Proof that AR-15s have a "legitimate hunting or sporting use"?


January 25, 2013, 11:50 AM
I know the 2A is not about hunting or sporting. I know ARs are very common in both target and action competition, and that they are very popular for hunting. However, I don't have any sources to back this up.

I'm not trying to take away from the argument that the 2A is about defense, not hunting/sporting, but when someone says "the AR-15 has no hunting or sporting use" it would be nice to point out (in addition to the bit about the 2A) that they actually do.

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Strange Bob
January 25, 2013, 11:56 AM
The AR is preferred by a majority of coyote hunters in my area. I have no actual documentation but I'd ask someone that states it is not a hunting tool to prove their statement.

January 25, 2013, 11:57 AM
you could simply explain that many people use them for hunting. if they contest your claim, you could suggest that they actually talk to some people that hunt instead of being satisfied with being uninformed. my patience with people who are content in their ignorance is essentially no more. i'll talk to them, but the conversation isn't going to be a fluffy one. i'll save my candor for people who, though they may be uninformed, engage you because they are actually interested in becoming informed.

January 25, 2013, 12:00 PM
All they have to do is google or youtube it. AR's are great for many types of hunting, from hogs to coyotes, and then some. It's not just a .223 caliber rifle anymore.

January 25, 2013, 12:02 PM
Take for example the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. A thousand-plus folks show up to shoot CMP/NRA matches, predominately using the AR-15.

You can't get more "sporting" than a marksmanship competition!

January 25, 2013, 12:05 PM

Here is an article referencing the growth of AR15 as a hunting rifle.

Al Thompson
January 25, 2013, 12:05 PM
Most popular rifle in Three Gun competition and most other forms of rifle competition.

Outlaw Man
January 25, 2013, 12:10 PM
Nemo Arms in Montana has an AR style rifle in 300 Win Mag. With that, all the way down to 22 LR, you can effectively hunt any land animal in North America with an AR of a caliber common for that animal.

Not proof, but a good enough argument for me. (I know I'm not the one you're trying to convince, though.)

January 25, 2013, 12:13 PM
Coyotes are allergic to the dang things. They are a very effective predator control platform...and the cute little rabbits and quail and small game all thank the AR for performing that service.

January 25, 2013, 12:16 PM
OK, the answer is so blindingly obvious.

ALL guns are designed to terminate something's life force. Therefore, all guns may be used to hunt.

While an AR-15 may have been designed as a military rifle to terminate a 165 man, these same characteristics make it a perfect rifle to terminate a 165 lb whitetail.

ALL guns will punch holes in a paper target. Therefore a paper hole punching contest can be conducted with any gun.

January 25, 2013, 12:17 PM
IIRC, Gene Stoner specifically DESIGNED it as a coyote/similar-size game rifle, and IIRC the first purchase from the military was USAF intending to evaluate it as an aircrew "survival rifle." THEN AF Security Police got a hold of it and demanded a select-fire version, then the game was on, and here we are fifty years later...

January 25, 2013, 12:19 PM
Listen for a wounded rabbit call in the woods in my town at night and follow it. PS - Bring coffee, even during the warm weather it is cold and I will mildly annoyed :)

Carl N. Brown
January 25, 2013, 12:21 PM
How can you have civilian marksmanship training, in the over-century-old tradition of the national board for the promotion of rifle practice, if you ban civilian ownership of the nation's service rifle?

My son and a family friend took deer with an AR rifle a couple of seasons back. ARs are used by many competitors in the local modern military matches. Also, it is just history, that when military veterans take up shooting as civilians, many gravitate toward what they are most trained and familiar with, whether it was cartridge and leveraction guns after the Civil war, bolt-actions after the Spanish-American war and WWI, or semi-autos after WWII, or ARs today.

January 25, 2013, 12:22 PM
It's supposed to be a great varmint rifle.


Don't accept the premise in the first place.

January 25, 2013, 12:24 PM
Took my last three deer with ar's in 50 Beowulf and 6.5 Grendel calibers.

Sent from my DROID RAZR

January 25, 2013, 12:25 PM
want proof just come to texas

January 25, 2013, 12:28 PM
AR15 in 7.62x39, circa 2005:

January 25, 2013, 12:28 PM
How about the modular nature that gives you the ability to swap between calibers? IIRC, American Rifleman has an LMT advertisement that shows uppers in a range of non-5.56 varieties: about 7 calibers, I think. I know .243 and 7mm-08 uppers were on the list. Both of those are great for sporting purposes (long-distance comps). Swapping out a handful of parts negates the need to own several rifles if you really like the AR platform.

