Save The Planet – Buy An AR!

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 8 months ago

I’ve previously documented how an AR can be useful for entertainment and the study of the science of firearms, defining it this way.

While ATF lawyers might disagree, for something to have a “sporting purpose” means nothing more than it can be taken to the range and operated by the owner to his or her entertainment or training.  The shooting skills – whether for official competitions such as IDPA or 3-Gun, or for unofficial activities such as regular range visits for the purpose of betterment at the science of firearms operation – are sports.  All of them.  Period.  This is non-negotiable.  If it is a firearm, it has a sporting purpose.

Then again, ARs are useful for hunting as I’ve also shown.  I’ve also documented two-, three-, four- and five-man home invasions in which an AR was either used or could have been in self defense.

But that isn’t all.  Feral hogs have become a blight on the landscape and terrain of much of America.

What do wild hogs do that’s so bad?

Oh, not much. They just eat the eggs of the sea turtle, an endangered species, on barrier islands off the East Coast, and root up rare and diverse species of plants all over, and contribute to the replacement of those plants by weedy, invasive species, and promote erosion, and undermine roadbeds and bridges with their rooting, and push expensive horses away from food stations in pastures in Georgia, and inflict tusk marks on the legs of these horses, and eat eggs of game birds like quail and grouse, and run off game species like deer and wild turkeys, and eat food plots planted specially for those animals, and root up the hurricane levee in Bayou Sauvage, Louisiana, that kept Lake Pontchartrain from flooding the eastern part of New Orleans, and chase a woman in Itasca, Texas, and root up lawns of condominiums in Silicon Valley, and kill lambs and calves, and eat them so thoroughly that no evidence of the attack can be found.

And eat red-cheeked salamanders and short-tailed shrews and red-back voles and other dwellers in the leaf litter in the Great Smoky Mountains, and destroy a yard that had previously won two “‘Yard of the Month” awards on Robins Air Force Base, in central Georgia, and knock over glass patio tables in suburban Houston, and muddy pristine brook-trout streams by wallowing in them, and play hell with native flora and fauna in Hawaii, and contribute to the near-extinction of the island fox on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California, and root up American Indian historic sites and burial grounds, and root up a replanting of native vegetation along the banks of the Sacramento River, and root up peanut fields in Georgia, and root up sweet-potato fields in Texas, and dig big holes by rooting in wheat fields irrigated by motorized central-pivot irrigation pipes, and, as the nine-hundred-foot-long pipe advances automatically on its wheeled supports, one set of wheels hangs up in a hog-rooted hole, and meanwhile the rest of the pipe keeps on going and begins to pivot around the stuck wheels, and it continues and continues on its hog-altered course until the whole seventy-five-thousand-dollar system is hopelessly pretzeled and ruined.

They have run farmers in Georgia and Texas completely out of business and threatened men, women and children with injury and loss of income.  But now comes an account of the use of ARs to address the problem.

Quite simply, what used to be vast tracks of empty land has filled up with people. The wilds where hunters once roamed now sport tract housing and double wides. It’s a big reason gun ownership is declining in America — down 40 percent since 1977.

But here on Campbell’s big farm is a little piece of what once was. And like many of his peers who came of age in the ’70s and ’80s, Campbell saw no reason for his daughters to be excluded from the rituals he grew up with.

[ … ]

At his farmhouse, Campbell goes to his gun safe.

“It will hold about 40 guns, and I’ve got about 25 in there. But I’ve got some really neat guns,” Campbell says. “I’ve got my grandfather’s .22. I have an STW. I have an AR-15. I have a Smith & Wesson .22-250.”

Some of the rifles are for deer. Campbell has many beautiful shotguns because he is an avid duck hunter. He uses the AR-15, which is essentially the military’s M16, to hunt feral hogs. We go out back, and the judge lets fly with the semiautomatic.

“I’ve got a night vision scope on it. And the hogs only come out at 2 o’clock in the morning. There are certain spots they come out at. I drive up very quietly. I’m normally only 200 yards out, and I turn on my little trusty night vision scope and I smoke ‘em. All of ‘em,” Campbell says. “I can shoot 30 shots in eight seconds, and I’ve killed as many as 26 out of 30 shots at night with that gun.”

As for any willingness to compromise on something like limiting the size of ammunition clips, Campbell says if Democrats could be trusted not to ask for more and more, he’d consider it. But he says you can’t trust Democrats in general, and you certainly can’t trust Obama. And he says liberals mistake gun owners’ enmity toward the president for something it’s not.

“It’s not a black thing, it’s a liberal thing,” Campbell says.

Well, first in order to correct some misconceptions, it is simply a farce to claim that gun ownership is declining in America.  Second – and let me be clear about this – magazine capacity is a non-negotiable.  But third, note the use of the AR to save the terrain, protect indigenous species, protect the plant life, prevent erosion, and save the farmers.

It’s like the health benefits of red wine or coffee.  Is there anything an AR can’t do?

UPDATE #1: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention!

UPDATE #2: Thanks to David Codrea for the attention!

