4 Game Species You Should Hunt with Big-Bore AR 15 Calibers

Hunt These 4 Game Animals with Big-Bore AR 15 Calibers

While the traditional 223 Remington/556 NATO cartridges for the AR 15 platform are perfect for plinking and hunting varmints or smaller game, they are not well-suited for large game, and you may not find they perform well for medium game either. Some states do not legally allow deer hunting with the 223 Remington/556 NATO. The beauty of the AR 15 platform, of course, is its versatility. For those interested in hunting medium to large game with an AR 15, consider investing in a carbine or rifle, or an upper receiver setup chambered for the platform’s big-bore cartridges. Consider the real thumpers like 450 Bushmaster, 458 SOCOM, and 50 Beowulf.

Feral Pigs & Wild Boar

The AR 15 big-bores are perfect for big boars. The large-caliber AR 15 cartridges are well-suited for hog hunting. Feral hogs/wild boar are tough, thick-hided game animals, and their territories are often thick with scrub and brush. Wounded, and not-wounded, feral hogs can also be aggressive tusk-wielding beasts. No one wants to find themselves on the wrong side of an angry hog. You want a cartridge that is going to reliably bring down a hog or boar at short-to medium-range, even if firing through scrub.


In addition to some states outlawing the 223 Remington/556 NATO for deer hunting, some states do not allow deer hunting with bottleneck cartridges at all. That rules out the majority of the most common deer calibers. However, a cartridge like the 458 SOCOM features a straight-walled case while still packing the power to cleanly and reliably take deer up to a couple hundred yards reliably.


All of the advantages accompanying the use of big-bore AR 15 cartridges for deer apply likewise to elk. Additionally, the greater size of elk calls for a cartridge of a greater size. The last thing any hunter wants is to wound an elk because the cartridge they used was insufficient for the game they were hunting. An AR 15 chambered for 450 Bushmaster, 458 SOCOM, or 50 Beowulf provides a larger, heavier round, increasing the chance of a clean drop on bigger game.

4 Game Species You Should Hunt with Big-Bore AR 15 Calibers
50 Beowulf AR15, Item 949350643

Black and Grizzly Bear

As is the case with boar, a bear is big, sports a thick hide, and you do not want to find yourself facing an aggressive one. The big-bore AR 15 calibers are some of the better options for hunting black bear. That is not only the case because of their size and power, but also because the AR 15 platform allows for around 5-10 follow up shots if necessary. That also makes them effective protection in grizzly bear country.

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