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Old July 23, 2012, 08:21 PM   #1
sdclaw21
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All around AR style rifle

Hey folks, I'm a long time shot-gunner from Iowa looking to get into the rifle world. I'm looking for a nice all around AR style rifle that would balance affordable shooting, home defense/zombie use, and some mid size game hunting (coyote, deer, maybe a pig here or there). Any advice?

Is 5.56 enough for deer/coyote? If I'm going to put up $1,000 for a rifle I want to be able to play with it, but I want it multipurpose as well. I'm not in a position to reload right now so that's out.
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Old July 23, 2012, 08:40 PM   #2
FrosSsT
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The 5.56 cartridge is very effective on coyote - but for deer I would not reccommend it - not saying it wouldnt work, just saying I myself wouldnt use it. As for an AR or AR type rifle your going to get more answers youll be able to read on this forum - they're all pretty much more or less the same. I have a bushmaster m4a3 i got for around 1k and its been flawless. Some will say the M&P15, some the colt - it usually goes by what THEY have. Good luck!
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Old July 23, 2012, 09:05 PM   #3
jmr40
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I'd suggest something with a mid-length upper and 16-18" barrel. Flat top receiver with a front sight and a magpul back up rear sight mounted under the scope. Mount a low powered 1-4X or 2-7X scope in some Quick detachable mounts. I'd lean toward the 1-4X. Standard stock vs telescoping is a personal thing. I have both and if I could only have 1 it would be telescoping. My brother has 4 AR's and prefers a standard stock. This setup would be good for hunting game up to deer. About perfect for coyote. With good bullets and shot placement a 223 is good enough for smaller whitetail out to a max of around 200 yards, cut that range in half for larger deer or hog. For the really monster hogs, it is probably not adequate.

Some don't like a front sight because they can see it through a low powered scope. Yes, with a scope set on 2x or less the front sight is visible, at higher powers it is out of focus and not noticeable. This bothers some, but not me. I can see the front sight when not using a scope and fail to understand why it is a problem to be able to see it with a scope.

The 1-4X scopes are very popular in 3 gun competition where rapid fire shots at multiple targets are the norm. On 1X it is completely adequate for close range SD. At 4X it has plenty of magnification for deer at 200 yards. If you think you might want to shoot farther than that at smaller game a 2-7X starts to make more sense. If you want/need to use the backup sights the scope can come off quickly and with 1 push of a button the backup sight flips up. A strong argument can be made for a red dot sight. One of my rifles has one. They serve their purpose, but are not as versatile as a low powered scope. If I only had 1 AR it would have a 1-4X scope on it with a back up rear iron sight.

Brand is less important. There are several good guns out there at around $700-$800. I personally own Palmetto State Amory, Rock River, Stag, and DPMS. The DPMS is a notch below the others, but serves it's purpose for me. I'd recommend any of the others as well as S&W. There are others that are good as well. Pick the ones that have the features most important to you and at the best price.

You'll get a lot of opinions on barrel twist and chrome lined vs non-chrome lined. I prefer chrome lined and a 1/7 twist simply because that is the military configuration. Half of my guns are such, the other 2 are non-chrome lined and 1/9 twist. For most it is probably not really that big of an issue.
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Old July 23, 2012, 09:13 PM   #4
sdclaw21
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I love the red dot. I have one for my deer gun (12 guage BPS, cantilever). It's outstanding for quick target aquisition and hunting to 125 yards. I like the idea of having both a scope and site, for the sole reason that if the fit hits the shan I have a versatile weapons system that doesn't need batteries.

I'm vaguely familiar with interchangeable platforms, do they make them in AR style rifles? Is it possible to have one rifle that shoots multiple size rounds accurately?
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Old July 23, 2012, 09:17 PM   #5
RT
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Colt 6920
http://www.gtdist.com/SearchResults.aspx?&Keyword=COLT-

