The full metal AEG replica of the M1918 BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle), made by Chinese company Snow Wolf,
with the stock and the front grip made of plastic.
A BIT OF HISTORY
American M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) LMG, was designed by John Browning and entered service at the end of WWI in 1918. It is fed with 20 rounds detachable box magazines and chambered for 7,62 × 63 mm (.30-06 M2) rounds. Weight: 7300 - 8600 g (16 - 19 lbs) (depending on the model).
The weapon was in widespread use especially during WWII and remained in service until the end of the Korean War. During this time it underwent several modifications and subsequent models marked M1918-A1 and M1918-A2 entered service. The stock and the front grip were originally made of wood – only in 1942 the wooden stock was replaced with a plastic one. At the end of the WWII the rifle was fitted with a carrying handle mounted on the barrel.
The BAR was a basis for several other support weapons including the Polish Browning wz. 1928 and other made in Belgium and Sweden.
The replica is packed in a cardboard box with a removable top cover. The box does not serve any marketing or informative purpose as it does not have any graphics, prints or stickers on it.
The replica is secured very well. Inside the box there is a foam insert which immobilizes the replica and all of its accessories.
Inside the box, besides the replica, there is a magazine, a 9.6 V 1200 mAh NiMh stick battery, a simple charger, a small pack of BBs and a manual.
The manual is black and white, with drawings and is written in Chinese and English.
The replica makes a very positive impression at first glance. It is massive and pretty heavy. The fit of the main parts is very good, but some minor marts could have been done better. A good example of this is the stock shoulder support, which is very loose. During more energetic movements with the replica (e.g. running) the shoulder support is clanking, which is quite irritating.
The realism is increased by the weight of the rifle which is in accordance with the weight of the real gun.
Basic parameters - Weight: 7800 g (17.19 lbs). Length: 1215 mm (47.83 in).
Snow Wolf's M1918BAR replica is a very good replication of the original firearm. Therefore it is a shame that the wooden parts were replaced with plastic ones. The metal parts of the replica are either flat matt black or semi-matt black.
The rifle – besides the front grip, the carrying handle grip and the stock - is made of aluminum alloy and steel. The steel parts are shown by white magnets on the photos below. The two main parts made of steel are the bi-pod and the carrying handle. Other steel parts are the front sight cover, stock shoulder support, front sling attachment ring, rear sight parts, the dummy bolt and the magazine shell.
The carrying handle appears to be very solid as it is made of steel (apart from the plastic handle grip). Its only drawback is the use of hex screws by the manufacturer which is visually displeasing. The original weapon used regular screws.
Mounting the handle is uncomfortable and will not encourage taking it off frequently. To put the handle on, one must unscrew one of the screws in the handle's grip and take it off, than unscrew the rest of the screws and take the two halves of the handle apart. After mounting the halves on the barrel one must take the above described steps in reverse order.
Spent casings ejection port.
The HU chamber is almost identical to the AK replicas and the hop-up adjustment works in the same way - by pulling and pushing a lever.
The dummy bolt. Its made out of a quite thin steel plate. When operating the cocking handle the steel plate has a tendency to bend and jam, but this does not happen often. To get it loose, one must take off the stock and the gearbox to get to the inner part of the chamber. Then one simply takes out the steel plate and straightens it. To avoid having to do this procedure it is advised to operate the cocking handle gently so the plate does not bend.
The cocking handle.
The stock, the front grip and the carrying handle grip are made of plastic. The synthetic fiber used is of quite good quality, as for a Chinese product, and imitates wood quite well. The only real issue is the thickness of the sides of those elements - the front grip and the stock's walls are quite thin and seem fragile.
The pin, which both holds and acts as an axis for the stock shoulder support, is not fit tightly enough. It results in the shoulder support to be loose and in the collapsed position, when moving the replica it also moves, making unnecessary sounds. The slack had no effect on the comfort of shooting however.
The plastic stock is filled with a two part foam insert through which cables lead and in which the stick type battery is inserted. Removing the insert frees a lot of space and allows to house quite large NiCd or NiMh batteries.
The stock has a metal butt plate – it is not steel, contrary to the collapsible shoulder support. To put the battery in or out, one must unscrew two screws: one is situated at the top of the stock, the other at the bottom of the butt plate. This process in relatively slow.
The front grip. In this case the hex screws are a visual drawback.
The trigger and trigger guard. The bolt that acts as the magazine release is clearly visible in front of the trigger.
Iron sights. The front sight has a cover.
The front sight base.
The rear sight and the frame that composes an adjustable sight. Parts of the sight (the frame, knobs, the plate at the base) were all made of steel.
The whole sight has an esthetic finish and is visually one of the most interesting parts of the replica. Only the plate, seen at the base, was not oxidized properly, which is visible in the photo.
Vertical adjustment of the rear sight is done with a knob placed at the top sight’s frame, on the right. The horizontal adjustment is done with a larger knob placed at the right side at the base of the sight.
The flash hider in screwed on a 14 mm counterclockwise thread. In also holds the front sight cover in place.
The rear side of the flash hider (in front of the front sight's cover) is used to attach the bi-pod clamp. In the real firearm this does not matter. However, In the replica the weight of the rifle supported by the bi-pod is held only on the flash hider's thread. We do not know if this solution in a replica will be robust enough and will not cause the thread to break off (the barrel is not made of steel).
