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What's so great about AR-15's anyway?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Paladin_Hammer, Mar 29, 2009.

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  1. Paladin_Hammer

    Paladin_Hammer Member

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    I know there are plenty of AR-15 fanatics here. But no matter how much I read about accuracy, customization, light-weight, size, and range, I can't figure out what on earth the AR-15 is GOOD for.

    You can't hunt with a .223/5.56x45 in most states (I'm pretty sure its still Missouri and Kansas prohibited, and everywhere else... I think Tennessee reversed it's ban but I'm not sure). Seeing as hunting would be the primary use of any rifle if you are NOT Law-Enforcement or Military, then the AR-15 is out of the question here.

    I thought about target shooting. In this area AR-15's make sense, you can stand up and hit an inch group most AR-15's. But really, $800+ dollars to shoot paper all day long? Don't get me wrong, I go outside and plink with a .22lr pistol for hours on end, but when my family bought that .22 it was in the higher $100 dollar area, not $800.

    So then defense? .223 or military 5.56x45 will not just punch holes in intruders, it will go straight through them under 50 yards and punch a hole in your wall, in anyone behind that wall, and if it's short ranged enough it could continue into a neighbor's house. Unless you've got a 100 yard long home, I can't figure out how it's a safe defense weapon, and any more effective than say, a Remington 870?

    I was also told that many AR-15 owners use them for shooting Coyote's. But in Missouri, where I've found plenty of AR-15 owners, there isn't exactly a whole lot of distance between you and any Coyote. Most hunting land is either wooded or has enough hills on it to limit ranges under 200 yards. So then, why the 400 yard pushing .223/5.56?

    Am I missing something here? Is there a sport or animal that the .223 takes down that's legal? I'm not saying their bad rifles, anyone knows that a AR-15 is more than capable of hitting a golf-ball at 100 yards, weighing a mere 5 pounds, fitting in tight spaces, or using more accessories than the rifle itself is worth. But in terms of sheer utility, what's it's niche?
     
  2. HGUNHNTR

    HGUNHNTR Member

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    Every deer I have killed with a rifle in the last 5 years has been with an AR.

    The main thing the AR has going for it for me anyway is FUN. I love to take it out after pdogs, paper, and milk jugs full of water. The low recoil and adjustable stock makes it fantastic for introducing new shooters of all ages to centerfire rifles.

    The AR is probably #2 only to the .22lr for introducing people to the shooting sports.
     
  3. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

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    The mods may thump me for this, but it's wise to use the same ammo and similar guns as your government.
     
  4. PT1911

    PT1911 Member

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    there is the cool factor, the hunting factor, customization, performance, and it can be used quite well for defense... there is a reason the military uses it... you are right that a FMJ may just punch a hole, but soft points are available as well, as with any gun.. shoot in the right spot and they will go down.
     
  5. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    For one thing, many of their accessories work on my modernized M14s :neener:
     
  6. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    Varmint hunting... Also, swap out uppers nad an AR can be used to hunt deer. They do come in other calibers.

    Primary use is whatever I want it to be. Varmint hunter, fun gun, zombie gun, home defense... Since when is the use of a rifle designated for the military and the Fudds only? What kind of crap is that? Sorry, but I don't see why that would matter.

    .22s are fun, but for serious plinking out to 400 yards, that is when you grab an AR.

    It fragments, and actually penetrates less than some shotgun and pistol rounds, yet can/does cause more damage than either, or at least has the capacity to. The issue of going through a bad guy and your house and hurting someone outside is improbable. But, if that really worries you, you can grab some TAP ammo that is highly frangible and not have to worry about that.

    ARs have better follow-up, and buckshot may penetrate more than a .223 would

    the fact that it has that range is a testament to its accuracy and flat trajectory. Hell, why do people use .30-06 for deer when that round can easily go out to 1000 yards? How much game have you take at that range? Just saying. People use alot of big calibers and don't shoot at deer or anything at a fraction of its maximum range.

    again, swap uppers and you can hunt whatever you want in most places.

    in all your words spoken thus far, you have answered your own question. It is a lightweight carbine that can be used for any purpose, any time, anywhere, has good reliability and greater accuracy and range. It is the modern man's M1 Carbine.
     
  7. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Justifying what I want to anybody is reason enough to have it. You might as well start questioners about if the cars people drive have to much HP or go to fast, maybe the size of their boat or if they should have one at all. Maybe your house has to many sq ft. Yea somebody on a gun forum asking why somebody needs a specific type or caliber and questioning the validity of its utility is over the top IMHO.
     
  8. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    That's one of the silliest things I've read in a long time, thanks for the laugh.
     
  9. easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca

    easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca Member

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    Having had the pleasure of "keeping" an M-16A1 and a Commando HB version for an extended period in a past life, all I can say is these are nice toys for big boys. They fulfilled a fantasy. Have never regretted selling them or even thought of buying anything similar.

