I recently sent the paperwork in for this M1918 BAR. Some of you may have seen it on Gunbroker, the owner pointed out some unique stamps indicating the gun was previously in British service. Marked Winchester Model 1918 without any A2 stamps. Receiver has some pitting. Barrel dated 2-19 with a W mark. Barrel looks good inside. I was not able to check headspace. Wood furniture appears original with a possible repair on the stock judging by some visible pins on the right side grip area. Gas tube a replacement judging by the parkerized finished, and the gas regulator looks like one of the late types to me. The sling swivel on the gas tube slides along the tube, not sure if that is normal. The rear sight is A2 style, parkerized.
So this M1918 is a bit of a Frankenstein gun, but I could not afford to get into something in better shape (I live in a C&R only state). The sale was sweetened by a set of A2 parts (stock, hand guard, flash suppressor, bipod, and carry handle - all parkerized) , and many magazines. Judging by the wear on the barrel someone had this set up as an A2.
I did not check internals when I inspected this in person prior to committing to the purchase. The seller does not have any history on this BAR, only that it was purchased from a private (non FFL) owner in Arizona.
I am new to BARs and looking forward to learning more. I have "Rock in a Hard Place" on order. The focus on my collection is WW2 era, if I choose to make this A2 in the future does the buffer tube need to be replaced or will the A2 style stock bolt right onto what is there now? Also if I pick up an A2 slow/fast lower in the future I assume a different buffer would be needed to make it function in slow fire.
I have read that M1918 unmodified saw use in WW2, and this configuration seems more rare in the collecting world. Perhaps I would be better off replacing the rear sight and gas tube and leaving it as an early gun. It looks to me like the early rear sight is more functional than the A2 one. In any case, I have many months to consider the possibilities. I will get some more pictures posted when the transfer is approved in 6-12 months. I have some pictures attached to this post from the inspection.