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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You all out side the Minneapolis area probably did not happen to see what Dennis Anderson wrote about in this Sundays Outdoors section.

It was wonderfully written and had a little bit of a, get it strait media attitude.

Dennis Anderson: Black rifles, just a gun?

After one outdoors writer saw his career ruined when he said he saw no place for "black" rifles in hunting, this writer wanted to use such a rifle for hunting himself.
By Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune
Last update: November 25, 2007 – 12:08 AM
CUMBERLAND, WIS. — Sitting in a deer stand near this northwest Wisconsin town the other day, the sun yet only hinting of its morning arrival, I wondered whether I could fire the rifle I held in my hands twice quickly in succession, before a standing whitetail could move. It was a fair question, and the answer, I thought, was, "Probably." And, soon enough, a deer did appear, a doe, followed by her fawn. About 40 yards from me, the doe stopped, not necessarily alert to anything. She simply stopped for no apparent reason, as deer sometimes do.
Raising the rifle, I aligned the rear sight with its forward counterpart, placing both on an imagined trajectory toward the animal's vitals, just behind its left shoulder.
And ...
Didn't squeeze the trigger. Not twice. Not even once.
"A buck will come along soon enough," I thought.
I had wanted for some time to carry what is commonly called a "black rifle" while deer hunting -- particularly since the brouhaha that arose in January over comments made about these weapons by longtime outdoors writer and broadcaster Jim Zumbo, who lives in Wyoming.
"I call them 'assault' rifles," Zumbo wrote on his Outdoor Life blog, "which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them 'terrorist' rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are 'tack drivers.' "
The reaction was swift. Outdoor Life, the National Rifle Association and others who employed him as a writer or supported his TV show headed for the exits. Many gun owners, particularly those familiar with AR-style weapons (a k a "black" rifles or "assault" rifles), were no more forgiving. They blistered Zumbo, forcing a nearly immediate apology and retraction, and quickly undoing more than 30 years of career-building.
All over a gun that mechanically is no different than any other weapon with a semiautomatic action, of which there are millions owned and used by North American hunters everywhere.
• • •
So, what are "black rifles," and are they often used by hunters?
The answer to the second question is yes.
Semiautomatic assault-style (largely a media term) rifles have long been used by American hunters, particularly varmint hunters -- such as those who seek foxes, coyotes and prairie dogs.
The attraction is manifold. Outfitted with heavy barrels and high magnification scopes, black rifles can be extremely accurate. For example, a good shooter with a properly configured AR-type rifle and ammunition can pick off prairie dogs at 700 yards.
Additionally, gas-operated and configured in .223 caliber (5.56 millimeter) -- as the AR-15 was when developed in 1956 (largely) by Eugene Stoner, chief engineer for Illinois-based ArmaLite -- the gun has virtually no recoil, a big advantage while target shooting or hunting.
And most AR-style rifles can be outfitted with magazines capable of holding as many as 30 rounds, which can aid some sporting uses, such as coyote hunting.
In 1959, ArmaLite licensed the AR-15's design and trademarks to Colt, and, in Vietnam, the "little black rifle" became standard military issue beginning in about 1965, and was renamed the M-16.
The M-16 in Vietnam (updated versions are still used today in Afghanistan and Iraq) had its problems. Colt had told the Pentagon that the rifle didn't require exquisite cleaning, but in the southeast Asian environment, it did, particularly the early models. Also, some soldiers complained the stopping power of the 5.56 mm rounds, far smaller than the 7.62 mm NATO rounds previously used by the service, was insufficient. And complaints were heard that the effective range of the early M-16s, generally about 200 meters, was inferior to the M-14, the rifle it replaced.
Still, Pentagon orders soared, and by 1966, more than 400,000 AR-15s had been placed with the military.
Fast forward.
With so many former soldiers familiar with the M-16, its civilian version -- essentially the same rifle but configured only in semiautomatic action -- found increased popularity for target shooting, hunting and home defense.
Then in January 1989, a variant of an AK-47 rifle (similarly styled, albeit more cheaply built than the M-16) was used in a school shooting in Stockton, Calif. Thirty people were injured and six killed. This tragedy played a major role in the run-up to the 1994 federal ban on "assault" rifles, a term, for the purpose of the ban, that largely focused on cosmetics -- as it necessarily would have to, because a ban on the gun's semiautomatic action would have required a ban also on many hunting guns, which would have been politically impossible.
The ban expired in 2004 and -- as most experts predicted -- didn't reduce crime. Moreover, to exclude the gun from the ban, some manufacturers had only to modify the gun's appearance.
In recent years, many patents covering the original AR-15 have expired, making room for new manufacturers and accessory suppliers.
Today, most gun manufacturers report generally flat sales. But black rifle sales are increasing, according to some industry observers. Most Twin Cities sporting goods retailers, for instance, have prominent displays of AR-style rifles (AR does not, as popularly believed, stand for "automatic rifle," but rather ArmaLite).
Ironically, the relative popularity of these guns has been fueled in part by Zumbo's comments and the firestorm they caused.
• • •
So did I shoot a deer with my borrowed .223 caliber ArmaLite "black rifle"? (Note: .223 is not a legal caliber in Minnesota for deer; it is in Wisconsin.)
Alas, no. I had no opportunities at a decent buck, and by the time I began looking for a doe, I couldn't find one.
My impression of the gun was generally positive. Granted -- to give Zumbo his (since retracted) point -- AR-style guns look meaner than most sporting rifles, and if a non-hunting passerby had seen me carrying the gun across a field, or in the woods, he might have been offended.
And for my money, one shot should be all that is needed in most instances to kill a deer.
That said, the black rifle remains just a gun. A gun with a bigger magazine, yes. And one that appears more ominous than some other guns.
But just a gun.
Dennis Anderson • [email protected]

Here is a link!

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He's right, the minimum bullet for deer hunting up north should be a 6.8 spc, in the south where the deer are smaller a 5.56 suffices, but if the shooter is a bad shot its cruel.

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He's right, the minimum bullet for deer hunting up north should be a 6.8 spc, in the south where the deer are smaller a 5.56 suffices, but if the shooter is a bad shot its cruel.
You're kidding, right? I've seen WAY more big (read: huge) deer on our place in Mississippi and on other's places throughout the South than anywhere in the North. And FWIW, I have a .300 WINMAG for deer both in the South, and elk/moose out West.

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You're kidding, right? I've seen WAY more big (read: huge) deer on our place in Mississippi and on other's places throughout the South than anywhere in the North..
Not sure what you have but deer in SC and NC are nowhere near what size they were back in the New England area.
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