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Old 09-20-2019, 04:53 PM
Wesley Clark is online now
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What utilitarian value does an AR-15 have


This isn't meant to be an anti-AR15 thread. I have a sibling who owns one and I've thought of buying one too. I support gun control, but am not sure how many deaths are caused by semi auto rifles. Most firearm deaths are from handguns and from what I know of gun control, things like universal background checks, limiting CCW, etc. do more to reduce gun deaths than banning semi auto rifles.

https://www.citylab.com/life/2019/04...search/586363/

I'm just curious what utilitarian use does it have.

It seems too powerful to use for home defense, and a pump shotgun or handgun is better (the AR bullets probably go through walls, potentially hitting other people).

It seems too weak for game hunting compared to things like the 300 or 30-06.

Ammo is too expensive for target practice (compared to something like a 22).

So putting aside if people 'should' be allowed to own them, is there a utilitarian value to owning one?
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:04 PM
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.223 Remington is not legal on deer in many states, but AR-type rifles come in many calibers these days, and there are varmints that it is suitable for.
The ubiquitous nature of .223 makes it one of the cheapest centerfire cartridges out there. And if you don't want to remain with 22 rimfire and its limitations it can be made to be accurate, and plenty of people reload for it to keep the cost down. Military surplus stuff isn't usually that accurate (it doesn't have to be, most of it is going to be fired in machine-guns anyway).
Of course this applies equally to manually operated rifles firing this cartridge.
The nature of the defensive environment (urban/rural) will dictate whether a rifle is suitable or not.

A huge variety of bolt-on aftermarket components make it possible to build one to your taste, which is an attraction to some people.

It wasn't until the Clinton ban that the AR-15 became attractive to a wider variety of gun owners, until then it was very much a minority taste and many people despised it as the 'mousegun'.

Last edited by Mk VII; 09-20-2019 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:05 PM
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Nothing really. They look cool and are very rugged.

I think the question should be, why should a law abiding person who has never broken the law above a speeding ticket, who pays their taxes, works in the community, and who has maybe even served in the military be restricted from owning any "reasonable" firearm?
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:12 PM
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Nothing really. They look cool and are very rugged.

I think the question should be, why should a law abiding person who has never broken the law above a speeding ticket, who pays their taxes, works in the community, and who has maybe even served in the military be restricted from owning any "reasonable" firearm?
Where do you draw the lines. Weapons range from a pocketknife to nuclear weapons. Where is the line on what weapons civilians should be allowed to own?

Should civilians be able to buy RPGs, sarin gas and mortars at walmart?

My post wasn't really an anti-AR15 post, I'm more wondering what purpose they serve. As I said they seem too strong for home defense but too weak for game hunting.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:36 PM
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Nothing really. They look cool and are very rugged.

I think the question should be, why should a law abiding person who has never broken the law above a speeding ticket, who pays their taxes, works in the community, and who has maybe even served in the military be restricted from owning any "reasonable" firearm?
If you can explain to my why such a person should be prevented from owning enriched uranium, I'll get back to you.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:08 PM
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Ammo is cheap and readily available. Magazines are everywhere. Average ones are pretty accurate and exceptional ones are tack drivers. Like a Harley Davidson, they are endlessly customizable so you can build exactly what you want and they don't require any particular gunsmithing skills to modify. They are pretty soft-shooting. The .223 round is powerful enough for varmint shooting and some pests, like coyotes. In some states, I think it's even legal for deer but you have to be a pretty shit hunter to think you will do better with a .223 semi-auto than a good bolt action. Some people think they are great for home defense, but those people have nihilistic fantasies where they are single-handedly keeping the zombie hordes away from the Alamo.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:16 PM
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I think they are powerful enough for a lot of game. But mostly people take them to a shooting range and shoot them for fun. Fun is a form of utility.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:24 PM
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... It seems too powerful to use for home defense, and a pump shotgun or handgun is better (the AR bullets probably go through walls, potentially hitting other people). ...
Just an FYI, virtually any firearm that's commonly used for home defense is going to be capable of penetrating drywall. Yes, .223 bullets will probably go through walls. So will 9mm or .45. So will various sorts of shotgun ammunition. So will .22LR.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:25 PM
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I think the appeal is just that it looks and feels cool.


