Question of the Day: Does Hunting with an AR Make you a Dork?

Reader Jason has an inquiring mind. He wants to know. He’s also someone who enjoys taking out the occasional Bambi and, to hear him tell it, is a crack shot. He claims a one-to-one bullets fired to deer harvested ratio using bolt action action. Pretty impressive. But with the availability of adequate (assuming adequate is good – and humane – enough) hunting rounds in .223, he’s wondering if heading out into the wild looking for a nice rack and toting an AR makes you, well, a dork. So we throw the question out to the Armed Intelligentsia as a whole. Is it declasse to occupy a deer stand with a Bushmaster?

91 Responses to Question of the Day: Does Hunting with an AR Make you a Dork?

  1. avatarcaffeinated says:

    There’s nothing wrong with using an AR or any other firearm for that matter as long as it is a humane kill. I actually prefer the Mosin with iron sights for anything up to 100 yards.

  2. avatarAnon says:

    The bolt gun Jason has been using was at one point a standard issue military rifle, or based off the receiver of one. So he is already a dork amirite??

  3. avatarRydak says:

    A quick second or even third shot is about as humane as it gets. The sooner the animal is out and not suffering the better.

  4. avatarrosignol says:

    IMO, no.

    If you don’t like the black polymer rifles, fine. Nobody’s forcing you to buy one, shoot it, or hunt with it. But criticizing the people who do like them* is unnecessarily annoying people you’re going to want on your side when the Dems decide to start pushing gun control again.

    *and there are things to like about them- the ergonomics and accuracy of the ARs are damn good. Don’t knock ‘em until you’ve tried ‘em.

  5. avatarry_ry says:

    I think it depends…you probably need more than .223 for deer hunting but I don’t want to get into that. I don’t think so as long as you’re abiding all local regs like mag capacity and such.

    Also, who’s going to see you and call you a dork? Most of my hunting has been alone.

  6. avatarAnonymouse says:

    Yes you look like a dork. But does it matter?

    If the bullet works for what you are hunting, and does its job, and you are good with your rifle, who cares if its a 100 year old antique lever action, some tacticool AR, or even painted Hello Kitty pink?

  7. avatarPaul says:

    If on must use an AR platform, then restrict them to hunting only those deer, that wear turbins or other rag type head accrutamont on the head. That way no one can claim discrimination in hunting tactics.

  8. avatarAaron says:

    Nope… you’re only a dork if you go out there undergunned, or overgunned thinking that power is a substitute for good shot placement.
    Dorkiness also extends to ignoring game laws, leaving litter in the woods, scaring game away while noisily traipsing around.

  9. avatarTarrou says:

    Declasse’? No. But I’m not aware of any reliable deer bullets in the .22 family. Where I hunt, the .243 is considered the smallest acceptable round, and more is better. Personal note, when I was young, I shot a deer with my .243 varmint gun (100 grain Speer handloads, the heaviest available). It was a perfect double lung shot, frothy blood on both sides, and the deer still ran for almost three miles before losing itself in a swamp. I tracked it for days, never found it. I’ll never use anything smaller than a 7mm or .270 on deer again. Hunting deer with an AR is fine, IMO, as long as it’s an AR-10.

  10. avatarMorningDeuce says:

    In how many states are you actually allowed to hunt with semis? I know some states allow it but not in PA. I was just always under the assumption that most states were like ours. It would be nice to hunt groundhogs with semis in some areas.

  11. avatarErik in Texas says:

    Jason is a dork, but not for those reasons. It’s his pink and white polka dot leather pants that make him a dork. I KID!

  12. avataruncommon_sense says:

    An AR platform in .308 is excellent for hunting … nothing dorky about it. And if you encounter a human with ill-will while out hunting, you are extra prepared.

    That said, I believe .223 Remington is too small for ethical deer hunting. A 55 grain bullet does not have enough penetration to reliably drop a deer every time — especially when you consider larger deer and less-than-ideal broadside shot presentations. And if your AR has a short barrel, the situation is even worse. Have people used a short barrel AR in .223 Remington with a 55 grain bullet to drop a deer? I am sure they have. And for every time someone used that combination to drop a deer, how many more used that combination only to have a deer run away and/or suffer needlessly?

