AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

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JeeperCreeper
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AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by JeeperCreeper » Tue May 22, 2018 10:16 am

So... I'm daydreaming. I'm thinking about how I will rationalize a new AR15 build if I move to an area where I can hog hunt on a regular basis. I'm thinking of a 16-18" bbl for a regular AR rifle build, designed to be light but durable... again, more hunting and less tacticool.

I am hoping for hunting experiences and ballistics data if anyone has any. I know there are some threads on here about builds, but I don't like hijacking or necro threading.


Basically, I'm considering all the cool different calibers for an AR. I have access to .223 ARs rifles and pistols and a .300BLK pistol. Also, I have access to the typical SKS in 7.62x39 and the ole 30-30 lever gun and various bolt guns in .30-06.

So it's really not a NEED but a WANT to rationalize a purchase/build so the GF/wife doesn't kill me.

My options:

1. .223 Family - .223 (with good bullets), .25-45 Sharps (kinda wildcat but I like the numbers, I might have to handload), .300BLK (I like it but can I hotrod the ammo for a nice supersonic 115gr bullet?)
Pro: keep all the same parts (bolt, mag, brass) but barrel
Con: boring and marginal performance

2. 6.8 SPC Family - .224 Valkyrie (not that impressed with it, it is cool but spendy and might die off) and 6.8 SPC (probably best ballistically)
Pro: good performance
Con: mo money and mo parts

3. Russian Family - 7.62x39 (powerful but might be finnicky, plus SKS is cooler) and 6.5 Grendel (super cool but might be finnicky)
Pro: cheap ammo and good performance
Con: mo parts and maybe mo problems

4. Can't afford or not interested in - 22 Nosler, 450 bush, 458 socom, 50 wulf

Anyone think I'm an idiot? I'm leaning towards a 300 BLK so I can keep my parts the same as my other guns. It seems most round for all the calibers generate around 1200-1800 ft/lbs of energy with the .223 on the low end and 6.8 and 6.5 on the high end.

Realistically, I won't actually build one but a guy can dream, can't he?
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by woodsghost » Tue May 22, 2018 12:38 pm

I"d go with 300 blk. Unless you are looking at weird regulations like "straight walled cartridges only."

You could also hunt deer in almost any location with 300 blk. Though some states you can only use straight walled cartridges. The .25 is for those states where you can't use 5.56.

Or you could get an AK in 7.62x39......

....just sayin....

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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by Stercutus » Tue May 22, 2018 2:01 pm

6.5G will outperform 6.8SPC in nearly every application. Longer range accuracy, lots of energy.

Pros: Performance
Cons: Cost and wear and tear on the rifle from the hot round

.300BLK (I like it but can I hotrod the ammo for a nice supersonic 115gr bullet?)
Most use a 123gr bullets to get .30-30 type ballistics and energy. That is the typical deer/hog round. Some hunt with 200gr+ subsonics but I would discourage this. The higher energy 123 will give a clean kill at range.


You left out .22lr. Not sure how this oversight was allowed.



Anyhow these days separate uppers for each should run about $300 each. Make the AR a pistol and you can get whatever barrel length you like as well.
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by boskone » Tue May 22, 2018 7:03 pm

I'm with Stercutus, 6.5 Grendel needs consideration. I have to disagree with his con somewhat, though, as Grendel's slightly slower and lower pressure than 5.56; it'll probably outlast 5.56 by a smidge.

Pros: near-.308 performance, mild recoil
Cons: no really cheap rounds and comparatively limited ammo availability, need special magazines

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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by Langenator » Tue May 22, 2018 9:05 pm

Well, there is another option: an AR-10.

Pros: Wide ammo availability and selection, heavy hitter
Cons: cost of the rifle
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by 91Eunozs » Tue May 22, 2018 10:21 pm

Langenator wrote:Well, there is another option: an AR-10.

Pros: Wide ammo availability and selection, heavy hitter
Cons: cost of the rifle
Second this. I love my ARs...all of them...especially my 300 BLK uppers/guns. But if I had to have just one to guarantee I’m bringing home meat for the table, I’d go with a reliable AR-10 in .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor.

My homebrew AR10 build is sweet, but it’s not where I want it to be from a functional perspective yet. Get a good, proven combination from a manufacturer and maybe swap out parts as you see fit...trigger, etc. I’m learning (as many have before me) that 10s are a bit harder to tune.

