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AR-15 for hunting







#1
Anyone ever tried big game hunting (like deer and elk) with an AR-15? I have heard of people hunting with their AR-15 and I'm wondering how good it really is.

I bought a Rock River a couple months ago and am curious now. I haven't taken it out for distance shooting yet, but I think I might want to put a scope on it and take it out this weekend to see how it really performs at 200-300 yards compared with an average hunting rifle.
 
#2
I'm not sure about the regs in Nevada, pretty sure it's "any legal weapon", but it might not matter since I haven't been able to get drawn for deer the past 2 seasons so I may have to look elsewhere (but never CA :p)
Anyway, my AR is chambered in .223
 
#3
just pulled this off ndow for you

NAC 503.142 Hunting big game mammal with firearm. (NRS 501.105, 501.181, 503.150) The Commission hereby establishes the following exceptions to paragraph (b) of subsection 1 of NRS 503.150:

The muzzle-loading rifle or muzzle-loading musket is deemed to be not loaded if the priming compound or element, such as the priming powder or the unfired primer or percussion cap, is removed.

4. A person may hunt big game mammals with a rifle if the rifle uses a centerfire cartridge of caliber .22 or larger.

5. A person may hunt big game mammals with a handgun if the handgun uses a centerfire cartridge, has a barrel length of 4 inches or more and:

(a) Uses a cartridge of caliber .22 or larger with an overall loaded length of 2 inches or more; or

(b) Uses a cartridge of caliber .24 or larger with a case of length no less than the length of the case of a cartridge for a Remington magnum of caliber .44.

6. A person may hunt deer and mountain lion with a shotgun no larger than 10 gauge and no smaller than 20 gauge. Only rifled slugs or shotgun rounds with sabots that contain a single expanding projectile may be used when hunting deer. A shotgun that is used to hunt deer or mountain lion pursuant to this subsection may be equipped with a smoothbore barrel or a barrel that is partially or fully rifled

here is the link to the ndow rules/regulatons

http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NAC/NAC-503.html#NAC503Sec142
 

Xodius

Blaster of Birdies!
#4
We, my wife and I, just did the hunter safety a few months ago and they said, because I asked the same question, yes and no. Yes you can use one for Deer and Elk but you have to use the 60 grain bullet and not the 55 grain. However, they also said that there is no way for them to actually check the bullet without a scale. Does that make it right? No and personally I want to make sure I am using a heavy enough bullet to make the job as humane as possible.

If you have a AR platform why not build up off of it and pick up either the .450 Bushmaster or the 50cal Beowulf.

In the end it is really a question of how well of a shot are you? Is there any doubt that a 223 can take out a Elk, no but you have a lot less margin of error. If you are comfortable and can make that shot more power to you but I personally want to make that one shot and one shot only.

:)
 
#5
My question is not so much in regards to my skills or the law, but rather specific to the platform.
Is my Rock River accurate enough for good hunting?
And yeah, can the caliber due the job? No matter what you're shooting, if you miss the vital targets then it's not going to be humane...unless you're using a .50 cal in which case you destroy the entire animal :boom:
 

Pachinko Pistola

Certified by DHS
Founding Member
Forum Supporter
#6
We, my wife and I, just did the hunter safety a few months ago and they said, because I asked the same question, yes and no. Yes you can use one for Deer and Elk but you have to use the 60 grain bullet and not the 55 grain. However, they also said that there is no way for them to actually check the bullet without a scale. Does that make it right? No and personally I want to make sure I am using a heavy enough bullet to make the job as humane as possible.

If you have a AR platform why not build up off of it and pick up either the .450 Bushmaster or the 50cal Beowulf.

In the end it is really a question of how well of a shot are you? Is there any doubt that a 223 can take out a Elk, no but you have a lot less margin of error. If you are comfortable and can make that shot more power to you but I personally want to make that one shot and one shot only.

:)

I signed up for that course for next weekend. Was it boring being there all day?


