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Rifle Review: Is The Shootrite Katana AR a One-and-Only Gun?

Rifle Review: Is The Shootrite Katana AR a One-and-Only Gun?

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

.223 is a "Mouse gun". Now if it was .308 or higher I would consider buying one say .458 socom for instance.

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from VacaDuck wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

So, you like overpaying for a simple, stripped down AR with a free float handguard?

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from Chauncey Mabe wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I thought I was reading a sporting magazine, not Soldier of Fortune, or Militia Fantasy Today. Please explain why any sportsman needs a military style weapon. Really, explain it. I'm willing to be educated. I've been bringing down deer, turkey and other game with one, two- and three-shot rifles and shotguns since the 1960s. The intrusion of military weapons into this magazine upsets me.

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from VacaDuck wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Chauncey Mabe:

You mean your bolt action rifles, which are decedents of military rifles?

Why do you need more than a rock or sharp stick?

I swear, we gun owners are often times our own worst enemies.

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from uxb wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

So the cost of this rifle is eighteen hundred and fifty dollars and zero sense?

You should try a LaRue rifle for that money.

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from vehicle wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

By the time u throw in tax looking at around $1900 for one, if i looked at Red Jacket website right. Suppose to be, a nice shooting little gun. I remember they did a show about Red Jacket making this gun for Tiger McKee on Sons of Guns.
I dont know what I would hunt with it, but it would be fun to take to the range and shoot.

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from 86Winchester wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

To quote an illustrious F&S editor, "shooting .223 is the closest one gets to shooting plasma" good times

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from Dennis Rahn wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

We buy and use rifles because they shoot, but the thing has to be a thing of beauty to me also. I can not fall in love with a firearm that is just a black piece of plastic and metal no matter how many rounds it can put into a moa.

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from wreckinturn4 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

That "heavy chrome lining" that you speak of would weigh less than the powder in one round of ammo but would allow the barrel to last for another 8 to 10 thousand rounds. Also, the twist rate may not stabilize heaver projectiles. There are better, much less expensive options out there for a lightweight AR-15.

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from Steven Purdy wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good article. Besides having something to bring home game, our Founding Fathers also expected us citizens to be able to defend our country, our lives and families. It is a good idea to be able to have the tool to do just that. Those who think we should only have a gun if we are "hunting" do not understand the 2nd Amendment at all.

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from Molon Labe wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

The Katana is just an overpriced ultralight barrel AR, you can build your own for 1/3 the price.

Regarding all the Black Rifle hate here, you just prove that the Antigun crowed is only part of the problem... Guys that pi$$ and moan about hunting/shooting ARs or Aks are our own worst enemy.

Dont forget girls, all semiauto firearms function the same way, and are subject to the same game laws of each state. Magazine limits , etc for hunting game.

A .223 round fired from a blued rifle with nice wood is as deadly as the same round out of one made of flat black metal and plastic...

Remember what happened to Jim Zumbo .. He ate ALOT of crow when he found out AR rifles are great for hunting coyote!

+17 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

No! I would not choose this as my only rifle. My only rifle would still and always be a bolt,preferably a Remingtod BDL in any caliber. A lot less parts to break and enough accuracy for anybody. And cheaper! Military rifles are OK but I grew up in the "NAM" era and every time I see one thats what I think of.

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from Doug Schwartz wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good grief, does every d*mned post about a weapon have to include the deriguer "Protect us from the godless commie liberals who want to take our guns and enslave us"? For crying out loud, we make caricatures of the hunting sport.

I take this article two ways: 1. If I could only pick one rifle and wanted to shoot a boat-load of ammo without shoulder replacement surgery, I'd go with a Ruger 22LR. Cheap as the dickens and fun as well. 2. If I won the lottery, what would my first choice of rifle would I buy? Heck, why not a semi-auto 50? So what if it's $5/pop, I'd be loaded!

As far as what I can afford and would love to just shoot regularly, I like the .308. Plenty of reasonably priced ammo, lots of options for prey (I live in the Northwest, so we're talking elk at the top end. No .223 pea shooter for me). I rarely burn more than a box or two per season, so I don't mind blasting a varmint or two, even if I never find more than a bit of fur for my efforts.

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from CONKLE73 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

$1850 is a bit steep for a gun that prices out at about $700 per the specs.
Is it the black lacquer paint job that is worth the extra $1150?

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from kahrdcarrier wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Wait, wasn't this an article on the "one and only" gun? If he could have only one gun, this would be it? But on page 9, he says he is not giving up his Remington for it. That kind of amplifies what others have said - This gun is affirmatively a "fighting" or "competition" gun. Neither of which take place on field OR stream. It is not what folks read this publication for. The 2nd amendment does, indeed protect "fighting" guns, per se. All sporting guns can be used for fighting, thus they are protected. That doesn't mean all fighting guns are sporting. This gun is for short distance shooting at delicate (human) targets. Not as much good for field and stream.

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from JohnHawg wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

What is the old saying "tomatoe;tomaaatoe?" Good, bad, or ugly, the AR rifle is the fastest selling shooting product on the market. Why" They are slap fun to shoot and accessorize. Will they replace classic bolt action or lever big game rifles? Hardly. But why do we have Chevy Silverados, F-150s, and Rams? And why not all the same color? Viva la differance that's why. The AR platform rifle is a great gun for what it is. It's not just formilitary or law enforcement anymore. Try one out, you might like it.

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from Noelie84 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Thanks for the review of what I'm sure is an excellent AR-style rifle. But, for that kind of $$ if I were to pick just one, it'd be a Ruger Gunsight Scout, a pile of ammo, and a bucketfull of spare parts. Call me old fashioned, but I, like colonel Cooper, think that the Scout's about the best all-around, around.

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from Ed Fishhead wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good Article.......not lobing one over anyone's bow here but Mr. Mckee's Shootrite Acadamy Katana will have collectors appeal and re-sale value which make it a great investment. I say the one and only gun is an opinion and I see everybody has one. I wish every household had a "black gun" in the closet....I would love to have a Katana

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from Tc505 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

the mattel toy has never been one of my favorite guns but I would like to have one to plink with since fodder has been fairly cheap in the past and it is definitely 100% more accurate than that mak 90 I bought. but for hunting, chambered in .308 it would be a nice sporter.

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from griz312000 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have both and AR-15 (.223/5.56) and and AR-10 (.308). Ammo for both will probably continue to be available as they are both military cartridges. With the the 2 calibers, I feel perfectly capable of taking game up to the size of elk. As far as the platform itself, it is mechanically very similar to any other semi-auto rifle on the market...just looks different. If we as hunters and gun owners start thinking "Why does anyone need (name your choice of rifle/shotgun/handgun), we play right into the hands of the anti-gunners. Could I get by with just a single shot rifle? Probably, but I choose not to. And at least for now, that choice is available to us. And I do sleep better knowing they are 2 steps from my bed.

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from WillyD wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

An encounter with feral hogs turned my attention to something with a little more firepower. Deer hunting in an elevated blind with one of my favorite wood and steel bolt action rifles I shot one large hog at about 200 yds. The treed area around him exploded with over 40 hogs all moving at remarkable speed in my direction. As the hogs flashed in front of my scope, I quickly exhausted my 5(25-06) rounds and watched them fade into the distance. Now I have 25 6.8 rounds and look forward to my next encounter. I was slow to move to the AR Platform, but no regrets. Really fun to shoot!

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

It may be ok for Gophers,pdawgs and maybe even yotes,but it I want or need to shoot something man sized or larger I want.270 at least

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I used an AR-15 for two weeks in viet nam, took a M-14 from a dead Marine (He had no further need for it) and used it until I became a combat photographer, was issued a 1911A1 and found true love for a weapon.

