Who Needs A 30 Round Magazine to Hunt Deer?

Hunt deer with what kind of rifle?If you have been following the gun control debate in recent months you probably heard the “common sense gun control” groups ask:  “Who needs a 30-round magazine to hunt deer?”  To the non-deer-hunters in the world this seems to be a fair question.

So let’s start with a fair answer. To be honest – no one needs that.  As a matter of fact many states regulate the number of rounds that hunters can carry in their rifles when hunting deer.  This is also true for bird hunters using shotguns.

Emotional Talk

But that is not the real issue behind the question.  The real attempt is to again malign those who own or possess the ubiquitous AR-platform rifle (otherwise referred to as the AR-15).

As an avid hunter I own several deer rifles as well as AR-15’s and enjoy the unique characteristics of each firearm.  While most are well suited for deer hunting, some rifles are better suited for the environment, terrain and locale.  In most cases the AR-15 (calibered in 5.56 or .223) would not be suitable for deer hunting simply because the round is not considered powerful enough to present a clean, humane kill … regardless of how many rounds the magazine held.

When the AR-15 Is Suitable

The truth is that very few hunters use an AR-15 to hunt deer.  The exception may be when teaching children to hunt.

Why the AR-15?

  • It has very low recoil
  • It is easy to hold
  • it is comfortable to shoot

The AR-15 is an excellent platform for hunting small animals like rabbits, gophers, wild hogs, etc.  The larger magazine capacity simply reduces the number of times the hunter needs to reload.


Regardless, the anti-gun crowd will continue to malign this popular rifle while refusing to acknowledge it’s best-suited capability … self defense.  An often quoted saying is that “the Founding Fathers didn’t write the Second Amendment because the deer were coming”.

For home-based self defense the AR-15 with its standard capacity 30-round magazine offers excellent capabilities for the homeowner whether they be a man, woman or child.  Why is it the most popular rifle design in th US?

  • short length
  • light weight
  • customization capabilities
  • reliability

Unlike its military version, the M4, the AR-15 is a semi-automatic firearm and will fire only one round for every trigger pull (just like many popular deer rifles).


Perhaps, when asked this purposely emotional question, we should counter by asking why politicians need 4-5 bodyguards each carrying weapons with 15-21 round magazines?

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About Bret Smith

I am a long-time lover of all things outdoors. Whether hunting, shooting, fishing or just hiking and camping, I take every opportunity to enjoy nature and share it with others.

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