    Most hunters agree that a .243 Winchester shooting a 95 or 100 grain bullet with a 22 inch barrel is the minimum rifle caliber and ammunition combination for ethical deer hunting. That is also my dream AR by the way!

    Almost every hunter knows of a deer that took a well placed shot from a .30-06 or even a 20 gauge shotgun slug at close range that would have dropped any human like a ton of bricks — and amazingly the deer ran 200+ yards. However this is the exception, not the norm. We all know that bigger is better. When it comes to hunting deer, use a larger caliber and bullet weight.

  13. avatartdiinva says:

    Yes, you are a dork and in many states you are breaking the law. Using a semi-automatic is pointless because you are either going to bring down the deer with your first shot or the critter is going to bolt. Do you really want to be sending live rounds down range when your P(hit) is not close to 100%? Given that the .223 has insufficient stopping power to reliably put down a deer you better be in good shape because most of the time you are going to running it down to put it out its misery.

    Want to use a black rifle to hunt dear use the AR-10. That way you can look tacticool and be effective at the same time.

    • avatarChaz says:

      Alternatively one could look really dorky but still be effective over modest distances by shooting the soft-point “xxx Bear” 7.62×39 ammo in your AK, Romanian WASR, etc.

      Guns and Ammo did a piece on AKs and Barnual (“… Bear”) ammo. Their conclusion about the 125gr SP (for all three, brown, silver, and gold): “The softpoint bullet begins deformation rapidly. Hydrostatic shock, and a large permanent cavity, is achieved early in the wound channel. Weight retention is impressive, resulting in minimal contamination of the wound channel. The bullet is a masterpiece of consistent performance, maximum expansion, maximum energy deposition and adequate, not exessive, penetration”

      Apparently the 7.62×39 and the 6.8mm Spc are similar ballistically. I’d guess that a 6.8 Spc AR is more accurate than an AK.

      • avatarMadDawg J says:

        Both are great and effective rounds, and both can be had in the AR flavor BTW. The AR is inherently more accurate than an AK, just like an AK is inherently more durable than an AR. It’s that old conundrum of you can have affordable, accurate and durable, but you can only pick two.

  14. avatarSteve says:

    I think hunting deer in Maine with any .223 is a bit questionable. Northern Whitetails are decent sized animals and I have seen them take hits from far more powerful cartridges and keep running.

    With that said, an AR in .223 is no worse than say a bolt gun in .223. Probably better because of the fast followup shots. It certainly can be done, but I would use something bigger.

    If you are going to hunt deer with an AR, do yourself a favor and at least get a 6.8 or 6.5 or step up to an AR10 and run a .243/.260/7mm08/.308. The time you do-not spend walking around searching for a wounded deer is time you can better spend doing…anything else that is more enjoyable.

  15. avatarbgryphon says:

    why is there no mention of the .300 blackout here? Use a bigger round and go get em tiger.

  16. avatarJason says:

    Hey Jason here (the one who submitted the question). I was assuming that one that would hunt with an AR would do so with an acceptable caliber like 6.8 rem or 300 BLK.

    I certainly think you could hunt ethically with an AR (although it makes unethical hunting a bit easier), I’m just curious what other folks (hunter folks) would think if they saw me hunting with one. Would most people say “poser” under their breath and shake their head, would they say ‘hey, cool rifle’ or just be totally indifferent. I know hunter folk are supposed to be above such things but I have also heard some won’t wear last year’s cammo.

    Jason

    • avatarMadDawg J says:

      I hunt with a 6.8 SPC AR15, but for hogs. I use a bow for deer, but would be comfortable taking a deer with my AR. You won’t be the only one using an AR on deer, and what does it matter what others think.

