AR-10 or AR-15 for hunting/range?


October 4, 2006, 11:21 PM
Hey, I'm new to this forum so I just wanna say "Hi Ya'll!"

My name is Kevin and I live in the Evergreen State of Washington, currently I'm been looking at TWO rifle which I'm debating on which to get - the AR10A4 (Armalite) or AR15 Varmit/M4 (Bushmaster). I know that the two rifle use diffrent kind of ammunition .223/.308 rnds; I'm intrested in getting a rifle for Range shooting and maybe deer hunting, but I'll be MAINLY doing range shooting since it's fun shooting ^_^. In purchesing a rifle i hope to shoot at least 300-600Yrd. I'm assuming this is comparing Apples to Oranges but which one is the bet bang for the bucks? Even though I'm looking at Both what are the average price for Ammo?


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October 4, 2006, 11:31 PM
AR10/308 is can be readily used for deer hunting. The 223 round is marginal for most deer hunting, and in many locale is illegal for use in deer hunting.

223 will, in the other hand, be cheaper to shoot and easier to shoot well since it has significantly less recoil.

AR15s can be had in other chamberings that are more appropriate for deer hunting but will lose some economoy of purchase in the exchange.

October 4, 2006, 11:33 PM
if there is a possibility that you are gonna hunt with it i would definetly go with the ar10 .308, i don't know about your state but anything less than .30 cal i believe is not allowed in several states. the .308 would be a little more for giving in the one shot one kill aspect. if you were varmint shooting the .223 would be fine but for deer i would definetly go fir the .308. both would be great for the ranges at which you would like to shoot. good luck!

By the way welcome to THR!

Texas Gunman
October 4, 2006, 11:40 PM
If it is your first & maybe only AR, go with the Bushmaster, sure .308 are nice to have in general.
I know guys here in Texas,that uses a reg ole' .22L to bring down deer, their no magic bullet, it is about shot placement.
HUnting once a year vs shooting twelve months out of the year,also cheaper, also in a shtf you'll be able to tote more 223/556 than .308.

Also,mags and after market parts are more abundant.

You decide.


October 4, 2006, 11:40 PM
If it's primarily range, I'd go .223.

But if you want to move up to deer, unless you have pretty small deer and lax laws in WA, you'll have to buy a new upper receiver. Stag has 6.8mm uppers (complete) for $575, so that's a starting idea.

I'd stick with .223, especially if the deer hunting is a "maybe". You'll appreciate the lighter weight and numerous custom options of the -15 frame. And if you're that dedicated to deer hunting in the future, you can take some of the cash you saved buying a -15 and get a second upper. Or just keep an eye peeled for a used .300 Whisper, 6.5 Grendel, or 6.8mm upper on

That's just me. -MV

Stiletto Null
October 4, 2006, 11:43 PM
Side note...AR-10s are heavy. I dunno if that would be such a great choice for a hunting rifle.

Fun to shoot, though.

October 5, 2006, 02:19 AM
I live in Washington as well and I own both an AR-10 and multiple AR-15s.

It is illegal in our state to use the .223 for deer hunting so if you are emphasizing hunting as the sole use for the rifle and you absolutely positively want an AR, then get the AR-10.

But, I wouldn't recommend even using the .308-chambered AR-10 for hunting because it is a very heavy gun for that purpose. I took mine hunting ONCE and even though it weighs 12lbs, it felt like it weight 30 after walking miles and miles in the mountains. However, if you are going to hunt in a tree-stand or have the luxury of not needing to walk for long distances when you hunt then I guess the extra weight of an AR-10 over a standard hunting rifle won't be that big of a problem.

Now, if you are emphasizing plinking/paper shooting then an AR-15 in .223/5.56 would be fine at extended ranges if you use the right ammo, the AR-10 might have an advantange in long, long range but since you are a beginner it seems, you won't really have the ability to exploit that advantage.

Plus, the .223 kicks alot less and is alot more fun and affordable to shoot for longer periods of time. And the last thing you want to do is buy an AR-10 for target shooting and plinking and end up developing a flinch due to its recoil.

October 5, 2006, 07:49 AM
A quality bull barrel AR-15 will easily kill a dear, Or human, or anything smaller than a bear. That being said, If you shoot outside your range, Or outside the distance you sighted the rifle in... Then you have a very good chance in wounding the animal, and making it die a slow, Hard, Bloddy death... In which it may be miles away and you won't be able to even recover the corpse afterwards.

