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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
when ever you read a post that asks about what caliber to use on hogs it seems like 95% of the answers are the larger calibers? It always amazes me to see that. Sure hogs have the reputation of being hard to kill, BUT they are not. With a well placed shot a hog will drop in their tracks. Like somebody said in another thread on here, even if they are hit with a 300 win mag in the wrong area they will not die right away. SHOT PLACEMENT is key. If your comfortable shooting your 243 or 25-06 and can put that round in the hogs ear every time use it. You do not need a 300 win mag, 35 wheelen, or any of the other big calibers listed in these posts. I am curious as to the answers to this post.

Here are a couple of links that show good shot placement areas.




 

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I use my .338 WM only because it's lighter to carry up and down the hills than is my Remington M700 V in .308 and those are the only two big game hunting rifles I have with a scope. Other than the .375 H&H and it's too much for a hog. I want to use the scope because out here in CA we have medium to long shots on the hogs during deer season. This spring I will go again and take my other .308 that has iron sights and see what I can do about getting closer when no one is in the woods.
I really like how the .338 bullets do not turn meat in to jelly like some of the smaller faster rounds. On the small deer we have on the family farm in NC my two uncles shoot .270 and ruin a lot of meat. My .308 or .338 does not. If I were looking for a new rifle it would be a .338 Federal. I also like the bigger bore. Heck I'll try with my handgun if I get a short shot and it's only a .44mag. The much maligned 30-30 has more poop then the big bore pistol.
 

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SJ,

Up until a few years ago, my hog gun was a Mosin Nagant in 7.62x54R with Sellier and Bellot ammo. I now hunt with 44 Mag and 500 S&W in Handi-Rifles, and 50 cal muzzy. Every gun has brought home the bacon. I have always hit the hog in the pocket behind and below the shoulder where the heart and lungs are located. I noticed the pictures you exhibit here to indicate kill shots include my preferred shot zone, which has never failed to result in a dead hog. Thus, I disagree with these pictures. But if a person does hunt hogs, one must use a gun that is accurate and is comfortable with. Also, use well-constructed bullets.

ST762
 

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"when ever you read a post that asks about what caliber to use on hogs it seems like 95% of the answers are the larger calibers? It always amazes me to see that. Sure hogs have the reputation of being hard to kill, BUT they are not. With a well placed shot a hog will drop in their tracks."

Well said. That is the best graphic that i have ever seen on hogs. i often hunt in a restricted area where only shotguns with shot and rim fire rifles are allowed. This place is over-run with hogs. Killed a lot of hogs there with my Ruger 10/.22 and solid point ammo. Hit a hog between the eyes or on a line between the eye and ear with a .22 solid point bullet and that hog is going to the ground.
 

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Shouldn't people be able to use what they wish? I personally won't use any rifle of less than .308 caliber except for small game or varmits. I don't like them at all. I prefer a .35 caliber or larger. Perhaps I don't need to, but that's what I prefer.
 

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I've shot a dozens of hogs this year with my 6.5x55 Swede sporter. I like the caliber so much that I just ordered a CZ 550 American in the same caliber. We have so many on the property I work on that I only take head shots. That little 6.5 drops them in their tracks. My boss uses a 22 mag and he drops them everytime. I took a friend along about a month ago and he shot a shoat (30 lbs) with a 7mm mag. It took the pigs head clean off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Those graphics are composed of several years of my own and several hunting partners experiences. As well as when we were guiding rifle hunts, of the better kill zones, for the average client. I know the shot you mentioned Swampthing, however as you also pointed out bullet selection has alot to do with that shot working. I believe this image here shows your shot better, however in the original post it did not show up.



I also agree folks should use round and gun that they are comfortable with. As well as can shoot accurately. 44mags, 50 cal muzzys all these I can under stand. What my question and curiosity was about however is WHY when somebody that has never been or very little experience hunting hogs, from the way their post comes across, the big bores are usually the ones that are suggested? When from what I have just read we all, or most of us know it does not take a big bore at all.

BUT then I rarely worry about shooting them until deer season is here. I prefer dogs and a sharp knife LOL
 

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SJ,

Perhaps the big bores are suggested to the novice because of quick kill capability and the added insurance that the hog will be DRT. I know I don't want to face a 300-lb hellporker with a 223 or 243.