    • avatarJamie in ND says:

      Jason said: “I certainly think you could hunt ethically with an AR (although it makes unethical hunting a bit easier)” If someone is an unethical hunter it doesn’t matter what they use to hunt with. Do you think it’s ethical for someone to unload their 30-30 lever gun @ a deer? How about shooting a big buck straight up his ass with a 7mm Mag because it’s running away from you? Ethics has ZERO to do with AR rifle hunting, ethics is all about the person.

  17. avatarconley says:

    i have been wondering if i could get away with hunting with a scar in 7.62? on paper it sounds great and justifies my getting a scar. lol.

  18. avatarJason says:

    Nothing dorkier than breaking the law. And hunting deer with a .223 is against regs in most states. That’s one gun-related law I happen to agree with. Respect your food: Use an adequate gun to take it humanely. Yes, I know it is allowed in Texas, but Texas deer are the size of cats. And even then, just because you can do something doesn’t make it a good idea. Use an AR-10 if you gotta’ go all black rifle on Bambi.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      Legal in Minnesota, too. And let’s take a look at the “adequate gun” argument. .223/5.56 seems to be an adequate man-stopper (personal experience). Deer aren’t any tougher than a human. Sure, all the bits and bobs are in different places, but the vital areas of each can be covered with a 8″ paper plate. But with that said, would I take a 300-yard shot on a deer with an AR? Hell, no. 150 yards? More than likely, assuming a stationary target.

      • avatarHowa says:

        Show me a human that will drag himself 200 yards with a fist-sized chunk of his spine blown out and a hole through this chest and both him lungs

        If most states and provinces have taken the time and effort to write laws against molesting mediun-sized game with a friggin 22, how can you not understand hat message? Hint: these laws were written, sponsored, or promoted by fellow sportsmen.

        I find it interesting that a thread full of defenses to running around the woods trying out anti-personnel weapons on animals happens to have a whole bunch of comments about how a 22 bullet meant for easy portability in th jungles of Vietnam “should be just fine on deer” — ethics be damned!

        • avatarMike in NC says:

          From what little I have researched, many of the “laws against molesting mediun-sized game with a friggin 22″ require use of rounds larger than .22 (note the two digits) and .223 is larger than .22. Using .22LR would be unethical since they generally fall in the 100-150 ftlbs of energy range. There is no comparison to the .223 Remington round with 1100-1400 ftlbs of energy. Are there situations where you should use something with nearly 3000 ftlbs of energy like a 30-06? Sure there are, but our small deer are not among them.

  19. avatarTim says:

    If you can legally hunt with an AR pattern rifle, no problem with me at all.

    I would personally say use sonething other than .223, such as 6.8, .300 blackout, .308, or one of the other calibers. It is legal to hunt deer in Minnesota with a .223, but I do disagree with that. I would hunt with an AR in .308 if I owned one.

  20. Exit Question: Does using a muzzle loader during rifle season make you a dork?

    Talk amongst yourselves…

  21. avatarimrambi says:

    It depends on the state, each state has different rules. Things to look for:

    1. If hunting with a semi-auto rifle is allowed.
    2. Minimal caliber the state allows
    3. Capacity limit while hunting (must states say 5+1)

    In general anything in or around the 30 caliber will be good.

  22. avatarAK says:

    I dont understand why .300 BLK is being touted as a more humane solution to .223 Remington. It has less velocity and energy. Is it because it leaves a hole that’s .077 bigger?

    • avatarRob in Cali says:

      Where are you working out your power figures? It has 5% more energy at 440 meters than a 5.56 out of a 14.5 inch barrel, while the 300 blk is being spit out of 9 inch barrel. At the muzzle it has the same energy.

      It also has almost identical ballistics as a 30-30, which has taken deer for years now.

    • avatarCamoScout2 says:

      That .077″ makes a huge difference. You’re increasing the entry wound diameter by ~35%. Additionally, the wound channel would be >35% larger.

    • avatarCamoScout2 says:

      That .077″ makes a huge difference. You’re increasing the entry wound diameter by ~35%. Additionally, the wound channel would be >35% larger.

      I dropped a 140 lbs. doe last year out of a 10″ .300 BLK. We shoot pigs with them all the time.