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from ChevJames wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

A few observations: (1) the Katana "name" has already been used for a bolt action rifle with a "splinter" forestock; (2) the permanently mounted high front sight is a mistake and needs to come off; and (3) for that price the rifle should have a stainless steel barrel and be available in other calibers. It's not bad, per se, but you need that high front sight like a hole-in-the-head after you remove the "carrying handle" that should have never been on the AR-series of rifles in the first place.

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from rhyb wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Well, I want another rifle too, I have pleanty of the same old plain old. Pretty/ ugly/ useful and just for fun. I also think an AR platform is the next one for me since I don't have one yet. But to fill a certain need, as a northwest hunter 223 is out I'm leaning toward the armalite ar-10 in .338 federal as I already handload for my .338 Win. Mag. So ammo cost, recoil, and weight aren't issues to me as I'm used to more expensive, harder hitting and heavier already. .338 federal can be formed by one pull of the resizing die on a widly available .308 case, plus the selection of .33 caliber bullets is deep and wide. Another plus for the AR is, they're great for lefty's like me! Heck I think every one should get one.. think I'll call mine the "fasterspitzenlouderboomer"

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from jhjimbo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I had to shoot the M-16 and the M-1 carbine and tend to lean toward the Mini 14 style as a civilian "if i only had one" category. Each of my "if i only had one" guns has a intended purpose in my mind. No "one" gun really exists.
For me the Mini-14 has proven to be a reliable, light weight medium range rifle and with loads i have worked up has exceptional accuracy and is a whole lot less than the Katana.
Perhaps as mentioned before in the .308 or .338 federal size the Katana would be more suitable as a "if i only had one".

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from calapp wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Since the question was 'gun', I'll say a bolt action shotgun in 20 Gauge, Less weight.

Rifle: Kalashnikov -- hands down. If you are broke, then SKS.

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from McGrewZoo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I thought I was reading a sporting magazine, not Snivelers Anonymous, or My-Butt-Hurts Fantasy Today. Please explain why any sportsman needs to hear whiny nancy-cats slobbering about how scared they are of AR-15s. Really, explain it. I'm willing to be educated. I've been bringing down deer, turkey and other game with one, two- and three-shot slingshots and sharp sticks since the ice age. The intrusion of whiny nancy-cats into this magazine upsets me.

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from McGrewZoo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

"Good grief, does every d*mned post about a weapon have to include the deriguer "Protect us from the godless commie liberals who want to take our guns and enslave us"? For crying out loud, we make caricatures of the hunting sport."

Good grief, when are you gonna pull your head from your 4th point of contact and realize the Second Amendment has absolutely f***all to do with hunting?

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from Groffeaston wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I like the AR-15 and AR-10 Platform. But if I were to have just one gun for all my needs, I would have to say it would either be an M1A1/M-14 in .308win, a Lever action in .357mag, .44mag, .44-40, .45LC, .45-70gvt or .30-30win, or an SKS or AK-47 in 7.62x39.

I do not like to rely on just one gun for everything. I prefer to have a good mix: bolt-action rifle, lever-action rifle, shotgun, handguns (revolver and semi-auto), and a semi-auto rifle. I also like to have cartridges/calibers of different sizes, this way it covers wider range of situations, distances, and needs.

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from ironhead12701 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

$1850 FOR A STRIP-DOWN AR, .223, I'VE GOT A DRIVE-WAY/BRIDGE FOR SALE. IT LINKS DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN WITH DELANCEY STREET IN LOWER MANHATTAN......INTERESTED?!?!

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from whitewater wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

It's a fun rifle to shoot, but wouldn't be my first choice as a "one and only" rifle. Hell, I couldn't stand having only one rifle anyway. It certainly wouldn't be in .223 either. Push come to shove if I had to choose only one rifle it would be a bolt action in SS w/ composite stock chambered in .308, .270 win or 30-06 spr. I'd mount a good quality 3-9X40mm scope on it. Oh, I'd also want iron sights on it as back-up in case my optics get messed up on a remote trip. That's my .02.

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from SoonerBoomer wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Hal, you're on the right track.
1 Gun = 1 lower receiver.
With your lower you can go from crossbow to 50 BMG.
Beyond 1 Gun, back it up with a Glock 20, S&W 500, or both. Pack a 12ga O/U in your backpack and you're set to trail.

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from martin3175 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

223 AR's are really fun and decent coyote guns .. and with expensive specialized ammo can be stretched in their roles a bit ...But your ONLY gun --Hell NO ... If it must be an AR platform -- I reason at least a 7.62x39 to expand your game selection. Or better yet- a 450 Bushmaster , Olympic Arms 30 cal model. or a 30AR Remington ..Forget the 308 class AR's ..Just too heavy to and their are better ( if one must have a semi auto )alternatives , like Brownings BAR

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from Sporter1 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good comments on a great article. Please allow me to address some themes:
1. Semi-automatic firearms have a real and proper place in hunting and other uses. The article is very approriate for this venue.
2. The Katana is NOT over-priced. As the article states, it is the result of its inventor's many years of study and experience regarding weapon failures and employments. If you have a cheaper rifle, you are most likely at significant risk for failure/malfunction - you just don't know it. Hopefully it won't happen when you need your firearm most.
3. The caliber comments are valid and are largely personal preference depending on your most likely employment scenarios. The .223/5.56 round has, however, been used with great success under many scenarios.

My perspective is that of a hunter, marine, quality engineer, and shootrite academy graduate.

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from BTB601 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I don't know???
It would be like having one girlfriend in your life time. It can be done, but why would you want to?

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from savage10pc wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I do like the AR platform, and i know it is easier to find 223 ammo, but i would prefer it to be a larger caliber such as the 6.8. And as far as the price goes i purchased a rock river 6.8, flat top, caa stock, adjustable cheek piece, quad rail, flip up front and rear sights and the best stock trigger (for an ar ) that i've ever shot and have under 1500 in it and it is a good all around gun.

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from cliff matushin wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have had the honor of shooting Mr. McKee's own Katana, and can state that it is perfect at being exactly what it is. It is a fast, light, accurate carbine. A "CARBINE" is not a rifle. Try doing 15 yard speed drills with a R700 in 30-06! But compare your time and accuracy to your pistol and you will be happy. No I will not give up my 1911, but if I knew I would need a pistol tomorrow , I would bring a carbine. ( fits nicely behind the seat). The problem with the article is, it is not a rifle, nor is it used as one, therefore it cannot be the best RIFLE. As for the price, don't confuse the art of study and design with the bussiness of sales.. Someone must be buying them or they would not be making them. Additionally, as noted......They aren't bitching.

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from kix wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Wow, we are only able to use military rifles unless they are from the "pre-Stoner" years, huh?

As far as .223 being a "mouse" gun, with today's ammo, I've had great pleasure in using mine deer hunting. Hasn't failed me yet.

But, the flexibility of the platform will allow me to step up to .308 with just an upper - so I like the modularity of the rifle as well.

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from jbird wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

If "it" ever hits the fan, I'm grabbing my AK. I would like to get an AR in the future though. I'm not crazy abut the .223, but I think one would definitely be fun to have.

I hope the "slimming down" trend carries over into the .308 versions too.

