Review of the Remington R15 VTR

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  by Robert

With all the choices of AR manufacturers today, a person must decide what their primary use for owning a weapon of this platform is. One of my hobbies is predator hunting. I wanted a reliable long-range accurate .223/5.56 chambered rifle (not all AR’s chambers can accept either) that fired a 55 grain projectile. My choice is the Remington R-15.

Essentially it is a camouflage version of an AR 15. It comes stock with a black 20” heavy fluted barrel with a 1:10 twist, flat top receiver, a smooth trigger and the familiar design of an AR. The barrel is free-floating with a tubular aluminum hand guard. Underneath there is a point for a sling attachment and one further forward to allow a bi pod to be mounted. It also comes with a hunting magazine that holds five rounds and can take any AR style magazine. Magazine release is standard AR type along with the brass deflector. Empty weight is 7 ¾ pounds. Length is 40 inches.

Cerberus Capitol group owns Remington, DPMS, Bushmaster, Marlin, LC Smith, EOTAC and The Parker gun company.

A word of warning, not all AR parts are interchangeable between the various makers and sometimes models. Do your own checking, do not guess they are all the same or close enough. Safety first.

No sights come with the rifle so optics are a must have item. This means buying a riser, rings and a the optics or one of the new riser ring combinations such as the Burris P.E.P.R designed for the AR platform. My preference was a rail with Warne rings and a Burris Fullfield ll 3x9x40 scope.

The fit and finish of the machine parts is on par with any other Remington rifle, parts have smooth edges, color is consistent throughout hardened parts. The only downside I have is some of the camouflage coating is on the inside of the receiver, that is eventually worn away by the bolt carrier group or you can use Remington action cleaner (with great caution) to dissolve it and wipe it away. It will remove any coating on the outside it touches as well. The coating is durable; mine shows little wear after several years of hunting.

Even though it has a long barrel the balance is nice. Feeding and ejecting Federal, UMC, Lake City, Remington and several others was good. Shooting factory loaded ammunition off of a bipod I was easily able to get 1.5” groups at 100 yards. Using hand loaded ammunition I was able to stack rounds. FMJ, soft tip, hollow point and ballistic tips all fed well. Both types of loads were chronographed at ~3,100 fps. Recoil is very manageable resulting in quick follow-up shots if needed. Not all AR magazines feed well, this is an area I would not try to save money on. I have not had a problem with plastic magazines or any gun maker magazines. Crappy magazines may be salvaged by filing and or bending lips, sanding the follower or other methods, spend the extra five bucks and save $20 worth of time.

The trigger breaks cleanly, it is a single stage. It is around 6.5 pounds. Springs can be switched out easily to change this by a qualified person. Like any machine, it gets smoother with use, do not over oil or it will blow back with the bolt and cover your shooting glasses. It’s not a design flaw, it’s over lubrication.

Break down is the same as any other AR platform, two locking pins separate the top and bottom, pull on charging handle to remove bolt assembly, and follow the owner’s manual from there for liability reasons.

If you are looking for performance at a great price its hard to beat the R-15. With the addition of an accuwedge it is complete (pretty much 90% of AR’s). I can shoot my friends Colt AR Stainless 20” heavy barrel just as accurately and I paid $450 less. There are new models with collapsible stocks and longer barrels. Currently the list price is $1,236 but watch for sales at large sporting goods retailers and pick it up for around $999. It comes with a plastic case, gun lock and one magazine.

A qualified gunsmith could thread the barrel if that is something you are interested in, it is not an option to buy that way at this time.

Some will argue to spend as much on a scope as you did the firearm, others will say at least half. I spent about ¼ and have no complaints.

Predator and varmint weapons from any maker are essentially military and law enforcement grade weapons, just not advertised as such. There are probably some minor differences but for the average shooter, not worth the expense.

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:

First Prize) Winner will receive a Wise Essentials Kit courtesy of LPC Survival and an EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves.. A value of over $300.

Second Prize) Winner will receive a Stealth Body Armor Level II vest courtesy of SafeGuard ARMOR™ LLC and a $150 gift certificate for Wolf Ammo courtesy of A total prize value of over $600.

Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” and a Katadyn Siphon Water Filter courtesy of Mayflower Trading Company. A total prize value of $107.

