Gun Review: Remington R4-Entry

PC050073

While spending some time at Gunsite earlier this month, Phil and I were able to spend some time on the range with the Remington R4-Entry, also known as the R4-Enhanced. We fired from fairly close range at just 25 yards away from paper targets – even moving closer at one point for some video time – and I have to say, as always, there’s not much in gun life more fun than select fire.

The R4-Entry is a member of what Remington refers to as their “M16-type family” and is backed by more than four decades of field work. It’s a mil-spec carbine with an 11.5” barrel which is serialized and proof-tested and, most importantly, it’s made in the USA. That last detail is a requirement of the military contracts behind rifles and carbines such as these, and if you ask me – you didn’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway – that’s exactly how it should be.

DSCF9230

As for how the R4-Entry handles, one of the first things I noticed about it was its size. With my long arms and fingers and its shortened length, it was definitely tucked in close to my body. The stock was a bit short for me, but this model does have multiple styles and extensions available, they just weren’t available at the range that day. My reach to grip the fore-end wasn’t far and my fingers wrapped around it a bit farther than I’d originally expected. I fired it both bare-handed and wearing a pair of Under Armour gloves, and with the gloves I was able to obtain a more positive grip.

PC050080

The R4-Entry mounted firmly against my shoulder with the stock tucked under my collarbone securely. Unlike the Honey Badger, which I reviewed a few days ago, the R4-Entry has a decently hefty stock, giving the shooter a feeling of solid, direct connection with the gun. The sights were A3 Removable Carry Handle Sights; there are many pros to iron sights including their durability – because heaven knows the beating this carbine takes in the field – lighter weight, and faster target acquisition. If you’re going to be humping a carbine over long distances the last thing you want are heavy optics, just like you don’t want to risk destroying said optics clawing your way up a mountainside in the Hindu Kush. Yes, there are benefits to optics, such as the way they gather light, magnify, and allow for shots at longer ranges and during low light, but there’s a reason so many shooters are diehard iron sights fans. There’s also more than one soldier out there putting these sights on their personal rifles when they get stateside because they remind them of their M4’s setup during deployment. But I digress.

DSCF9175

The family of R4s is, indeed, from the Remington Defense line, and that means they’re for the military and law enforcement. Because of that they have semi and full-auto capabilities, as you would expect. However, there is going to be a semi-auto R4-Enhanced coming onto the commercial market in the first half of 2015. The commercially-available carbine does not yet have a set MSRP, but I can tell you it will most likely be above $1850.00.

Back to the R4-Entry. The R4-Entry is chambered in 5.56 NATO which is a popular round both in and out of the military. Recently a remark was made regarding the felt recoil of the 5.56 NATO – specifically regarding its nonexistence – and this seems as good a time as any to address it. Because while it is certainly true the 5.56 NATO does not have the felt recoil of other calibers, you do feel it. Yes, it depends on many factors, from personal preference to the stock to the gun itself, but the 5.56 NATO does not produce the popcorn-light ping of a .22LR. Neither does it produce the 43-pound-plus whip produced by a .338 Lapua Magnum; for the record, there are many who can attest to my undying love (and mild obsession) with the .338 Lapua Magnum: I adore it, I love it, I would marry it if it was human. But the fact remains the 5.56 NATO does have felt recoil, and when you’re firing a carbine like the R4-Entry on full-auto, or even in bursts, the sharpness of that recoil can rear its head more than you might expect. It may sound ridiculous, but I tend to prefer the booming recoil of a .338 Lapua to the bee-sting quickness of the 5.56 NATO. Remember, we all have different preferences.

PC050071

On the range at Gunsite I fired the R4-Entry in short bursts. With bare hands the trigger was fairly crisp and light. Accuracy was easy to maintain and that aforementioned felt recoil was negligible – but it was there. When you’re firing bursts of 5.56 NATO from a carbine you’re going to feel some vibrations in your shoulder. After finding myself adjusting my grip on the carbine a few times I decided to put gloves on and went with my Under Armour Tactical Knuckle Gloves. The reinforced palm and silicone grips on the gloves did give me a more positive grip on the carbine, and I am not one who constantly shoots while wearing gloves. However, in this case I did prefer the feel of the carbine with gloves rather than without. The gloves in no way deadened my trigger finger; bursts remained steady and light.