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from Prairie777 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The way I see it, opinions are like a**holes. Everybody's got one. "One gun for everything", depends on what you find yourself interested in shooting (game or critter wise). I remember when I was in the service (Viet Nam era) I had a M-16 issued to me. I was really impressed with the way it shot and it was acceptably accurate. The .223 Rem. is a great little cartridge with respectable velocity and with the premium bullets available today, you can pretty much waste any pdog or ghawg, rabbit or coyote you point at. If you really want to reach out and touch someone and do it quick, there are things such as .22-250 Remingtons or .220 Swifts. These are what I personally have opted for. But One gun for everything?, personally that doesn't really do it for me. I have hunted with a .300 Win. Mag. for the last 46 years. Before that, it was a 30-30 Win. Mod 94 and then an 8 mm Mauser. Since the .300 Mag, I have added a .375 H&H Mag. (primarily for Alaska), a .308 Win., .270 Win., .44 Rem Mag Ruger carbine and I even occasionally shoot an original 1875 Rolling Block 45-70 Govt. There are also other calibers in my arsenal but to my way of thinking, they all serve a specialized purpose. Ballistically speaking, probably the best ALL AROUND caliber would be in the .30 caliber range. You can load it up to be quite effective or you can load it down to smoke varmints. Bottom line is really, each to his own. What floats your boat or what blows your skirt up! The very BOTTOM BOTTOM line is, we all obviously love to shoot and we like guns. And as long as we all STICK TOGETHER when it counts, We have a winning combination that will rule the day when all is said and done!!!

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from jmshackelfo@aol.com wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I'm not a fan of the AR because the gas tub is weak and cracks, the front sight is unprotected, and the charing handle has a tendancy of braking. The round is one of the best, but if the gun doesn't work then the round isn't much good. I am a fan of the AK because the issues I addressed above are not perelivent. However if I had to choose one zombie war gun it would be the AR because of the avalibility of ammo for the rifle.

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from sniper1971 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Chauncey Mabe:
I fought for my country,Iam a law abiding citizen I should be able to own what I want,including machineguns,silencers,and short barreled rifles without the governments approval.

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from Oregon Jim wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

It is funny how one person's opinion can get so many riled up.

This may or may not be a great gun. I do not know, but the guy that wrote the story likes it. I have no problem with that. Why do so many others? It is an opinion piece, not some work of science... Lighten up!

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from tpd223 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Several folks have noted that this is not a "hunting" rifle. Not so, the ARs make awesome coyote and varmint guns, especially what some folks call a "walking varmint rifle".

I wouldn't choose an AR without the adjustable stock since this allows a better choice for LOP issues due to variations in summer vs winter clothing, and I would not choose a non-chromed bore.

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from tpd223 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Oh, I forgot to ad that ARs can make excellent deer rifles with a little thought given to gear and what bullet to choose.

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from Daniel Allison wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I will stick with my 1903 Springfield and the tried and true 30.06 for my weapon of choice. I have used it from the battle field of Laos to the hunting fields of North America and it has never failed to do the job. With ammo available from 120 to 220 grains there is nothing I can't take in North America. The National Match barrel will still shoot m.o.a. after all these years.
My second choice is the model 700 Remington in .308. I don't have much use for mouse guns when my life is on the line.
Everyone has their own opinion and this is mine.

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from tpd223 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The AR is not a "mouse gun", no matter how many times people throw that term out.

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from tsipantzi wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I thought this was a great article. One of the neat things about being a hunting and firearms enthusiast here in the States is that we have so many firearms to chose from. Personally I love ARs, bolt-actions, pistols, and revolvers as long as they are made and function well. I think a well functioning firearm is a work of art. But like other art forms not everyone agrees on what is beautiful. In .223 my favorite platform tends toward the SCAR 16s. While others may not appreciate the SCAR's lines and function I think it is a thing of beauty.

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from tpd223 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Not sure why somebody would -1 my comment about the AR being a good deer rifle with a little thought given to ammo choice. Good .223 bullets like the Nosler Partition or the Cor Bon DPX work very well on deer.

Then, there are all the other AR calibers, like 6.8mm, .300BLK and Whisper, 7.62X39, 6X45mm, .450Bushmaster, .50Beowulf, 6.5Grendel, etc.

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from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Considering Red Joke Firearms doesn't even have a depth micrometer (the expert owner just scolded the gun smith when he said he needed one if he was to build an accurate rifle), I don't see this thing being nearly as accurate as it could be.

This might be the most overpriced gimmick rifle I've ever seen.

I also don't see how it fits the "one gun" requirements. Anything bigger than tiny southern does, and you should be clubbing up.

Even coyote hunters see the value of a .243 or at least a .22-250 over a .223. And that's for a little 30-60 pound dog.

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from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

As much as I disagree with the AR haters, I must say this article doesn't fit F&S very well. I'm not saying ARs have no place in hunting, but this feature has little to nothing to do with hunting. That's a fighting rifle and he's undergoing fighting training.

The rifle lacks the power for big game hunting and the accuracy for varmint hunting.

So what is it for, exactly?

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from Big Country wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

This is a good articl, it's written well. As for the rifle in the article. It's a fine rifle and is a great set up for a scout rifle. That does not mean military either. It could mean wandering the bean feilds looking for deer sign and poping yotes or other varmints as they are found.
The .223/5.56mm is plenty enough for deer anywhere in America and certenly the North American continent. Yes this includes places like Canada and Aaska. You do not NEED (key words in caps lock) a .300 win mag or a .338 to kill deer, that is what we call a want. If that is a hard idea to comprehend then figure this, when poachers go killing they usualy prefer the .22 LR.
As for the platform. If the platform was as prone to malfunftion as all the oldtimers and AK lovers say it is then 1) the military in the USA would use something else. 2)Militarys in the other countless countrys would se the AK. 3)Every Law Enforcement Agency in the country would defenatly not be useing the AR platform. 4) It would not be one of the top selling rifles in the Country.
As for the Evil Black Rifle fear.
It is a viable platform for hunting that is why it is becomeing popular in the hunting comunity. Just like the first semi auto browning deer rifles that you scared little nit wits are not afraid of. That is why they make 5 round mags for the AR rifle, so that the libretaurd run states residents can still own and hunt with one. And it's easier to shoot from the prone position when the mag aint so long.
as for this not being a suitable topic for F&S.
It does take plce in a feild of some kind. (okay it's out of system now) But this is a rifle that is geared twoard practical compition. As in fighting traing compition just like IDPA and so on. there for it is an outdoor activity and I never saw anything in the head lines of feild and and stream that said "this is for hunting and fishing only no other outdoor sport" so shut up. This is just like saying that any fishing besides fly fishing should be banned, or all rifle hunting should be banned and only bow hunting should be legal.It doesn't help anyone when there is internal conflict so remember when you flame a fellow shooter because they don't like the old 1903's and m 14's (witch by the way would also be banned in the same groop as the AR) you are hurting all of us and yourself.

And I also think it's over priced, would not fit my bill for an AR, and the ar 15 cannot be made into a 308. it aint big enough. The AR 10 is the big boy AR's with the 243's and 308's and sutch. And I think it's the one you can put the single shot .50 upper on to, but I'm sure about that.

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from hal herring wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I am really enjoying reading through the comments, and I thank everybody who has written in.

To just reply to one- shane, whose comments I always read and enjoy on all these blog posts- What is the Katana for?

I choose the Katana as the rifle (it's almost a carbine, as one poster notes) I would like to have IF I could have ONLY one gun. It's small, very lightweight and reliable, and shoots a very versatile cartridge with a reasonable degree of accuracy. In my experience, subsistence hunting- just for the pot, is mostly about taking small game like rabbits and squirrels and grouse. The .223 can do that (unlike, say, a .338), and it is also large enough to take a deer, hog, etc. It is a defensive caliber of choice, if you had to defend your home and family or self. I'm still talking about a scenario that will probably never happen- where a person is charged with defending their family, providing enough food to eat, while moving them to a place of safety. But the scenario has happened to millions of people around the world, at various points in history. I personally find it fascinating to be prepared for such an eventuality, while fervently hoping that it will never occur. I think- maybe I'm wrong- that many hunters believe in self-sufficiency, self -reliance, as Emerson would call it, because they spend a lot of time off the roads, on their own, providing their own meat, taking care of themselves, using weapons safely and carefully. It’s natural, for me, to imagine what it would take to truly survive on your own. I would not have the luxury of carrying around a variety of rifles and shotguns to suit every need. To me, thinking about these kinds of scenarios is enjoyable. The “what if” of it all.

