NSSF Video on AR-15s for Hunting

Couldn’t have said it better myself. And I tried.

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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!

67 Responses to NSSF Video on AR-15s for Hunting

  1. avatarSanchanim says:

    Nice video Nick!!!
    Oh something a little happy right before Christmas!!

  2. avatarLance says:

    Good logic wish that every one would email this to there progun senator or congressmen to show the truth on the issue.

  3. avatarEsh325 says:

    I only shoot at paper targets with AR15′s, and I imagine it could do a fine job for hunting, but I can’t really see why you would need one over a bolt action for hunting.

    • Hogs. Delicious, terribly destructive, and running in packs.

      • avatarSanchanim says:

        BACON!!!! :-)

      • Yes, agreed, Nick!… Wild Pigs, running rampart, a very prolific animal!…[not just here, but World Wide!]. Just be Extremely Careful, {“Butchering”!…} The Blood, and Entrails, can cause a very infectious Disease, unscaved by “Antibiotics!… “Brucellosis”. Can enter your body, from a cut, scrape, ect., on your hand ect. According to the CDC, the risk is greatest while handling blood & organs, of Feral Pigs. [[Gentamicin, might help!…. the bacteria, is Almost immune, to modern Antibiotics!… Once this Bacteria, enters your system, it Stays!… C.Y.A., when Butchering, Always use Surgical Gloves!….

    • avataruncle nunzie says:

      Lighter, weather resistant, faster follow-up shots, shorter barrel with no loss in range/accuracy, a billion ways to personalize…

      In short, it is versatile, modern, and entirely good to have the choice.

      • avatarEsh325 says:

        Assuming equal caliber, a bolt action rifle can be just as light and short as an AR15, or as weather resistant. The only thing it can’t do is being semi automatic, which you could argue is really that necessary for a hunting rifle in the first place.
        http://cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-527-carbine/

        • avatarRalph says:

          Ever tried to make a follow-up shot with a bolt? Now try it with an autoloader.

          They’re both fine for the first shot. but if I had to make a second shot, I’d choose a semi-auto.

        • avatarEsh325 says:

          If you know how to shoot well and hunting, I don’t think you should need more than 1 shot to take out a deer. It’s not like the deer is shooting back at you.

        • avatarDavid says:

          The modularity of the AR rifle is one of its greatest qualities. You can change caliber in less than a minute depending on whether or not you have to change the bolt head. So you can go from .17 hmr or .223 all the way up to .50 Beowulf. In order to do that with a bolt gun you’d have to purchase a complete separate rifle for each cartridge. You can literally do your varmint hunting and big game hunting with the same rifle on the same day w/out lugging 2 or more rifles around. And if you want to get even more modular, check out mgimilitary.com and their Hydra rifle. But again, as others have said, it’s not about hunting, it’s about freedom. I should be free to defend myself and others from tyranny with whatever tools I deem necessary. If I can also hunt with that tool then it’s win-win. In the Bible, David the shepherd boy used his sling on bears and lions before facing Goliath. Tench Coxe said, “Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American … the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” Best Regards.

        • avatarEsh325 says:

          If the modular traits of the AR were that important to hunters, then modular bolt action rifles would have caught on, but they have not. Plus upper receivers can cost as much as whole rifles.

        • avatarLemming says:

          So can an arbalest. Does that make bolt guns unnecessary?

        • avatarAPBTFan says:

          Didn’t think of it till now but I had a botched follow up shot with a bolt action. Colorado high country going after cow elk. Lined up on her shooting downhill, shot high and when I slammed the bolt back on my 7 Mag my fatass glove was in the way and knocked the empty back into the action. The result? Me cussing up a storm while trying to get the action cleared, a nice cow sauntering into the tree line and an unfilled out of state tag.

          For hunting I’d love to get my hands on an AR in 6.5 Grendel.