Contest ends on June 5 2012.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. JP in MT says:

    My varmint AR is a Rock River Coyote, very similar to what your R15 is. Mine was threaded with a Vortex flash hider already installed. I have already changed out the trigger with a 3 lb Timney and am planning on changing the hand guard. Mine is a smooth free float and I want a top and bottom rail for other options on optics and a forward handle and bipod.

    I also wanted to use 60-62 gr bullets so mine has a different twist than yours. But out to 300-400 yard range my limit) the coyotes in Montana are in some serious trouble.

  2. I want a 50 cal. Barret too but not willing to pay $7000 to get one . For me , anything that is over $750 is when I start looking for an alternative ( or two ) .

  3. Robert,
    Enjoyed your article very much. It sounds as though you have found the correct weapon for your uses.
    I have a question. You mention you wanted the rifle for Predator hunting. What do you consider to be Predators that you hunt with this caliber? I understand the Varmit aspect but are you talking about Coyotes, Fox etc? Just curious.
    Keep on plinking,


  4. pugetsoundsurvivor says:

    hey great article thinking about getting the dpms sporticle at wally world it would be $600 after tax wich is a great deal howeverer im wary of deals like that because im paranoid that corners were cut to get it to that price point.i know it doesnt have a chrome barrel but it shoots 5.56 and .223 and i dont need it to be a commando war weapon i also habitually clean guns(two cleans between shooting trip on average)so im not too worried.IMO $1,300 is too much for a gun i havnt had a chance to operate much and i can upgrade from some of the cheap shooting sites to chrome later if i feel the need. with pop up sights and rings for a scope just under 7hundie. id love some feedback from the pack on this one. ill problably be picking it up around fathers day.what do we think?

    • Prudent says: Fella runs the place is named ‘Steve’ deals in Rock River hardware. Does a huge online business. Bull/stainless uppers 16″ to 20″ are all the same $$ Pick up a’lower 2 stage ‘Tim’ trigger, then a flat top, add a set of Buis sights and a 45 degree mid sized co-wittness mount. You can add the glass or holosite to fit. It is a Good option for building an AR that fits your needs and not ours. Other than an upper… he’ll build as you ask it to be .. or ship you the components you choose .. when the $$ is there to do it. Just sayin… options options.

    • livinglife says:

      Watch for sales and pick what you really want and don’t spend money dressing up something less expensive, it cost more in the end. Shooting both calibers safely is worth the extra bucks to me.
      Without a gunsmith checking barrel wear used can be a a rip off or a great option as well.

  5. I would like feed-back from Robert and J.T. on the following question.
    When firing rapidly when do you begin to get distortion on your shots. Does the weapon heat up quickly or does it dissipate the heat fast. I would be interested on the performance after some fast action as to how both weapons respond.

    • livinglife says:

      I’ve never had the barrel smoking hot. Rapid fire reduces accuracy due to not taking time to properly re align the cross hairs on target.
      If your looking for something to burn rounds through get something with a chrome moly bull barrel that’s fluted. And then buy a spare.

    • JP in MT says:

      I haven’t had a smoking hot rifle since basic training using blanks, then it glowed red!

      Since most of what I’m shooting out of my Coyote is distance and at critters, I don’t think I’ve shot up a 10 round mag, max was 4 rounds at a running ‘Yote.

      I do like the way the free floating handguard gets air all around the barrel, much better and even cooling than the old GI handguard.

      Even at 3 gun practice, I’ve not gotten my M4 style that hot.

  6. Sorry J.P. my typo.

  7. My varmint rifle is a .243 Savage or .22 LR- depending on what varmint I’m hunting. When it comes time to hunt two legged varmints, then I’ll use something a little bigger.
    Scopes are just like weapons: we get what we think we need and, for most people who aren’t really interested in Long Range shooting or ultimate accuracy, ‘any old scope will do’. Sometimes it’s foolish economy, sometimes it’s practical to the purchaser, though impractical for other reasons. A ‘cheap’ scope may zero well and get the job done, but will it do it year after year without having to tinker with the zero after ten shots? Or will it be as durable as a more spendy scope? Or have some kind of mil-dot or range finder? It’s all unto the user, of course, to meet their needs.
    Spending a thousand or more on a single purpose weapon is often a case of ‘mine is better than yours ‘cuz it’s a Rolls and yours is just a Lincoln’ mindset.
    Then there are those who want military type- and nothing wrong with that. They’re all useful and fun to shoot. As are the ‘normal everyday’ hunting and target weapons. As a point of interest: it was predator/varmint shooters and target shooters who came up with the varmint type rifle, not LEO or military, who adopted them because of their accuracy potential.

