NEMO Arms New Evolution Military Ordnance Wed, 17 Dec 2014 23:45:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Advent of Change | NEMO Omen .300 Win. Mag. Review by Guns & Ammo Mon, 24 Mar 2014 21:58:06 +0000  

NEMO Omen .300 Win. Mag. Review

by Patrick Sweeney   |  

In the 1980s, I was delving deep into all things AR. I was shooting them in the first 3-Gun matches, building them up and repairing the home-built Frankenguns my customers would bring in. I was also experimenting. I had worked out a number of caliber conversions for the AR and even considered what it would take to turn the early AR-10, a fragile and rare rifle, into a reliable one. Never in my wildest dreams did I think to build one in .300 Winchester Magnum.

All that passed through my mind when the guys at NEMO handed me their Recon rifle at one of our company’s editorial Roundtables. Hmm, some could say it is a tad portly, but then again, who wants an airweight .300 Win. Mag.? The controls were in the right places, and I liked the fact that NEMO was handing me one that had the camo finish all scuffed and worn. Clearly, this was no toolroom R&D orchid, but a working rifle that was expected to get shot hard and hung up wet. And it had a muzzlebrake on it.

Again, I would consider a brake on anything chambered in .300 Mag. to be de rigeur.

“The muzzlebrake is our own design, and it really decreases recoil,” says NEMO. I looked at the brake and the roof over our heads. I stepped forward as I shouldered the rifle to make sure I had the brake out past the eaves and, planting the crosshairs on a plate, touched it off. Not bad at all. I turned to the NEMO guys and asked, “How soon can you send me one?”

If I said the Recon they sent me was very interesting, you’d think I was bored. No, it intrigued me in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. The controls and the parts you hold on to are all bog-standard AR-type parts, or sized as .223/5.56 parts. The stock is a Magpul STR on a Mil-Spec tube (with a properly staked castle nut), so if you don’t like the stock, you can change it. The pistol grip is a Hogue; ditto on changing it. The safety and trigger are right where you’d expect them to be, and the handguard is refreshingly slim, especially for a rifle chambered in .300 Win. Mag.

The forearm on the Recon is particularly slim, as it is octagonal and no larger than it needs to be. While it has a rail along the full length of the top, the sides are bare save for threaded screw holes. Want a section of rail for a light, laser or bipod? Bolt one on. The rest stays bare and slim. The rifle came with two short sections of rail on it, so there would be a chance to attach a bipod or illumination tool if I so desired. The forearm free-floats the barrel, plus it is anchored to the upper receiver. Not only does it clamp on the barrel nut, the forearm has two anchor screws, 90 degrees to one another, fastening the handguard to the upper receiver.

The really interesting parts are the middle and the muzzle. The receivers are large. No, I mean large. The upper has a Picatinny rail along its length, flush and even with the rail on the handguard. You could bolt more gear up there than you could pick up, so show some restraint. The lower has a magazine well proportioned to accept the proprietary .300 Win. Mag.-size magazines, and the edges of it are scaled up as well. It is big, but you don’t get the impression that this is an anvil, it’s just really muscular.

The bolt and carrier are obviously scaled up from even a .308 rifle, and the nickel-boron-coated carrier has an interesting detail: The charging handle is attached directly to the carrier — no top-center charging handle flimsily fabricated from aluminum. Instead there’s a hefty handle to hang on to.

Plus, the billet-cut receivers are done in NEMO’s Tango pattern, a brushed-stripe, black-and-bronze-camo anodized, not painted, finish. Inside the lower we have a Geissele two-stage trigger.

The gas port is covered by a low-profile gas block that has an adjustable gas-flow knob on its front face. Out in front of that is the muzzlebrake, a multiport one clearly designed to take the steam out of recoil.

