AR platform hunting rifles

Deplorable77

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
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242
Any of you using AR style rifles as your primary hunting rifle? Just curious to hear any pros or cons associated with it. Not so much Hog, predator, and varmint, but deer/elk hunting is what I'm interested in.
 

xOttox

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
29
I use an Aero M5 lower with 308 upper. Originally built it for target only but have used it the last couple seasons.

Pros are I built it, shoot it regularly so I'm comfortable with it and know it in and out. Its enough rifle for all game here in NE. Plenty of rounds to choose from with more reloading options. Have the option to use different uppers while keeping the same trigger pull etc.

Cons are it's heavy! With scope it's 12lbs unloaded. If you want to quietly load that first round by slowly letting the bolt forward you will be sadly disappointed; mine will not fire unless a fair amount of force is used when loading the first round. Good luck finding the brass after it ejects, unless you plan on using a brass catcher at all times.

Lastly there is a stigma; have gotten some guff from others about using a "machine gun" to hunt deer/antelope. No guff if coyotes.

Don't mind using it but there are lighter options than what I have in the same caliber for a lot less money as a bolt gun. My $0.02.
 
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Deplorable77

Senior Member
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Sep 6, 2019
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242
I feel you on the stigma attached to certain types of firearms. I had a grumpy old coot give me a ration of shit for quail hunting with a benelli m1 super 90. Laughed him off .
 

justinspicher

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Dec 27, 2012
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Colorado
I just built a 6.5 Grendel for hunting everything. I had a Leupold VX6 2-12 scope and a Silencerco Omega can. The barrel is 16” and it’s incredibly accurate.
 

GunsAreFun

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
310
I use a 16” DPMS 308.

Pros:
-It looks cool lol
-Follow up shots are seamless
-It is cheap and accurate
-I strongly prefer the ergonomics of pistol grips.
-I like the adjustable stocks. Depending on different positions (sitting in a low profile chair, ladder stand, or using a bipod in a blind), I like different lengths of pull
-It’s easier to find a shorter barrel as I do not need 24” of medal hanging off my shoulder

Cons:
It’s heavy. Almost 10 pounds scoped, but you can get Grendel builds for 6-7 pounds scoped.
You need to work out some rattles. E.g. some stocks and safeties make noise and need to be swapped
Loading a round is load

Overall, they aren’t really much better or worse. Just different.
 

SDHNTR

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
1,281
I have one AR set up for big game hunting. It was a novel idea in theory, a lousy idea in practice. In every way imaginable, a traditional bolt action rifle is a superior choice for hunting. No need to be cute about it.
 

Desk Jockey

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Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
2,699
IMO they probably shine in roles where fast follow up shots would be helpful. Weight, mechanical complexity, etc. just seem to favor a bolt gun for me.

Check legality where you plan to hunt. In addition to states with bans, you need to make sure you can hunt with a semiauto and don’t foot fault on mag capacity limits.
 

Bkottke35

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
103
I’ve used a 450 bushmaster in an AR platform to hunt deer. Have my Aero M5 308 ready to go, just need to get an optic base for it and I will use it next year. Just know as mentioned above loading a round is loud. They carry different than a bolt gun but nothing you can’t adapt to. I love them for blind or stand hunting as my 308 and 450 both have 16” barrels which makes them nice to maneuver.
 

ncstewart

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
249
Everyone has an opinion but AK’s and 16’s were built for a purpose and hunting was not it. I think better options out there personally. Not saying I’m against them in general cause I’ve used em and owned them but just not for hunting for me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bubblehide

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May 13, 2015
Messages
858
With modern machining, an AR platform is as accurate as the parts it is composed of. OP, you might find the Petra interesting.
 
OP
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Deplorable77

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Sep 6, 2019
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Well now I regret going down that rabbit hole. Do you have any personal experience with these masterpieces?
With modern machining, an AR platform is as accurate as the parts it is composed of. OP, you might find the Petra interesting.
 

BAKPAKR

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May 10, 2018
Messages
411
Location
West Virginia
I have used 16” AR-15s in 5.56 and 6.8 on a handful of deer and a couple of black bears. They worked fine but not any better than “regular” hunting rifles. I have read about featherweight ARs, but even though mine do not have bull barrels/long barrels, they are not particularly light. If you move up to the AR-10 platform, the weight increases substantially.

I don’t find an AR particularly comfortable to carry. I much prefer the ergonomics of a bolt gun with a non-chassis stock in my hands while walking through the woods.

Another thing that makes the AR less than ideal for hunting, for me, is weather. They have lots of hard to reach spots that are not easy to clean or dry so I tend to leave my AR home if the forecast is rain or snow.
 
OP
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Deplorable77

Senior Member
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Sep 6, 2019
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242
^^^^^^^^I never considered that aspect. You're right, pine needles, dirt,snow, etc are going to find a lot more places to get in an AR
 

Bubblehide

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May 13, 2015
Messages
858
Well now I regret going down that rabbit hole. Do you have any personal experience with these masterpieces?
Set up properly, they are everything they claim to be; An ELR rifle in a simi auto. But of course they are only as accurate as the person pulling the trigger. As such, follow-up shot accuracy is pretty much totally dependent on the skill and abilities of that person pulling the trigger, not the weapon. In other words, the vast majority of people will do much better with a bolt action rifle in terms of follow-up.
 

justinspicher

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Dec 27, 2012
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Colorado
I guess they are normal to me because I’ve been carrying one for the 23yrs. I don’t find them hard to carry, or heavy. I do think some can be extremely ugly though. (Not mine though)
 

Wapiti1

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
802
Location
Indiana
I have one setup in .25 WSSM. 24" light barrel. Shoots just under an inch with the current handloads. I think it can do better if I tweak this load.

Fun rifle that I intend to take out for deer and antelope next fall. I think it weighs 9# with scope, so not heavy.

The only thing not fun about it is chasing brass if I forget my brass catcher.

Jeremy
 

rtaylor

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
58
Location
TN
I've been deer hunting with my AR 15 for several years now. I like it because it is the gun I practice with the most at the range. It is pretty much weather proof and I run it suppressed so I don't lose my hearing when I shoot. The best part is the adjustable stock because my 7 year old and 10 year old daughters will be the ones hunting with it tomorrow. It's a work horse.
 
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