Full Auto Friday: Two Panzergrenadiers walk into a BAR edition (VIDEOS)
By Chris Eger
Not to be confused with the BAR hunting rifle, the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle was a war baby designed with “walking fire” in mind.
Crafted by firearms polymath John Moses Browning in 1917 for the growing National Army being formed to fight the Kaiser and his buddies in Europe, the compact light machine gun was forward-thinking for its time. Unlike the awkward strips used by the bulky M1909 Benet-Mercie machine gun used by the Army, Browning’s new gun could be fired by a single soldier on the move and fed from a box magazine.
The inventor’s son, Val Browning, an officer of the 79th Infantry Division, showing off the M1918 both in the trenches and in “walking fire” mode.
Further, as it could it be operated by a sole Doughboy, it added a serious volume of fire to advancing troops as it could rapidly accompany them across “No Man’s Land,” a feature that heavier Vickers and water-cooled M1917 sustained-fire machine guns were incapable of.
This led to the concept of “walking fire” in which the gun could be mounted with its butt against a belt attachment and fired continuously while charging across the shell-marked void to the German trenches was seen as the waySource: Guns.com