        • avatarOddux says:

          Like 10% of the population, I’m left-eye dominant so I shoot long guns left handed. Any bolt action I get pretty much has to be special ordered since few LH bolt guns are stocked (usually only in 30.06 when they are), LH models cost a few hundred more, they have less features available, less calibers available, and can’t easily be used by any of my family or friends who are right-eye dominant.

          For the price of a good LH bolt gun, I can get an AR, which is more fun at the range when I’m not hunting, can be used to teach my right-eye dominant daughter safety and marksmanship, can be used to defend my home and daughter even if there are multiple attackers (most burglars and home invaders work in pairs. That is not a time I want a bolt gun), and has very few and very simple maintenance requirements I am familiar and comfortable with from my time in service. All with ONE gun that fits my limited, single-parent budget.

          Don’t presume to tell me what I do or don’t need.

        • avatarJAS says:

          I saw it done – a deer with a semi-automatic – in the early eighties while hunting in the Cascades. Our guide carried a .270 semi-auto, a Browning I believe, though my memory is not that clear on the make.

          We were walking down the mountain back from our morning hunt empty handed following a very narrow trail when we jumped a deer using the same trail.

          That muley ran right past us at warp speed not three feet away in the opposite direction. Before I could even bring my rifle up the guide fired three shots and dropped the deer. He missed twice.

        • avatarMike in NC says:

          Before this current wave of madness stuck the marketplace, I was looking into the Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle. Carbine length .308 bolt action fed by one of the box magazines used in some Remington 700 conversion kits (AI, I think).

          Oddux: the Gunsite Scout is also available in a left hand configuration.

        • avatarEsh325 says:

          Nobody said you have to limit yourself to bolt actions. I didn’t mention anything about home defense.

        • avatarC says:

          “If you know how to shoot well and hunting, I don’t think you should need more than 1 shot to take out a deer.”

          Ideally, but sometimes, shit happens.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      Semi-automatic hunting rifles have been around since the turn of the last century. AR’s are 100 years old by hunting standards.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      I can’t see why you would need a computer unless you’re a professional working for the government. All anyone does with computers is look at porn. So really, there’s no reason for you to have a computer when a typewriter would do just fine for those occasions when you need to write a long letter / report.

      See how stupid that line of thinking is?

    • avatarFelix says:

      Apparently you don’t hunt yourself. I don’t either. But not only do I not assume everyone else is too stupid to know what they are doing, I do know people who hunt, and they like semi-autos.

      So I have two reasons for believing an AR would make a dandy hunting rifle: I trust hunters to know what works, and I trust my friends who say they know what works.

      There’s also that pesky Second Amendment.

      But on top of everything is the fundamental natural right of self-defense, not just against game animals you are trying to kill and eat, but against two legged animals who are trying to kill you, and tyrants who are trying to enslave you.

    • avatarPantera Vazquez says:

      There you go with that NEED thing. Funny, right after you acknowledge that it could do a FINE job for hunting. You shoot at paper targets so you see no other need for an AR. Others would disagree with you…….

  4. avatarg says:

    Great little vid. The only thing they forgot to mention is the AR’s versatility, the ability to easily change the upper, grip, stock, etc. depending on a shooter’s size and preferences.

  5. avatarBob says:

    Can someone help me out rebutting the “why do you need 30 round magazines, why isn’t it reasonable to ban those? Won’t that possibly help reduce fatalities in spree shootings?”

    Is it good enough to respond by saying “We need them for self-defense”? Somehow I don’t think that will sway anyone, but maybe that’s our best argument. Any other ideas?

    • avatardaveR says:

      Don’t take the “need” bait. “Want” is sufficient since these are legal. If you have to make a defense as to why they shouldn’t be made illegal, then you can talk about “might need”…but no, “need” is a lost debate unless you know of situations where those extra rounds actually made the difference. All else is speculation.

    • avatarEsh325 says:

      What I would tell them is that they tried an assault weapons ban in 1994 and a 10 round magazine law and it failed to have any measurable affect on crime or mass shootings, as columbine happened and many firearms used in crime were mostly handguns that had less than 10 rounds. I would also tell them that when you’re talking about lots of people get killed at close range that have no means to defend themselves, the type of firearm and number of rounds in the magazine is not very critical. As far as “needing” I would tell them, “I didn’t mention anything about needing one.”

