AR-style rifles aren’t only relegated to the range or competitive shooting. Here’s a list of new hunting ARs that could make your next season one for the hunting journal.
What are 9 great new hunting ARs to bring home game?
- Colt Trooper Patrol Carbine
- Daniel Defense Ambush 308
- LaRue Tactical PredatOBR 5.56
- LWRC Razorback II
- Rock River Arms LAR-15 Fred Eichler Series
- Predator LAR-8M HP 243
- SIG Sauer M400 Vanish
- Smith & Wesson M&P10 Sport
- Yankee Hill Machine Hunt-Ready Carbine
Call them black rifles, ARs or modern sporting rifles. Call them anything you want, but don’t call the latest round of AR platform guns unsuitable for hunting. Thanks to a growing demand for accurate, reliable, high-quality and diverse semi-auto rifles, gun manufacturers are producing some of the finest hunting ARs available today.
Whether you prefer to pop prairie dogs at long ranges, thin out hogs on the Back 40 or hunt deer, bears or even elk, there are plenty of hunting ARs to choose from. Some are stripped down and affordable for everyone. Others are customized with the highest quality components. The good news is that with all these options available, you can readily find one that’s almost built custom for your needs.
Colt Trooper Patrol Carbine
It might not be wrapped in camouflage, but Colt’s Trooper M4 Carbine is everything you could want when it comes to basic hunting ARs. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, it’s fully customizable yet fully capable just as it is — and it’s an ideal starter gun for hunting everything from coyotes to prairie dogs. The Trooper is built with a direct gas impingement system. It comes with an M-LOK handguard and a flat-top upper that’s ready for lights, optics and other accessories to help you hunt more effectively. At just 32 inches and 6.5 pounds, the Trooper is the ideal gun to keep in your truck’s gun rack as you ride the ranch. Coyotes, hogs and other varmints don’t stand a chance. $1,049
Daniel Defense Ambush 308
Deer, hogs and just about any other big game animal in North America be warned: Daniel Defense’s new rifle is coming for you. Chambered in .308 Win. and built with the highest quality parts, this rifle isn’t just a workhorse — it’s accurate, thanks to a free-floating, cold hammer-forged, 18-inch barrel connected directly to the upper. It also comes with a KeyMod handguard with a four-bolt connecting system. All controls are ambidextrous, including the charging handle, and magazine and bolt release. The safety can also be converted. The Ambush comes with a two-stage Geissele SSA trigger and is available in Kryptek Highlander camo. $3,096
LaRue Tactical PredatOBR 556
It’s not just a great hunting rifle: The PredatOBR 556 is a great rifle that’s built to the highest standards. It’s also user-friendly and can be broken down in a matter of minutes, allowing for safe storage and transport. A locking stainless QD lever makes handguard removal a snap. The gun is available with a 14.5-, 16.1-, 18- or 20-inch barrel, so you can choose the perfect model for your hunting needs. It uses a direct impingement gas system, which is built with LaRue’s PST port selector. The PredatOBR comes with LaRue’s own MBT trigger, two 30-round magazines and three, 3-inch rail sections. Each rifle also shoots a sub-MOA group before leaving the factory. $2,245
LWRCI Razorback II
It might not be the most popular AR maker, but LWRC International sure knows how to make a high-quality gun. The company’s new Razorback isn’t just a good-looking rifle; it’s solid, reliable and accurate. It’s chambered in 6.8 SPC II, a proven and very capable big-game cartridge, making it one of the most capable hunting ARs on this list. The Razorback is also packed with features: All lower controls, including the magazine release, charging handle, bolt catch and release, and the selector are ambidextrous. It’s built with a Magpul MOE grip and PMAG magazine and a LWRCI Advanced trigger guard. The barrel measures 16.1 inches and the gun weighs 6.7 pounds. The rail is 12 inches long and is scallop-cut for weight reduction and versatility. $2,804
Rock River Arms LAR-15 Fred Eichler Series
If the Rock River name isn’t enough to convince you to buy this gun, then the Fred Eichler name ought to push you over the edge. Not only does RRA make some of the finest AR rifles available, Eichler is one of the most demanding hunters. If it’s good enough for Fred, then it’s most certainly good enough for you. Why not? The LAR-15 is ready to hunt out of the box, thanks in part to the Ghost Camo surface. It’s chambered in .223 Wylde, making it the perfect predator rifle. The 16-inch stainless-steel barrel is fluted, and the trigger is a two-stage match trigger. The free-floating handguard has a full-length rail and a 2.5-inch rail on the bottom. The LAR-15 measures 33.5 inches and weighs 7.6 pounds. $2,250
Rock River Arms Predator LAR-8M HP 243
Can’t decide on the perfect caliber for the perfect hunting AR? Rock River just made your life a little easier with its new Predator HP chambered in .243 Win. It’s a big enough caliber for deer-sized game and light, flat and fast enough for a variety of varmints and predators. Like all RRA guns, this one is loaded with features that help you shoot better and easier. It’s fitted with a 20-inch, fluted stainless-steel barrel, a low-profile gas block, a RRA two-stage match trigger and a RRA Operator A2 stock. The handguard is RRA’s own DLX with a free-float rail and three accessory rails. The Predator HP weighs 9.2 pounds and measures 42.25 inches in length. This is one of the most versatile hunting ARs listed here. $1,950
SIG Sauer M400 Vanish
SIG’s newest gun is a spin-off on the company’s popular, reliable and field-proven M400. The Vanish, however, is designed specifically for hunting and long-range accuracy, thanks in part to the 20-inch heavy-contour precision barrel, Matchlite Duo trigger and Kuiu Vias camo finish. It’s built with a Magpul MOE fixed stock and grip and comes with a Magpul 5-round magazine. Chambered in .223 Rem., it weighs 7 pounds, 4 ounces and is 38 inches in length. $1,336
Smith & Wesson M&P 10 Sport
No camouflage? No worries. The critters you hunt won’t have time to notice. Thanks to Smith & Wesson’s high standards and demand for accuracy, the M&P 10 Sport shoots fast and flat. Chambered in .308 Win., it’s the perfect hunting gun for a variety of game. The M&P 10 Sport includes a built-in sling swivel, ambidextrous features, an Armornite finish for reduced glare and added durability, and a flash suppressor for stealthy hunting. The stock is adjustable, and the receiver is optics-ready for your favorite scope. Overall length is 34 inches, and the rifle weighs 8 pounds. It’s also backed by S&W’s lifetime service policy. $1,049
YHM Hunt-Ready Carbine
Just in time for hunting season, Yankee Hill Machinery introduces a gun that’s ready to go, straight out of the box. All you have to do is buy some ammo. The gun comes with a sling and a Bushnell Trophy 3-9x40mm scope and is already zeroed at 100 yards. (Of course, it’s always a good idea to shoot a few rounds at some paper just to make sure.) It’s available in 5.56 NATO, 300 BLK and 6.8 SPC, giving you the option of the perfect caliber for a variety of large and small game. It’s built with a free-floating, fluted 16-inch barrel; an aluminum YHM upper and lower receiver; a rifle-length handguard; and a telescoping butt stock. It also comes with a forward assist and a flash hider. Even better, it’s covered in Kryptek Highlander camo, and it comes with a sling. $1,579
Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the October 2017 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.