I have 100% confidence in all my 5.56 and 300BLK builds, but will only hunt hogs with supersonic ammo. Of my current stable, my 6.8SPC-II is my go-to hog gun...hopefully soon to be supplanted by the 10 in .308.
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by boskone » Wed May 23, 2018 7:12 pm

Langenator wrote:Well, there is another option: an AR-10.

Pros: Wide ammo availability and selection, heavy hitter
Cons: cost of the rifle
I keep thinking about building an AR-10, but always get cranky about all the different part specs. :)

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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed May 23, 2018 7:24 pm

boskone wrote:
Langenator wrote:Well, there is another option: an AR-10.

Pros: Wide ammo availability and selection, heavy hitter
Cons: cost of the rifle
I keep thinking about building an AR-10, but always get cranky about all the different part specs. :)
Ditto... I keep eyeballing different builds from Aero or PSA but get nervous, and the offerings from CMMG, DMPS, or Windham seem nice.

What I'd really like is the piston SR762 from Ruger or a POF piston. But then again, at that point, I might as well get a PTR HK-clone or DSA FAL.

Besides, I have so much .30-06 and 7.62x54r, I don't wanna be redundant with a .308

Now, a VEPR .30-06 may be the ticket.
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed May 23, 2018 7:26 pm

After price checking and looking at ballistics tables, for an AR15 platform, I'm really leaning towards the Grendel or 300BLK.

Wolf has their basic upper for $350-400 on various sites and they have their steel cheap ammo.

And 300 BLK is the cheapest option for uppers and parts besides 5.56 and ammo isn't a bank breaker.

I like the 6.8, but that might be too rich for my blood.
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by 91Eunozs » Wed May 23, 2018 10:44 pm

Big fan of 300BLK and shoot that more than anything else...by far...so I certainly won’t try to talk you out of a 300BLK rifle or upper. Easy to tune for your needs and a very versatile round inside its performance envelope. Just remember that it’s not a do everything round, or at least not as a single loading.

I have various weight subsonic rounds including some for home defense, a couple flavors of supers for hunting, and of course a couple recipes for just plinking/range time.

After seeing the lack of performance on pigs from 300BLK subs, I only hunt with supersonic rounds now, albeit with a can. I can’t remember the last time I’ve taken a shot beyond 100 yards or so hunting here in TX so the 300BLK works well for my needs.

I prefer the 6.8 or .308 for game getting, but still carry a 300BLK SBR a lot at the ranch because it works well in a small/light configuration.
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed May 23, 2018 10:58 pm

between 6.5 and .300 I really don't think 6.8 has a place anymore. The former two will likely only increase in popularity so ammo and parts are no sweat, can't say the same for 6.8. Honestly I'm surprised it hasn't died out completely by now.


If there ever was a reason to get a 7.62x39 AR, .300 has certainly put a nail in that coffin.
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by woodsghost » Wed May 23, 2018 11:43 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:between 6.5 and .300 I really don't think 6.8 has a place anymore. The former two will likely only increase in popularity so ammo and parts are no sweat, can't say the same for 6.8. Honestly I'm surprised it hasn't died out completely by now.


If there ever was a reason to get a 7.62x39 AR, .300 has certainly put a nail in that coffin.
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by Stercutus » Thu May 24, 2018 6:26 am

6.8 is a good hunting round I have no issues with it. It is not better than 6.5 but there are tons of other rounds out there that are obsolete and would go away but for people liking the cartridge for one reason or another.
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by brothaman » Thu May 24, 2018 2:08 pm

Jeeper, JC, Bubbie,... Shoot me a PM before you spend a ton on a new 6.5G. I have a 16" Black Hole Weaponry build that just never gets used. Its a damn shame too,.. cuz it's a good shooter. I can get you going on a complete upper for an extremely reasonable price. I'm 25 cal nutz right now and I wanna buy something real real bad.

Hit me up on DM. I can give you the details if you're interested.
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by NamelessStain » Fri May 25, 2018 6:43 am

Wildcat:

.277 Wolverine!!!!!
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Re: AR15 for Hunting: Different Calibers

Post by brothaman » Sat May 26, 2018 9:48 am

Its really too bad the 30RAR didn't take off. I liked that one. If I was going wildcat, I'd do something like a 6mm or 25 cal on a 223, 6.8 or 6.5 case.
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