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What are your opinions on deer hunting with an AR type weapon? Do you view people hunting with them differently than you would

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  • #16
    I personally feel that the AR style rifle is a little more difficult than a traditional rifle to pull up and shoot quickly while stalking deer. Those chambered in .308 are exceptionally good for deer though.

    If they are chambered in .223, they are a little light for deer but are still MUCH more effective than slugs, buckshot or arrows out to 150 yards or so. The tiny bullets deflect easily in brush but I always shoot even a 30-06 through clear air because it usually deflects too if I don't. I would not recommend using them in areas of thick brush with 30 yard visibility though where a .35 Remington outperforms them.

    The exceptionally low recoil of the .223 certainly allows the fastest follow up shot available if necessary and this could be an advantage for deer hunters since deer often disappear quickly and I understand that some deer hunters actually miss on their first shot.

    I've found after observing about 50 deer and antelope hits that a premium bullet like the 55g Combined Technology bullet leaves a wound channel similar to a .308 out to 150 yards and achieves full penetration in the same circumstances as does a .308. As long as hunters realize their personal limitations and those of their rifle, follow the law and shoot accordingly, they are welcome in my opinion (as are bow hunters, slug hunters, buckshot hunters, etc.).

    They are just another rifle. Just because they are capable of auto-loading (like say a Remington 7400 or a Browning A5) doesn't mean that their user will fill the forest with lead before aiming. Although really stupid hunters do exist, I don't assume that all hunters are really stupid just because they are using a modern firearm. Although I'm only a sample of one, I have seen the number of really stupid bow hunters, black powder hunters and slug hunters far outweigh the number of really stupid AR hunters. I've also seen some really stupid bolt action shooters and believe it or not, the MOST stupid hunter I have ever seen was using a side-by-side double barrel.

    I've shot a few antelope and a deer with a .223 just to give it a try. I've not had to shoot more than one bullet to take game this size, just like with a bolt action rifle. They are fast, flat shooting and very accurate. Most states limit the magazine to 5 rounds while hunting, similar to other auto-loaders so they typically offer no volume of fire advantage over the dozens of auto-loaders that have been used for deer hunting over the last 50 years.

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    • #17
      The NSSF has been promoting the AR platform for years as the "modern sporting rifle" because its sinister appearance makes it a natural target for the anti-gunners as an "assault rifle." Some people even believe the "AR" stands for assault rifle.
      I think it will probably lose some of its appeal to younger shooters if the NSSF succeeds in gaining acceptance for it as a common-place conventional sporting rifle.

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      • #18
        I agree about the Rambo image with the AR rifles, the same as I look askance at those who go deer hunting with a huge knife strapped on. Just my opinion---I've only been hunting and killing deer for 56 years and have only needed a quick follow up shot with a rifle on a handful (and that's just one hand) of occasions. Not saying that the AR isn't an excellent hunting rifle, but you have to admit that it does project a militaristic image

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        • #19
          Firstly I personally don't feel that a .223 is a good caliber for deer. It will work but is not ideal. I think AR styles rifles in larger calibers are fine for hunting. That said I don't see myself ever using one in the field just because of personal preference to a traditional rifle like a bolt or lever action. But most importantly as long as someone is enjoying the sport of hunting the best rifle for them to carry is their choice. I just don't like seeing some of the Rambo wannabes carry in one with a tactical sling with multiple magazines strapped on them like they are headed for a fire fight just to go hunt deer. That would be like a deer hunter in a shotgun only state going to the stand with two bandoliers of slugs strapped on.

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          • #20
            I have no problem with it. It's a semi-automatic rifle and I have no issue with people using semi-auto rifles for hunting. I have an AR but I don't hunt deer with it as it is chambered in 5.56/.223 and too small of a caliber for deer hunting in VA. However, I do plan on using it for hunting coyotes here after deer season ends. Even if it were a large enough caliber I can't say that I'd use it anyway but I still don't mind if someone else wants to use theirs. For many people it's not practical to buy multiple rifles so they buy one for multiple uses.

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