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Old July 13, 2011, 12:06 PM   #1
BigShep85
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AR for hunting?

Thinking of getting an AR my .223/5.56 question is would this rifle be any good for hunting?
Pros/Cons? anything would be helpful
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Old July 13, 2011, 12:33 PM   #2
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If you want to use the heavier bullet weights (mid 70s and up) then be sure to get a faster twist rate barrel, at least 1 in 8, or 1 in 7. 1 in 9 can't stabalize those weights.

I would get 5.56 rather than .223, personally, but that's just me.

What do you want to hunt, and how? The grip becomes a liability if you're crawling...
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Old July 13, 2011, 12:35 PM   #3
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223 varmits and pests (small), 308 almost all of the bigger game and big pests, 450 real big close in.....
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Old July 13, 2011, 12:58 PM   #4
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I use a AR 15 223 to hunt quite a bit coyotes, hog,deer,groundhogs i carry different bullets weights for different critters.But 55GR.& 52 gr. barnes x work pretty good across the board on mid size game up to about 200lbs if you stay around 150yards.I also like the20'' barrels better for the 223 round Ithink u get alittle more range & velocity.Many say the 223 is to light but with good shoot placement its work well for Me.IF u pick a twist rate 1in 7 1in 9 it will be able to use heavier bullets for deer & hogs.All in all IMO the AR makes a fine hunting rifle.
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Old July 13, 2011, 04:43 PM   #5
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Years ago, I shot and killed a 4 point with a Colt AR-15 with one shot. The next deer I shot I lost after multiple hits. Distance was about 65 yards. No blood to trail at all. I feel that the .223 is too light for deer sized game. Small game it is great and very accurate. The bullet was a Remington 55 gr SP which is all that they had besides Mil ammo. Tim
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Old July 13, 2011, 05:14 PM   #6
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i often hunt coyotes using the 45 grain Barnes TSX bullet and an AR-15: It's an accurate bullet that does a good job on coyotes. i've also killed a few wild hogs with that bullet while varmint hunting. They bang flopped. i've killed hogs that went over 250 pounds using the 53 grain TSX bullet.
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Old July 13, 2011, 05:16 PM   #7
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Remember guys, "AR" is not the same as caliber.
ARs come in the "15" platform in 204, 222, 223, 6X47, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC (my favorite, which is VERY effective as a deer round) 7.62X39, 300 Whisper, 338 Whisper, 450 Bushmaster, 458 SOCOM and 50 Beowulf.

The AR-10 platform comes in 243, 260, 7-08, 308 338 Fed, and 358 Winchester.
So the AR is a great hunting rifle. You just have to choose the right caliber.
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Old July 13, 2011, 09:46 PM   #8
Art Eatman
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Most any .223 round will work for varmints. Some better than others, sure, but it's not really critical.

A 1:10 twist will stablilize blunt-nose 70-grain bullets, I've found. Nowadays, several manufacturers make controlled-expansion bullets suitable for deer. Odds are that a 1:9 twist is probably better for general use, I imagine. My slower twists are fine for me since I mostly just varmint hunt with my .223.
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Old July 13, 2011, 10:16 PM   #9
jimbob86
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Quote:
Thinking of getting an AR my .223/5.56 question is would this rifle be any good for hunting?
Pros/Cons? anything would be helpful
Good for hunting...... what? Coyotes, certainly. Maybe some of the tiny deer I have seen back east......

It would be better than a sharp stick, but there are certainly better calibers than .223 for deer.

If you were to insist on using a .223, then get the longest barrel you can get, with a twist that will stabilize the heaviest contolled expansion bullets you can find. ..... and keep the ranges short.

Cue the AR fanboys touting their mad SilverBear launchin' M-4gery deerslayin' skillz in 3 ..... 2..... 1.....
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Old July 13, 2011, 11:15 PM   #10
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Check your local laws for deer. Fine small game.
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Old July 14, 2011, 10:39 AM   #11
Art Eatman
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While I wouldn't grab one of my .223s to go on a deer hunt, I do know from photos here and at THR that modern bullet technology has made a great improvement in performance above the "varmint" category.

