Why Every Canadian Hunter Needs an AR15


*Editor’s Note: June 13th, 2016. I know a lot of visitors are reading this article to better understand Canadian gun laws and what firearms we can legally own in the wake of the Florida shooting that happened on Sunday morning. I’d argue that you’re looking at the wrong cause but if I can convince you to spend 5 minutes reading more information, I’d highly encourage you to check out my article on Canadian Gun Stats and my article on twisting gun stats.

The much maligned AR-15 doesn’t get much love from traditional minded hunters, but it should because as a tool, it’s the best at many things. So, why would a hunter benefit from owning a mean, black, restricted firearm?

Rifle Marksmanship

When I ask other hunters how many shots they take per year, it’s often very low. Many pride themselves on using as few rounds as possible per year; making a 20 round box last 5 years or more. That speaks well to typical hunting rifle accuracy and the hunter’s respect for game. My question for all the low round counters out there: how would you rate your marksmanship against someone who fires 1000+ rounds per year from a variety of positions? Poorly? No doubt! Forget the truck side mirror, how good are you at shooting from standing, kneeling, sitting, or prone when those shooting opportunities present themselves in the field? It takes lots of trigger time and practice to stay at a decent level where you’re shooting well from these positions. You could use your hunting rifle to practice, but cost of rounds and the speed of firing will be greatly reduced with a typical hunting rifle. An AR provides a platform for copious amounts of trigger time, good enough accuracy to make it matter, and ammo that’s as kind on your shoulder as it is on your wallet.

Best AR15 Group

Practical Competition Platform

Many people, including myself, need competition as motivation to improve. Rifle marksmanship is no different. When it comes to practical stance or action rifle competition, there are AR-15’s and everything else.

An AR15 is ideal for practical competition, because it’s:

  • Light. The direct impingement action of the AR15 is very light, and simple in parts count.
  • Accurate. Most piston driven systems lack the accuracy that a good AR15 provides.
  • Flexible. No other rifle in existence today offers the flexibility that the AR15 has. Change your barrel length, forend, lower, trigger, grip, upper, stock. . .anything of meaning has tons of aftermarket parts available.
  • Low recoil. Most AR15s are available in 5.56×45 or .223, a light recoiling, inexpensive round.
  • Inexpensive: A Norinco AR15 will come in at $500-$600, an intermediate cost AR15 will be $1000-$1500, and a great AR15 will be $1500+. Comparatively, most NR semi auto 5.56 rifles in Canada are $2000+.
  • Magazines are inexpensive: $15-$20 per mag? Way better than most platforms and those extra mags are necessary in competition.
  • The standard. It’s fast to reload, accurate, cheap, flexible, and low recoil. What more could you ask from the standard in competition action shooting?


The downsides of the AR platform are almost negligible from a competitive point of view:

  • DI action is dirty and comparatively difficult to clean.
    • Not an issue with a competition gun that gets cleaned every 1000 rounds. Or every time you take it home if you’re like me.
  • Not as mission flexible for different calibers and barrel lengths
    • Maybe this is an issue in the military, but where I’m at, the AR15 offers plenty of flexibility through inter change-able uppers.
  • Not as potentially accurate due to the upper & lower 2 pin system
    • Tolerances can make for a bit of wiggle between some lowers and uppers, but there are solutions for that, and most other military battle rifles have much more egregious accuracy faults. For a standing/kneeling/sitting/action rifle, it’s well accurate enough. Most of us don’t need more practice shooting prone off a bipod.

The biggest downside to the AR15 in Canada isn’t competition related: the entire platform is restricted, no matter what. The disadvantage: no hunting, transporting without ATT, or firing off-range. The advantage to that: we don’t have to worry about barrel lengths like they do in the US. There is no difference in licensing and use between a 7″ barrel and a 20″ other than the concussive blast and fireball on the shorter barrel.

So owning and competing with an AR15 opens hunters up to marksmanship practice that’s simply out of reach for a typical hunting bolt action rifle.

