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October 13, 2008

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First Look: 30 Remington AR, the Newest AR Cartridge For Big Game

30rar_r15500x137 I’m at a new product seminar being hosted by Remington and its sister companies Marlin, DPMS, Bushmaster and H&R. At this morning’s session we learned about a lot of new items on tap for 2009, one of the most interesting being a cartridge that Remington has developed for big-game hunting with an AR.

It is called the 30 Remington AR, and as you might have guessed it is a .30-caliber round with the same overall length as a .223, meaning it will function in the R-15 line of rifles, which is much trimmer and lighter than the larger AR-10-sized R-25 rifles.

The idea behind the product is to give .308 Win. type performance in an AR-15 sized upper. The ballistics charts for the new round show give figures for a 125-gr. round in the 30 Rem. AR—or .30 RAR as I’ll call it here for short—versus a  165-grain bullet in .308 Win. Velocities are about the same for both rounds. The .30 RAR exits at 2,800 fps vs. 2,700 fps for the .308 Win. At 400 yards, the .30 RAR is going 1,816 fps to the .308’s 1,966.

The big difference is in energy. The .30 RAR in this bullet weight has about 500 ft-lb. less of energy than the 165-gr. .308 at any distance. A substantial amount less and one that will certainly have an effect on game in the field—but how much of a difference we’ll just have to see once we start killing some deer with it.

The good news here, however, is that AR fans who want a lighter weight rifle in a big-game cartridge have a new option to look at. The R-15 is said to weight about 7.5 pounds, a full pound less than the R-25 in .308 Win.

I’ll post some pictures and give a bigger report once I get back from the range this afternoon.

—John Snow



You know, you compared it to the .308 which it is NOT, and pointed out it's inferiority ... How about the inverse comparison ...Could you please include the comparison to the .223 which it is supposed to improve?

John Snow

I didn't compare it to the .308. I said that is the *idea* behind the cartridge. Clearly, it isn't a .308 Win. when you look at the matter of energy. It's only on par with the velocities of two very different bullets.

You can draw your own conclusions.

Bill Billington

How is its purpose to improve the .223? If its market is deer hunting, it is obviously intended to compete with the .308 and similar, not much smaller rounds like .223.

While you can hunt deer with a .223, I think many people would consider that far from humane!

P. Acree

What is the point of this round.
Why not go with a 6.8? Use the SPII chamber and 4 groove, 1 in 11 twist.


Will this new round use the standard 5.56 bolt face or something closer to 7.62/39?


Never mind, I've leadned to read


Why not contact the guys at ASI, relocated back to Colorado from SC, and have a custom upper made with less than a minute group gauranteed in 25wssm and have the same ballistics as a 25-06. Two pins, insert magazine, zero and go to field with a realistic deer/lope/yote rifle. I prefer hunting w/ My Weatherby MKV .270 Weatherby Magnum. Fine for tree stand except overall length, but when ground pounding the Colt AR w/ .25 wssm has proven more than able on deer and those pesky pigs.


If interested in pig or quality deer mgt hunts on game management, go to scdnr.gov and check out the many opportunities. We are fair with out of staters. Email me at [email protected] if you want some input. We have lots of oinkers and are willing to share.
Thanks for reading the least bias hunting publication around...OL.

George Rukstela



I found another article that said they intend to market this new caliber in an upper-only for std AR lowers as well as the whole gun. I have a lower with a dandy trigger that might look good under a bigger bullet! You figure they'll call it the R20 in 30AR or an R15 in 30AR?

Is that 25wssm upper priced like a custom? I'm not sure, but I think the 6.8mm upper is reasonable, I wonder how it compares with the 25wssm ballistics?


ASI 25wssm has ballitics indentical to 25-06 and is in the $1000 for complete custom upper-1" barrel, freefloat handguard, suppressor, stainless bolt assembly & bbl. Price depends on the Goody factor. More available options for bullet design than the current 6.8spc. Go to their site to compare ballistics.