The AR-15 is an increasingly popular semi-automatic rifle that's used primarily for home defense and competition shooting. Recently, it's begun to gain more popularity as a hunting rifle as well. Read on to learn more about why you should hunt with an AR-15.
Is It Legal to Hunt With an AR-15?
Hunting with an AR-15 is legal in most states, though some have limitations on the type or amount of ammunition you're allowed to use. Be sure to check with your state and local rules and regulations before you head out with your AR-15 in tow.
Benefits of Hunting With an AR-15
AR-15s are popular for hunting for many of the same reasons they're popular for home defense, military, law enforcement and competition. These semi-automatic rifles offer several distinct advantages over traditional bolt-action rifles, making AR-15s a great option for hunting a wide variety of game.
Below are some of the most prominent benefits of using an AR-15 for hunting.
1. Compact Design
The AR-15 features a vertical grip and forward handguard that are ergonomic and comfortable for almost any user. When set up to stay compact and lightweight, this firearm is especially great for smaller or younger hunters, or those whose hunt requires them to trek a good distance with their gun.
2. Modularity and Versatility
Easily one of the most customizable rifles on the market, the AR-15 is a modular firearm that allows users to swap out parts and components for different tasks. A single AR-15 rifle can be used with a wide range of uppers to fire different cartridges, accommodate various optics and grips, or switch between heavier, more stable rigs and lighter configurations.
For hunters, this means you can use a single gun with different uppers for any type of hunting. Hunt for deer with a 300 Blackout setup and then switch it out for a .223 upper to hunt varmints after deer season.
Semi-automatic firearms have a reputation for being less accurate than other types, but a well-built AR-15 bucks that stereotype. A stock AR-15 has decent accuracy on its own, but the affordability and modularity of the platform also make it easy for users to boost the accuracy of their rifles.
It's easy to swap in tight-fitting, high-quality barrels and uppers that help to improve the mechanical accuracy of your AR-15, and plinking rounds are fairly cheap, so you can spend lots of time at the range working on your own skill to improve your practical accuracy.
Depending on your chambering, the AR-15 typically produces little recoil, which makes it easier for you to stay on target and maintain accuracy between shots.
The semi-automatic platform of the AR-15 rifle allows you to keep your hands in the shooting position between each shot, which makes it easier for you to send multiple shots quickly and accurately. This comes in handy for hunting multiple targets, fast prey or taking the all-important second shot before an animal makes its escape.
The AR-15 has become one of the most popular semi-automatic rifles available for home defense, military and competition shooting, so many hunters are already familiar with the platform. They know how to quickly work with the gun, reload a magazine, work safety switches and troubleshoot anything that may come up.
Game You Can Hunt With an AR-15
As we mentioned above, one of the major benefits of hunting with an AR-15 is its versatility. You can use a single AR-15 hunting rifle to replace several different bolt-action rifle counterparts. Swap out your upper, magazine and maybe your bolt carrier group, and you can set up your basic AR-15 for a variety of different game.
Always remember to check your state and local restrictions before heading out with your AR-15. Some states limit the kinds of cartridges you can use, which may affect the types of game you can hunt with your AR-15 setup.
Varmints and Small Game
To rig your AR-15 for small game and varmints, a smaller-caliber cartridge like the .223 Remington should give you exactly what you need. With this setup, you can hunt for game such as:
- Prairie dogs
When you need more power to take on larger prey, set up with a larger caliber upper like a 300 Blackout, .308 or 6.5 Grendel. These calibers can easily down big game such as:
- Wild hogs
- Black bears
Accessories and Advice for Your Next Hunt
At Wing Tactical, we offer a wide range of barrels, uppers and other AR-15 parts to help you upgrade and specialize your firearm before your next hunt. Get everything you need for a new setup shipped right to your door with convenient next-day shipping.
We only stock AR-15 parts and products we would use on our own guns. If you have any questions about the best setup for a certain type of game or how to achieve specific results, our team can help! Reach out using our online contact form, and someone will get back to you with answers and information to guide your upgrade or new build.