Adding to the AR15 Membership

This one seems kind of silly until you think how a politician thinks. In our last few elections, the Liberal party has presented complete handgun bans and complete semi-auto bans as reasons for people to vote for them. The NDP is similarly very anti gun. As a hunter, that shit is scary. How long after they ban all semi auto’s, including hunting rifles like the Browning BAR, will they start to ban bolt action rifles? “Sniper Rifles!” they’ll cry as they ban our Remington 700’s and Savage 110’s. Adding to the AR15 brotherhood prevents or at least delays the time until they come for our deer rifles. It’s also a clear indicator to politicians that their ridership includes engaged rifle shooters that care about their sport and use the best available, restrictions be damned. If you start to worry about the rifle being too dangerous, remember that thousands have owned this rifle style, and in the past, many even owned fully automatic or burst-fire versions. We need to bump up those numbers big time! Our government likes to pretend that restricting full auto weapons and riveting 30 round mags makes a real difference, compared with spending more on mental health issues that often are the cause of mass shootings. Remember that what the government is concerned about is frequently NOT the real issues, and that we had thousands of Swiss Arms rifles in the country that committed no crime until they were determined to be “illegal” by the RCMP.  Similar thing with the CZ 858. In the end, rulings are made by people who judge the law as well as what will fly in the current political climate. Make “what will fly” different!

You’re 1 more friend who has an AR15

All you “in the closet” AR15 owners who aren’t taking all their acquaintances out to the range; take more people out! We lose public opinion only out of public ignorance. I personally aim to take 20-50 people to the range each year. Some years I don’t hit that number, but for the ones I do, I protect my sport and share in the experience. In a literal way, we need tons of voters out there who think “Hey, leave those shooters alone! They’re not bothering anyone.” The only way we get there is by providing lots of fun to lots of people so that they back us up when push comes to shove. AR15’s are lots of fun to shoot at the range. Make sure that your kids get that opportunity by owning one and taking new shooters out to try the sport.

CCFR’s Take on the AR15

  • Infanteer

    Ah, the excuse I’ve been waiting for. Thanks, HGG, I’m going to buy an AR platform rifle not because i want one, but for the good of the Country.

  • AndanteX

    My family and I have always had and shown a lot of fun to many people at the range. We take out many kids, including autistic kids with us and their parents. They all literally have a blast. Uneasy feelings and curiosity quickly turns to enjoyment once they see and try our sport. The AR/M4 platform would be simply a fantastic hunting rifle, considering the accuracy and practice that is put into that platform. It’s simply a semi-auto rifle, same function as any other semi-auto. Color and shape makes no difference.

  • Kevin Oxley

    SIGH…So True! Great article!

  • banditos

    I have a Bushmaster AR-15 and would like to use it hunting. Except it is Restricted in Canada and I can only shoot it at an approved range. Hopefully common sense will one day prevail and the powers that be will recognize that mature, responsible adults can go hunting with these firearms.

  • walter1970

    Thank you. This is the type of reasonable insightful thinking that is needed. I too hope that one day these rifles will be seen for what they are and not what the media seems to paint them as, “evil black killer guns”. I have tried to enlighten everyone that I can about AR rifles but some still take the stance that these are nothing but evil rifles that must be banned. There will always be those that feel that people who engage in the shooting sports should be shuned for their sport. There will always be those who feel that we as shooters are a fringe sect of society that threatens the very fabric of that society. In fact I think shooters should be viewed as pillars of society who protect its fundemental beliefs of freedom and liberty through the safe and responsible practice of their sport. nI have wanted an AR for a while now but have always found a reason not to make the investment to purchase one. Now I see the purchase of an AR as my investment toward making change in our country. It is an investment we would be ill advised to ignore for if we do we will have only ourselves to blame when we find that we are living under the ideals of those who`s investment is greater then our own and in turn will bare more fruit.n

  • robert x martin

    I just want one. But, the Ruger Mini-14 is a good alternative and I have hunted coyotes with it.

  • n0valoco

    I have an odd question that I really don’t want to ask the CFO just yet. My wife still holds her Canadian Citizenship and we are considering relocating to BC from the US. I own an AR-15 that I built from a stripped S&W lower. What would I have to do to bring it with or should I use the sale of it to help fund our move when the time comes and build a new one up there?

  • It might be worth asking iRunGuns (http://www.irunguns.ca/) to see if they’d be able to help out on some of the paperwork. I don’t know enough about ITAR and US export laws to give a very informed opinion, and I’m afraid I’d just be guessing. Does your wife have her RPAL, and would you be transferring it to her?