As to the training, I just really enjoy that too. I've been a student of Brazilian jujitsu for 17 years, and truly love the sport and the art. Not because I want to roll around in the dust behind the local bar trying to get a choke on somebody, but because the training is fascinating, good for you (until you get something broken), healthy for mind and body. I love to shoot, and to safely handle firearms of all kinds. The training I do is a part of that, and I believe that it makes me a much, much better and safer hunter. (A couple of years ago, I bought my first New in Box rifle- a Remingtoon 700 LTR, .308, and one of the first things I did with it was to shoot a Practical Rifle course at Shootrite. The first season hunting with it, I felt like I was hunting with an old friend, not a new, strange rifle.) That's a long winded way of saying that training with firearms is really a part of being an outdoorsperson, in my opinion. It is part of the respect I have for wildlife and hunting that I become as proficient with my tools as is possible for me.

Just my extra two cents.

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from chuck1024 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Didn't this article appear, almost verbatim, in the July 2011 of S.W.A.T. magazine?

By the time I got to slide 7 I'd read quite a few paragraphs that I could have sworn I'd read before...

That said, I'm convinced I no longer need a forward assist (though it *looks* cool anyway), and I've been coveting the Hogue grip and Free Float Forend combo ever since... and that gives me almost the same rifle for on $92 more than I've already paid for what I got.

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from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Alright, alright...

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from lococabra3806 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

to each man or women their own rifle. mine would probably end up being a Springfield SOCOM type rifle. the caliber is more versatile and it is a trusted design with the garand bolt style. but i love ar style rifles i may have to look into this one a bit more...

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from firedog11 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I firmly agree that all personal weapons are a choice. However I must disagree with Chauncey as based on the history I have read all firearms are based on military requirements. The development of firearms came about due to the desire of governments to project power and then spread out to civilians.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I don't see how anyone can make another AR knockoff and say "one and only" with a straight face.

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from fballfan wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

If I had just one rifle to own, I would not choose either of my AR-15's. Perhaps I just don't "get" the "one rifle" concept. Nevertheless, if I had to own just one, it would likely be one of my bolt action .308's. While not exactly the urban combat rifle, I wouldn't feel defenseless with it. The way I figure it, I'd probably have more need for the .308 in a survival situation, rather than needing to worry about a zombie attack. The simplicity of a bolt action makes as much sense in a survival situation as it does everyday living. Likewise, while that .223 can take deer, I'd certainly not use it for anything larger than culling small doe's or maybe small Texas deer. No matter how you cut it, a .223 is inappropriate for taking larger game. 300 pound midwest farm bucks deserve better than having an author suggest that in such an article (and their feedback) that it's sporting to hunt deer with a such an unsuitable caliber when so many other better choices exist. Quite frankly, it's irresponsible for F&S's editior to allow that point to be published as well. Lastly, while I sit here and write, perhaps the single best one gun would be a shotgun. Your choice... slugs, or shot... self defense... hunting/survival (large & small game, plus game birds too) Yep, make mine a shotgun.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

If I could only have 1 gun it would be a Remington 870 Wingmaster with an extended Magazine and a wide variety of Shot sizes and Slugs.

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from Wern314 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I love comments on how the .223 is inappropriate for taking larger game. This comment usually comes from people who shoot poorly and compensate there poor shooting by using a .30 caliber or above. Anybody who is good shot fully understands the capability of the .223 These poor shooters depend on the damage their high caliber will inflict on that routinely bad shot they take.

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from jimmyp wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

this is a joke, I have seen a dozen or more remington 742 or 7400's with fired shells stuck in their chamber. I have a gunsmith that refuses to take anymore of them in. Go ahead, forget about the chrome lining or stainless and go sit in the rain a few days in a survival situation. This is gun writer baloney.

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from BuckAndBass wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

That would be my zombie apocalypse gun and my zombie apocalypse gun only...

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from fballfan wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

Well Wern314, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. However, you're also woefully wrong. Do you really believe what you wrote? ...or did it just sound good to you? As a person that DOES understand the capability and terminal ballistics of a .223 loaded with proper bullets, it's still inappropriate in many/most large game hunting situations. It's a round who's use presents many limitations. As a bow hunter I know all to well about shot limitations. As a gun hunter, I'm not willing to accept such sacrifices when an appropriate caliber would not pose the same issue.

I'd suggest you take a look at optimum game weight tables, or do a little more research on other terminal ballistics. You'll find that most studies deem a .223 as inappropriate. Those conclusions having been derived at by people doing alot of research (both scientific and in the field), not from "people who shoot poorly" (as you put it).

After 30 plus years of hunting and well over 100 large game kills, I've never failed to recover any deer I've shot. Nobody that "shoots poorly" has that kind of track record. That kind of real world experience tells a person that game animals don't always present us with perfect broadside shots. Experience also tells us that many additional factors come into play. ...some things, which as hunters we have little control over, regardless of just how skilled we are as shooters. I happen to know a highly skilled Army sniper that saw the light and retired his .223 from deer hunting after his bad experiance. It only has to happen once before a person learns for themself. Quite frankly, the game animals and the reputation of our sport deserve better. Don't let ego get in the way of making an appropriate and ethical decision on what's sporting for harvesting game in the majority of hunting situations.

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from dbramley wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

AR's have the ability to change calibers with the simple pulling of two pins. That being said you can say that they are versitile. the thompson can change calibers also why cant that gun be the only gun. one mans oppinion is just that an oppinion. i appreciate all guns have a miriad of them. there are problems with alot of guns. for example AR-15 is 5.56 or .223 is small and was originally developed for the vietnam era. at the time the thinking was that why kill someone when we can make a round light enough to tumble. this will cause to take out thre to five men by dragging off the wounded. not very effective for large game if you ask me. But the ability to carry alot of ammunition is beneficial for say yotes or hogs. i am a single shot hunting guy cause i want to know if i miss i had my chance makes alot more sport of it. that being said i own an AR and a SOCOM 16. Remember it is an oppinion not the end all be all.

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from Fielder wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Unfortunately being a Canadian, we are no longer permitted to hunt with AR15s in this country. Until ARs went on the restricted list in the late 1990s my AR15 was my favorite deer and ground hog rifle. The 223 gets a bad rap for deer hunting mainly because years ago it was rare to find heavy bullets in that caliber and those 55 grainers really were not great for deer especially on a marginal hit. I learned early on that 69 grain plus weight bullets out of a 7 inch twist barrel did one heck of a good job on deer. Sierra offers a 77 grain bullet specifically for a magazine length round and it's great for deer. So, be carefull about bashing a 223 just because its a 223. Loaded with the right bullets it can do very well on medium game. Besides as other have said, ARs can be ordered in just about any caliber these days. I sure wish we could still hunt with them in Canada.

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from ducks wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

did i see sons of guns make that rifle

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from Brad Mallon wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

The Shootrite Katana is probably the absolute worst buy in the gun world considering you can build this gun for under $700 likely with better parts than RJF uses.... Anyone that is dumb enough to drop $1800 on this stripped down basic AR is a complete fool with more money than brains given the fact you can build this gun for so cheap or purchase a complete AR15 of far better value in that price range....

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from Michael Dodd wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

I own a dpms ar-15 use 5.56 62 gr rounds and have hunted everything from turkey, deer, pigs and even killed a 265lb black bear with it this yr.... I absolutly love this gun furthest shot ive made with this gun and killed a deer was around 270yrds found it pretty accurate up to about 400yds would i say that its a " one gun" all i have to say is everything i would ever need to kill with it... its proven to work for me soo why not...i used in when i was in the military in iraq and it worked for me there and i figure that if the military feels its concidered a battle field weapon why wouldnt it work for keeping meat on the table and home protection

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from VacaDuck wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Chauncey Mabe:

You mean your bolt action rifles, which are decedents of military rifles?

