hunting with an AR-15


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SaMx
June 27, 2007, 03:22 PM
I was out getting a haircut today, and while I was waiting I saw a copy of Hunting magazine. I don't hunt, and don't really care about hunting that much, but the cover story of this magazine caught my eye. It was called, "hunting with the AR-15-why not?" I gave it a look over and thought it was a very well written article the discussed the history of military rifle designs and their traditional use in hunting. You can find the article here (http://www.huntingmag.com/guns_loads/phsar_022707/).

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Jorg Nysgerrig
June 27, 2007, 03:43 PM
A pretty good article, thanks for posting it.

TX1911fan
June 27, 2007, 06:01 PM
I hunt with mine. Right now just hogs and coyotes, but I plan on using it for deer. The whitetail herein Texas are small, and we hunt from blinds, so the shots are close.

Prince Yamato
June 27, 2007, 06:02 PM
I don't hunt either, but this article COMPLETELY destroys the antis argument, "These guns are not used for hunting"...except...wait for it... oops, they are. Not that I believe in the necessity of a sporting clause anyhow, but still. One less argument against AWs. Now if we could only espouse the merits of pest control with a full-auto Uzi...

MD_Willington
June 27, 2007, 06:15 PM
Quite a few of the worlds armies find the AR pattern rifle to be quite well suited to hunting prey, prey that shoots back I might add.

Cannonball888
June 27, 2007, 07:05 PM
Yep. All military field rifles (like my M1903A1) have been used for hunting especially for deer. The AR15 should be no exception.

jaholder1971
June 27, 2007, 10:55 PM
My first deer rifle was a scoped M1A. Took a lot of flak from my father-in-law about it being an "Assault weapon" until I bagged my deer 4 hours into my first day from about 250 yards with the rifle he said couldn't kill past 50 yards.

I also took it along coyote hunting with him. After I hit 3 out of a pack of 4 coyotes with my M1A he no longer questions my choice of rifle under any circumstances.

1911 guy
June 28, 2007, 08:24 AM
My current varmint rifle (had to sell my .223 Rem 700 due to finances) is a 20" HBAR setup with a 1:9 twist and 6X-18X scope. Does quite nicely after getting it set up right. I go open sights once in a while (NM set up) just to aggravate my uncle.

rbernie
June 28, 2007, 08:33 AM
The fact that AR-15s can be had in a number of useful chamberings and is readily scoped certainly helps.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=41166&d=1150376185

I'm holding what was at the time my primary pig and deer rifle; a 16" barrelled 7.62x39 AR-15. It's been semi-retired in favor of a 18" 6.8 SPC AR-15.

RubenZ
June 28, 2007, 09:44 AM
The whitetail herein Texas are small,


Uhh maybe in the East side of Texas. But Up north or out west they aren't.

I wouldn't use a .223 for anything bigger than a coyote.

Stinger
June 28, 2007, 11:59 AM
Uhh maybe in the East side of Texas. But Up north or out west they aren't.

No matter what part of the state you are talking about Texas deer are considerably smaller (generally) than their northern cousins. That is just a fact. It has to do with habitat and diet (also that idea that as you go north animals get bigger.)

Are their some monsters in Texas, you betcha. But by and large our deer are outclassed in size by deer up north.

RubenZ
June 28, 2007, 12:11 PM
True in a sense. But They aren't small enough to warrant using a .223 on. Maybe if your shooting does around the neighborhoods of San Antonio that are as big as dogs.

DogBonz
June 28, 2007, 12:41 PM
AR’s are great for hunting. With a 223 upper you have a potent varmint rifle for prairie dogs, woodchucks, raccoons, coyotes, etc. Pull two pins and drop on a 6.8 or 6.5 Grendel upper on and you have good deer to black bear medicine. A 50 Beowulf upper would be great for bear or whatever you might use a 45-70 on. It was even used on African safari game including cape buffalo.

