NEMO (New Evolution Military Ordnance) Arms Inc.
Recently my sniper team and I had the opportunity to test and evaluate some rifles from NEMO Arms Inc. We received two rifles from them, one was a .308 with a 16 inch barrel and one was a .300 Win Mag with a 22 inch barrel. Both rifles were equipped with a Bushnell Tactical Elite HDMR scope. The rifles were also equipped with a Magpul PRS stock, which I thought to be an excellent choice.
For those of you that are not familiar with NEMO Arms, they are about four years old and they have made quite the impact in the firearms industry. From their website: NEMO Arms, Inc. is a Montana based weapon systems integrator committed to research and development and deploying advanced weapon designs and technologies that will enable our partners in the Special Operations, Federal Law Enforcement and private sectors to effectively and confidently carry out their missions knowing that they are armed with the finest primary weapons in the world.
My first impression of the rifles was that the craftsmanship was top notch and the rifles were very well built. I know that the rifles had come directly from the factory, but that being said the tolerances were tight. This was of interest to me because I wanted to come back and feel the tolerances after we had shot them. Also, all of the semi-auto large caliber rifles I have shot up to this point were front heavy, these rifles were very well balanced. The finish on the rifles is a hard anodized finish that is unique to each individual rifle and will not scratch and is impervious to chemicals.
I took both rifles out and sighted them in so that we didn’t have to spend training time doing that. I have had the opportunity to shoot several other AR platform .308 rifles over the years and honestly have not been very impressed. I had both rifles sighted in within five rounds and both rifles were soft
shooting, just as advertised. Of particular interest to me as a law enforcement sniper was the .308. Once the rifles were sighted in I took the liberty of firing ten rounds as fast as I could pull the trigger, let the crosshairs settle and pull the trigger again. Even doing this I was able to maintain about a minute and a half group at 100 yards off of a bench. After getting the rifles out of the box I did not put a drop of oil on them the entire time we had them and there was not so much as a hiccup.
I can’t get into the operational aspect of the rifle, but there is a reason why the rifle shoots as soft as it does. I do understand that part of that is because of the muzzle brake, but believe me there is much more to it than that, including a patented recoil reducing system built into the bolt carrier itself.
I had my team shoot both rifles on a training day and we were able to literally put them through the paces. We shot from 100-600 yards, which is the longest range that we have available to us. Each of the guys fired from various positions, including standing, at various distances. All of my guys were able to maintain one MOA or less no matter what distance they were shooting from. After training was over we discussed the rifles over lunch and everyone was impressed. I’ll be the first to say that I like my bolt gun, but both rifles impressed me. The complaints that I received were minimal. One was the very noticeable concussion from the muzzle brake on the .308. I spoke with NEMO Arms about this and was advised that we could put a blast jacket on the rifle or a suppressor to help with the concussion. The other was the Hogue grip, but then again the individual end user can easily swap that out for the grip of their choice, most times for under $30. Lastly, most of my guys, including myself, have a very low prone position and the 25 round PMag that was sent with the rifle was a little long. Again, this can be remedied with either a 10 or 20 round Magpul PMag.
I know that over the years officers/departments have been very quick to jump on board with semi-auto platforms only to experience mechanical problems a couple of years down the road. Honestly, we will have to wait and see on this one. As I stated, the company is very young. I do know that some Special Forces units have been using these rifles and having great success.
My thoughts are that with the right ammunition selection, such as a 110 grain Hornady TAP round, the 16 inch .308 could be easily used for perimeter work on warrants without any risk at all of over penetration. Then by a simple magazine exchange to a 155 or 168 grain Hornady TAP round you could easily transition over and be ready for any engagement that may arise at least out to 600 yards, in my experience. I also feel confident that for those of you that are shooting a barrier round that this platform will stabilize that as well, as the barrels have a 1:8 twist.
Personally, from my experience not only with the rifles but with the company itself, I wouldn’t hesitate to trade my bolt gun in for a NEMO Arms rifle. The rifle did maintain its tight tolerances and functioned flawlessly, even without being cleaned or lubricated. I was impressed with the craftsmanship, engineering and thought that went into the rifles and even more impressed with the customer service that I received from my initial inquiry to the day I boxed the rifles up to be shipped back.
Having come from a department and sniper program of “we’ve always done it this way” I hadn’t put much thought into the .300 Win Mag. However, after having shot the rifle and also talking with our friends at Hornady Ammunition I now think of this as a viable option for my team and my department. We have a multi-jurisdictional team and are responsible for two counties, most of which is primarily rural. Yes, we operate the majority of our time in an urban environment, but I have been on callouts where my operational distance was 378 yards. Also, being the first caucus in the country we get tasked with a lot of dignitary visits. During these visits we are responsible for providing over-watch at the Des Moines International Airport where our distances range from 600-800 yards. Considering these instances the .300 Win Mag would work extremely well. NEMO Arms offers their .300 Win Mag in everything from a 15.5 inch barrel out to a 24 inch Proof Research barrel. I am really a fan of shorter barrels for law enforcement and was intrigued by the 15.5 inch barrel. In speaking with the folks at NEMO Arms they have been having great success at extended distances (800-1000 yards) with the 15.5 inch barrel, which well exceeds normal law enforcement engagement distances.
Time will tell, but the folks at NEMO Arms tell me that they are dedicated to military and law enforcement and are here to stay.
If you haven’t had a chance to check them out take a look at www.nemoarms.com
Des Moines Police Dept.
Des Moines, IA