10 Things you should know about the .30 Remington AR

Its come to my attention that some folks just don’t really know what the .30 Remington AR is. Let’s see if we can fix that.

30 AR (left) 308 Win (right)

1. Its not a .30 Remington. The .30 Remington was introduced in 1906 for the model 8 auto-loader. It will drive a 150 grain bullet to 2350 fps.

2. Its not an American version of the 7.62 x 39 Russian. This cartridge will only push a 150 grain bullet to 2200 fps.

3. It is not based exactly on the .284 Winchester case. The .284 case has a rim diameter of .473 inches just like a .308 Winchester. The .30 AR has a rim diameter of .487 (Best I can measure.) The bodies of both cases do start out at .500 inch. The rim on the .30 AR is rebated but only by .013 inches.

4. It is not a .308 Winchester. A .308 Winchester will push a 150 grain bullet to about 2800 fps from a 24 inch barrel. The .30 AR  generates 2600 fps with a 150 grain bullet from a 24 inch barrel in a semi-auto rifle.

5. It will duplicate .300 Savage loads with regards to velocity. The .30 Remington AR operates at a slightly higher pressure.

6. More Ballistics? It will launch a 110 grain grain Barnes Triple Shock at 3000 fps  and a 125 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip at 2850 fps from a 22 inch barrel. (Remember, these ballistics are from a semi-auto rifle driven by a gas impingement system. You will see higher velocities from a bolt gun.)

7. It is not a .30 BR or a .308 x 1.5 Barnes. These cartridges are a shortened version of the .308 case. They have a smaller rim, smaller body and less case capacity than a .30 Remington AR.

8. The .30 Remington AR offers the best balance of power / trajectory available from the AR 15 platform.

9. Four factory loads are currently available from Remington; 123 gr. FMC, 125 gr. CoreLokt, 125 gr. AccuTip and a 150 gr. CoreLokt.

10. It is my new favorite cartridge. This is for several reasons. Just consider that with a .30 AR R 15 rifle and a .223 Remington and a rimfire upper you can do just about anything you will need to do with a rifle.

NOTE: Wikipedia is a good source for general firearms and cartridge information but not everything you read there is 100% correct.

Oh, and, another note from Bill Wilson on the .30 Remington AR:

“I’ve settled on my hunting load for my guns that works for me.  150gr Nosler Accubond, 37gr Benchmark, F205 [primer]  Very accurate in my guns, a bullet that is a proven performer and Benchmark is super clean burning for suppressor use. Was a hard decision between BM and 8208; both are excellent for this caliber.  A little over 30 hogs down now with the .30RAR, only 1 lost due to an inexperienced hunter taking a head on brain shot that didn’t work out.”

About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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55 Responses to 10 Things you should know about the .30 Remington AR

  1. Brian Smith says:

    I just picked one up over the weekend. I love it! It’s my first semi-auto center fire rifle. I ordered the dies for it this morning but no one seems to know anything about which shell holder to use. Is there a source for empty brass? I don’t mind buying a few boxes of factory ammo but I’d really like to load some rounds for myself.

    Thanks for the review and the comments!


    • gunwriter says:


      I’m sure you will enjoy the rifle and cartridge. I’m addicted to it.

      Last year, working with Redding and Remington, I had a set of dies made. These are now available from Redding. The first dies Redding sent me had a short seating plug. It was just barely long enough to work. A phone call got a longer seating stem on the way and any new Redding dies should have this longer stem. If not, give Redding a call and they will square you away. Some of the first dies also listed the correct shell holder as #1. It will not work, you need a Redding # 33. A .41 Mag shell holder will work if you can find nothing else.


  2. Pingback: What a week! | EMPTY CASES

  3. Brian Smith says:

    Thanks for the info! Got my dies and shellholders and have some cases primed. I swear I saw a load recipe using Reloader 10 somewhere but I can’t find it now.

    Thanks again,

  4. Brian Smith says:

    Thanks once again! I’m really liking this new rifle. It shoots 120 Nosler Bts / 37 gr of Benchmark in a cloverleaf at 100 yds. Any word on when/if brass will be available?


  5. gunwriter says:


    I have a call into Remington about brass. I’ll let you know what I hear. What velocity are you getting with 37 gr. Benchmark and the 125 Ballistic Tips? You can probably up that load a tad to break 2800 fps. A fun load for this rifle is the Sierra 110 gr. RN made for the .30 Carbine ahead of 37 gr. of H335. No recoil and plenty accurate for plinking and practice. My rifle shoots almost all loads to the same point of impact at 100 yards and this is very convenient.

