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  #1  
Old 11-04-2012, 09:59 AM
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AR hunting designs, need your opinion


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i have designs for a AR style hunting rifle that are going to Mossberg but first i need your guys opinion, what would you want in a AR style hunting rifle?

-Jack
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2012, 11:05 AM
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I carried the M16 in Vietnam in 1971 and ‘72. The rifle did nothing to endear itself to me then and has not grown on me since.
I started hunting with lever action rifles and went through the military surplus arms, P-14, SMLE and still have the 1903.
I am aware the AR of today is nothing like the M-16 I carried. I have seen several that were exceptionally accurate.
The racks at the gun stores are filled with various camouflaged AR’s and they seem to attract quite a bit of attention.
As a Handloader I don’t enjoy crawling around in the weeds looking for my bras.
I don’t need more than two shots for my typical big game hunting situations and I don’t need to hunt varmints with a semi auto rifle.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:26 AM
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welcome to the Shooter's Forum ARdesigner

I have an AR thats used for varminting. My rifle (Colt H-Bar) isn't as accurate as I want it to be but I haven't done anything to tune it up. The brass is auctually easier to keep track of than my bolt guns. Have one of those plastic/mesh brass catchers with the zipper bottom. It don't add anything to the looks of the rifle but works very well. When changing magazines unzip and dump into my brass bag.

Getting back to the OP question.... If it didn't look so much like an AR I might get more excited hunting with one. I like guns of all types but definately not into the Tacti-Cool scene
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2012, 12:29 PM
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There is nothing in an AR design that I would want to buy for hunting. Just because people hunt with them doesn't make them a hunting rifle.

I think a pretty good design for this is all ready avaiable, the Benelli R1 Rifle with a wood stock.

Frank

Benelli R1 Rifle

Last edited by Frank Whiton; 11-04-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2012, 02:26 PM
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I think that the best thing the AR family has to offer is ergonomics. Shooting position and control layout are excellent. Very nice for offhand shooting with a moderate weight barrel. Now for a rested varmint or target rifle, a lot of that becomes moot.

The second biggest asset to the AR is versatility. A modular design, caliber changes are quick if not cheap. I would try to capitalize on that with combo packs or accessory uppers. Small bore varmint and mid bore (or bigger) for deer. Maybe even a SD option, not unlike the Mossberg 500 combos. A quick change barrel/bolt system would be more specialized but would make caliber swaps cheaper. That may be going too far though.

A free-floating fore end is generally good and if designed in from the start, should not hurt the price too badly. In fact, a Hogue grip/tube package would be real nice. I would cut weight wherever possible (flat top, no irons) and put the weight into the barrel. Hunters want accuracy whether it's essential or not.

A decent trigger should be a priority. Doesn't have to be high end but the status quo for budget ARs is pitiful.

Make certain it is reliable feeding and firing and works with the inexhaustable supply of mags already out there.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:19 AM
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Midweight barrel threaded for whatever, standard threads, variable lengths, variable calibers. One should cover the range from mice to moose in one's offerings as well as long range to short range. And don't forget the .22 LR while you are at it.
Free float handguard with a top rail so BUIS can be added if desired, as well as a short bottom rail so a bipod or weapon light can be added easily. Pig hunting at night with ARs is huge in many parts of the country and lights are just about mandatory.
A telescoping stock for people wanting a compact rifle, such as the ACE M4 SOCOM or the MagPul ACS or CTR as well as a fixed stock such as the MagPul MOE. The MOE has become my favorite fixed stock to the point that all my A1 and A2 stocks have gone into retirement. Wood stocks are nice too but they add a bit of weight but it does make them look less 'black.' For real precision shooting, one cannot be better served for a stock than the MagPul PRS stock so for a long range varmint rifle, the PRS would be the ideal handle to put on it.
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Last edited by Big Bore; 11-05-2012 at 10:56 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2012, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARdesigner View Post
i have designs for a AR style hunting rifle that are going to Mossberg but first i need your guys opinion, what would you want in a AR style hunting rifle?

-Jack
Medium-heavy contour SS barrel 16-20" long

air gauged, factory lapped barrel

2 stage match trigger with 3-4pound pull

winter trigger guard

free floated forend

fixed A2 style stock

flat top reciever for mounting a scope

ambidexious controls

Kind of like this.

Rock River Arms: RRA LAR-8 Predator HP


I guess that's way I waited 6 months for it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:53 PM
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I must admit, other than their rimfire psuedo AR, I wasn't aware that Mossberg already had an AR line with centerfire hunting and tactical models. It looks like the hunting model has the basic format that I pictured although reviews don't say much good about the trigger.