A long-range rifle needs suitable optics, and I had just the hunk of glass on hand to fit: a Nightforce 5-25x56mm ATACR and their MIL-R reticle, complete with a selection of Nightforce rings to choose from. The 5-25X is an impressive assembly of optical engineering, but to get the kind of performance it delivers, you pay for it. Not just in cost, although I find I have to keep telling the little voice in my head that I’m not paying for this gear in 1982 dollars anymore. After buying proper, professional lenses for my DSLR camera, I’m not as startled at the price for good firearms optics. No, the big price is in weight. Glass weighs a lot. In fact, glass can be three to seven times as dense as water, with optical glass not being near the bottom of that scale.

The Nightforce ultralight rings use hefty bolts to clamp down on the Picatinny rail, and the nuts on them require a half-inch open-end wrench or socket wrench to tighten. You want them tight, but you don’t want to be crushing your receiver, tightening your scope rings with power.

Mounting optics such as this to a regular rifle, I’d be just a bit embarrassed. I mean, a 21/2-pound scope, in nuke-proof rings that add more than just a couple of ounces? On a proper-weight M4, that would be a bit silly, but the NEMO Recon tips the scales, absolutely bare, at 10 pounds, 9 ounces. With the Nightforce scope and rings, a sling and a loaded magazine, the Recon comes up to just shy of 15 pounds. Keep in mind, this is a .300 Winchester Magnum, and even with an efficient muzzlebrake, weight is your friend in dealing with recoil.

One small problem I had in getting everything at the range to test this rifle was ammo. It’s not that I couldn’t find any, but that I didn’t have any. Once I got home from the InterMedia Roundtable, I checked the ammo shelf. I had one lone box of .300 Win. Mag., a box so old that the price on it was less than $10. I had no memory of how I’d come to acquire it, since I’ve never owned a rifle in this chamber before. I jumped on the phone to beg .300 Win. Mag. ammo from those who have it. Interestingly, a lot of ammo makers list it, but mostly for hunting.

In the AR universe, ammo companies have long been hip to where their ammo is used. Everyone who loads .223 has a pretty good idea that it will end up in one of the host of ARs out there on ranges around the country, so they load accordingly. Well, no one who loads .300 has had any idea that there would be an AR-based rifle chambered for it. The most they’d expect is that some hunter with a Browning BAR would use their ammo, and so what? The NEMO engineers had to make their gas system work with the ammo as it existed, not just on specially tuned handloads, thus the adjustable gas-flow knob. The one-dot setting is the suppressor setting, and Gemtech makes a special Sandstorm (titanium) model just for this caliber. Four dots is wide open and more gas than you probably need.

The magazines for the Recon are made of polymer, and, as you’d expect from magazines that will accept .300 Win. Mag., they are hefty. If, when I began my AR journey, you had suggested that someone would be offering a fabulously expensive AR and shipping “plastic” magazines with it, I would have laughed. In size, shape and general appearance, they remind me of the magazines for a Dragunov, but even bigger. Until the web-gear guys start making NEMO-specific pouches for us, you may have some trouble packing along extras.

At 14 rounds per mag, you are not going to be getting long strings of fire from this, but then that isn’t what it’s for. The basic idea that NEMO has for the Omen line of .300 Winchester Magnum rifles is long-range precision fire to support or replace bigger-than-7.62 bolt-action rifles in the sniper role. This is not the rifle you’d want to be using in an urban slugfest, unless it was all you had. No, the NEMO .300 Omen lineup (the Recon is just the handiest of the models so far) is meant for long-range bad-guy whacking, and you could expand that a bit to close- and medium-range heavy-hitting. After all, a .308 fires a 175-grain match bullet at around 2,600 fps from a 20- or 22-inch barrel. The .300 Win. Mag. promises to best that by 300 fps and with a bullet heavier by 20 grains or more. Higher velocity and better ballistic coefficient means better long-range results. However, with real heavyweights, such as a 200-grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, auto glass and other barriers become pretty flimsy protection for would-be miscreants. The handy-length, 18-inch barrel takes a bit of the extra speed away from the big .300, but not much.