I would like to use my 6.5 Grendel for some deer this season, but we will see…

kellyj00
June 28, 2007, 01:30 PM
here in KS, you can't hunt with anything less than .25 caliber... so a .223 is too small.

DogBonz
June 28, 2007, 01:33 PM
here in KS, you can't hunt with anything less than .25 caliber... so a .223 is too small.

Even varmints? Rabbits?

Prince Yamato
June 28, 2007, 06:22 PM
Wouldn't it be ironic if it 10-15 years, the AR becomes known as primarily a "hunting rifle"?

marksman13
June 28, 2007, 08:47 PM
The AR-15 is a fine deer/varmint hunting rifle. With the heavier 65 and 70 grain bullets available today the .223/5.56mm is quite capable of killing deer sized game within reasonable ranges with proper shot placement. People absolutely amaze me with their outdated, misinformed opinion that a 223 can not kill a deer.

Great article. Should stir the anti's a bit.

Sunray
June 28, 2007, 11:04 PM
"...a 223 can not kill a deer..." The problem is the non-reloading hunters who use whatever cheap factory ammo they can find. Most of which is loaded with varmint bullets that aren't designed to penetrate. The rifle itself, depending on the rifling twist, is fine for deer. Factory ammo with varmint bullets is not.

marksman13
June 29, 2007, 02:57 AM
That's my point, sunray. Well, kinda. I think shot placement is the key. I know, I know, I know...but deer move sometimes and might not hit exactly what you are aiming at. That's always the response. The 223 is not suitable for all hunting situations. If you are hunting with dogs or taking 300 yard shots, then you need something bigger and heavier, but IF you are hunting a wooded area where most shots are under 100 yards, the 223 is more than capable of killing a deer DRT.

Shoot them in the neck or head or just behind the shoulder. Use a heavy bullet, and I promise the little 223 just might suprise you. It's not for everyone, but I get sick of hearing people fire off the old "223 is for coyotes" nonsense. People who spout this crap are usually the guys who A) have never used a 223 to shoot deer because they were told it was too small, or B) guys who can't shoot and wounded a deer one time that got away. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between.

I carried a 5.56mm M4 everyday for 365 days to shoot kill animals that are a hell of alot more dangerous than deer. Would I have rather had a 7.62mm? You bet! The bottom line though is that deer don't shoot back and they don't wear any form of body armor. Study the animals you hunt. Get to know their habits like your own, and then get close enough to make a sure shot. Sorry, end or rant.

Bitmap
June 29, 2007, 09:12 AM
Posted by Prince Yamato: this article COMPLETELY destroys the antis argument, "These guns are not used for hunting"

I don't think that is an argument, although some people pretend it is. What difference could it possibly make whether a type of gun is used for hunting or not? Are we going to legitimize the argument that only "sporting" firearms are to be allowed? AFAIK that takes out just about everything back to matchlocks. Protecting yourself from creeps is just as legitimate as protecting yourself from hunger.

I'm not attacking you on this Yamato. I'm saying that is a gratuitous statement that doesn't rate a reply.

That being said, here is a pic of me a while ago. Check out the ECR I used. (ECR = Evil Camo Rifle)

http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q241/Bitmaps_photos/11-04wt1.jpg

I fired three rounds that year and brought home three deer. That one was small but tasty.

marksman13
June 29, 2007, 11:58 AM
I do like that rifle, Bitmap.

jaholder1971
June 29, 2007, 11:03 PM
Kelly
Quote:
here in KS, you can't hunt with anything less than .25 caliber... so a .223 is too small.
Even varmints? Rabbits?

He's talking deer. In KS taking deer with a rifle requires a centerfire rifle or pistol with a bore diameter larger than .23 caliber and case longer than 1.28" and must use an expanding bullet. .223's out, along with .30 carbine and all pistol cartridges shorter than a .38 Special. It unfortunately takes out 10mm, which can be loaded somewhere between .357 and .41 Magnum performance.

