Winchester Ammo Study Shows All Shooters Choose the AR-15

By Larry Keane

Hunting iStock-1322450175
The time has come for President Joe Biden and the rest of the gun control politicians to pack up the worn-out line that “no one needs an AR-15 to hunt deer.” Hunting iStock-1322450175

U.S.A. -( The time has come for President Joe Biden and the rest of the gun control politicians to pack up the worn-out line that “no one needs an AR-15 to hunt deer.”

Turns out, that recreational target shooters and hunters do want Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs). That’s the family of AR-platform [semiautomatic] rifles that come in many calibers. According to the 2022 Ammunition Consumption Study by Winchester Ammunition, more than half of recreational shooters firing a centerfire rifle used an MSR. Of those who hunted with an MSR, 40 percent chose the MSR as their firearm of choice.

Ammo consumption rates in 2022
Ammo consumption rates in 2022. IMG NSSF

Winchester Ammunition conducted a survey of 1,600 hunters and recreational shooters in the first quarter of 2022 to better learn which firearm recreational shooters and hunters were using. It turns out the most popular selling centerfire rifle in America is the rifle of choice.

That might come as a surprise for Capitol Hill lawmakers, especially for the 217 Members of Congress who voted to ban MSRs and some semiautomatic shotguns and handguns when they passed H.R. 1808, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022. The argument made that MSRs serve no practical purpose for hunting is false.

It Will Hunt

Currently, 10 states restrict hunting with .223 or 5.56mm. Three of those states only allow shotguns or straight-wall cartridges. New Jersey has an outright ban on MSRs. Even those states with caliber restrictions allow for MSRs that fire larger calibers. It’s not just deer, though, and not all in Washington, D.C., buy the line that AR-15s aren’t good for hunting.

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy defended using an MSR for hunting hogs when asked by Vice News. “I’m law-abiding, I’ve never done anything, I use it to kill feral pigs,” Sen. Cassidy said in a People Magazine report questioning lawmakers why Americans choose this rifle in the wake of the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas.  “The action of a criminal deprives me of my right,” he added about proposed bans.

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told CNN, “In my state, they use them to shoot prairie dogs and, you know, other types of varmints. And so I think there are legitimate reasons why people would want to have them.”

That might not mean much to Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who held hearings to castigate MSR manufacturers. Nor would it earn consideration from Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who ushered the bill through the U.S. House of Representatives to ban MSRs. No one expects Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to recognize the utility of her gated San Francisco estate.  South Dakotans, however, see it differently. Controlling varmints and predators is a necessity for ranchers.

Congressman Ken Buck (R-Colo.) would agree. He said of the AR-15, “It is the gun of choice for killing a fox, it is a gun that you control predators on your ranch, on your farm, on your property.”

The news that recreational target shooters and hunters are turning to the MSR as the rifle of choice is hardly a surprise to the firearm industry, recreational target shooters or hunters.

Built Better

Jordan Sillars, writing for MeatEater, the hunting brand made famous by Steve Rinella who hosts a Netflix series by the same name, listed off the pros and cons of hunting with MSRs. Among the many reasons for hunters to consider the rifle are the fact that it is semiautomatic, has low recoil that allows for quick follow-up shots, its modularity and is customizable, as well as lightweight and maneuverable. That’s important for hunters whether hunting from a box blind on a weekend or trekking into off-grid public lands.

Even when it comes to the .223/5.56mm cartridge, Sillars wrote in another piece that today’s modern ammunition deserves a second look where it’s legal for those who think it is diminutive.

“Bullet design has come a long way since your granddaddy decided a whitetail gun was .30-06 or bust,” he wrote.

In fact, Rinella, who normally hunts with large caliber bolt-action rifles, said time shooting the MSR helped him improve marksmanship. “Without the distraction of getting my molars loosened, and thanks to steady repetition, I was able to learn a thing or two about bad habits that I wasn’t even aware of,” he said.

Politicians railing against MSRs might argue that recreational target shooters and hunters could use other rifles to do the same thing. The numbers, though, don’t lie. The MSR is filling their need – and the Second Amendment gives them the right to choose the firearm that meets their needs. It is not for the government to decide.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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Brandon says that none of the amendments are absolute.