And if you wanna hunt bigger game just switch to a 300 Blackout upper
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Old July 23, 2012, 09:41 PM   #6
sdclaw21
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I'm not overly concerned with brand or manufacture at this point. I know there are several on the market that have a reputation for producing a quality firearm. I'm more interested in feedback in ammo size. Again the goal is to balance affordability for plinking/target shooting with field performance on medium size game. Is that the general consensus that the 5.6 is not an ideal size round for deer?
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Old July 24, 2012, 12:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
I'm not overly concerned with brand or manufacture at this point. I know there are several on the market that have a reputation for producing a quality firearm. I'm more interested in feedback in ammo size. Again the goal is to balance affordability for plinking/target shooting with field performance on medium size game. Is that the general consensus that the 5.6 is not an ideal size round for deer?
In that case you likely will want a 1:7" barrel twist which excels as the bullet gets longer and the weight goes above 62 grains. I agree with the earlier recommendation of a midlength gas system and on a 16" barrel. For a compromise rifle as you described earlier and leaning toward SD/HD I'd say get a BCM which can come in around your price point. I doubt you're going to find a more reliable, well built AR. I'm pleased with their 16" LW midlength upper which on a lower I built up myself.

5.56 is legal for deer in Idaho though I'm not sure how popular it is or how many other states allow it.
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Old July 24, 2012, 05:28 AM   #8
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Is 5.56/223 acceptable for deer? The best way to put it is.....yes, but SHOT PLACEMENT becomes more critical than with bigger calibers.
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Old July 24, 2012, 06:52 AM   #9
sdclaw21
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I should also note im a lefty. Any others out there that use an AR platfirm? Ive heard most if not all come with shell deflection systems and ejection shoukdnt be a problem but honestly I think Id prefer a true lefty gun.
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Old July 24, 2012, 07:34 AM   #10
jmr40
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Stag makes a left handed AR. Most have a deflector though. My brother shoots lefty with right handed AR's with no problem.
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Old July 24, 2012, 07:41 AM   #11
jmr40
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Quote:
5.56 is legal for deer in Idaho though I'm not sure how popular it is or how many other states allow it.
Someone on another forum asked about which states don't allow 223. I don't recall the exact states, but there were only 6 states where the 223 was not allowed, and other caibers were. There were 4-5 states where no rifles are allowed which also included 223. So it is legal in the vast majority of states here rifles are allowed.

Most places where it is not allowed also had much larger game such as elk or moose which the 223 is certainly not acceptable for. I can see keeping things simple. Making a 223 legal for deer and not for moose could make enforcment a little more complicated. But it seems odd that those same places who allow you to hunt 1500 lb moose with a 243 don't allow a 223 on a 150 lb deer.
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Old July 24, 2012, 08:42 AM   #12
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I wanted an all around AR also since I had a short/light version and a 24" white oak already.

I built a clone of the RRA ATH with some personal modifications. I will put up my parts list when I get back on the puter. The phone makes it hard to copy and paste.

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Old July 24, 2012, 08:58 AM   #13
Beentown71
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18" stainless Wilson barrel with Wylde chamber
RRA Chrome BCG
RRA lower with National Match trigger
RRA half quad, rifle length handguard
BCM Gunfighter with mod3 tactical latch
Magpul BAD lever
RRA Operator Stock in FDE
Hogue grip in FDE
Magpul pmag in FDE
Winter/oversized trigger guard
Burris Xtreme "high" rings
Vortex Viper 3.5-10x50 scope with BDC reticle
Bushnell red dot on Daniel Defense one o'clock mount
Ares Armor Amentum Sling
Magpul Angle Forward Grip II
VTAC FDE light mount
Streamlight Polytac HP light



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Old July 24, 2012, 09:37 AM   #14
Fishbed77
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Quote:
I should also note im a lefty. Any others out there that use an AR platfirm? Ive heard most if not all come with shell deflection systems and ejection shoukdnt be a problem but honestly I think Id prefer a true lefty gun
The AR is one of the more lefty-friendly rifles out there. The shell deflector keeps brass out of your face, the charging handle is ambidextrous, and ambidextrous safeties and mag releases are easily installed (though not really needed since the mag release is easily operated with your right-hand thumb, and the safety can be operated by shifting your hand a bit and using your left forefinger). To be honest, I don't really see the point of the left-handed uppers.
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Old July 24, 2012, 09:39 AM   #15
sdclaw
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Do left handed models cost more?
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Old July 24, 2012, 09:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Do left handed models cost more?
The big problem is that they are "non-standard".

Many of the critical components are specific for a left had action. They can't be replaced with "standard" parts if something breaks.

It is your money, though.