  23. avatarJosh says:

    Shot placement over size of the bullet is definitely first and foremost. With that being said, there are limitations to every caliber that should be taken into consideration, especially when used in a hunting application.

    I personally feel if I hunted deer with my AR-15 I would not take as much time on the first shot as I would with my trusty Model 70 30-06, knowing that if I missed or didn’t drop it on the first shot I would still have 29 bullets left, which I don’t necessarily think is a good thing.

    As far as the 223 itself goes, could it potentially kill a deer? Of course it could. Are there better calibers to ensure a clean kill? Definitely.

    I love my AR-15 but I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it can and can’t do. It’s the perfect gun for anything from rabbits to coyotes to terrorists, but when it comes to big game I’ll have my 06 slung on my shoulder.

  24. avatarcaffeinated says:

    The question is how many of you actually have experience using 223 for whitetail before you start bashing how you need a bigger round? I’ve seen plenty of deer and hogs taken with 223 and dropping where they stand.

    The deer in the South are tiny compared to the critters up North, but 223 gets it gets the job done here. If you need a bigger caliber in the South perhaps you should spend some more time on the range before wounding animals in the woods.

  25. avatarErik says:

    AR doesn’t necessarily = .223. I have no desire to use a .223 for medium game, and it’s verbotten in the 2 states I hunt anyway. I’ve recently built an AR in 6.8spc explicitly for hunting and I’m not a dork……at least that is what my mother tells me.

    An AR isn’t fundamentally different from a Browning BAR or Remington 750.

  26. avatarCharlie says:

    Just don’t get a black rifle in a cruel chambering (.223) or a boring one (.308). Check out one of the nifty camo ARs in 7mm-08.

  27. avatarFreddie Serna says:

    “But with the availability of adequate (assuming adequate is good – and humane – enough) hunting rounds in .223, he’s wondering if heading out into the wild looking for a nice rack and toting an AR makes you, well, a dork.”

    If it set up for tactical with all the tactical gadgets popular today I would say, “A dork.” You all know the types. I’m here to impress the deer. When the deer see me with my lazers, flashlights, pistol grips, magnifiers, holographic imagery scope, GPS, night vision, grenade launcher, battle ready flashhider, ect attached to my M4 they will just give up and walk up to me and say shoot me. A dork.

  28. avatarAharon says:

    The only real-man non-dork hunting weapons are spears and tomahawks.

  29. avatarLt Dave says:

    Be wary of the man who hunts with the same gun he protects himself with, just as you should be wary of the man who only owns one gun…. he probably knows how to shoot and drive it.

  30. avatarChris Dumm says:

    Many older hunters would laugh me out of deer camp if I showed up to hunt with any AR, regardless of caliber. As long as the caliber were legal (and .223 is NOT legal here) it’s more a matter of aesthetics than hunting ethics.

  31. avatarJamie in ND says:

    No, it doesn’t make you a dork. I hunt deer,antelope,coyotes & pretty much everything else with AR’s & so do many of my friends. But I also hunt with my bolt guns on occasion. I hunt larger game with either a 308 or 6.8 AR, not that killing a deer can’t be done at reasonable distances with a 223 & good ammo. What’s annoying is when ignorant people think just because AR’s carry 10-20 or 30 rnds people mag dump them into game animals, mostly not true. In my mind that’s about as ethical as shooting a deer up the ass when he’s running away with your bolt/lever/pump,muzzy or single shot. I’ll guarantee that happens WAY more than AR hunters doing a mag dump. I’ve never needed more than 1 rnd from my AR to drop a deer, now that I said that I’ll probably need 3 rnds this fall. It’s all a matter of what type of firearm you choose/enjoy to hunt with, nothing more nothing less.

  32. avatarRalph says:

    It depends on what you’re hunting. Coyotes — not a dork. Ruffled grouse — dork and a half.

  33. avatarTS says:

    Just being honest – if I saw you out in the woods during deer season with an AR – I’d definitely have a smirk and would (perhaps incorrectly) assume you were inexperienced, unpracticed, and lacking knowledge.

