Ok, just to go full circle, at the USPSA 2009 Multi-gun Championships, the USAMTU shooting team arrived with yet another new cartridge. First: Multi-gun? In the early days of 3-gun competition, we simply slapped together a match by putting up a handgun stage, a rifle stage and a shotgun stage. Later, we expanded by having multiple stages for each discipline. Well, that wasn’t adrenaline-inducing enough for some, so the stages got combined. In a Multi-gun match, you’ll have stages that require you use two or all three of the guns. Use a handgun to shoot the close targets, shoot empty or unload, pick up your rifle and shoot the far targets. That sort of thing.
The .30 Gremlin is the 6.5 Grendel necked up to .308, loaded with 125-grain bullets and boosted to make Major. All of a sudden,we have a .30 Major round that fits a standard AR-15 platform and doesn’t have to be chambered in an AR-10-sized rifle. Of course, the drawbacks are severe, and thus probably limited to competition, but you have to admire the ingenuity. Limiting it to a 125-grainbullet means no tumbling and no fragmentation. Of course, it is still a .308-inch bullet at Major, and as such a big step above the 7.62X39, which has always been the exemplar against which the 5.56 has been proven to “fail.”
Capacity is exactly the same as he 6.5 Grendel, and the Gremlinuses Grendel magazines.
Does this round have a future? Sure, as a competition round. For those who wish to shoot 3-gun or Multi-gun matches and want to shoot Major without going to a full-sized AR-10 based rifle or some other platform, it holds promise. Other than that, I doubt it.
30 Remington AR
The 30 Remington AR makes Major, too, but goes about it in a different manner. Starting with the case from the .450 Bushmaster, Remington necked it down to .308-inch, shortened it, and altered the rim diameter to make it non-compatible with .450 Bushmaster bolts and thus preclude someone from cobbling together a .30 Remington AR out of spare parts. The resulting cartridge feeds from an AR magazine, but it stacks singly, not staggered.
As a result, capacity is greatly reduced in the magazines, but that isn’t a problem Remington cares about. You see, the idea was to make the rifle a suitable deer hunting rifle, and one in .30 caliber, a bore size desired by many deer hunters.
The result is a case with the internal capacity of a .30-30, but since it operates at a higher chamber pressure than that lever gun cartridge, the .30 Rem AR offers greater velocity. Also, being magazine-fed, it uses pointed bullets instead of flatpoints or roundnose bullets like the .30-30.
For tactical or defensive use, the round offers nothing of interest. Capacity is low, performance is in an odd niche of weight and velocity, and the bullets aren’t of interest to the tacti-cool crowd. What it does, however, it does brilliantly: it offers the deer hunter who isn’t interested in tactical black guns a self-loading hunting rifle of more than deer-hunting performance, and what’s more, such a rifle comes from a maker who has no previous history in military guns. (At least not from the point of view of the deer-hunting crowd.)
If you show up in deer camp with an AR made by a big name military or tactical/defensive company, you’ll get stared at. But, the same rifle, with the name “Remington” on it, brings instant acceptance. Or, at the very least, cloaks you in respectability as you argue the virtues around the wood stove before Opening Day.
The rest of us? An interesting curiosity. Oh, when I first heard of the round, it was at a Remington seminar, and my question was “Aren’t you worried about shooters confusing it with the old .30 Remington round?”
The answer was no, they weren’t. They didn’t feel there were enough shooters who remembered it to cause a problem. So far, it seems they were right. A shame, since the old .30 Remington, in the Remington Models 8/81 and 14/141, was a very reliable deer-busting round – and a brainchild of the great John M. Browning, no less. To be so forgotten, by the very inventors of it…oh, the indignity!
More AR Information
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