Maybe The Gun Industry Doesn’t Know The Difference Between An AR-15 And A Hunting Rifle, But PA Hunters Do.

Back in January, the state of Pennsylvania became the very last state to approve the use of semi-automatic rifles for hunting, a decision that was then revised when the final rules were published last week by the Board of Game Commissioners, who set all hunting rules and regulations within the Keystone State. The revision of the rule that was initially voted back in January and then put out for public review, has serious implications not just for the hunting community, but for the gun industry as well.

ceasefireThe initial regs allowed Pennsylvania hunters to use a semi-automatic rifle to hunt every type of game, which meant that hunters could tote any kind of semi-automatic (one trigger pull, one shot) rifle into the woods, including the newly-minted ‘modern sporting rifle,’ which is just an assault rifle by a different name. Now I’m not going to waste any reader’s time by going over that stupid ‘it’s not an assault rifle because it can’t be fired full-auto’ argument again. And if anyone wants to send me an email or a comment on my blog about how Mike the Gun Grabber doesn’t know anything about guns, you go right ahead. The bottom line is that the whole promotion of the ‘modern sporting rifle’ is a cynical attempt by the gun industry to create demand for a long-gun product which compensates for the fact that hunting just isn’t that popular any more.

When the rule that opened up all hunting to the AR was initially proposed back in January, the pro-gun bunch immediately began pushing the ‘modern sporting rifle’ nonsense, led of course by the NRA.  Here’s what the NRA said when the new rule was first announced: “Semi-automatic rifles simply give hunters a much greater ability to fire a timely and accurate follow-up shot, which can be the huge difference between wounding or quickly taking a game animal.”

Now that statement happens to be completely true, by the way, but what the NRA neglected to add was that the real issue involving the use of an AR to hunt game like deer, bear and elk is not the fact that a semi-automatic rifle can give the hunter a quick, second round, but that the usual AR caliber, 223 Remington or 5.56, throws a bullet which is simply not large enough to bring down a full-size game animal, even if you hit the animal with more than one shot.

Evidently, the Game Commissioners heard from enough folks to conduct a poll of 4,000 hunters, of whom a strong majority favored the use of semi-automatic rifles for hunting but did not want 22-caliber semi-autos to be approved for big-game hunting.  As a result of the public response, the January regulations were amended to allow 22-caliber, semi-auto rifles to be used only for small, fur-bearing game like woodchucks and other varmint types.

In other words, hunters in Pennsylvania clearly rejected the attempt by the gun industry to promote the idea that an AR-15 rifle is no different from any other type of ‘sporting’ gun and therefore should be approved equipment for any type of hunt. To the contrary, a majority of the folks who really know guns understand the difference between a real ‘sporting’ gun and what the industry is trying to pass off as an updated version of the gun that Grandpa used to take into the woods.

Leave it to the NRA, of course, to issue a statement about the decision of the Pennsylvania Game Commissioners which was totally, completely and almost laughably false: “Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Game Commission chose not to respect the rich hunting heritage of Pennsylvania gun owners,” said the NRA, “by rejecting the rule which would have allowed hunters to use semi-automatic rifles in some of the most popular seasons throughout the state.”

To the contrary, the Game Commission’s decision actually showed respect for Pennsylvania’s gun owners who evidently know the difference between a real sporting rifle and an assault rifle masquerading as a sporting gun.

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14 thoughts on “Maybe The Gun Industry Doesn’t Know The Difference Between An AR-15 And A Hunting Rifle, But PA Hunters Do.

  1. So a poll of hunters decided this? Sounds good to me. Back when I hunted, the 243 was a popular hunting rifle for whitetail using bullets just a tad over 100 grains but that seems like as small as I would go. Should be one shot/one kill. I used a Mod 70 in 30/06 or shotgun in parts of NYS where centerfire was verboten. The idea of taking an AR in the woods to hunt deer (unless chambered for something reasonable) seems….bizarre, but that is personal opinion.

  2. Evidently, the Game Commissioners heard from enough folks to conduct a poll of 4,000 hunters, of whom a strong majority favored the use of semi-automatic rifles for hunting but did not want 22-caliber semi-autos to be approved for big-game hunting. As a result of the public response, the January regulations were amended to allow 22-caliber, semi-auto rifles to be used only for small, fur-bearing game like woodchucks and other varmint types.