Alphazulu6
June 29, 2007, 11:12 PM
Ok I am not a caliber nut but a .223 has a hard time taking down an Iraqi humanely. And yes I have seen 5.56 hollow point ammunition used in a combat zone with not really much effect. Though I really do not care about the enemies of the US ... as for deer and any other animal please use a larger caliber so you dont wound the thing and make it suffer. A .243, 30/30, or .308 (even in AR-15 style) is a good start. It is our responsibility as sportsmen and hunters to ensure that we use the tools available to cleanly take the animal as quickly and humanely as possible. A .223 just leaves too many variables open for tragedy.

koja48
June 29, 2007, 11:55 PM
The AR is one of my favorite varmint platforms, but if I were to slap a Grendel upper on one, I'd consider it a right fine deer or antelope rifle, but not so chambered in .223 . . . the old "bring enuff gun" theory. They ARE accurate!

halvey
July 2, 2007, 02:15 PM
Quote:
Posted by Prince Yamato: this article COMPLETELY destroys the antis argument, "These guns are not used for hunting"

I don't think that is an argument, although some people pretend it is. What difference could it possibly make whether a type of gun is used for hunting or not? Are we going to legitimize the argument that only "sporting" firearms are to be allowed? AFAIK that takes out just about everything back to matchlocks. Protecting yourself from creeps is just as legitimate as protecting yourself from hunger.
I think his point is its one less argument the antis can use.

Bitmap
July 2, 2007, 09:33 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Posted by Prince Yamato: this article COMPLETELY destroys the antis argument, "These guns are not used for hunting"

I don't think that is an argument, although some people pretend it is. What difference could it possibly make whether a type of gun is used for hunting or not? Are we going to legitimize the argument that only "sporting" firearms are to be allowed? AFAIK that takes out just about everything back to matchlocks. Protecting yourself from creeps is just as legitimate as protecting yourself from hunger.
I think his point is its one less argument the antis can use.

My point is that saying "AR's should be banned because nobody hunts with one" makes as much sense and is as relevant as saying "cameras aren't protected by the 1st Amendment and should be banned because nobody takes pictures of walking sticks with them." Whether or not people actually take pictures of walking sticks should have nothing to do with the issue of banning cameras. To claim that the right to own a camera is based on what people take pictures of is silly and I don't consider that to be an argument - only a nonsense statement.

Dallas Jack
July 3, 2007, 03:49 AM
TX911fan, what caliber and bullet weight do you use in your AR to hunt hogs? I am planning on hog hunting with a .223 using factory load that has a 60 gr Nosler Partition bullet. Am I overestimating the ability of the .223?
Dallas Jack

RubenZ
July 3, 2007, 10:40 AM
Rbernie,

Nice use of Camera to make hog look bigger :)

Troutman
July 3, 2007, 01:44 PM
<<Ok I am not a caliber nut but a .223 has a hard time taking down an Iraqi humanely. And yes I have seen 5.56 hollow point ammunition used in a combat zone with not really much effect.>>

Know where you’re coming from.
If one looks at the history of the M-16, with the use of the 5.56, it was designed (with in mind) for combat use, for anyone. Leaving out other reasons.
So even one who is in the military who had to keep chairs warm could qualify with it.


<<for deer and any other animal please use a larger caliber so you dont wound the thing and make it suffer. A .243, 30/30, or .308 (even in AR-15 style) is a good start. It is our responsibility as sportsmen and hunters to ensure that we use the tools available to cleanly take the animal as quickly and humanely as possible. A .223 just leaves too many variables open for tragedy.>>

I believe the ones Bushmaster (civilian version of the M-16) makes, makes a .450 caliber?
There are a lot of options for hunting, in rifle, handgun design, as well as calibers, conventional or military style.
More choices in the civilian world than the military life.
Just imagine……. the government taking orders on the type of firearm and caliber from every solider wants to use in combat. Not real world, though.
Except for those special (different) units. (Smile)

Zak Smith
July 3, 2007, 02:40 PM
http://demigodllc.com/~zak/DigiCam/TG-2005/smaller/A100_1566_img_g_c.jpg (http://demigodllc.com/~zak/DigiCam/TG-2005/?small=A100_1566_img_g_c.jpg)
............... Larger version of above photo. (http://demigodllc.com/~zak/DigiCam/TG-2005/?small=A100_1566_img_g_c.jpg)

Art Eatman
July 3, 2007, 02:51 PM
If I'm in the Sandbox, the last thing to concern me would be the humaneness of the .223 on Bad Guys. Deer, now, that's different.

