AR for hunting
I purchased a Bushmaster SuperLight Carbine (the A3 model with the detachable carry handle and collapsible stock) some many months ago. It was not my first choice in AR’s: I’d rather have a mid-length gas system, I know there are better triggers out there, and I’d rather have something other than a Bushmaster (numerous reasons there). Still, it’s not bad for what it is and it was all that was available at the time (the Obama-induced gun rush). What I do like about the rifle is it’s light weight, and that light weight plus the collapsible stock make it rather a usable gun by smaller statured people. Consequently, it’s been something very usable by the kids.
Oldest and Daughter have been wanting to go hunting, but I keep telling them both they need to get better with a rifle bigger than a .22 if they want to do that. I’m so surprised at the mild recoil of my Savage 11, even in .308 (it’d due in large part to the excellent recoil pad), that I wondered if they could shoot it. I suspect they could, but having Daughter hold up the rifle well… they could handle .308 I’m sure but they’re just too small a person to handle that particular full-sized rifle. I’ve been hum-hawing about buying a dedicated youth rifle: I know it’s a better solution for them, but I just don’t feel like buying a special rifle that will have limited use plus require me to add in another caliber of ammo to have to stock up on (since most youth rifles are chambered in .243 Winchester).
I had various thoughts about what to do with the Bushmaster. Should I sell it and build the AR I want? Should I use this Bushmaster as a platform and change it up the way I want? But if I do those things it makes for a bigger and heavier rifle, and I do like that lightweight aspect. I’ve become really interested in 6.8 mm Remington SPC as a platform, but is this the rifle I want to do that on (e.g. buy an upper) or for that do I want to construct something from the ground up? Gah. I’ve tossed around so many thoughts on what to do here. But I have finally decided what’s going to happen, at least for the near future.
I am going to keep the Bushmaster fairly stock. I am going to purchase a decent but inexpensive scope and mount for the AR. Then this AR will become a hunting rifle for the kids. Some will say that .223 isn’t a good enough caliber for hunting. Here in Texas, that is a legal hunting caliber, and with good bullets and proper shot placement (which you should be doing anyways) it should be fine. For those who think it looks odd to hunt with an AR, know that the AR is just fine as a modern sporting rifle. In fact, for a youth I think it works quite well for the above outlined reasons (adjustable, weight, recoil, etc.).
We’ll see how it goes. It’s a rifle that a youth can handle. That scope and setup ought to be just fine for any sort of game they would take here in Texas. Getting it sooner rather than later lets the kids get good practice in. If they can hit a 4″ circle at 100 yards, they should do fine. They will need to learn about holdover given the nature of the AR and how high a scope can be over the barrel. Heck, I may find myself wanting to use this setup because it should be rather light and handy.
Aside: I ordered the scope, mount, and covers through MidwayUSA. After I submitted the order I realized I should have also ordered a couple 20 round PMAGs (easier to use off the bench and in the field). I telephoned MidwayUSA to see if I could add them onto the order. They couldn’t add on to the order and to cancel and submit a new order would have been annoying (extra transaction fees, etc.). So instead, they just started a new order for the PMAGs and waived the shipping charges. It was a small thing, but a nice thing. Little bits of customer service like that go a long way. I’ve ordered lots of stuff from MidwayUSA and little things like this keep me going back.