.223 is not the best dear round.

Although there have been hundreds of dear taken with .22lr, Perhaps more than any other round in America. So it is possible.

October 5, 2006, 09:09 AM
I'd go with an AR15 platform but not in .223, the 6.8 and 6.5 Grendel are good deer hunting cartridges. And the Grendel is also a very good target round.

October 5, 2006, 10:03 AM
Hi, Kevin.

Welcome to THR. IIRC, the minimum hunting caliber for deer in WA is .243 (6mm), so a 5.56 AR-15 style rifle wouldn't work for that. Other calibers- unless you want to go with something like an Olympic Arms 7.62x39 version- are going to be much more expensive to buy ammo for. (What is 6.8mm going for right now? Anyone?)

You're in WA. Maybe you could ask to tour the Olympic Arms facility sometime when you're in the area? A 7.62x39 AR would be harder to find good magazines for, but it wouldn't be noticeably heavier than a .223 one, ammunition would still be cheaper than just about any other rifle caliber, and it would work just fine on deer with good ammunition out to 175 meters or so.

John (who really misses the Pacific NW right now!)

October 5, 2006, 10:14 AM
Like browningguy suggested -- you can (for a price) take a standard 5.56mm AR-15 and put on a heavier caliber upper that is more suitable for deer sized game.

Doing so, though, can get pretty close to doubling the price of your baseline AR-15.

On the other hand, for a range gun, .223 is cheaper, and much more fun to shoot than .308 (at least in quantity).

October 8, 2006, 12:22 AM
I think you should consider 7.62x39, perhaps an AK-47 or a Ruger mini-30.
Richard (

October 8, 2006, 01:46 AM
If you have an AR-15 then it's good for paperpunching, but I highly suggest not using it for deer, it won't kill the animal quickly or at all maybe, and if it does it will be a slow and painful death.

An AR-10 will do great against deer, but a bit too much for range shooting.

Maybe get an AR-15 10mm upper? Then you could use it both for paperpunching and hunting. If you can find a 10mm upper and mags, as they are rare.

Alan Fud
October 8, 2006, 02:04 AM
This place ( sells AR's in 10mm.

October 8, 2006, 03:39 PM
If you want to run a stock configuration and hunt with it, the AR-10 is a far better plan. .308 will kill anything on this continent.

The AR-15 can be had in legal hunting calibers, but with a few exceptions they are still relatively low powered and not suitable for long shots (over 200 yards) and larger game. Rounds such as the .458 SOCOM and .50 Beuwolf are capable of taking bigger animals, but are strictly short-range numbers.

Accuracy Systems, inc. makes AR-15 uppers in the new proprietary .243 and .25 Levithan cartridges, giving 6mm Rem. and .25-06 Rem. performance form the AR-15, but the uppers and ammunition are quite spendy.

On that same note, ASI makes AR-10 uppers in all the WSM and RSAUM calibers, including the newer .325 WSM.

Cobb sells AR-pattern .30-06 and .338 Lapua Rifles, but they're $3,500 and $4,000 respectively.

Lastly, I'll say this. If I had to get rid of all but one of my rifles, the Armalite AR-10 would be the one I kept. Being capable of everything from CQB to long-range work and big game hunting with a quick upper change, it is truly the most versatile rifle out there.

October 8, 2006, 05:23 PM
If it were me, I'd get an AR-15 style rifle with a flattop receiver ("A3" config) and detachable carry handle, for the perfect range gun. You could pick up a .243 or 6.8mm upper later if you decide to take up hunting with it.

IMHO, the AR-15 can become a hunting rifle with a heavier caliber upper, but the AR-10 can never become a light-recoiling, lightweight range gun.

Stiletto Null
October 8, 2006, 05:26 PM
You can fit .243 into an AR-15 magwell?

October 8, 2006, 05:53 PM
You can fit .243 into an AR-15 magwell?

Perhaps he meant 6x45mm?

Also known as the 6mm-223 Remington.


