If I Could Only Have One Rifle

If you could only have one rifle to fulfill all my needs, what would it be? At first I thought my answer would be an AR-10, turns out it's an AR-15.

A couple of weeks ago, I came a cross a post on Twitter that asked the question: If you had to choose one fire for all your needs, which one would it be?

I didn’t hesitate with my response. Frankly, I didn’t even think about it. My response was instinctual. My response was an AR-10 chambered for 7.62x51mm (.308 Winchester) .

Since that day, I’ve given this question a little more thought and let’s just say I’m leaning more towards an AR-15. Why, you ask? Let’s break it down.

It’s no secret my favorite hunting rifle right now is the Fierce Arms Fury LR chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor. I’ve set it specifically for deer hunting. It’s light. The optics are excellent for short and medium range scenarios. But it’s not optimal for extended target shooting sessions as the barrel will heat up quickly which will interfere with the optics. Its length makes it impractical for tactical situations. The limited magazine capacity of four rounds is less than desirable for self defense scenarios. So when the question came up on twitter, I immediately discarded this rifle since it is a very specific tool and asked myself, “What other rifle have I hunted successfully with and would be better suited for target shooting, tactical scenarios, and self defense?”

As I’ve already mentioned, I jumped to the conclusion of the AR-10. More specifically a Daniel Defense DD5 V1 I have access to, but is now out of production. I’ve hunted successfully with an AR-10 and also not so successfully. Truth be told. It’s not the most optimal rifle for hunting in my opinion, but it’s still a great option. I’ve done quite a bit of target shooting with it. However, the Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20×50 scope currently mounted to it isn’t the best option for some tactical scenarios like close quarter combat. I suppose that could be resolved by replacing high powered scope with a low powered variable optic (commonly referred to as a LPVO). But even then, I think that the .308 Winchester might be a little much for out specific home defense scenarios given our suburban home where neighbors are in close proximity all around us.

So this brings me around to the AR-15. Specifically a Daniel Defense DDM4 V11 chambered for 5.56x45mm I have access to. While I haven’t attempted to hunt with this rifle, I fairly certain I could harvest deer with it. I’ve used this rifle extensively for target shooting, much more so than I have with the AR-10. There are many reasons for this including having less recoil and lower ammunition costs than the .308 Winchester. The Burris Fullfield TAC30 1-4x24mm LPVO mounted to it, which I don’t really care for, works great for most tactical scenarios. And I’m much more comfortable with slinging .223 Remington or 5.56x45mm rounds in any home defense scenario. There is also the fact that I have actually participated in professional training courses with this weapon and I can’t say that about the AR-10.

So there you have it. If I could only have one rifle, then my choice would be an AR-15. Of course, this reminds me that I want to change out the optics and add a weapon light to the AR-15…

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