3 months, 2 weeks ago
There’s no question – the AR-15 doesn’t look like your daddy’s deer rifle. Of course, the Winchester Model 94 lever-action rifle your granddad used doesn’t look anything like his father’s Hawken, either.
However, we see progress all around us. The smartphone is nothing like the rotary phones I grew up with, and if my grandpa stepped in my pickup truck, he’d think it was a spaceship.
The American hunter is experiencing this same thrust into the 21st century. While it might not have the lure, feel and warmth of walnut and blued steel, performance matters over nostalgia. I’m not suggesting you trade in your old .30-30 on an AR, or regulate your bolt rifle to the closet for all eternity. What I hope you will do is consider the many factors that make the AR-15, and its bigger brother the AR-10, ideal for deer hunting.
We’re living in a brave new world and the AR is the hunting rifle of the new millennium – and here’s why.
He goes on to describe a number of things my readers already know about the AR that make it a good choice, including man-machine interface, modularity and adjustability, reliability, etc. Then there is this.
There does exist more powerful options for those who demand it. Nine of the 41 states permitting centerfire rifles for deer hunting prohibit the use of the .223 Remington. If you hunt in one of those states, the 6.8 SPC or .300 Blackout are an option, as is the new .25-45 Sharps, which duplicates the performance of the old .250 Savage. If you want to stretch your range or just think you need more power, you can step up to an AR-10 and choose a cartridge like the .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and in some cases even magnum cartridges.
The semi-automatic AR-15s that shoot anything but the 5.56/.223 or 300 Blackout are non-existent to my knowledge, and the AR-10s that shoot anything else can be very pricey (except for .308). Or in other words, designer cartridge black guns are very expensive – even the AR style bolt action guns.
But I do like the idea of the 300 Blackout, where I can swap out an upper receiver quickly and easily and have a larger round, slightly slower muzzle velocity, but better long range ballistics than the 5.56/.223 (while I would also assert than the 5.56/.223 is ideal for many situations that don’t suit the 300 Blackout).
So in summary I would say to the old time hunters with puzzled looks at the kids bringing out the new fangled black guns, you need to welcome them and perhaps even learn something. They are carrying on a proud tradition. To the Fudds who refuse to accept it, I would say get over it. Your opinions don’t matter.
But here is a word of caution for the AR hunters. Know you rifle, know your round, and know your limitations. Make ethical shots. Only make ethical shots.