One AR15 for everything from 0-600 yards.


From the article:

"In the video below, Frank Proctor, US Special Forces vet and USPSA Grandmaster shooter explains the concept of 1 rifle for everything and his preffered setup:

The Three Keys To Having An AR-15 That Does It All

As you can see, to get the full long-range benefits of a quality AR-15 not much in the way of upgrades is needed — primarily a free floated barrel, a good magnified optic (preferably variable from 1x for CQB to as high as 6x-8x for long range) and good ammo.

At around 500-600 yards the 5.56 is right at the edge of its ballistic effectiveness even though many people have made hits out at further distances — even 1,000 yards — with stock M4’s.

Heck, as far as I know the U.S. Marines still make you qualify with a stock, iron sighted M16 at 500 yards so the platform is more than capable at this distance.

Is a Magnified Optic as Fast As a Red Dot For Close Quarters?

The answer, as far as I can tell, is yes. Or at least close enough not to matter too much.

First, 3-gun guys have been running a variable optic setup for this reason for many years now for this very reason. They can smoke the up close targets on 1x power and then quickly get some magnification power — up to 6x these days — for long range targets when needed.

Second, with practice it appears that you can be just as fast as with an unmagnified red dot optic up close with a variable optic.

In the video below Steve of Sentinel Concepts and Jeff of Armed Dynamics compare Red Dots (Trijicon MRO) in timed shots versus Magnified Optics (Trijicon Accu-Power) (warning: NSFW language if you care)."


ok, so you hit your target. but at 500+ yards, the 5.56 won’t do enough damage at that distance to take down much of anything over 100 pounds. So, one AR15 for “everything from 0-600 yards” seems to be stretching it a bit.

Hornady is showing energy of their 75 grain 5.56 hunting round at 500 yards being 182 ft lbs. That means it would be less powerful than a decent .380 acp round (fired out of 3 inch barrel) at point blank. Yeah, could kill, but probably just maim.


For a single, do all kind of caliber, I would take the .30-06 over the 5.56. Some ammo for .30-06 is 55 grain - turns the .30-06 into a fine varmint round with roughly 4,000 fps muzzle velocity.

Or, you can go past 200 grain for most game in North America. 5.56 can’t touch that.


After 600 yards the 5.56 has ballistics similar to .22 magnum, supposedly. The military wouldnt use SPRs or long range 5.56 rifles out to 800+ yards unless it was at least somewhat effective.


5.56 is lighter recoiling and higher capacity. 30-06 is for big game, 5.56 is used on deer,hogs and humans out to 500 yards all the time. I personally dont shoot my ARs out past 3-400 yards and I use Blackhills 77 gr. The 30-06 is a good round for hunting though.


@JohnB, Hornady definitely make some quality ammunition they make quite a few different loads some of them have a little bit more horsepower downrange.



Thanks, SAK, but even 569 ft lbs would be a bit weak for deer - don’t you think? Now, imagine black bear or worse! No, I retain my statement - 5.56 is not the do all caliber - at any range.


I wish more people would realize this fact



I would be confident in using 77 gr 5.56 for hunting deer out to 300 yards. I would not choose it for anything further unless we are talking varmints. On humans its plenty effective out to alot further then that according to most btdt type of guys ive either talked to or read about . 0-600 on humans and varmints is perfectly reasonable. I will dig up some numbers later. For deer I would not be taking taking dhots at 600 yards but thats just me.


Against what and in what role? Against humans and smaller critters it is a good do all round.


I will have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of the 5.56 round.

First off, let’s talk practical accuracy. The 5.56 AR inherently is very accurate. Many factors go in to this but the two main ones are it recoil impulse coupled with low recoil. For the average shooter this translates into a very controllable platform, especially if rapid follow up shots are needed. The 30-06 cannot compete on that point.

Second, let’s discuss the average skills of most civilian shooters. Even with optic very few will push themselves past 250-300 yards. I am willing to wager that your average deer hunter who shoots a few roads each year to zero and then maybe a couple more to put meat in the freezer could not accurately recite the DOPE for whatever load they are using.

