Your Grandpa wasn’t even around when Eliphalet Remington II built his first rifle for competition. It was almost 199 years ago. There is no chance he could have predicted what his company would show off at the fabled Gunsite Academy north of Prescott, AZ in December 2014. For some, the Remington name draws nothing less than devout ire. For others, admiration. The truth is that no company this old, this big and this diverse could have marched through history blunder free, yet for 200 years Remington has continued to supply Americans with quality firearms and innovation. What you’re about to read is basically the highlight reel. There’s more new coming from Remington than I could possibly share here, but start with this: Theses aren’t your Grandpa’s Remingtons.
Let’s start with Remington Defense, as these guys and their Law Enforcement brethren dream up some pretty great guns that make it downstream to the rest of us, the citizens who employee our LE and MIL friends. You need to know that those of us civilians who want to buy guns coming from Remington Defense can do so through the LE distributors. That clears up some of the mystery!
For those of you who followed our epic Grandpa’s Gun Reborn series where we converted an entry level Remington 700 into an exotic long range precision rifle, you’ll recall that our chassis shared common DNA with the Remington XM2010 chassis. Remington has carried their version forward as the RACS – Remington Arms Chassis System. A year and a half ago some people proclaimed sour grapes – “This amazing rifle is just vaporware that Remington won’t let us civilians have!” they proclaimed. Newsflash: Patience pays. The M2010 (new name drops the “X”) is scheduled for release to the rest of us in 2015. I got to slide behind the AAC TiTan suppressor equipped 300 Win Mag gun and ring steel from 400 to 800 yards. Loved it! Just glad I already built my own custom version and didn’t have to wait. In 2015 we’ll find if it’s more cost effective just to buy the kit from Remington when it’s released.
If 300 Win Mag isn’t enough for you, I also got to test drive the MSR (Modular Sniper Rifle) in the mighty .338 Lapua Magnum. This beast was a dream to shoot at 700, 800 and 1410 yards! Recoil is tamed by the chassis and the AAC silencer. With variable winds, I put two of three shots at 1410 yards on a 16×24 inch target. Credit my excellent spotter with that, but it doesn’t reduce the grin I had when I got up!
Want something smaller? I don’t mean just a smaller caliber, though Concealable Sniper Rifle is chambered in .308/7.62. The Concealable Sniper Rifle, CSR, is just plain cool. Take the RACS chassis system with its folding buttstock, make the hand guard and the barrel quick detachable, and you have a real contender for the next Jason Borne movie (yes, there’s another in the works). Perhaps the CSR will be released to the civilian market about the time the movie comes out. Sure makes fitting a long-range gun in an average car easy!
Long Range Precision rifles weren’t the only thing on display. We all love our AR-15s, and the R4 from Remington was in our hands in a variety of configurations. I shot 16” versions and full auto SBRs. Conclusion: Yep, it’s an AR15 and it looks like a good one. Better trigger than my own big name AR, and smoother to operate in every other respect as well. And if you want a .22 for fun or cheaper training, the Bushmaster label now offers the C22. It’s a fun gun you can find online for under $400. Remington also had their police line of bolt guns on hand. The suppressed 300 Blackout was the one that really caught my interest. Shooting subsonic rounds it was what you’d expect, virtually Hollywood movie quiet.
If an AR platform hunting rifle with more punch is what you’re after, Remington answered with a variety pack of .308 “Gen II” rifles bearing the name R25. They are dimensionally smaller than their DMPS Gen 1 predecessors, and that’s a win in my book. I like smaller, lighter, faster, and they have a model that’s a mere 7.62 pounds in the works. Yes, you read that right. No, I didn’t have a scale to verify that, but it was surprisingly light weight. It comes with a proprietary stock and Mossy Oak® Treestand™ film coating. Mossy Oak isn’t really my style, but the film based coating worked particularly well when wet. Seriously, we ran these out to 200 yards in endless mild rain and the surface had noticeably more grip to it than bare anodized aluminum. The Remington folks never mentioned this, so I suspect it’s a simple serendipity.
AAC showed up with their compliment of silencers on a variety of guns. Sure enough, they quiet things down. What’d you expect? They have taken a shot at SilencerCo’s Osprey design with the new AAC Illusion 9mm can. They’ve moved the bore off center in the tubular design to allow the shooter to use their regular pistol sites. Which design is better? Honestly, I’d have to have them side by side to say, but I can say in my experience supersonic 9mm rounds shot through a suppressor still beg for hearing protection. Others may differ in that, but I’ll give AAC a hat tip for a good design idea until I can get one in house to wring out.
Without a doubt, the most fun shooting for me had to be at the Gunsite Scrambler running the LVAW, Low Visibility Assault Weapon. I’d LOVE to do some hog eradication with that gun! It’s full auto, suppressed, and in my case 300 Blackout. Since full auto isn’t something most of us will aspire to, the outstanding consolation prize is the announced release of the Honey Badger. It’s not just for Call of Duty anymore! When can you get one? As of this writing, I don’t know for sure, but 2015 would follow the logic.
I’ve not even touched the Ammo side of the event. Guns are cool because they use ammo, right? Ammo offerings have never been better, and Remington brought plenty. We had enough Remington .22 ammo to drive a Walmart manager crazy! We ran gel tests on Barnes Bullets in 10mm and 308. Barnes has some new loads for 300 Blackout and 5.56 that look very promising for those of us who love hunting with AR pattern rifles. More to come on bullets. I need some hogs to line up for testing…
There was a lot more to this event than I can highlight here. Given the current news cycle I was particularly glad to get a first hand look under the Remington Outdoor Company’s hood. This is a 200 year old company, and that’s no accident. The current caretakers of the Remington name don’t claim perfection, but the renewed commitment to quality and release of some amazing guns to civilians gives me reason to applaud. I didn’t really expect this, but the truth is I now want to sell my other big name AR-15 and pick up a Remington Defense R4 to customize. Any takers? I’m looking forward to what looks like some renewed quality and real innovation being released to the masses in 2015. What would you like to see from Remington? Find us on social media and let us know. @SHWATteam