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Jim Graff's BAR

Jim Graff's BAR

Graff relates, "I had recently inherited a BAR whose previous owner had been evacuated with frozen feet. I cleaned this weapon and even the magazines thoroughly." But when then they came under attack, "I proceeded to open fire, but could only fire one round at a time and had to dig the empty cartridge out of the bolt with a pocket knife. After 20 rounds I gave up," grabbing the nearest spare M-1 in exasperation.

"Get rid of that damn thing," was his squad leader's reaction to the BAR after the action. "I took out the magazine and put a bend in the receiver on a pine tree," he relates. "To this day I will never know if it was a real malfunction or if in cleaning I left too much oil in the mechanism and the subzero weather froze it up."Ironically, "Exactly one month later, on Feb. 24, 1945, with a different weapon, I fired 11 magazines—or 220 rounds," he relates, without a single problem.

Jim Graff wrote a book on his experiences titled Reflections of a Combat Infantryman.

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BAR history military World War II

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