Mind you, my meeting with the R-25 is, for all intents and purposes, my first introduction to firearms of this nature during my adult life. As you might have picked up on via my scribblings here in Field Gun Review, I’m somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to weaponry, especially in terms of aesthetics. That is, I want the gun to look as good as it functions. And while this may be subjective, I’m just not used to this new style of rifle.
This said, don’t hate me when I refer to the R-25 as homely. I think she would look much better draped in her original black finish; however, I’m sure it was Remington’s intent to take the Black Rifle label. To some extent, they’ve succeeded in creating an Old School camouflaged autoloader wearing radically new clothes. It’s a case of semantics, or at least it is to me. Regardless, I don’t find the R-25 aesthetically pleasing; some might, I don’t. Still, good looks don’t consistently kill whitetails or hogs or coyotes or antelope or what have you. Accuracy and reliability do, and in this arena, the R-25 is stunning.
Filled with Remington’s 75-grain Accutip-V Boattails, and topped with an Alpen APEX 6-14x44SF cranked up to 10x, the .243 version I tested printed an amazing .625-inch group at 50 yards. Not three shots or five shots, but 10 rounds split evenly between two shooters into a ragged cloverleaf just barely 5/8-inch from center to center. Groups did open up a touch at 100 yards; still, all of our three- to five-shot clusters measured between 1.25 and 1.5 inches. I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the R-25 from the cabinet and carry it afield for anything from whitetails to coyotes.
While we’re on the topic of carrying things, the R-25, at 11.5 pounds, 19 ounces of which is scope, isn’t meant to be toted for very long, or at least I don’t want to pack it around the hills of western Washington in search of blacktails, black bears, or for that matter, blackberries. Plainly put, it’s heavy.
That said, if you’re of a mind to sit in a box blind, ground blind, or treestand, then it doesn’t matter. On a positive note, the R-25 is exceptionally easy to break down for routine maintenance, as are all the members of the AR family. As is often the case upon receiving a new anything, my initial move is to take it apart and then, hopefully, put it back together. Doing so with the R-25 is amazingly simple. Push two pins, and the upper and lower receivers separate. From this point, it’s a truly simple matter to reduce the weapon’s innards to individual parts, clean thoroughly, and reassemble.
Running anywhere from $1,350 to $1,500 retail – and that’s before you begin the addictive process of buying and attaching aftermarket gadgets and gizmos – the R-25 makes, in my humble opinion, for a rather spendy deer rifle. However, the weapon doesn’t falter in the field accuracy department, nor in terms of reliability. And as far as getting noticed when you pull it out of the case at this year’s Upper Midwest deer camp – well, there should be no shortage of “interesting” comments.
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