Can You Hunt With Ar 15? All You Need To Follow

Can You Hunt With Ar 15 All You Need To Follow

First, can you hunt with ar 15?

Yes, you can hunt with ar 15. An AR-15 can be used legally to hunt animals because most states (check with your DNR) permit the use of the.223 caliber for big game hunting. They are also very effective at downing deer at distances of 300 yards or less. The contemporary AR platform also offers a ton of other benefits.

For more specific information, keep reading.

Know Hunting Laws

To avoid breaking the law unintentionally when you start hunting, you should first be familiar with the regulations for each state’s deer and other game hunting with particular firearms and ammunition. It’s best to look at the states that forbid using an AR-15 rifle or a.223 caliber bullet for deer hunting.

Larger bullets must be used when hunting game in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia. It’s a good idea to check with your state to see if using a.223 diameter bullet for hunting is still permitted, as these laws are frequently changing. You may be limited in what you can use because of the weights of the bullets that are used.

Using An Ar-15 To Shoot Animals

There is no doubt that an AR-15 or more specifically the .223 Rem or 5.56 NATO(here we will be talking mainly about the .223 Remington) can kill animals. After all, a sharp stick can kill just about anything. However, will using a.223 limit your options in comparison to other rifles or cartridges? Maybe, but first we have to get over another roadblock: legality.

Can I Legally Hunt Animals With The.223 Remington?

The calibers you can use to hunt various species of game are restricted in every state in some way. Additionally, a lot of states have laws that limit how many rounds you can have in your magazine or even whether you can use a semi-automatic rifle for hunting. Although with all the restrictions, in most states an AR-15 is allowed for hunting big game. Most states mandate that hunters use at least a.22lr, so the slightly bigger (but much faster).223 is also acceptable. As with any legal regulation, it is your responsibility to know the laws of your state, which you can find on your state’s DNR website.

Effectiveness Of The .223 Cartridge

Since the .223 is such a small cartridge, one of the first questions I would want to know is, “am I won’t be able to shoot this smaller bullet as far?”. No, is the answer to that. You will not be able to shoot as far as larger rounds as effectively, that being said, the .223 Remington still has an effective range of around 500 yards. By now, everyone is aware that measuring the distance of a shot from a hunting position is comparable to measuring the length of a catch from a fishing vessel. That’s not to say that hunters haven’t shot an animal farther away; however, if I had to guess, I’d say that the majority of hunters in the country have never shot a deer more than 300 yards away.

The reason I bring up effective range is that, with a typical 55 grain.223 FMJ, you can probably ping steel targets at 800 yards or more if you are properly positioned. You might not have enough energy to deliver enough damage on impact at that distance, though. Staying under 300 yards (which should be pretty easy for animals) will make sure that your .223 has plenty of power on impact. See more about Why Are Hunting Regulations Passed?

A.223 Caliber Gun Designed With Animals In Mind?

There are a few companies that produce ammunition that specifically designate a.223 round for use on animals. For example, the Hornady 60 Grain Spire Point “are designed for rapid expansion and maximum impact”. They actually fragment more on impact than your typical FMJ. Which in theory does more damage to the internals of a animals, or really anything you hunt with it.

What Really Matters: Shot Placement

At the end of the day, you can kill anything with a sharp stick stuck in the right place. Many people will assert that the.223 does not have the strength to dispatch an animal, but this is simply untrue. If you shoot a deer in the heart or both lungs with a.22lr, I contend that it won’t move very far. Additionally, due to the.223 bullet’s high velocity, most animals suffer serious damage to their vital organs from just the concussion it causes when it enters the body.

Long story short, if you are using an AR-15, aim for the heart, or the lungs. Avoid neck shots, and I personally steer clear of headshots as well. Additionally, if you are using an AR, you have the amazing ability to quickly fire off several shots at the deer if necessary. Consider some of the AR platform’s additional benefits.

Hunting With 6.8SPC Ammo

With 80% of a.308’s power and 50% of its recoil, the 6.8SPC caliber cartridge was originally created for the military. For the majority of the medium-sized to large game in the United States, it’s a fantastic option.

Hunting With .223 Ammo

Coyotes and other varmints are excellent targets for the.223 bullet. The great thing about.223 ammo is that depending on the rifle, it is reasonably priced and exceptionally accurate out to a few hundred yards.

Pros Of The Ar Platform

The majority of hunters are probably accustomed to using standard hunting rifles, which will certainly do the job. However, if you haven’t already, I’d advise you to at least try out an AR in the deer woods. The AR-15 is not your grandfather’s deer rifle, but innovation offers the user many benefits, so let’s explore a few of them.