I also wonder if many of the owners are ex-military, who miss the feel of an M-16 type of rifle, and are simply familiar with such workings.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:40 PM
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I remember seeing an ad decades ago, that was published in the '60s when AR-15s were first sold to civilians. They were marketed as 'varmint rifles'; i.e. ranchers would use them to kill groundhogs (whose burrows could cause their livestock to break their legs), coyotes (that prey on their livestock), etc.

I own several AR-15s (two 1979 SP-1s, and some Bushmasters and others that I built). The attraction to me is the historical significance and the variations over time. They're fun to shoot, but I haven't been to the range in over a decade. I'll probably start selling them off.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
I own several AR-15s (two 1979 SP-1s, and some Bushmasters and others that I built). The attraction to me is the historical significance and the variations over time. They're fun to shoot, but I haven't been to the range in over a decade. I'll probably start selling them off.
That's why I would have one if I did, historical significance and target shooting. My state has an 'assault weapons' ban but it's one of the ones foolishly drafted to encourage slight variations on AR15 type to make it legal and what would subtract from historical significance. Also now magazine size limit that detracts also.

But as thread suggests if reasonably compared to other guns, AR15 types aren't really 'less practical' than all kind of other guns including ones that wouldn't fit under any 'assault weapon' definition. That argument against them 'weapons of war with no legitimate civilian use' is basically a phony appeal to emotion. A potentially more reasonable argument is just 'OK they're practical but 50%+1 still think the downside of allowing them outweighs the upside, and majority gets to tell minority what to do*, sorry'. That's more realistic.

I also tend to like late 19th century gun tech: bolt or lever action, revolver etc. But I don't hunt, those guns could in some cases 'fire through walls' (especially cheapo modern construction, not as much *our* 120 yr old walls, but anyway). And automatic pistols (which I don't have) are highly effective in murdering people en mass (especially at several per shooter with big magazines). It's harder to argue they 'have no utilitarian value'.

The 'utlility' argument is made about AR15's because it sounds plausible to a lot of people of generally low info level about guns, but not a very strong argument actually. Anyway the ultimate argument for bans is 'because we say so and we have the votes' (though pro-ban doesn't have the votes at present nationally, poll answers maybe, but not Congressional votes).

*it's not clear there's any 2nd amendment barrier to banning sale or every ownership of 'assault weapons'. Neither the previous federal ban nor any state one has successfully been challenged in court AFAIK. Lots of people feel such laws violate their personal conception of the 2A and that's fine as their opinion, but courts haven't actually found that as yet.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:25 AM
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That argument against them 'weapons of war with no legitimate civilian use' is basically a phony appeal to emotion. A potentially more reasonable argument is just 'OK they're practical but 50%+1 still think the downside of allowing them outweighs the upside, and majority gets to tell minority what to do*, sorry'. That's more realistic.
I disagree (slightly). That argument isnít a phony appeal to emotionóitís a sincere appeal to emotion, though no less wrongheaded.

Iím politically liberal and Iíd be quite happy with European-style gun control. Yet I cringe when my compatriots wax acidic about assault rifles. They sound grossly misinformed (to me), but IMHO they sincerely believe that ďguns designed to kill peopleĒóassault riflesóare terrible. Thereís nothing phony about their appeal to emotion.

Pistol grips and folding stocks donít add lethality. 5.56/.223 rounds arenít extra-deadly because theyíre military ammunition. (Most deer rifles would do way more damage than a .223 AR-15). Replaceable 30-round magazines are worth focusing on, though.

Iíve shot an AR-15. It was fun! If I were going to buy a rifle, an AR-15 would be high on my list. Theyíre among the cheapest ďrealĒ guns to shoot (ďrealĒ meaning centerfire, not rimfire .22), and work for game as big as deer (where legal). If youíre buying your first rifle, you may not know whether you prefer recreational target shooting, competitive shooting (like two-gun matches) or hunting. The AR-15 can do all of those things pretty well. In that sense, itís very practical.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:09 AM
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I disagree (slightly). That argument isn’t a phony appeal to emotion—it’s a sincere appeal to emotion, though no less wrongheaded.

