Hunting with an AR-Style Rifle – We hear the mantra from the progressive side of the aisle all the time that you “don’t need an AR-15 to hunt a deer.” However, they are entirely wrong on the application of hunting with an AR-style rifle and how it is an excellent hunting-capable platform.
One of the biggest things we hear is that the AR-15 is somehow “super deadly” and can kill so quickly. However, if you look at most states for hunting, the .223/5.56 caliber bullet fired from most AR-15s is considered illegal to shoot deer ethically due to their inability to kill deer quickly and without suffering.
Now some states, it is legal to use, and if paired with a hunting bullet (not the M193/855 Full metal jacket round), it can be effective to get small to midsize game mainly consisting of coyote, deer, and hog. I have also found that because of how they are designed, these guns typically have less recoil and are great for new hunters or younger hunters.
The second thing to consider is that several AR-styled (also known as a modern sporting rifle) firearms can come in a variety of bigger calibers up to 300 Winchester Magnum, which is capable of taking down anything in North America.
Other popular calibers include 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Winchester, being great deer rounds and no different than what is being shot from a traditional bolt action rifle. These rifles are also more customizable and usually cheaper than higher-end “hunting-specific” rifles, which means they are easily tailored to the shooter without needing a gunsmith or a custom shop.
Another add-on is that I have found specifically for shorter barreled rifles (16-18 inches), they tend to be lighter than the traditional wood counterpart, which means less fatigue and easier aiming after stalking in the woods all day.
Another thing that the left doesn’t consider is that you may need more than a few shots. Anyone who has gone shooting feral hogs down in the southern United States is numerous and an absolute nuisance animal.
It is estimated they cause $1.5 billion each year, and an MSR is the best weapon for shooting multiple hogs quickly and ethically. These animals, in my opinion, are tougher than deer, and an AR-10 (in 308, 6.5 Creed, .243 WIN) is excellent for the big ones, while 5.56 is fantastic for smaller hogs (under 100lbs).
As someone who shot a hog with two shots of 12-gauge 00 Buck and had to draw my sidearm (45ACP) to finish it off, I would have much preferred an AR over my double barrel that day.
The final thing to consider is that a lot of the MSR being purchased are capable of pretty good accuracy, with some being free-floated barrels and great triggers that would rival the accuracy of most off-the-shelf bolt guns.
So, we can see an accurate rifle, capable of faster follow-up shots, with proven calibers that can be lighter than the bolt action competition, is an excellent firearm for hunting anything from small to the big game.
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Author: Ian Bolser