The HCAR head scratcher.

I want to like the HCAR.  I took a look at one earlier today and first reaction is hey, this is cool.  But then I got thinking about it, and things started to bug me.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m a fan of the Browning BAR.  It’s awesome American History, and I’d LOVE to own one of Semi-Autos.  But to modernize the BAR and make it something different just doesn’t do anything for me… and really it kinda irritates me.
It’s an expensive gun.  And if you wanted something firing a .30 cal projectile, and save a little money, and get what is going to ultimately be a better rifle for the application of tactics… a SCAR 17.
“Oh but, Ogre, these are .30-06’s!”
Uh huh… So?  Can you still buy cases of cheap .30-06 ammo?  Not really.  Which means you are going to be buying them in little boxes of 20 like regular hunting cartridges, and most likely paying a premium for them now.
The difference between .30-06 and .308, outside of case dimensions… is about only about 100 FPS.   Let’s grab two comparable loads from Hornady.
Here’s the .308.  And here’s the .30-06 loaded with the same bullet.
The difference is negligible.  Feel free to go through Hornady’s online catalog and compare rounds with the same bullets and see for yourself.
Anything you shoot with them, aint feeling the difference.  The .30-06 is not giving you any practical advantage that you could utilize in a tactical situation.  In fact, it’s going to be a disadvantage because with the .30-06 you are dealing with a longer case, requiring a longer box magazine, which means more bulk in your kit, which means maybe you can’t carry as many mags.  Small difference in length could mean big difference in load out.  Maybe.  Say… Does anyone make a chest rig that can carry .30-06 magazines?  Molly Pouches?  Huh.
If I want the nostalgia of packing a BAR – oh and I do – I’d pack the classic version.

Now what these cats should do if they want to take the BAR and make it “Tactical”.  Make it “Retro Tactical”.  Ahem… allow me to fire up my awesome Photoshop Skills… and… Presto!
post-4-1099985650

Here you go… A BAR Carbine.  Recognizable as a BAR, but in a handier format for tactical applications… Lighter, Usable, and Classic Cool.  And if they wanted to really make it handier – make it in .308.
THAT is what the HCAR should be.  Not that Tan Pistol-Gripped, AR stocked monstrosity.   EDIT:  Thanks to Leon for reminding me!  I just re-invented the Colt Monitor.
That’s what they should be making… Colt Monitor Replicas.

9 thoughts on “The HCAR head scratcher.”

  1. The Colt Monitor was what came to mind when I saw this on Facebook. BTW, The Petersburg, VA Police Department had several Colt Monitors until the late 1970s, early 1980s. They were more common in certain parts of the country then the iconic Thompson SMG.

  2. This.

    Ditch the NFA and sell us Colt Monitors.

    ( Head Scratchers? Can I get a tactical Head Scratcher to put on my AR? )

  3. I’d take one. If I won PowerBall, that is. Other than that, I agree with the caveat that I’d rather have a FAL than a SCAR-H. I just can’t get over the SCAR’s Nerf-gun-like stock.

  4. Didn’t someone years back cross and M-14 with an M-60 barrel and use it for counter-vehicle work?
    Geoff
    Who note that would be more practical in full auto and semi.

  5. If I just HAD to have a semi-auto battle rifle in 30-06, I’d find a nice, clean FN-1949 (SAFN) in ’06 and let my gunsmith alter it to feed from BAR magazines (which are available newly made).
    However, as George said, the days of $.03 to $.06/round ’06 are long, long gone

  6. I shoot both ’06 and .308 in semi-auto and bolt guns. In semi-auto, and with factory ammo, Ogre is dead-on correct that the way to go is .308.

    In bolt guns, especially if you handload, the heavy bullets (190-200-210) perform much better in the ’06 at extended range. It’s not just more powder capacity. The longer case allows you to seat those long bullets deeper without worrying about compressing the powder or excessive pressure, if needed, and still be able to cycle through a box magazine. Such loads will stay supersonic longer than the .308 loads.

    I know I’m talking about handloading. But, many of us do. And since ’06 factory pressures are set lower than .308, you can load hotter (yes, modern bolt guns can take it), and that increases the velocity difference to more like 200 fps, which is not inconsequential.

    There are good reasons to choose an ’06 over a .308 for heavy bullets in a bolt gun. There are none, really, for semi-autos beyond nostalgia.

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