I’m politically liberal and I’d be quite happy with European-style gun control. Yet I cringe when my compatriots wax acidic about assault rifles. They sound grossly misinformed (to me), but IMHO they sincerely believe that “guns designed to kill people”—assault rifles—are terrible. There’s nothing phony about their appeal to emotion.

Pistol grips and folding stocks don’t add lethality. 5.56/.223 rounds aren’t extra-deadly because they’re military ammunition. (Most deer rifles would do way more damage than a .223 AR-15). Replaceable 30-round magazines are worth focusing on, though.

...The AR-15 can do all of those things pretty well. In that sense, it’s very practical.
That's fair enough. In most cases of fairly plainly bogus arguments, as I feel 'AR15 [types] are weapons of war with no utilitarian use' to be, there's a question if the people making the false argument are sincere but lack the mental ability to learn the facts and process them to see that the argument is false. Or have the mental ability but really don't care to critically examine the argument, perhaps because it's just easier in their social circle to nod in agreement and leave it at that. But also some people might make the argument though able to inform themselves and reason to where they'd see it's false. They might even intend to mislead other people. I'm not insisting that the most negative assumption has to be made about any given person making that argument. But OTOH 'sincere intentions' don't matter that much in my worldview when it comes to bad arguments.

I also agree you can argue on facts that 'small caliber high velocity' (5.56mm M193 or NATO etc) rounds from a relatively light and compact gun but with a reasonably long sighting radius, and box magazine of large capacity are more 'efficient' for mass murder than say carrying a pair or several automatic pistols with big magazines. Just probably not a lot more, and the fashion of using the 'assault weapons' in mass shootings (usually, not always) is probably partly just that, as well as optimizing when the next 'best' thing would not be a lot less terrible.

Still I think you can make a reasonable argument to ban sale or even possession of box magazine semi-auto rifles and/or big magazines for them (or particularly big magazines for pistols), with important qualification that it not focus on stuff like non-wood furniture, bayonet lugs etc. which is complete nonsense. The problem is getting the votes to ban sale, and banning possession of previously legally bought weapons is a big step form there in how much it would rile up opposition. My state has an 'assault gun' ban (though with loopholes since partly based on cosmetics) and more recently a magazine capy limit that's actually not grandfathered, previously legal 30 rd magazines are now illegal in NJ AIUI. It doesn't make life unlivable here, for me.

Last edited by Corry El; 09-21-2019 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:33 AM
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Pistol grips and folding stocks donít add lethality. 5.56/.223 rounds arenít extra-deadly because theyíre military ammunition. (Most deer rifles would do way more damage than a .223 AR-15). Replaceable 30-round magazines are worth focusing on, though.
It's not the bullets; it's the muzzle velocity that increases lethality. The AR-15 and its cousin, the M-16, punch out at 3300 fps, which means that the hydrostatic shock to surrounding tissue and organs upon impact is severe.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:07 PM
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It's not the bullets; it's the muzzle velocity that increases lethality. The AR-15 and its cousin, the M-16, punch out at 3300 fps, which means that the hydrostatic shock to surrounding tissue and organs upon impact is severe.
Sufficient velocity that, with the proper bullet, the temporary wound cavity shears tissue, as opposed to merely stretching it. The effect, more or less, and of course depending on a slew of other factors , starts at about 2200 feet per second for most projectiles. Which is why, since handgun bullets rarely exceed 2200 fps, handgun wounds are nearly always a small, circular in cross section wound. The 'crush cavity', continues for as far as the bullet penetrates, similar to a stab wound.

Higher velocity rifle rounds can have large areas of tissue destruction many multiples of diameter of the actual bullet. And some, like the 123 grain, typical 7.62 x 39 AKM, Soviet M43 bullet, act like handgun rounds. See, e.g., https://www.frfrogspad.com/smallcal.jpg

In the above .jpg, the external thin line represents the extent of the temporary wound cavity, depending on the shear strength of tissue---skin is very elastic, brain tissue far less so---this temporary wound cavity only stretches tissue, it may not tear it. The darker, internal cavity in the diagram represents the extent of permanent tearing of the ballistic gel medium (think yellowish Jello), into which the bullets were shot.