The external barrel is made of aluminum. It is massive and well mounted in the chamber.
The gas tube, seen under the barrel, is also made of aluminum.
The selector/safety switch. The replica is full auto only, regardless if set on F or A. S is the safety position.
The magazine that comes together with the replica is a hi-cap holding 200 BBs.
Visually the magazine presents itself very well. Its shell is made of steel. It fits well into the magwell, and stays inside despite a slight side slack. Feeding is flawless.
The replica does not have any markings of the real firearm manufacturer. The only visible markings are the ones near the fire selector switch and the number on the bi-pod and on the top of the chamber.
To take out the GB one must take out a pin situated under the cocking handle.
The gearbox is taken out of the chamber together with the trigger group and the stock (the GB together with the trigger group and the stock must be pulled back and downwards). Separating it from the trigger group and the stock requires unscrewing two screws.
The trigger. Above the trigger one can see the shiny metal part responsible for closing the circuit.
To take down the barrel one must take off the front grip and a pin in the front part of the chamber. The pin turns quite loose but fortunately does not fall out of the chamber by itself, therefore it should not get lost during airsofting.
Next, one moves the gas tube forward and unscrews five hex screws connecting the barrel to the chamber. The external barrel can be than moved forward. The inner barrel, together with the HU chamber are pulled out through the chamber.
The internal structure of the replica is similar to other Chinese replicas. However in this case the manufacturer did not spear on the lubricant as it can be found in abundance inside the gearbox. In our opinion the amount of both silicone and thick lubricant is over excessive.
The gearbox. The hole visible at the bottom is used to release the anti-reversal
The spring can be taken out (exchanged) without disassembling the GB, taking out the pin that holds the spring guide. No tools are necessary. The linear spring is used and its heads are not ground.
Under a semi transparent plate one can see metal contact blades (the circuit is closed by the metal part in the trigger).
The short type motor. It has no markings. The cables were improperly connected to the motor and without intervention the motor would spin in the wrong direction (the connection seamed right, taking into account the colors of the cables, but did not match the proper polarity).
The GB has 8 mm ball bearings. They are loosely placed in the GB and fall out easily.
The gears are made of steel and have DL markings. The motor gear has 4 anti-reversal latches.
The spring guide is metal and non-standard (designed for quick spring exchange) and has no bearing.
The piston has all metal half teeth. The piston head has no bearing.
The piston head.
The type "2" cylinder. In our opinion, with such a long inner barrel, a type "0" or type "1" cylinder should be used - but the whole set has quite good seal and the replica shoots well.
Unfortunately the cylinder hole has very sharp edges and damages the o-ring of the piston head. In general the cylinder qualifies for an immediate refit.
The cylinder head with an additional lobe at the front.
The cylinder / piston set has good but not perfect seal.
The nozzle is not particularly well manufactured. As seen in the photo, there are leftovers from the mold in the front. Despite this it has a very good seal.
The tappet plate.
2. Inner barrel and HU.
The stock inner barrel is 500 mm (19.68 in) long in is well secured in the HU.
The mount of the HU and the barrel in the chamber.
It is a standard AK type HU chamber with an aluminum extension of the feeding tube.
The hop-up rubber(a standard AEG type).
The gearbox works very well. The sound and performance leave nothing to be desired. We noted no jams or empty shots. The magazine feeds very well and winding lasts for as long as in any other hi-cap magazine.
The workings of the hop-up made a very good impression on us. After adjusting it the HU works precisely and does not get out of adjustment. The spread during longer bursts is small. This resulted with ease of hitting a human silhouette. Moreover, most of the shots hit the smaller A4 target.
A potential BARa buyer should take into account that this is not a replica for physically weak people and longer periods of "running" with it can be strenuous.
1. FPS and energy measurements.
The FPS and energy tests were done using Aim Top 0,2 g BBs.
The average muzzle velocity on those BBs is 392 fps with 1.4 J of energy.
Below is a table presenting 10 consecutive shots:
2. Accuracy and grouping at a distances of 40 m (43.74 yd).
The test was carried out using an A4 target with a background of a 1:1 silhouette.
Aim Top 0,25 g BBs were used.
At the distance of 40 m (43.74 yd) a burst of15 BBs was fired. All BBs hit the silhouette. 12/15 hit the A4 target.
3. Maximum efficient and maximum total range
The maximum effective range of the BAR is about 50 m (54.68 yd). At this distance all the BBs hit the silhouette. The maximum range of the replica can be estimated at + 55 m (60.14 yd).
The replica of the M1918 BAR by Snow Wolf offers its buyer a decent quality of finish and quite well replicates the original. It shoots accurately and our impressions are very positive. The realism of the replica can be increased by exchanging the plastic parts for wooden ones but the weight and looks of the rifle in the stock configuration are already pretty realistic.
If we were to compare the overall level of external and internal finish of this replica to other Chinese products we can safely say that it is similar to the STG or MP40 by AGM. The performance are at the level of the STG, not the MP40.
It is good that there are more and more replicas of historical weapons. Although this replica will not match the quality of the VFC version, it will surely satisfy many enthusiasts of historical airsoft and will perform well during games.
- sturdy construction
- realistic weight
- good specifications
- very good HU workings
- large battery space
- slack on the stock shoulder support
- use of plastics and not wood
- use of hex screws
We would like to give special thanks to GORfor lending us his replica for the test.
Translated by SHOGUN_YAMATO