    • Prudent says:

      I like your point of view JSW. I have owned a few new cars a couple of new trucks .. a number of state of the art puters. I honestly have never outrun the capabilities of any of em.

      I’ve traded or sold off more hardware than any of the 4 wheelers cost me over the years. I don’t know that I had the talent to meet the hardwares .. I know I don’t have the eyes to put a true long shooter to any good purpose beyond 400 yards any longer.

      I chase a beer can all over the ‘Butts’ at 200 yards with my low budget Savage 223. beyound that….. it’ll have to be a pie plate.

    • axelsteve says:

      My stepdad would hunt magpies and coyotes with a custom built 222. He handloaded it nothing off the shelfe for him as far as ammo goes.It is a short actioned remington. Is the 22/250 smaller then the 223/5.56?

      • axelsteve says:

        My dad used to shoot gophers with a o3a3. I think he was inspired by Rober orourke book use enough gun.

        • livinglife says:

          Nothing can replace practice or your own comfort level with your firearm of choice.

          Although the AR’s sound expensive, looking at the inflation rate they are on par with what people were spending 20-30 years ago.

          • In 1880, a buck private in the cavalry could buy a Sharps for one month’s pay. In 1964 a buck private could buy an M14 for a month’s pay. I imagine that today, a buck private could buy an M16/whatever, for a month’s pay. So, your estimate is probably correct. Sidearms were a different matter, however. I dunno why, but handguns have always seemed higher priced. I had to save for several months just to get a Colt Commander from the PX even at its reduced prices.

  8. benjammin says:

    My long range varmint rifle is a Stag Arms upper/Sharpes lower. The upper has a 24″ stainless bull barrel with 1:8″ twist. The lower has the A2 solid stock with extension (I am 6’5″ tall, and need the extra length shooting prone), and a RRA two stage match trigger. I am running a 6-24 x 50 scope and shoot handloaded 77 grain Sierra MKs behind Ramline Tac and Lake City brass. This combo is reliable in low to moderate winds to 700 meters or so. I have a Caldwell bipod on the front.

    For closer in work, I have a Del-Ton M4 carbine variant with a 4x scope shooting 55 grain Hornady Amax. This is good to 300 yards or so.

    I used to have a Howa 1500 in 22-250, and it was a tack driver out to about 500 meters, but the twist rate was too low and the smaller bullets limited the effective range for what the gun should’ve been capable of.

  9. Uncle Charlie says:

    My favorite varmint / small predator rifle in .223 is the Savage Light Varminter with a 24″ barrel. I can’t shoot as well as this rifle can.

    But it’s hard to miss with with my Tasco Varmint / Tactical 6×24 Rifelscope.

    This scope also works great on my Savage 12 Varmint 12 FV Varmint Rifle in 22-250 with a 26″ barrel.

    Both are great varmint rifles. The Light Varminter is for stalking while the 12 FV is for sitting and calling. These are probably the most accurate rifles I own but I have admired the R-15 from afar, but I prefer a longer barrel. I have considered buying a R-25 in .243 but have not for the same reason. From everything I’ve read, the Remington AR type rifles are deadly hunters.

  10. Mini 30 for varmints big and small . Really dont need a scope for the average range you will be using it for . To me , a scope kinda takes the sport out of it ………but nothing wrong with it either .

    • Hawkeye says:

      I love the Mini-30. If that’s your “go to”, well….your well armed. On the scope…everyone’s eyesight isn’t the same. If you’re and old fart (like me), the scope doesn’t take the “sport out of it”…it lets you see what the he$% you’re doing.

      • Prudent says:

        What He Said!