Why do you need more than a rock or sharp stick?

I swear, we gun owners are often times our own worst enemies.

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from Molon Labe wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

The Katana is just an overpriced ultralight barrel AR, you can build your own for 1/3 the price.

Regarding all the Black Rifle hate here, you just prove that the Antigun crowed is only part of the problem... Guys that pi$$ and moan about hunting/shooting ARs or Aks are our own worst enemy.

Dont forget girls, all semiauto firearms function the same way, and are subject to the same game laws of each state. Magazine limits , etc for hunting game.

A .223 round fired from a blued rifle with nice wood is as deadly as the same round out of one made of flat black metal and plastic...

Remember what happened to Jim Zumbo .. He ate ALOT of crow when he found out AR rifles are great for hunting coyote!

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from Steven Purdy wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good article. Besides having something to bring home game, our Founding Fathers also expected us citizens to be able to defend our country, our lives and families. It is a good idea to be able to have the tool to do just that. Those who think we should only have a gun if we are "hunting" do not understand the 2nd Amendment at all.

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from VacaDuck wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

So, you like overpaying for a simple, stripped down AR with a free float handguard?

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from wreckinturn4 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

That "heavy chrome lining" that you speak of would weigh less than the powder in one round of ammo but would allow the barrel to last for another 8 to 10 thousand rounds. Also, the twist rate may not stabilize heaver projectiles. There are better, much less expensive options out there for a lightweight AR-15.

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from uxb wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

So the cost of this rifle is eighteen hundred and fifty dollars and zero sense?

You should try a LaRue rifle for that money.

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from Doug Schwartz wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good grief, does every d*mned post about a weapon have to include the deriguer "Protect us from the godless commie liberals who want to take our guns and enslave us"? For crying out loud, we make caricatures of the hunting sport.

I take this article two ways: 1. If I could only pick one rifle and wanted to shoot a boat-load of ammo without shoulder replacement surgery, I'd go with a Ruger 22LR. Cheap as the dickens and fun as well. 2. If I won the lottery, what would my first choice of rifle would I buy? Heck, why not a semi-auto 50? So what if it's $5/pop, I'd be loaded!

As far as what I can afford and would love to just shoot regularly, I like the .308. Plenty of reasonably priced ammo, lots of options for prey (I live in the Northwest, so we're talking elk at the top end. No .223 pea shooter for me). I rarely burn more than a box or two per season, so I don't mind blasting a varmint or two, even if I never find more than a bit of fur for my efforts.

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from JohnHawg wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

What is the old saying "tomatoe;tomaaatoe?" Good, bad, or ugly, the AR rifle is the fastest selling shooting product on the market. Why" They are slap fun to shoot and accessorize. Will they replace classic bolt action or lever big game rifles? Hardly. But why do we have Chevy Silverados, F-150s, and Rams? And why not all the same color? Viva la differance that's why. The AR platform rifle is a great gun for what it is. It's not just formilitary or law enforcement anymore. Try one out, you might like it.

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from griz312000 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have both and AR-15 (.223/5.56) and and AR-10 (.308). Ammo for both will probably continue to be available as they are both military cartridges. With the the 2 calibers, I feel perfectly capable of taking game up to the size of elk. As far as the platform itself, it is mechanically very similar to any other semi-auto rifle on the market...just looks different. If we as hunters and gun owners start thinking "Why does anyone need (name your choice of rifle/shotgun/handgun), we play right into the hands of the anti-gunners. Could I get by with just a single shot rifle? Probably, but I choose not to. And at least for now, that choice is available to us. And I do sleep better knowing they are 2 steps from my bed.

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from McGrewZoo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I thought I was reading a sporting magazine, not Snivelers Anonymous, or My-Butt-Hurts Fantasy Today. Please explain why any sportsman needs to hear whiny nancy-cats slobbering about how scared they are of AR-15s. Really, explain it. I'm willing to be educated. I've been bringing down deer, turkey and other game with one, two- and three-shot slingshots and sharp sticks since the ice age. The intrusion of whiny nancy-cats into this magazine upsets me.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I used an AR-15 for two weeks in viet nam, took a M-14 from a dead Marine (He had no further need for it) and used it until I became a combat photographer, was issued a 1911A1 and found true love for a weapon.

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from Prairie777 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The way I see it, opinions are like a**holes. Everybody's got one. "One gun for everything", depends on what you find yourself interested in shooting (game or critter wise). I remember when I was in the service (Viet Nam era) I had a M-16 issued to me. I was really impressed with the way it shot and it was acceptably accurate. The .223 Rem. is a great little cartridge with respectable velocity and with the premium bullets available today, you can pretty much waste any pdog or ghawg, rabbit or coyote you point at. If you really want to reach out and touch someone and do it quick, there are things such as .22-250 Remingtons or .220 Swifts. These are what I personally have opted for. But One gun for everything?, personally that doesn't really do it for me. I have hunted with a .300 Win. Mag. for the last 46 years. Before that, it was a 30-30 Win. Mod 94 and then an 8 mm Mauser. Since the .300 Mag, I have added a .375 H&H Mag. (primarily for Alaska), a .308 Win., .270 Win., .44 Rem Mag Ruger carbine and I even occasionally shoot an original 1875 Rolling Block 45-70 Govt. There are also other calibers in my arsenal but to my way of thinking, they all serve a specialized purpose. Ballistically speaking, probably the best ALL AROUND caliber would be in the .30 caliber range. You can load it up to be quite effective or you can load it down to smoke varmints. Bottom line is really, each to his own. What floats your boat or what blows your skirt up! The very BOTTOM BOTTOM line is, we all obviously love to shoot and we like guns. And as long as we all STICK TOGETHER when it counts, We have a winning combination that will rule the day when all is said and done!!!

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from CONKLE73 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

$1850 is a bit steep for a gun that prices out at about $700 per the specs.
Is it the black lacquer paint job that is worth the extra $1150?

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from Noelie84 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Thanks for the review of what I'm sure is an excellent AR-style rifle. But, for that kind of $$ if I were to pick just one, it'd be a Ruger Gunsight Scout, a pile of ammo, and a bucketfull of spare parts. Call me old fashioned, but I, like colonel Cooper, think that the Scout's about the best all-around, around.

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from WillyD wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

An encounter with feral hogs turned my attention to something with a little more firepower. Deer hunting in an elevated blind with one of my favorite wood and steel bolt action rifles I shot one large hog at about 200 yds. The treed area around him exploded with over 40 hogs all moving at remarkable speed in my direction. As the hogs flashed in front of my scope, I quickly exhausted my 5(25-06) rounds and watched them fade into the distance. Now I have 25 6.8 rounds and look forward to my next encounter. I was slow to move to the AR Platform, but no regrets. Really fun to shoot!

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

It may be ok for Gophers,pdawgs and maybe even yotes,but it I want or need to shoot something man sized or larger I want.270 at least

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from ironhead12701 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

$1850 FOR A STRIP-DOWN AR, .223, I'VE GOT A DRIVE-WAY/BRIDGE FOR SALE. IT LINKS DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN WITH DELANCEY STREET IN LOWER MANHATTAN......INTERESTED?!?!

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from martin3175 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

223 AR's are really fun and decent coyote guns .. and with expensive specialized ammo can be stretched in their roles a bit ...But your ONLY gun --Hell NO ... If it must be an AR platform -- I reason at least a 7.62x39 to expand your game selection. Or better yet- a 450 Bushmaster , Olympic Arms 30 cal model. or a 30AR Remington ..Forget the 308 class AR's ..Just too heavy to and their are better ( if one must have a semi auto )alternatives , like Brownings BAR

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from BTB601 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I don't know???
It would be like having one girlfriend in your life time. It can be done, but why would you want to?