ST762
 

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I suspect it is because most place their shots in that yellow not that red zone in your photos. When we raised hogs the only thing ever used to kill them was a single .22 short to the brain. I confess however to being one who likes larger bores and more often that not place my shots for a lung hit same as I do on deer rather than the brain shot that kills faster and with a lot less gun.
 

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Or perhaps it is the diffrence in where your hunting them at. You probably live in texas with a lot of open ground. Hunt them in a swamp in florida that is really really thick and have one run at you once. You will decided that your 25-06 just isnt big enough. All though if your Wyatt Earp I guess you can do the running ear shot or hit those red dots on the pics that look so easy( until there moving-----thru brush). I have seen a 300 plus pond pig killed with a single shot to temple and drop in its tracks with a 22 win mag. I have seen a 70lbs soat hit 3-4 times with a 357 mag run 200yrds plus.

I could take a 338 winchester mag and kill a standing still cape buffalo. If there are no variables all day long. But there was some guy out there who created some stupid law(I would like to find him and kick his but) I believe his name was newton.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PreBanPaul, yes I live it Texas, HOWEVER it is not all open and the brush is and can be just as thick as other states. I have hunted hogs all over Texas, and in La as well. While we are drier I am not too sure the brush is any thicker then there LOL. HOWEVER 99% of this hunting was with dogs and knife, and crawling in on hands and knees not knowing if the hog(s) is caught or loose and fighting.

Several years back, when I was guiding hunts to pay for college, which I no longer do, I had to go after wounded hogs from poor shots with the big bore rifles due to the shooter not being able to shoot it due to being scared of it. 9 times out of 10 all I had was a 357 mag(pos) or a 44mag and a knife. I am not trying to puff my chest or sound like I am some supper hunter. Just trying to show I have been there done that with wounded hogs and thick brush, swamps, and various obstacles. Most of this is done at night. Rarely do we get to hunt during the day. Running shots are also normal most of the time when spotlighting the sendero's and if in open hay or crop fields. The only still shots we get are if the hogs are under a feeder. In all these cases a smaller caliber that the shooter is/was not afraid of ended in a dead hog just as fast as those who used the big bores and hit the same spot. Just the same if the hog was hit in a bad spot or guts buy either choice of gun. However during this time I had noticed that I did alot less wounded game recovery with the smaller bore rifles.

Again I am not trying to come across as a know it all. Just trying to understand the big bore theory for hogs. I appreciate all your answers and welcome them and more. Anybody who would like to come in and go hog hunting with dogs and knife is welcome to come this summer. Like I told the other guy. I am always looking to meet new folks and hunting partner's and we can discuss this more in person as well. Just cost ya the gas money to get down here LOL.
 

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Besides why do you care if guys want to buy a special rifle just for hogs. I don't know about your part of the world but the boars can get cranky if you wake them up from their nap and have been known to charge. I want a heavy bullet with a lot of energy and a big front end to stop or turn a charge.
Also if these guys are talking about a special rifle just for hogs it may promote hog hunting and more people will want to try the knife and dog thing as they get one or two hunts under their belt. Guys I know love it when a hunter starts talking about the"Perfect Elk rifle" or cartridge. He has an interest and wants to hunt that game.
Also depending on where you hunt and the terrain is going to pick your rifle. Guys in New England like the .30-30 and other short case "brush" rounds for deer. Hunting deer in the woods is different than in a bean fields of the Carolinas or the hills of Montana where longer range shots are required and the 30-30 or 35 Remington would not bring home the meat. Also deer are deer in a given area. The thing about hogs is that they range to and from and I guess we are all hoping for a real wild hogzilla and want to be ready for it with the appropriate bullet design. I guess Black bears fall into this as well. And when a 350+ went by me on the farm when I was dove hunting I wanted something bigger than my .308 to be in the woods with.
Here in CA, if a pig is hit and can make it out of the bowl or over the small hills, you can loose him quickly as the soil is dusty and blood gets covered easily in a light breeze. Big bullets make big holes that spill blood and fill lungs faster.
I saw the effects of the .243 and 270 on deer and did not like it. I have found that big long round nosed bullets do a great job on putting big game on the ground and do not turn half of the animal into Jelly.
I am not recoil sensitive and the other post was a wish list for the perfect hog rifle. To me a medium caliber in a short action is perfect. I like the new .338 federal and will be getting one some time soon as a general purpose hunting rifle. It has the stopping effect of the .358 and the trajectory of the .308.
I use the .338 Mag on hogs for two reasons I have it as an elk rifle and I am confidant on hitting and killing an animal out t to 300 yards with it.
And just because they kill steers at the slaughter house with a .22 short does not mean I want to use one on an elk.
 

