30 Remington AR: New cartridge for the AR-15

Remington, and sibling Bushmaster, have announced a new cartridge designed for the AR-15. The 30 Remington AR is a .30 caliber cartridge the length of a .223, allowing it to be chambered in AR-15s rather than AR-10 style rifles.

John Snow has the details:

The big difference is in energy. The .30 RAR in this bullet weight has about 500 ft-lb. less of energy than the 165-gr. .308 at any distance. A substantial amount less and one that will certainly have an effect on game in the field—but how much of a difference we’ll just have to see once we start killing some deer with it.

The R-15 is said to weight about 7.5 pounds, a full pound less than the R-25 in .308 Win.

More info @ Gun Shots

UPDATE: tammons @ ar15.com came up with this diagram of the case:

30Rar Resize

Short and stubby. It reminds me of the 7.62×39 as some have said in the comments. Oh and lets not forget the .30 Steve.

The consensus seems to be that it is a cut down .284 Winchester case, as is the .450 Bushmaster.

Yep looks like a short 284 case.
Good. I am glad somebody is doing this.

Should be a great hunting round, but hopefully they will be slow twist for less pressure like 1:16 – 1:18 twist etc.

Its sort of a AR15 version of a fatter 30BR. The 30BR case is 1.51″ L, the 30 RAR is 1.53″L.

A 30 br with a 22-24″ barrel can push a 125 gr moly bullet to 3000 fps with 34.5gr of H4198. I had one for a while and they are nice.

I doubt they will be able to run it at 55-60k unless they use an oly wssm upper and bolt.

For benchrest nothing is going to beat a BIB 118 gr bullet in a slow twist barrel
This should be a really good round if they do it right.
Look at some of the groups on the link below.

Here is a good read on the 30BR if interested


I had actually already designed something similar, a longer case version a while back just playing around.
I have a couple of 284 based bolt rifles, one straight the other 338/284 and its a good case. Very efficient case.

I ran it through case designer and modified it to a 30 RAR and the case should hold right at 43-45 gr h2o.

Its a short stubby little bastard.

The case capacity is just slightly more than the 30 BR but you cant hang the bullets out like a bolt rifle.

UPDATE: The GunPundit (Murdoc) says it will uses .450 Bushmaster magazines. Presumably single stack.

A couple of comments have asked how it stack up against the 7.62x39mm and if there is any need for such a cartridge.

How does it compare to a 7.62×39?

The 7.62×39 FMJ 123 gr round leaves the barrel at 2,300 ft/s with 1480 ft/lbs of energy. The 123 gr .30 RAR will leave the barrel at 2800 ft/s and generate 2141 ft/lbs. That a 30% increase in muzzle energy. This is a significant increase in a hunting situation.

This splits the difference between a 7.62x39mm and a 7.62x51mm (.308 Win.).

If the round uses .308 projectiles there will be a very wide variety available to the hand loader. Much more than is available for the 7.62x39mm (.310 projectile).

UPDATE: The outdoor wire has more info and this photo:

Left: .30 RAR, middle: .223, right: .308 Win.

The new shell will be available in three initial loadings: AccuTip BT, Core-Lokt PSP and a UMC MC the company describes as the “practice ammunition” for the hunter or shooter who doesn’t want the hunting round characteristics – or price. The two hunting rounds are 125 grain bullets; the full-metal rounds are 123 grain. Pricing is currently listed at $35.99 for the AccuTip, $26.49 for the Core-Lokt, and $18.99 for the FMJ.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • jdun

    Like so many different cartridge in the AR15 platform, this hunting round not going anywhere. As far as I know the most used 30 cal in an AR15 is the 7.62×39. Which isn’t a lot if you compare it to AR15 that chamber 22lr or 9mm.

  • Acad Ronin

    So, how does it compare with the 7.62×39, or for that matter, the 6.8mm, or other proposed alternatives to the 5.56 for the standard service weapon?

  • Acad, I don’t think they are going after the military market with this. I think they are aiming for the hunting market. My feeling is that bushmaster would have announced this if it was going to be marketed to the armed forces.

  • Absolutely targeting the hunting market. No mention at all was made of any military/LE application. Talk about no need for another intermediate AR round.

    Unless they unveil a 30RAR rifle tomorrow (tactical day) it’s pretty clear this is for deer and such.

    That doesn’t mean no one will try…just that it isn’t at all what it is intended for.

  • JRT

    I would have rather seen them use resources to support a 6.8×45mm weapon. I can understand going after the Hunting market, but I would rather use my Remington 700 in 270 or my Winchester 30-30 to hunt with, not my AR platform.

  • Joe

    Hmmm….wonder if there’s a possibility of heavier bullet loads such as the 220 and 240 grain projectiles used in the 300 Whisper. There’s a Whisper load that produces about 1500 fps with a 200 grain bullet; given the larger case capacity in the 30 RAR – much of which would be devoted to bullet space with a 220 grain bullet – something in the 1600-1800 fps range with a 220 might be pretty handy as a CQB rifle.

    I suspect, however, this thing – in any loading – might have about the same market penetration as the Whisper, maybe 20-40% more because Remington has the ability to distribute it more widely than Jones did with the Whisper, and if Rem is behind it brass would be available to experiment with.

  • jon meddings

    what about hunter benchrest class ???? if the shoulder is ackley iimproved then it should meet the —45,5 grains of water —(30-30 capacity) this seems like the nice big fat powder stack for precision that hunter is looking for,,, with less recoil and the 308 diameter bullet for punching big holes for score ……so any one thinking of calling pacific tool and die when the remington gets the brass out to us,,, could be like when the 308 winchester came out and mr page made the .243 out of it

  • Dean

    The naming of the cartridge alone appears to be yet another nail in the coffin of one of the great all-time American hunting cartridges – The .30 Remington.
    As for its hunting capabilities, remember that 150 gr. is about average for a .30 bullet. At 123 gr., its a little on the light side.
    This means poorer ballistic coefficiency and sectional density.
    The result? Power alone will proove “accurate enough” out to 100-150 yards, but lighter mass means the round is best suited for thinner skinned, lighter weight game not to exceed the “medium size” class.
    Blacktail deer, which average around 90-120 lbs., should probably be considered the limit.

    My question is…..who wants to go hunting with an assault rifle?
    You’re gonna look like a joke, when you come outfitted with all those bells and whistles….and still go home empty handed.

  • jason

    i’d have to concur with john. if you get the full weight of remington behind it complete with rifles it’ll last a little better. in addition if you necked it down to the 6.5 class or so you’d be able to further reduce recoil but use a much better b/c and s/d class of bullet.

  • Dean


    Back in the 1970’s, a number of prominent gun writers decided to combine their acquired knowledge and do some research into which caliber was the best for all-around hunting and the conclusion was that 7mm was the winner.
    In the weights one normally encouters using 7mm ammo, it was shown that (overall) the 7mm caliber yielded the highest ballistic coefficient for the most sectional density.
    As the caliber got larger, ballistic coefficent was lost, although sectional density increased.
    As the caliber got smaller, they noticed the opposite to be true.
    I guess the Spanish had it right all along.

    …and again, I ask – who wants to go hunting with an assault rifle?

  • crimson30

    260 RAR would be nice…

  • BOB

    the Remington although based on a AR15 is not an assult weapon. In fact the AR15 is not even a assult rifle. refering to it as one simply shows a Fudd mentality. the notion that only true hunters use bolt actions is misplaced. most current bolt actions are a take offs of the mauser action that was its self a military assult weapon of the day. you guys who shot Browning BAR,s, that is designed off of one of the most deadly machine guns ever built. Remingtons attempt to put a sporting round in one of the most commonly used and sold platforms in the country is a good thing. every Military person in the last 40 years has been trained on it. In the event that we are ever involved in a serious war Its a good thing that our youth are already shooting and hunting with a simular platform ahead of time. the AR it likely the number one selling center fire rifel in the USA. thousands of guys hunt with AR,s in several differant caliburs. The 6.5grendal, 6.8SPC, 30 RAR, 450 bushmaster, 458 SOCOM, and the 50 Beowulf all are suited for any deer in the USA. most ARs i have shot that are used for hunting shot 1″ groups or better some much better. The new remington has no whistles or bells there is no flash supressor, lasers, bayonet lugs ect. it comes in cammo with a small cap Mag. So it has a pistol grip?? big deal its a hell of a lot easier to hold onto while climping in rocks and steep terrain were you might need to put hand out to grab some thing.

    Its a attitude that no one should hunt with these that divides gun owners. the statement who wants to hunt with a sniper rifle could just as easly apply to all your scoped bolt actions. I hunt with Bolts, SA,s , Levers, Pumps, Single shots, even a AK pistol. Im a hunter and what gun I use is based on what im hunting and were. Not how I look walking out of the woods usualy sucessfull. its 2009 not 1909 Guns change get over it. pistol grips dont take away from the experiance.

    If you follow varmit hunting at all you would know that many guys are now shooting AR,s and other SA rifles. it allows you to keep the target aquired after a shot your able to relax and not be on your elbows continuasly. the accuracy of these varmit set ups is as good or better than many bolt actions. My last trip to SD I saw more AR,s than any other gun combined.

    the new reminton round is better than a 30-30 and is right in the 300 savage range of power. Id like to see a 145 Grain or bigger factory load persoanly. Im not sure that the round will go any were but i comend them for trying. personaly for the money I would go with there AR 10 based offering in 260 remington or 308 winchester.

  • AR15medic

    Sounds like a good in between round. I happen to love the 300 rem SAUM for large game and 700-800 yards. What is the distance of the new caliber?

  • Dean


    Based on the info given at the beginning of this article, I’d say someone is trying to bridge the gap between the 7.62×39 and the .308 Winchester.
    Effective range will then, most likely be around 200 yards.

  • William Reich

    The Remington 30 AR really isn’t a new idea. In 1961 a cartridge developed by Frank C. Barnes known as the .308×1.5 inch. It is very similar to the Remington 30 AR cartridge. Weapons chambered for the 308×1.5 inch cartridge were submitted for testing by the U.S. Government, but nothing came out of the testing that we know of today except they were very accurate. More information on the 308×1.5 inch can be found in the book “Cartridges Of The World” and on the internet. Reloading dies are available from RCBS and other die manufactures. Chambering reamers are available also. This cartridge is almost 50 years old and there is life in it and its future.

  • Dean

    William Reich,

    Didn’t that round begin a whole series of rounds known collectively as the “Bench Rest” or “BR” rounds, such as the 6.5mm BR or the 7mm BR?

  • Jim W

    Dean is pretty obviously a fudd who doesn’t like dem scurry black rifles. Ironic that he sees absolutely nothing wrong with 30-30 or the 30 Remington. These guys are the cancer that is killing the gun rights movement. Thank god they haven’t succeeded in passing this mentality on to the next generation.

    I see this cartridge as occupying the same basic space as the 30 whisper and 6.8 SPC. Effective range versus deer or human size targets should be at least in the 400-500 yard range. 7.62×39 is good out to 200-300 yards and the 308 is good out to 600+, so I don’t think 400 is a stretch at all. It should beat the pants off 5.56×45 for anything larger than groundhogs. Most deer hunters shoot at point blank range anyway (100 yards or under), so this is pretty much moot.

    My main gripe with this cartridge is that:
    -it fits single stack into 450 bushmaster mags. This pretty much kills it for any use other than deer hunting.
    -It isn’t that much more powerful than 30 whisper or 6.8SPC to justify sacrificing 2/3rds of the magazine capacity.
    -The rifles that chamber it aren’t that much lighter than an AR-10 to justify a specialty magazine and cartridge. And I’ll bet the 30 RAR rifles weigh more than 6.8 SPC rifles.

    So basically this is just an expensive and oversized 6.8 SPC. Pass.

  • Dean

    Jim W,

    Try acting your age, instead of your shoe size.

    • Fellas, this blog post is for discussion about the .30 AR, not if a AR-15 should be used for hunting. Any future offtopic comments will be deleted.

  • Thor Odinson

    Just stumbled across this cartridge and maybe everyone has had their say. Personally I have other action rifles that I use for hunting–even a muzzleloader. I thought of getting an AR to hunt with and considered it for defense as well.
    I thought that an AR upper limited the length of the cartridge to that of .223 and maybe that might work on varmits but I was thinking elk or bear (as well as home invaders hyped up on drugs).

    So for multiple applications I considered the AR but to date have either found it in wimp calibers (see game above) or to large of calibers (.458 SOCOM and family).

    I would like something in the old .350 magnum. I don’t like the belt on the .350 so figured maybe the .358 which is just a necked up .308 or maybe I should see if the 35 Remington would work. As a reloader maybe I can squeeze a little more out of these. I need to start with what most refer to as an AR10 these days. RRA has the .308 in what appears to be an AR15. In Loveland, CO an outfit called IronRidgeArms is trying to keep up with development and orders received since Obama started his scary tactics. The AR-15 (or AR-16) first came out with .308 at the beginning of trials. Be neat to have an upper that would have some punch (I’m of the Elmer Keith school and as a cop never relied on anything less that .357 mag or .45 auto). Then change out the upper for varmits and go that way too.
    Somebody please develop and AR in .35–I don’t care about selling a million of them. With Hornady soft tip bullets maybe I can put a .35 Rem in a Mod 94 Winchester (I see those .356 and other strengthened actiions with tubular mags) I used a Mod 71 for years but had to sell it to pay some bills. Now I’m back looking. Any ideas? Thor

  • Bill Pita

    The 30RAR? I don’t see it taking off.
    I am a fan of the Large chassis ARs. ( AR-10,SR-25, LR308,ect.)
    DPMS makes them in several big game type calibers; 243win, 260Rem, 308win, 6.5 Creedmor, and for our friend Thor, the 338 Federal.
    Also easily made would be a 7mm-08.
    Give me a large chassis rifle anytime.
    I just don’t see the use of a 30cal AR15, a least not for hunting or target shooting. sincerely, Billy

  • i would like to see a 30 remington ar built in a 700 remington bolt action.

    • Royce Hayes

      Duh, for what purpose? Where is an advantege over anything else already offered. I have a .308 Remington 700VS and a DPMS Sportical 7.62 NATO. Don’t need any .308 wanna be’s. Plus the ammo costs two to three times as much for the RAR, and I have all the reloading equipment for .308.

      • Jenkem Jones

        Factory 308 is rather hot for shooting deer. Rather that blowing it to pieces many of us use mild hand loads that have pretty much 300 Savage ballistics. The 30 RAR does that with a factory load. In a bolt action you can go to an extra compact action like a CZ 527. I would love to have a rifle like a CZ 527 in 30 RAR.

  • Well I see I am a little late to put my two cents in, but i’m going to anyway. Those that said you would rather just buy an ar-10/ .308 I could’nt agree more. What you might be missing is some people (me) live in a state that only allow ar -15 rifles. So the 30 ar should do well here in the republic of Cal.

  • I like it but don,t see it taking off. The ar-15 platform balances MUCH nicer than the -25 does and carries better… bUT with only two companies selling it and only one decent hunting load available (rem now lists a 150 grain) I just don’t see it taking off. As with most things rem, they have great ideas but no market savvy.

    For a compact rifle the saum family is superior to the wsm, but was poorly executed. The 30 rem is seperior to the 30-30, but poorly packaged. The 6 mm is better than the 243, but Winchester better thought things out.

    B/c of RENs ongoing marketing issue, this too will fail

  • Jared

    When are they going to start selling complete uppers?? I have been looking to get an AR for 3 reasons. Plinking, Deer Hunting, and Varmint hunting. Seems to me I could have it all with an AR in 223 for plinking and varmint hunting and an upper in 6.8 6.5Grendel or 30AR for deer hunting. I would probably be willing to spend $1000-$1500 on a AR-platform that would provide me the ability for all of these. Looks like I could get an Olympic Arms AR in 223 for fair price. I have no clue which upper I would want for deer though.
    My main concern is Ammo availability. 6.5 Grendel ammo is backed up for months 6.8 is not easy to find and I am not sure the 30AR will last. Not to mention I do not reload. I have seen that Olympic Arms upper for WSSM.25 and they seem like a possiblilty for deer hunting as well. 0-300 yards would be the longest shot I would ever shoot at a deer.but I would want the round to meet that standard. At the point I have no clue which Cartridge would be best for deer hunting and have the most ammo availability for years to come???

  • Dad

    Interesting concept……….its been done before and what is the great advantage of the 30RAR over the 6.5 grendal or the 6.8spc. Now, I kinda like it, but I really wonder if someone could find a way to chamber the WSSM series in an AR-15 (or figure out a way to make the AR-10 styles a little lighter).

  • dollop of tennessee

    I love this idea.

    A .30 caliber with some power behind it that fits the AR 15 size and weight platform. How could you go wrong with Remingtons latest offering? I don’t think I could.

    Having just run the ballistics and trajectory of the 30 Remington AR in the latest 150 grain Core-Lokt on the computer, I think it will be absolutely perfect to use for deer, boar, and coyote hunting here in Tennessee out to the 250 yard mark if necessary.

    Semi-auto tested and proven platform, easy to carry, easy to maintain, easy optics mounting, powerful but not over-gunned, it has the hallmarks of a real winner.

    I am sold, and I am getting one.

  • JamesD

    I think the biggest advantage of the 30AR (as well as similar cartridges) is the ability to have 2 uppers, 1 capable of hunting deer/antelope and the other in .223 for smaller game or target shooting. For someone that prefers the AR platform this could be very attractive. It’s also lighter than an AR-10/R25 by several lbs. My R25 is several lbs heavier than a conventional hunting rifle.

    I’ve finally seen some magazine reviews of the R-15/30 (‘GUNS MAGAZINE’ and ‘THE COMPLETE RIFLEMAN’) and it appears to work well out to at least 300 yards.

    According to ‘THE COMPLETE RIFLEMAN’:

    A 125 grain bullet from a 30 AR drops about the same as a 150 grain bullet from a .308 at 300 yards.

    A 150 grain bullet from a 30 AR drops about twice as much as from a .308 at 300 yards. Velocity and energy were listed as the same for the two at muzzle and 300 yards.

    Those velocities don’t sound right to me at all. Same muzzle and terminal stats but twice the drop? Um… something about defying the laws of physics comes to mind.

    The article mentions taking antelope at 280 & 285 yards so 300+ yards would certainly be possible.

    If there are any serious flaws to the 30AR it’s probably price and availability. MidwayUSA is listing 30AR uppers so you can definitely add a new upper to an existing AR… but for $800. A similar (20″ flattop full floated barrel) AR-15 is $550 or less and even DPMS 308 uppers with stainless barrels are $519.
    And after a quick check of my local Cabelas and some other places for the rifle or ammo, neither could be found.