    Yes — dorky.

    • avatarWill says:

      And I would assume, perhaps incorrectly, that you were old fashioned and stuck in a bygone era. But then I would think, at least you didn’t hit the woods with a match-lock musket.

      • avatarrosignol says:

        Dunno about how things are where you are, but around here the muzzleloader guys are considered only slightly less hardcore than the bowhunters- they’re accepting the handicap of more primitive equipment to get a longer hunting season. That’s not a winning trade unless you’re a pretty good hunter.

        • avatarWill says:

          Modern muzzle loaders are rifles, not muskets. I guarantee you no one is hunting with a matchlock musket from the 1400′s. I favor archery myself so I get the argument for primitive weapons.

          You missed my point though, that being: AR style weapons have as much a place in hunting as bolt actions do over primitive weapons.

        • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

          The problem is not hunting with an AR that makes you a dork.

          Simply owning an AR stereotypically makes you one from my experience. And no…it isn’t any more modern a firearm than a bolt action rifle.

        • avatarMadDawg J says:

          Then I guess a Glock is no more modern than a Single Action Army?

  34. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    AR’s on big game being used by dorks?

    If they’re hunting anything larger than coyotes with a .223, they’re unethical hunters, IMO. If they’re using an AR in 6.8 or .30/.300/.308 (AR-10), hey, have at it, subject to magazine limits, etc.

    I would (and do) have the same issues with people hunting big game with .223 bolt guns, .22-250 bolt guns, .222 Magnum bolt guns, etc. .224 diameter projectiles are simply not suitable on big game, IMO. I say this as someone who has lost wounded game that was shot multiple times with a .25 cal rifle. I now never hunt large game with anything smaller than a .270 Winchester. I like one-shot drops, with a blood trail that goes straight down.

  35. avatarHowa says:

    In Canada at least, you don’t necessarily select your rifle based on your intended prey. You must also consider what else may be hunting what you are hunting.

    Hunting deer with a Tactical rifle here would engender many emotional reactions, and also get you your own seat on the bus. But being found half-eaten beside the corpse of a bear that had 30 x 55 grain 22 bullets in it would definitely qualify you as a permanent dork

  36. avatarHowa says:

    I’m from Canada: a country with a small military and no broad cultural tradition of military service. (Our servicemen are some of the best in the world, mind you.)

    In my country, if you use a rifle you tend to fall into one of three categories:

    1) (90%+) a sportsman, who was introduced to sportsmanship by members of his family.
    -I guarantee that this person’s tradition is to carry a bolt or lever

    2) (5%) a serviceman, who is in a small minority (as discussed). (Or a LEO, whose exposure to long guns has therefore most likely been an 870.)

    3) (Maybe 3-5%?) a “tactical rifle enthusiast”.
    -this guy has a fascination with all things tactical. He either likes to play “Operator” at the range, or has unhealthy fantasies or paranoia about having to shoot other citizens for various reasons. (Shootings and home invasions are incredibly rare here, making constant fear of them statistically unrealistic.)

    My personal, instinctive take on the psychology of the AR hunter is that he is in group 3). I see him as so keen to play out his fantasies of shooting a human that he is practicing on animals. I’m sure that I’m wrong, but if there’s even 1% truth in that it’s mind-bogglingly sick.

    Yes, I understand that the wood-stocked bolt-action deer rifle is a descendant of the military rifles of yore. I’ve been told that returning servicemen prefer to carry the style of rifle with which they trained, and with which they feel comfortable. I get that. But up here, we don’t have that many servicemen. And if they are sportsmen as well, there’s a good chance that they were introduced to deer hunting by their father on a walnut-stocked Model 70 in 30-06 like everyone else.

    Some people are AR hunters just to prove a point, and to deliberately engender an emotional reaction. Those people are a-holes, and deserve to get their own seat on the bus.