I started by setting the gas regulator to the low setting and worked my way up. I gauged proper gas settings by how far the brass was hurled. It was easy to set the regulator to keep from trashing brass. At the lowest setting, it flipped the empties about 7 or 8 feet away. At the highest setting, 15, I discovered an interesting problem: The muzzlebrake was too good with some loads. With the low-vigor gas-blasting loads, the muzzle stayed on my mark while I was doing my chronograph work. The heavier-bullet loads had the sights actually pushed down off the target from gas flow through the brake. I could also gauge pretty closely how well I was maintaining my offhand stance; as I got tired, the muzzle started driving off to the right as well as down.

You can’t get something for nothing. A muzzlebrake that is that effective is going to blast everything in its path. I tried a few strings from prone, but the autumn litter erupted into clouds of scurrying leaves on each shot. If you are going to be using this for real, you’ll want to have a solution in mind for the muzzlebrake and its effect on your environment. That said, the felt recoil was pretty soft.

NEMO also built in a spring-loaded plunger in the rear of the carrier. When the carrier and buffer weight bottom out, the spring-loaded plunger soaks up the last bit of energy, eliminating that bottoming-out bounce that hard-kicking self-loading rifles often have. I don’t like comparing it with other calibers, as we all have our own ideas of what a .243 or a .30-’06 feels like, but the NEMO Recon is a softie to shoot. I did not come away from a range session with a sore shoulder for the price of fun.

Shooting the NEMO Recon is work, it just isn’t work to shoot it the way other rifles are work. The rifle, full up, is heavy. That’s the price you pay for soft recoil and the power of .300 Win. Mag. The muzzlebrake is efficient, but you cannot have anything on the firing line with you; it will get blown off.

The .300 Win. Mag. is a barrel-heater. Sluicing that much burning powder down the bore on each shot, I found I had to break my bench-testing routine into sets of four five-shot groups and not at anything like a fast pace, then walk down, measure, tape and reset while the barrel cooled. Any faster and the groups opened up. Not a lot, but given the brilliant accuracy of this rifle, you do not want groups opening up. When I kept my cool and the barrel cool, I could punch sub-MOA groups.

I had figured that something this radical, this edge-of-the-envelope, would have problems. I expected to see malfunctions, mangled brass, ammo bent and dented by misfeeds. I may as well have saved myself the time spent anticipating problems, for it worked without a flaw.

I’m of the opinion that this rifle is a better shooter than I am. I’ve never had the benefit of a rigorous benchrest education, and my bench-and-bag technique is not at as high a level as my high-speed skills are. I was stunned to see quarter-inch groups. I have to give all the credit to the rifle, scope and ammo, as I was pretty much along for the ride. If you have access to a long-distance range, you really ought to give a thought to how you are going to spend your trigger time. Spending it with a NEMO Omen, this Recon or any of the company’s other rifles would not be a bad day.


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NEMO Omen .300 Win. Mag. Review by Guns & Ammo Mon, 19 Aug 2013 21:18:32 +0000 NEW_OMEN_right-web

by Tom Beckstrand | August 19, 2013

Few shooters will argue that the most relevant contemporary small arm is the AR-pattern rifle.

It is a wildly popular rifle that, up until recently, was readily available in everything from .22 Long Rifle to 7.62 NATO. The AR can attribute its success to its simple modular design, easy maintenance and comfortable ergonomics. The military is so enamored with it that they field numerous versions chambered in both 5.56mm and 7.62mm.

The 7.62x51mm rifles that our military uses are sniper rifles employed across both the conventional and special operations branches. The current-issued M110 weighs 10.44 pounds—that’s empty, without optics or any ancillary equipment. It has a 20-round detachable box magazine that feeds 175-grain Sierra MatchKing bullets into the chamber. They leave the muzzle at around 2,575 feet per second and, depending on which branch of service you talk to, are effective out to 800 meters (according to the U.S. Army Special Forces) or 1,000 yards (according to the Marine Corps).

If we desire more ballistic horsepower than the 7.62x51mm cartridge offers, we’re forced to abandon the semi-auto AR and grab a bolt gun. I love bolt-action rifles and appreciate the many comforts they offer, but they will always be slower-shooting rifles when compared with semi-autos. Slow is a problem for a sniper or for anyone who wants to cut down his reengagement times shot-to-shot. So if you wanted the performance of a .300 Win. Mag., you had to shoot a bolt-action rifle and just realize that time wasn’t going to be on your side. That is, until NEMO’s Omen showed up.

