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klbzdad, ckamanao, appreciate your opinions and experience. As I stated above, I do not consider myself an expert on the platform, I've just had some experience I considered relevant to the question the OP asked. My opinion hasn't changed, but to each his own. At the end of the day, if the rifle fits your need, good on ya!
 

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IMAG1458.jpg

I don't know about deer, but it handled this bull just fine.:shock:
 
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.223 75gr Hornady Match from 312 yards
 
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FSHCHSR, 4 1/2 years. I'm sure everyone's experience with an AR's reliability may vary. Mine was that it's not terribly reliable. In terms of accuracy they're great, no doubt. In terms of reliability, though, I've never seen one fire hundreds of rounds without fail. They've been proven to do so in lab tests, but in field conditions I believe that would be tough to achieve, with failures to eject or extract high on the list of malfunctions. Several military units have dropped the M4 altogether for this reason, preferring the H&K 416 with its short stroke gas piston system or the FN SCAR. Again, not bashing ARs - to each their own, it's a great rifle in the right conditions, and most folks don't use it hard enough to inspire failure.

In terms of weight, you're right, a base AR with stock hand guards weighs in at 6 lbs 7 oz. Add 4 oz for the mag, and .75 oz per rd. with a 7 rd mag, you're up to 7 lbs .25 oz. Assuming same scope weight with rings and bases, a kimber classic (the rifle I carry hunting, in 280 AI) in .223 weighs 5 lbs 13 oz. With 6 rds, you're up to 6 lbs 1.5 oz. If you add a fore end rail system to the AR the weight begins to stack up, though, with KAC rail weighing in at another 11.3 oz. Move to a hunting specific AR like Remington and you start at 7 lbs 12 oz base weight. Smith and Wesson M&P 15 PC is 8 lbs 2 oz. The H&K MR556 (civilian 416) starts at 9 lbs even.

Price-wise, in .223 ARs aren't bad at the low end. Bump to .308 or a similar caliber for big game, though, and your price point increases from 800-900 to 1500-1600. At the higher end like Sig you can pay 2100, and you can break 3500 for an H&K in .308.

Again, though, I say buy what makes you happy! I wouldn't hunt big game with an AR, but that's just personal preference. I'd buy one for a fun gun, though, if I could afford the HK762 -
Sounds to me like the guys you gun with don’t maintain their guns well. Also, just because the magazine holds 5-100 rounds based on which one you want to load doesn’t mean you have to use them all. I seriously doubt any Hunter goes hunting with a single round in the gun and no other round on their person somewhere. Fudd’s are going to Fudd. The cartridge,caliber and barrel engineering are all nearly the same for a bolt gun vs semi auto and if you have it sighted properly and have good gun control and trigger pull technique you should be able to fire either accurately enough to take down game.
ARs are just like bolt actions in that they are as accurate as you make them assuming you don’t buy a piece of junk. Also, ARs tend to be lighter in their base forms than a bolt action of the same caliber, depending on how many widgets you add to it they can be as heavy or light as you want.

As far as hunting I plan to build a .308 skeletonized AR specifically for hunting. And plan to use it. I may eventually buy a bolt gun because there is something about cycling the bolt that just feels good but that won’t happen until they increase production of both gunsand ammo.
 

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I have a couple of DPMS .223's topped with Vortex Spitzer scopes that the kids and I love for target shooting. They work fine for antelope hunting out to about 250 yards with Fusion 62 grain bullets. We have killed maybe a dozen bucks and does with that setup. We also carry a 6mm for longer shots. I don't think I would use a .223 on a mule deer. Too much can go wrong.
 

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Please don't take an ar chambered in .223 deer hunting. Will a .223 kill a deer? Sure, but I have a feeling anyone using an ar chambered in .223 to deer hunt is only going to empty a magazine at a deer while only injuring it at best..... please don't be that guy.
 

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Though it’s a bit too heavy to hunt with, my service match AR will hold sub 1MOA out to the long line at 600 all day...if I do my part slung up. I pulled together a purpose built AR in 223 for my daughter to hunt with (65 grn GameKing). She hunted 3 years killing 5 white tails out to 250 before bumping up to a 22-250 bolt rig to hunt mule deer (70grn TSX). None of the deer required a second round. Were there better options? Sure! I liked it that this one was extremely light recoiling and with the pistol grip/collapsable stock made it a great choice for someone with a small frame. You couple that with us living behind enemy lines...it was a no brainer. Most states require 5 round mag, non-issue.

Now If you are looking to buy a big game gun, you have better options. If you are strapped for cash and you wanna get an AR before creepy Joe buys it back....and still wanna hunt deer? Then you can satisfy both if you buy a quality upper.

Best of luck!
 

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Ditto to what DallenC said. An AR in a heavier caliber is fine for deer. A .223 round is a bit light and small. Will kill a Deer if you hit it accurately in the head. Stick with an AR with something like a .308 will kill Deer for sure.
.223/5.56 would be ideal for antelope.
 
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