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Browning Automatic Rifle

Browning Automatic Rifle

Date: 1940
Catalog #: 1999.0036.03    Accession #: 1999.0036
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History


John Browning (Designer)

John Browning was one of the greatest gun designer in history and the founder of Browning Arms. He designed the Browning Automatic Rifle to provide an automatic rifle for use during World War I. The M1918 saw service toward the end of World War I. The M1918A2, adopted by the Army in 1940, saw extensive service during World War II.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 10.5" H x 449" W x 14" D

Physical Description

United States M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle, 30.06.

General History

In 1940, the model M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle was adopted. It could only be fired in two automatic modes; slow (300 to 450 rpm) or fast (500 to 650 rpm). It did not fire in the semiautomatic mode. Both the M1918A1 and M1918A2 were widely used in the Second World War. The United States Marine Corps preferred the semiautomatic mode in some tactical situations, and modified most of the M1918A2 guns to include that capability. A buffer spring in the butt greatly reduced recoil, to the advantage both of firing accuracy and shooter endurance. The M1918A2 also mounted its folding bipod on a special flash hider near the end of the barrel. It could easily be detached in this model but was very effective in defensive positions.


Country: United States
War: World War II
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