Collapsing Carriers
Chambering the AR in .300 Winchester Magnum brings a whole new capability to long-range shooters. It allows long-distance shooters to deliver multiple shots without having to break our position to cycle a bolt. An entire generation of riflemen has grown up with the AR and is intimately familiar with its handling characteristics. Magazine changes are quick and easy. The modularity of the design lets the user tailor the rifle to exactly what he wants and draw from several options that already exist on the commercial market. For military and LE snipers, no rifle is more night vision friendly than an AR. Last, but not least, we get the superb external and terminal ballistics of the .300 Win. Mag., a cartridge much superior to the 7.62 NATO for long-range work.

A friend of mine in the gun business once told me that building an AR chambered in 5.56mm is fall-off-a-log easy. Building one in 7.62mm was infinitely more complicated and much more difficult to actually accomplish. When I spoke with Clint Walker, NEMO’s vice president, he agreed with that statement. When I asked him if building an AR in .300 Win. Mag. was an order of magnitude more difficult than a 7.62mm, he quickly agreed.

Direct-impingement rifles have a very simple operating system. Gas from burning powder gets channeled through a port in the barrel, down a gas tube and into the upper receiver, where it pushes the bolt carrier group away from the chamber, extracting the recently fired case. As the bolt carrier group comes forward, it strips a round out of the magazine and pushes it into the chamber. This isn’t a complicated operation.

The trouble starts when we increase the size and power of the cartridge. More powerful cartridges require beefier bolts to handle the abuse the cartridge dishes out and heavier bolt carriers to manage the velocity at which the bolt carrier group travels rearward. If the bolt carrier group moves too fast, extractors cannot hold on to the case when they try to pull it from the chamber. The larger cases have more surface area and require more force to pull them out. Try to do it too quickly, and the extractor will pull right through the case rim, leaving the case stuck in the chamber.

Upon receiving the Omen, I immediately fieldstripped it to examine each component thoroughly. I noticed that the bolt carrier had a spring-loaded extension that rode in the rear of the carrier. Clint explained to me that the bolt carrier extension was a crucial part of NEMO’s recoil-reduction system. The extension allows NEMO to use a standard 7.62 lower receiver extension (buffer tube) for its .300 Win. Mag. rifle, becoming one less wheel NEMO had to reinvent.

Upon firing a cartridge, the bolt carrier group travels down the receiver extension until it makes contact with the end of the tube. The carrier extension then collapses into the bolt carrier until all rearward movement stops and the carrier group begins its journey back toward the chamber. Not only does the Omen have the AR’s standard buffer and buffer spring to help retard bolt carrier velocity at the beginning of the bolt’s cycle, it has the carrier extension further dampening recoil at the end of the bolt’s cycle. The system allows NEMO to use a large-enough bolt carrier to handle the .300 Win. Mag. pressures and still use a standard, readily available 7.62x51mm lower receiver extension. It’s a simple solution to what could have been a complicated problem.

Ports and Port Pressures
So NEMO cracked the code on the bolt carrier and lower receiver extension problem, only to be confronted with a new problem. The increased size and mass of the bolt and bolt carrier meant they needed more gas to make it move. As it stands right now, the Omen has a gas system that is approximately 14 inches long. The low-profile gas block sits just inside the forend, where it is well protected.

NEMO set the length of the rifle’s forend by mounting the longest scopes issued to our military on the Omen, then figuring out how much rail space they needed in front of these scopes to mount the most popular night vision and thermal devices. This way they had all the rail space they needed without carrying anything extra. This is an excellent approach when trying to minimize the weight of the rifle (as every manufacturer should).

It looks to me like Nemo then took the forend length they adopted and put the longest gas system they could stuff under it. Also smart methodology. The longer the gas system, the lower the gas pressure at the port. Lower port pressures mean lower bolt velocity. This makes extraction easier and also prevents premature wear on bolt lugs, extractors and magazine feed lips.

