Note to Gun Control Advocates: “Hunting Rifles” Aren’t What You Think They Are

I’ve heard over and over again in the last few days that the gun control advocates aren’t after our hunting rifles. Its a blatant play to try and divide the firearms community, playing on the propensity of the older generation to (A) not care about anything that isn’t a bolt action rifle and (B) think that the damned kids need to get off their lawn. Its a divide I’ve talked about before, and one that really does threaten to open up some ground for the antis. But here’s the thing — hunting rifles evolve. There isn’t one specific model of gun that is considered “THE hunting rifle” in the United States. So when they say they don’t want to take away your hunting rifles, they’re lying. Read more:

This is my Hunting Rifle: The Evolution of Hunting Rifles in the United States

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

39 Responses to Note to Gun Control Advocates: “Hunting Rifles” Aren’t What You Think They Are

  1. avatar6 gunner says:

    If I use a GAU-8 to hunt hogs with it by definition becomes a hunting rifle. A thing is defined by its use,right?

  2. avatarSelousX says:

    My admittedly rhetorical question is, “How long until the anti-2A folks realize that the bolt-action rifle is not the only manner of hunting rifle?” I don’t really credit the antis with much intellectual latitude, so I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
    Anyone else?

  3. avatarRoger says:

    Just in case this hasnt already been posted, and sorry for going off topic, a link to the press release about Feinsteins AWB bill. http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=28d0c499-28ec-42a7-902d-ebf318d46d02

  4. avatarChubby says:

    A muzzleloader is a sporting hunting gun. An AR is for lazy f#%*tards. If you need an AR to hunt, do us all a favor and stay home on the couch.

    • avatarSeanC says:

      Are you hunting prarie dogs with your blackpowder rifle, Chubby? Dumbass!

    • avatarRalph says:

      Whoa, Chubby. You need to chill, move out of your mom’s basement and get a job that doesn’t involve French fries and silly paper hats.

    • avatarAharon says:

      Muzzle Loaders are for modern day vvimps. Real men use spears.

      • avatarChubby says:

        I agree. Man up. Notice how the bow hunters, i.e., real men, aren’t getting their panties in a wad about gun control?

        • avatarRandy Drescher says:

          Gosh, I had no idea I wasn’t a real man because I didn’t bow hunt, who knew? Think of what would happen if your hobby was was taken away chubby,(pizzas), how would you feel? Randy

        • avatarLogan P says:

          Actually, my panties are quite wadded up over gun control, and I am a bow hunter… I mean, bow hunters can get firearm tags too. I don’t shoot prairie dogs, and I haven’t used an AR for deer hunting, but I don’t want to have to reload every ten rounds when controlling coyote populations or humanely dispatching the elusive Northern Ringed Paper Sheet.

        • avatar40&2000 says:

          They should. I know bow hunting is/was prohibited in many European countries. We all know how much our politicians love to point to “civilized” Europe as a model of what the US should be like.

        • avatarlolinski says:

          General Purpose Rifles(GPR) = they will try to ban since they are made to kill people at close range, as many as possible.

          Other rifles(bolt, lever etc) = they will try to ban since they are sniper rifles, only made to kill at distance

          Optics = Made to turn rifles into sniper rifles,happened here in Bosnia(screw you UN) every optical sight has to be registered and the police notified in less than a week after you get it.

          Bows and crossbows = silent assassination weapons, most likely to be used by motorcycle gangs(used here in Norway against crossbows)

          Black powder guns(flintlock, cap and ball etc) = will be justified as zip guns and untraceable guns which cant be traced by police.

          PS: I live both in Norway and Bosnia( to clear up potential confussion)

        • avatarWilliam says:

          I am getting pretty excited, thinking of you taking the confiscators on with your bow and war club.

      • avatarLogan P says:

        Yeah, but even spear hunting has become so modernized… thermal loincloths and newer spring-loaded extended range spearheads have taken all the skill out of our cherished heritage.

    • avatarCA_Chris says:

      Until they limit powder horn size, and ban caps, and then we’ll all be using flintlocks and mixing our own powder from pig s—. Think it won’t go that way? Consider that DiFi wants to ban some features that have been in use for as much as 100 years.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      Muzzle loaders are for pussies. Real men stalk and kill game with stone-tipped spears.

    • avatarJason says:

      See this is rhetoric that empowers anti-gun sentiment. This is not a discussion about your favorite method of hunting, this is a 2A discussion. And if this is all you have to input, then sir you may see you way out.

  5. avatarTommy Knocker says:

    WARNING…you are now engaged in a semantic war !

