The AR-15, known as a black rifle, is semi-automatic rifle in the same family as the M-16. Some controversy has raised around this gun, since it was once commonly used in the US military. It is banned for hunting in some states, so it is important to check your local laws before taking it out. However, beyond the controversy, the AR-15 is a reliable gun that may be a good fit for your hunting needs.
Since it was originally designed for use in battle, the AR-15 is a surprisingly resilient rifle. If you tend to be rough on your equipment, this is an excellent choice. It is specifically designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions and still fire. It is light weight and highly resistant to corrosion as well. The light weight alloy will significantly reduce the weight of your hunting equipment, which can become important on longer hunts and can reduce the risk of your hands shaking when you aim. The downside of this durability is the maintenance. The gun must be regularly cleaned and lubricated in order to keep it in top functioning condition, as the mechanism can become dirty easily. The cleaning process can be somewhat complicated compared to other weapons, but there are many guides available to help you get the hang of it. Once you’ve learned how to clean the gun, it will become second nature. If you are willing to perform the necessary upkeep, an AR-15 will last for many years.
The AR-15 is considered an assembled gun, meaning the different components of the rifle literally snap together. This gives the weapon extreme versatility, as you can replace or upgrade nearly any part with little difficulty. Most manufacturers produce a number of compatible parts that allow you to truly customize your gun. In addition, the assembly allows the hunter to fine tune the accuracy of the weapon. Once tuned, the AR-15 will most likely remain tuned for years, since it contains no parts that swell or warp in extreme environmental conditions. Assembly of this weapon is fairly easy with the proper guides, and most hunters can assemble it to their liking at the kitchen table.
There are a number of different AR-15 components available. You can purchase anything from a .233 caliber gun for smaller game all the way up to a .500 caliber dangerous game rifle depending on your needs. The versatility of the gun allows you to exchange calibers as well as sights, triggers, buffers, and stocks, so you can adjust your weapon for many different types of game. There are also bipods and slings available to improve long-range accuracy. The rifle has also done well at close range.
Part of the appeal of the AR-15 is its accuracy. Since they are designed for combat, black rifles are extremely accurate and have very little recoil. In addition, they traditionally come with high magnification scopes and heavy barrels. Civilian AR-15s are not fully automatic, but they do allow the hunter to get off two shots rather quickly in case you miss your shot or only wound the animal the first time. The gun can hold up to 30 rounds, meaning there is little need to reload and disturb the game throughout a hunting season.
Another plus of the AR-15 is its ease of use. Since the weapon is designed for the military, it is made to be learned quickly. It is often a favorite of trainers who are teaching novice hunters, due to it’s smooth shooting and precise aim.
There is some amount of controversy surrounding the AR-15 or any black rifle. The media has largely labeled them as assault rifles and there has been legislation against them at various times. This is partly due to their military origins, although many hunting rifles have come from a military background. A school shooting in which an illegally modified black rifle was used increased the controversy surrounding this issue. Some states still have laws against the use of AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles, although the national ban that was in place during the Clinton era has been lifted. There are some hunters who find semi-automatic rifles less sporting since they decrease the challenge of hunting.
Regardless on your stance on semi-automatic rifles in hunting, they provide a quite reliable and durable weapon. Each person must make their own choice on what weapon best fits their hunting needs, but the AR-15 is a good, all around rifle that lasts in harsh conditions and has almost no recoil.