The BARS (Russian: Барс, meaning "Snow leopard") is a Soviet and Russian bolt-action hunting rifle designed by A.I. Nesterov in the 1960's. Over a number of variants and years of production, it came chambered in 5.6x39mm, 7.62x39mm and .223 Remington. It was manufactured by Izhevsk Machine Building Plant (Izhmash), now Kalashnikov Concern, which has locations in Izhevsk and Moscow, Russia.
The Bars also had a larger-caliber counterpart, the Izhmash Los, which came chambered in an assortment of calibers over years of production - 9x53mm, 7.62x51mm, .308 Winchester, 9.3x64mm, .30-06 Springfield and 7x65mm. Production of both the "Bars" and "Los" rifles were stopped in 2017, and as of June 2018, both have been replaced with the Baikal 145 Los, "Los" meaning "moose".
History & Timeline
The "BARS" was designed in the early 1960s.
In May of 1965, the price of one standard rifle was between 120 and 140 rubles.
In 1967, the BARS was awarded the golden medal of the Leipzig Trade Fair and Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant began serial production in large numbers.
In the 2000s, Zagorsk Optical-Mechanical Plant began production of PKO-2 (ПКО-2) reflector sight for "BARS-4" hunting rifles.
In 2017, Kalashnikov Concern announced its plan to stop the production of "BARS" hunting rifles and previous models of "Los" hunting rifles and replace them with a new model, the (Baikal 145 Los). In June 2018, the start of its production was announced and production of "BARS" hunting rifles was discontinued.
- Chamberings: 5.6x39mm, .223 Remington, 7.62x39mm.
- Action Type: Bolt-action.
- Capacity: 5-round (detachable magazine).
- Sights: Iron sights, or optics (dovetail mount?).
- Barrel: 23.62 inches (600mm) - Chrome Lined(?).
- Overall Length: 40.55 inches (1,030mm).
- Weight: 6.61 lbs (3.0 kg)
- Safety: Manual switch.
Some more design details:
The barrel is chrome-plated (chrome lined..?)
The "Bars" has staggered column detachable box magazine.
It has manual safety switch.
All variants of "Bars" rifles have iron sights and they were equipped with scope base for optical sight.
PO-4×34 (ПО-4×34) and TO-4 scopes were standard optical sights, although custom aftermarket variants are known? "Bars-223" was equipped with PO-4×24 (ПО-4×24) scope made by Novosibirsk Instrument-Building Plant.
- "Bars-1" (КО-5,6–60 «Барс-1») – first model, 5.6×39mm. Its barrel has six grooves
- "Bars-4" («Барс-4») – second model, 5.6×39mm and 7.62×39mm, since 1985
- "Bars-4-1" («Барс-4-1») – since 1990s, 5.6×39mm and 7.62×39mm
- "Bars-223" («Барс-223») – "Bars-4-1" chambered in .223 Remington, it was designed in early 2000s, in 2001 – 2002 small number were made, in January 2003 its serial production was announced.
- Soviet Union: was allowed as civilian hunting weapon
- Belarus: is allowed as civilian hunting weapon
- Russian Federation: is allowed as civilian hunting weapon
- Ukraine: is allowed as civilian hunting weapon
Video Review & Presentation
Below is a review and presentation of a Bars rifle in 7.62x39mm, by a Russian YouTuber. The video can be auto-translated into English or other languages for anyone who is interested.