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:
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 LuckyGunner.com 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.