    So, here is my thought. It is a semantic battle we fight.Years ago they hit on the term “saturday night special”. Now they have singled out the black guns – and now they own the terminology – They are “assault rifles”. BUT be prepared for them to move on to the next category. I have heard them call ANY bolt gun with a rifescope (which they call a SNIPER scope), a “weapon of war”. I have heard them call shotguns “weapons of mass destruction”. I have even heard the phrase “assault PISTOL”. So literally every firearm will carry some negative moniker. They will use the best of modern media marketing to burn it into peoples minds. Somehow we have to try and defeat them in this firefight of words.

  6. avatarMel Blanc says:

    It really grinds my gears when Oda Mae Brown uses the term “assault rifle” when we all know that AR means ArmaLite.

  7. avatarChubby says:

    Wow, that one stung Randy. Please, I give up!

  8. avatarAPBTFan says:

    BOTTOM LINE – the 2nd Amendment doesn’t make any sort of distinction between any sort of firearm.

  9. avatarthomas de los garcia says:

    Makes me want to start hunting with an AR.

  10. avatarbontai Joe says:

    When hunting feral pigs, the AR and AK platform rifles are the best choice. You are hunting a pest that destroys millions of dollars of crops each year. Most states have no “bag limit” and no season limit and some states allow hunting of wild pigs all year long. Your quarry is an animal that tends to run in packs thereby making quick follow up shots a neccessity. I have heard so MANY politicians claim that there is no use of an AR rifle for deer hunting. Well, hunters go after more than just deer. Aniamls like coyotes, feral pigs, prairie dogs, ground hogs all are perfect animals to hunt with a semi-automatic rifle that holds more than 10 rounds.

  11. avatar11 says:

    Yes, it’s too bad that you use the same tactics calling traditional hunter Elmer Fuds. You expect them to support the likes of you when you talk about them like that? It seems the majority of the people on this site came to guns through video games and movies whereas the older generation came to gun through hunting. You make fun of the older generation and you expect them to support you? You already created the divisive attitude. No one from the outside has to do it. You’re your own worst enemy.

    Yeah, I know you don’t agree and you’re right and you’re some great hunter because you shoot animals in pens in Texas with your AR-15.

  12. avatarBruce #2 says:

    Wow!!! such angst. I regularity shoot a lot of different rounds – Specifically 22lr for fun and game. 9mm and 40 although I do not own either one! I have been impressed by the Glock 40 – good machine! Most my friends own one and let me fire a few rounds – I am impressed – Much more accurate and solid then the Colt/Browning 1911. Of course that likely depends on the manufacturer – Colt sucked!
    My favorite firearms are all wheel guns. Give me a double action 357 mag S&W any day and I’ll be a happy camper. I know a few idiots that lay their auto-loaders down with the chamber loaded and the safety’s off, One does say sorry and corrects the issue… The other will say… “That will teach anyone to touch another mans gun!”
    Basic rule #1 Don’t be stupid

  13. avatarJason says:

    I can save everyone an unnecessary debate. Hold on to your britches people: there is no such thing as a hunting rifle or a defensive rifle or an “assault rifle”. There is only firearms.

    The US Constitution makes it clear as to why it preserves the right to keep and bear arms, but the Constitution is a purpose-written document that is supposed to limit government intrusion on citizens in a myriad of circumstances. And the drafters of the Constitution understood that arms will keep the wolf at bay when all else fails, hence the 2A.

    For any patriotic US citizen to use the term “hunting rifle” or any such moniker is just (inadvertently) voicing a concession in semantics to the gun-grabbers. And that empowers their agenda.

    There is only guns or firearms or just arms, if you wish. They are are tools of several trades. They are defensive and offensive, for hunting and for recreation. But in which way are they most useful? All of them. Whether the fast-paced IPSC or the challenging world of High Power or Palma; or a brisk and cool fall morning in a deer blind, firearms serve a purpose. Be it on the battlefield or in defense of your home and family, they serve a purpose.

    Or be it defending your freedom, they serve a purpose. Because the drafters of the Constitution recognized unequivocally that protection of one’s freedom would guarantee the ability to do all those other things guns are useful for. And moreover they recognized the usefulness of a gun in defending ALL types of freedoms.

    • avatarJason says:

      Let me add one more thing. The 2A has NEVER meant to imply that the Constitution only refers to keeping and bearing arms for militant reasons. The militia is there for militant action necessary for the security of a free state, but the right of the people to keep and bear arms is a broad and relatively unspecified statement. We can keep them and we can bear them. It doesn’t say when, how or why.

      And until you realize that, you will always be debating a fallacy.

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