AR-15 Most Popular Hunting Rifle In America


In a survey commissioned by Winchester, 75% of centerfire rifle shooters used an MSR or “Modern Sporting Rifle.” MSR is a term commonly used to refer to the AR-15 family of rifles.

Winchester found that 60% of those who hunt use a centerfire rifle, specifically an MSR. 40% of all hunters surveyed used MSRs such as the AR-15 for hunting.

This data would seem to contradict current legislative proposals on Capitol Hill, such as H.R. 1808, also known as the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022. Which just passed the House of Representatives in a 217-213 vote and currently sits awaiting a vote in the Senate.

MSRs are commonly used for hunting even in more restrictive states like Maryland, which ban cartridges like the .223 & 5.56 for hunting purposes. Because of this, many hunters choose to use straight wall cartridges like 350 Legend in MSRs like the Ruger AR-556MPR.

AR Platform rifles or “Modern Sporting Rifles” are a common choice for hunters who desire the platform’s modularity and wealth of aftermarket support. According to Jordan Sillars of TheMeatEater, an outdoor lifestyle company founded by Steven Rinella, hunters can tailor their rifles to their specific needs.

In addition, statistics cited by Business Insider show that the number of AR-15s and other Modern Sporting Rifles has increased exponentially over the last two decades since the expiration of the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban.

Talking points about the proposed 2022 Assault Weapons Ban, or H.R. 1808, point to the idea that modern sporting rifles are not commonly used for hunting purposes. This new data released by Winchester seems to suggest otherwise.


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