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Very early in my hog hunting career i made a bad shot on a hog that ran into a plum thicket: This guy weighed almost exactly 400 pounds. Took my trusty CVA .50 caliber smoke pole and went in after him. Without warning he came at me. Was so lucky as to hit him in the head from about 12 feet. This taught me to put the bullet in the right place the first time. There are a lot of hogs that i pass on because it is impossible to get the bullet into the right place.
 

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I've posted here a long while and I've advocated correct shot placement from a steady rest. I've killed a truck full of hogs from 25 yards under the stated conditions with my Ruger K77/22RP in 22 LR caliber. A shot in the "X" between the ears and eyes - they never take another step and their buddies don't spook and run away as with the larger calibers - allowing three and four kills in minutes. When hunting for the BBQ, a 22 LR is quite enough gun.

If that isn't enough testimony for the 22 LR, may I suggest some "light" Grizzly Bear reading http://www.angelfire.com/on2/LandOwner/misc/Ian.html
 

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I'm guessing those head shots(which use to be considered unethical & poor sportsmanship) don't make for a very nice looking trophy mount.
 

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'I'm guessing those head shots(which use to be considered unethical & poor sportsmanship) don't make for a very nice looking trophy mount.'

There is nothing unsportsmanlike or unethical about shooting a hog in the head at close range. Most of the ones i have shot in the head were shot with a .22 rimfire or a .22 Hornet. Most times the entry hole of the bullet is not visible. i have never found an exit hole in the head of a hog that was shot with a .22 rimfire or a .22 Hornet.
 

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I like my 30-30 with hand loads for hogs. It's accurate, it's reliable, and after I fire it the hogs don't go anywhere. For me, that all that's necessary. If you have a gun that fits that description, regardless what caliber it is, then by all means use it.
 

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I seen lots hogs killed with 22 mags 223s and have killed a few myself with a 7.62x39 and 357 mag, but with my 45/70 and heavy bullets I do not have to be quite as picky about taking harder shots. 405 gr Remington's will pass clean through both shoulder on large boars and will also take them down with shot up the exhaust pipe. If they dont DRT they are much easier to track with a big hole in them ;)

Pat
 

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It all boils down to what works, what feels good, what you want to do today. There are days when hunting for and killing a hog just isn't any fun anymore. After killing and butchering hundreds of hog, the fun stops at the pull of the trigger and the work starts. Don't get me wrong, if there is someone special that wants the meat, or better, someone that isn't a hunter and would sincerely appreciate the experience of killing their first hog, then I am game for killing a hog or two. It is satisfying to put a Father and Son on a stand, let them kill a hog together (or deer in season), and listen to the excited telling and retelling of that hunt. That's a pleasure and I urge you guys with land to take advantage of that. Opportunities for hunting come easier to the land owner. Giving other that opportunity is a very good thing.
 

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To all the new hog hunter's out there,there's some good advice here,but don't always count on the head shots.I know of 4 shot in the head with handguns that got up and ran off. Another was shot at close range charging a friend of mine,and he was hit with a 20 gauge shotgun with 00 buckshot.Okla hog hunter can tell you about Curdog's shot to the frontal part of the head with a 45 longcolt and it ran off also.(about a 10'shot) A rancher friend of mine shot 1 9times with a 22 in the head and it ran off also. I ran across 1 older type guy (like me) that shot a 550 pd. boar 5 times with a 357 mag with a 8" barrel and he was comeing back to the truck to call a friend to bring a rifle to finish it off.He swear's he saw the bullets bounce off its head.I always shoot behind the shoulder because I bowhunted so many yrs. its just natural for me.Some hogs fall and some don't.I have 1 friend that hunts with a AR 15 and puts about 8 rds. in every hog he shoots.But he does not recover many. The hogs up here may be tougher than anywhere else,but they don't die easy as you guy's hogs do. Digger
 
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