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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

NEMO Arms Executive Order (XO) in 6.5 Creedmoor with Silencer Central Buck 30 suppressor

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INSIDER Test: NEMO Arms 22” XO With Silencer Central BUCK 30 Suppressor

There was a day not too long ago when the long-range precision world was the sole domain of bolt guns. Those days have changed and companies like NEMO Arms are producing exceptional gas guns that easily shoot sub-MOA (minute of angle) groups. While NEMO has a number of rifles in this category, one of my favorites is the 22-inch Executive Order (XO) chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.

NEMO Arms Executive Order (XO) 6.5 Creedmoor Semi-Automatic Review
The NEMO Arms XO, shown here in Tungsten H-237, is available in several other remarkable finishes.

NEMO Arms XO Features

Few rifles make an impact like the XO. It is a perfect mix of performance and aesthetics. From front to back, the build is focused on quality and precision. The rifle comes with a 22-inch Bartlein steel barrel. NEMO receives this purely as just a blank and then machines it in-house. The twist on this barrel comes in at 1:8 which is solid for 6.5 Creedmoor.

NEMO Arms Executive Order (XO) 6.5 Creedmoor Semi-Automatic Review
Recoil was ridiculously light with this system, especially when Silencer Central’s BUCK 30 was employed.

Managing the gas is a Quick switch .750 journal gas block with suppressed and unsuppressed settings. It receives a 4140 Ionbond coating. The handguard is a 15-inch unit with M-Lok attachments and limited rotation QD mounts.

One of the most impressive aspects of the gun is the receiver. The XO uses a NEMO-matched billet upper and lower receiver set cut from 7075-T6 aluminum. What is more impressive about it is its fully ambidextrous nature. It has an ambidextrous safety, mag release, bolt catch/release, and charging handle. All these parts are manufactured in-house to assure quality and fit.

Inside they have a seven-position “Carrier Cradle” anti-tilt receiver extension. Trigger wise they include a very nice Triggertech flat adaptable trigger. This helps ensure a clean break and reset to help with accuracy.

Bolt-Carrier Group & Beyond

NEMO’s patented Recoil Reduction Bolt Carrier
NEMO’s patented Recoil Reduction Bolt Carrier is 8620 steel, heat treated, Nickel Boron coated, and fully manufactured in-house.

While the gun has many unique features, one of the most interesting is the bolt carrier group. The first obvious difference in the BCG is the inclusion of a spring-loaded extension protruding from the back of the unit. While there is no doubt a bit of magic that makes this work so well, NEMO explains it like this, “The technology in the bolt carrier group reduces bolt speeds and felt recoil when the recoiling mass bottoms out in the buffer tube.

Other products are designed to minutely dampen the force at the moment the recoiling mass bottoms out, whereas NEMO’s design creates a dynamic solution at the beginning of the recoil that creates a low ‘bottom-out’ force. This is accomplished by forcing the buffer to bottom out and start its return before the BCG has finished its recoil cycle. The buffer and BCG momentum are opposite, and the result is a noticeable low-impact ‘bottom-out’ force.” In short, it makes the gun a very soft-shooter. The gun is finished out with Magpul furniture attributing to both form and function.

Quiet Time On The Range With Silencer Central’s BUCK 30

To prep my NEMO XO for this INSIDER Range Report, I added a few items. First up was the new BUCK 30 suppressor from Silencer Central. This is their newest addition to the BANISH line and is made in partnership with Buck Commander.

Video courtesy @officialbuckcommander

The BUCK 30 is a multi-caliber suppressor that works with all rifle calibers up to .300 Winchester Magnum. Equipped with an accuracy baffle, the BUCK 30 minimizes POI (point of impact) shift so you may only need to make slight sight adjustments when you switch between suppressed and unsuppressed shooting.

Silencer Central Banish Buck 30, Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44mm, Vortex Impact 4000
All the tools needed for long-range (and quiet) precision shooting—Silencer Central Banish BUCK 30 suppressor, Vortex Strike Eagle riflescope, and Vortex’s Impact 4000 “dope master.”