The dilemma presented by the .300 Win. Mag. is that even with a 14-inch gas system, the port pressure is still high. Likewise, the heavy bolt carrier group requires a lot of gas to get it moving, so the port has to be big to allow enough gas to cycle the gun reliably.

A large gas port and high port pressure mean that the Omen extracts aggressively. The Omen comes with a gas port optimized for 150- to 190-grain bullets. I was shooting Hornady’s 150-grain GMX Superformance loads. If the Omen was going to have a malfunction, the combination of light bullets loaded to maximum velocity should have caused it. On the contrary, the Omen ate every round I fired with no malfunctions. I did notice that some of the fired cases showed ejector marks, and I could see where the extractor was trying to pull through the case rim but couldn’t. Once again, light bullets loaded to max velocity are the most problematic loads for an AR chambered in .300 Win. Mag. Hornady also has soft brass, so a few of the cases popped the primers out while firing. While the Omen was 100 percent reliable, it was hard on Hornady’s soft brass.

Premium Components
Being the first to produce an AR in .300 Win. Mag. meant that NEMO had to build their own upper and lower receivers, bolts, bolt carriers and barrel extensions. I weighed the Omen bolt and bolt carrier to compare them with their counterparts from an AR-15. I’ve included a table that compares their weights.

.300 Win. Mag. 5.56 NATO
Bolt 2.6 ounces 1.5 ounces
Bolt Carrier 15.2 ounces 9.5 ounces

There is a noticeable difference in both size and weight between the Omen components and the traditional AR-15, as you would expect when comparing a .300 Win. Mag. with a 5.56.

A component of any AR-pattern rifle that bears special scrutiny is the bolt. The bolt has eight small lugs that pass into and out of the barrel extension with each firing. The lugs on either side of the extractor are only attached to the bolt on one side, and, when AR bolts fail, one of these two lugs is usually the culprit.

Back in 1957, Eugene Stoner chose a blend of steel known as Carpenter 158 as “the standard” material from which AR bolts would be made. Only Carpenter Steel, based in Pennsylvania, makes the steel. It is excellent steel, but there is nothing magical about its properties. Once Eugene Stoner chose Carpenter 158 as Mil-Spec, some decided that it was as if God himself declared it superior to any other material. This is not the case.

Carpenter 158 comes from a family of tool steels. Also in this family are 8620 and 9310. Because Carpenter 158 is only available from one source, the manufacturer will only sell it in very large quantities, making it difficult for smaller AR manufacturers to acquire. Most smaller manufacturers will buy the cheaper 8620, which really isn’t as good as 158. However, I think the more expensive 9310 is a better bolt material than Carpenter 158. It has a higher nickel content and is less brittle than 158. For a part that has eight small lugs that slam into the barrel extension and rotate into and out of battery every time we fire the rifle, less brittle seems like a wonderful idea.

NEMO, in their quest to bring a premium product to the market, chose to make their bolts out of 9310. They also thought it prudent to coat both the bolt and bolt carrier in nickel boron. This is an excellent choice and not a cheap one. Not only is NEMO willing to be the first to manufacture an AR in .300 Win. Mag., they choose to use only the best materials and coatings while doing so.

Experiencing the Omen
My time on the range with the rifle was considerably more pleasant than I imagined. When I received the rifle, I took it out of the case and noticed that it had a flash hider and not a muzzlebrake. I thought it a mistake not to put a muzzlebrake on a 10½-pound semi-auto .300 Win. Mag. and figured I would be paying for NEMO’s choice in the very near future.

I quickly learned that the rifle is incredibly soft-shooting, caliber notwithstanding. The stock that came on the rifle wasn’t the most comfortable (it’s easily changed out for whatever the shooter prefers), and the rifle was still pleasant for the duration of the range session.

The Omen’s accuracy was also better than I initially imagined. I saw the lightly contoured fluted barrel and thought it would have a tough time maintaining tight groups as the session wore on. The .300 Win. Mag. generates a lot of heat that murders skinny barrels. Shooting Hornady’s 150-grain GMX loads, my best five-shot group at 100 yards measured .88 inch center-to-center. The largest group was 1.4 inches, and the average was 1.2.