    Yes that can happen if the bullet is not deflected by dense and hard material, like bone. Some friends have told me from personal experience that often, one 5.56 bullet plays pinball in the hapless target, destroying whatever soft tissue is in its path as it deflects from bone to bone, expending its energy inside the target. In which case, one can say that the 5.56 is an effective one shot man/fight stopper.
     
  10. Paladin_Hammer

    Paladin_Hammer Member

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    Which state is it legal in? I'm not knocking on you I seriously want to know.

    But at $800+ dollars, aren't their more economical alternatives to achieve the same level of fun?

    But why spend $800+ dollars on the rifle and then spend anywhere from $500-1000 dollars on another upper receiver? I'm going off of prices I've seen at gun shows by the way, if someone is selling AR uppers for under $500 somewhere, tell me! I want to know!

    I heard that the 5.56 had trouble fragmenting at under 100 yards. Something about it moving to fast to reliably fragment? Which is why the US Military is now using heavier 5.556 bullets in its M4s? 00 Buck didn't penetrate more than 3 walls on the Box O Truth's findings.

    Because the 30-06 will actually take down a deer and is legal in every state? That's why my father has one, it was cheap (the Remington he has cost $430 when he got it) and gets him a deer ever year. The .223 isn't a big caliber...

    But it can't be used for everything, in stock form. Other than the possibility of an expensive upper change, none of that pertains to a utility rifle. It pertains to a man-stopper, not a survival/hunting rifle, and as a plinker/target rifle there are certainly cheaper rifles. If hunting is the question, it's not legal in many states. If you swap out uppers, then your paying the price of a new bolt rifle to do it! The M1 never had a ban on it for hunting, as far as I know.

    TELL ME WHY. DON'T JUST MOCK.

    Honestly, what is this things niche? It isn't low-cost, it cannot be used for hunting medium sized game without an expensive upper receiver change. Plinking and target shooting, it certainly can but you could get the same results with a $300 dollar cheaper bolt rifle. Enough money to buy a good scope.

    I still can't figure the sucker out. It certainly is cool, I'll be damned if it isn't one of the sexiest rifles out there. But cool isn't a factor in utility.
     
  11. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    You are right, my apologies, sincerely.

    You said that the only use for a rifle is hunting outside of the military or LE.

    Clint Smith said "Handguns are used to fight your way to your rifle".

    In nearly any defensive situation you can envision, a rifle is better than a handgun. That is the "niche" of the AR and similar rifles.

    Somehow you have the idea that the 5.56 just bounces off the human body or something. Nothing is further from the truth.

    For self defense or defense of your home there is little better suited than a rifle.

    If you keep trying to force AR style rifles into a hunting niche than sure, it's not the best choice. But hunting is most certainly not the only use for a rifle.

    In your quote:

    That's not even close to how it is, and there are certainly many ammo choices designed specifically for close in fighting with the 5.56 that do not perform as you describe. Proper ammo choice is key, nearly always more important than rifle choice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  12. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    Thats a good question... I have wondered about them a lot...

    I have nothing against them, I just cant justify the price, not to mention the cost to feed them.

    Sure they look cool, but its seems like a steep price to pay for cool...
     
  13. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I think the answer to your quest lies in the leftwing anti gun faction that says we know what you need and it isn't that.
    How dare you question what another man wants, there is to much of that going on in our society, what if it costs 2x what a bolt gun costs IVAN its our money.
     
  14. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    Where do you want to hunt? It is legal in Texas, you want me to go through all 50?

    Funny, when you shoot them in the head with a .223 they tend to fall over with a big flop. Saves the meat too.....
    Do some learning before you post.
     
  15. HGUNHNTR

    HGUNHNTR Member

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    Paladin Hammer:

    It is legal in Nebraska, which is where I do most of my deer hunting. To be legal the round must generate 900 foot pounds of energy at 100 yards. The winchester or federal 64 gr soft point will acheive this mark. It is also legal in a host of other states but I have not had firsthand experience hunting in any of them.

    To answer the second part of your question about cost:

    Yesw, there are more economical ways of having "fun" or obtaining food, but this is the one I choose, because I want to, I can afford it, and it is perfectly legal.

    If you don't think the .223 is enough, go for an AR in .245 .308, .300wsm, etc. again this goes back the popularity. This particular firearma can be had in a variety of configurations and calibers to meet many needs.

    The cost is relative to your means. A $1000 rifle may be no problen for some, prohibitive for others. Calling someones judgement into question about whether or not it is affordable or not is rediculous. There are a lot of people out there with the means to purchase a $1000 rifle for sport/ paper punching, defense, or just to look at. My reasoning is none of anyone's business.
     
  16. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    .223 is legal in SD for deer, antelope, turkey, and any small game.

    As I recall .223 is also legal in Missouri for deer hunting too. I have used .223 on deer (mule deer) and it works just fine. In fact a 60gr Nosler Partition does a pretty fair job for me on deer and speed goats.

