7 replies [Last post]
BikerRN's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 05/23/2011
Posts: 676
USING THE TACTICAL FIREARM AS A HUNTING TOOL

USING THE TACTICAL FIREARM AS A HUNTING TOOL

 

Some of us are in occupations that for whatever reason requires us to use non-traditional hunting firearms in the course of our work day.

 

The tactical, a much over-used description in my opinion, rifle can be a good hunting tool that helps to supplement the various “cool” training one receives. Thus hunting can become a form of training for endeavors of a more serious nature if we choose to do so. Granted most jurisdictions will limit the number of rounds in your AR, five round magazine limit in my location for hunting here, but almost all the other things remain the same. 

 

Sight picture, breathing, trigger control all remain the same whether you are using your Colt 6920 or your Featherweight Model 70. Chances are if you use a rifle in your working day that will be the rifle you are most familiar and competent with as well. To me it only makes sense to get out and use your working rifle as your hunting rifle. This gives one a cross-training perspective so to speak. Predator hunters were quick to realize the advantage of the AR platform for hunting. Now with many soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines coming home it seems to me that many of them will gravitate to the rifle, or a semblance there of, that they used in combat or on duty. 

 

After WWI and WWII we saw many former G.I.’s come home and take up hunting with rifles similar to what they used in combat. Some even took to using their opponents weapons for hunting, just look at all the sporterized Mausers out there after WWII. Rifles have evolved over time and while there are traditionalist among us, I like to think of myself as one at times, progress marches on and things change. We have gone from the days of muskets, to the various rolling, falling, and other blocks, to the bolt action only to arrive at the semi-automatic. Looking back through history it appears to me that hunting rifles have most commonly been military arms at some point. As weapon technology advances the previous generation of military arms seems to become the sporting arm of the day.

 

It seems to me that one can get double benefit by using their working rifle as their hunting rifle. Fast sight acquisition, steady trigger press, and ability to track their moving target just to name a few. If nothing else it helps one to develop more familiarity with the tools of their profession and I contend that is a good thing. That is not to say that I desire to use a 14.5” burst fire M4 as my hunting arm, but I will settle for my 16” semi-auto that pretty much functions the same way.

 

Biker

hunter25's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
I completely agreee with

I completely agreee with everything here. I can only hunt small game or coyotes here in Colorado but try to use my Ar whenever I can to stay in shape with it. I have considered getting one in .308 or even a .243 but haven't made the move yet. Most states do limit the capacity for hunting but if I was told right the last time I was down there the state of Texas does not. It shouldn't matter though as I can't imagine 5 not being enough in a hunting situation.

As has been said before, tactical should be a mindset not an accessory or weapon itself.

buffybr's picture
Offline
Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 310
Tactical arms

I agree with everything you said about the familiarity of using the same firearm for work and for hunting.  Kind of like the old saying of "Beware of the man who only shoots one rifle."

I carried an M-16 for a year in Vietnam, and on the range they were "a hoot to shoot," as long as Uncle Sam was buying the ammo.  Would I choose an AR platform in say, .308 Win for a deer hunt? No.

There is also an old saying that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."  To me, the most beautiful firearm is a clean, scoped bolt action rifle in fancy walnut.  There is one prominent TV hunter that sometimes uses a full tactical .338 Lapua for African plains game.  Accurate?  Yes.  Good choice for smoking bad guys in Afghanistan?  Very definately.  Would I take one on an Elk hunt or to hunt African plains game?  NEVER.  That same cartridge in a bolt action rifle for say, a Coastal Brown Bear hunt?  Sure.

Just my personal opinion... 

 

BikerRN's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 05/23/2011
Posts: 676
I understand

buffybr,

 

I think I understand what you're saying, and truth be told it has taken me almost twenty years to come to accept these rifles as being good for what they were designed for.

I tend to favor single shots as being beautiful and bolt actions as being practical for hunting but that's just from my perspective and as you say, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I do however like to use my AR as a coyote rifle for a cross training purpose. This lets me use the rifle in something other than a range environment and increases my familiarity with it. I do prefer my bolt action rifle though and only grudingly have come to accept this platform. I think with the increased number of military veterans we will start to see more and more of the battle rifle platforms used in the hunting environment.

