Petzal: Gun News from Remington

This past week I was in South Carolina attending a seminar given by Remington, Marlin, H&R, Bushmaster, New England Firearms, and DPMS Panther Arms. These companies are joined at the hip under the name American Heritage Arms. We got so much information in three days that my calcifying brain can scarcely handle it all, but I'll give you what I consider the highlights.

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First is the .30 Remington AR, a new cartridge that's mated to a new configuration of the Remington R-15 rifle. The .30 Remington AR fills the gap between the 6.8 SPC and the .450 Bushmaster. It bears an amazing resemblance to the 7.92mm Kurz cartridge, which was developed for the revolutionary German Sturmgewher rifle in 1941. According to Remington, it is a 350-yard deer-hunting load that is roughly the equal of the .308. It comes in three versions: a 125-grain AccuTip boattail, a 125-grain Core-Lokt PSP, and a 123-grain full-metal-jacket practice version. The muzzle velocity for all three is 2,800 fps.

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Remington will sell you a .30 AR rifle ready to go, or you can get an upper that is compatible with the standard AR-15 lower. The new upper accommodates the .30 AR by means of a modified .308 bolt head and barrel extension, and a modified 4-round magazine box.

All this was so new that we were not able to shoot a .30 Remington AR, but it looks perfect for people who like these rifles and have been hoping for a good deer round.

And a word about the Bushmaster: Its paper ballistics are 250 grains at 2,200 fps, but these figures don't do it justice. We were shooting one at an oversized cast-iron groundhog silhouette at 50 yards. A hit from a .223 would cause the target to sway almost imperceptibly, as though a squirrel had farted at it. A hit from the Bushmaster would lift the groundhog up out of its pivots and dump it on the ground. I like the Bushmaster.

Next time: A new .45/70 from Marlin that is cooler than Sarah Palin.