  6. Brian Smith says:

    Well, the new Remington 30 AR proved itself in the deer woods this weekend. The 125 grain Nosler BT travelling at just under 2,800 FPS caught up to a 3×3 whitetail buck running up a slope. One shot just behind the near shoulder, through the lungs, and exiting the far shoulder did the trick. He was dead right there. I’m loving this modern sporting rifle! My 15 y/o son needs to pick up the reloading pace if he expects to get much trigger time. We have a lot of 150 Nosler and Speer bullets to play with before next season, although the 125 BT certainly did a number this time.

    Thanks for your help getting loads worked up for this rifle! Any word from Remington on brass? Not that my son minds shooting all of that UMC ammo so I can have empty brass. 🙂


    • gunwriter says:

      Just loaded up my deer loads two weeks ago. Went with a 150 AccuBond at a bit over 2500. Hope to poke it inside a whitetail this week. I think at 30 AR velocities the 125 BT is fine though. Same for the 125 AccuTip factory load.

      No word on brass. I’ll be hunting with the Rifle guy from Remington in two weeks. Hope to convince him to alter their model 7 to accept the 30 AR and a 6.5 and .35 rendition on this case. Would that not be a supper nice selection for a hunting rifle?

      Does your rifle shoot the UMC loads into itty bitty groups?

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  8. Brian Smith says:

    How was the trip? New rifle work ok? I’m playing with 150 gr Hornady SP and Nosler 150 BT. I have a bunch of Nosler 150 PT but i”m worried about them not expanding. Going to try some H335 this weekend. Any word on brass? Even the ammo is getting hard to find now.

    The UMC shots about .75 at 100 yds. Not too shabby for an AR!

    • gunwriter says:

      Took a nice bear with the .30 AR in the R 15 using a 150 Accubond.

      I think the Nosler Partitions would be fine out to around 250 yards. I doubt we will see brass for a while but I’ve loaded some cases five times with no problems.

      That load shoots great out of my R 15 too. H335 does well in the .30 AR. Just tried some AA 2200 in a bolt gun today and velocities were high and accuracy was good.

      I’ll try to post the AA load data for the .30 Rem AR sometime today.

  9. Bob M. says:

    Does anyone have any .30 Remington AR brass for sale?? If so, I want to buy it.

  10. Michael B. Saari says:

    You guys are making me want one!
    Hows the trigger?

  11. Bob M. says:

    Ehhhh… its a factory AR trigger, it does the job but its not great. I swapped mine out for a timney 3 Lb. single stage. The timney trigger really makes this rifle great!

  12. Brian Smith says:

    First thing I did to mine was get a Timney from MidWAyUSA. I have a Remington VTR SS Varmint and it actually has a pretty decent trigger. Not sure why the AR 30’s was so bad.

    Is anyone getting bad casehead smear on their brass? Anyone find any brass, other than loaded ammo, yet?


  14. Bob M. says:

    I spoke with Remington this morning in regards to .30 Remington AR brass availability and the representative explained to me they have NO PLANS ON releasing brass to the retail market this year. This is a real kick in the pants if you ask me! I think I would have passed on this rifle if I would have known my only source of brass would be 1x fired slightly deformed casings from Remington ammo. She stated its a new product and its going to take some time to get the brass out there to the retailers because they are using all the brass for manufacturing factory ammunition. What a crock! I purchased ammo for this in August 2009 way rifle before the rifle was available. Rifles weren’t on the market until 3/2010, I would figure that 2 years should be enough time to get brass out to the hand loaders.

    • gunwriter says:

      I agree. Remington dropped the ball on the release and intro of this rifle and cartridge. I use it a lot in a bolt gun now but I have transitioned to the Wilson Combat 7.62×40 in the AR for something larger than a 223

  15. Brian Smith says:

    That does suck about the brass. I really wonder sometimes if the Remington execs are using a Magic 8-ball to make their decisions. I picked up two cases of FMJ ammo for a reasonable price. Still, I hate losing even a single piece of brass in the woods. For a buck a piece, they should have Weatherby or Lapua stamped on them…

  16. rocu says:

    It seems to me that one of these rifles with a red dot on it would be the perfect combination for the type of deer hunting I do. It would be sort of like a modern Winchester ’94. Unfortunately the high cost ($800 for an upper) and lack of support from Remington have kept me from putting one together.

    I think Remington could have a winner here if they get behind it and push.