Knowing this, I'm curious what features the OP proposed in his designs. You probably don't want to broadcast the details but can you tantalize us with some general areas that you address?
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2012, 03:45 AM
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Big Bore,
This is the kind of enthusiasm I see displayed for these AR rifles whenever I am in a gun store these days. I have friends who have similar wants. They believe I am very old fashioned.
The S&W 22 AR style rifle is very popular here. This rifle has had some problems with at least two examples firing with the bolt unlocked. The shooters were not in danger but the rifles were damaged. S&W repaired both rifles quickly and they are back in service. The owners run a LOT of .22’s through these rifles and they are very enthusiastic about them.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:35 AM
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As a Handloader I don’t enjoy crawling around in the weeds looking for my bras.
Old fashioned yet surprisingly progressive. LOL Sorry. couldn't resist. I know what you mean and do hate chasing brass. At the range I drape a towel over the scope which keeps my brass from going very far. In the field I'd just write them off.

Re: S&W AR .22s....Do you mean the rimfire or centerfire rifles? I think the RFs are all blowback so CFs have fired with the bolt unlocked? A broken bolt or cam pin could do this but probably the most likely explanation would be improper assembly. Forgetting to install the cam pin would do it. If it was something else, it would be interesting to know.

Ideally, it should not be possible for the gun to fire without the bolt locking but at least the design keeps the bolt from being aimed at the shooter's face in such an event.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARdesigner View Post
i have designs for a AR style hunting rifle that are going to Mossberg but first i need your guys opinion, what would you want in a AR style hunting rifle?

-Jack
Are you getting a .223 caliber? Just curious if you know if other calibers are available.
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  #12  
Old 11-06-2012, 07:02 AM
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Locked is probably a poor chice of words on my part, the rimfire. The two I know of both fired before the bolt was fully forward. The cartridge case ruptured and blew brass and powder residue into the shooters face.
This does not appear to be magazine related as the same magazines have been used in several rifles.
We saw the same event with the early Sig Trailside 22 automatic pistols. The magazine was the culprit there and Sig issued new magazines.

Back to S&W they claim the firing out of battery is ammunition related. S&W recommends the use of the new Winchester ammunition but it is hard to find around here.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:34 AM
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More than one make of .22LR has had the round fire before the bolt was closed so this is not particular to the S&W. The usual cause is a very dirty chamber which causes the rim to be crushed before fully chambered. Not an experience that is to be looked forward to but it happens. Most of the conversions though, or dedicated uppers for that matter, if kept clean and not more than a thousand rounds at a time put through them before a complete cleaning will not have this happen, but it is not unheard of even in a clean rifle. In a CF AR of any type, this is extremely unlikely because if the bolt is not completely locked the hammer cannot hit the firing pin. Only with an un-shrouded bolt carrier can this possibly happen and even then it is a very unlikely occurrence.
Who enjoys chasing brass? At least the AR does not bend it double like my beloved 91 have been known to do. However, it does not take a rocket surgeon to figure out a way to avoid that. A flat cardboard box is what I use. Prop it up next to the rifle, held in place with sandbags, and no more chasing. In the field, well, what is the worry about the price of a piece of brass compared to the expense of the rifle, hunting clothes, stands, and the hunt itself. Small potatoes there IMO and not something to even be considered. Heck, I have lost brass in the field with bolt actions and single shots so lost brass in the field is not an occurrence particular to semi-automatics.
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  #14  
Old 11-06-2012, 07:50 AM
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Just this past weekend I had a case head let go in a .22 upper on my 1911. A little bit of crud blew back through the firing pin channel and I was peppered in the face. It does happen, it's why we wear safety glasses. Not sure the cause - probably fired before fully in battery as there was a strip of brass about 1/16" wide peeled loose about a third of the way around the rim. Stuff happens.

I've had some old corroded .22 ammo split a case head in my .22 Single Six. It blows crud out the sides but not much way for it to come back to the shooter (which is why I was using the single-six to get rid of that stuff).

Too bad about the S&Ws seeming to have an issue. They do look fun and I'm sure my boy would go completely nuts to have one. Hope I didn't get too far off track, just some random thoughts.
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  #15  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:40 AM
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I have a brass catcher that fits around the forend of my LAR-15 and it catches all the brass. With a zipper on the bottom, it's easy to empty when you finish your shooting. Caldwell makes it and it was $10 from Grafs.
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2012, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bore View Post
In a CF AR of any type, this is extremely unlikely because if the bolt is not completely locked the hammer cannot hit the firing pin. Only with an un-shrouded bolt carrier can this possibly happen and even then it is a very unlikely occurrence.

Not exactly true. That is of course the designer's intent but as long as the carrier is in it's forward position, the rifle will fire. If a malfunction keeps the bolt from turning, it will be unlocked. As I mentioned earlier, a missing cam pin would be the most likely cause. My DPMS manual mentions this and it has undoubtedly happened.

