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First time hog hunt: Which rifle should I take?

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First time hog hunt: Which rifle should I take?

Old 09-03-2018, 05:44 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default First time hog hunt: Which rifle should I take?

I've never been hog hunting before but am going out later this month to an area where the hogs are said to *average* 300lbs. That seems a little big to me so I'm wondering which rifle I ought to take along.

My choices are .25-06, .30-06, .270, and maybe a 6.5 Creedmoor. I want to use a copper bullet with whichever I choose (my wife is pregnant and doesn't want lead fragments in the meat).

Any advice? I can hit where I aim with any of them but prefer the .25-06. It's just that 100 grains seems a little light for a 300 pound hog.
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Old 09-03-2018, 05:47 PM
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Any of those will work fine. Take whichever you shoot best. And feel comfortable carrying.

-Jake
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:06 PM
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I'm a fan of bigger is better with Hogs. Two reasons, one is Hogs are tough, the reason they make different sized hammers, different sized nails.

Second reason is, "plan for the worst and hope for the best". You may make a DRT shot a dozen times and then the Hog bolts, switches ends or whatever, just as you shoot. Or you shoot at a running hog and shot placement gets iffy. Chances are is it is going to die, but how far is it going to run, where is it going to run (likely really deep cover) and how hard is it going to be to track. Big heavy bullets are often through and through and bleed well. Hogs have kind of a self healing hide, bullet holes can pucker shut and the blood trail disappears. The bigger the hole the less likely this is going to happen. And along the same line, the only time Hogs are really dangerous is when they are hurt, if one turns on you it is likely it is wounded. If your tracking one through thick brush and it is wounded, it can be a rectum tightening experience, been there done that. IMO it is better to use the biggest hammer you can manage.

The age old question, Can you? Sure! Should you?

I went after a BBQ sized Hog I'd shot, I shot head on and the bullet traveled almost the entire length of the Hog right next to the backbone. The Hog went down and looked dead, I went for my game bag (maybe a hundred yard round trip), the Hog got back up and took off. I tracked it through really heavy brush, at zero dark thirty, in a couple inches of snow. And came face to face with three big Sows who had bolted but then circled around and came back for junior. The brush was so thick I could barley swing my rifle barrel. I backed out of there with the three Sows snorting, huffing and pawing the ground like a bull ready to charge. I really thought I was toast. Doesn't happen often, but when it does it is something you are unlikely to forget. Learning form other peoples screw ups is the less painful way to learn a lesson.

Here 6.5 is the legal minimum, .308 (180 grain) is considered marginal, 30-06 200 grain or better adequate and 8 (7.92 x 57 180 grain +) or 9 (9.3 x 62 200 grain +) preferred. Germans have been hunting Hogs forever (around 50,000 years, give or take a few) they say bigger is better.

Last thing to add, Hogs have a different nervous system than Deer. They don't seem to react to hydro-static shock as much as Deer do. They are just tougher, basically tanks that are built to run through the thickest brush at 30 MPH
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Old 09-03-2018, 10:15 PM
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30-06 or .270 Winchester. The bigger .30 bullets would be my preference for hogs. They are unbelievably tough animals.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by MudderChuck View Post

Last thing to add, Hogs have a different nervous system than Deer. They don't seem to react to hydro-static shock as much as Deer do
About the only thing different about their nervous system is the brain size is small relative to body weight.

As for not reacting to hydrostatic shock in the say way that deer do, that may or may not have anything to do with the CNS. Coyotes don't seem to react similarly either. You could say that animals of different body types and different physical characteristics will react differently to the exact same stimuli because they are not physically made up in the same manner.

If you don't do direct or indirect significant damage to the CNS system, expect the hog to run. That is what they do. Hopefully, you did significant enough damage to the circulatory or pulmonary systems to shut down the hog before it goes too far. I will pump extra rounds into a running hog to shorten its run.

I am currently hunting with a 6.5 Grendel and 90 gr Speer TNT rounds. I have killed both 300 lb and 330 lb boars with this bullets (Loaded by American Eagle). Shot placement matters. If you shoot your .25-06 (100 gr @ ~ 3200 fps) best and you can place your shots where you want them, it will work fine. Going with a typical hunting bullet, your rounds should have no problem making it into the vitals or through the head. You can certainly go with a heavier .25-06 bullet as well. People have no problem using this round for elk, so it should work for hog as well. https://www.chuckhawks.com/why_25-06.htm
Will .25-06 work for large (elk,moose, ect game)
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Old 09-08-2018, 06:48 AM
  #6  
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All those calibers are capable, IMHO.

Like Bocajnala said, which one are you most comfortable with?

If they are all bolt guns, it's mostly a wash. If the Creedmore is on an AR platform...that's it.

Will you be night hunting? What optic? Using a green light?

Open pastures or thick brush? You may or may not want a longer barrel.


I generally carry a 300BO with an X-sight, but keep an AR-10 with a green light in the truck.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:17 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by MudderChuck View Post
I'm a fan of bigger is better with Hogs. Two reasons, one is Hogs are tough, the reason they make different sized hammers, different sized nails.
Hogs are really dangerous is when they are hurt, if one turns on you it is likely it is wounded.
+1 on that, man. I also think, that 'bigger is better' when it comes to hogs. I am not a fan of that extreme feeling when you see a dangerous wounded hog running at me lol (and that's no funny at all)
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:10 PM
  #8  
Spike
 
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I agree with MudderCuck, bigger is better, my vote is .30-06.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:03 PM
  #9  
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Any you have mentioned would be good, though as others stated, bigger is better! That said, the bullet is probably more important than the caliber (within reason). I would prefer a mono bullet for hog hunting.....just in case you had an opportunity at “the big one”! My choice would be a Barnes TSX or TTSX.....but then, that’s what I use on everything! memtb
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:07 AM
  #10  
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If all are bolt action it won't matter much - follow up shots. If semi-auto is available take that. Wooded or open area for follow ups? Just below the ear and the hog won't care which rifle you use or anything else ever again.
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