The difference between a hunter’s rifle and an AR-15

Gun owners can buy a wide variety of rifles for hunting, for sports, for competition, but to claim that one wants an AR-15 for “personal protection”, or for hunting is absurd. The bullets used in hunting vary considerably depending on what one plans on shooting at in the field. Generally the bigger the bullet the bigger the target; but AR-15 ammo is different.

Routine handgun injuries leave entry and exit wounds and linear tracks through the victim’s body that are roughly the size of the bullet. If the bullet does not directly hit something crucial like the heart or the aorta, and the victim does not bleed to death before being transported to care at a trauma center, chances are they can be saved.

The bullets fired by an AR-15 are different: They travel at a higher velocity and are far more lethal than routine bullets fired from a handgun or hunting rifle. The damage they cause is a function of the energy they impart as they pass through the body. A typical AR-15 bullet leaves the barrel traveling almost three times faster than—and imparting more than three times the energy of—a typical 9mm bullet from a handgun.

…The high-velocity bullet causes a swath of tissue damage that extends several inches from its path. It does not have to actually hit an artery to damage it and cause catastrophic bleeding.

While the entry point of an AR-15 round is roughly the diameter of it which is .223 inch, the exit wound or “cavity” is generally several orders of magnitude larger because the bullet “tumbles” as it goes through matter. Any serious hunter knows where to shoot an animal to prevent unnecessary damage to tissue, or to fail to attain a “clean kill”. The AR-15 style weapons are designed for military use, where the weapons are designed and intended to create maximal damage to tissue. It carries over to the load/magazine used, where traditional sport/competition/hunting guns have between 1-10 round capacity while AR-15’s use 30 round clips, and can be augmented further to have up to 100 round clips, which can fire up to 45 rounds per minute.

Plainly said no one outside a war zone, or on a SWAT team,  has any legitimate use for an AR-15 style weapon. These weapons of war are the first choice of almost all mass shooters of the past decade in America. By contrast the ubiquitous AK-47 used by counterforce entities like Russia, Iran, et al fires a more traditional 7.62mm round at about 2300 ft/sec with 1,000 ft/lbs which does not “tumble”.  The AR-15 is 5.5mm at about 3,250 ft/sec and delivers 1300 foot pounds of energy.

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