    • avatarRalph says:

      Why does anybody need a car that can go twice the national speed limit? Speeding kills thousands of people every year. We should ban cars with powerful engines. For the children.

      • avatarDavid-p says:

        Amen Ralph.

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        An argument I’ve used many times. With the highest speed limit set at 75mph why isn’t there limiter in every new vehicle sold? Speed at impact is a huge factor in how bad the collateral damage is in an accident. If they want to neuter our guns then why not set a cap on GVW as well? Think of all those Smart Car drivers out there that might get annihilated by a Ford Excursion.

        It boils down the fact that folks love POWER. Whether that power be a 600hp sports car or the joy of emptying a 100 round beta mag it’s all the same.

        • avatarEsh325 says:

          If the goal to reduce driver fatalities on the road, the speed limiter would probably be the best and cheapest solution, the other way is to give out fewer licenses and making drive tests stricter.

        • avatarCasey T says:

          We should also limit engine size and vehicle weight because they are contributors to deaths as well. If it could save one life to take all SUV’s off the road, it should be done. They have no sporting purposes after all. Also, while we are at it, lets ban Alcohol because it only creates problems, never mind what it would do to the economy. (I’m not serious).

      • avatarDavid-p says:

        Amen Ralph.
        Bob just ask them if they want to limit the 458 socom to 10 rounds? When they say yes just reply “that’s why, because you have no clue!” They have no idea what they are talking about. Just like with the first ban. It was an assault weapon if it had a pistol grip and a bayonet lug. Unless the US was having a run of bayonetings I didn’t know about it wasn’t going to reduce violence. They have no clue what they are talking about.
        I’m thinking about putting wood veneer all over one of my ar’s just to see of an anti gunner, news caster, or politican could pick it out of a line up

    • avatarBiofire says:

      I agree with the other comments, but try this also. In Oakland, and in many other cities plagued by crime, a 30 round magazine is like a fire extinguisher. You hope you never need it, but you will be glad you have it when the need arises. Earlier this year, 4 guys in black with ski masks invaded a neighbor’s home. All were armed. All were experienced street criminals. Yeah, you need more than 10 rounds for these guys.

    • avatarJAS says:

      Because reloading magazines takes time and it’s not half the fun as shooting. Because shooting lots and fast is a competitive sport with competitions all over the country. And finally, because it is legal to do so.

    • avatarIdahoMan says:

      Remind them of the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. It isn’t about hunting or sport, it’s to make sure “the sword”(the use of force, the guns used for fighting and defense) are to be in the hands of the people.

      Not the government’s hands, or the police. The people. As a birthright. We allow the government, they don’t allow us.

  6. avatar11 says:

    Total BS and factually wrong. The Springfield was not the predecessor of the modern bolt action hunting rifle. That honor goes to the Mauser. And Mauser designed a sporting version for hunting. I don’t recall Stoner every designing a hunting AR-15. Maybe this jackwagon can tell us about it.

    This BS about calling ARs hunting rifles is getting old fast. They are not. They were never designed to be such and frankly they are not what I, and many others would call a sporting hunting rifle. You don’t need to lay out a field of fire to drop a deer. If you do you shouldn’t be hunting.

    I own an AR and I don’t feel I have to justify it by calling it a hunting rifle. On one hand we have people saying that the 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting and then they try to protect the gun the anti-gun crowd most wants to ban by saying it is a hunting rifle! An AR-15 is not, not a hunting rifle. Only someone that came into hunting very late in life, meaning in adulthood, would think that. You would have to have no conception the ethics of hunting to think is fine to hunt with such a weapon. Yeah, pound the elk with 10 rounds of .223 and hope for the best.

    I can tell you one thing for certain. No one in the future is going to be calling an AR Old Besty as this jerk claims. It’s not going to happen. Well except maybe a bunch of gamers that “hunt” in pens in Texas.