    • Bob M. says:

      I thought the same when I purchased my .30 RAR. It is an excellent cartridge, but I am very disappointed with remington since they have not released the brass to us hand loaders. I am quite tired of spending $20 to $25 for a lesser quality ammunition just to shoot it off to obtain the brass. I gave up on this caliber (2) days ago, locked it away in the safe and began my next project. 1. Most of my shots on whitetail deer where I hunt are with in 10 yards to 200 yards. 2. I wanted something light, maneuverable, semi-auto. 3. I wanted something that has reasonably priced ammo readily available and also has components on the market for us hand loaders. 4. I wanted something with enough punch to take a black bear with in the 200 yard hunting distance. 5. I didn’t want to spend a small fortune. I went with a 16″ .450 bushmaster upper w/ 1 5rd. Mag . $549.99 – $20 (cabelas sale) = $529.99. I also purchased from various online retailers (1) Leupold 3-9×40 Mark AR scope, (1) Set of Mark IV super high aluminum 1″ rings, (1) set of butler creek lens covers, (2) extra 5 rd. 450 bushmaster mags, (1) mission spec sling, (1) custom turret from leupold calibrated for the .450 bushmaster, (200) rounds of Hornady 250gr. FTX ammo (only because it was $19.99 / 20 rounds), (1) double star skeleton ARFX stock. I already had a new lower with a parts kit installed waiting for a new project. So, all together out of pocket (with the exception of the lower and parts kit) I spent – Slightly over $1400 for a scoped rifle that will suit my needs for big game.

      • Brian Smith says:

        Bob M – Excellent choice! My post below was intended as a reply to Rocu.

      • Bob M. says:

        Thanks Brian,

        Im waiting patiently for the big brown truck! Im looking forward to putting it all together and testing it out.

  17. Brian Smith says:

    I think you’re better off with a 6.8. Better choice for ammo, uppers, brass, and bullets. My buddy’s son used one last fall. I do like my Rem 30 AR, don’t get me wrong, but the factory trigger is gritty, you HAVE to buy factory ammo, the recoil buffer spring makes a weird grating noise on every shot, and the velocities that Remington advertises overly optimistic. I used mine to shoot two deer last season but it’ll probably be a 6.8 this year.

    I wonder how many rifle calibers Remington sells that they failed to make brass available for? They had a good idea, they just did a piss poor job of executing it, in my humble opinion.

  18. gunwriter says:

    Remington has a history of buggering things up with new cartridges. Look at the 350 and 6.5 mags, the 6mm Remington and the 7mm Express (280 Remington). They botched the .30 Rem AR project from the beginning and are less than dedicated to fixing it. I’m planning a new post on what I’ve learned in the last year and a half with hands on experience with this cartridge.

    • Bob M. says:

      I look forward to reading the new article. It is a shame that remington dropped the ball on this cartridge. As it stands this really is a great all around caliber for the average hunter that doesn’t burn through a few thousand rounds a year and is still using the same box of ammo that they purchased with the rifle last year. Remington is limiting their business because “Dedicated shooters” such as myself would be apt to purchase a rifle in this caliber if all reloading components were available. Hind sight is 20/20.. If I would have known this was the way it was going to be, I would have stayed clear of this caliber and leaned toward the 6.5 grendel. I am sure there are many shooters saying the same. All remington needs to do is release the brass to the retail market for hand loaders and I guarantee it would generate a spike in business for them.

  19. Brian Smith says:

    Just had my LGS order a case of 123 gr FMJ for the my 15 y/o Call of Duty player to shoot. At least the cases seem to last forever, the occasional casehead smear with reloads not withstanding, and it’s light on powder. Loaded with 125 gr Nosler ballistic tips, this rifle is nasty on coyotes!

    On the positive side, I now have an AR-15 lower with a Timney trigger that accepts any AR upper! Someone talk me out of a .204 Ruger upper quick!

  20. Brian Smith says:

    Picked up some H322 today. And there was guy in the shop that took a .30 AR home! I talked to him for a while, trying not to persuade him. His buddy kept talking about the 6.8 being too small. Retail price was less that $1,100. Hope he enjoys it.

  21. Ron says:

    As I read more reviews about this round, I get closer to really wanting a new upper. Now that I hear no brass is coming anything soon, The 6.5 grendel is looking a lot better.

  22. Pingback: .30 Remington AR – The Saga Continues | EMPTY CASES

  23. Trent says:

    I just bought a Remington R15 today in .30 AR. Picked it up for $799 at Sportsmans Warehouse. The guy said that that price is under their cost, which I don’t doubt at all since the R15 generally sells for $1150. They had three of them in stock and I snatched one up. He said that they couldn’t sell them because they don’t stock the ammo.
    I am moving to Fort Benning Georgia in two months and all I own are bolt guns. I figure that I need a good AR based gun for doing some pig hunting and I think the 30 AR will be a great cartridge for it!
    I am hoping that I bought it at the right time and brass will start hitting the shelves soon. I’ve seen a few posts this week stating that brass is on it’s way.

  24. Trent says:

    I ended up using my 30 RAR on a 3-point mule deer last week here in Colorado. One shot through both lungs with a 130gr Speer flat-nose and it never took a step. Just dropped in its tracks. This platform and caliber is fantastic. I love it. Can’t wait to get to Georgia and try my hand at some hog hunting.

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  26. Miles Bradford says:

    Does this cartridge have enough power to knock down an elk?

