The AR in AR-15 stands for “Armalite Rifle,” but for the last two decades, it’s really been “America’s Rifle.” The platform, with its superior ergonomics and accuracy potential, is really quite perfect for hunting … with a few minor quibbles, which Rock River Arms set out to solve with its brand-new All-Terrain Hunter (ATH). This AR-15 has been optimized for hunting with features that target shooters and self-defenders will appreciate, too. If you’re looking for “just one gun,” this may very well be the one for you.
The first point of innovation is the caliber: Chambered in .223 WYLDE, this rifle can digest both .223 Rem. and 5.56mm NATO with ease, which gives you more versatility in the field and on the firing line. Although its barrel is relatively short at 18”, the 1:8" twist rate and cryogenic treating boost accuracy to ¾ MOA at 100 yards. That’s more than sufficient for predators, varmints and other light-skinned game.
Next is the hunter-optimized ergonomics. Much hunting takes place in cold weather, and gloves can make operating the controls of a traditional AR-15 a little difficult. Rock River has answered that concern with all sorts of innovations to accommodate gloved hands. A winter trigger guard provides ample room for the trigger finger even when wearing heavy gloves. The Hogue pistol grip also accommodates gloved hands with its no-slip rubber coating and prominent finger grooves. A star safety selector is easy to work while wearing gloves as well.
The Rock River ATH also boasts a generous cheek weld and textured buttplate atop a six-position adjustable stock. That six-position stock ensures that you’ll always get a great gun fit regardless of whether you’re dressed for prairie dogs in August or whitetail deer in December. Finally, the stock offers multiple quick-detach sling mounting points and a watertight battery storage compartment.
Of course, the real earmark of a good hunting rifle is the trigger. RRA's world-class Two-Stage Ultra Match Varmint Trigger is a joy to shoot with a 3.5-4 lbs. pull weight with a light take-up and crisp break for long-range accuracy. If you’re a predator or hog hunter who hunts nights, you’ll appreciate the co-witnessed, full-length rail system that offers plenty of room for high-magnification optics and thermal gear for late-night varmint hunting. There’s also an M-LOK-compatible handguard that ensures ample mounting positions for bipods, slings and lights.
Rock River’s All-Terrain Hunter comes complete with RRA's Operator muzzle brake, owner’s manual, plastic hard case and one 20-round steel magazine. MSRP $1,425; rockriverarms.com.