UPDATE #3: My friend Joey MacRae, one of the premier quarter horse trainers in America, hunts feral hogs a different way down around Anderson, S.C.  He releases his bay dogs to bay up the pigs.  When they do he releases his strike dogs, and when the strike dogs get the pig, Joey goes in with a long knife and kills the pig himself with a strike to the heart.  Thanks, but if I go hog hunting I’ll stick to a gun.

UPDATE #4: Thanks to New Jovian Thunderbolt for the attention!  Maybe Benjamin wants to loan me his M-14 for a while?  I’m cool with that too.

UPDATE #5: Thanks to Michael Bane for the attention!

UPDATE #6: Thanks to Bill Quick for the attention!

UPDATE #7: Thanks to Say Uncle for the attention!

UPDATE #8: Thanks to Ace for the attention!


Happy Assault Weapons Ban Sunset Provision Day!

No One Needs ARs For Self Defense Or Hunting?

Do We Have A Constitutional Right To Own An AR?

  • Burk

    Very funny. But if you are using lead ammo, then you are spreading lead poisoning around the environment and your kills, which is known to kill wildlife and also get into the bodies of those who eat lead-killed game.

    Please use non-lead ammo.

  • Herschel Smith

    Not intended to be funny Burk. It’s a real new report, correlating with the real facts of life for many people in the U.S. The fact that you live in a pushbutton world is irrelevant.

    On the other hand, have you considered home invasions? You live in some sort of domicile, I presume?

  • jj

    I would like to see Burk prove that hunting with lead shot causes lead poisoning in hunters.

  • GermanShortHair

    With the possible exception of California Condors and waterfowl, I’d like to see the proof the lead from hunting is a problem at all. Only objective citations are required. Citations from organizations that have political motivations, even if they claim to be non-partisan or science organizations, does not count.

    Even with waterfowl, I’d like to see some comparison of loss of bird through lead poisoning from lead laying on the marsh bottom and loss of birds caused by using lead substitutes and initially less than fatal wounds. Sometimes the cure can be worse than the cold. I have no idea in this case what the answer is and am open to objective research.

  • jason woodruff

    Actually, the lead in ammo is in a non-organic form (metallic lead). It is highly non-bio available. While there are non-lead alternatives, the amount of organic (bio-available) types of lead sent down range is extremely small. Your body doesn’t really have the ability to absorb lead from a non-organic source unless you aerosolize it or in some other way inhale it. If you ate a bullet, the lead would come out of your colon.

  • rosignol

    It doesn’t. It can be bad for scavengers, though. This is one of the ploys that the antis in California have used to try to restrict hunting in areas where the California Condor is present.

    Nevermind that high-tension power lines kill more condors than lead ingested from carrion.

  • cohutt

    I will attest that a Bushmaster “Varminteer” equipped with a 3x NV scope provides reliable intravenous lead poising to feral hogs in the North Georgia mountains…. it is actually quite toxic to them when injected into their skulls @ 3000FPS. Burk may be on to something here….

  • Erik

    I’m not aware of a single study that says lead from hunting (or fishing) is bad for wildlife that is not seriously flawed and designed by greenies to produce a desired outcome.

    I am however aware of lots of cases where hunting and fishing (using lead shots and weights) has been good for the environment and helped wildlife, and where actions against it by the greenies caused environmental damage.

    The “use non lead” is just a red herring designed to make shooting and fishing more expensive and harder to take part in.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: All
    RE: Well….

    Is there anything an AR can’t do? — Article


    Take out a MBT.

    For that you need other ‘equipment’. Which many can find in the comfort of their own home. But you need to be able to:

    [1] Recognize the parts.
    [2] Assemble them in the proper fashion.
    [3] When necessary, employ them in the proper manner.

    But first and foremost. You need to have the personal fortitude and determination to ‘deal with the situation’.


    [God is alive….and Airborne-Ranger qualified. — Chaplain at the US Army Airborne School Chapel]

  • Chuck Pelto

    P.S. If I’d been at the Davidian compound, they’d still be alive and there’d be a bunch of burned out hulks of what used to be armored fighting vehicles scattered about the property.

    And Clinton would have been impeached in 1995.

  • david

    National Buy a Gun Day – November 6th, 1012.
    Other days are good to.
    BTW, bought my first AR two days ago.

  • Kent Gatewood

    What are the advantages of buying an AR-15 over a Mini-14?

  • Herschel Smith

    Comparable rifle. My understanding is that a Mini-14 has about a 1 MOA accuracy, and my Rock River Arms AR came out of the box with a 1 MOA accuracy. I cannot say that I know anything about cost difference. I can say that the precision machining, tight tolerances and light weight of my AR are just absolutely sweet.

  • Herschel Smith

    Oh, and Kent, if you would like to donate one to me, I would be happey to do a review of the Mini-14 with the disclaimer that I got a free Mini-14 for the review.

  • Will

    Primary advantage of the AR over the Mini is flexibility and customizability. There is much that can be done to an AR that requires, effectively, no traditional “gunsmithing” and can be done on a workbench with simple tools. The modular nature of it makes it straight forward to change configurations, stocks, barrel length, weight, twist, sites, scopes, handles as well as the numerous calibers from .22, 9mm, even a .50 Beowulf.