    Finally, up here we have to consider not only what we are hunting but what else may be hunting it. Sneaking around in the dark, silently, upwind, in bear country is generally not clever behaviour — and you tend to consider it when selecting your deer rifle. To address the original question, if you are found dead and half-eaten beside a grizzly that has 30 rounds of 55-grain .22 bullets in it, yes you are and will always be remembered as a class-A dork.

    • avatarRalph says:

      My personal, instinctive take on the psychology of the AR hunter . . . I see him as so keen to play out his fantasies of shooting a human that he is practicing on animals.

      Are you sure you’re not English?

      • avatarMadDawg J says:

        Or from Cali?

        • avatarHowa says:

          I qualified that instinct with full disclosure on my background and context.

          The article asks for an emotional, subjective response. The post above is mine.

          Again, in my country the AR is a rare sight. Their use and ownership here tends to be by a fringe minority, and if I saw a guy with one in the bush I’d assume that he had gotten lost on his way from the GAP to the food court.

          Or was protecting a grow op.

    • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

      This is 100% spot on……….very well thought out!

    • avatarJamie in ND says:

      Howa & I_like_pie: There’s a little part of me that likes to hunt with my AR just to piss off ignorant Fudds like you two. It brings a big smile to my face knowing that comments of your ilk are a big minority on this thread.

  37. avatarMadDawg J says:

    Does hunting with an AR make you a dork? No. Does assuming that all ARs are 5.56 and set up as tactile rifles? In my book yes, the same as posting about ARs like you know what you are talking about when you’ve never been within arms reach of one, let alone shot one. That’s my $0.02.

  38. avatarChaz says:

    Packing an AK-47 might be the epitome of hunting dorkiness. However, Guns & Ammo favorably reviewed the inexpensive Barnual 125 SP “… Bear” ammo for hunting. They said: “The bullet is a masterpiece of consistent performance, maximum expansion, maximum energy deposition and adequate, not exessive, penetration.”

    QED ;->

    • avatarMadDawg J says:

      SKS have been being used in the South to take deer for years. Not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on a hunting rifle.

  39. avatarmojo512 says:

    I may be simplifying this but both a Bolt and AR rifles are exactly that rifles. The difference is more in aesthetics than use case. Each has a barrel, bolt, firing pin, trigger etc… I use the same scope on both my model 70 243 and my AR 6.8 SPC and have dropped small hill country deer with both . I noticed if I pull the trigger on either one they both fire rounds. If you are using proper ammo for proper animals keeping it legal then it really doesn’t matter what use… Just enjoy the hunt. Oh and what is this high school. If you are worried about what you look like while hunting that is a whole other issue you need to address all together. This is just my two cents

  40. avatarTom says:

    In Indiana, using an AR in a real rifle round to hunt deer is dorky because you can only use, shotgun, muzzleloader, pistol, or carbine firing short cased pistol rounds.
    But…I can use a .223 to shoot a squirrel in a tree.
    Go figure on that one.

  41. avatarRonaldo Ignacio says:

    I use a AR in 6.8 SPC. Dork? Maybe? Collapses down to 37 inches or so, muzzle is protected with the flash hider, it is the perfect truck and tractor gun. With the 6.8 SPC 110gr. , 0-260 yd POI is within 2 inches of POA.

  42. avatarmatt mueller says:

    People use ARs all the time for hunting in the south. As another poster mentioned, our deer(especially along the coast) are much smaller than in the north. A quality .223 round works just fine.

    I also use my .50 Beowulf AR for feral hogs. I like to definitely make sure a hog goes right down, both for my safety and for humane reasons. Pigs do not leave a good blood trail so are harder to track when wounded. They can also run into a swampy area that is hard for me to follow. I’d hate to know I left something wounded. The .50 beo solves that problem. It drops them immediately(after flipping through the air).
    Do I look like a dork? I dunno, none of the hogs have ever survived to ask.

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      Try a good m193 load on a pig and I think you will be surprised to see how well it works. The fragmentation seems to turn the vitals into pink slush. Again, shot placement is key. The Mosin is still my go-to for shooting any tasties down here.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        I see now why you gave me a hard time on 6.8 for hogs. How big were the ones you got with your M193 ammo?