Thus I think the evolution of rifles will continue and at some point most folks will be using the AR platform for hunting and the "oldtimers" and younger folks wanting to be nostalgic will be using the bolt action platform. I think it will be interesting to see what the developments will be and I look forward to what will next come down the pike. I'm not so sure I'd want to shoot an AR chambered in .375 H&H, but it would be "interesting" to say the least.  Big smile

 

Biker

buffybr's picture
Offline
Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 310
Choices

Biker,

Luckily, we still live in a free country, and we still have our freedom of choice for our firearms.  Like I mentioned above, I have carried an AR platform rifles, and I put thousands of rounds through them.  It was originally developed to smoke bad guys in SE Asia, and it did a great job of doing that.  If you want to hunt with yours, great, go for it.  It's just not what I want to carry hunting big game.

About 10 years ago, I went on a combo Caribou and Musk ox hunt in northern Canada.  The rifle that I took was a "plain Jane" Rem 700 ADL with a black barrel and a black plastic stock.  The rifle worked great, and I killed two Caribou and a Musk ox, two of which qualified for B&C.  However, one night in camp, the guys were showing their rifles, a couple of which were beautiful bolt action whatevers, with blued barrels and fancy walnut stocks.  I had my "ugly" gun.

I later took that same ugly ADL to South Africa on my first hunt there.  Again, it worked well but again, it was the ugliest rifle in camp.  After that trip, I traded that ADL for another 7 mm Rem mag, but a 700 BDL this time with a stainless barrel and action, but also with a plastic stock.  I took this new rifle on a hunt in Africa, and I have used it at home for elk and pronghorn, but I keep it as my "foul weather" rifle.

Like I mentioned in my first post, my favorite rifle is a bolt action.  My first centerfire rifle was a bolt action .30-06 that I had ordered the barreled action and a semi-finished stock from Herter's.  I finished and checkered that stock and I proudly carried that rifle for over 30 years on hunts for everything from prairie dogs to moose.

I have since built several more rifles from a .22-250 to a .375 RUM,  three of which have fancy walnut stocks, and all have identical 8 panel chekering patterns that I did. 

A big part of the satisfaction of my hunts is to be able to make a quick, one shot kill with ammuniton that I handloaded, and with a beautiful bolt action rifle that I built.

It's all a matter of choices, and that's my choice.

BikerRN's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 05/23/2011
Posts: 676
Salute

It's all a matter of choices, and that's my choice.

 

I'll drink a toast to that mate.

 

Biker

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
no interest

While I'm not going to say tactical stuff has no place in the field, I just don't like the looks of them for hunting.  Give me blue and wood anyday.  And I also wouldn't trust one as much as stainless bolt action to cycle reliably (same thing with a BAR or any other semi auto (which at one time was "tactical")).  And I shouldn't need the quick 2nd through 5th shot capability for big game.  Maybe a herd of pigs.  

Anyway, for big game hunting, I see no advantage, and a whole lot of disadvantage of going with an AR type platform.  Plus they are expensive.  If you're going to  really doll one up for hunting you're going to spend a lot more for a less versatile weapon than a basic bolt action, and it will likely be heavier and less powerful. 

For myself, I'd rather take a step back in technology for added challenge or "specialness" than push the envelope towards the other direction.

Don Fischer's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3177
Bolt action in blue steel and

Bolt action in blue steel and wood for me also. Military rifles in military dress are great in the battle field. Ya beat them up there and you don't really care. When I was young, my first rifle was a 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser. My older brother also had one. My step father used an old Kreg in 30-40. He was not someone that loved firearms and he didn't shoot worth a damn! In those days a lot of guy's shot 1903 Springfields, Krags and Mauser's of one sort or another. They worked and they were inexpensive. I would not get one today other than for a donor action. The "Black Guns" of today don't excite me one bit. I think they are ugly! But in the end, they are just a rifle, a very expensivfe rifle but just a rifle. Great claims are made for how accurate they are but, do any bench rest competiors use one? Probably a reason they don't.

As far as using one hunting to get peactice in handling it, I believe you'd get in a lot more trigger time shooting it in some type of controled enviorment.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like