There's a guy on these boards (can't remember his name off the top of my head) who posts in the hunting sub (IIRC) who knocks out hogs in Texas with his AR built as a .458 SOCOM.

Good luck getting this idea through to people who use this argument. They've already dismissed punching paper in any caliber as a sporting purpose, and generally aren't open to listening to logic that goes against their closely held beliefs. From what I can gather, they're thinking "LALALAICAN'THEARYOULALALA."

January 25, 2013, 12:31 PM
Them to google images of 'AR-15 deer' and theyll see how many people use ARs to hunt.

January 25, 2013, 12:32 PM
Don't forget different caliber variants. If I'm not mistaken there is an outfit in GA that uses them with NV scopes for guided hog hunts.

I use a .223 with a 5rd mag for deer/ hog in Fl. Lately I've been using my SCAR 17 with a mag block for deer.

Remington also has an extremely popular version designed for.hunters with factory camo.
January 25, 2013, 12:32 PM
My 15 year old daughter harvested her first deer with an AR15 this season.

We chose the AR because of its light weight, low recoil, excellent ergonomics for a smaller stature shooter, accuracy, ease of scope mounting, adequately powerful cartridge, and excellent safety selector.

We also enjoy target shooting with it as well and she's an excellent shot at 100 yards with her AR15 rifle.

January 25, 2013, 12:40 PM
My wife hunts deer with a 7.62X39 Colt Sp1 modern sporting rifle while our more "modern" friends use 6.8 for deer and hogs. The Remington R25 is a 7.62X51 modern sporting rifle.

Ranchers use the standard 5.56 to protect livestock as I do here. I've also used it for 3 gun matches like so many others (AR and modern pistol competitions are more common now than clay shooters using shotguns).

My daughter plinks with a .22lr AR and uses a 5.56 to help protect the goats from coyotes.

It is a lie to say that ARs do not have a "sporting purpose" since they've always been used to protect livestock and entire sports have become popular around them.

Old Colt ads are great for this. This one from the '60s shows it well. There's another with a barn in the background we need to pull up as well. (1960s price adjusted for inflation is around $1000).

All the varmint variants.

Remington's own site.

Remington R25 article -

January 25, 2013, 01:24 PM
HSO, got direct links to those pictures, and others like them? Good info to refute the "not used for hunting" claims by anti's, and that these are "new and super-duper lethal technology never available before".

January 25, 2013, 01:31 PM
I think we all need to learn to respond to the anti's with statements like this: Well that is an interesting question, but I disagree with the underlying principle... and then proceed to explain that 2A is not about hunting and so forth.

January 25, 2013, 01:32 PM
Military guns have always been used for hunting. AR is no different. The 1903, M1, etc. How long was the .30-06 the most popular round for hunting? Long time I'd bet, and that came straight out of the military.

January 25, 2013, 01:34 PM
There is a guy who posts under the name "X" on one of the AK forums that uses an AK-74 to deer hunt. Seems to work well. Maybe it is the rifle. Maybe it is his trusty hunting partner "War Poodle." 5.45x39 is plenty for what he hunts.


January 25, 2013, 01:36 PM
I think we all need to learn to respond to the anti's with statements like this: Well that is an interesting question, but I disagree with the underlying principle... and then proceed to explain that 2A is not about hunting and so forth.

I agree with this. However, if we can point out MORE fallacies in the anti-gun argument, the better. After explaining it's not about hunting, you can say "even if you think it's about hunting and sports, the AR-15 is a very popular hunting rifle and is the most common rifle used in most target and action shooting." So even people who accept the premise of "legitimate hunting or sporting use" should be able to accept the AR-15.

January 25, 2013, 01:45 PM
I posted these links in a recent message-board discussion in which it was vigorously asserted that the AR-15 has no legitimate sporting purpose:

F&S Picks the 25 Best AR-Style Rifles. (

The AR-15 Platform As A Hunting Rifle. (

Deer hunting with an AR-15 rifle? (

January 25, 2013, 02:23 PM
It's supposed to be a great varmint rifle.


Don't accept the premise in the first place.

An 11 pound, 24 inch barreled AR-15 with a 20x scope that shoots sub 1/2 MOA is a great varmint rifle.