All of which is to say high velocity rifle bullets are qualitatively much superior to either handgun or shotgun projectiles. We see this in different mortality rates from rifle wounds versus handgun. Most people shot with a handgun live. Iirc it's about 7 of 8. A little over half of people shot center of mass with a rifle, won't.

Paradoxically, high velocity rifle bullets may exhibit LESS over penetration than either effective shotgun projectiles (buckshot) or handgun bullets. Frequently, due to their high velocity, certain rifle bullets will readily fragment in common building materials, and as fragments, penetrate less than a slower handgun bullet that retains most of its mass.

We've gone through this before here. The AR-15 pattern rifle is ideal for home defense. It is easier to aim than either a handgun or most shotguns (which if loaded with defensive ammunition, require aiming, myths aside). It recoils far less than a shotgun. It is usually lighter and easier to manipulate indoors than most shotguns. It contains more ammunition than either a handgun or shotgun. Each individual projectile is much more effective than any practical handgun bullet. And the AR's bullets can penetrate only as much or less in building materials than most defensive handgun bullets or shotgun loads. Police have realized this, hence the move to widespread adoption of the patrol rifle versus the shotgun, and the use of the patrol rifle in preference to the handgun for tasks such as forced entry, barricaded suspect, or when there is sufficient time to employ the patrol rifle.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 09-21-2019 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:26 PM
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It's not the bullets; it's the muzzle velocity that increases lethality. The AR-15 and its cousin, the M-16, punch out at 3300 fps, which means that the hydrostatic shock to surrounding tissue and organs upon impact is severe.
Only with the lightest bullets. The low BC means velocity goes down fast. The 5.56 is also significantly less powerful than 22 magnums that are not sued by the military. 22-250 and 220 swift are examples.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:37 PM
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It's not the bullets; it's the muzzle velocity that increases lethality. The AR-15 and its cousin, the M-16, punch out at 3300 fps, which means that the hydrostatic shock to surrounding tissue and organs upon impact is severe.
Maybe; maybe not. I'm both a firearms instructor and hunter ed instructor. The science on hydrostatic shock doesn't seem as solid as it did 30 years ago. Its one of those things that get into serious debates at our CE classes but weight may be a bigger factor, and velocity less a key, than we have traditionally been giving it credit for over the past generations.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:24 PM
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It's not the bullets; it's the muzzle velocity that increases lethality. The AR-15 and its cousin, the M-16, punch out at 3300 fps, which means that the hydrostatic shock to surrounding tissue and organs upon impact is severe.
Thatís part of my point: almost any true hunting rifle/caliber one cares to name will induce hydrostatic shock (though I agree that the concept is controversial). 5.56 isnít uniquely dangerous; itís (marginally) less dangerous than most deer rifles.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:41 PM
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Target shooting is the main appeal. They are fun to shoot.

I'd enjoy owning one for that purpose.

Last edited by aceplace57; 09-20-2019 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:34 AM
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Target shooting is the main appeal. They are fun to shoot.

I'd enjoy owning one for that purpose.
They have been holding national marksmanship matches for over 100 years, and ARís are often preferred, because they are as accurate as any other platform, and a lot easier to shoot.

http://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-national-matches/

CMP has also sold me a fully functional, semi-automatic, high powered rifle, that General Patton described as "the greatest battle implement ever devised".

http://thecmp.org/cmp_sales/rifle_sales/m1-garand/
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:16 PM
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They have been holding national marksmanship matches for over 100 years, and ARís are often preferred, because they are as accurate as any other platform, and a lot easier to shoot.

http://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-national-matches/
I was hoping someone would point this out. They rule the roost in service rifle and most civilian centerfire marksmanship competitions. Long bullet (75 grain plus) 5.56 does just as well at long range as the '06 or 7.62x51, absent truly windy conditions, and Berger probably has a bullet that'll do better there too. Really long range, all of the cool kids are using some 6 or 6.5 hybrid anyway.

Anecdotally, it is a lot easier to make an AR accurate, and keep it that way, than the Garand/M-14 style platforms.