  • n0valoco

    Nope, she wasn’t interested in firearms until after she moved here to the states to marry me. I don’t see any reason why she’d be denied an RPAL, then we’d just need to find an exporter to ship it to her internationally. Or, I could just sell off mine and then build my own after I get my RPAL. nnnSelling my AR and then using the funds to buy an M14 and a bunch of ammo/accurate barrel does sound pretty funny considering that if I did that here I’d have to sell a LOT of AR’s.nnThanks for the help! 🙂

  • If you want to get into M14’s, Canada’s the place to be. The Norinco M14’s are great if you’re going to strip out a bunch of parts and replace with aftermarket. We also still have cheap SVT40’s and SKS’s. If you wanted an inexpensive AR, we’ve got Norinco CQ-A M4’s for $529. They’re not pretty, but they’re reliable.

  • Brad

    This just convinced me that I want an AR-15 over a Tavor or similarly priced .223. Thanks very much.

  • Josh Lee

    Just a note on the pin assembly / movement between the lower and upper receivers: You can have slop between the upper and lower and it will not impact the accuracy of the rifle. The barrel, upper receiver, and sights are all directly connected and will not be impacted by independent lower receiver movement. 🙂

  • Tyler M

    I truly hope you stayed in the U.S. I would take full advantage of it and stay south of the border. The RCMP will confiscate ANYTHING at a whim and YOU WILL NOT BE REIMBURSED. Need proof? High River Gun Grab + whatever search engine you want = RCMP crimes

  • Tyler M

    It’s almost not worth it because then the RCMP will scream public safety and ban them outright.

  • Nah, still here in Missouri, USA, doing what I can to help you guys out on issues like this.

  • Yeah, those SVT-40’s have been on my radar for a while. I need to figure out how much longer do they have to be in Canada before they can be imported here…lol

  • The RCMP attempted to ban the CZ858 and Swiss Arms rifles based on existing firearms law. That same law names the AR15 as restricted, so we’re safe for now. As a police organization, I believe the RCMP will attempt to ban everything they can under existing law because they believe it to be part of their mandate.

  • I just had to come up with something vs the XCR’s barrel pin method!

  • Unarmed target

    Calgary Police call it a rifle because thats what it is they call it a Police Patrol Rifle.

  • Tyler M

    Adriel the RCMP can in fact arbitrarily anything prohibited they want to. The most common and pathetic excuse for the CFO’s to issue a new FRT number for an existing firearm in which they declare that it is in fact possible to convert whatever firearm into a fully automatic firearm. They will then declare them banned (either 12.2 or 12.3 Post-1978 BAN depending on how easy it is to convert them) and then order them surrendered. It’s happened before and until the RCMP are either disbanded or no longer have any authority whatsoever over firearms? They WILL DO IT AGAIN.

    They have officers and technicians sit around ALL DAY LONG and figure out a way to make a firearm fully automatic and then no matter bizarre or unsafe or even life threatening that method happens to be to the shooter? They LAUGH and say “It’s full auto! WE CAN BAN IT!”

    The Canada Firearms Program is actually listed as the Canada Disarmament Program within the UN. I believe it’s listed somewhere under Agenda 21.

  • Tyler M

    Wheeeew! You have no idea how relieved I am for you!

  • Yeah, there are some things that need to change before we can ‘retire’ to BC. 😉

  • Zolly Simon

    While waiting for my PAL (restricted) I went window shopping. I saw and fell in love with an AR-15. The store owner told me I could buy it, but cannot take it home until I receive my PAL, and an ATT. I instantly laid out my debit card. It took almost 3 months for the CFO to approve and mail out my PAL (Ontario) and then it took another 29 days, from the date of application, for the ATT to arrive snail-mail, even though the RCMP gave me the option of receiving it via email, which I accepted. Hummm.

    Anyhow, I now have my AR-15 at home. Now, I must wait another year for a long waiting list at a local gun club. This is nothing short of ridicules, and must change.

    They issue me a restricted PAL, they issue me an ATT to bring it home, but if I want to shoot it, I am a criminal, or treated as such.

    If I am not mistaken, in Canada, texting while driving kills more people than guns do. I’m voting for the next politician that wants to make the use of cell phones restricted to licensed and approved areas only, anyone with me?

    Maybe we should all file a class action law suit against every cell phone manufacturer, because their products kill thousands of people every year.

  • Ugh, you guys get totally screwed in Ontario. Bill C-42 should make things better.

