January 15, 2015
Perhaps more than any other firearm, the AR-style rifle has played a vital role in shaping the shooting and hunting world over the last 20 years.
More than ever, AR platforms are a common sight in the woods and fields throughout the country. They are reliable, accurate and highly effective for everything from coyotes and prairie dogs to hogs and deer. Hunters now have dozens of high-quality choices.
Here's a look at 10 great choices.
Bushmaster | A-TACS Predator
The Bushmaster A-TACS Predator
is as pretty as it is functional. Thanks to the fully-wrapped A-TACS digital camouflage, you'll want to put this reliable and accurate rifle on full display somewhere in your home — that is, when you aren't out hunting with it.
Chambered in .223/5.56mm, the A-TACS is quite possibly the perfect coyote rifle. It's equipped with a fluted, 20-inch extra-heavy, free-floated Bushmaster barrel, a Hogue grip and two mini risers for mounting optics.
Daniel Defense | M4 V11
It may not be marketed as a hunting gun, but Daniel Defense's M4 will stand up to the abuse even the most serious predator hunter can dish out. Chambered in 5.56mm, the M4 Carbine
weighs just 6.28 pounds and has a compact 16-inch barrel and a 15-inch skeleton hand rail.
Built entirely with Mil-Spec components, features include a flared magazine well, a cut and polished feed ramp, a free-floating rail and a Daniel Defense flash suppressor. A 30-round Magpul magazine is included.
Diamondback | DB15DCT
What could be more American than an entirely U.S.-made AR-15? Diamondback's DB15DCT
is chambered in .223/5.56mm and is an ideal rifle for predator and varmint hunting as well as punching paper and tin cans.
Built with a 16-inch chrome-moly barrel, an aluminum four-rail hand guard, an adjustable ATI Strikeforce stock and finished in either a digital tan or green camo, the DB15 is a great choice for a variety of hunting categories. It weighs 6.65 pounds and is equipped with an A2-style grip and flash suppressor.
DPMS | Long-Range Lite .308/7.62
A long-time leader in the AR market, DPMS has once again answered their loyal customers call with a lighter rifle that doesn't sacrifice accuracy or quality. Chambered in .308, the Long-Range Lite
is a great gun for deer, hogs or whatever you love to hunt that requires a larger bullet.
At just 10.25 pounds, it's nearly two pounds lighter than the original DPMS Long Range. It comes with a 24-inch stainless steel barrel, a two-stage match trigger and a carbon fiber free-floated tube.
It's equipped with an A2-style fixed stock, a Hogue grip and a Picatinny rail above the receiver and at the front of the tube.
LaRue Tactical | PredatAR
may not be wrapped in the latest camo pattern, but that's OK. Thanks to the rifle's accuracy and reliability, predators won't get close enough to see it. All LaRue rifles are tested on a 100-yard range prior to shipping and shoot sub-MOA groups.
The PredatAR is fitted with a 14.75-inch skelotonized hand guard, a six-position LaRue RAT stock and either a 16- or 18-inch 1-in-8 twist barrel. It weighs just 6.25 pounds, making it the ideal tool for hunting predators far off the beaten path.
Mossberg | MMR Hunter 5.56
Mossberg is known for affordable rifles. The MMR Hunter
is no exception. It's not only priced right, though. It's built right, offering all the features you want at a price you can afford.
The MMR Hunter comes with a Picatinny rail over the receiver, a fixed A2 stock, a 20-inch free-floating barrel (1-in-9 twist) and a five-round magazine. The finish is available in basic black, Mossy Oak Treestand or Mossy Oak Brush.
Rock River Arms | LEF-T Varmint A4
Are you a left-handed shooter who feels a bit, shall we say, left out? Don't. Rock River Arms has got you covered. Not only is their LEF-T Varmint A4
built for thumping critters at long ranges, it's built for left-handed shooters.
It has all the high-quality features you'd expect from Rock River guns along with a left-side ejection port and other features designed for lefties. The A4 comes with a Hogue rubber grip, an A2-style butt stock, a free-floated hand guard and a two-stage trigger. It's available in a 16-, 18-, 20- and 24-inch bull barrel and is chambered in .223/5.56mm.
Smith & Wesson | M&P .300 Blackout / .300 AAC Whisper
Smith & Wesson's M&P line-up of AR-platform rifles is one of the best-selling brands in the country. For good reason. The rifles are built with the same high standards as the company's other firearms.
One of the best hunting guns in the M&P line-up is the .300 Blackout
, which also shoots the .300 AAC Whisper. It handles bullets from 110 grains up to a subsonic 220-grain load, a great choice for low-impact, low-profile predator and cull hunting.
It comes with a 10-round metal magazine, an adjustable stock and an A2-style flash suppressor. The barrel is 16 inches and has a 1-in-7.5 twist. The .300 Blackout weighs 6.38 pounds.
Smith & Wesson | M&P 15-22
Squirrel hunting and plinking have long been the domain of the .22 enthusiast, but thanks to Smith & Wesson, squirrel hunters and tin can shooters alike have a more modern option in the M&P 15-22
Built on an AR platform, the M&P 15-22 has all the qualities of Smith & Wesson's other AR rifles. It's available in a number of camo and color patterns and it comes with adjustable front and rear sights, a quad-rail hand guard and a 16-inch barrel. It also comes with a 10-round magazine, an ambidextrous load-assist button and a two-position safety.
Windham Weaponry | .308 Hunter
breaks the rules with a handsome laminated wood stock. Why not? There's no law that requires a plastic stock on every AR rifle. The stock isn't just a gimmick, though. The gun is solid from butt to muzzle and is packed with features along with a reasonable price.
It's chambered in .308 and comes with an 18-inch chrome-lined barrel, an A2 flash suppressor, a Hogue grip and a five-round magazine. It weighs 8.5 pounds.