    • gunwriter says:

      Do you mean kill or knock down. It will for sure kill and elk as well as a 300 Savage or a .308 Winchester as long as a good bullet is used and ranges are inside 300 yards. Knocking an animal that large down is a completely different, err, animal.

  27. Bob M says:

    How far away is the elk?

  28. Miles Bradford says:

    with in 400 yards, I want to be able to kill it one shot. My 7 mag did a great job be for it was stolen. just looking at other options.

  29. Brian Smith says:

    400 yards on an elk is pushing this round past its limits, in my opinion. Shot placement is always important but at that distance with this round, it’s beyond critical. I’ve taken mule deer at 300 yards+ but I wouldn’t attempt it with the 30 AR in an AR 15. It’s a little better in a bolt rifle but I think you’re still pushing it. The whitetails that have been shot with my 30 AR have been close, 2 with 125 gr Nosler BT’s and one with a 150 gr Partition. Longest at 165 yds.

    • gunwriter says:

      Agreed. With a 150 Accubond in the 30 AR at 2600 fps you will have just enough velocity at 300 yards to provide good expansion. That, coupled with good shot placement is all you need for an elk. I would take that shot. In 2010 I used the 30 AR on an antelope at 407, a mule deer at about 100, a whitetail at 65 and a black bear at around 130. No complaints. Factory loads will not however duplicate this performance. The Remington 150 Corelokt is running about 200 fps slower. I’ve asked Nosler to develop a 130 grain Accubond for the .30 Rem AR with a canelure for crimping and a full expansion threshold of around 1800 fps. If they do it would be great for several .30 caliber AR cartridges.

  30. Miles Bradford says:

    Ok, thanks for all the info, I think i might still get one, and go a different route for an elk rifle.

  31. Dick says:

    I have thirty-five once fired 30AR cases for sale.
    Is twenty dollars shipped a decent price?

  32. Trent says:

    Dick, can you do $15 shipped? If so I am in.



  33. Bob Yakim says:

    Is anybody making just a barrel and bolt in this caliber? I think I just changed my mind on building a .300 AAC Blackout because of the better ballistics of the .30AR. Would be nice if one could form brass from another round that is available while waiting on Remington to get with the program. Sure enjoyed all the information I found here. Thanks.

    • gunwriter says:

      Check with DPMS for an upper. 376 Steyr brass might work but considering the cost and work I’d just buy Remington UMC and shoot it up.

    • Trent says:

      Brass could be made from .450 Bushmaster or .284 Win cases despite them having a .015″ (or so) smaller head diameter. I tried some 450 Bushmaster cases and they feed from the magazine just fine. I think the extractor would still grip the case but that would have to be actually field tested. If Remington screws this up and the cartridge dies I may look into buying a spare bolt face and have it bushed down to the 450B case head diameter and start making my own brass. That would be a worst case scenario… excuse the pun.

      I’d buy a 6.5 Remington AR in a second if they would see the true potential of the RAR line of cartridges. .243RAR, .264RAR and .284RAR would all be fantastic additions to the .30RAR.

  34. Bob M. says:


    I am about to go down to the reloading room, press out a few .30RAR’s then take a trip to the range. I was wondering if you came up with a load to mimic the accutip factory load. My rifle seems to like them – If you have any recipes that may come close with the following components, I would sure appreciate your input. (I have 125 gr Nosler BT’s, Hogdon Benchmark and IMR 8208)

    I am currently achieving 2.08″ 4 shot groups at 300 yards off a bi-pod with the 125 Remington accutip factory ammo.




    • gunwriter says:

      Try 38 to 40 grains of IMR 8208 XBR with Remington primers and the 125 BT. With a 2.278 OAL this was a sub MOA load in my R 15 with a SD of 10. Add just a slight bit of taper crimp.

  35. Bob M. says:

    Thanks for the info.


  36. Brian Smith says:

    My R-15 does very well with 37 gr of Benchmark under the 125 BT’s. Same coal as Richard.

  37. Thomas Dabney says:

    I had a local gunsmith make me a 30 Rem AR in a Modle seven action, Shilen 1-12 22″ barrel, on top of a Bell and Carlson stock. The gun shoots 1/4″ groups from the start. 125 Accubond 2900 fps, 150 Accubond 2870 fps trough a chronograph. Using 40 gr H322 both loads with a long bullett 2.360 OCL.
    Took 2 deer, one at 175yds high shoulder shot dropped grave yard dead in tracks. Got a couple of hogs one 300lbs+ at 100 yards head shot. Dead hog.
    I’m getting a little on the senior citizen age so the 30 Rem AR is an low recoil compact rifle that will do me just fine.
    Could have had the same gun in a 7mm-08 and could have done the same thing but I like the 30 cal bullett.
    Simper Fi

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