Browning BAR 30-06

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,223
370
So my stepdad handed me this rifle awhile back. He got it new sometime in the early 80’s from what I remember. Well, he USED it a lot. Bear, elk, moose, lotsa deer and about everything else. Heck, I even used it for my first Maine black bear. Anyhow, he’s always been a 1 rifle guy and this one was it. He’s not a great caretaker of firearms either, so when I got it, it needed some love. He always wrapped the thing up in camo tape, well, it was rusty and just hurt me to see it like that.

In the past we used Federal 180 Partitions for about everything. Lately, since he’s used up all of them, he’s been using 180 Rem CLs. The Partitions always shot decent from what I remember.

I sent it off to Birdsong in order to get their Black T finish. Should almost be stepdad proof at this point. I’ll see if I can dig up the before pictures but it’s really not pretty.



Finish came out good. They did as good as a job as they could. The metal had some nasty pitting in places but now, it’s covered and fairly weatherproof.

I mounted an older Minox 2-10 on it with some Warne bases in Leupold Backcounty 1” Lows. It’s a much more solid mounting system than the old windage screw/dovetail arrangement that was on it. But to be fair, that was good stuff when he set the rifle up.

I decided to make him up a load so I looked over my shelves to see what I had a bunch of. 180 Ballistic Tips, Accubonds, Hornady BTSP, and Swift Sciroccos.

I decided to stick with plain old WW cases and CCI200’s along with H4350 and RL16. Everything was loaded to 3.330” in order to keep function good thru the magazines.

Here’s what I ended up with



Pushing them too much faster started to get some swipes on the case heads and frankly, he’s probably never going to shoot over a 100 yards at home. He’s done traveling to hunt much and he loves to hunt the thick stuff, so I was happy with either load around the 2600 mark.

I took it straight to 200 yards and my God, H4350 was just terrible. I don’t know if the gun just is that picky or what. Anyhow, RL16 did pretty well.



I was pretty happy with that. It isn’t great but it was plenty good for the hunting he will do.

180 Swifts were decent.



180 Hornady BTSPs were pretty rough.



I finally got the 180 Accubonds and shot a few groups with them.



Well, I called that good enough. Cleaned all the brass and loaded up 50 of them. With the rifle zeroed I loaded 50 of them up. Pretty sure it’ll be 20 years before he needs more.




I did use some of the leftover Ballistic Tip loads that were in unfired cases to plink my 400 yard steel. Holding on the head I was able to shoot on point with about 18-20” of drop, but they’d hang in the 6-7” group size.

Anyhow, hope the old man can put it to use this year. It’s zeroed and I know the AB will crush a tiny little buck deer.


Found a couple of the before pics... brace yourself. That’s his B80 12 gauge he got at the same time as the BAR. You can see the BAR in the background.



 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
34,676
723
Excellent account of some fine work, Scotty. I'd say the 180 grain AB will accomplish about anything that your stepdad wants to accomplish. One of my first hunting partners here in BC carried a BAR in 7mm RM. I was always impressed with how well the BAR performed. Never owned one, but it was only because they didn't often show up on the used rack at the LGS. Those who had them seemed determined to hang onto them.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,223
370
DrMike":1x3jnzas said:
Excellent account of some fine work, Scotty. I'd say the 180 grain AB will accomplish about anything that your stepdad wants to accomplish. One of my first hunting partners here in BC carried a BAR in 7mm RM. I was always impressed with how well the BAR performed. Never owned one, but it was only because they didn't often show up on the used rack at the LGS. Those who had them seemed determined to hang onto them.

It’s kinda funny, they’re good, solid rifles, but never been my thing, even though I like ARs quite a lot. I’ve seen some that shoot like crazy and some that are okay. My Pop’s is in the OK area I think. I’m happy to tune it back up though and get it shooting again.
 

djauofd

Beginner
Oct 30, 2017
129
0
Awesome job. She looks brand new. I am jealous. All my long guns are either bolt guns or AR’s . Beautiful rifle. Enjoy


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Whitesheep

Beginner
Jan 6, 2015
167
0
Thank you for sharing. I gave up on camo tape the first time I tried it. Traps too much moisture. My FIL has a BAR .30-06 I hope to talk him out of some day. The next time I visit I am bringing some reloading tools to see what it can do.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,223
370
I ain’t perfect but I’ve been lucky to have two dads growing up.

It’ll work for him. Hope he smokes a buck with it.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,377
496
Scotty - you did a great job - the rifle looks terrific and shoots well.

You also did a great thing. (y)

I remember restoring a little M1 carbine my father in law bought 30 years ago. It was rough! He was a Korean War vet and had carried one.

BTW, perhaps the only Air Force veteran who was a member of the Chosin Few. He was flying fixed-wing medevac birds in and out of Chosin Reservoir. Plane got too shot up to take off again, so he spent time on the front lines with the Marines, with a little M1 carbine.

That little carbine meant a lot to him. From a collector's standpoint, I should have left it alone. He wanted it to look good and work good, so I made that happen for him. Your project reminded me of that. My father in law was my best friend for 20+ years until he passed.

Semper Fi, Guy
 

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,625
209
That is is an amazing conversion from an beat up looking rifle to pristine looking condition. Used to have a BAR in .243 long ago. Very nice rifles. Good stuff Scotty.
 

gerry

Ammo Smith
Mar 1, 2007
6,117
8
You sure transformed it back into a thing of beauty, nice job. That 180 gr AB will handle anything he could want to hunt and then some.
 

gbflyer

Handloader
Mar 28, 2017
877
29
Fun. I had a Belgium ‘06, decent offhand shooter. My Dad had a Belgium/Portugal .270 that was great. I also had a Belgium/Portugal .300 Win Mag that lived at the factory for repair. Got rid of that one. The ‘06 and .270 now live in Mexico after a robbery years and years ago. My friend collected the Belgium grade 2’s. He had a 7RM that was very very accurate.
 
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