I enjoyed the R4-Entry enough to go back more than once for fresh mags, dropping extras in my jacket pockets and also utilizing Phil’s pockets at one point. Single shots were easy to place and short bursts were, as always, just plain fun. Towards the end of my time with the carbine I was waved in closer to the target for videotaping and found that although being closer is always easier it wasn’t that noticeable of a difference. Whether standing a bit farther away or up close and personal the R4-Entry performed nicely, slinging lead down-range with nice accuracy. Shot placement was a simple matter.

PC050074

It’s easy to see why the Philippine Army recently ordered 63,000 R4s to replace their older M14s and M16A2s and an Australian law enforcement agency also purchased a number of R4s at the end of 2012. The R4-Entry, specifically, is an efficient, capable weapon. And since the R4-Enhanced in semi-auto will be coming your way in 2015, you might want to consider adding it to your collection if you’re a fan of the 5.56 NATO.

R4-Entry Specs:
Caliber: 5.56 NATO                                                                                     BarrelLength:11.5″/6Groove/1:7″Twist                                                     Fire Control: Semi-Auto, Full Auto                                                                                     Upper Receiver: A3 Type                                                                   Sights: A3 Removable Carry Handle                                                         Optics: Optional                                                                         Stock: Several Available; MIL-SPEC Receiver Extension                                     Handguard: Standard, Railed, or RAHG                                                      Magazine: GI-Type or Magpul P-MAG                                                         Flash Suppressor: A2-Type or AAC Blackout                                                 Suppressor: AAC M4-2000 Optional                                                         Finish: Anodized/Parkerized



katie.ainsworth

Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at ainsworth.kat@usa.com


Advertisement

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Sweet Colt 6933 clone? Good job Remington, you’ll be market-ready for the 80s any day now!

    • So true. Which PD is going to buy this when the DoD is handing out M4s and M16s like candy?

      I mean, I’ve got a 6933. Great gun, but I can live with 3″ more of barrel when the price drops to “free”.

  • Ethan

    A classic never dies.. Especially when it’s still cutting edge in much if the 2nd world.

  • tazman66gt

    Eh, another I got to shoot something ”you people” will never get to own.

    • Matthew Brennan

      RDIAS are overrated.

    • Cheese_McQueen

      Could you whine more about it? Even though I won’t get to own one I like seeing peoples thoughts on machine guns.

      • Katie A

        I’m the same way, actually, I have quite a few military friends who get to fire some of the most awesome firearms – guns I myself will never, ever touch – and I love hearing about them and seeing photos and videos.

        • iksnilol

          I am in a weird position. I am law abiding and all but I do know people who aren’t and they don’t mind me trying their FA AKs and various SMGs (know a guy with a MP40). This is in Bosnia BTW, where we have a lot of guns kept after the war due to logical reasons.

    • DIR911911 .

      wow, what a bad outlook on life. if you don’t like it don’t click on it , or just go away. no one will mind.

      • tazman66gt

        Not really, just a bad attempt at sarcasm, guess I needed more caffeine before I let my stupid out.

        • Katie A

          Actually, like I said, this gun will be available on the commercial market in 2015. Yes, it’ll be semi-auto, but that isn’t the manufacturer’s fault that’s the NFA. And if it helps you feel any better I can’t afford this gun myself.

    • wetcorps

      If they only did articles about guns all their audience can own, they wouldn’t publish often.

    • Gee are we having a bad day or what. I can’t get a ride in a P-51 but I don’t hate the people who can.

      • tazman66gt

        Yea, woke up and found myself at work, and one of my coworkers failed to show so I had to do his job, no caffeine and a sinus infection so I apologize for the snarky comment.

  • Ian Thorne

    Considering Remington has proven overwhelmingly that their American made guns are complete garbage in the last decade, maybe they should move oversea’s and try to get some quality, because they can’t seem to do it here. Maybe they can ship some R1’s to go along with these. Hope they don’t have to recall every single one of them for bad triggers. etcetera, etcetera…

    • DIR911911 .

      they just need to hire me to quality check each weapon for them:)

      • Katie A

        I’ll join you, sounds like a dream job to me

    • Ethan

      Haters gonna hate :-p

      • Katie A

        Fancy seeing you here, Ethan (and you’re right on there). And now, Remington…there have been quite a few changes recently to Remington including in the last year itself, so I believe it is well worth watching the next two years or so to see what they come out with and how it performs. Also, re: Walker triggers. A recall is when something is taken back and kept and the sender is sent either money or an object of equal value to replace said returned item. Remington is simply offering to replace the Walker triggers and give the guns back, they’re not recalling the rifles. I can also point you towards a large number of 700s that have performed just fine for years. Has Remington had some issues? Yes. But I see no reason to dogpile on them.

