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So you can not hunt using .223 but you can with a .308? any reason?I'd be careful about buying an AR in .223 if you are planning to hunt. I don't know any New England states that allow hunting big game (deer, bear ) with a .22 caliber gun, even .223.
Then in MA you are limited in some areas to no LARGER than a .22, and think about convincing the Game Warden you meet in the woods that a .223 ISN't bigger than a .22.
My recommendations, a Carry Gun. 2-4 Inch S&W
.22 Rifle.... Ruger 10/22
You need an AR
A Savage Bolt action .308 with scope for hunting anything in New England
Remington 870 Shotgun (I prefer the 20 Gauge)
Actually, an AR with a 5 round magazine and Barnes 75 grain TSX loads is a great rifle where .223 is legal for hunting.Some states also have hunting regulations of no more mag capacity than 5 and NO FMJ. That alone can make an AR in .223 a bit tricky to hunt with