I shoot my standard AR left handed alot for training. It isn't a problem other than I am very right eye dominant which makes the red dot seem to float in space to the right side of the rifle. My brain just can't comprehend why I would be looking through my left eye at something.
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Good luck.
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:22 AM   #17
Beentown71
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Meant to add a link:

http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.c...ategory_id=526

RRA also makes the in lefty versions:

http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.c...ategory_id=547

I am also partial to the Daniel Defense V5, BCM RECCE 16, and Stag 3g.
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Old July 24, 2012, 12:09 PM   #18
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You're going to have to set some priorities and make some compromises. A light weight 16" carbine is not going to be the best choice for longer range target shooting or coyote hunting. A 20" HBAR is not going to be optimum for a 3 gun rattle bang afternoon or home defense. Most importantly, the .223 is a very marginal deer killing cartridge except under perfect conditions/presentations.
I carry a 16" HBAR profile carbine most of the time during winter. It provides adequate range(up to 250 yards before performance falls below my expectations) for coyote calling and target of opportunity coyote hunting. This combo would work for run and gun games although a little heavy.
The 16" barrel gives up significant velocity versus a 20" making the already wimpy .223 even more inadequate for deer. To keep this in perspective, I've shot and watched my kids shoot 20-25 deer with a .223. I am(w/o bragging) a very experienced deer hunter and stood ready to backup the kids should it appear their shot was not properly applied.
To recommend the .223 as a general use deer round is unethical and uniformed. It works sometimes well, sometimes not so well, and sometimes is a disaster(but so are many other rounds). There just isn't as much wiggle room compared to more effective cartridges.
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Old July 24, 2012, 12:42 PM   #19
sdclaw
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As a slug hunter fromIowa Im well used to compromise. I have no problem accepting and staying within a particular weapons limitations. If I were to use the 223 on deer it would certainly be within 200 yards and only in ideal conditions and with an ideal game presentation. I do like the idea of multiple uppers down the road.
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Old July 24, 2012, 03:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
The 16" barrel gives up significant velocity versus a 20"
Around 100-120 fps. depending on the load according to my chronograph. Not an issue at all within reasonable ranges.

Quote:
To recommend the .223 as a general use deer round is unethical and uniformed. It works sometimes well, sometimes not so well, and sometimes is a disaster(but so are many other rounds). There just isn't as much wiggle room compared to more effective cartridges.
As a general use round you are correct, but in a multi use rifle it is very effective as you have do doubt discovered. It is not however unethical as long as it is used within its limitations, just like any other chambering. Bullet technology has improved dramatically in recent years and some of the old rules just don't apply anymore. With the premium bullets available today a 223 round will give complete penetration and excellent expansion on deer sized game. Old school tiny soft point bullets at near 3000 fps would have blown up and not been effective.

With most chamberings you reach the point where hitting the target is almost impossible well before you reach the chamberings limitations to cleanly make a kill. With a 223 you can easily make hits farther away than the round can cleanly kill. Taking shots outside the rounds limitatons is what is unethical.

At closer ranges with good bullets it is as effective on deer as much larger chamberings. The small velocity loss from a shorter barrel just won't be a factor at ranges within the 223's limiations. As long as a shooter knows the guns limitations and is disciplined enough to only make ethical shots the round works great. You and your kids have proven this.

For what it is worth, I don't make a point of hunting with 223. I don't want to have to work within its limitations. I often hunt in areas where a bear would be legal and shots often present themselves at greater ranges than I'm comfortable shooting a 223.

But unethical, no. No more unethical than someone who chooses to hunt with a handgun, bow or muzzle loader. Those are also weapons with severe limitations, but when used within those limitations, and by people who have mastered them they are effective and ethical.
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Old July 24, 2012, 06:59 PM   #21
Caliber
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why not get an ar setup in 6.8 or .308?
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Old July 24, 2012, 07:37 PM   #22
sdclaw
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It was my understanding that 6.8 was more expensive and much harder to find than5.56
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Old July 24, 2012, 09:36 PM   #23
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I'm interested in the idea of a low variable power scope over fold down iron sites. The thought of quick detachable optics to reliable iron sites is interesting... is this a type of setup you were talking about???

http://www.stagarms.com/product_info...roducts_id=322
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:20 PM   #24
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20" standard A2 lay out. Don't mess with it and it will give you all it's got.
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:11 PM   #25
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Dont use it deerhunting, otherwise should be a fun purchase.
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