Today's bullet technology has made it feasible to use the .223 on deer, where it once was not appropriate. We're not talking the varmint bullets of just a few years back. The R&D boffins have done a lot of good work.

Still, the .223 has its limitations as to shot placement and angle on the target. Common sense oughta control whether or not one actually pulls trigger...

Art

MudPuppy
July 3, 2007, 03:32 PM
My brother took two with my AR last year, out near San Saba (they were pretty good sized...for goats).

Now, we were specifically reducing herd count and taking does (not bigger bucks). We also were shooting from less than 75 yards, with hornady bullets, iirc. Both ran the customary 25 yards as they expired.

I use an AK for hunting whenever I can--just so my fudd aquantice's notions about what is or isn't a hunting rifle can be reconsidered. And it seems that our politicians make the determination of what shouldn't be banned based on what hunters use...

I think its perfectly capable for most Texas deer from a reasonable distance.

orionengnr
July 3, 2007, 03:55 PM
Yeah, even Zumbo said...you can't...um, what's that? Ted who?

Never mind... :)

Troutman
July 3, 2007, 03:55 PM
<<Today's bullet technology has made it feasible to use the .223 on deer, where it once was not appropriate>>

<<Still, the .223 has its limitations as to shot placement and angle on the target. Common sense oughta control whether or not one actually pulls trigger...>>

Yes, besides that. Why limit ones’ self? To prove a point?
It’s more important to make your choices (caliber) based on type of game, as well on weather conditions, terrain. In other words, does one really want to follow a blood trail in heavy snowfall, or pouring rain and rough (rocky) terrain, let’s say? If one (just by chance) just wounds. I don’t! Not so much following the trail. Bringing it back, from said weather, terrain conditions, that I have a problem with! With a rifle strapped to you., no less. Depending where the thing winds up at? I’ll lean towards, overkill.
I am and was always the type, which never stayed at the Holiday Inn and had continental breakfasts, during hunting trips. Or only went hunting when it was clear weather.
Unlike my wife. What can one say, those wearing high heels, is the latest hunting footwear fashion, statement!
But, to follow a blood trail, just for the sport of it? Is different! No way!

marksman13
July 3, 2007, 05:04 PM
Troutmna, I've seen quite a few deer killed with a 223 and if I remember correctly, we to track exactly one of them. It was a poor shot through the guts and in all likelyhood would have been a tracking job no matter what the deer was shot with. With modern bullets and good marksmanship a 223 is deadly effective on deer out to at least 150-200 yards. Overkill, is fine if that is what you want, but when my wife starts hunting next year she just might be shooting a 223, and maybe, just maybe...it will be an AR.

Troutman
July 3, 2007, 10:35 PM
<<Troutmna, I've seen quite a few deer killed with a 223 and if I remember correctly, we to track exactly one of them. >>
clipped..