I don't know anybody who hunts deer with a .223. All of my friends use 12 gauge slugs. I'd stick with a larger caliber if I were you.
 

USAFshooter

Obsessed Member
#7
yea .223 for deer is generally frowned upon in the hunting community. I'd go with .243 or .270 at a minimum. I always hunted with a .30-06. 30-30 is also a very popular deer caliber
 
#8
sorry miss read the post haha. my good friend has taking a few deer with his ar-15 but has a different style for shooting the deer. Instead of going for the vitals a headshoot or neck shoot was used to take the animal. Not sure how humane or right it is but have seen done (not the actual shooting just the remains) and he has had luck with it
 

shotdown

F*** it,We'll do it live!
#9
I've heard of ARs used to hunt deer but as mentioned, you need a heavier grain bullet and good shot placement. I would use some Hornady TAP 75gr or some Black Hills 77gr match ammo.
 

Redeemed1

Guest
#10
Personally, I wouldn't take anything less than a .270 along for deer hunting. Will a heavier grain .223 bullet do the trick? Perhaps, but I wouldn't want to risk a small bullet disintegrating/deflecting when it hits a rib and then have to track a wounded deer for a mile.

With a simple upper change on an AR you can have a perfectly capable hunting rifle, just not in .223, IMHO.
 

HA-Y-N 702

Guest
#11
DPMS has several different AR platforms in hunting calibers. No need to stretch the limit of the .223/5.56 round for larger sized game. Other AR manufacturers are starting to move out of the EBR box, and into the hunting market. This is a good thing for the entire industry! My first pig hunting rifle was an SKS!
 

Xodius

Blaster of Birdies!
#12
I signed up for that course for next weekend. Was it boring being there all day?
When we went we had 2 instructors. One guy was an older fellow maybe...late 70's and a CCWer and a great guy, Ex-Air Force and very knowledgeable. The other guy...well...aside from being a sexist and a bit of a half wit...well...he still was bad, lol.
They do their best at trying to keep your attention which was very nice. You are not just sitting there the whole time bored out of your skull. I can tell you more if you want to know it just shoot me a message. Also if you do get these two listen to the CCWer he was dead on when it comes to carrying and hunting. We had a ranger come in and correct the other guy, lol.

Back to the 223, one thing to remember about it is that this round was designed not so much to kill but to wound. When the bullet enters it somersaults and very often fractures causing multiple wound channels.

Remember in military terms this is better because if you kill one person that is just one person out of the fight. If you wound someone then they are out and the opposing force needs to tend to him which means that another soldier or possible two will have to take care of him which takes more out of the combat situation. Also I use the term him in general, I do understand and acknowledge that there are many women soldiers in this day and age.

As for the 50, I thought you would blast apart the deer or elk to kingdom-come but if you check out this site... http://www.50beowulf.com/bboard/forum.php there are some photos that are graphic in nature that show that the damage really is not bad. Much less than I thought it would be. Granted there are a few stories of much more damage...such as head shots which obviously would not be...pleasant but in the vital area really is not that bad. You figure there is little meat in the rib area anyway.
 

shotdown

F*** it,We'll do it live!
#13
When we went we had 2 instructors. One guy was an older fellow maybe...late 70's and a CCWer and a great guy, Ex-Air Force and very knowledgeable. The other guy...well...aside from being a sexist and a bit of a half wit...well...he still was bad, lol.
They do their best at trying to keep your attention which was very nice. You are not just sitting there the whole time bored out of your skull. I can tell you more if you want to know it just shoot me a message. Also if you do get these two listen to the CCWer he was dead on when it comes to carrying and hunting. We had a ranger come in and correct the other guy, lol.

Back to the 223, one thing to remember about it is that this round was designed not so much to kill but to wound. When the bullet enters it somersaults and very often fractures causing multiple wound channels.
Remember in military terms this is better because if you kill one person that is just one person out of the fight. If you wound someone then they are out and the opposing force needs to tend to him which means that another soldier or possible two will have to take care of him which takes more out of the combat situation. Also I use the term him in general, I do understand and acknowledge that there are many women soldiers in this day and age.