    On your apparent lack of understanding bullet fragmentation, let me clear it up for you Paladin. The M4 has had issues getting reliable fragmentation with the M855 round at ranges beyond 100yds because the velocity is not always high enough to exert the leverage needed to fragment that particular bullet (pretty tough FMJ) to come apart in tissue. At closer ranges they fragment quite reliably as the impact velocity is higher. The newer, heavier ammo is longer and allows tissue to exert greater leverage over a longer area to fragment. The heavier 77gr ammo also has more energy, especially as distances increase and the 77gr bullet retains more velocity.

    If you do not like .223 you do not have to buy an AR chambered for such. There are quite a few other factory chambered calibers you can buy now and never even bother with a .223.
     
  17. Paladin_Hammer

    Paladin_Hammer Member

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    I never said they bounce off the human body. I even said they could go straight through someone! Then the wall, then maybe someone else, then perhaps into a neighbors house...

    If your outside and/or at ranges greater than 20 yards a rifle certainly wins out against a human target. But for home defense, don't most home defense situations occur IN a home? I've never been in a house with a wall-to-wall range greater than 20-30 yards. In a regular home I see a shotgun doing better than a rifle, a "click" isn't as scary as a shotgun racking either.

    I never said it didn't have other uses, I said a rifles PRIMARY use outside of LE or Military was hunting. I'll go ahead and tack on "survival" after that, because I've met my share of backpackers who've stated they carry a rifle with them when making long hikes through big forests or mountains.

    I also never said I didn't like them either, I've even said they are a sexy, cool rifle. I just can't figure out the utility of one or how it's better for non-LE/Mil purposes in its STOCK form.

    I'm not questiong why someone would want one, that's up to whoever buys one. I'm asking what it's good for. Maybe you and IVAN can hang out sometime, your both hot-headed and too illogical to be taken seriously.

    That's kind of why I'm posting. By the way, "Do some learning"... yeah...

    Holy crap someone posted some useful information. Thanks HGUNHNTR. Could have used more guys like you posting in this thread.

    Hot damn two good posts in a row! So do civilian M4 clones achieve the velocity necessary to fragment? I'm guessing from HGUNHNTR that those heavier loads are also hunting-legal?
     
  18. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    True that but civilians are not constrained to a world of poor choices. They can put whatever they want in their gun.
     
  19. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Most police departments and other defense professionals are disagreeing with you on this. The move from shotguns to rifles for this has been remarkable. It all revolves around proper ammo choice as I posted.

    If you choose the wrong ammo then sure, 5.56 or any rifle will punch holes and keep going.

    But that's not the fault of the rifle, that's the fault of the shooter not knowing what they are doing.

    Should you use FMJ in an apartment building? Of course not. That doesn't mean that a rifle is a bad choice, that means the ammo was poorly selected.

    Fire off some .45 ACP ball ammo in an apartment and see what you get.

    Rifles for CQB are pretty much the standard these days.

    Read up on ammo like the Mk262Mod1 or the Hornady TAP.

    The firearm is just the bullet delivery mechanism. And as mentioned the AR design is available in many calibers besides 5.56.

    I'm a big fan of the 6.8SPC though I don't own one myself.
     
  20. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    ^ Exactly, for example the excellent 60gr Partition.
     
  21. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    nothing. . . .
     
  22. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    You still don't understand what you are talking about. You are bringing more than a few dispelled myths out such as the "shotgun racking" idiocy.

    I use a shotgun with slugs for HD because I have interior brick walls. If they were normal wood and paper I wood use an AR in .223 with fragmenting bullets. This would be much safer than slugs or buckshot going through my walls.
     
  23. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    You made me come out of my hole and post for the first time in a while. ARs come in many rifle calibers including .308, .243, .223, .222, .22lr, 6.8mm,, and even 50 BMG as well as 9mm and .45acp. They are low recoiling, accurate, and before this gun ban panic madness could actually be bought brand new unassembled for under $600 easily. Changing calibers is as easy as switching uppers, which can be bought and shipped to your door because they are not a firearm. Think of it as a Thompson Center, but semiautomatic and you start to get the idea.
     
  24. Dark Skies

    Dark Skies Member

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    When the zombies come you'll be glad of that AR15! :)
     
  25. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    I think it does a lot well. Blasting with it is a blast. Hunting small game is a blast. I would use it in HD for sure. Punching paper with it is fun. Shooting high power with it is also a ton of fun. There seem to be a lot of uses for the AR. It may not be the magic rifle for everything but it certainly is a lot of fun for me. If you don't like them by all means don't buy them. More for me.

    ETA:

    You say the .30-06 is legal to hunt deer in every state. Here in Ohio no centerfire is legal for deer. To me a bolt action anything is just as useless from a hunting point of view or however you worded it. Other than the shotgun and a .22 or two they are basically all toys for entertainment. The AR is just the form of entertainment I enjoy. Really $800 isn't much. Not much is out there below $800 that is a lot of fun to me. Most of the rifles below $800 need a new trigger and possibly a new stock at the least. Any Savage or Remington I would buy would end up having a good $800 in it to really enjoy. Heck even the .22LRs can rack up to $800 without really trying. I would rather buy a rifle I enjoy than the absolute cheapest thing I can to get the job done. Little of my shooting time is done hunting so fun rifles are much more important to me than utilitarian.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
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