  • Tom Kinakin

    I sent a letter to the PCs advising them that a low key way to gain some votes if they lifted the manditory range requirement. I had 2 beutiful Dlask AR 15s. An 11″ and 16 “. I also had a Kimber Covert .45.
    I wound up getting really sick and it put me on disability. The cheapes range membership I had access to was $500 per year.
    Living on 1000 dollars a month I wasn’t able to afford that so to stay compliant I had to consign them. I took a real beating too.

    I’ve heard people argue that we register cars so why not guns?
    Well if the registration on your car expires do you have to surrender it under threat of prosecution?

    Although firearms ownership is not enshrined as a right in Canada, private property ownership is.
    As long as there is a manditory club requirement your firearms are never really yours.

    I feel really ripped off.

  • Colin

    I agree, let’s fight to keep our rights to hunt and show why the ar15 is a necessary tool to hunters and responsible gun owners alike and should be made more legal.

  • Scott Turner

    There is no law saying you need to have a range membership to possess restricted firearms. Your CFO may require you to have a membership to acquire them, but once you own them you may let the range membership lapse if you are not shooting, for reasons such as yours. You screwed yourself out of your guns by not knowing, and not asking. I hope you can get your feet back under you soon.

  • David Marshall Ji

    I don’t think hunters in Canada need an AR 15, cuz you can’t use an AR 15 to hunt in Canada

  • BCRoadRunner

    Have you signed the Petition on the Canadian Government Petition website?


  • BCRoadRunner

    The only route for Canadians to get the AR-15 reclassified as Non-Restricted is by Parliament’s Online Petition website and signing Petition Number E-111. Please follow one of the links below, also join the Favebook page for more updates as they become available.

    Facebook E-111 Page.

  • David Sharpe

    That’s why we need to fight so that it once again is legal to hunt with them.

  • MorallyCorrect2

    The piece of shit AR-15 is nowhere near as good as my Winchester Model 70 in .270 calibre with a 3 to 9X scope for deer, pronghorns etc. Nor is it as good as my .300 Win Magnum for moose and elk. The 45 gr bullet of the AR-15 constitutes cruelty to animals. Start thinking, OK?

  • Slicks

    Apples and oranges there bud. No need to get your panties in a knot. Obviously your. 270 or .300 has way more stopping power than an AR-15. Those are heavy grain, high powered rifles. The AR is a small caliber carbine. He’s saying it’s great because you can get amazing practice for cheap. So chill out

    PS: a 50 grain.243 has no problem taking out a large white tail or muley. Small grain doesn’t constitute cruelty to animals. Your terrible aim does.

  • MorallyCorrect2

    The AR-15 isn’t even good for target practice because it can’t even fire a 4 inch group off a bench. Much smarter to use a .22 (unless your dick is only 4 in. and you need an AR-15 to feel like a real man!)

  • Slicks

    How would a small gun make feel like a real man? Are you so sheltered that a scary AR-15 frightens your non existent masculinity. You obviously didn’t read the article cuz you’re an idiot. Re read it and maybe realize other people like other types of guns.

  • CruisingTroll

    As a troll who haunts the underbridges of the World Wide Web, I would like to apologize for the behavior of this ignoramus. It is behaviour such as his that gives my kinds a bad name. It is a wonder that such monumental feats of ignorance, arrogance, and repugnance can be combined in such a microscopic encephalic envelope.
    Once again, my apologies on behalf of all trollkin for this deplorable behavior.

  • Brian

    your full of it and a 300 black ou in an ar is a great deer caliber!

  • Brian

    Your a real loser eh. And obviously insecure about your pennis size. My colt ar is sub moa all day long. You obviously know little about what your spouting, probably a troll.

  • David Sharpe

    Your .300 is nothing compared to my .50 BMG!!!

    You need to choose a calibre for what you’re hunting. Comparing an AR and a .300 for moose makes you look very stupid. The exact opposite would be me comparing an AR and a .300 for coyote, and saying that your .300 is a piece of shit for that.

  • David Sharpe

    Yeah…you’ve just proven your lack of intelligence with this comment.

    If you were intelligent you would know that ARs are actually very accurate, and are actually known for their accuracy.

  • MorallyCorrect2

    My Browning bolt action in .223 calibre is best for the fox. Far more accurate than the AR. The AR is for guys who want to feel more masculine.

  • David Sharpe

    Right, someone will totally pick a .22 rifle for overcompensation….

    You aren’t intelligent enough to own guns.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes