Remington's R-15 VTR .204 Ruger

Remington's R-15 VTR .204 Ruger

Like many shooters, I knew it wouldn't be long before Remington introduced an AR-15-style rifle after it was acquired by Cerberus Capital Management, the company that also owns Bushmaster.

We were right, but Remington went in a unique direction right off the bat--for AR makers, anyway--aiming its new R-15 VTR line of AR-style rifles squarely at American varmint and predator hunters.

The R-15 VTR--short for Varmint Tactical Rifle--is available with a fixed stock and a choice of an 18- or 22-inch barrel; it is also available in a collapsible-stocked configuration with an 18-inch tube. All are available in .223 Remington or .204 Ruger.


The 18-inch-barreled, collapsible-stock version, which Remington calls the Predator Carbine CS, is the model I toted on a Utah predator-calling expedition in early December 2007. It was chambered for the .204 Ruger round, and it is the subject of this article.


Like all R-15 VTR rifles and carbines, the CS starts with a forged, aircraft-grade, 7075-T6 aluminum upper and lower that are finished in Advantage Max-1 HD camo. An A2-style pistol grip is standard, as is Remington's new single-stage trigger, which broke at 4 pounds, 6 ounces on my review sample. The trigger had a bit of take-up and minimal overtravel.


REMINGTON R-15 CARBINE CS

MANUFACTURER Reminton Arms Co. Inc.
870 Remington Dr.
Madison, NC 27025
www.remington.com
MODEL R-15 Carbine CS
PURPOSE Varmints
ACTION TYPE Semiautomatic
OPERATION Direct-gas-impingement
MAGAZINE TYPE & CAPACITY Detatchable, five rounds. Accepts all standard AR-15 magazines.
RECIEVER MATERIAL 7075 T6 aluminum
CALIBERS .204 Ruger (tested) and .223 Remington
BARREL LENGTH 18 (tested) and 22 inches
SIGHTS None; flat-top upper has a Picatinny rail
METAL FINISH Realtree Advantage Max-1 HD camo
SAFETY Single-sided
TRIGGER TYPE Single-Stage
PULL WEIGHT 4 pounds, 6 ounces
STOCK TYPE M-4 style, six-poistion collapsible (tested) or fixed, A2 style
STOCK FINISH Realtree Advantage Max-1 HD camo
SLING STUDS/SWIVELS Fized Studs
WEIGHT EMPTY 6.75 pounds (as tested)
OVERALL LENGTH 33.25 inches to 36.25 inches
ACCESSORIES Lockable hard case, owner's manual
MSRP $999

In keeping with its "Carbine CS" designation, the CS has a collapsible, six-position, M-4-style stock. But unlike the mil-spec M-4 version, Remington's has a conventional sling-swivel stud that I much prefer for ease of sling mounting over the mil-spec stock's integral loop.

The CS also has a relatively thin 18-inch, fluted barrel that measures just 0.68 inch at the muzzle. The barrel is free-floated under an aluminum handguard, which also conceals the carbine's low-profile gas block. The handguard has four, 2-


inch-long cooling slots around its circumference both fore and aft. Mine came with a single sling-swivel stud, but it has a pre-drilled hole for mounting an extra stud to facilitate mounting a bipod. The handguard also has screw holes at the 6 and 9 o'clock positions for mounting accessory rails for those hunters who like to clamp lights, lasers, or other such tactical accessories on their carbines.

The upper receiver has a Picatinny-spec, flat-top rail for scope mounting. For my Utah hunt, the test rifle was equipped with a 2.5-10X Nikon Monarch, but after the hunt, it arrived at my office with only a set of scope bases and Warne rings. So in preparation for my testing, I mounted a 3.5-10X 42mm SII Big Sky scope from Sightron. The Sightron scope was bright and clear, tracked perfectly, and held its zero throughout my testing.

Sadly, I was only allowed to keep the prototype R-15 for a few days, and the day I chose for my accuracy testing turned out to be one of the windiest days of the season. As I wrote in the accompanying article on the new Model 700 VTR on page 46, a 25 mph breeze gusting to 45 mph made for a hellish day on the range. But the show had to go on, so I took my time and managed to eek out a few sub-inch five-shot groups. The conditions made shooting good groups tough, but the Carbine CS's 1.03-inch, five-group average with Remington 40-grain AccuTip ammo was pretty darn impressive considering the maddening winds.