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          Meat hogs up to 150 lbs and eradication north of that. The M193 does just fine if you can get a good heart/lung shot. Head shots are fine as long as you aim aft of the ear. We actually get some pretty big hogs in FL.

  43. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    Tradition and aesthetics aside, the AR fires bullets just like every other gun. Is the bullet/load being fired suitable for the game being sought and is the bullet/load/rifle/capacity legal in the jurisdiction? If yes, then I think that it’s a suitable firearm for the job at hand. If not, then one should find and employ something legally suitable to the task. It’s pretty simple, yes?

  44. avatarDavid says:

    I used a Century CETME(.308) to take my first deer last year. You can not use a .223 AR in VA for deer hunting, as the bullet must be .23 caliber or greater. My friend flushed the deer and I was able to hit it twice at about 70 yards, with the deer running directly away from me. Both shots hit within 3 inches of each other, the second destroying the lower back leg of the animal and making retrieval possible. My choices were an M44 Nagant or the CETME, as they both combined the accuracy and power required.

    I felt like a dork, as my CETME is not a traditional hunting rifle(para stock, black furniture, bipod) but it got the job done. A bolt rifle would have made the follow up shot much more difficult, as I was using iron sights.

    • avatarHowa says:

      I wasn’t there, so all I have to go on is your description.

      Based on the text above, rather than waiting for a clean and ethical shot, you knew that you had plenty of rounds in reserve so you just blasted away at the arsehole and guts of a running animal until it held still — as if it were the Taliban.

      Luckily for the animal, you missed your target on the second shot and hit the leg instead. Otherwise you might have been tracking a gutshot animal through the bush until you found it as a pile of gamey and feces-contaminated meat.

      Not sure I fully agree with that style of hunting.

      If you, as a hunter, require a rifle whose chief design consideration is to provide a high rate of fire to get his game, are you sure that you are a considerate and ethical sportsman?

      • avatarJamie in ND says:

        Plenty of people shoot deer up the ass & in the legs or wherever just to bring it down. I’m not one of them & have killed many deer with an AR.. But I can assure you the VAST majority of unethical hunters use bolt or lever action rifles. It isn’t because of the gun they use it’s because they have no hunting ethics.

  45. avatarDon says:

    not at all, but bringing a tacti-cooled one to the range and not being able to hit with it certainly does.

    I think the only thing you could hunt with that would make you a dork is a DE.

    -D

  46. avatarDon says:

    Oh also, If you hunt with one like this:

    https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=wood+ar+stocks&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=894&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=MBWYT9PwLO_H6AG_29DwBg

    You are the total opposite of a dork.

    -D

  47. avatarOODALOOP says:

    I hunt with a 6mm x 45 (.243) AR and it’s a great rifle for pulling in deer. Just a hair over 7 pounds with a 4x optic, rounds are cheap to make (based on 5.56 brass) under 1 MOA and fun to go shooting with. I did make one concession tho’- it’s not mil-spec black anymore. I hydro-dipped it in A-TACS to help break up the pattern as well as attempt to head off any of the crap that someone might want to give me about hunting Bambi with an EBR.

    • avatarJamie in ND says:

      I leave mine all black just to watch the fudds get pissed off & turn up their nose @ me. Although in the last 3-4 years most other hunters just ask what make/caliber AR it is and nod in agreement.

  48. avatarCharlie says:

    I’ve been hunting with black guns since 1984 (I started out with an HK-91, then moved to the AR-10 platform). I absolutely love them (and the looks I _*USED*_*TO*_ get from people with more traditional rifles).

    I started carrying the HK after a particularly sloppy hunt one rainy November day. My beautiful Winchester 70 came home with surface rust and swelled wood under the barrel, and three spots where blood had taken off the blueing. I never again carried a piece of furniture into the woods.