Optics-wise I went with a Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18×44 FFP. I have been a long-time fan of Vortex glass and this optic would serve me well. Lastly, I added the Vortex Impact 4000. This is an all-in-one range and ballistic problem solver that delivers point-and-shoot solutions without coming off the gun. Together my gun add-ons helped me get the most out of the NEMO XO.

Ammo From Black Hills & Hornady

I ran Black Hills 130-grain Dual Performance and Hornady 140-grain BTHP. Each round provided me with ¾ -inch groups at 100 yards. I believe that handloads could get the gun into the ½ -inch area. While the gun shot well and the trigger was good, it was the recoil—or lack thereof—that really flipped my trigger. In pretty much any gas gun above .223, there is a distinctive slap of the bolt crashing back into the buffer and a subsequential bounce from the recoil spring. This was not the case with the NEMO XO. The speed of the bolt was slightly slower, and the entire recoil process seemed to be timed perfectly to avoid the classic crash we have in other guns.

fred mastison shoots nemo xo series rifle
The author’s setup, along with top-tier Black Hills and Hornady ammo paid serious downrange dividends.

NEMO Arms is well known for its “custom off the shelf” guns and the XO is a great part of that lineup. If you are looking for a great rifle that works as well in the backcountry as it does on the range, I would take a hard look at the XO.

For more information, visit nemoarms.com and silencercentral.com.

Specifications: NEMO Arms XO Steel 6.5CM 22”

Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor

Action: Semi-automatic

Barrel: 22 inches

OA Length: 40.5 inches

Weight: 9.9 pounds

Stock: Magpul CTR

Capacity: 10 +1

Finish: Tungsten

MSRP: $3,800


New & Notable & Highly-Affordable NEMO Arms FX Series

NEMO Arms FX Rifle Series

If the NEMO XO is a bit too rich for your blood, fear not. At the 2024 NRA Annual Meetings, NEMO Arms introduced its new FX Series.

The Price Is Right!

The price tag of NEMO’s newest rifle, the NEMO FX might surprise you. While NEMO Arms is known for their high-end Omen, XO, and Battle-Light ARs with top-of-the-line manufacturing and components, the new FX series is designed with reliable components and engineered in-house to minimize machine time, allowing for a more affordable MSRP starting at $1,495. 

The FX rifle is built on NEMO’s new enhanced forged receiver set and utilizes quality Mil-Spec components resulting in a rugged and reliable rifle with room for future personalized upgrades. The NEMO FX will be available with a 16-inch steel barrel chambered in either 5.56 NATO or .223 WYLDE which runs 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington ammunition. The FX will get the same premium service and support that’s been offered by NEMO for over 10 years and backed by NEMO’s manufacturer-limited lifetime warranty.

The 2A Armament Connection

The forging for the NEMO FX comes from the acquisition of 2A Armament, however, the FX isn’t just a rebranded 2A rifle. Enhancements were made by tightening tolerances and clearances to help increase accuracy and give the rifle a solid feel. Other improvements like replacing the standard pins with screws allow for easier assembly. Many of the components such as the handguard and muzzle device in the FX rifle are based on 2A Armament designs.

NEMO Arms is also launching these AR-15 components as NEMO Builder Series parts. “Our aim is to keep the price point, reliability, and design aesthetic of the original 2A Builder Series line so we can continue to provide a quality product at a price point that NEMO has never been in,” said Bill King, CEO. 

On The NEMO FX Series Horizon

The FX line will also become NEMO’s small-frame AR base for military and law enforcement contracts through the NEMO Defense program. NEMO works with each agency to understand their use case, guidelines, and service needs and will customize a build for their Mission Critical needs. Custom configurations of the FX line will only be available through the NEMO Defense program as FX-MC rifles. 

Editor’s Note: Be on the lookout for a full Hook & Barrel NEMO Arms INSIDER review. For more information, please visit nemoarms.com/fx-series/

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