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Thread: Ar15 5.56 or ?

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    Default Ar15 5.56 or ?

    Hi all, this is my first post to this forum. My family and I will be moving to the anchorage area next month; wife is Air Force and I am Air National Guard. I'll be looking to buy my first AR15 when I get up there if they're not all taken from the recent proposed 556 ban.

    So that had me thinking. What would the best AR15 caliber be for a range/wilderness enthusiast. I would be a range visitor the majority of the time but I like to get out and hike or possibly hunt (I've never been and don't want to buy a hunting rifle not knowing if I even like the sport).

    My only other gun for the time being is a Glock 19 Gen 4. We're lookin forward to the move and can't wait to get there!

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    Welcome and have a safe trip to this 'Great place'! Do not get me wrong, as I have several AR style rifles, but I would want a different firearm with me in most places that I go. If you are set on an AR format, then I would be looking at a 308, as a general purpose rifle. I have taken caribou out to over 450 yards with mine and I would be willing to use it on moose and black bear. Another rifle that I carry a fair amount of the time is my Marlin 1895 GG in 45-70. I would not feel under gunned with this rifle at all. Since you already have a Glock 19, another one to consider would be the Glock G20 in 10mm. I along with several other that I hunt with all carry G20's in one flavor or another.
    You will get a lot of different suggestions, and they will all be valid for what they do.

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    .308.............
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLNBAR View Post
    Hi all, this is my first post to this forum. My family and I will be moving to the anchorage area next month; wife is Air Force and I am Air National Guard. I'll be looking to buy my first AR15 when I get up there if they're not all taken from the recent proposed 556 ban.

    So that had me thinking. What would the best AR15 caliber be for a range/wilderness enthusiast. I would be a range visitor the majority of the time but I like to get out and hike or possibly hunt (I've never been and don't want to buy a hunting rifle not knowing if I even like the sport).

    My only other gun for the time being is a Glock 19 Gen 4. We're lookin forward to the move and can't wait to get there!
    I have other rifles from which to choose, but there's not a whole lot I can't do comfortably with a AR in 5.56 using a quality bullet in the 55-62 grain range. Being familiar and comfortable with your rifle will go a long ways in making you effective regardless of what you need to accomplish.
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    Ar-10 .308.

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    The Omen in .300 WM. Very cool rifle if you are set on an AR platform.

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    What ever rifle you end up with come to an Alaska Appleseed Marksmanship clinic and learn how to shoot it well.



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    Quote Originally Posted by FLNBAR View Post
    Hi all, this is my first post to this forum. My family and I will be moving to the anchorage area next month; wife is Air Force and I am Air National Guard. I'll be looking to buy my first AR15 when I get up there if they're not all taken from the recent proposed 556 ban.

    So that had me thinking. What would the best AR15 caliber be for a range/wilderness enthusiast. I would be a range visitor the majority of the time but I like to get out and hike or possibly hunt (I've never been and don't want to buy a hunting rifle not knowing if I even like the sport).

    My only other gun for the time being is a Glock 19 Gen 4. We're lookin forward to the move and can't wait to get there!
    You've got a lot of great advice above. I'm thinking it would be good to clarify maybe what you mean by "I like to get out and hike or possibly hunt".

    An AR in 5.56 is a great range gun that has minimal recoil and means longer bang switch time before your shoulder starts to hurt. But it's not really a great hunting rifle up here for much more than small game. You MIGHT be able to take a caribou if you have the perfect ammo with the perfect shot on the perfect day. But realistically, it's not a good idea. So when you say "possibly hunt" I think you're talking about a different rifle than a fun day plinker at the range.

    A lot of people above are saying AR-10 (great choice) but that means less fun time at the range because ammo is more expensive and the recoil is going cause you to want to stop sooner. Like you may only be able to shoot 100 rounds before you want to stop... Ok, seriously though, it's a good hunter, but not a great play toy. .300 blackout would be a reasonable medium game choice, but it isn't likely the best choice for a moose and the ammo is basically reload your own or don't shoot. I guess where I'm headed is, anything you like for range time is going to make a poor hunting/protection rifle for hiking. And anything you like for hunting/hiking is going to make an expensive and less fun range time toy.

    So it seems to me that you're really talking about 2 guns. One for playing and one for hiking. An AR is a great choice for playing and working on shooting skills. Maybe a second would be like they say above, something like a larger bore higher power pistol. Even maybe a large bore revolver.

    Up here, people are pretty accommodating to friends. You might find your best choice is to find your range gun and then when you've met some friends, borrow a hiker/hunter gun. I know guys who would be more than willing to share a fancy magnum hunting rifle if I ever needed something more than what I got.

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    The AR-15 makes a very good varmint gun. don't let people dissuade you. There are plenty of coyotes in south central.
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    Step #1.) AR-15 quality lower with a high quality trigger system. (If this is done RIGHT the first time, it never needs to be up-graded)

    Step #2.) Upper 5.56X45 (for firing range....this could be fairly inexpensive A2 configured, or configured for match level shooting)

    Step #3.) A quality Upper in some more appropriate hunting cartridge......(for me that is 6.8SPC II)

    The "Key" is a quality lower, with a quality trigger.

