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AR15

Sport Hunting With An AR15 Semi Auto Hunting Rifle


The AR-15 A Great Hunting Rifle

The AR-15 is a rifle that needs no introduction; it’s the "Musket" American rifle of our age, recognizable by anti-gunners and shooting enthusiasts alike across the globe. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, the AR-15 is essentially a semiautomatic version of the military’s M16 rifle.

While the words “hunting” and “AR-15” don’t always get spoken in the same sentence, there is no reason why they shouldn’t, as the AR is perfectly capable of legitimately taking game – game such as hogs. The lowly hog, sometimes referred to as boars, wild pigs, feral pigs, and so on, is an excellent choice for hunting in general; the USDA reports that there are more than 1.5 million feral pigs in the United States. Not only are the pigs plentiful – they are a nuisance, with wild pigs blamed for the destruction of many crops. Pigs also make great eating, and pork in general is a familiar staple of the American diet.

Does the AR platform offer any advantages I wouldn't have with a traditional hunting rifle?

Yes, you can change the upper to accommodate numerous calibers for different sized game and/or various terrains, the AR is a very light weight platform (typically lighter than most traditional hunting rifles), there are literally thousands of accessories that can make the AR tactical to practical, and, utilizing points one and three, the AR can easily be converted from a practical hunting rifle to a fairly compact and light tactical home defense weapon. Just to name a few advantages.

While the AR15 platform is an outstanding choice for self-defense, most people don’t give it a second thought as a hunting gun. That’s too bad, because the AR, in its many guises, can be had in a variety of configurations that are fantastic for hunting different types of game, from small varmints all the way up to some very large and dangerous game.

The main thing that determines what kind of game you can take with an AR is the size of the round that it’s chambered for.

The standard AR-15 is chambered in for .223 Remington or 5.56mm, but many AR makers offer are quite a few different caliber variations, including, but not limited to: 7.62X39, 6.5 Creedmore, 6.8 SPC, .243 .300 Whisper, .50 Beowulf, .458 SOCOM and more. You can even find AR-15s chambered in common handgun calibers such at 9mm, 40S&W and .45ACP to name a few. So, there are many options when it comes to caliber for a wide variety of hunting purposes. Furthermore, many ARs allow you change calibers by switching out theupper receiver and bolt carrier group. This flexibiblity makes the AR one of the most versatile rifles there is for hunting all manner of critters. Smaller rounds take smaller game, and larger rounds take larger game.

The .223 Remington/5.56mm, as most ARs are chambered in these calibers. The first thing to know about these two calibers is that they are not the same! I couldn’t tell you the number of gun shop clerks I’ve heard say that they are the same caliber. You can shoot .223 in an AR chambered in 5.56mm, however, you should not shoot a 5.56mm round in a .223

Many AR-15s come with a 1/9″ barrel twist, and that’s great for most ammo up to 69-grain bullets.

For heavier bullets, up to 77-grains, you’ll want a 1/7″ barrel twist. I’ve also found the 1/8″ barrel twist to be a good compromise for different bullets weights, too. So, you have to take into consideration what kind of game you are planning to hunt, and then what type of ammo you’re going to use – if you have a too heavy of a bullet, and your AR only has a 1/9″ barrel twist, the round won’t stabilize and you won’t have very good accuracy, and the same is true of a too light bullet weight.

For ground squirrels and small varmints, the 36- to 40-grain rounds are typically all you need. The 50- to 69-grain rounds are great for larger varmints and coyotes, though it depends on how far you are from coyotes — the farther out they are the heavier bullet you’ll want to use for bucking the wind and getting a better kill shot. The heaviest bullets can also be used on coyotes, but you don’t need them; those might be best reserved for deer-sized game. When it comes to the .223 round, and “big game” I would limit game to small to medium size deer, and no matter what type of weight of 233 ammo your using. You should restrict your shots to 150-yards or less. Our military claims that the 5.56mm is good out to 450-yards or so – and that is true, however you aren’t gonna have a kill shot at that distance. So limit the 223 out to 150-yards for deer-sized game.

The hard part about saying which bullet type/weight is “best” for any game is that there are so many different factors involved when using the .223/5.56mm round for hunting. The AR’s effectiveness on any particular animal comes down to a combination of distance, barrel length, bullet size, and twist.

So before heading out to the field, do as much research as you can, and choose your ammo carefully — you don’t need a 77-grain load in .223 for hunting ground squirrels, when a 36-grain will do the job nicely. And, with any type of hunting, shot placement is the key – along with the right caliber and the right ammo.

AR15 Channel On ROKU



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