    In other words, hunters in Pennsylvania clearly rejected the attempt by the gun industry to promote the idea that an AR-15 rifle is no different from any other type of ‘sporting’ gun and therefore should be approved equipment for any type of hunt.”

    Let’s read that again:

    “…a strong majority favored the use of semi-automatic rifles for hunting but did not want 22-caliber semi-autos to be approved for big-game hunting. As a result of the public response, the January regulations were amended to allow 22-caliber, semi-auto rifles to be used only for small, fur-bearing game like woodchucks and other varmint types.”

    In other words,

    Hunters don’t have a Problem with the use of the AR-15 Platform…Just the use of .22 caliber.

    …. Luckily, the AR-15 (and AR-10) come in plenty of larger calibers that are able to humanly take deer or larger animals!

    • Strange then that some of the most popular AR calibers today include .300 Blackout, .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf.

      … And 100% of the Hunters who wish to use an AR-15 can easily swap to larger calibers by changing the Upper Receiver.

      • The .300 Blackout Subsonic rounds may be a little “anemic”, but at 150 yards or less, the 125 gr. rounds are perfectly fine for deer.

      • .300 BLK in it’s supersonic loadings is very close to commercial loading for .30-30 win which is an insanely popular deer round in Northern New England….which is very similar to the landscape of western PA.

        Also let’s not forget 6.8 SPC, which was created as a military caliber that never caught on…..but found a niche as a deer cartridge just before .300 BLK stole most of its market.

      • Actually, it seems the bottom line is that a strong majority of Hunters favor the use of semi-automatic rifles, and the AR-15 platform in larger calibers is perfectly suited for Hunting….

  3. Hunters have always liked semi-auto rifles. I use one myself (Browning BAR in 7mm Rem Mag) because there’s less recoil with a semi than a bolt and at my age my shoulders just don’t like recoil. I shot a Remington 700 bolt for years but now it’s too painful so I dropped back to a bolt for big game. And if the gun industry would cut their nonsense about how a 22-caliber AR should be legal for any kind of shooting at all and admit that AR hunters should consider switching to a heavier caliber, that would be fine and there’d be no comment from me. But to show up at a public hearing and say that an elk or a bear should be fair game with a gun which shoots a 40-grain bullet and the 2nd-Amendment guarantees the ‘right’ for me to use that caliber if I choose is, frankly, an insult to anyone with an IQ above the moronic level, or maybe even sub-moron.

  4. Reblogged this on Mister Journalism: "Reading, Sharing, Discussing, Learning" and commented:
    Maybe The Gun Industry Doesn’t Know The Difference Between An AR-15 And A Hunting Rifle, But PA Hunters Do.
    by mikethegunguy
    Back in January, the state of Pennsylvania became the very last state to approve the use of semi-automatic rifles for hunting, a decision that was then revised when the final rules were published last week by the Board of Game Commissioners, who set all hunting rules and regulations within the Keystone State. The revision of the rule that was initially voted back in January and then put out for public review, has serious implications not just for the hunting community, but for the gun industry as well.

  5. A-15 is high killing power machine and you can also use it for hunting. I like your words and read them carefully. You have defined very well and now I can clearly understand the difference in these shotguns. Thanks for your article.

  6. I’ve hunted my whole life,,,been around the industry as well.
    Ar15 is a .223,,,,yes, agreed to small for ethical deer hunting, ,bullets to small,,,,yes, it can dispatch deer,,however it is a bit on the small side for ethicalling harvesting.
    If I missed it,,let me apologize in advance, ar10 in .308 operates in the same way an Ar15 does,,,,??
    Now that’s the bees knees for deer, ,,we all know the .308s history as one of the best if not the best military / hunting cartridge ever developed.
    I think the NRA was trying to help hunters out ,,because banning an Ar15 rifle would probably lead to banning the similar ar10.
    State laws dictate caliber laws suitable for humting not the NRA. All the NRA was trying to do was to protect your rights as a hunter and sportsmam,,whether your interests lie in hunting, collecting, target shooting, or maybe your just retired military and you just want to take up shooting at the local gun range.
    Why is it that we somehow have to justify our needs for an Ar15 or ar10..?
    Truly free men don’t have to answer these questions to any man or government.
    Shame on the Pennsylvanianew sportsmam club,,,your forefathers surely view you as a disgrace to liberty.
    Reading your history, knowing your constitution, bill of rights, and knowing how and why the declaration of independence was written would be my advisor to the Pennsylvanian sporting club.
    Simply disgraceful!

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