January 25, 2013, 08:16 PM
This may not be the right place for this question but does anyone know anywhere that may have a AR style rifle in 338 Federal caliber available to purchase? Everyone seems to be out of stock right since Obama is trying to outlaw them again but I would think someone somewhere has to have one for sale someplace. Thanks to anyone with any ideas…..

January 26, 2013, 12:12 AM
I finally brought my Saiga 7.62x39 back to it's intended configuration this fall. Two shots, two deer. A wonderful little gun.

January 26, 2013, 12:15 AM
We do not need to fall into the trap..and that is what it is, of justifying ownership of a firearm by citing a particular "legitimate"application. If someone manufactured has an application. Some of us hunt..some have them for self and home defense..and some collect and don't even shoot. It is none of their phuuqing business what I have or why as long as I am not a criminal of a felon. This crap is self defeating. Some people own exotic automobiles that they don't drive..they own them for the pleasure of ownership. They don't need to justify a legitimate use and we should not be even discussing this with anti gun idiots. :p

1911 guy
January 26, 2013, 01:06 AM
If they're open to debating the "sporting purposes" of a particular firearm, I see no need to deprive them of the information regarding the modular nature of the AR-15. If, however, they are just looking for an excuse to ban "scary" guns, then slap them in face with the "It's not about hunting" argument.

Then start telling them all the other things .gov wants to ban or regulate. That pack of Marlboros he just opened and lit one? $4,500 annual tax on smokers (age 50. it varies with age) beginning 2014. Let it sink in while they stew in their hypocrasy.

January 26, 2013, 02:07 AM
I was in the process of pricing a 6.8 upper for a new AR when this whole thing started. It was going to be my Deer/Hog hunting rifle. So trying to tell me an AR has no sporting purpose. Makes as much sense as says the people in washington d.c. are able to save money.

January 26, 2013, 02:23 AM
Go to a 3 gun match. I have shot the local 3 gun match twice now. I only saw on rifle that was not an AR-15. It was mine-a Mini 14 Target Model with a Weaver 6-20x42 scope.

I beat about half the guys in my squad on the rapid fire accuracy stage. They had an advantage with weight and muzzle rise, and maneuverability. This was last November. This month, I used my new (well, used) AR-15. It was a 20" H-bar with stock hand guards and an A2 stock. After the match last weekend, I had the barrel turned down to a medium profile rather than Hbar, had it cut to 18" and a free float hand guard and comp installed. I run a Cmore sight because I already had the optic. Unfortunately the match for tomorrow was canceled due to rain, otherwise I would be competing with mine.

It was easy to modify the AR-15 to my needs. My Mini was bought, and designed to be shot only with a scope and it was made for precision shots in which the gun didn't have to be small or light weight. It is very well suited for shooting from the bench, which was my intended use when I bought it.

The Antis don't think and don't want to admit that AR-15's have a legitimate use. Not knowing is not believing.

Want to know the truth? As of two months ago, I didn't see a big need for an AR-15 either. I didn't have a problem with them, but it seemed like it was just the new fad. I shot a few and didn't mind them. When I tried 3 gun, I learned that they may have a purpose for me. Knowing that, I jumped on the band wagon when I heard of possible new bans. It pushed my schedule for buying one, as much as a year sooner than expected. I am now very glad I pulled the trigger. I still have and like my Mini, but I really do love my AR.

I really wish I cold run without the stupid bullet button and that I could use 30 round mags in 3 gun.

Sporting with guns pretty much sums up a big part of my way of life. I don't wish to hunt and I hope not to have to shoot a person. I have been addicted to competitive pistol shooting for 3 years, now rifles and shotguns too. My semi auto skeet shotgun (Benelli Super Sport) isn't well suited for 3 gun. It holds only 5 rounds and is very long. I make due with it, for 3 gun. One of those evil assault shotguns would be great for competition. The Saga is popular with some people, in competition, as are the Benellis with extended mags and short barrels.

I have fired 0 rounds towards animals or people, and maybe 60-100k rounds for fun/pleasure and skill building. I have 30k through my XD competition pistol. Sporting is my primary use, but the right to defend myself against attackers, including a tyrannical government, is my most important reason for owning fire arms. I do have other hobbies, but they will not protect me from harm, the way firearms will.