The AR-platform has a tremendous amount of utility. It is America's best modern selling rifle for a reason.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:59 PM
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Most of my friends and family that own them, use them for some hunting.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:58 PM
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Fun to shoot, and not cleaning them isn’t particularly disastrous, though the AK has it beat on that front. (For the AK, instead of cleaning, just bring a hammer to get the bolt carrier moving pre-first shot. )
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:17 PM
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....So putting aside if people 'should' be allowed to own them, is there a utilitarian value to owning one?
The AR-15 can be very practical. It can be chambered for any cartridge from 17 to 50 caliber provided the overall length of the cartridge is 2.26" or less and the rim diameter is .473" or less. If you are willing to use the AR-10 action, then the length increases to 2.84". The single shot verions can be chamber in 50 BMG.

The wide variety of barrel lengths is also a good feature.

I own .224, .308 and .458 caliber AR-15's. They are very adaptable.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:26 PM
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The AR-15 can be very practical. It can be chambered for any cartridge from 17 to 50 caliber provided the overall length of the cartridge is 2.26" or less and the rim diameter is .473" or less. If you are willing to use the AR-10 action, then the length increases to 2.84". The single shot verions can be chamber in 50 BMG.

The wide variety of barrel lengths is also a good feature.

I own .224, .308 and .458 caliber AR-15's. They are very adaptable.
What's the recoil like on that .458?
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:18 PM
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What's the recoil like on that .458?
My 500 grain subsonic loads are about the same recoil as a .308 Winchester. The load only uses 20 grains of H110, I had to take the lead weights out of the buffer and cut down the spring an inch to make it pick up the next round from the magazine and lock open when empty.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:24 PM
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I know a few folks who go after hogs seriously (as a nuisance) who swear by the things. OK - you need a damn clear shot or several not-so-clear shots but you can beat the snot out of them and they still function well. And for that reason they also make a good canoe/pack gun. With a well-placed and taken shot it will bring down a deer and it will take small game without blowing it to pieces. It is one of those platforms that isn't great at any one thing but fairly good at a wide range of things. I've never had one and I have no desire to but I can't fault those who do at all.

(I'm old fashioned -- I prefer the M-1 carbine)
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:34 PM
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My niece uses hers for target shooting. It's good in that role, especially for smaller shooters.

She started with some basic marksmanship using .22LR in high school. When she was ready for centerfire rifles, and targets at longer ranges than she can throw a rock, she moved onto an AR15. At that point she wasn't full grown. Even now she is smaller than the men she typically competes against. The AR15 uses a relatively low power round. Combined with the recoil buffer it makes for a rifle with low felt recoil. For her size that's important. The ammo is relatively cheap when comparing to other centerfire rifle cartridges. Because of the popularity of the platform her Dad was easily able to find a variant focused on accuracy without breaking the bank.

Her Dad bought an AR10 in .308 Winchester for when they go to the range. She's tried it. It's too much power for her to comfortably control. The men she competes against are generally big and strong enough to step up to more powerful cartridges or switch to rifles in the same power range without the recoil buffer. She's really not. The AR15, or something similar, makes her size a non-issue.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:43 PM
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I know a few folks who go after hogs seriously (as a nuisance) who swear by the things.
There are loads of videos of folks shooting feral pig after feral pig. Sometimes it's from a fixed position, others from trucks or even helicopters. The AR-15s seem well suited for that sort of thing.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:06 PM
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Feral Pigs are dangerous. It would be reassuring to have a AR-15 hunting them.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:22 PM
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I've shot a Colt AR-15 twice. Yep, it's a semi-auto medium cartridge carbine. Small caliber, high velocity. Very accurate. Well, for a semi-auto carbine.

I own 10 guns, all given to me or inherited. Shotguns, .22s, a few pistols and lever action rifles.

For myself. I wouldn't mind owning one except for the stigma. I think that against some beliefs they would be a very good home defense weapon. Though I don't have to worry about a round going through a wall and hitting a neighbor. I live rural Rocky Mountains. Note that sheet rock will hardly stop buckshot or a .357. But I digress.

Pretty much no one including police that are trained for stressful situations can hit shit when the rubber hits the road. A short carbine with a collapsible stock and 30 rounds would be one hell of an advantage even in pretty close quarters. Pistols/Revolvers are great defensive weapons in closets and elevators. IMHO.

