ability but shooting moa shouldn’t be an issue. Both are more than capable of taking deer and varmits and have a pretty wide selection of factory ammo available.
The Browning website lists only these calibers/barrel lengths for BAR Safari Mark II (no BOSS):




One has to also consider availability and price of ammo. Browning sadly has not yet seen fit to chamber the BAR in Creedmoor. 6.5 CM ammo is widely available now. So is .308 and 5.56. I consider .243 bare minimum for deer. Some guys used to blow up prairie dogs with .308's but that might be overkill for gophers.

I've checked a number of budget online ammunition sites. .243, .25-06 and .270 seems to be commonly sold out. There is always .223, 5.56, .308, .30-06 and 6.5 CM. It's now looking apparent to me that a BAR is not a practical rifle for shooting many small rats, gophers and ground squirrels. Reman .308 hunting ammo is available at Freedoms Munitions for under a dollar a shot. One might choose a BAR in .308 for big game and perhaps also occasional varmints like coyote, chucks and dogs. One may also have a thrifty and nifty Ruger 10/22 for rat, gophers, fox and squirrel for economy.

Choosing a BAR in .3o8 to me makes it a:

-deer gun
-elk gun
-moose gun
-lion gun
-pronghorn gun
-wolf gun
-black bear gun
-goat gun
-sheep gun
-occasional yote gun
-occasional chuck gun
-occasional prairie dog gun
-occasional fox gun if the pelts are of no value to you
-possible camp and home defender, but perhaps there are better choices for that purpose
 

KoolBreeze

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Nov 11, 2021
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I've got a BAR in 280 Rem. Best I could ever do with it was 2" 3-shot groups at 100 yards. Often times it was more like 3". My dad has one in 270 and 300 WSM, they are about the same.
 

dulylomo

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Jul 27, 2022
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My BAR 30-06 with boss is just a little bit over 1MOA. I shot 5 groups with factory ammo(see pictures). I think maybe I can do it one day with Sako Gamehead. I think the gun certainly can do that cos my Tikka T3 and Mauser M12 can only barely made <1MOA. So it is likely me, not the guns…
EE9E7690-BCD7-4E25-9A99-50850EACE4D1.jpeg
 

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