Browning might not make ARs, but the company has a history with autoloading rifles that dates to the earliest days of the 20th century, long before the first AR was conceived. Given Browning’s seniority in this arena, the latest iteration of the iconic BAR is sort of a finger in the chest of AR makers to remind them who came first.
The original Browning BAR was the M1918, a fully automatic light machine gun in .30/06 that was developed during World War I for trench warfare but didn’t see extensive use by the U.S. military until World War II. It also served in Korea and Vietnam before being phased out.
In 1967, Browning introduced the next BAR, a semi-automatic sporting rifle for hunters—and that rifle is the direct forefather of this new BAR MK 3 DBM. The 1967 BAR was gas-operated, had a seven-lug rotating bolt head, a removable box magazine that was attached to—and concealed by—a trap-door-type hinged floor plate, and a light and handy geometry that allowed it to be pointed and shot fast. As a rifle for thick timber and brush, it had few equals, especially since it was offered in several magnum calibers, like 7mm Rem Mag., .300 Win. Mag., and .338 Win Mag. in addition to standard long- and short-action cartridges.
|Weight:||7 lb. 6 oz.|
|Trigger Pull:||3 lb. 8 oz.|
|Smallest Group:||1.691 in.|
|Barrel Length:||18 in.|
|Overall Length:||39 ³⁄₈ in.|
The MK 3 DBM shares many of the qualities of the original sporting BARs and the BAR Mk II series that followed. But in this era of all things tactical, Browning has decided to give the MK 3 DBM a harder look.
The DBM has a high-capacity detachable box magazine (hence, DBM) that fits into the magazine well and doesn’t attach to a floor plate. The steel magazine is a solid piece of work and takes 10 rounds of .308. The rifle has magazine releases on both sides of the bottom metal for ambidextrous operation.
The rifle’s barrel is 18 inches long with a 1:12-inch twist. That short barrel makes this BAR especially compact and handy. Combined with its magazine capacity, it was a natural choice for a cross-country boar hunt that OL editor-in-chief…