As William clarified though, his examples involved rimfires. I could see the extractor striking the rim of a round on the way in the chamber.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARdesigner View Post
i have designs for a AR style hunting rifle that are going to Mossberg but first i need your guys opinion, what would you want in a AR style hunting rifle?

-Jack
Well, my question is: what are you hunting? If you're looking for something for deer, I'd strongly encourage something bigger than a .223 Rem chambered AR-15. That they *can* kill deer isn't as important as how *likely* they're to result in a deer that's Dead Right There, or even dead in the next hour. I don't like spending three hours trying to find an animal I shot. I like even less the idea of not finding the animal after three hours.

There are plenty of good chamberings out there for the AR-15 and, aside from those that abhor the idea of a "Tacticool" gun being used for hunting, one of them should match what anyone is looking for.

.204 Ruger or .223 Remington for varmints
6.8 SPC for shortish (less than 100 yards) ranged deer or feral hogs
.30 Remington AR for longer ranged deer
.450 Bushmaster or .458 SOCOM for bigger game, or if you're in the "doesn't matter if it expands much, it's a .45 caliber hole to start with" camp.
There are a few sources for the WSSM chamberings, as well, which should give a little better long distance performance.

And, while they end up less versatile, don't forget the "AR-10s." They're not as interchangable as AR-15s, but a .308 Winchester rifle is going to be plenty for deer.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:43 PM
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I am afraid that I must disagree with a lot of what is said above. The 6.8 or 6.5 Grendel is a very lethal deer round at a lot further ranges than 100 yards. 300 yards plus is more like it and especially so for the 6.5 Grendel with its slightly better BC. And the .458 SOCOM and .450 BM not expanding? Nonsense. While I have zero experience with the Bushmaster, I have been using the SOCOM since the second year it came out (from Teppo Justu and TROMIX, not Rock River which was licensed by TJ about 12 years after it first came out) and have thousands of rounds down range in that caliber in 4 different rifles. If you use the correct bullet like the Barnes 300 gr. TTSX or the 250-300 gr. XFN they will expand a lot farther out there than you should be shooting. 200 yards is about the limit trajectory wise but not on expansion with the right bullets. Even the 300 gr JHP by Hornady, Sierra, Speer, and Remington will expand well out to 100-150 yards.
If this is not an expanded bullet then I don't know what one wants, .458 SOCOM, IIRC about 75 yards:

And it was not a baby deer it fell either:

And while size does matter, the 5.56 with a 62 gr. and up TSX bullet is fully capable of taking deer up to 200 pounds quite well but you do need to mind shot placement, but since when is that not the case with any caliber? A .50 BMG in the foot is not going to kill better than a .22 LR in the brain.
While the larger caliber is nice, if one doesn't think the 'puny' 5.56 below would result in a very dead deer very quickly, then they need to educate themselves on modern .22 CF bullets.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Bore View Post
I am afraid that I must disagree with a lot of what is said above. The 6.8 or 6.5 Grendel is a very lethal deer round at a lot further ranges than 100 yards. 300 yards plus is more like it and especially so for the 6.5 Grendel with its slightly better BC. And the .458 SOCOM and .450 BM not expanding? Nonsense. While I have zero experience with the Bushmaster, I have been using the SOCOM since the second year it came out (from Teppo Justu and TROMIX, not Rock River which was licensed by TJ about 12 years after it first came out) and have thousands of rounds down range in that caliber in 4 different rifles. If you use the correct bullet like the Barnes 300 gr. TTSX or the 250-300 gr. XFN they will expand a lot farther out there than you should be shooting. 200 yards is about the limit trajectory wise but not on expansion with the right bullets. Even the 300 gr JHP by Hornady, Sierra, Speer, and Remington will expand well out to 100-150 yards.
If this is not an expanded bullet then I don't know what one wants, .458 SOCOM, IIRC about 75 yards:

And it was not a baby deer it fell either:

And while size does matter, the 5.56 with a 62 gr. and up TSX bullet is fully capable of taking deer up to 200 pounds quite well but you do need to mind shot placement, but since when is that not the case with any caliber? A .50 BMG in the foot is not going to kill better than a .22 LR in the brain.
While the larger caliber is nice, if one doesn't think the 'puny' 5.56 below would result in a very dead deer very quickly, then they need to educate themselves on modern .22 CF bullets.
Didn't say they didn't expand. I said that even if you weren't using an expanding bullet, it's still starting out as a .45" hole.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:02 PM
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Sorry I misunderstood, but when you said "if you're in the "doesn't matter if it expands much, it's a .45 caliber hole to start with" camp" it sure sounded to me like you were staying they do not expand much, which they do.
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