Its one of choices, not which caliber or for that matter, type of firearm (style) is better.
I am not one of thinking, doing of the “conventional ways”. Went to a different school, I guess? Though, there is a lot to be learned from the conventional wisdom of hunting.
A rifle is a rifle, in my book. Just like a cartridge is a cartridge.
Just, like the term, over-kill. In my book, killing is killing. How…..can you over-kill something, when you shoot it, drops and died. To me its, a more of an “appeal to emotions”, than anything, other than a reference term.
More important is cartridge, plus bullet type, than if it’s from a sporting rifle (whatever that is) or military style rifle. Yes, the AR’s (semi-auto version) are sporting versions of the M-16 and its variants, or whatever letter from the Greek alphabet, you want to add at the end of M-16. Since it went through so many modifications by now, American alphabet only goes to Z.
This is not to say that a 30-06 is better than a 5.56. Or the M-16 or (should say) the AR’s, cannot be used as hunting firearms. One has choices here, for their own hunting purposes (style).
With different calibers (cartridges), one also has to understand, what that cartridge can and can not do. Besides ones’ own (mind controlled) human reflexes are going to do in the process. Flinching, recoil effects. This varies, from human to human. Even with first time hunters. Their emotional side can have an effect on their aim, hesitation, ect, ect, as well.
This is more important factor of overcoming it, than the caliber they choose. But, one can have an advantage with those cartridges that exceed the 5.56 capabilities. If one does not let those (unwanted) reflexes and “appeal to emotions” get in their way.

MeekandMild
July 4, 2007, 12:39 AM
An AR is a great rifle for deer...provided you use one chambered for 6.5mm Grendel. :neener:

rbernie
July 4, 2007, 12:51 AM
Nice use of Camera to make hog look bigger Not my choice of camera shot. In the end, I was just happy to meet a 500lb hog at contact distance and be able to bring home the bacon, so to speak.

brian923
July 4, 2007, 12:33 PM
not to start a fight, but in #23, he metions using a .243 instead if a .223. i am shure that the deer can not tell the difference in .020". my grandfather has taken many deer with a .22 lr. people say that large bore calibers are needed to take a deer, and not to mame it. i have seen many a deer mamed with 30-06's. energy and size DO NOT kill, only aid in killing. shot placement must be in the equation.

nitestocker
July 11, 2007, 02:46 AM
number 39 is right my dad and grampa not to mention others i no have killed der and cows with a 22lr and a 223 will kill deer and pigs its all in bullet placment i myself still use a 3006 but a 223 will kill deer just as dead

eliphalet
July 11, 2007, 03:39 AM
Still, the .223 has its limitations as to shot placement and angle on the target. Common sense oughta control whether or not one actually pulls trigger...
Reading this thread I feel fairly confident that that component is sadly lacking in far to many minds. Just cause a caliber can doesn't mean it should in far to many situations. Firbearer's or vermin hard to beat a 223, for what is called big game hopefully states will put a stop to such foolishness and follow Kansas lead. Not because a competent hunter can't, or even shouldn't,( I feel sure the shot Zak took I would applaud) its just to many that don't have the reasoning when not to. In that respect and bullets in 22 caliber in simiauto's I tend to agree with Mr. Zumbo if big game is involved. the world is full of armchair quarterbacks that can pull a trigger 20 or 30 times but can't shoot straight or have buck fever, are overconfident and under practiced and not responsible hunters or marksmen that have read to much foolishness.

Boy did I just make a buncha friends, flame away I have seen in the field to much of this kinda huntin.bang bang bang over and over and not getting the job done as it should be, with one bullet or the right bullet placed where it should be. Like kids that learn to hunt with 10/22 and then shoot at deer the same way they empty clips at ground squirrels.

I know this will step on plenty of toes but isn't;t that want a forum is for to share our ideals and experiences? All that said my boy killed a elk with a simi auto but it was a 308 which some would call underpowered for that animal, but he only used one well placed shot.

RubenZ
July 11, 2007, 12:45 PM
not to start a fight, but in #23, he metions using a .243 instead if a .223. i am shure that the deer can not tell the difference in .020".


Size of Bullet is the factor. Where can you get 100 grain in .223 :)

marksman13
July 11, 2007, 01:07 PM
Why do you need a 100 grain 223 bullet. 65 is plenty. Now I'm done, before we succeed in getting this thread closed as well.:D

Zak Smith
July 11, 2007, 03:05 PM
The 70gr Barnes TSX is a very stout bullet. I'd have no qualms using it on deer. With any caliber, you have to pay attention to placement.

warriorsociologist
July 19, 2007, 10:10 PM
I have one of my ARs dialed in for 75gr BTHPs and I have been tempted to take it out for the last several seasons - maybe this year. I'm sure it will do the job if I do mine.

