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Hogs and Exotics Gun or bow, you can stretch your season and fill the freezer with wild hogs and an assortment of exotics.

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Old 02-21-2017, 09:38 AM   #1
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Default .223 vs. Hogs?

What would you guys say is the best .223 load for headshots on hogs? I know there are obviously better calibers that are more appropriate but there are a lot of people that take them with .223's
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:58 AM   #2
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I have a few friends that use .223 in AR configuration and they all load up 62gr (I think) Barnes TSX bullets. Most use head and neck shots but I've seen them work "okay" on a heart lung shot though I wouldn't recommend that shot placement on the larger boars. With better bullet technology the little .223 can do some serious damage at moderate ranges out to 200 yards.

I personally use a 6.8spc, .458 SOCOM, .338FED, and 7mm.08 all in AR platforms. Though I still on occasion break out one of my lever guns when I am feeling ornery which consist of .30-30 and .444MAR or if I am REALLY feeling my oats I just take a matched pair of old Colt .45's.

It's really all about shot placement and knowing your cartridges limitations when it comes to hogs. If you are using an anemic round such as the .223, then you need to limit your shot options in both range and placement when it comes to the big boys over 150 pounds. That cartilage shield isn't bullet proof but it does absorb a hell of a lot of energy.
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:50 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for the info
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:11 PM   #4
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i've killed dozens of wild hogs using the M197 55 grain military round. At ranges of up to about 150 yards when fired from a 16" barrel the bullet penetrates 4-6" yaws and fragments destroying the heart and lungs. Some of the hogs i killed with that round weighed 300 pounds.


My .223 hand loads for hogs use the 53 grain or the 55 grain Barnes TSX bullet: It knocks the snot our of hogs.


With the .223 shot placement is important. On a broadside hog put the bullet just behind the crook in the front leg-heart shot!! Avoid shots on hogs that are looking at you unless their head is down.


https://blog.hsoi.com/2010/09/03/feral-hog-anatomy/
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:13 PM   #5
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Thank you very much
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:59 AM   #6
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Exactly what falcon said. I like the 69grn rounds in my custom AR with a 1-7" twist and take ear shots if applicable. I will take a between the eyes IF he has his head down. If not, it has skipped off the skull and just gave them a nasty attitude for the day!! I got him as he turned with several follow ups in the boiler room and saw the damage later on. Remington makes a round called the HogHammer. I have heard good things about them. never shot them yet. I would also look at the Hornady line.

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Old 02-24-2017, 08:10 AM   #7
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My opinion is that a newbie should not be messing around with a .223 round until they have some experience on hogs.
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Old 02-24-2017, 09:32 AM   #8
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The guys around here have been hunting hogs for thousands of years.

The general consensus is bigger is better. From bullets to spears.

Hogs are a nuisance species, but IMO that shouldn't negate general hunting principles. The object is to put it down fast and have them expire quick. Avoid any necessary suffering. And of you do screw up you have an obligation to track that animal and finish it, also to avoid unnecessary suffering.

I've never taken larger game with a .223 I have shot a lot of small game and even some young Roe deer with a .222. I really can't imagine trying to use one on a grown Hog. It is unlikely to be a quick clean kill.

Can you, sure, the question is should you?

If you do screw it up and it is a non fatal shot, the smaller the bullet the smaller bullet hole is likely to pucker shut and the blood trail will end.

It is better to have an exit wound, less likely with a light bullet. A large hole is less likely to pucker shut if you do screw up the shot, the Hog takes off for the thickets and you have to track it.

I've lost one Hog in almost fifty years of hunting them .308-30.06 mostly, I have tracked dozens (maybe a hundred) for other guys who had bad luck or rushed the shot and screwed up. Hogs are tough. The smallest allowable bullet here is 6.5 most often used is 7 mm and larger, the old timers prefer an 8 or 9.3 mm bullet. Bullet weight 150 and heavier, most prefer 180 plus.

Another reason for bringing a bigger gun is you just may get lucky and see a 6-7 year old trophy Boar 300+ pounds. The chances of killing one, other than with a perfect shot, is not likely with pop gun.
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Old 02-24-2017, 12:00 PM   #9
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They ain't rhinos.


Used to be a fine gent on this forum who killed oodles of big hogs using a .22 Hornet.


i often hog hunt on thousands of acres of federal property with gun restrictions. Outside of deer and elk season hunters there are restricted to the use of shotguns and small shot or rim fire rifles.


i've killed dozens of wild hogs there using .22 LR and .22 magnum rifles. Yeah, you have to pick the shots carefully.


The .22 magnum is capable of cleanly taking hogs up to 150 pounds with heart-lung shots. On larger hogs i put the bullet in the hogs ear. My shots with the .22 magnum are limited to 75 yards.


The vast majority of my hogs are killed with .50 and .54 muzzleloaders.




i killed this old boar with a .22 LR:





This hog was killed from a tree stand my .22 magnum. The hog had his head down drinking from the pond. The bullet made jello of the lungs:


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Old 02-24-2017, 12:23 PM   #10
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No they aren't rinos. However simple common sense would tell you a kid who never hunted them before, not sure he has hunted anything before from his post, should be using something that is more forgiving on placement, I have seen shields on boars stop small bullets. A .22 caliber rifle is ok for experienced hunters, I don't think they are ok for novices who never even hunted hogs before and who will be hunting on his own with another novice. I do not think it is the best interest of the OP to encourage him to use that caliber. Just because a caliber can kill an animal is not evidence that it should be used.
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