Were I to use a .223 on Bambi, I'd do the same as with my .243: Be picky about the particular shot I take. Neck shot, or cross-body heart shot. No angling shots. Which gets us back to the old "shot placement" deal...
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Old July 14, 2011, 11:09 AM   #12
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I have not shot any big game with a 5.56,so I won't say anything except:There was a time when the 25-20,32-20,38-40,25-35,etc were considered OK in the deer woods.Velocities were low,bullets were lead,and sights were iron.
But along with that,folks just might have spent more time in the woods.
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Old July 14, 2011, 12:25 PM   #13
FrontSight
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Quote:
Remember guys, "AR" is not the same as caliber.
ARs come in the "15" platform in 204, 222, 223, 6X47, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC (my favorite, which is VERY effective as a deer round) 7.62X39, 300 Whisper, 338 Whisper, 450 Bushmaster, 458 SOCOM and 50 Beowulf.

The AR-10 platform comes in 243, 260, 7-08, 308 338 Fed, and 358 Winchester.
So the AR is a great hunting rifle. You just have to choose the right caliber.
Very good point! The pistol grip issue doesn't go away, though, so depending on the type of hunting you're doing, it could be good or bad. Crawling on your belly can be difficult with a pistol grip; not sure how the military does it
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Old July 15, 2011, 04:41 PM   #14
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Any good 60+grain softpoint will kill any deer in the USA at reasonabe ranges. I know some states do not allow 223 for big game hunting, but that does not mean it won't do the job.
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Old July 16, 2011, 07:26 PM   #15
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big thing i have found about hunting with an ar variant over a more commonly used bolt action is weight factor. even my M15 made by armalite, with open sights and no technicool addons weighs in at about 8 pounds loaded with a 5rd mag. my 223 bolt action i use for picking off the random critters around the house is less than 6 with scope and bipod on it. think long and hard about a deer hunt with an ar... that 2 pounds makes a big difference at the end of the day.
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Old July 25, 2011, 06:07 PM   #16
tahunua001
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a lot of guys who say that the 223 is only good for varmint. I say they are dead wrong.

a lot of guys say that AR15 are too inaccurate to hunt with without the 24"bull barrels that make your gun too heavy to be a practical hunter. I say they are dead wrong.

a lot of guys also say that 223 is only effective on small deer within 100 yards. I say they are dead wrong.

my AR15 with a 16" light barrel has murdered a 250 whitetail buck at 250 yards...I think that's about the largest deer you'll see in the US. I wouldn't trust the 223 on anything bigger than a deer but it is definitely suited for a role as a deer slayer
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Old July 26, 2011, 12:24 AM   #17
SRH78
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The big question here is what kind of hunting? For some types of hunting, it is a great choice. For others, it is not. As already pointed out, if you are after big game, the AR platform is available in other cartridges better suited to the job than the 223.


I have pulled some pretty big trailers with a 1/2 ton but a 1 ton works a whole lot better.
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Old July 31, 2011, 11:05 PM   #18
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I never considered an AR rifle, ever, I never even looked at them, they just didn't appeal to me..........until they were offered in 6.8spc. I had no use for a high-powered .22, especially for hunting medium game or penetrating barriers.

But now I own one, and I lok-it-alot.

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Old August 1, 2011, 02:57 PM   #19
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Check your local hunting laws regarding caliber, bullet weight and velocity.

That said, I've taken feral hogs (pound for pound some of the toughest animals on the planet, IMO) with 62 grain 5.56 fired from an AR with a 16" barrel.

Shot placement is key - especially for larger animals.
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Old August 7, 2011, 05:25 PM   #20
frigate88
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Sure can. I use my .50 Beowulf AR for clearing hogs of my property. A semi auto shooting a piece of heavy lead does the trick just fine. But on a serious note, you can. I use my .556 to hunt hunt deer down here and it works really well.
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