Gibbles
July 20, 2007, 01:31 AM
AR-15 is perfect for hunting IMO, I'm still using a rem700 in 30-06 for this years deer season though. My brother in law hunts with a .222 and he gets a deer every year.

MCgunner
July 20, 2007, 10:01 AM
ARs can be very accurate, but I still much prefer traditional hunting rifles. I HATE those tacticool pistol grips and stuff when carrying in the field. I'm quicker to the shoulder with a traditional rifle. I just ain't a tacticool guy, never owned an AR and don't want one, thanks. Anything you can do with your AR, I can do better with my Remingtons. (isn't that a song?) If I had to hunt with an AR, I'd find an AR pattern rifle in a serious caliber, not some glorified varmint caliber. I'd want a .308. Not to say that those pop gun .223s can't kill a deer, I just prefer a real caliber for deer sized or bigger game. I like my .257 Roberts, I'm not a "anything so long as it starts with a 3" kinda guy, but I don't consider anything smaller than 6mm for deer hunting, just me. I can see no reason to limit myself to a .223. I'm a big boy, can handle big rifles, have fired the .375 H&H Magnum and it didn't hurt and that was off a bench! I actually LIKE shooting my 7mm remington magnum. I can handle the recoil. I ain't a girly man. ROFL! Actually, big guns give me a macho complex, not firepower. I'm a magnum lover, handgun or rifle, but I hunt deer with the good ol' .308. .308 is a mild cartridge out of a light, handy rifle and can handle ANYTHING in the lower 48. I might hesitate to use it on griz, but hey, I've never seen a griz, don't know that I've ever even seen one in a zoo!

I figure, if you can't handle a .243, you really don't need to be hunting deer. JMHO of course. There are putters designed for putting and there are drivers designed for driving. I like to use the right tool for the job. If you like driving with a putter, go for it if game laws allow it. It's a free country. I ain't gonna get all sanctimonious on ya with hunting ethics and stuff. That's your choice.

koja48
July 20, 2007, 01:04 PM
Anything you can do with your AR, I can do better with my Remingtons

I own single-shots, bolt guns, and ARs. No doubt some bolt guns are very accurate & can be chambered for long-range magnums, which isn't feasible with the AR. However, some ARs are incredibly accurate, also. I happen to own one in that category & one thing it will do that a bolt gun won't do better is place a second or third accurate shot on-target quickly, when desired. As for personal preference, I like them all & am fortunate to be able to match the tool to the game & conditions.

MCgunner
July 20, 2007, 01:07 PM
One shot is all that matters. Heck, my Hawkin can't shoot a back up in less than a minute, but it's a good hunting rifle. 360 grains at 1200 fps ain't shabby. :D Firepower is what black guns are about, but I've never had the need for suppressive fire in a deer stand. Yeah, the ARs can be very accurate, but I just would rather have more cartridge. A well placed 7 mag will trump three rapid fire .223s every time out where the deer and the antelope play, not to mention the elk.

koja48
July 20, 2007, 01:16 PM
Nor have I, but regarding the game & conditions aspect, I have quite frequently used the second (and once a third) when multiple coyotes came in to a stand. As long as one enjoys what they shoot and are proficient, that's all that matters when hunting/shooting. I own several magnums, but don't shot them much anymore, preferring lighter calibers. I will use a 300WSM for black bear this fall, however & if I ever was confronted by a griz in a "shoot or become dinner" scenario, you couldn't possibly give me a big enough gun!

Art Eatman
July 20, 2007, 01:17 PM
This ain't as bad as the foolish of Glock vs. 1911, but there's not much here, here, to re-phrase an old saying...

Art

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