    Charlie

  49. avatarbontai Joe says:

    I’ve had to pause and think about this because I am an OFWG. I’m used to seeing “traditional” bolt and lever guns used for hunting. In PA where I live, no semi autos allowed to hunt with, so I won’t be seeing you here with your AR. But even Remington is selling AR type rifles. So in an effort to keep an open mind and my accepting that progress happens, I will do my best to not think of any hunter that uses a modern style semi-auto as a “dork” unless his rifle has a laser sight, 4 Picitinny rails, all full of tactical attachments, a bipod, bayonet, a 100 round beta mag and you are wearing a Ghilly suit. I don’t look down on muzzle loadering hunters either, unless they are dressed in 18th century clothing, or wearing a buckskin loin cloth with Indian war paint on their face and bear greased braided long hair died black (yes, I have seen it with my own eyes). To me, hunting is hunting, it’s not playing a role in a real life video game complete with costume and toys.

  50. It only makes sense. Hunting rifles have always followed military rifles:
    Muzzle loading hunting rifles followed military designs and advancements.
    Single-shot cartridge guns were military designs or followed military designs (Sharps, Rolling Blocks, etc.).
    The first really successful lever action (the Henry) started its life a a military weapon. Other lever actions like the 1895 and 1894 Winchester were used by the US military (the 94 only in odd roles). These and other leverguns were heavily used by law enforcement in the US, and the 1895 Winchester was used in great numbers by the Russians and the even rifles like the 1876 and 1894 were used by foreign law enforcement and militaries.
    The bolt action rifle was in use for many years by militaries around the world before it was generally accepted for use as a hunting rifle. In the early days of the bolt action, hunters considered it a military weapon.
    The funny thing is that the semi-auto was accepted by hunters long before the worlds militaries accepted the concept as appropriate for military use. The earliest successful semi-autos were hunting rifles in hunting calibers. So with the semi-auto, it was perhaps the first case of military technology following hunting technology. So I guess we can say that our troops today are using hunting rifles.
    Many hunters have used M1 Garands over the years, and M1A rifles, both Ideal hunting rifles. Browning, Remington, Winchester, Benelli, and others all offer semi-auto rifles in a variety of hunting calibers, as well as military calibers such as .30-06 and .308.
    Speaking of calibers, the most popular hunting cartridges in the world were developed as military calibers. As generations of soldiers learned to shoot single-shot .45-70s, bolt action .30-40 Krags, bolt action and later semi-auto .30-06 rifles, select fire .308s, and now 5.56 mm M16s and M4s, they became comfortable with the cartridges. In the rest of the world, 8mm and 7mm Mauser, 6.5×55, .303 British, and similar cartridges are among the most popular for hunting.
    Keep in mind that for a lot of young men who grew up shooting muzzle loaders, single shot rifles, or lever actions between the 1860s and the 1930s, a Krag, M1917, or 03/03A3 military rifle was the first bolt action they shot.
    It is only natural that the AR Platform becomes the hunting rifle of choice for newer generations of hunters.

  51. The .223 has been a very popular hunting caliber in Alaska. A trip to most villages will turn up a disproportionately high number of old beat-up Mini-14s and bolt-action .223s. A lot of caribou, walrus, seals, and even moose and the occasional bear have fallen to .223 bullets. Now residents of these villages are moving to the AR platform in increasing numbers.
    Most consider the .223 inadequate for hunting anything deer sized and up, but it does very well on humans, which are about the size of many deer. However, advances in bullets and ammunition have made me much more confident in hunting with a .223. Cartridges like Black Hills’ 77 grain open tip match (Sierra MatchKing) are excellent long-range hunting cartridges, fragmenting well at lower velocities. Black Hills’ new 55 gr. and 62 gr. TSX rounds are expanding to an average of .45″, retaining all or almost all their weight, and penetrating deeply. I would be willing to shoot a moose with one of those bullets.

  52. avatarSkulliWulli says:

    I’ve been hunting white tail in central Texas with my AR for almost 10 years. But we only do head shots(no wasted meat). My wife only uses her Remington .270 She calls me a dork though, lol. I use 77grn SJSP. Never had one get back up. The .223 round has been killing men for 70+ years, so why not deer?

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