  • Semi-Automatic: to start things off, having a semi-automatic instead of a bolt action allows you to stay on target after the shot and fire more rounds if necessary. Now, you could accomplish the same task with a standard rifle, but an AR allows you to do it much more quickly.
  • Customization: Any kind of material can be applied to an AR. Some things are useful, while many others are purely aesthetic. The option to use a foregrip, lasers, flashlights, and multiple long- and short-range sights is also available. All and all, you can make these rifles however you like, with many more options compared to a typical hunting rifle.
  • Compact & Easy to handle: Next, if these rifles are constructed properly, they can be extremely light. Additionally, you can equip it with a collapsible or an extending stock to make it even smaller and lighter to carry. The fact that it is a viable option now means that it will be for your kids when they begin hunting. My father had the stock on a.243 rifle shortened when I first started hunting so that I could hold it comfortably. If moving the stuck up had only required the push of a lever, that would have been much simpler.
  • Popularity: Almost every gun store in existence also sells an AR-15 in some shape or form. Along with that, they most likely have a few boxes of.223 ammunition. Finding parts and accessories for these weapons online is also incredibly simple thanks to their popularity.
  • Versatility: And finally, the majority of animals in North America can be killed with a single AR-15. Making it an awesome all-around weapon. Additionally, if you really want to, you can purchase a second upper that is chambered for a larger round. This will enable you to change the round that your AR fires within 15 seconds to a 7.62x39mm,.300 blackout, 6.5 Grendel, or a variety of other rounds. However, in order to get the proper fitment for larger rounds like the.308, you will need an AR-10 lower.

Stag 7: “the Hunter”

For deer and similar size animal hunting, Stag Arms recommends the Stag 7, also known as “The Hunter.” This is one of the company’s most well-liked AR-15 rifles that successfully fills the gap between a weapon used for self-defense and one used for game hunting.

The 6.8SPC cartridge is chambered in it, and it weighs less than seven pounds. As a result of the designs incorporated into it, the rifle performs better than other rifles of its kind in terms of accuracy, ballistics, and general performance.

Stag Arms Model 6: “the Super Varminter”

Another popular game hunting AR-15 is the Stag Arms Model 6, better known as “The Super Varminter.” This AR-15 rifle has excellent accuracy from a long distance with a 1/2″ guaranty at 100 yards, and it has a 24 inch bull barrel which provides increased velocity and recoil reduction.

Having a two stage trigger as standard on the Model 6 will improve shooter accuracy. To enable the use of heavier bullets, the barrel has an 1/8 twist. Hunters will be able to hit smaller game with greater accuracy from a greater distance thanks to this.

Can You Hunt With Ar 15 All You Need To Follow
Can You Hunt With Ar 15? All You Need To Follow

States That Allow Hunting With An Ar-15

Legality is the most important factor to take into account when getting a new firearm, moving, or going hunting across state lines. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic weapon with a magazine feed, pistol grips, and frequently a collapsible buttstock. All of these characteristics make the AR-15 an assault weapon, making it illegal to own or use for hunting in many states.

Allow Hunting With An Ar-15 States 

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

With Varying Restrictions: Allow Hunting With An Ar-15 

Although there are various levels of restrictions in each state, minimum cartridge sizes and restrictions on magazine size are the most frequent ones.

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • West Virginia

States That Don’t Allow Hunting With An Ar-15

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Rhode Island

*Each state’s legal framework as of November 2020 is the basis for this ranking. Please review the most recent laws and rules of the state or states you plan to hunt in.

Even if AR-15 hunting is permitted in other parts of the state, local governments may still impose bans. There are regional restrictions on the possession of AR-15s in Washington, D.C., as well as in a few counties and cities in Illinois and Indiana. Always make sure you are aware of and abide by all local laws when using a firearm, as with any weapon.

There are many state laws that control bullet size for game hunting, even if your state permits you to own an AR-15. Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Virginia, Ohio, Washington, and West Virginia all permit AR-15 possession but demand that hunters use larger-caliber cartridges than.223. The use of many rounds that are common for the AR platform is prohibited in other states because they only permit the use of straight-wall cartridges.


Amazing rifles like the AR-15 can kill almost any game that a modern hunter could desire. It has been repeatedly shown that the.223 is deadly enough to use against whitetail, provided you are accurate. In addition, there are a lot more benefits to the AR platform than there are to a typical hunting rifle. You have an advantage because your weapon is semi-automatic, highly customizable, small, and simple to use. They are also widely accessible and very versatile. I strongly advise you to try an AR this season if you haven’t already.

Please post a question in the comments if you have any.