A friend stopped by my home shooting range during the weekend, allowing me an opportunity to test fire his two AR15s. I had long been interested in the AR15 platform as a sporting firearm and this outing provided me with a boatload of convincing proof. The rifles out of the box accuracy, lightweight, reliability, semiautomatic capabilities and endless list of possible modifications, make it the perfect predator hunting/home defense rifle. If you question my choice, take one to the range and you will quickly come over to my way of thinking.
On the range, with iron sites, I had no problem putting 6 of 10 shots quickly into a pie plate at 100 yards. Adding basic optics, it would become scary accurate at typical ranges (25-100 yds) most encountered in the thick Maine woods. Even when working extended ranges (100-300 yds) found when hunting frozen lakes and power lines, the zippy (2,820 FPS in 70 grain loads) .223 could deliver a terminal payload into the vitals of coyotes, bobcats and fox with ease.
Military grade firearms including the 1903 Springfield (WWI) and M1 Garand (WWII) have a long history of being converted into sporting use and the M16 /AR15 is certainly no exception. A large number of manufacturers produce the AR 15 including DPMS / Panther Arms, Armalite, Colt, Heckler and Koch (HK), Olympic Arms and many, many more. Remington also recently entered the market, making a very attractive AR15 simply called the R15. Right out of the box, it comes with some very nice basic features, making for a very slick rifle. It is available in several different styles, barrel lengths and calibers including .308, .243 and .223 . . . . AND (sit down and brace yourself) it comes in Advantage MAX 1 HD camouflage.
Shooting the .223 is a dream for those used to shooting larger calibers as recoil is practically nominal. The basic ballistics of the .223 make it a formidable predator hunting selection. At 100, 200 and 300 yards bullet drop is 0, -4 and -15 inches. Zeroing in the .223 round at 200 yards would make the “kill zone” much bigger and distance calculations easier. Due to its lightweight, shooting long ranges in windy conditions may require significant windage calculations.
For the survivalist minded crowd, the AR15 is “THE” rifle to own (http://www.shtfblog.com/shtf-blogs-top-ten-best-guns-for-survival/). Available in apocalypse, world ending 30 round clips and zombie horde stomping100 round drums, make it additionally a serious home defense weapon.