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11 Best ARs for Deer Hunting in 2014

by Brad Fitzpatrick   |  February 13th, 2014 8

AR rifles have grown immensely in popularity, and with good reason. These light-recoiling, durable semiautos make sense not only for military and law enforcement applications, but also for self-defense, competition and target shooting. ARs also make excellent hunting rifles, and there are a growing number of hunters who rely on their ARs to put meat in the freezer.

Today, many companies offer ARs that are great for hunting deer. They offer adjustable stocks, different sighting options and the fastest follow-up shot in the business. If you’re thinking of purchasing an AR for your next deer hunt, there are plenty from which to choose.

We’ve gathered 10 rifles that offer everything a hunter needs, from lightweight models that are easy to carry, to long-range guns for shots in open country. Check out our list of the best ARs for deer hunting in 2014.

  • Gary Sain

    I bought a generic lower, built it and bought a Stag arms upper in 6.8 Rem SPC. Couldn’t be happier with it, and the two deer in the freezer attest to its effectiveness.

    • eric_conn

      That’s a good call, Gary. Nice work.

  • Shawn

    No love for the 458 socom ? I prefer it over the 450 bushmaster

  • TDWilson

    No Alexander Arms 6.5 Grendel?

  • Joseph Smith

    The editors should take another look at the 6.5 Grendel.

    There are two reloading handbooks for the 6.5 Grendel and a host of AR rifles available for it.

    These demonstrate that the cartridge is an excellent medium game round capable taking of any game up through at least the size of elk.

    The trajectory is comparable to that of the .308 Winchester and the recoil is like the .243 Winchester.

  • Lil Wolfe

    Hornady’s 123gr SST and 123gr A-MAX factory loads have been slaying everything from hogs to Caribou from the 6.5 Grendel. Same with the AA 120gr Nosler Ballistic Tip, 120gr TSX, 129gr SST, and 130gr Swift Scirocco. For anyone who has been following the growing trend of alternate calibers in AR15’s being used for hunting, the Grendel takes the AR15 into different territory when you look at performance.

    If there was one best deer hunting caliber I would have to choose in the AR15, it would be the 6.5 Grendel. Whether in the sticks out East, or here in the West where distances average longer on mule deer, it is the most versatile AR15 cartridge currently on the market.

    There are at least 26 different factory loads, and at least 12 of those are hunting loads, all ideal for deal. For hand-loaders, you’re looking at no less than 80 different projectiles to choose from, with a wide variety of your favorite powders. Industry support is growing when you look at brass from Lapua, Hornady, Nosler, Norma, and PPU.

    A kid or small-framed shooter can train with the Grendel all day long, without a recoil penalty, while downrange performance of a 123gr 6.5mm is within 85% of a 150gr .308 Soft Point in terms of energy and impact speed, with less wind drift.

    This combination of low recoil, excellent energy retention, wind-bucking, and lower materials consumption equates to higher probability of shot placement into the vital zone, making it the caliber that has raised the bar, and brought out even better performance from other calibers as they strive to match the Grendel’s performance.

  • Bruce

    Where is the Grendel? It is the best AR15 cartridge available for deer. It even has advantages over the AR10’s.

  • Wayne Sneeden

    Excluding the 6.5 Grendel was a huge mistake.
    Also, Noveske and AAC are the leaders in the world of 300 blackout.

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