6 Posts By Massimo Vallini

  • Browning Bar, born perfect more than 50 years ago

    Browning Bar, born perfect more than 50 years ago

    An icon for wild boar hunters (and others), all over the world. And for more than fifty years it has been synonymous with the gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle.

    From “military” to “civilian” BARs

    The BAR acronym in the name of the Browning automatic rifle is the only thing it has in common with the military BAR M1918 designed by John Moses Browning towards the end of the First World War, for trench warfare in the battlefields of France and Belgium.

    But, in fact, even the “civilian” hunting BAR has the genes of John Moses, because it was designed in 1966 by his grandson Bruce Warren Browning (1928-2019) in collaboration with a design team led by Marcel Olinger. It was then presented in the 1968 Browning catalogue. Today, more than 1,200,000 BAR rifles have been produced.

    A positive modernisation through the years

    A rifle born perfect and now adult, very reliable, even more than capable of keeping up, thanks to subsequent modernisations that have improved its already very valid performance. Ten years ago, Browning also added the Maral version, which is almost identical, but which features a straight-pull linear manual reloading: the breech is contained inside its casing, making for easy reloading and a seven-lug bolt, renowned for its robustness, and guaranteeing exceptional safety and accuracy.

    The company always recommends cleaning the gas recovery system every thousand shots fired.

    From Type 1 to Type 2 BAR

    BAR rifles made before 1976 are generally called “type 1”, those made between 1976 and 1992 are often known as “type 2”, although they are very similar to the originals.

    1993 marked the introduction of the Mark II versions, when Joseph Rousseau made the rifle even more reliable, with a redesigned trigger system that made it easier to remove for cleaning, and the bolt locking lever.

    The Lightweight and Safari

    Then the Lightweight version with light alloy frame and the luxurious Safari appeared, with the possibility of mounting the BOSS muzzle brake, in calibres .25-06, 7mm Remington Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, .338 Winchester Magnum in addition to the more usual ones: .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield.

    Then came the LongTrac/ShortTrac, the Zenith and finally the MK3

    In 2004, Long trac arrived for magnum calibres and Short trac for the standard and WSM calibres.  In 2009, the Zenith model arrived, with various options, while in 2015 the MK3 was completely redesigned, with a single action for all calibres and also a hand cocking system. Barrels are always 22” or 24” long.

    A European rifle with the most reliable mechanics

    With optimal ergonomics and aesthetics, the Browning BAR MK3 has every reason to be the reference “platform” of semi-automatic hunting rifles, with the most reliable mechanics of all time.

    The MK3 series is also totally produced in Europe, assembled in the Viana plant (Portugal) while the barrel is cold hammer-forged by the armaments giant FN Herstal (Belgium).

    The MK3 is optimized to achieve the perfect compromise between performance and handling, with new ergonomics and a lighter trigger. The Reflex version is also available: it allows immediate availability to hunt, out of the box, for hunters who prefer to use the red dot collimator.

    I have owned a Zenith BAR for years which has given me great satisfaction while hunting. The new BARs have an even “easier”, more comfortable, light and predictable trigger system. The recoil is perfectly manageable, the rifle is precise and constant, living up to its reputation. It can easily digest all types of cartridges and the accuracy is legendary. It should be noted that the first catalogue already reported that the rifle was zeroed at 200 meters with metal sights!

    Do you own a BAR? Which model? Which generation?

  • Which calibre for a perfect wild boar driven hunt?

    Which calibre for a perfect wild boar driven hunt? This topic is really difficult. Because every hunter has their own theory and is swayed by his own experiences, and by what he has heard from those he considers expert. So, it’s all a bit of a minefield.

  • 25/25 in clay shooting, a step-by-step strategy – 2. positioning and shooting

    If the instructor stands in front of your rib or behind you, don’t worry! In the first case it is to observe if the dominant eye is aligned just above the rib, in the second to check your stance. The following tips are geared towards Olympic Trap, but can be adapted for other disciplines (see end of article).

  • Maxus 2, the king of surveys and ergonomics!

    I have always felt comfortable with the Maxus. It is a highly reliable and robust gas operated semi-automatic, that is precise and easy to handle. Browning certainly has some experience in this argument. And has done for a few years now… It was time to introduce new developments with the Maxus 2.

    A proven mechanism!

