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.
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.
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.
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.