    • avatardaveR says:

      Thank you. Trying to peg an AR as the next generation of hunting rifles is just baloney and videos like this just make the defenders of civilian legal ARs look stupid. ARs and AKs are modern COMBAT arms and there’s nothing wrong (to me) with civilians owning modern combat arms.

      • avatarRalph says:

        Most of us can’t own modern combat arms. They’re covered by the NFA and cost thousands of dollars. If you really think that the Army could send a bunch of guys with semi-automatic AR-15s up against an enemy carrying full-auto AKs, you’d better triple your order for body bags.

        • avatarEsh325 says:

          My understanding is that current 3 round mechanism is some what faulty in the M16A2,A4, and M4 and really isn’t used all that often. So no, I don’t think they would loosing anything much by being issued semi automatic only rifles.

        • avatarCasey T says:

          Ralph, I’m not trying to be mean but you’re just plain wrong. We were given M-16′s that only had semi-auto and three round burst. No Marine uses three round bursts either. It’s actually easier to fight using semi-auto than full auto too because of lack of muzzle climb, but that’s for trained Marines.

      • avatarDavid-p says:

        I own AR’s and I do hunt with them. I don’t plan on stopping. As a 22lr it is fine for small game, with 223 it works great for coyotes, where I live in indiana you can use 458 socom or 450 bushmaster to hunt deer. With a collapsible stock I can take younger people hunting. The recoil is different than a bolt gun and changes can be done without involving a gunsmith. The rifle is modular. NSSF did a study a couple years ago that found more people are taking an AR out to the field more than any other single gun. I agree that the 2nd says nothing about hunting but “if that dog will hunt, hunt with it”

      • avatarCasey T says:

        Seriously, this reminds me of one of those movies with the crotchety old men bitching about music or something else. Yeah, you may not hunt with them but other people are different so accept it. I will be building a 6.5 Grendel for hunting in an AR platform for my daughter so she can handle the recoil and still go deer hunting. It’s not always about several shots.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Plenty of people hunt with ARs. In some places they are the rifle of choice for coyotes and pigs. Not that it matters. The Second Amendment does not say “the right of the people to hunt shall not be infringed.”

      • avatardaveR says:

        The Second Amendment does not say “the right of the people to hunt shall not be infringed.”

        You’re right. But hunting is what drives a lot of the public tolerance for private ownership of guns. The NSSF is obviously trying to play upon this but I think they are over reaching.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      “And Mauser designed a sporting version for hunting.”

      And what exactly was the functional difference from the ’98?

      • avatar11 says:

        None really. It didn’t have the thumb slot and of course had a different stock. What’s your point? Did Stoner design an AR hunting rifle? Yeah, right.

        Like I said, I have an AR and I feel have a damn right to own it but that is NOT because it is hunting rifle. It is not. Saying it is what it isn’t is just stupid. Yeah, you can hunt with it but it isn’t a hunting rifle. It was never designed for that and as far as I am concerned that is fine. If you want to go on with this stupid propaganda about how an AR is the perfect hunting rifle, well go ahead. You will never convince real hunters and if your mission is to convince the general public forget it. They will only think less of hunters when they see them hunting with what they consider assault weapons.

        ARs should be legal but they are not hunting rifles, period. This can only lead to the public not only looking badly at ARs but also hunters. Stupid. Gamer hunters is what it is. I have no doubt that people are hunting with them, people that came to guns not from hunting but from video games.

        • avatarAPBTFan says:

          I respect your opinion but like it or not AR’s are hunting rifles. Any rifle capable of taking game (the big .50′s and full autos aside) can be considered a hunting rifle. What difference does it make if a .308 is fired out of an AR, a Browning BAR or a Remington 750? Hunting is about cleanly harvesting game, not what you use to do it. A significant portion of younger shooters, especially returning vets, are not only more comfortable with but prefer the AR platform. It’s what they grew up with and are familiar with just like us older fellas are with bolt actions, lever actions and single-shots.