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from sniper1971 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Chauncey Mabe:
I fought for my country,Iam a law abiding citizen I should be able to own what I want,including machineguns,silencers,and short barreled rifles without the governments approval.

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from Oregon Jim wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

It is funny how one person's opinion can get so many riled up.

This may or may not be a great gun. I do not know, but the guy that wrote the story likes it. I have no problem with that. Why do so many others? It is an opinion piece, not some work of science... Lighten up!

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from Daniel Allison wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I will stick with my 1903 Springfield and the tried and true 30.06 for my weapon of choice. I have used it from the battle field of Laos to the hunting fields of North America and it has never failed to do the job. With ammo available from 120 to 220 grains there is nothing I can't take in North America. The National Match barrel will still shoot m.o.a. after all these years.
My second choice is the model 700 Remington in .308. I don't have much use for mouse guns when my life is on the line.
Everyone has their own opinion and this is mine.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

.223 is a "Mouse gun". Now if it was .308 or higher I would consider buying one say .458 socom for instance.

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from 86Winchester wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

To quote an illustrious F&S editor, "shooting .223 is the closest one gets to shooting plasma" good times

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from Dennis Rahn wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

We buy and use rifles because they shoot, but the thing has to be a thing of beauty to me also. I can not fall in love with a firearm that is just a black piece of plastic and metal no matter how many rounds it can put into a moa.

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from Ed Fishhead wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good Article.......not lobing one over anyone's bow here but Mr. Mckee's Shootrite Acadamy Katana will have collectors appeal and re-sale value which make it a great investment. I say the one and only gun is an opinion and I see everybody has one. I wish every household had a "black gun" in the closet....I would love to have a Katana

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from Tc505 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

the mattel toy has never been one of my favorite guns but I would like to have one to plink with since fodder has been fairly cheap in the past and it is definitely 100% more accurate than that mak 90 I bought. but for hunting, chambered in .308 it would be a nice sporter.

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from jhjimbo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I had to shoot the M-16 and the M-1 carbine and tend to lean toward the Mini 14 style as a civilian "if i only had one" category. Each of my "if i only had one" guns has a intended purpose in my mind. No "one" gun really exists.
For me the Mini-14 has proven to be a reliable, light weight medium range rifle and with loads i have worked up has exceptional accuracy and is a whole lot less than the Katana.
Perhaps as mentioned before in the .308 or .338 federal size the Katana would be more suitable as a "if i only had one".

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from calapp wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Since the question was 'gun', I'll say a bolt action shotgun in 20 Gauge, Less weight.

Rifle: Kalashnikov -- hands down. If you are broke, then SKS.

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from whitewater wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

It's a fun rifle to shoot, but wouldn't be my first choice as a "one and only" rifle. Hell, I couldn't stand having only one rifle anyway. It certainly wouldn't be in .223 either. Push come to shove if I had to choose only one rifle it would be a bolt action in SS w/ composite stock chambered in .308, .270 win or 30-06 spr. I'd mount a good quality 3-9X40mm scope on it. Oh, I'd also want iron sights on it as back-up in case my optics get messed up on a remote trip. That's my .02.

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from savage10pc wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I do like the AR platform, and i know it is easier to find 223 ammo, but i would prefer it to be a larger caliber such as the 6.8. And as far as the price goes i purchased a rock river 6.8, flat top, caa stock, adjustable cheek piece, quad rail, flip up front and rear sights and the best stock trigger (for an ar ) that i've ever shot and have under 1500 in it and it is a good all around gun.

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from tpd223 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The AR is not a "mouse gun", no matter how many times people throw that term out.

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from tpd223 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Not sure why somebody would -1 my comment about the AR being a good deer rifle with a little thought given to ammo choice. Good .223 bullets like the Nosler Partition or the Cor Bon DPX work very well on deer.

Then, there are all the other AR calibers, like 6.8mm, .300BLK and Whisper, 7.62X39, 6X45mm, .450Bushmaster, .50Beowulf, 6.5Grendel, etc.

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from chuck1024 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Didn't this article appear, almost verbatim, in the July 2011 of S.W.A.T. magazine?

By the time I got to slide 7 I'd read quite a few paragraphs that I could have sworn I'd read before...

That said, I'm convinced I no longer need a forward assist (though it *looks* cool anyway), and I've been coveting the Hogue grip and Free Float Forend combo ever since... and that gives me almost the same rifle for on $92 more than I've already paid for what I got.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I don't see how anyone can make another AR knockoff and say "one and only" with a straight face.

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from Wern314 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I love comments on how the .223 is inappropriate for taking larger game. This comment usually comes from people who shoot poorly and compensate there poor shooting by using a .30 caliber or above. Anybody who is good shot fully understands the capability of the .223 These poor shooters depend on the damage their high caliber will inflict on that routinely bad shot they take.

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from vehicle wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

By the time u throw in tax looking at around $1900 for one, if i looked at Red Jacket website right. Suppose to be, a nice shooting little gun. I remember they did a show about Red Jacket making this gun for Tiger McKee on Sons of Guns.
I dont know what I would hunt with it, but it would be fun to take to the range and shoot.

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from hutter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

No! I would not choose this as my only rifle. My only rifle would still and always be a bolt,preferably a Remingtod BDL in any caliber. A lot less parts to break and enough accuracy for anybody. And cheaper! Military rifles are OK but I grew up in the "NAM" era and every time I see one thats what I think of.

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from kahrdcarrier wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Wait, wasn't this an article on the "one and only" gun? If he could have only one gun, this would be it? But on page 9, he says he is not giving up his Remington for it. That kind of amplifies what others have said - This gun is affirmatively a "fighting" or "competition" gun. Neither of which take place on field OR stream. It is not what folks read this publication for. The 2nd amendment does, indeed protect "fighting" guns, per se. All sporting guns can be used for fighting, thus they are protected. That doesn't mean all fighting guns are sporting. This gun is for short distance shooting at delicate (human) targets. Not as much good for field and stream.

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from rhyb wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Well, I want another rifle too, I have pleanty of the same old plain old. Pretty/ ugly/ useful and just for fun. I also think an AR platform is the next one for me since I don't have one yet. But to fill a certain need, as a northwest hunter 223 is out I'm leaning toward the armalite ar-10 in .338 federal as I already handload for my .338 Win. Mag. So ammo cost, recoil, and weight aren't issues to me as I'm used to more expensive, harder hitting and heavier already. .338 federal can be formed by one pull of the resizing die on a widly available .308 case, plus the selection of .33 caliber bullets is deep and wide. Another plus for the AR is, they're great for lefty's like me! Heck I think every one should get one.. think I'll call mine the "fasterspitzenlouderboomer"

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from Groffeaston wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I like the AR-15 and AR-10 Platform. But if I were to have just one gun for all my needs, I would have to say it would either be an M1A1/M-14 in .308win, a Lever action in .357mag, .44mag, .44-40, .45LC, .45-70gvt or .30-30win, or an SKS or AK-47 in 7.62x39.

I do not like to rely on just one gun for everything. I prefer to have a good mix: bolt-action rifle, lever-action rifle, shotgun, handguns (revolver and semi-auto), and a semi-auto rifle. I also like to have cartridges/calibers of different sizes, this way it covers wider range of situations, distances, and needs.

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from SoonerBoomer wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Hal, you're on the right track.
1 Gun = 1 lower receiver.
With your lower you can go from crossbow to 50 BMG.
Beyond 1 Gun, back it up with a Glock 20, S&W 500, or both. Pack a 12ga O/U in your backpack and you're set to trail.