We do have black bear where I live, and moose. If I HAD to shoot one for some reason, I would like a much larger caliber than a .223. I have that covered with a 336 Marlin ER in .356win (it's kinda a rare rifle and caliber. Basically a .308 rimmed up to .35 and the casing built for the lever action carbine. My dad gave it to me).

Guns are to be respected and can be fun. I have $1200 dollars invested in an air rifle. I can target shoot off my deck without worrying about making any noise. Heck my wife napped inside last time I shot it. This old target shooter (I was 9yo when I got my first .22) is very impressed with it's accuracy. There are options for target shooting. If you have a quality rifle, it's just ballistics,and you.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:59 PM
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I also tend to like late 19th century gun tech: bolt or lever action, revolver etc.
How about mid-century? I've had a lot of fun with Colt Model 1851 Navy replicas. I have a Winchester 94-22, though I haven't fired it yet in the 10+ years I've owned it. Then there's early-20th Century firearms. I have a civilian s/n Colt's Government model, a Mauser C96 'Red 9', and a Webley Mk VI, all built in 1916. (I'll probably sell those handguns, too.) I also have a Shiloh (U.S.-made) Sharps No. 3 Sporting Rifle. Paid $1,600 for it new, and never used it. But it sure is pretty.

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Originally Posted by enipla View Post
A short carbine with a collapsible stock...
I'm building a 'retro' CAR-15 with a fixed stock. It's only 4" shorter than an AR-15 (because it has a 16" barrel instead of the 'real' 14.5" one); but I like the look and it represents a variant that was seen early on. I should finish it, but I don't have the funds.

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Originally Posted by enipla View Post
I have $1200 dollars invested in an air rifle.
I have no idea how much I have invested in my collection. Conservatively, I'd say $30,000 over almost 40 years. Possibly as much as $45,000. I don't shoot anymore, and I don't need them Better to sell them.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
...I have no idea how much I have invested in my collection. Conservatively, I'd say $30,000 over almost 40 years. Possibly as much as $45,000. I don't shoot anymore, and I don't need them Better to sell them.
It's an odd thing for me as my guns, given to me and handed down, are sort of heirlooms. I have no children.

Seeing what some maniacs do with them gives me pause to sell them.
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:02 AM
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I used one in the military and would buy one for target shooting . Can't see using one for home defense or hunting.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:56 PM
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I used one in the military and would buy one for target shooting . Can't see using one for home defense or hunting.
I used them in the military too, and if I wanted a weapon for home defense, and they were in any way legally obtainable here, I'd get one - purely because it's the weapon I feel most comfortable with. I wouldn't now what to do with a pistol or a shotgun.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:35 PM
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I own a couple AR-15s. I don't shoot them much, because I prefer my semi-auto .308 rifles.

Having said that, there isn't much utility for them in my neck of the woods (rural Ohio). They're not good for home defense. As for hunting, I know some people use ARs for coyote hunting.

None-the-less, I ain't giving them up.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:47 PM
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I have an old intro to marksmanship book that discusses only .22 LR (bolt-action) and the M16, so presumably the author felt these were suitable subjects for novice target shooters.

ETA I don't know anything about hunting, but someone I know got rid of some feral pigs using a bow and arrow. He didn't try to shoot them with a gun.

Last edited by DPRK; 09-21-2019 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:47 PM
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Yes, yes, but beside predator control, varmint control, hunting certain animals, historic and engineering interests, casual target shooting, and competitive target shooting, do they have any utilitarian value?
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:29 PM
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Yes, yes, but beside predator control, varmint control, hunting certain animals, historic and engineering interests, casual target shooting, and competitive target shooting, do they have any utilitarian value?
Yes, the AR is fun to shoot. But I am interpreting the question of "utilitarian value" to mean, "Is it a practical tool for anything?"
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:40 PM
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But I am interpreting the question of "utilitarian value" to mean, "Is it a practical tool for anything?"
You mean like predator/varmint/hog hunting and competitive shooting?
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:19 PM
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The AR-15 platform rifle is a reliable, versatile, lightweight, accurate, and accessible to relatively inexperienced shooters. It's accurate at close and mid range targets and has good stopping power.

Each of the items in the OP - too powerful, too expensive, etc. - are inaccurate.
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:33 PM
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Is a quick question ok?

