DECEMBER 17, 2013

Editor's Notebook: Remington Defense/Tactical Products Seminar

Commencing Thursday of last week, Remington hosted a Defense and Tactical Products Seminar at Gunsite Academy. I'll touch on a few points of interest, but this report is in no way all inclusive. Some new products will be introduced in the coming year and we'll write extensively on them at that time.
Phil Strader, Remington LE, demonstrates the speed and reliability of the R12 14" shotgun during the seminar.
The R12 is not a new offering in the LE/MIL shotgun market, but it's seen a few changes. It's still fast and apparently, from the large amount of shooting we did, reliable. The "self-regulating" nature of this innovative shotgun is based on shell length: 3" shot shells/slugs cover all but four gas ports. 2 ¾" shells leave seven ports open. The gun isn't configured for 3 ½" Magnum rounds in the LE line as there was no demand for it. The receivers are the same length, commercial or police, but the chambers are apparently different. Available in 14" and 18" lengths, with ghost rings, a bead or with the XS sights, a pistol grip stock or a more conventional stock, the R12 is a big step forward in defense autoloader design. It'll be interesting to see how this is received in the police market.
The AAC Mini4 suppressor is only 5 1/4" long and weighs less than 1 pound. Photo from AAC.
The Advanced Armament Company component was also present with carbines and cans. While the suppressors were used on long range precision rifles, 5.56 carbines, PDWs and pistols, the hit of the show was the "LVAW" project or "Honey Badger" carbines. Configured in two calibers, 5.56mm NATO and .300 AAC Blackout, the .300 BO was the favorite of the party. A select fire gun, the .300 was supplied with a five inch barrel with an overall length, suppressed, of 24.25". It weighs in at a comfortable 6 ¾ pounds. Supplied with flip-up iron sights and a 30 round GI magazine, it takes all after-market magazines including PMAGs.
Both flavors of LVAW were present and they took lots of shooting. Suppressed carbines were used in the Pit indoor simulator, making that event more pleasant than a similar exercise with unsuppressed 5.56 carbines. John Hollister, Product Manager at AAC, was heard to proclaim "Loud guns suck." I'm taking that as a clue that he prefers suppressors.
Remington Law Enforcement Ammunition has been working on bonded bullet performance using a bullet that doesn't use chemical bonding of core to jacket. The Golden Saber "Black Belt" bullet uses a brass belt around the middle of the bullet to mechanically keep jacket and core together. In internal testing, the Golden Saber Black Belt 9mm +P exceeded the performance of the conventionally bonded Golden Saber. The 9mm +P load rolls out to law enforcement/government channels early next year and will go commercial sometime in the 3rd quarter of 2014. They expect to eventually phase out Golden Saber non-bonded after that. Opening with 9mm, line expansions into .40 and .45 are expected the following year. Keep an eye on this one, it'll be interesting to see how well it's accepted. The test results showed the GSBB was a top performer through heavy clothing, windshield glass and sheet metal barriers.
The AAC "LVAW" rains .300 AAC Blackout brass as photographers capture the moment.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Remington announced a contract to deliver their R4 carbine -an M4 analog - to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It appears that the police there may join and increase that contract. An R4 carbine like that specified by the Philippines was present at the unknown distance range - right down to the carry handle, irons and no optics - during our seminar experience. It was select fire but we were asked not to shoot it that way due to distances to target - from around 160 yards or so to out past 200 yards. I won't say I shot the course clean, but I was surprised at the few misses I made. The little gun ran like a champ. I told them that they could make this same R4 with a pinned muzzle device or longer barrel and no 'giggle switch' (for full-auto) and I could be quite happy with it. That scratches the surface of the 3-day seminar. It was well organized, informative and fun. The Gunsite personnel kept us safe and helped us set up photos and videos. Buz Mills was, as always, a gracious host and his facility is top flight. -- Rich Grassi