Can we own slaves again?


democrats want US to be slaves! Ill keep my guns thanks and if need be convert all that can be to select fire, they want to attack me see how many want to die


Brandon is a dumb***, “shall not be infringed” is absolutely absolute.

Wild Bill

In the language of the law, “shall” (in this case shall not) means mandatory.

Last edited 1 year ago by Wild Bill
Henry Bowman

All Commiecrats are dumb@$$es. There, FIFY!
Bonus: 1 free mockery of the Sockpuppet-in-Chief in every meme!!


arrest news media for printing ,or putting out lies on airwaves or internet;;;;;;if second is flexible first should be down right glass

Henry Bowman

Ovomit signed a commiecrat law that actually required the lapdog MSM to lie to the American people. Trump reversed that while he was in office, but the Leftist lamestream media ignored that memo. And that is the story of how fake news was born!

Wild Bill

Typical marxist socialist definition changing. If Rights are not absolute, then Rights can be abridged, diminished, reduced, balanced, and whittled away to nothing.


you mean rights=privileges granted

Henry Bowman



Oh I agree nobody needs an AR-15 but everybody sure wants one. In my case more then one. My dream is to have an Ar-15 in just about every caliber available and some that are not yet. Personally I love the MSR platforms especially the AR-15 there is not a day that passes that I do not touch my AR. I think they should come up with some kinda group for MSR’ anonymous for those of us that are addicted and obsessed with MSR’s but really I don’t think it is a problem because I am a poor so not… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by ashort

there is therapy it is called range time, join a club and get out and practice.

Roland T. Gunner

I have to disagree with “nobody needs an AR-15” because it gills the offensive and defensive rolls far better than conventional hunting rifles. But you are spot on about how habit forming they are. I can put 2 in a closet overnight, and when I open the door in the morning, 3 fall out.


Maybe the corner isn’t such a good place for them. Mine don’t reproduce.


AND, also; firearms for hunting is not in question… Anyways… You see how they’re constantly trying to create a “known narrative” … They’re trying to make as many entries into pop culture as possible, that the second amendment is supposedly oriented towards hunting…

The politicians are trying to take firearms from civilians, and big army is trying to take National Guard tanks…hmm…I wonder why…


There, I said again for those whom are not paying attention.


Sen. Cassidy just recently signed a people control bill… Haha, Bill signed a control bill…. He’s probably a bad example to use here…or, maybe he’s a good example because of that.

Now, Sen. Kennedy, he’s a man son….

Cassidy is a creep.


the beauty of the platform is its modularity; one lower half and uppers in multiple calibers: 22LR to 50 Beowulf. Facts the ignorant anti-2A refuse to acknowledge.


we seem to have a few of them down voting here now, am surprised demoncrats can read with what they have done to schools

the insert guides for lowers so 9mm and 45 can be fired with same lower is nice would like to see 44 magnum but that would lead to 50 ae and kill off beowulf but a 429de would be great hunter (almost exactly 440corbon)


asok, the down voters are primarily russian and hate truth.

Henry Bowman

IDK think these are Russians. Definitely communist, though!
‘Homegrown Communist Extremists’… the Commiecrat Party.

Idaho Bob

Musicman, none of them are happy. They are all really very sad, and yes ignorant of the truth too.


Don’t understand the -3 votes, obviously Libturds struggling with 4 or more letter words. The comment was very true The AR platform is the Legos, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs of the gun world. Owner’s imagination is the only limit in where the platrom might go.

Idaho Bob

I lost all my MSR’s in a canoeing trip. Very sad day, but before that I used them to hunt coyote, whistle pigs (ground squirrel), rock chucks (yellow bellied marmot) and mule deer hunt (with a larger caliber MSR). Yes, it was a sad day indeed. I miss my MSR’s……


Jeepers, What a bunch putzes. I do think that all MSRs should be banned. My reasoning is there are too many stupid, deranged, reckless, idiots that are able to buy these guns on credit no less. The MSRs are a fetish, cult weapon that attracts the mentally ill. A bolt-action or muzzleloader should be just fine for your 2nd amendment rights. What are the lawmakers in DC supposed to do after every school or church or theater or outdoor concert massacre? Thoughts and prayers? Just imagine all the damage done mentally to our children from the active shooter drills to… Read more »