What was the classiest looking gun at this week’s National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers conference? That’s easy.
This photo, which doesn’t begin to do justice, is the new Ohio Ordnance Works Colt 1918 Self Loading Rifle. You might recognize it as a true World War I pattern Browning Automatic Rifle. During the first big kerfluffle, the US military released contracts to Colt, Winchester and Marlin-Rockwell to produce BARs in quantity. In collaboration with Colt for design specs and licensing, the Ohio Ordnance Works folks have produced a beauty. The bluing is exquisite and the rifle comes in a hard leather, velvet-lined case complete with leather sling, cleaning kit and two magazines. It’s a .30-06 semi-automatic version, but you won’t feel the recoil as the rifle weighs about 17 pounds.
The initial run is for 200 units and they’re selling fast. For about eight grand, you can have one.
In addition to the seventeen pounds of weight taking up recoil, the BAR also has a buffer system in the butt stock to further absorb recoil. One version of the original BAR had a semi-auto mode and a later model had slow auto and rapid auto. With the BAR set in the slow auto mode, it was possible to fire the BAR in single shot mode with careful trigger handling. In that mode, with it’s weight, bipod stock extension that fit over the shoulder and long sight radius it made an excellent sniper rifle even though it didn’t accommodate a scope. Way back when the BAR was still TOE for a Marine rifle platoon, some time was spent on practicing firing in single shot mode. Once one was experienced, if one could see the enemy, he was dead anywhere within six hundred yards.
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