The AR platform has quickly become the most popular rifle in America, and for good reason.
The modularity and versatility of the platform, as well as a host of caliber choices, are the main reasons.
We have all heard the political rhetoric “ you can’t hunt with an AR so why do you need one?”
The fact is with the host of calibers that have been made or adapted to fit the AR rifle you can indeed
go hunting with an AR rifle. With calibers available from .22 caliber to .50 caliber a hunting AR can be made to take almost any game in America.
The vast majority of states do allow the use of semi-automatic rifles for big game hunting. Some with restrictions of course. Make sure you know your state’s laws as it pertains to rifle type, calibers/bullet configuration, and magazine capacity for hunting before venturing out.
Hunting Rifle Types:
Some states still do not allow semi-auto rifles for big game hunting period. I have seen guys use an AR platform rifle in such states, But with a welded, non-gassed barrel that must be manually charged for each shot.
Many states have caliber restrictions on rifle ammunition as well as straight-walled or tapered casing restrictions. This helps ensure that hunters use large and powerful enough ammunition to effectively and humanely harvest big game animals.
In many states, the standard ar15 round (.223/5.56) is prohibited due to the fact that it does meet the standards for power and force to effectively and humanely harvest big game. 6.5 Grendel in the AR15 platform has become the leader in the tapered cartridges. .450 Bushmaster and .350 legend are the far and away leaders in the straight-walled cartridge restricted states. Some states even have case length restrictions on ammo. So do your homework on your state laws before diving in and building a hunting caliber AR rifle. For example here in Ohio, we can use semi-automatic rifles in straight-walled pistol ammo configurations only. .357 dia. bullets or bigger with no case length constraints. My personal favorite is my .350 legend AR rifle.
The last consideration and the easiest to deal with is magazine capacity. Again, knowing your state laws is critical. Here in Ohio, we are allowed 3 rounds. 1 in the chamber and 2 in the magazine. Some states are at 5 rounds and some states are unrestricted. The idea here is to keep a hunter from throwing lead haphazardly at a running deer and not knowing where those rounds are going. Having fewer rounds makes you choose your shots and does not allow you to just blast away at a running deer hoping to hit it. This is dangerous and can lead to human fatality and wounded animals dying and never being recovered.
Know your state laws as it pertains to big game hunting with a rifle and then don’t hesitate to dive in and build you a righteous AR hunting rifle.
As always stay safe, shoot straight and have fun….
Have more questions about AR hunting or building your next AR?