My range session was a bit unfair for the Omen, in that I didn’t stop for long to let the barrel cool even when it got really hot. However, I helped out the rifle by loading six rounds in the magazine for each group and fired the first shot into the backstop. That’s a little trick I learned from David Tubb. The first round chambers differently because it’s frequently loaded by releasing a bolt that’s been locked to the rear. When we fire, the rifle cycles and loads at a different bolt speed. The difference causes that first round to chamber slightly differently than the rest. Any difference, no matter how small, affects accuracy.

Overall, I’m excited to see what NEMO can accomplish with their Omen. I think it’s an excellent rifle made from quality materials. I don’t love the FAB Defense stock that came on the rifle, but it’s easily replaced. I’m also suspicious of the magazines NEMO has to manufacture. I’m not convinced they’ll handle abuse well. If you buy the Omen, get some spare mags.

The Omen is a great choice for anyone interested in long-range shooting. With the superior ballistics of the .300 Win. Mag. matched with the ergonomics of the AR, it makes for a rifle that’s fun to shoot for hours at a time. For hunters and tactical shooters alike, the Omen is an exciting development and one that I’ll watch closely.

NEMO Omen_300 Win Mag


Look for the NEMO Omen in Book of the AR-15, a publication dedicated to all rifles, optics, and ammunition engineered for the AR-15 platform.
Order your copy at the InterMedia Outdoors Store today!

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World’s First Titanium AR .308 Rifle by NEMO Arms – $100,000 Thu, 05 Apr 2012 03:47:04 +0000

ti•ta•ni•um |tīˈtānēəm| -noun- the chemical element of atomic number 22, a hard silver-gray metal of the transition series, used in strong, light, corrosion-resistant alloys.(Symbol: Ti )

It’s finally here – and the [TI]ONE Titanium .308 Battle Rifle // SERIAL #1 is just as bad as it is beautiful. Boasting a revolutionary Titanium body and state-of-the-art hardware, the [TI]ONE is in a league all its own. While it is a gun we created to sell, its price point puts it a bit out of reach for the mass market; that said, its main function is as a statement piece that is taking the gun industry by storm.

Talk is cheap – Titanium isn’t. The gun industry is full of people talking about engineering and manufacturing capabilities that they just don’t have. The NEMO [Ti]ONE project has propelled us to be the “First to the Moon,” so to speak, which is just where we want to be. However, just as the race to the moon it wasn’t so much about getting there as it was about what was learned along the way, the NEMO [Ti]ONE is meant to be a demonstration of our engineering and manufacturing superiority.

Based on our M6 .308 AR chassis, the [Ti]ONE is the only rifle that can double as a shield while still turning heads and getting the job done with some serious firepower.

Below is a list of the [Ti]ONE specs – we are truly proud of what our company has achieved and plan to continue our M.O. as innovative manufacturers in one of the most competitive industries in the world.


  • Titanium Matched Receiver Set
  • 416 Stainless Steel, .308 Win, 1/10 Twist, Black Nitride Finish, 16” HBAR Profile
  • Titanium Customizable Tube Handguard
  • Troy Tritium Micro Set Back Up Iron Sights
  • Titanium Picatinny Handguard Rails
  • Choate 6-position Buttstock
  • Titanium Low Profile Gas Block
  • Titanium Charging Handle with Tactical Latch
  • Hogue Grip with Battery Management System
  • Titanium DRK Compensator
  • KNS Anti-Rotational Pins
  • Timney 4lb Solid Trigger
  • Norgon Ambi Mag Catch
  • Ambi Safety Selector
  • Titanium Buffer Tube
  • Stainless Steel Buffer
  • Titanium Bolt Carrier, Nickel Boron Coated Bolt
  • Trijicon TA648RMR-308 ACOG 6×48 Red Chevron .308 with TA75 Rail and RM02-33 8.0 MOA
  • 8.65 lbs, unloaded with no magazine, optics or sights
  • 35.75” Long, Collapsed, 39” Extended
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