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from cliff matushin wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have had the honor of shooting Mr. McKee's own Katana, and can state that it is perfect at being exactly what it is. It is a fast, light, accurate carbine. A "CARBINE" is not a rifle. Try doing 15 yard speed drills with a R700 in 30-06! But compare your time and accuracy to your pistol and you will be happy. No I will not give up my 1911, but if I knew I would need a pistol tomorrow , I would bring a carbine. ( fits nicely behind the seat). The problem with the article is, it is not a rifle, nor is it used as one, therefore it cannot be the best RIFLE. As for the price, don't confuse the art of study and design with the bussiness of sales.. Someone must be buying them or they would not be making them. Additionally, as noted......They aren't bitching.

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from jbird wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

If "it" ever hits the fan, I'm grabbing my AK. I would like to get an AR in the future though. I'm not crazy abut the .223, but I think one would definitely be fun to have.

I hope the "slimming down" trend carries over into the .308 versions too.

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from tpd223 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Several folks have noted that this is not a "hunting" rifle. Not so, the ARs make awesome coyote and varmint guns, especially what some folks call a "walking varmint rifle".

I wouldn't choose an AR without the adjustable stock since this allows a better choice for LOP issues due to variations in summer vs winter clothing, and I would not choose a non-chromed bore.

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from tsipantzi wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I thought this was a great article. One of the neat things about being a hunting and firearms enthusiast here in the States is that we have so many firearms to chose from. Personally I love ARs, bolt-actions, pistols, and revolvers as long as they are made and function well. I think a well functioning firearm is a work of art. But like other art forms not everyone agrees on what is beautiful. In .223 my favorite platform tends toward the SCAR 16s. While others may not appreciate the SCAR's lines and function I think it is a thing of beauty.

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from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Considering Red Joke Firearms doesn't even have a depth micrometer (the expert owner just scolded the gun smith when he said he needed one if he was to build an accurate rifle), I don't see this thing being nearly as accurate as it could be.

This might be the most overpriced gimmick rifle I've ever seen.

I also don't see how it fits the "one gun" requirements. Anything bigger than tiny southern does, and you should be clubbing up.

Even coyote hunters see the value of a .243 or at least a .22-250 over a .223. And that's for a little 30-60 pound dog.

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from Big Country wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

This is a good articl, it's written well. As for the rifle in the article. It's a fine rifle and is a great set up for a scout rifle. That does not mean military either. It could mean wandering the bean feilds looking for deer sign and poping yotes or other varmints as they are found.
The .223/5.56mm is plenty enough for deer anywhere in America and certenly the North American continent. Yes this includes places like Canada and Aaska. You do not NEED (key words in caps lock) a .300 win mag or a .338 to kill deer, that is what we call a want. If that is a hard idea to comprehend then figure this, when poachers go killing they usualy prefer the .22 LR.
As for the platform. If the platform was as prone to malfunftion as all the oldtimers and AK lovers say it is then 1) the military in the USA would use something else. 2)Militarys in the other countless countrys would se the AK. 3)Every Law Enforcement Agency in the country would defenatly not be useing the AR platform. 4) It would not be one of the top selling rifles in the Country.
As for the Evil Black Rifle fear.
It is a viable platform for hunting that is why it is becomeing popular in the hunting comunity. Just like the first semi auto browning deer rifles that you scared little nit wits are not afraid of. That is why they make 5 round mags for the AR rifle, so that the libretaurd run states residents can still own and hunt with one. And it's easier to shoot from the prone position when the mag aint so long.
as for this not being a suitable topic for F&S.
It does take plce in a feild of some kind. (okay it's out of system now) But this is a rifle that is geared twoard practical compition. As in fighting traing compition just like IDPA and so on. there for it is an outdoor activity and I never saw anything in the head lines of feild and and stream that said "this is for hunting and fishing only no other outdoor sport" so shut up. This is just like saying that any fishing besides fly fishing should be banned, or all rifle hunting should be banned and only bow hunting should be legal.It doesn't help anyone when there is internal conflict so remember when you flame a fellow shooter because they don't like the old 1903's and m 14's (witch by the way would also be banned in the same groop as the AR) you are hurting all of us and yourself.

And I also think it's over priced, would not fit my bill for an AR, and the ar 15 cannot be made into a 308. it aint big enough. The AR 10 is the big boy AR's with the 243's and 308's and sutch. And I think it's the one you can put the single shot .50 upper on to, but I'm sure about that.

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from hal herring wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I am really enjoying reading through the comments, and I thank everybody who has written in.

To just reply to one- shane, whose comments I always read and enjoy on all these blog posts- What is the Katana for?

I choose the Katana as the rifle (it's almost a carbine, as one poster notes) I would like to have IF I could have ONLY one gun. It's small, very lightweight and reliable, and shoots a very versatile cartridge with a reasonable degree of accuracy. In my experience, subsistence hunting- just for the pot, is mostly about taking small game like rabbits and squirrels and grouse. The .223 can do that (unlike, say, a .338), and it is also large enough to take a deer, hog, etc. It is a defensive caliber of choice, if you had to defend your home and family or self. I'm still talking about a scenario that will probably never happen- where a person is charged with defending their family, providing enough food to eat, while moving them to a place of safety. But the scenario has happened to millions of people around the world, at various points in history. I personally find it fascinating to be prepared for such an eventuality, while fervently hoping that it will never occur. I think- maybe I'm wrong- that many hunters believe in self-sufficiency, self -reliance, as Emerson would call it, because they spend a lot of time off the roads, on their own, providing their own meat, taking care of themselves, using weapons safely and carefully. It’s natural, for me, to imagine what it would take to truly survive on your own. I would not have the luxury of carrying around a variety of rifles and shotguns to suit every need. To me, thinking about these kinds of scenarios is enjoyable. The “what if” of it all.

As to the training, I just really enjoy that too. I've been a student of Brazilian jujitsu for 17 years, and truly love the sport and the art. Not because I want to roll around in the dust behind the local bar trying to get a choke on somebody, but because the training is fascinating, good for you (until you get something broken), healthy for mind and body. I love to shoot, and to safely handle firearms of all kinds. The training I do is a part of that, and I believe that it makes me a much, much better and safer hunter. (A couple of years ago, I bought my first New in Box rifle- a Remingtoon 700 LTR, .308, and one of the first things I did with it was to shoot a Practical Rifle course at Shootrite. The first season hunting with it, I felt like I was hunting with an old friend, not a new, strange rifle.) That's a long winded way of saying that training with firearms is really a part of being an outdoorsperson, in my opinion. It is part of the respect I have for wildlife and hunting that I become as proficient with my tools as is possible for me.

Just my extra two cents.

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from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Alright, alright...

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from lococabra3806 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

to each man or women their own rifle. mine would probably end up being a Springfield SOCOM type rifle. the caliber is more versatile and it is a trusted design with the garand bolt style. but i love ar style rifles i may have to look into this one a bit more...

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from firedog11 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

I firmly agree that all personal weapons are a choice. However I must disagree with Chauncey as based on the history I have read all firearms are based on military requirements. The development of firearms came about due to the desire of governments to project power and then spread out to civilians.

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from fballfan wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

If I had just one rifle to own, I would not choose either of my AR-15's. Perhaps I just don't "get" the "one rifle" concept. Nevertheless, if I had to own just one, it would likely be one of my bolt action .308's. While not exactly the urban combat rifle, I wouldn't feel defenseless with it. The way I figure it, I'd probably have more need for the .308 in a survival situation, rather than needing to worry about a zombie attack. The simplicity of a bolt action makes as much sense in a survival situation as it does everyday living. Likewise, while that .223 can take deer, I'd certainly not use it for anything larger than culling small doe's or maybe small Texas deer. No matter how you cut it, a .223 is inappropriate for taking larger game. 300 pound midwest farm bucks deserve better than having an author suggest that in such an article (and their feedback) that it's sporting to hunt deer with a such an unsuitable caliber when so many other better choices exist. Quite frankly, it's irresponsible for F&S's editior to allow that point to be published as well. Lastly, while I sit here and write, perhaps the single best one gun would be a shotgun. Your choice... slugs, or shot... self defense... hunting/survival (large & small game, plus game birds too) Yep, make mine a shotgun.