      • +1

      • LOL , I hear ya !!!!!!! Im older as well , and my eys are not what they used to be . Truth be told , its for that reason that every rifle I have has had its stock sights modified . I despise peep sights , cant see shit lol , so I took the Mini 30 to a gunsmith and had him put on the same sight configuration as the Mosin-Nagant . For whatever reason , the Mosins front ring and peg and rear standard groove fit my eyes and shooting perfectly .Next best thing for me is the sight arrangement of the Ruger 1022 . front red , and standard rear . Scopes are fine , I just figure that if its that far away ………I probably dont need to be shooting at it at all 😉

        • Try a low power scope, like in the 1.5 to maybe three power range. Good for close up shots even in brush and the low magnification will keep you from shooting at terribly long ranges. Not that you won’t be able to, though the 7.63×39 is much the same as the 30-30, a couple hundred yards isn’t that far away. Lighter bullets, though, so that may be a problem with clean kills beyond a hundred.

          • Thats true ,
            the main reasons I dont use a scope are that Im so used to standard sights that I find a scope distracting , growing up on a ranch , Im more used to the cowboy fast look and shoot style never leaving your eyes off the target . The other reason is that im not gentle with my firearms when out and about , and scopes tend to get bumped out of alignment too easy .

  11. Uncle Charlie says:

    Some of us would be dangerous without a scope! I only shoot at things I can identify. I can’t identify anything without a scope.

    • Which is another great reason to carry binoculars in your field or hunting pack or around your neck.
      Posting this ‘cuz I’d probably have a heart attack or start shooting if I saw someone pointing their rifle at me, even if it was just to identify me from a deer. How’s a person to know? and in today’s society, a gun pointed at you is something to be concerned with.

  12. Cool, now I’m thinking about getting a R-15. But when you mention camouflage I didn’t see much of it. I’m just gonna stick to using rifle wraps. Makes better camouflage then just the regular gun.

    • livinglife says:

      thats actually a RR AR10, I think the pictures got mixed up. the remington website shows the pattern.

    • If you cant find 3rd party camo for it , you could also paint it yourself . Lot of DIY vids out there for that .

  13. 5.56/.223…I know you varmit hunters already know this I just want to make it clear to any newbies reading this article for safety purposes. To make it clear you can shoot .223 in a gun chambered for 5.56 however it is not recommended/ unsafe to shoot the 5.56 in a .223 because the 5.56 case is slightly different causing higher pressures(may blow up in your face). In short buy a 5.56 and you can shoot both. If you already have a .223 you can get the chamber reamed to 5.56 by a gunsmith for $50 to $75.

    • livinglife says:

      The R15 is a multi caliber chamber (RR calls it a Wylde chamber), most AR’s are with the exception of police models.
      Check the barrel prior to buying ammo.
      Safety first.

  14. I don’t admire any weapon with a cost of $1300 I just shake my head and wonder what he was thinking about.

    • axelsteve says:

      You can buy a used german made 300 weatherby for about that much.

    • livinglife says:

      I shake my head when people buy a less expensive gun and then spend more to configure/dress it to how they want it and end up spending more in the long run. The R-15 can be had for $999 at sporting goods stores during sales.
      To each their own.

      • Depends on need vs. want , I dont plan on being a tactical raider , so I dont need an AR 15 , when my mini 30 does what i need it to do very well . I may WANT an AR 15 , but I definitely dont need one . I tend to look at firearms in terms of practicality , and realistically how im actually going to use it . Some people do need an AR 15 , Im just not one of them . is a pretty good place for sales , but like you said , shop around and be patient .

  15. Quick question for all the AR 15 folks , do they make a gun sock for an AR ?

    • cosmolined says:

      Yes, try Bore-Stores. After I discovered my dessicant had allowed my match 1903 and 1922 to tarnish, I went to Bore-Stores and have not had a problem since. Just annual cleanings.
      God Bless, Cos

      • Thank you !
        I figure a gun sock made for an AR will easily go over my mini 30 without having to remove the magazine first .

  16. Cold Warrior says:

    Nice article, how about a test of the R-25 in .308?

    • livinglife says:

      I don’t own one of those but watch for a RR LAR8 review soon. That is what is actually pictured.

  17. Joe Brockmann says:

    I have read that Cerberus is owned by Soros. Anyone else?

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