As for the 50, I thought you would blast apart the deer or elk to kingdom-come but if you check out this site... http://www.50beowulf.com/bboard/forum.php there are some photos that are graphic in nature that show that the damage really is not bad. Much less than I thought it would be. Granted there are a few stories of much more damage...such as head shots which obviously would not be...pleasant but in the vital area really is not that bad. You figure there is little meat in the rib area anyway.
I'm going to have to disagree. The 5.56/.223 is designed the fragment and cause major damage on a human being. Steel core will probably do that but XM193 is most likely going to fragment. Especially JHP ammo.

Here's a video of the .223 Hornady TAP 75gr
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g95JPyZpfDQ
 
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Rowdy16

Guest
#14
Olympic has pretty good uppers in 243 WSSM and 25 WSSM. Not what I'd elk hunt with, but way better than 223 for deer, sheep, or antelope. Ammo's spendy, though. I wonder if you can buy just an upper in 30RAR, that's supposed to be 30-30ish IIRC. Cheaper would be a 7.62x39 upper, that's a 30-30ish, ballistics wise.
 

Just Deserts

They drew First Blood....
Forum Supporter
#15
A few years ago Remington came out with the R-15 rifle

Chambered in .223 and .204 Ruger. Who said you can't hunt with a AR-15 or others of it's type? :glare:
I am sure the game that is hit can't tell the cosmetic difference of the rifle that shoots the 30/30 round or one in 7.62x39.
 
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#16
i dont think the rifle maters so much ie... bolt vs AR, but caliber plays a larg role in it. As stated earlier a well placed shot from any gun will do the trick but bullet energy and size of animal all come into play. personaly a 223 should do well for mule deer and such but for elk you may want to step up to a larger caliber with a heavier grain bullet
 
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USAFshooter

Obsessed Member
#17
i dont think the rifle maters so much ie... bolt vs AR, but caliber plays a larg role in it. As stated earlier a well placed shot from any gun will do the trick but bullet energy and size of animal all come into play. personaly a 223 should do well for mule deer and such but for elk you may want to step up to a larger caliber with a heavier grain bullet
I wouldnt even consider shooting a whitetail with a .223 much less a mulie. thats a VERY small round for an animal that size. Yes in a survival situation thats different, but hunting for sport, its just irresponsible and unethical.
 
#18
30 Remington AR is junk. The specs they originally released are bunk. In reality it's almost exactly the same as 7.62x39.
6.8spc and 7.62x39 are easily found for the AR platform.
I have an accurized mini-30 and it's got enough punch for most anything under 200yds.

If you want more wallop, there's also .458 socom, .50 beowulf, .450 bush, 6.5 Grendel, and Olympic arms makes an AR in WSSM calibers, and recently developed a .300 OSSM.

Then there's all the AR-10 varieties...
 
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fixer

Guest
#19
I wouldnt even consider shooting a whitetail with a .223 much less a mulie. thats a VERY small round for an animal that size. Yes in a survival situation thats different, but hunting for sport, its just irresponsible and unethical.
and yet "subsistence hunters" have been putting bambi in the freezer with a .22LR in the ear or in the eye for many decades.

my neighbor the game warden would not approve. he'd call that "poaching", however that doesn't mean it won't work.

if you're a real badass you can hunt deer with a motorcycle... but that's a contact sport!
 

USAFshooter

Obsessed Member
#20
and yet "subsistence hunters" have been putting bambi in the freezer with a .22LR in the ear or in the eye for many decades.

my neighbor the game warden would not approve. he'd call that "poaching", however that doesn't mean it won't work.

if you're a real badass you can hunt deer with a motorcycle... but that's a contact sport!
thats completely different. when your life depends on it, you use what you have. but if you're out for your yearly deer season, just to put meat in the freezer, there's ethical considerations you have to make. sure you can kill a deer with a .22, but your chances of wounding the animal and never recovering it are much greater than when using the proper caliber.