October 8, 2006, 06:13 PM
man, I've got both, my 10A4 carbine weights in at 9.5lbs with optic unloaded, and the recoils not bad at all, its certainly nothing like the felt recoil from a bolt rifle,

I've fired 500rnds at one range session with it and it didn't leave a mark or make my shoulder sore, the kick feels about like a 410 shotgun shooting 2 1/2" loads,

but its not a target shooter, the 10A4 chromed lined barrel will do approx 2" @100 5 shot groups with match ammo, if you want a more accurate version you'll have to get a AR10T, which has a SS target barrel and I hear capible of 1/2" 3 shot groups, I don't know,as I've never fired one of the Ts,

the 10T cost about $800 more than a standard 10A4 though,

now if your gonna do a lot of blasting or range shooting than hunting, then the 10s not the best choice cause ammo is nearly 3X the cost of 223 ammo

with the 308 you've got a great all around hunting round, its got over twice the energy of a 223, and hunting type ammo is available at nearly every gun shop and walmart in America,

also, the AR10 is not a AR beginners rifle, it looks, feels and functions the same, uses the same FCG, but takes a bit more care in the cleaning dept,

mine has to be literaly dripping oil off the bolt and carrier or it will short stroke everytime, it also took a bit of "break in" time before it ran smoothly,

magizines are $40+ each, plus replacement/tactical parts are extreamly expensive, but can be had if you want them,

now to the AR15, its the gold standard in fun guns, blasting ammos no longer "cheap", but its not nearly as expensive as 308,

mags are plentiful for $10 or so each, you can build a rifle from a kit for less than $600 including receiver,

standard rifles are earily accurate, varmint/target models even more so, very little recoil and can be had in nearly any configuration you can imagine,

for a new AR owner I'd recomend they go with the 15 first and then as money allowed, I'd add a 10,

an AR collection isn't complete without a 10,

mines my favorite AR, if I had to keep only one rifle, it'd be my 10.

December 27, 2009, 07:56 PM
The long of it is;

I first bought an AR-15 Colt in the Pre-Ban Days. I shot it a few times as I wasnt really a "range" sort of guy. Then, when my fancy drew me to another toy, I sold it. A year later, I bought it back and still only shot it occaisionally. Then, my brother-in-law said, we are getting old, let's go shoot prairie dogs before we cant anymore. After our first trip in which we both took several rifles, the AR15 was the star of the hunt. It was just a regular M16 type, carry handle, scope mounted on top - and it was a ball to shoot. And accurate too, using cheap Wolf ammo! When we returned, we immediately started to load up on ammo - buying 1000 round cases (get the hollowpoint stuff). He bought an AR-15 and we both ordered flat top varmint uppers. Our next trip made it all worth while! We had a terrific time and went through 3700 rounds in three days of shooting. Even at the range now, we have something in mind for shooting - better aim and control!

By the way - if you can hunt with a .223, there are lots of choices in ammo.

Then, I bought an ArmaLite AR-10. Why? My M1A Springfield was fun enough, but once you shoot the AR platform, you get spoiled. It is now my favorite wild hog rifle. It will also do any big game I can find east of the Mississippi and I can get a .338 Federal upper if I want Elk or Grizzley.

Get the AR`15 - go shoot some prairie dogs! Your next purchase will be the AR-10. Got to have both! Oh, one more thing, I bought another .223 lower to match my varmint upper specifically for priarie dog.

December 27, 2009, 08:09 PM
Please look into before you:

Good luck.

December 27, 2009, 09:52 PM
For a dual purpose rifle, an AR 15 in 6.8 SPC would be a good choice. Humping an 11 pound .308 isn't the most fun, and shooting .308 will make you aware of recoil regardless of load or platform. But the AR15 in 6.8 will do both, easily, and lightly.

There are those who will suggest the 6.5 Grendel, and it does have a good reputation for long distance shooting, especially out to 1000 yards. It depends on the barrel length finally chosen. A 16 to 18" hunting rifle would do better in 6.8, and 20-24" target gun in 6.5. Neither does the others job well, and won't perform to expectations if used at the wrong length.

I'm building an AR in 6.8 with 16" barrel to hunt - as there are no 300-600 yard ranges within a days driving distance in four states. Long distance shooting is a glamorous undertaking that isn't actually done much - but with two centerfire deer seasons and year round unlimited hog hunting, there are far more opportunities for me locally with it. Since that rifle has to carried in the field - and I carried an HK in .308 for more than twenty years - I will appreciate the 7 pound loaded weight a lot more. And as most hunting and combat is at less than 400 yards, I really don't need the long range tack driver. I can use a round devised for improved lethality in exactly the way it was intended.

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