Bold and Deadly: The Next Generation of Deer Hunting Rifles

When it comes to hunting rifles, I’m somewhat of a traditionalist — for me, there’s nothing like the feel of a well- worn bolt-action rifle hanging off my shoulder.

But I’ve gotta admit, there’s just something badass about hunting with an AR-platform rifle, and Remington’s R-25 Gen II, chambered in .308 Win., is tailor-made for today’s whitetail hunters. Lightweight (2 pounds lighter than its predecessor), compact and maneuverable, it’s a great addition to any hunter’s whitetail armory.

Remington’s R-25 Gen II is lighter than its predecessor and has plenty of firepower for deer hunting, as it’s chambered in .308 — one of the most popular and effective calibers.

Adam Ballard, Senior Product Manager of Modern Sporting Rifles at Remington Arms, says there are a lot of good reasons why whitetail hunters embrace AR-platform hunting rifles (aside from the fact that they’re badass).

“Like a lot of other sporting firearms, there’s always a technological advantage people are seeking with various platforms and AR-type rifles provide a lot of advantages for hunting — reduced recoil, they’re very accurate, very fast follow-up shots — so it’s been a successful fit for Remington for years,” he said.

Without a doubt, ARs have found a home among modern American whitetail hunters and Ballard says it’s a misconception that it’s only younger hunters shooting these rifles. “We’re actually finding that a lot of hunters in their 40s and 50s are going to ARs,” he said. “It’s really not that outside of the box anymore to hunt with these rifles and they’re accepted by most people.”

Remington introduced the original first generation R-25 in 2008, an AR-10 platform rifle built for the hunting market as a result of its acquisition of Bushmaster and DPMS. The R-25 was initially chambered in three whitetail-specific calibers: .243 Win., 7mm-08 Rem. and .308 Win. It was a very capable rifle, but weighed in at 9 pounds, and many whitetail hunters considered it a bit on the heavy side.

The R-25 Gen 2, is a sexy upgrade of that rifle — trimmed down to 7.62 pounds. “A lot of the improvements had to do with reducing weight, improving reliability, aftermarket compatibility and just overall performance and function,” Ballard said. “So the R-25 G2 is about 2 pounds lighter [than its predecessor] and when you’re in the field hunting that makes all the difference in the world.”

A short 20-inch stainless steel barrel, carbon fiber hand guard and skeletonized stock contribute to this weight reduction. Shallow flutes in the barrel in front of the gas block give the rifle a distinctive look as does the head to toe Mossy Oak Treestand camo finish.

Topped with Bushnell’s Trophy Xtreme X30 riflescope, this is a rig any whitetail hunter could appreciate — whether he or she is old school or new school.

As of this writing the R-25 Gen 3 is chambered only in .308 Win., but Ballard says Remington will be adding more calibers shortly.