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from BuckAndBass wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

That would be my zombie apocalypse gun and my zombie apocalypse gun only...

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from fballfan wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

Well Wern314, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. However, you're also woefully wrong. Do you really believe what you wrote? ...or did it just sound good to you? As a person that DOES understand the capability and terminal ballistics of a .223 loaded with proper bullets, it's still inappropriate in many/most large game hunting situations. It's a round who's use presents many limitations. As a bow hunter I know all to well about shot limitations. As a gun hunter, I'm not willing to accept such sacrifices when an appropriate caliber would not pose the same issue.

I'd suggest you take a look at optimum game weight tables, or do a little more research on other terminal ballistics. You'll find that most studies deem a .223 as inappropriate. Those conclusions having been derived at by people doing alot of research (both scientific and in the field), not from "people who shoot poorly" (as you put it).

After 30 plus years of hunting and well over 100 large game kills, I've never failed to recover any deer I've shot. Nobody that "shoots poorly" has that kind of track record. That kind of real world experience tells a person that game animals don't always present us with perfect broadside shots. Experience also tells us that many additional factors come into play. ...some things, which as hunters we have little control over, regardless of just how skilled we are as shooters. I happen to know a highly skilled Army sniper that saw the light and retired his .223 from deer hunting after his bad experiance. It only has to happen once before a person learns for themself. Quite frankly, the game animals and the reputation of our sport deserve better. Don't let ego get in the way of making an appropriate and ethical decision on what's sporting for harvesting game in the majority of hunting situations.

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from ducks wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

did i see sons of guns make that rifle

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from ChevJames wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

A few observations: (1) the Katana "name" has already been used for a bolt action rifle with a "splinter" forestock; (2) the permanently mounted high front sight is a mistake and needs to come off; and (3) for that price the rifle should have a stainless steel barrel and be available in other calibers. It's not bad, per se, but you need that high front sight like a hole-in-the-head after you remove the "carrying handle" that should have never been on the AR-series of rifles in the first place.

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from Sporter1 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good comments on a great article. Please allow me to address some themes:
1. Semi-automatic firearms have a real and proper place in hunting and other uses. The article is very approriate for this venue.
2. The Katana is NOT over-priced. As the article states, it is the result of its inventor's many years of study and experience regarding weapon failures and employments. If you have a cheaper rifle, you are most likely at significant risk for failure/malfunction - you just don't know it. Hopefully it won't happen when you need your firearm most.
3. The caliber comments are valid and are largely personal preference depending on your most likely employment scenarios. The .223/5.56 round has, however, been used with great success under many scenarios.

My perspective is that of a hunter, marine, quality engineer, and shootrite academy graduate.

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from kix wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Wow, we are only able to use military rifles unless they are from the "pre-Stoner" years, huh?

As far as .223 being a "mouse" gun, with today's ammo, I've had great pleasure in using mine deer hunting. Hasn't failed me yet.

But, the flexibility of the platform will allow me to step up to .308 with just an upper - so I like the modularity of the rifle as well.

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from jmshackelfo@aol.com wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I'm not a fan of the AR because the gas tub is weak and cracks, the front sight is unprotected, and the charing handle has a tendancy of braking. The round is one of the best, but if the gun doesn't work then the round isn't much good. I am a fan of the AK because the issues I addressed above are not perelivent. However if I had to choose one zombie war gun it would be the AR because of the avalibility of ammo for the rifle.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

If I could only have 1 gun it would be a Remington 870 Wingmaster with an extended Magazine and a wide variety of Shot sizes and Slugs.

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from dbramley wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

AR's have the ability to change calibers with the simple pulling of two pins. That being said you can say that they are versitile. the thompson can change calibers also why cant that gun be the only gun. one mans oppinion is just that an oppinion. i appreciate all guns have a miriad of them. there are problems with alot of guns. for example AR-15 is 5.56 or .223 is small and was originally developed for the vietnam era. at the time the thinking was that why kill someone when we can make a round light enough to tumble. this will cause to take out thre to five men by dragging off the wounded. not very effective for large game if you ask me. But the ability to carry alot of ammunition is beneficial for say yotes or hogs. i am a single shot hunting guy cause i want to know if i miss i had my chance makes alot more sport of it. that being said i own an AR and a SOCOM 16. Remember it is an oppinion not the end all be all.

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from Fielder wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Unfortunately being a Canadian, we are no longer permitted to hunt with AR15s in this country. Until ARs went on the restricted list in the late 1990s my AR15 was my favorite deer and ground hog rifle. The 223 gets a bad rap for deer hunting mainly because years ago it was rare to find heavy bullets in that caliber and those 55 grainers really were not great for deer especially on a marginal hit. I learned early on that 69 grain plus weight bullets out of a 7 inch twist barrel did one heck of a good job on deer. Sierra offers a 77 grain bullet specifically for a magazine length round and it's great for deer. So, be carefull about bashing a 223 just because its a 223. Loaded with the right bullets it can do very well on medium game. Besides as other have said, ARs can be ordered in just about any caliber these days. I sure wish we could still hunt with them in Canada.

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from Brad Mallon wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

The Shootrite Katana is probably the absolute worst buy in the gun world considering you can build this gun for under $700 likely with better parts than RJF uses.... Anyone that is dumb enough to drop $1800 on this stripped down basic AR is a complete fool with more money than brains given the fact you can build this gun for so cheap or purchase a complete AR15 of far better value in that price range....

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from Michael Dodd wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

I own a dpms ar-15 use 5.56 62 gr rounds and have hunted everything from turkey, deer, pigs and even killed a 265lb black bear with it this yr.... I absolutly love this gun furthest shot ive made with this gun and killed a deer was around 270yrds found it pretty accurate up to about 400yds would i say that its a " one gun" all i have to say is everything i would ever need to kill with it... its proven to work for me soo why not...i used in when i was in the military in iraq and it worked for me there and i figure that if the military feels its concidered a battle field weapon why wouldnt it work for keeping meat on the table and home protection

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from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

As much as I disagree with the AR haters, I must say this article doesn't fit F&S very well. I'm not saying ARs have no place in hunting, but this feature has little to nothing to do with hunting. That's a fighting rifle and he's undergoing fighting training.

The rifle lacks the power for big game hunting and the accuracy for varmint hunting.

So what is it for, exactly?

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from jimmyp wrote 2 years 29 weeks ago

this is a joke, I have seen a dozen or more remington 742 or 7400's with fired shells stuck in their chamber. I have a gunsmith that refuses to take anymore of them in. Go ahead, forget about the chrome lining or stainless and go sit in the rain a few days in a survival situation. This is gun writer baloney.

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from tpd223 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Oh, I forgot to ad that ARs can make excellent deer rifles with a little thought given to gear and what bullet to choose.

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from McGrewZoo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

"Good grief, does every d*mned post about a weapon have to include the deriguer "Protect us from the godless commie liberals who want to take our guns and enslave us"? For crying out loud, we make caricatures of the hunting sport."

Good grief, when are you gonna pull your head from your 4th point of contact and realize the Second Amendment has absolutely f***all to do with hunting?

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from Chauncey Mabe wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I thought I was reading a sporting magazine, not Soldier of Fortune, or Militia Fantasy Today. Please explain why any sportsman needs a military style weapon. Really, explain it. I'm willing to be educated. I've been bringing down deer, turkey and other game with one, two- and three-shot rifles and shotguns since the 1960s. The intrusion of military weapons into this magazine upsets me.

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