The BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) is a light machine gun (LMG) which is available to all troops that can upgrade their weapons. It costs 6 Tactical Points and is the most expensive of the six firearms available to equip a squad member.
It is recommended that BAR's be given to soldiers with a Rifle Level of 30 or higher for the best anti-infantry effect. Your experienced shooters can wreak havoc upon German infantry and lightly armored vehicles when using a BAR. Giving this weapon to soldiers with low Rifle Skill and exp is ill-advised due to the extremely long bursts BAR gunners in general often fire. Even Sarge often empties the majority if not the entirety of the contents of its 20-round magazine in spite of his high Rifle Skill. For this reason, it is advisable to keep BAR gunners supported by soldiers with other weapons, preferably rifles, to make up for their ammo inefficiency as well as to maximize killing capability.
The BAR is rather controversial. Some players praise its high rate of fire and damage, while others criticize its high cost and extreme ammo inefficiency. In reality, however, these are just two sides of the same coin. The BAR's stopping power is nearly unrivaled at long range, but to gain this raw power, the gun and gunner must forego versatility and efficiency. It is also not very common in early game tactics.
The Browning Automatic Rifle, originally made during WWI, was intended to complement the Thompson submachine gun as a trench sweeper, but it became obvious that it was great mainly as a support weapon. Capable of automatic fire using the powerful .30 caliber cartridge, the BAR was the scorn of all Germans. While rate of fire was not as fast as contemporaries, nevertheless this weapon proved a favorite among servicemen who had to use it despite requiring extensive training to use effectively. It weighed in at a whopping 16 LB's (about 7KG), but it was well suited in an assault role as a suppressive fire weapon on the move, though it could not always supply prolonged fire capabilities due to its small 20-round magazine and thin fixed barrel leading to overheating. The bigger and heavier Browning M1919 .30 caliber machine gun supplied more suppressive fire capability, but due to its weight, it was often restricted to a more defensive role. The BAR allowed assaulting squads a bridge to close the gap in an exchange of fire as the defending side would often have an advantage due to established defensive structures such as heavier machine guns.
It saw extensive service, seeing service during the Korean War and up until the Vietnam War (wherein it saw use by special forces.)