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The 5.56/.223 AR...does it have it's place hunting big game in Alaska?

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  • The 5.56/.223 AR...does it have it's place hunting big game in Alaska?

    Has this horse been flogged already..if so so please indulge me a little...saw a Alaska show last night where a guy with an AR pole axed a moose at 50 yards... A guy I worked with uncle brought him an AR from the early 70's and he has been hunting with it since. How do you tell someone like that he is huntin big game with a 300 yard at best varmint rifle? The guy at work was tellin me how he emptied a magazine at a caribou at 600 yards, broke it's leg and disemboweled it..didn't know what to say so I didn't say anything?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Oneriver View Post
    Has this horse been flogged already..if so so please indulge me a little...saw a Alaska show last night where a guy with an AR pole axed a moose at 50 yards... A guy I worked with uncle brought him an AR from the early 70's and he has been hunting with it since. How do you tell someone like that he is huntin big game with a 300 yard at best varmint rifle? The guy at work was tellin me how he emptied a magazine at a caribou at 600 yards, broke it's leg and disemboweled it..didn't know what to say so I didn't say anything?
    I would hope your face said "you moron". AR's are a good gun for caribou if you hunt them, rather than just shoot at them. Within 200 yards, an AR is sufficient to kill a caribou, especially since you can put a follow up shot in him quickly. I'd use heavier than 55 grain bullets, more like 77's.
    Alaskan expat, civil engineer, FAA consultant.

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    • #3
      It has it's place if used accordingly. The 7.62 or .308 Ar10 would be a better choice for larger then caribou animals like the moose.
      Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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      • #4
        Well heck...sure you can hunt big game with a .223/5.56. But there are so many overwhelmingly better choices out there- why would you want to?
        "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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        • #5
          It's hard to tell the AR10 from the Ar15 at any distance. If you are talking the show "Yukon Men" I gave them the benefit of the doubt & assumed it was chambered in 308. If that's the case it's no less effective or appropriate than a Browning or Remington semi-auto in 308.

          My brother in laws both started their kids with 223s (Mini-14s) for caribou & deer when the kids were 10-12yrs old & kept the range short (100yds or less) with dad there as backup. As soon as the kids could handle it they moved up to heavier calibers.
          In my eyes the AR in 223 is a fine varmint rifle but nothing more.
          Vance in AK.

          Matthew 6:33
          "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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          • #6
            It's not the AR I have a problem with...it's the .223.....big stretch between the .223 and the 308. I know moose , caribou and bear have been taken with the .223, but why hunt with a caliber that is down on the lower end of power....? Lack of understanding?

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            • #7
              Sadly people use "POWER" to compensate for a lack of hunting skill. If a person has 30 years of successful hunting with only a Bow & Arrows, and has never even seen a firearm, It seems unfounded to say he would be using a "TOOL" that was Under POWERED by shifting to the use of 5.56X45

              Originally posted by Oneriver View Post
              It's not the AR I have a problem with...it's the .223.....big stretch between the .223 and the 308. I know moose , caribou and bear have been taken with the .223, but why hunt with a caliber that is down on the lower end of power....? Lack of understanding?
              "Essential......to Prepping for Survival, is to be able to segregate, what you think will happen, from what you hope will happen, from what you fear will happen, from what is happening".

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AGL4now View Post
                Sadly people use "POWER" to compensate for a lack of hunting skill. If a person has 30 years of successful hunting with only a Bow & Arrows, and has never even seen a firearm, It seems unfounded to say he would be using a "TOOL" that was Under POWERED by shifting to the use of 5.56X45
                You are on the outer rim of logic.......
                If I'm good with a knife and fast on my feet then my knife is the right tool for the job? Not really concerned with debating hunting skills or long range shooting due to lack of stalking skills....not impressed with folks that proudly announce that take mostly head shots...why would anyone pick a caliber with such a thin margin of "POWER" when killing a big game animal...?

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                • #9
                  If that's all I have....better believe I'm using it.
                  Www.blackriverhunting.com
                  Master guide 212

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Oneriver View Post
                    Has this horse been flogged already..if so so please indulge me a little...saw a Alaska show last night where a guy with an AR pole axed a moose at 50 yards... A guy I worked with uncle brought him an AR from the early 70's and he has been hunting with it since. How do you tell someone like that he is huntin big game with a 300 yard at best varmint rifle? The guy at work was tellin me how he emptied a magazine at a caribou at 600 yards, broke it's leg and disemboweled it..didn't know what to say so I didn't say anything?
                    he's been using it since the 70's????
                    I think I'd have had to say something........it would probably start out; "Listen up *****hole...."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Oneriver View Post
                      It's not the AR I have a problem with...it's the .223.....big stretch between the .223 and the 308. I know moose , caribou and bear have been taken with the .223, but why hunt with a caliber that is down on the lower end of power....? Lack of understanding?
                      When considering using the .223 for any type of game it's important to maintain distinctions in the types of bullets that are used. There are lots of available bullets that make a .223 very effective on large game. That may be tough to believe, but it's true nonetheless. There's a lack of understanding, but not necessarily on the part of .223 users......
                      Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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                      • #12
                        There is a lot of big game taken in Alaska with the 223, more then a lot of people would want to admit to. If one keeps the distance with-in reason, proper bullet and good shot placement, all goes well. Part of the problem is that too many people attempt to make the 223 into a long range weapon to harvest game. My wife has an AR-M4 that she uses in winter hunts with when we use the snow machines. It is loaded with a 64 grain Barnes bullet and it does the job just fine, as long as we keep the shots at 150 yards or less.
                        As far as shooting big game in the head, we have taken most of our caribou and moose with heads shots. We, again make sure that the range is some what short, the animal is not moving and we have a good rest. We have never lost and animal and loose very little meat.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gary View Post
                          he's been using it since the 70's????
                          I think I'd have had to say something........it would probably start out; "Listen up *****hole...."
                          He shot a small grizzly with it 2 years ago...Rem. soft point...not sure what grain.....I think 55 gr.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
                            When considering using the .223 for any type of game it's important to maintain distinctions in the types of bullets that are used. There are lots of available bullets that make a .223 very effective on large game. That may be tough to believe, but it's true nonetheless. There's a lack of understanding, but not necessarily on the part of .223 users......
                            True...in the last few years bullet design has come a very long way...For instance myself, I CCW a 9mm with a round that I think through all my research levels the playing field with the popular defense calibers. Just reloaded a batch of Barns TSX copper bullets (30 06) for pig hunting in California.....shot one 2 years ago with copper bullet and was very impressed...............

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AK Bearcat View Post
                              There is a lot of big game taken in Alaska with the 223, more then a lot of people would want to admit to. If one keeps the distance with-in reason, proper bullet and good shot placement, all goes well. Part of the problem is that too many people attempt to make the 223 into a long range weapon to harvest game. My wife has an AR-M4 that she uses in winter hunts with when we use the snow machines. It is loaded with a 64 grain Barnes bullet and it does the job just fine, as long as we keep the shots at 150 yards or less.
                              As far as shooting big game in the head, we have taken most of our caribou and moose with heads shots. We, again make sure that the range is some what short, the animal is not moving and we have a good rest. We have never lost and animal and loose very little meat.
                              I would call you a ethical hunter....

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