The AR-15 is the best-selling rifle in America with an estimated 15 million ARs being owned as of the beginning of 2018. With more people owning AR-15s, they have been used for hunting more often. Here are a few tips for hunting with an AR-15.
Know Your Hunting Laws
Knowing laws, in general, is important to be a law-abiding citizen, but knowing the laws for wherever you’re hunting is important for more than just one reason. It is legal depending on where you’re hunting. Laws change from state to state and you will have to change your AR-15 set-up accordingly. For example, Washington, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts all require you to have a larger bullet than your general .223 and 5.56.
It is legal in every state to hunt with an AR, but a lot of hunting jurisdiction also restricts the number of cartridges you can carry in your AR. Just to be safe, we recommend getting a 5-round magazine because that is the legal amount for hunting in a lot of states. Standard 5-round magazines will hold a variety of caliber of bullets like the 300 BLK. Although, with significantly bigger rounds like the 7.62×39, those will work best if you use magazines specifically designed for that size of caliber. We also recommend calling the local Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and make sure your whole platform and caliber are legal.
This goes for hunting in general, but you need to know what season it is for hunting a certain type of game. This goes into what you can hunt, which leads us into our next tip.
Know What You’re Hunting
Although this seems like a very obvious tip, it is also very important because this will also determine the build of your AR-15. Knowing what you’re hunting contributes to the laws of the state you’re hunting in, the caliber of bullet you have, and the set-up you have with you. All will be explained in more detail below.
If you’re hunting big game like elk and mule deer, you’re going to want a bigger caliber of bullet for a clean, ethical hunt. This is why some of those states mentioned above don’t allow anything smaller than a .240. The .223 or 5.53 round is not going to do the job for a 700-pound elk, for example. For big game, we would obviously recommend bigger caliber bullets. ARs are available in .300 Blackout, 3458 SOCOM, 6.5 Creedmore, .50 Beowulf, and that’s just naming a few.
Small game seems to be more popular when hunting with an AR-15 because you don’t have to make too many modifications and the standard .223 and 5.56 are perfect for small game. Although, we do recommend getting rounds that are more meant for hunting like the Reaper in 5.56 or the Nosler Defense in .223.
Popular small game that people hunt includes feral hogs, coyotes, and rabbits. Feral hogs are the most popular, especially in Texas because those hogs cause up to $1.5 billion in annual property damage. If you don’t know already, feral hogs are extremely dangerous. These 300-pound tanks can run up to 30 mph and are known to be very aggressive.
Moving on, if you’re in the South where there are smaller deer, you can definitely use those .223 or 5.56 rounds. This is where knowing the laws of what caliber you can use comes in handy. Knowing what you’re hunting correlates with what caliber you should pack.
One of the reasons the AR-15 is becoming so popular in general is because of its highly customizable features. If you’re building your “franken-gun” or have multiple uppers for your AR, then we would recommend attaching a longer barrel like the 20”. Check out our 15” handguards to cover your 20” barrel. The longer the barrel, the longer your range. This is especially important for hunting. Look at our available inventory and build your perfect hunting AR-15!
Obviously there’s no need for any extreme modifications or accessories. But tweaking your weapon until it’s the way that you like and it’s optimized for hunting whatever you’re hunting is very important. This will help you get the most accurate shots and get you the best use out of your AR.
Hunting with an AR-15 is becoming more popular, especially for small game. Before you decide to go hunting, make sure that you know the hunting laws. This tip is extremely important because we don’t want any of you getting in trouble with local authorities. It’s also important because we also want you to get the most ethical hunt you can. For the game you’re hunting, the biggest thing is to make sure you have the right caliber round to be the most effective. Also, watch out for those hogs! Last, the AR is highly customizable and you can do what you want with your custom AR parts, but make sure you don’t overdo it.