In Utah, I packed the R-15 up and down the mountains in blinding snow and driving wind for the better part of three days. On the snowiest day, I took a break to test its reliability by running several magazines into a hill as fast as I could pull the trigger. It ran without a hiccup, despite being wet and filthy.

Over the course of that hunt, I also got a feel for the Carbine CS's suitability as a predator rifle. I liked the collapsible stock because it allowed me to shorten the stock to compensate for my bulky winter clothing. I also thought the 18-inch barrel and 6.75-pound weight made it a joy to carry and gave the carbine a lively feel. When it came time to shoot at a fox that was trotting across a field a little farther than 300 yards away, the gun tracked perfectly. That and its crisp, clean trigger allowed me to make a nice second-round hit on what was the first of the only two varmints we called in on the trip.

SHOOTING REMINGTON'S R-15 CARBINE CS

FACTORY LOAD VELOCITY (fps) 100-Yard ACCURACY (in.)
.204 Ruger
Hornady 32-gr. V-Max 4225 1.56
Federal 39-gr. Sierra BlitzKing 3750 1.27
Remington 40-gr. AccuTip 3900 1.03
Notes: Accuracy is the average of five, five-shot groups fired from a Caldwell rifle rest and rear bag at 100 yards. Velociy is the manufactuer's claimed muzzle velocity, as winds prevented chronograph use during testing.

I really liked Remington's new Predator Carbine CS. Fit and finish were excellent, and I was most impressed with its accuracy and trigger. Although the accuracy table is not that impressive, it is a direct result of the high winds on test day. In fact, I blew several sub-half-inch groups due to some strong, ill-timed gusts. Given a little more time and better weather, I have no doubt the little carbine would have shot some screaming groups.

As a predator hunter who happens to prefer the AR platform for walking and calling, I am especially thrilled to see Remington come out with a trim, easy-to-carry package. And I am pleasantly surprised to see the company chamber it in .204 Ruger, which is fast-becoming my favorite predator round.

I think Remington's new R-15 line will be a big hit. And, with the Remington name stamped on the receiver, I think a whole new group of shooters will learn the joy of the Big Green, err, black rifle.

Recommended for You

The newest version of Beretta's A400, the A400 Xtreme Plus, autoloader employs all the latest in high-tech shotgun evolution. Shotguns

Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus Shotgun Review

Steve Gash - February 01, 2019

The newest version of Beretta's A400, the A400 Xtreme Plus, autoloader employs all the latest...

Harvey A. Donaldson may be best known for his .219 Donaldson Wasp wildcat cartridge, but during his lifetime he was popularly called the “pioneer benchrester.”  Gunsmithing

Harvey Donaldson: Pioneer Benchrester

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 07, 2019

Harvey A. Donaldson may be best known for his .219 Donaldson Wasp wildcat cartridge, but...

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.” Optics

Review: Bushnell FORGE 4.5-27X 50mm

Sam Wolfenberger - May 01, 2019

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.”

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

The SAINT' Victor Rifle delivers a lightweight and agile rifle solution while maintaining effectiveness at extended engagement distances.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

The FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships kicks off at 8 am on Friday, May 21. Industry

FNH USA Announces 5th Annual FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships

Shooting Times Staff - September 23, 2010

The FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships kicks off at 8 am on Friday, May 21.

Considering how popular the .270 Winchester has become, it's a great mystery why more .270 caliber (6.8mm) rifle cartridges  have not been introduced. Ammo

5 Great .270 Rifle Cartridges

Layne Simpson - May 28, 2019

Considering how popular the .270 Winchester has become, it's a great mystery why more .270...

Like situational ethics, standards of accuracy vary according to circumstances. How-To

Accuracy: It's All Relative

Terry Wieland - May 09, 2019

Like situational ethics, standards of accuracy vary according to circumstances.

See More Stories

More Rifles

These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market. Rifles

Yugoslavian M24/47 Mauser-Pattern Rifle

Joseph von Benedikt - May 13, 2019

These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market.

The Remington Model 700 PCR is a long-range rig built for punching paper, ringing steel, and hammering hogs, deer, and coyotes. Rifles

Remington Model 700 PCR Review

Sam Wolfenberger - April 15, 2019

The Remington Model 700 PCR is a long-range rig built for punching paper, ringing steel, and...

The Springfield M1903A4 was the first sniper rifle issued en masse to the United States armed forces. Rifles

Gibbs M1903A4 Springfield Sniper Rifle

Joseph von Benedikt - June 20, 2019

The Springfield M1903A4 was the first sniper rifle issued en masse to the United States armed...

See More Rifles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.