          Personally, my hunting arsenal is a bolt-action S&W i-Bolt in 30-06, a single shot H&R Handi-Rifle in .243 Winchester and a lever action Ruger 96/44 in .44 Magnum. All are the old school platforms that I prefer but now that I built an AR several months ago and gotten to know it it’s what I’ll be taking on my next javelina hunt.

          You’ve stated that AR’s aren’t hunting rifles and the only reason you’ve given is that “they weren’t designed for that”. Do you have a problem with a fella hunting with an Enfield, Springfield ’03, Mosin Nagant, Mauser Kar 98, M1A or M1 Garand? None of those were designed for hunting. My father did all his hunting with an Enfield No. 4 Mk 1. Military rifles are designed for reliability, durability and accuracy all of which are the exact ideals hunters look for in a hunting rifle.

          I’m not trying to be a dick but I’m curious as to where and why you draw the line as to what is or isn’t a hunting rifle.

        • avatarAPBTFan says:

          “Did Stoner design an AR hunting rifle?”

          Not initially but when military sales didn’t materialize right away it was successfully marketed as such. I’m still unclear as to why the intended use vs. suitability to hunting matters.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      “This BS about calling ARs hunting rifles is getting old fast. They are not. They were never designed to be such”

      Neither was just about every significant new rifle technology for better, faster, quicker, or tougher. Rifled musket? Military. Minie ball? Military. Brass cartridge breech loaders? Military. Smokeless poweder and spitzer bullets? Military. Etc, etc.

      At any point in time during rifle development the line between “sporting” and “military” is about as blurred as it gets. Consider this: the Winchester Model 1907 was a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine marketed as a hunting rifle but was used by France in both World Wars. On the flip side something like the Mauser ‘ 98 or rifled muskets were the mainstays of militaries for years but are now mainly hunting rifles.

    • Choose, the Gun, to fit the Game!… [1 shot, 1 Kill!]. None of this “Macho” Bullshit, for Bragging rights!… Ever wonder why, hnters get a “Bad – Rap”?…

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        “Macho bullshit” and “bragging rights”?

        Seriously? I’m honestly amazed at the vitriol against AR’s in this thread. Maybe we should all go back to stone-tipped spears – that would truly be machismo worthy of bragging rights.

  7. avatardaveR says:

    Ya know. Videos like this aren’t doing our cause any favors. The hunters I know have communicated to me (in the past, before the latest shootings), that they don’t understand what a person would want with an “assault rifle”. These are gun owners and are hunters who learned hunting from their elders and are the kind of people the goofy video above is trying to lump together in the Brotherhood of the AR. Well, this is how you lose a debate because it’s a very simple matter for a journalist to go out and track down hunters (you know, get these hunters to talk about their hunting, how they learned to hunt and how they enjoy being out in the woods…you know, characterize them as the kind of “hunter” we all like to imagine)…anyway, this journalist would then ask the hunters about what they think about hunting with an AR15. The hunter will then respond that it’s about as intelligent as building a doll house with a nail gun and then that’s it. We’ve lost. If we want to keep ARs and their like legal, then we shouldn’t willingly drive the debate into Absurd-ville.

    Instead, we and the NSSF need to talk more about how ARs and AKs are pieces of history, how they’re fun to shoot and how they are arguably safer for home defense than shotguns and handguns (in terms of accuracy and lack of over penetration).

    • avatarCasey T says:

      If people hunt with them, then let them. I’m serious sick of OFWG telling us how it is. I hunted with a bolt action 7 mm Mag this year, next year I may use a 6.5 Grendel AR. It’s not because I need the extra shots as I’m a better shot than most people (Marine Corps Expert) but because I would rather hunt with an AR. Plus, if I run into a group of Coyotes, I can take them all out at once. People here have mentioned that gun owners are divided and this may be where it happens. If you don’t use a particular firearm for something but someone else does, don’t hate on them. I don’t understand why people do a lot of things but you know what? To each their own and more power to them.

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        Very well said Casey.

