Rifle design has come a long way. A decade ago, you wouldn’t dream of hunting with an AR-15. But now, modern sporting rifles ― or ARs ― are incredibly accurate and offer distinct advantages when it comes to hunting. Like most sports rifles, the AR family (the AR-15 and its big brother the .308-caliber AR-10) got its start on the battlefield but migrated to the hands of hunters due to their accuracy and reliably. They’re astonishingly versatile as well.
Many hunters look at the military look of ARs and ask if it’s ethical to use such a weapon to hunt. First there’s the ethics of the sport. Fair play dictates that you must give the prey a fair chance of escape. On this count, the AR rifle may not be as sporting as other single-shot or bolt-action rifles. But then again, they aren’t as sporting as a bow. Perhaps the most important ethical question is that of quick death. The goal of hunting is to kill the prey with a single shot ― to make sure the prey doesn’t suffer. Failing that, you want to have a second shot available to terminate the animal if the first shot fails. On this count, the AR rifles are supremely ethical. Not only are ARs accurate, you can fire a follow-up shot much faster than with any other weapon.
Traditionalists might argue that a bolt-action is more accurate. But if you’re talking about a high-quality AR, that’s not the case. Twenty years ago, the AR-style rifle couldn’t match the accuracy of the average bolt-action rifle. But ARs have gone through two decades of innovation and any issues have been ironed out by years of use on the battlefield and firearm innovation. Precision manufacturing, high-end materials, and accuracy-enhancing features such as free-floating handguards and enhanced triggers make ARs incredibly accurate.
Innovatively designed ARs can be shorter and lighter weight than other types of rifles, making them much more pleasant to carry on long hunts.
Models of modern hunting rifles can operate with a range of ammunition gauges. Cartridge range is almost limitless. Different models of ARs are available in
- 300 Blackout
- 6.5 Creedmoor
- And more
ARs also offer versatility in terms of sights, attachments, and modifications. Modern hunting rifles use advanced sighting equipment such as laser aiming systems, electronic red dot sights, and night vision scopes. Attachment capabilities on the handguard allow for customization ranging from sling attachments to camera mounts.
If you’ve never hunted with an AR, we encourage you to take the RISE challenge and see the advantages for yourself.