The Big Scary AR-15 Part Two – Dispelling the Myths

This is part two. If you missed part one read it here.

I get really defensive about the AR-15. I love the AR-15. If there was ever one firearm that could do anything, this is it. It is quickly becoming the stuff of lore. Every time there is a mass shooting the media outlets are so quick to blame the AR-15. Of course they never retract their assertions when they get it wrong. I can’t think of a more marginalized well meaning piece of metal and plastic so that’s why I would like to dispel some of the myths surrounding it.

I’ve already talked about a couple of myths in part one. Like how the AR-15 is not automatic. It is not an assault rifle or machine gun. It’s in fact no different than many other popular rifles. It doesn’t “spray bullets.” There really is no such thing as an “assault weapon.” Here are a couple more myths that I would like to talk about.

Myth #1: The AR-15 isn’t for hunting

I remember the first time I went coyote hunting. I wasn’t really all that experienced with hunting, but when I was handed an AR-15 I felt like it was out of place. I had the same preconceived notions that so many other people do about the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) and hunting, that they didn’t mix. I have since learned differently and would prefer to take my AR-15 or MSR whenever I go hunting and there are a couple of reasons why.

 My personal AR-15 I use for hunting
My personal AR-15 I use for hunting. Look at all the scary features!

First is that it is easier and safer to load and unload. The primary concern for most hunters (myself especially) is safety. Anything that makes the shooting sports safer I’m all for. A couple of my bolt action hunting rifles have what are called “blind magazines.” In order to unload it I have to cycle each round into the chamber and then back out. Not exactly safe.

The second reason why I prefer to hunt with an MSR is the follow up shot. If my first shot was off, I can most likely fire again before the animal is able to run too far. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to try and cycle a bolt action rifle under stress but let me tell you it isn’t easy. It gives me some peace if mind knowing that I’m a more humane hunter.

The third reason is that I can convert it to a variety of calibers to suit almost any type of hunting that I would ever want to do. All I have to do is change the upper receiver and I’m ready to rock. It’s the perfect do it all firearm.

Myth #2: The AR-15 isn’t a good defensive weapon

When anti-gun people look at the AR-15 they seem to be able to only imagine one use for it (or any gun for that matter). To kill. Maybe that’s the reason why the Vice President gave such awful advice when it comes to protecting your home. I’m guessing that most people who would say this have never fired one.

I could put an MSR in the hands of almost anyone and in no time at all they would be able to handle it effectively. The recoil system and relatively weak (yet another myth) round make it perfect for anyone. Since the stock is adjustable, it can fit any size shooter. When I’m teaching someone to shoot, it’s the second firearm I’ll get them behind, after the .22. Proof that anyone can shoot an AR-15:

Nine year old and her AR-15-Photo Credit
Nine year old and her AR-15-Photo Credit

Try putting a shotgun in the hands of that 9 year old and see what happens. Even the DHS says it’s a defensive weapon. So why does this myth persist? Maybe it’s because main stream media never goes out of their way to report all of the times one is used in defense. Maybe it’s because of the way it looks. Maybe it’s because the people trying to control the conversation are narrow minded I mean have control issues I mean it looks scary, right?

Myth #3: It’s “High Power”

One of my favorite movies-Photo Credit
One of my favorite movies-Photo Credit

I don’t know who came up with this but it’s entirely meant to scare people. The Ar-15 is anything but “high power.” I’m not even sure that the people that use it even know what it means. On the spectrum of how powerful a cartridge is, the 5.56×45 (or .223 Remington) is on the weak end. By on the weak end I mean there are literally hundreds of rifle cartridges that are more powerful.

I dug through some of my ammo and this is what I came up with:

From the .22LR to the .338 Remington Ultra Mag
From the .22LR to the .338 Remington Ultra Mag

Guess where the .223 is? Right in the middle. The three cartridges smaller that it other then the .22LR? Those are handgun rounds. Besides the dinky .22 I don’t own another rifle less powerful.  I know there are rifles in between but you really have to go out of your way and know what you’re looking for. Let’s quit using the term “high powered” shall we?

Let me know if you have any other myths that you would like addressed. If you feel differently let me know and we can have a conversation. Up next: why I love the AR-15.

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