      • avatarjwm says:

        I’m an OFWG. Vegetarian. Non hunter. I don’t own an AR. But I’m dipped if I can see the sense in this argument. Own and hunt with whatever floats your boat. And support each others choices. I do. My most modern centerfire rifle was made in 1951. My preferred rifles are mil-surp. But I support the rights of all gun owners to own and use the guns of their choice.

        A lifetime and a half ago I carried an m16, with the full on giggle switch. I’ll never carry another. But that doesn’t mean I don’t support your right to. Even with the full on giggle switch.

    • avatar11 says:

      Dave R, you said it better than I could. These people just don’t get it and we’ll lose in the end with both hunting and guns if they keep pursuing this position. An AR is NOT a hunting rifle, plain and simple. It has a purpose and I support that purpose but it is not in the hunting field.

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        Why stand with your brother/sister shooters and hunters (especially the next generation) when you can marginalize a whole section of them all in the name of not offending the same folks that would have your “proper” hunting rifles as well if they got the chance.

  8. avatarMilsurp Collector says:

    I’m so sick of hunters who make a hasty retreat to the Consecrated Temple of Fudds when they see younger guys taking game with semi-auto “assault rifles”; as if all the tradition of hunting will somehow be ushered out by the mere presence of a different type of tool. This is just an evolution of firearms ownership and hunting for the “Call of Duty” generation. Old Man Jenkins is welcome to use his Remchesterby 7000 until he dies, but he and his crew need to realize that sports evolve over time and young guys want to do things differently now. I’m sure some of those old pioneers who hunted with flintlock muskets in the early 19th century got pissed when guys started running around the hills with those “new-fangled” percussion cap Spencer Carbines. This situation is no different.

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      I doubt it, because to most of them hunting wasn’t just some leisurely BS activity like it is now.

      It was either you bag something and cook it or you don’t eat. Any tool that made that an easier goal to achieve was likely welcomed.

    • avatar11 says:

      Yeah, you got it. They come to hunting from video games! Great. Makes me want to petition the Department to outlaw all semi-auto rifles for hunting when I hear crap like you spout. Hunting isn’t about having the most efficient means of killing but you wouldn’t understand that so forget it.

      • avatarMilsurp Collector says:

        I never said video games were the sole reason young people decide to own guns or hunt, but if you think they don’t have an influence on the newest generation of gun owners you’re blind. Count the number of 18-20 something year old guys you see in a gun shop whose eyes light up when they spot a kitted up AR or some AK variant vs. a Remington 700. I stopped counting after ten in the past year alone. Naturally, if Joey buys an AK on his 18th birthday and he also wants to get into hunting, he’s probably going to put two and two together and go hunting with his AK as the tool of choice out of convenience.

        Of course I understand there’s a lot more to it than which rifle you use. I just have a problem with hunters who think that because Joey took a dear with his AK last year that their hobby is somehow going to be destroyed. All the tradition and respect for the environment that comes with hunting hasn’t disappeared just because people are choosing a different tool to get the job done.

  9. avatarIdahoMan says:

    The 2nd Amendment is NOT about hunting.

    Trying to defend the Right to Keep and Bear Arms by trying to appease the Anti’s “hunting/sporting” “argument” is a sure way to loose.

    The “Sporting Purpose” language came from the Nazi Firearms Act of 1938 and translated into our Gun Control Act of 1968. The NRA, NSSF, and other gun groups need to defend the 2nd Amendment and work to REAPEAL this stuff.

  10. avatarAPBTFan says:

    After reading and commenting throughout this entire thread I am absolutely stupefied at the vilification and marginalizing directed at those who choose to hunt with an AR. It’s utter stupidity. Unless you buy into the left’s asinine philosophy of “some are good some are bad” view of guns why throw fellow shooters under the bus? It’s utter capitulation and defensive appeasement to the left’s view of guns. Read up and see how appeasement worked for Neville Chamberlain and the world at large. Our fight it a microcosm of that.

    Call me what you want but shame on all of you throwing AR hunters under the bus.

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