The Browning BAR Booger Picker Pocket

WWI_Uniform_BAR_cup_pocket

Edwin the WWI Stud Muffin

Meet Edwin. He’s a stud muffin – mainly because he walks around dressed in full WWI battle regalia.

All his buddies in the U.S. Army 79th Infantry Division think he’s a total bro because he’s a new BAR man. BAR as in Browning Automatic Rifle that is.

Edwin has come to war equipped with a cup, as all good privates should. Mainly so the private can protect his privates. It’s not like you think, however, as Edwin’s cup, or pocket, protects him in an entirely different way. Offensively, not defensively.

Early BAR men were issued an automatic rifleman’s belt with a special metal “cup” between the BAR magazine pouches and pistol magazine pouch. This cup was intended to support the BAR’s stock as the shooter fired from the hip in a concept called “walking fire.”

The idea behind this was to make an automatic weapon portable enough to accompany advancing troops. The Vickers Machine Gun was a tad too bulky and heavy for this use, even by a hunk like Edwin, and the Chauchat Machine Rifle, which was portable, was entirely French in terms of reliability and performance. Enough said.

Enter the Browning Automatic Rifle. Awfully heavy to shoulder fire under control while dashing across the shell-cratered battlefields of France, designers developed the ‘walking fire‘ concept. The stock was snugged in to a pocket or cup on the shooters ammo belt, thereby supporting some of the weight of the rifle and allowing a semblance of controlled hip firing. Historians are unclear as to whether elite troops like the German salsa-dancing belt buckle guard were specifically recruited. Among other problems with the ‘walking fire’ concept was that the very first BAR’s featured a top mounted ejection port. Of course, only those who minded brass being ejected straight into their face while attacking the huns considered the ejection system a problem.

The original Browning Automatic Rifle with top ejection port (Browning Museum, Ogden, UT)

The original Browning Automatic Rifle with top ejection port (Browning Museum, Ogden, UT)

Admit it. We all have been known todig for gold now and then, but very few of us would voluntarily choose to cleanse our nasal passages with burning hot .30-06 brass at a rate of 500 to 650 rounds per minute. Semi-automatic maybe, but no way would I give up my favorite nose-clearing pinkie finger in favor of steaming brass ejecta.

As you can imagine, early testers, even those with serious allergies, complained. Something had to be done. So Mr. Browning went back to the drawing board and relocated the ejection port to the side of the BAR’s receiver. Burning booger problem solved.

And now you know the real story behind development of the BAR’s side mounted ejection system.

Who is Amos Humiston? Find out on the History Channel – Monday May 30th

70 Year Old Fighter - John Burns

70 Year Old Fighter - John Burns

We love stories.

When The History Channel contacted us recently about a new film airing Memorial Day weekend, we had to know more. Gettysburg, produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, who collectively own approximately 63% of Hollywood from successful previous ventures including Top Gun, Gladiator, American Gangster, and Black Hawk Down to name a few, is an up close and personal look at one of the most famous battles in history.

Unlike other historical accounts, Gettysburg portrays the three-day battle from a front-line, and very raw perspective. Among other turns and twists, we’ll get to know…

Rufus Dawes – The 24 year old leader of an all volunteer unit from Wisconsin, part of the legendary Iron Brigade, a workhorse of Lincoln’s army

Joe Davis – Nephew to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, whose first field command was at Gettysburg

Ridgeley Howard – A  33 year old Confederate private from Baltimore, whose grandfather fought side by side with George Washington and who now battles against his Maryland neighbors

and

Amos Humiston – A New York soldier, whose dead body was found with just one clue to his identity—a picture of his family, clutched in his hands.

Tune in! Monday May 30, 9pm EST / 8pm Central.

Check back here for a History Channel Trivia Contest a little later in the week. Thanks to our friends at The History Channel we’ll have some fun prizes to give away!

The War Bowl

From Every Day, No Days Off Gun Blog… Pretty creative stuff. And fairly deep when you think about it. Pardon the pun.

War-Bowl-Battle-Of-Waterloo

The War Bowl - Battle of Waterloo

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