    Many ARs are more accurate out of the box than the Mini, especially older Minis.

    Pink, green, tan, black, zebra stripes, “tactical”, “hunter”, “competition”, “plinker”. There’s an entire industry around the AR alone, and for good reason. It’s the VW Bug of rifles.

    Down side of an AR is that it falls under the many AW bans, whereas the Mini does not.

  • Herschel Smith


    Yes. What you said. Modularity. Besides, I like being able to troubleshoot my own weapon.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: All
    RE: Burk’s Complaint

    Considering that ARs fire FULL-METAL JACKET bullets, i.e., no lead exposure. His whining is nothing but a distraction.

    Anyone firing non-jacketed lead rounds will need to clean out the barrel every few rounds in order to avoid the lead build-up in the barrel from causing the barrel to explode.

    Hope that helps…..


    [The Truth will out….some people are either ‘stupid’ or ‘evil’.]

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Herschel Smith
    RE: M14s

    Nice weapons. I prefer the M21, an M14 modified to be a sniper rifle.

    The point being, not everyone in a fire team needs to be sporting it. Rather ‘diversity’ is important. Several ARs. Couple of M14s. Something fully automatic. Something to launch grenades. And some anti-tank capability.


    P.S. Then you need some good combat engineers too.

  • Kalashnikat

    “Down side of an AR is that it falls under the many AW bans, whereas the Mini does not.”

    …let me add “…yet…”

    The MIni 14 was designed to look like an M-14, and that increases its “scary assault weapon” quota. So far in most places it’s been under the radar, but Obama will have more “flexibility” in his second term…
    Ain’t that just too peachy keen?
    I’m sure he’d be happy to issue an “executive order” along those lines, once he’s safely re-elected.

  • Herschel Smith

    Oh, I think we’re going to see all kinds of under the table orders on all kinds of things in his second term. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

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  • Jim

    Second term, my ass.

    Wait for him to lose in November, and then watch that bastard go all “scorched earth” in the lame duck weeks till 20 Jan 13.

    He’ll do as much damage as he possibly can, and also leave behind countless bureaucratic and legalistic land-mines in order to continue to wreak havoc, long after he’s retired to wherever it is that traitorous nuveau-dictators go to rot.

    Count it it.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

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  • Gwynnie

    Amazing comments on lead ammo. Let’s start with the fact that hunters do not shoot wild game in order for it to wander off and die somewhere; in fact, that’s a crime, so hunters do not voluntarily leave game out of doors where scavengers could pick at it. Yes. Some amateur hunters wound and can’t find their prey, but more miss entirely. Next, lead bullets expand rapidly and produce clean kills, whereas copper bullets and steel shot both produce much more wounding and suffering (but that doesn’t bother you bleeding hearts, does it?)

    The worst, of course, is Full Metal Jacket Chuck above. Chuck, full metal jackets are designed for shooting people in battles, and the idea is that in wounding an opponent, you tag him out of the battle. Anyone using a full metal jacket on wild game is either a viscious sadist or an amazing marksman capable of one bullet head-shot kills. And, no Chuck, lead residue does not blow up barrels!

    As for pigs (and deer) over 100 lbs. (i.e. not javelina), the 50-60 grain .223 round is pretty light and will not penetrate the neck shielding of a European boar (scrofus scrofus) like those in California and the Southeast; I prefer a 150-165 grain .308.

  • Gwynnie

    Sorry about the typo. The true boar is Sus scrofus, not scrofus scrofus.

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  • 66chevelle

    As soon as he’s done voiding all of Obama’s EO’s, President Romney needs to get some SEAL teams trained up and equipped to release breeding pairs of wild pigs throughout the Middle East. This will cause a crisis in Islam unlike anything before, and will result in the expenditure of munitions far beyond any realistic replacement rate.

  • Mr Evilwrench

    The original Mini 14s had a thin barrel and were prone to stringing rounds when heated, which occurs pretty quickly, the first several rounds. New ones have thicker barrels. They also use a proprietary magazine rather than the cheap and easy to acquire AR15/M16/M4 ones. At least the Mini doesn’t have that evil pistol grip; man get hold of a rifle with that and you’ll instantly turn into a mass murderer. You won’t be able to help yourself.

    Use lead of the proper hardness and your barrel won’t get leaded. For hunting, you typically use JHPs, but the hollow point on a rifle round is so small you won’t really notice it. FMJs are just for combat. I have a lot of FMJs.

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  • Bill Harzia

    “…I’ve got a night vision scope on it. And the hogs only come out at 2 o’clock in the morning. There are certain spots they come out at. I drive up very quietly. I’m normally only 200 yards out, and I turn on my little trusty night vision scope and I smoke ‘em. All of ‘em,” Campbell says. “I can shoot 30 shots in eight seconds, and I’ve killed as many as 26 out of 30 shots at night with that gun…”

    30 shots in eight seconds with 26 hits at 200 yards. Remind me not to get on this guy’s bad side.

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You are currently reading "Save The Planet – Buy An AR!", entry #9082 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) AR-15s,Firearms,Guns,Second Amendment and was published September 19th, 2012 by Herschel Smith.

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