So now lets caveat into the ballistics. Take the 30-06 round in 165 grain (a good choice for deer, elk, and bear). We’ll say zero is 100 yards.
200 yards = 3.7in drop, 2115 energy
300 yards =13.4in drop, 1802 energy
400 yards = 30.2in drop, 1526 energy
500 yards = 55.4in drop, 1284 energy

Now let’s look at the 5.56 in 77 grain (MK262 standard, excellent against humans), same 100 yard zero.
200 yards = 2.5in drop, 896 energy
300 yards = 11.7in drop, 740 energy
400 yards = 29in drop, 607 energy
500 yards = 56.1in drop, 494 energy

Except for the energy (which the difference being a function of mass and weight), the 5.56 77 grain is right there with the 30-06 165 grain. Now couple that with lower recoil (meaning faster and more accurate follow on shots), lower ammunition weight (more 5.56 ammo weight wise), and packaged in a rifle substantially lighter. Add to this the commonality of parts among AR-15’s (traditional 5.56 platform), cost of ammunition (30 to 60 cents a round compared to 90 cents and higher a round for 30-06).

So the argument can be made that if someone is looking for a “jack at all trades, master of none” between 0-600 yards then the AR in 5.56 is a solid argument.

Now am I saying not to use the 30-06? Absolutely not. I hunt large game with the same sporterized 1903A3 I’ve had since I was sixteen. Great rifle, accurate as hell, and has taken many pounds of venison. With that said, ammo is pricey, bolt actions are slow. and a varmint gun it is not (and yes I know about the 55grain accelerator round but having shot it, I find accuracy to be inconsistent and it’s quite expensive).

Now my MK12 can take deer with the heavier pills, very accurate also, larger magazine capacity, ammo is cheaper, can switch to the varmint mode with no loss of accuracy, excellent for self defense in a SHTF/EOW/breakdown of society/etc… stuff, and parts are a no brainer. Not to mention replacing barrels, bolts, trigger assemblies, stock set ups and the rest are easily accomplished with minimal need of special tooling of skill sets.

Just my humble opinion.


Thank you for your thoughtful comments, RetPara.

I am still bewildered by the “except for energy” comment - as if that does not matter? Not to mention the mass of the bullet, diameter of the bullet (bigger hole), and perhaps other issues. Are you really trying to say that a 5.56 is just as deadly (due to its matching accuracy), as a .30-06, at 500 yards? Ok, for varmints, or even maybe humans, I might agree. But, you would be hard pressed to convince me that the 5.56 would make a good choice for larger game - especially at extended distances, despite its accuracy.

Perhaps, if you were limited to just one rifle, the AR15 in 5.56 would make sense. But, you would have to know that you are seriously undergunned in bear territory with the AR15.

Just guessing, I doubt any of the seasoned hunters here would go hunting 600 lb game with a 5.56. That is what I have my .45-70’s for! Deep penetration into heavy boned, thick skinned animals, is not so likely on such animals with a mere 77 grains - wouldn’t you agree?



This reminds me of an elephant hunter’s story where he shot an elephant (with an elephant gun), killed it, and then had it butchered so the local natives could enjoy the meat.

Upon butchering the elephant, they discovered 29 AK47 bullets in the elephant. Just guessing here, but maybe someone with an AK47 attempted to kill the elephant and emptied his gun on the elephant (except for the last round?). Maybe the elephant got pissed off and got to him on that 29th round? Either way, the AK was simply ineffective on the elephant.

Moral of the story here: use the gun that is purpose built for the hunt you are going on, not just what you have and want it to be enough gun.


This makes sense to me. There really is no best do-all round and just for a derail ,The 7.62x39mm is not thst grest of a round compared to the 5.56 except for barrier penetration. Against flesh 5.56>x39
The smaller russian round is equally devastating, size is not everything and fu** shooting elephants with intermediate rounds. Although there was a jackass thst shot a moose with 9mm and killed it just fine.


Agreed, jf89, better not to rely on a single caliber or gun for all purposes.


Just need a 6.5 Grendel


thanks for your feedback, Greenwell_Armory.

I don’t know the ballistics on the Grendel cartridge, but will look into it.


Ok here is a serious question
How many people here have taken shots out past 500 and 600 yards
Effectively hitting a target
And let’s be realistic we’re not aiming at paper but a moving target
1 out of 10 can make that shot effective in the first place so what does ballistics really matter in the first place
A fruitless argument


True enough, Giantspeed.

But, the title of this thread is why the subject even came up.

Personally, I like to keep my shots at 100 yards or less, whenever possible.

Of course, the day comes when I get a decent scope, I may change my max range.