      • No kidding —–repeating rumors and probably never even held a Remington of any kind.

  • Havok

    The MSRP of a Daniel Defense M4A1, the reputation of Remington….good luck.

  • Cheese_McQueen

    Points deducted for no mag dump. Sensible shooting a select fire gun also results in a reduction in points.

    • Katie A

      Well, I was going to fire the gun wildly into the air on full-auto while screaming certain familiar phrases, but for some reason the realities of gravity convinced me not to do it…

      • Ethan

        Pity.. :-p

        • Katie A

          Oh it’s absolutely appealing, I offered the same for a friend’s wedding and he didn’t want me firing blindly into the air over his head…I can’t imagine why not. Spoil sport.

          • Ethan

            Some people… Sheesh

      • Cheese_McQueen

        Controlled sustained fire would have been fine. Take a look at Alex C.’s full auto reviews, that is how it is done.

        • Katie A

          Range rules, McQueen, range rules

          • Cheese_McQueen

            Excuses, Katie, excuses.

          • iksnilol

            I thought you Americans were rebellious? Tsk, tsk, I am of disappoint.

  • Wetcoaster

    Something’s botched with the specifications table at the end of the article

    • Katie A

      I see that too, not sure what I can do about it, though. It’s entered into the template properly. I apologize.

    • Tried fixing that about 5 times and it looks good then hit publish and it messes up—sorry.

  • WasThere

    estimated MSRP 1850? I don’t see where the value is. It looks like a 600 dollar rifle.

  • CommonSense23

    Iron sights are quicker than optics for target acquisition? Pretty sure that goes against everything people have learned about modern optics. As for using iron sights in mountainous combat, you are pretty much useless in any sort of fight with them. Trying to hit a target that is just presenting their upper body and head, while ducking and moving behind cover, while you are doing the same, you are going to be relying on luck far more than skill. As for iron sight durability, I have seen enough bent front sight post non combat scenarios to have given up on that one years ago.

    • Cheese_McQueen

      Get that logic outa here.

  • gutting edge?

    • Katie A

      Beat me to it there…I’d think this in particular would definitely be gutting edge

    • Ethan

      I think I had a knife that had one of those once… Is that what he’s talking about?

      • Katie A

        Points if the knife was actually mounted on your rifle. To my everlasting shame I have a pistol-mounted bayonet…semantics…stabbing with bullets, stabbing with knife….meh…same difference…

        • Ethan

          tactical: Check
          Pokes holes: Check
          What’s the problem? :-p

      • Um –yep must be–

    • iksnilol

      I think with gutting edge he means crude and unrefined. Especially compared to all the other stuff that is available for less.

  • Havok

    Source that any military unit in the US uses the Remington R4?

    • Katie A

      The Remington R4 is more a law enforcement weapon with the States. So, yes, it’s been purchased here in the U.S. but mostly for law enforcement.

  • Katie A

    Actually it is the Philippine Army. The guns will be distributed to multiple branches within their army, but it’s the army, not just SF. Within the army itself, yes, it’s replacing M-16A1s, you’re right. But the order came for the Philippine Army at large, not SF.

    • Ben Loong

      To add to that: It was actually a joint purchase. Some of the R4s will be going to the Philippine Marine Corps as well.
      The M16A1s that its replacing are set to be refurbished and/or put into reserve stocks. Likely to be used to replace the many M14s, M1 Garands, and M1 Carbines still issued to civilian auxiliaries in the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU).

  • That price is our best estimation. I hope it’s lower than that but only time will tell.

    • J.T.

      Wouldn’t the civilian guns just be Bushmasters with Remington roll marks? Bushmasters can be had for $800, sometimes less. Mind you that puts their street price at $4-500 below MSRP, but if you translated that to this R-4 it would still put it $1-200 above the street price of a Colt, FN, or S&W M4 clone.

  • Gordon J Davis Jr

    Really? $1850 for a civilian legal M4 clone? Even Colt M4 LE6920s rarely break $1000 at commercial sales anymore. That R4 better come fully loaded for $1850 – rails, optics, vertical grip and a 2 stage trigger.

  • PatrickHenry1789

    Hope it’s better than the 700 I bought a couple years ago. It’s been back to Remington more than its been in my possession. I’ll never buy another Remington anything. That’s a damned shame too because I have family members who have owned older Remingtons for decades without problems.

  • How so maybe the point can be explained to your satisfaction.