    Power Drive

    At the heart of all this is the Power Drive piston, optimised to tame super magnum cartridges. For the evacuation of the gas the “active” valve has eight large diameter exhaust ports, that quickly vent and reduce recoil, and it also has a longer stroke that allows a longer stay in the gas intake cylinder and the use of a smaller quantity of gas, to the benefit of cleaning procedures. Operation is thus guaranteed with charges starting from 28 grams.

    Speed Loading

    And the speed? Not only for the system and the trigger, but also for the quick feeding operation. Speed Load Plus is a very convenient Browning feature: by inserting the cartridge into the tubular magazine with the bolt open, it is brought directly into the chamber and the bolt closes.

    Cut Off

    The unloading function quickly and easily empties the magazine tube, without having to individually chamber the cartridges: just raise the elevator and manually intervene on the cartridge stop lever in the feed window. The classic cut-off lever on the left side, locking the tube, allows you to replace the cartridge in the chamber.

    What’s new with the Maxus 2

    Results of a survey

    Well. After more than 10 years, Browning have turned their attention to their gas operated semi-automatic… It’s even better! Well yes: an example of reliability and efficiency can still be improved or, at least, updated for the newest demands of the market.

    Browning conducted an in-depth survey to precisely identify the expectations of hunters, who want a semi-automatic shotgun that performs particularly well in terms of handling and comfort, versatility and ergonomics.

    Textured rubber inserts

    The stock of the new Maxus 2 takes advantage of the experience and development the company has also applied to other forms of hunting and rifles. On the synthetic composite material stock, large over-injected panels have been strategically placed on the forend and pistol grip: the “grip” is comfortable and assured in all weather conditions.

    Improved comfort

    The cheek piece, then, is made with Reactar gel to better protect the shooter’s face, especially when firing heavier cartridges. The forend is much more streamlined, with a screw-on magazine cap. The bolt lever, the bolt release button and the hand guard are oversized to allow easy handling, even when wearing gloves.

    Easier compliance

    There are still the 6 shims supplied to change the drop and the pitch of the stock. In addition, there is a 7 mm spacer that can be added to the 32 mm thick Inflex 2 recoil pad mounted on the firearm, while a 12mm spacer and 12-, 20- and 25-mm recoils are available as options, to better modify the length of pull. The Inflex 2 recoil pad, one of the most effective on the market, directs the recoil thrust downwards, thus avoiding the shooter’s cheek.
    The stock can also be cut back by a maximum of 2cm.

    The goal is maximum controllability, given by a perfect balance.

    Reworked design

    The anodized black Ergal frame is streamlined: it maintains classic shapes, with rounded bevels and a groove that follows the stock and forend profile.

    The bolt is made of three solid pieces of steel. In the two new Composite black magnum and super magnum versions, the straight and slightly concave sides of the bolt carrier are jewelled, matt on the two camouflage versions with Max5 and Mobuc patterns.

    Steel shot proved chokes and barrels

    The barrel, with 6 mm rib, is available in the two 660- and 710-mm standard lengths. The 760 mm barrel is only available for the super magnum versions, i.e., with 89 mm (3.5”) chamber. All barrels are steel shot proof and so are the five Vector plus chokes: Improved cylinder (¼), Modified (½), Improved modified (¾), Full and Modified (½) with 50 mm extension.

    The original internal geometry of the barrel includes a long forcing cone and the back bore so dear to Browning. The overbored barrel and the VectorPro elongated forcing cone make it possible to deform the lead load less and thus improve the quality of the shot pattern and reduce the recoil sensation. The jump of the barrel in the Maxus 2 system is also decidedly contained.

    A shotgun that is the extension of the hunter’s body, designed to improve performance in all forms of hunting.

  • Browning blog: 25/25 in clay shooting, a step-by-step strategy - 1. Specialties and equipment

    25/25 in clay shooting, a step-by-step strategy – 1. Specialties and equipment

    It all depends on your level as a shooter and your natural talent. If you have never shot clay pigeon before, I recommend that you first go to the nearest shooting range to try it out. There might be an instructor and maybe they could even lend you a shotgun for your first attempt.

  • Browning blog - Are you sure you are safe?

    Are you sure you are safe?

    Oh, I know, the topic is a thorny one. But there is little to joke about. In all activities where guns are used, especially hunting, either you follow precise safety protocols, or you get hurt. How many times do you hear or read in the media of “accident” or “fatality”?