January 26, 2013, 02:24 AM
3 gun is a sport

January 26, 2013, 02:41 AM
Oh my goodness. I had a regular (I run a bar), bring this up a couple days ago. My reply was target shooting, hunting and just plain fun. He asked if'n I had ever shot an animal. I said no, but I understand how it works. He said he had, and said it never goes the way you plan. At this point, I was done with the convo, but felt the need to explain buck fever to the guy. If you are not 100% sure, you do not take the shot. He also said the .223 would tear the guts out of whatever you shoot, as well as queer the meat. Followed it up with ".30-06 will do the job." I pointed out that the -06 was a much more powerful round, he agreed. Made me wonder what he had been drinking up until that point.

January 26, 2013, 08:54 AM
My boys who were age 7 & 9 last fall both shot their fist deer with a .223 AR
They could not have hunted without the adjustable stock, even a "youth size" bolt action rifle was too big.
The semi-auto action in combination with light kicking .223 allowed for the practice needed without getting thumped too hard (by kid standards).

The bullet used (both times) was a Nosler 60 gr. Partition at just over 2,800 fps, my handload.
Both deer were 15 yards (or less) away and both were one shot kills.
Both hunters used a Windham SRC with Bushnell TRS red-dot.

AR's are used for hunting and can sometimes be the best tool for the job!

January 26, 2013, 11:00 AM
Logic & reason, unfortunately, will not carry the day in this issue. Read some of the documents they put out regarding sporting use in relation to the earlier bans & import limitations.

They actually state that being usable or even well suited to a sporting use does not mean a given weapon meets the "sporting use" criteria. They pretty much say that

They also include comments that practical shooting competitions "aren't really a sport", that they too closely resemble military or law enforcement training exercises...


January 26, 2013, 08:56 PM
No, the 2nd is not dependent on hunting or sporting use.

However, the question as to whether a .223 AR is suitable for deer hunting was answered. :)

January 26, 2013, 10:07 PM
My personal choice. 30 round mag and suppressed

January 27, 2013, 01:15 AM
3 gun is a sport

Care to elaborate? Did you agree or disagree with my post?

OP asked for proof that AR's have "legitimate hunting or sporting use."

January 27, 2013, 09:20 AM
What we need is pictures of hunters,their pray and their AR sent to politicans as proof that the AR is a hunting rifle.

Imagine if you will a youtube video of an AR owner demonstrating how flexable the AR system is.
Switching to a 22lr upper for plinking.
Switching to a 223 upper for target practice or competition.
Switching to a 6.5 upper for hunting.
Switching to a _______ upper for _______.

I think there are some 40+ calibers that the AR system
can host. A youtube video of such switching out should finally educate many of the anti's as they simply are ignorant about the AR.

I would also like to point out the loss of JOBS such a ban will have plus the loss of tax revenue to all levels of government. You can also say goodby to conservation areas that recieve funding from every gun and box of ammo sold. Who do you think will have to pay up to replace that money.

January 27, 2013, 10:02 AM
Go to most any "AR" forum, look up the hunting section and start printing photos... Varmits, hogs, deer, bear, musk ox... You look hard enough and you'll find all these and more are being taken with ARs in various calibers.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
January 27, 2013, 10:08 AM
I frequently use my AR to hunt deer, black bear and coyote. I just load a different round other than military ball ammo.

January 27, 2013, 12:07 PM
The "legitimate" purpose is rhetoric meant to stir things up. It's the bolt and lever guns that are the problem - I've tried them and found out for myself. They are 100 year old antiquated designs steeped in tradition - not effective modern actions for current use.

I started hunting in the 1970's with an HK91 with red dot Aimpoint, and was successful with it for 18 years. I also trained with the M16 during my 22 years in the Army Reserve, and always qualified with it, too. In the meantime, I bought a Remington 700 with scope, and a Winchester 94. They didn't bring home deer for me.

That was directly related to the evil assault gun being easier to sight and fire. If I needed a follow up shot, I wasn't delayed by losing the sight picture to work the bolt. That takes valuable seconds when the quarry may be bounding away. Combat or hunting, it's not good.

The AR is safer because it DOES have a detachable magazine. It can be loaded more easily without jamming the action, and it can be unloaded more easily - drop the mag, pull the charging handle back, it's now completely empty. A bolt or lever gun has to be repeatedly cycled to clear the magazine, closing the bolt on a cocked action. How many times has it been posted that a hunting accident occurred clearing the weapon of rounds?

The AR therefore is the better, safer hunting rifle. Exactly why I built one, and why anyone saying they aren't "needed" for hunting is obviously parroting an agenda, not facts. We would be better off with them - it's the bolt and lever guns that need to be outlawed. They're dangerous curios and relics. :evil:

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