What's the deal on AR-15 brands? Cheaper Than Dirt lists ATI, Del-Ton, Diamondback, Bushmaster, Rock River etc. I only see one S&W on Cheaper Than Dirt.

Are these gun shops that a have a ATF license to assemble from import parts? Or actual manufacturers?

I would buy from a local gun show or dealer instead of a web site.

Last edited by aceplace57; 09-21-2019 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Is a quick question ok?

What's the deal on AR-15 brands? Cheaper Than Dirt lists ATI, Del-Ton, Diamondback, Bushmaster, Rock River etc. I only see one S&W on Cheaper Than Dirt.

Are these gun shops that a have a ATF license to assemble from import parts? Or actual manufacturers?
A combination of "it depends" and "maybe". Some makers pretty much make from scratch and some assemble/modify and brand. I have not kept current on who does what in this platform as much as I have a few others (M-1 as stated before and 1911A1 for example). I checked Rock River quick and the barrels are Wilson and the other parts are designed and speced by them but made other places; in their case almost all US. Like with cars today there is no strong case that the brand on the hood made each and every part under it.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Is a quick question ok?

What's the deal on AR-15 brands? Cheaper Than Dirt lists ATI, Del-Ton, Diamondback, Bushmaster, Rock River etc. I only see one S&W on Cheaper Than Dirt.

Are these gun shops that a have a ATF license to assemble from import parts? Or actual manufacturers?

I would buy from a local gun show or dealer instead of a web site.
Geissele all the things! But seriously, it depends on the purpose you want to put the rifle to. Different brands cater to different markets. Entry-level, but still reliable? Something from Palmetto State Armory. Want to get into HighPower? White Oak and JP Rifles are great places to look. And spend. More mil-spec/defense minded? Daniel Defense, Knights Armament if you simply must have that SR-15. And spend and spend.

I'd go to an enthusiast board, like AR-15.com or M4carbine.net, and poke around there for tips and answers to questions like, "I have 500 bucks, what should I get?"
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:52 PM
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Thanks. I'll ask detailed questions at the gun show booths.

S&W would be my preference, but the other brands are cheaper. I need to get a AR-15 for target shooting before any laws change.

The 5.56 NATO (accepts .223 Remington) is all I need for targets. That's a big enough caliber for home defense too.

Last edited by aceplace57; 09-21-2019 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
... I need to get a AR-15 for target shooting before any laws change.

...
FUD makes another sale.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:03 PM
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Yep.

It's already happened once.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fede...lt_Weapons_Ban

I wouldn't buy any gun unless I intended to use it at the range. Dusty guns in drawers or closets don't interest me.

Last edited by aceplace57; 09-21-2019 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:19 PM
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I'll check at AR-15.com. I appreciate the suggestion.

There's a bigger gun show in Little Rock Nov 2-3. Texarkana has one Nov 29-Dec 1. Should be a large selection to look at and price.

Last edited by aceplace57; 09-21-2019 at 08:23 PM.
  #49  
Old 09-21-2019, 08:28 PM
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I'll check at AR-15.com. I appreciate the suggestion.

There's a bigger gun show in Little Rock Nov 2-3. Texarkana has one Nov 29-Dec 1. Should be a good selection to look at.
The tech boards there are a fantastic resource. Very newcomer friendly. You will need a non-freeware email account to register to post. So no hotmail, gmail, etc...

I have not been to a gun show. Anecdotally, my understanding is that bargains are few, caveat emptor rules the day, and the bullshit is deep. It's supposed to be great people watching though.

I'd find a decent local gun store instead to visit, pick their brains, and buy from. They'll be stunned you're actually buying something, and after that, hopefully really helpful.
  #50  
Old 09-21-2019, 09:11 PM
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My favorite AR is 9mm. Itís used for recreational shooting only. I also have one in .22LR. Itís only purpose is ventilating tin cans but itís accurate enough that it could be used for squirrel, rabbit, etc.

As for the OPís question, they are (in 5.56 caliber) very popular with coyote hunters. Enough juice to deliver a humane kill and quick on follow up shots if the first one isnít fatal enough. As mentioned above, 5.56/ .223 is considered by many to be insufficient for a humane kill on deer. This comes as a surprise to some non gun type people that are convinced that an AR blasts anything it hits into smithereens.
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