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    As to bear/moose attack issues, Run from an aggressive Moose, as they are NOT predators. And you only need to retreat a short distance from an aggressive Moose.

    NEVER......NEVER run from a Bear or Wolf........NEVER. It is human nature to retreat from a bear or wolves. Suppress that natural response.

    the single best piece of Back Country equipment is a PLB.........Note: I am NOT saying you should be without a firearm, what I am saying is that you are more likely to need the PLB than need a firearm. I carry both a PLB and Firearm. But I consider there is a much higher risk of falling on a snag, sharp rock, getting sick, breaking a leg, avalanche, swarms of wasps/bees, etc........than getting bear mauled.

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    Wow. Lots of good info posted so far. I guess I need to take a look at what my actual use for this weapon will be. My initial purpose for an ar15 is customization along with a basic familiarity with the weapon. Like I said before it will be a range gun a majority of the time. At the same time I would like to be able to have a weapon that would be well suited for hikes. My wife doesn't like the outdoors much so it would most likely be my dog and I. Lastly, I've always been interested in going hunting but have never been and I would like to be able to use this weapon for a hunt if it came down to it.

    From what I can get her it seems like I'm asking a little too much from one rifle. I may need to get up there and really figure out what I really need out of this purchase and go from there. I could also just buy an AR and use that as an excuse to buy more guns! Haha.

    So with all that being said, and excuse me if this is covered somewhere; I'm new! But what would the limitations of the AR15 be? Small game, range time, and home defense?

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    Every animal species in North America can be easily harvested by a skilled (Or Lucky) hunter using an AR-15 chambered in 5.56X45 using quality ammo. There are dozens of more appropriate cartridge choices for AR-15 rifles up to the .458 SOCOM.

    Quote Originally Posted by FLNBAR View Post
    But what would the limitations of the AR15 be? Small game, range time, and home defense?

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    Browning M2 converted to single shot with 4-16x optic.

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    Although I don't like them, the AR15 would make a good range/plinking rifle in 5.56 as ammo is relatively cheap and recoil is light. Although it would work for small to medium game if shot very carefully, I would wait until you get here and figure out what you want to hunt and get a second rifle in a bigger caliber for moose, caribou and such. It would be a bolt action if it were me.

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    For the price of an AR-10, you can get an AR-15, and a .308 bolt action.

    There are plenty of good reasons to have an AR-15, accurate, easy to shoot, affordable ammunition, a platform IMHO everyone should be familiar with and a fully serviceable hunting rifle for small game, furbearers and the medium size large game i.e. blacktails and caribou. Add something larger in a bolt action and you'll be well equipped for the rest of our big game species.

    As far as holding off on a "hunting rifle" even if you decide big game hunting isn't for you, you can sell a used hunting rifle for nearly what you paid for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    For the price of an AR-10, you can get an AR-15, and a .308 bolt action.

    There are plenty of good reasons to have an AR-15, accurate, easy to shoot, affordable ammunition, a platform IMHO everyone should be familiar with and a fully serviceable hunting rifle for small game, furbearers and the medium size large game i.e. blacktails and caribou. Add something larger in a bolt action and you'll be well equipped for the rest of our big game species.

    As far as holding off on a "hunting rifle" even if you decide big game hunting isn't for you, you can sell a used hunting rifle for nearly what you paid for it.
    +1

    It's a good way for a person to cover the spectrum of possibilities without breaking the bank.

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    I'm an AR enthusiast and have killed a coyote, lynx and hare with mine. Its a bit much on the hare for me, gotta make sure you shoot them in the head. I really enjoy hand loading for mine because its a relatively cheap affair compared to my .375 h&h! There are also a TON of options when you start reloading .223 and that's fun too.

    Having said that, I would also recommend what others are saying, buy the AR just because, but buy yourself a Ruger American or Savage Axis in .308. They have been fantastic reviews for several years now and run around $360. I picked one up in .270 last fall and it shoots about 1.5 MOA with cheap factory ammo and 1MOA with a couple different handloads was easy to get, I haven't tried to get them tweaked any better yet, haven't had much time to shoot or load.

    I would get one in .30-06 since its generally easy to find and relatively cheap so you can still get lots of practice in. Its not MY personal choice for a bear defense gun but its certainly capable of that.

    If you get serious about spending time outdoors and you're like most Alaskan's who spend much time in the woods, you'll eventually own a few different bear guns for a variety of situations: a 12ga. with proper slugs or a 45-70 is a great hiking gun when your not hunting or fishing, a big bore handgun makes me feel fairly comfortable while fishing and keeps my hands free which a shotgun or rifle won't do, a big bore rifle is the ultimate big bear tool but they are heavy and don't fit all situations, and on and on!

    ARs get funny response on here, there are several enthusiasts that are a wealth of information and there are several guys on here that think they are some kind of reincarnation of the devil so don't be put off if a few of those guys chime in, just know we're not all like that...

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