You’re the proud owner of a new AR15 rifle, or better yet, you just finished building your own. Now you’re wondering, “what next?” Lucky for you, the available applications for your newfangled firearm are ever expanding. In this article we will run down the top 8 ways to use this tool that is “America’s Rifle.”
- Target shooting
Arguably the most popular use of the AR happens down at your local shooting range. Put up some paper or steel targets and send a couple hundred rounds down range. You can zero in your scope and have a go at trying to group 5 shots at 100 yards or you can wallow in the mud running the latest Costa style “run and gun” training exercise. Either way, you’re honing your skills.
Recommended BA Barrel: We think the most versatile, lightweight, and accurate barrel in our arsenal is hands down our BA Hanson Series, specifically the .223 Wylde.
Another favorite is heading out into the woods. Check your local laws, but most National Forest areas allow shooting in certain sections of the forest. Go out and pop some beer cans or throw up some steel on a nearby hillside. Be sure to always know where your rounds are hitting. Do not fire your weapon into random places that you haven’t checked out.
Recommended BA Barrel: We think the best bang for your buck would be to pick a 16” M4 or 16” Mid Modern Series Barrel.
3. Varmint Hunting
If you’re the hunting type, this is a great way to get out and explore, at the same time eliminating the local pest population. If you’re a farmer/homesteader, you’ll be wanting to protect your crop/livestock from these pesky annoyances to your livelihood.
Recommended BA Barrel: Say you want to pop these suckers from way off, we think your best bet would be our .223 Wylde in our SPR Profile.
4. Competition Shooting
A sport that is growing in popularity hand over fist is 3-gun competitions. Participants come from all around to prove that they are the best with Shotguns, handguns, and AR platform rifles in the areas of speed, accuracy, and the ability to follow detailed instructions.
Recommended BA Barrel: Our 17.7” barrel was created for this very sport. We have two at Ballistic that we stand by as some of the best 3-gun style barrels in the industry: the 17.7” 5.56 BA Hanson Performance Series and the 17.7” 2.23 Hanson Premium Series.
5. Personal Defense Weapon (PDW)
When using a barrel shorter than 16”( as an SBR with a tax stamp or as a pistol), you can quickly attach a suppressor with the plethora of quick connect muzzle devices available on the market (Tax stamp also applies). This makes the AR the perfect candidate for a personal defense weapon.
Recommended BA Barrel: Short is the name of the game here. We like a 10.5” 5.56 or you could run a 10.3” 300 BLK sub-sonic for ultra-quiet protection.
6. Long Distance Precision Shooting
Picture yourself in the bed of your pickup in the wide open country of eastern Oregon. In the distance you glass a steel target. Your buddy calls out “1200 yards.” You reach up for your annoyingly huge scope… click click click click. Your reticle should be in the correct position to properly aquire your target. You drop your bolt into battery, then you flip your safety selector to fire. You collect your breathing… in… out… in… out… in…. squeeze… BANG! Time is passing with the silent wind of the plains… GONG. “HIT” your spotter exclaims! Success. You are a long distance operator. Not the kind you used to need to call your Grandma in Florida. You are the kind of guy who spends evenings in his garage, carefully trimming already spent brass casings and reloading them with your own special blend of mayhem. This is what long range shooting is all about.
Recommended BA Barrel: 6.5 Creedmoor is your ticket. It has a small, very flat shooting projectile, with a similar powder charge of a .308 Win. If you’re planning to reach way out, We recommend a 22” 6.5 Creedmoor.
7. Boar or Medium Size Game Hunting
This is all about grown men going out in full camo under the guise of pest control; all he really wants is to kill a dangerous animal that is likely to charge at close proximity, and to score some wild bacon. Living off the fat of the land….literally! So whether you’re tracking them through the bush or in a hail of full auto fury from a helicopter over head…. WOO PIG, SOOIE!!!
Recommended BA Barrel: You’ll need an AR with some stopping power. We say go with a 16” 300 BLK or go AR10 with our 20” .308 Win Bull Barrel.
8. Deer, Elk, or Large Size Game Hunting
Some people think that hunting larger game with a semi-automatic rifle is cheating. We don’t! Just think that second shot could be the difference between a wounded animal dying somewhere unknown in the brush and dropping that majestic beast right there and then.
Chances are carrying an AR though the woods tracking an elk would be a lot lighter than carrying grandpa’s Mauser. An AR with an aluminum receiver and an ultra-light rail is going to be much easier to carry than a WWII trophy gun.
Recommended BA Barrel: If you’re afoot in the back country, the best option would be something short and light. Go for the 14.0” .308 BA Hanson Premium Series. If you’re in a tree stand and not having to hulk it all over God’s green earth, we say grab a 20” .308 Heavy or a 22” 6.5 Creedmoor.
Alright ladies and gentlemen, that should wrap up all the best things you can get out and do with your new rifle. If you guys have any other sweet shooting activities we didn’t think of, leave it in the comments section.
That’s all for now. Stay safe out there everyone.
By: Stephen Dumas