The hunting world has long looked down their nose at “black” military-style rifles. Thanks to cutting edge innovation from firearm and cartridge manufacturers, the M-16 style AR-15 platform has become an excellent choice for hunters like me who enjoy sport shooting and military arms as well. In anticipation of a spring hog hunt in Texas, I started to build an AR-15 style rifle chambered in the potent 6.8mm Special Purpose Cartridge (SPC).
While I’m no gunsmith, the modular nature of the AR platform makes it easy for average Joes like me to build and customize their rifles. On a Stag Arms AR-15 lower, I added a Stag Arms 6.8mm upper with an M4 profile 16” barrel, complete with a Magpul UBR (Universal Battle Rifle) stock and VLTOR CASV-EL free floating rail system. After much deliberation I finally settled on a Nikon Monarch 2-14X scope with Nikon’s excellent bullet drop compensator (BDC) reticule, which I zeroed at 100 yards.
I’d done a lot of research in advance of building my “hog slayer” rifle, and decided that the intermediate power of the 6.8mm SPC had exactly the right kind of terminal ballistics for hog or deer hunting and self-defense. I chose to use Hornady’s polymertipped 110grn V-Max bullet as my hunting load.
After several days of unsuccessful hunting I was wondering if I was ever going to try out my new rifle and test Hornady’s ammunition in a real life situation. Finally on the evening of the last day of hunting, a 185lbs boar walked out into my field and started eating corn not 60 yards from my tree stand.
It took me a few moments to quell the initial rush of “buck fever” that sent my heart racing before I took aim and fired a text book shoulder shot. My boar ran 20 yards into the twilight of the Texas brush and dropped dead.
The 6.8mm bullet penetrated the hog’s shield of cartilage perfectly and left little of his heart and lung intact. Thanks to my 6.8mm AR-15 I have a freezer full of wild boar sausage and a new multi-purpose rifle in my gun safe.
[Mr. O’Dell works for the National Association for Gun Rights, blogged below]
After my first deer hunt with a DPMS .308 a few years ago I'll never hunt with my bolt guns again. I have many friends who feel exactly the same as I do, viva la AR!