Fully Automatic Colt R80 Monitor BAR Machine Gun



This is an exceptionally rare early Colt Model R80 Monitor, fully automatic, C&R registered machine gun. This was an early 1920s version of the Colt Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) that was produced and sold in very limited numbers to various law enforcement agencies, mainly out East. It was basically an improved and slightly redesigned version of the original Browning design that incorporated a small pistol grip on the rear of the lower receiver for better handling, in lieu of a pistol grip type buttstock, a shorter forend, and a slightly shorter barrel (only 18.5 inch) making it easier to handle as well as a redesigned three position gas regulator/plug and a completely new and redesigned muzzle break/flash hider. As noted, these were marketed to law enforcement agencies, especially the early FBI and sheriffs for use in combating the various gangsters terrorizing the Midwest banks. Their main value was that the police and sheriffs eventually realized that the standard Thompson SMG in 45 ACP could not always penetrate the heavy steel fenders and car bodies used by the auto industry in the 1920s and 30s. However, this model was chambered in the considerable more powerful 30-06 caliber which made it extremely effective in combating the various criminals elements in the US. The top of the receiver is marked: “COLT AUTOMATIC MACHINE RIFLE/MODEL R 80 CAL. .30/BROWNING PAT FEB. 4. 1919/APR. 14. 1925, AUG. 4. 1925/COLTS PAT FIRE ARMS MFG. CO./HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A./NO. C-103110”. With the raised area behind the ejection port marked “COLT/MONITOR”. It is fitted with a blade front sight with an integral front sight protector and a tangent rear sight, similar to the Lyman/Thompson SMG sight, that is graduated 2-6 (200-600). It has an all blued metal finish with a walnut stock, forend and pistol grip plates. It is complete with one all blued 20 round magazine and an original black leather sling. Colt manufactured only 125 Monitors with the majority being sold to the FBI. According to the consignor, this Monitor came from the Custer County, Montana Sheriffs Department, which makes this gun one of only 24 guns Colt sold to state prisons, banks, security companies and city, county and state police departments.