With the growing popularity of the AR15, you might have wondered at some point: is the AR15 good for hunting? With more people purchasing and possessing this firearm than ever before, this problem is becoming more and more widespread. Hunters wonder if the AR15 can function as both a home defense firearm and a shotgun, and for good reason. But your guns must be kept in custom leather holsters when there are not in use to avoid any accident.
Let’s dive deeper into the AR15 platform and why it might be the perfect addition to your hunting firearms for certain situations and animals. Let’s start with what makes the AR15 a great gun to own and hunt!
It’s no surprise that so many people love the AR15. It is by far the most versatile firearm on the market today. It’s extremely easy to use, and the controls and attachments allow you to configure it to suit any size shooter, regardless of experience. From the lightweight, easy-to-use platform to things like the adjustable stock and variety of attachments, these guns can be configured to handle almost any situation you can think of.
For example, if you have a smaller or shorter shooter, you can bring the stock closer and lose unnecessary weight with a lightweight hand guard. For larger shooters who can handle more weight, you can choose to add a foregrip for added stability, longer reach, or a heavier adjustable stock for added comfort. Even if you’re not hunting, this versatility and ability to accept a wide range of accessories makes the AR15 a great firearm for beginners.
The AR15 platform can handle a wide variety of different calibers, allowing you even more versatility than ever before. This number gets even bigger if you consider the larger AR10 platform. If standard 5.56 or .223 is a little light for your needs, you can always buy or build an AR in a different caliber! Of course, there are also many smaller calibers you can use to target small games and varmints. Choosing between a variety of different calibers is just one more example of the versatility and amazing AR15 platform, and why more and more hunters are choosing it for hunting.
Ease of use
One of the biggest advantages of an AR15 is its ease of use. A person who has never shot a gun before can learn this platform in no time and be sure to use it in a very short time. The controls are very simple and easy to reach, and the whole rifle operates very smoothly compared to other rifles. A beginner doesn’t have to worry about working a bolt, and the safety is a simple lever. With a few simple buttons, they can use an AR15 without any problems!
Magazine capacity and follow-up shots
Your regular AR15 comes with a standard 30-round magazine and an AR10 can hold 20 rounds. Comparing this to any other shotgun you can see that they can hold a much larger number of cartridges which doesn’t affect the weight too much. Although some states have restrictions on magazines and the number of rounds, some companies make smaller capacity magazines (like 5 and 10 rounds) that will still give you plenty of rounds to hunt.
With that number of rounds to chase as well as the semi-automatic nature of an AR, it also means you get very fast follow-up shots. While we all hope for clean, single shots when hunting, follow-up shots are often necessary. The faster you can effectively take down an animal, the better. This ensures that the animal does not get away injured and does not suffer unnecessarily. While follow-up shots aren’t always necessary, when they are, you can rest assured that your AR will allow you to be as fast and efficient as possible.
Accessories to prepare the AR15 for hunting
Although an AR15 can make a great hunting firearm, you can add a few different attachments to make it even more ideal. Let’s go over some necessary equipment that will make your AR15 a perfect hunting weapon!
Scope and curiosities
Once you have your AR15, you will need a scope to shoot accurately over long distances. While choosing the right scope can be as complicated (if not more so) than buying the gun, you need to take your time and choose the right scope for your needs. The first thing you need to think about is your preferred hunting style and the terrain you will be hunting on. For long-range, wide-aperture shots, you’ll want something with more magnification.
Another thing to consider is the amount of eye relief a scope provides. This is the distance between your eye and the scope when you use it. This is a preference that varies from person to person, so it pays to test different ranges to see what is most comfortable for you. The great thing about an AR platform gun is that different scopes and sights can be used with it and are easily interchanged, so you can experiment with a few different types to find the perfect scope for your needs.
Just as scope is essential to a hunting firearm, a sling is an often-overlooked piece of equipment that is essential. An AR15 sling will help you comfortably carry your weapon to and from your hunting locations, as well as keep it safe. There are many types of AR15 slings, and they are also available in different materials. An AR15 leather sling can be quite different from an AR15 webbing sling, so again, it’s worth trying out a few different ones to see what you like best!
Hunting with a sling is easily the best way to move your AR15, and a shotgun sling is an essential item to get before your hunt. Although often overlooked, it will take a long time to hunt and make for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. Otherwise, you are forced to carry your weapon in your hands or on your shoulder, which can be tedious and sometimes even dangerous.
The barrel should always be pointed in a safe direction, and when you carry it with a sling, you know it will always be pointed up and in a safe direction. You can also use a hunting sling to stabilize your shot if you must shoot from behind or stand up.
Another overlooked piece of equipment for AR15s is a good bipod that is attached to the firearm. Most AR15 owners do not have bipods on their guns because they aren’t very useful for self-defense or home defense, but they are essential for hunting situations. When you’re on the hunt, you’ll be able to get much more solid and accurate shooting positions when you have a bipod to help you out.
A good bipod will allow you to shoot from the ground in a prone position, which is easily the strongest and most accurate shooting position with any weapon. It can also be set up on trees, rocks, or stumps to rest well and can give you some elevation. Even the worst shooters will greatly benefit from using a bipod and will see much more accurate shots while hunting!
As we mentioned earlier, standard capacity magazines for AR15 platform rifles are quite numerous, and sometimes they are not even legal. Fortunately, many companies offer smaller magazines designed for hunting. Not only will these be legal in more states, but they will also make the gun lighter and easier to use with western holsters.
With a large 30-round magazine it can be very difficult to lay down to fire as the magazine contacts the ground. With a shorter, flush magazine that holds 5 or 10 rounds, you can avoid this problem while still having plenty of rounds on hand. If you plan to hunt with an AR15, try to take a few smaller magazines!
So, is the AR15 good for hunting? Although it depends on who you ask, the AR15 can make a great shotgun. From big games like whitetail deer, wild pigs, bears, and even elk to smaller games like rabbits, squirrels, and coyotes, an AR15 can be configured to successfully handle any situation you face to meet.