Big Green’s Biggest Bumble – Birth & Death of the .30 Rem AR

Remington has had a few. Maybe the most notable was the 6mm Remington which was originally introduced in rifles with a twist rate so slow that heavy bullets could not be stabilized. The 6mm Remington is ballistically superior to the .243 Winchester but .243s were built with a faster twist and therefore were more suited to double duty; firing light bullets for vermin and heavier bullets for deer. The .243 thrives the 6mm languishes.

There was also the original short-mag bumble with the 6.5 and 350 Remington Magnums. Great cartridges offered in what might be the ugliest bolt-action rifle ever built. Wonder why they died out so fast?

And, we cannot forget the 280 Remington or 7mm Schizophrenic as I like to call it. It was the .280 Remington, then the 7mm Express and then the .280 again. Now, it is not as popular as the wildcat – the .280 AI – derived from the original. I’m not sure what Remington was thinking when they launched a competitor to the .270 Winchester in a pump-action rifle.

Maybe the were thinking about the .223 Remington – one of the most successful cartridges Remington ever introduced. The .223 Remington was first offered in a model 760 pump. That one worked out well – well kinda – after bolt actions and ARs became available in .223 Rem.

And now, Remington’s latest fiasco; the .30 Remington AR. Right at time when everyone wanted a big game capable cartridge for the AR 15 Remington announces the .30 Remington AR cartridge which essentially duplicates .300 Savage ballistics. Problem was, they did not have guns that worked. Problem was, they said it was just like a .308 Winchester. Problem was, they were so busy building ARs in .223 and making money doing it, they put it on the back burner. Problem was, they did not offer uppers only; if you wanted a .30 Remington AR you had to buy a complete rifle.

WV Black Bear, 150 gr. Nosler AccuBond - 130 yards from an R15 in .30 Remington AR

When Remington finally got it right and on the shelf many had lost interest. Not only that, initially the ballistics they listed for this cartridge on their web site showed 300 yard figures at the muzzle. No wonder some folks asked, “Why would Remington bother?”

The up side is the .30 Remington AR works! It is without question the most ballistically balanced cartridge available in an AR 15 platform and the most powerful to boot. I hunted with it extensively last year taking an antelope at 400 yards, a whitetail, a mule deer and my first WV black bear. I liked it so much I had Melvin Forbes at New Ultra Light Arms build me a bolt action .30 Remington AR on his model 20 Short action. It is a delightfully light rifle with plenty of power for most big game hunting anywhere in the world.

Now those that did purchase an R15 in .30 Remington AR are finding ammo hard to get and only available from Remington. And, with no brass available for handloading, many are turning away from what is in my opinion the best AR 15 hunting cartridge ever developed. 6.8 SPC ammo is available from several sources and so is brass, and, the new Wilson Combat 7.62 x 40 WT is just as effective out to 200 yards and cases can be easily made from .223 Remington cases. What’s more that conversion only requires a new barrel.

Wilson Combat's new and exciting 7.62 X 40 WT cartridge.

How can Remington save the .30 Remington AR? First, they need to quit trying to fix a broken wagon and get some new horses to pull it. They need to make a boat load of ammo immediately and offer some additional bullet options like a 110 Barnes Tipped Triple Shock and a 150 grain Nosler Accubond, AND, run it all at maximum safe velocities. Second, they need to make just as much brass and flood distributors with it. They also need to offer .30 Remington AR uppers by themselves.

Just a side note on ammo: Some claim current factory ammo is slower than earlier lots and published velocities. I’ve seen some variation – as much as 100 fps. but, for handloaders, 3000 fps with a 110 grain bullet, 2800 fps with a 125 grain bullet and 2600 fps with a 150 grain bullet is not a problem from a 22 inch barrel.

There are a lot of bulelts that will work very well in the .30 Rem AR cartridge - even out of an AR.

And, my final suggestion – one that I suggested to more than one person in charge at Remington – is to use the .30 Remington AR cartridge to revive their model 7 bolt-action sales. Cut that action down by a half inch and put it in a light-weight stock. (For what its worth, Remington’s light model 700 rifles are now as light as original model 7s.) That will make it even lighter. Then, chamber it for the .30 Remington AR – AND – neck that case down to 6mm and up to .35 caliber offering a varmint and deep woods type cartridge for that svelte little rifle which would also be better sized for the .223 Remington and other, true, short cartridges.

Disclaimer – you need to understand that gunwriters know everything. When manufacturers listen to us and it all works out we tell them how smart we are. When things don’t work out, we blame their bad marketing plan.

I doubt any of this will ever happen. So, if you like the .30 Remington AR as much as I do, start buying up all the factory ammo you can (That’s what I’m doing.) because it looks like its not long for this world. Unless, Remington get’s with the program instead of giving the impression they have given up on a great invention.

The .30 Remington AR is indeed a great cartridge – maybe one of Remington’s top five cartridge introductions ever.

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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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7 Responses to Big Green’s Biggest Bumble – Birth & Death of the .30 Rem AR

  1. Bob M. says:

    AMEN!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself! I’m going to forward a link for this article to remington customer service. Great job!

  2. Bob M. says:

    I hope it helps the situation.. I just received an automated response stating “Thank you for contacting the Remington Arms Co. Online Help Center, we appreciate your inquiry and look forward to the opportunity to be of service to you.” Lets see if they do the right thing..

  3. rocu says:

    Hear Hear

  4. Gabriel says:

    Remington seriously needs to get it together. I’m seriously considering buying the DPMS upper in 30 Remington AR and the only thing holding me back are lack of brass available to reload. Remington really needs to get behind this idea. Like you wrote, they have screwed up too many (even just 1 would be too many) potentially great calibers in the past to afford losing this one. I simply don’t understand why they haven’t backed it like they should have.

    Also, I would love to by a lightweight Model 7 in this caliber. That’s the type of thinking that Remington should have been doing all along. with the action that short it would be an absolute dream in the field.

  5. Gabriel says:

    Also, I think Remington should make parts for people to build their own AR’s with, because almost everything in the upper is unique to my understanding.

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

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