View Full Version : .308 ammo for Boars

February 24, 2000, 11:28 AM
I am planning to hunt boars this spring for the first time, and would like to get some opinions on the best .308 ammo to use. I am considering using 150 grain FMJs for deep penetration, since boars supposedly have 2 inch "plating" around the shoulder area. Alternatively I could use the Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw (165 grain - high energy - slow expansion). Would the Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw ammo be able to provide deep penetration on a boar?

February 24, 2000, 01:37 PM
I have had good luck with Sierra 150gr gamekings. I wouldn't worry much about the shoulder armor. If you were planning on using a bow or a handgun, you should keep it in mind, but a .308 will hardly notice it. Just use whatever you use for deer, or a 150-180 gr hunting bullet.

Paul B.
February 25, 2000, 01:56 AM
Brent. Any good 180 gr. bullet should penetrate clean through on a broadside shot. I don't even think you need a premium bullet. Remington Core-lokt's have a good reputaion for deep penetration. federals are good. Whatever your rifle shoots best. I'd stick to 180 gr. bullets, because i think most of your shot will probably be close. maybe even up close and personal.
Paul B.

Al Thompson
February 25, 2000, 08:38 AM
I think the FMJs would be a mistake. The Trophy Bonded is a great load and should work very well.

I would prefer a 165/180 grain bullet, but it's not a big issue. The gristle plate is overrated - for rifles.

Two things - check your zero when changing loads and know your zero at 25 yards as well as 200.

IMHO, try to break the hogs shoulder as opposed to trying a shot you'd use on deer. A hogs heart is a bit forward of a deers.

Let us know how it went!


February 25, 2000, 01:39 PM
Thank you for the feedback.

Long Path
February 25, 2000, 02:19 PM
I agree with Gizmo; 165's and 180's are preferred. You MUST break the shoulder, if you're not using a head shot. Frankly, I'm sold on using a bullet through the ear of any hog over 150 lbs, now, having seen a good-sized sow absorb a .30-06 165g in the chest and just keep right on trucking into the heavy brush. Hogs don't have long necks, so you don't run into some of the same difficulties on making head shots on them that you find with deer, whose heads are constantly in motion at the end of a powerful, long neck.

March 14, 2000, 09:39 AM
anyone have experince with the 180 fail safe loads in the feild?

March 14, 2000, 08:26 PM

Hunting buddy shot a 300 WM with 180 Fail safe on cow elk last year. Long shot, 300 yds..quarter body...cow went 200 yds with a tunnel through her lungs. Recovred bullet and was going to weigh it but lost it. It looked like it had lst all of its forward mass.

"single shot shooters only shoot once"

March 14, 2000, 09:08 PM
i was hoping for the 308 180 replys but thanks though

March 15, 2000, 02:14 PM

The launcher is not the issue here, the bullet is. The 180 gr Fail Safe info provided by Huntschool is directly relevant to the .308 Win.

Assuming the 300 WM is the 300 Win Mag, from the Winchester factory data for the 180 gr fail safe 300 Win Mag, assuming 24" test barrels:

muzzle = 2960 fps
300 yds = 2307 fps (range specified by Huntschool)

Although there is no factory load listed for the 180 gr fail safe in .308 win, the other 180 gr offerings are both listed at 2620 fps mv. A quick ballistic calculation gives about 2300 fps at 100 yds for a 180 gr fail safe launched at about 2600 fps. So i'd conclude the same results on said elk for a .308 but at 100 yds.

(If 300 WM = 300 Weatherby Mag then you might get a similiar result with the .308 Win's barrel touching the hide.)


Al Thompson
March 15, 2000, 04:11 PM
Rik there were two different bullets in .308 caliber. One was for high velocity (Magnum) and one for the standard calibers (.308/.30-06). So it looks like comparing a "W" Magnum bullet may not be valid.

You are dead on the money about the yardage factor though. :)


March 16, 2000, 06:47 AM
I bought a box of Winchester Failsafes .308 / 180 grn. The first round must have been overpressure, as I had to pound open the bolt (Rem 700). The primer fell out upon opening, and the ejector was jammed from brass flow.

I'll stck with Federal, or my Corelokt handload.

Art Eatman
March 16, 2000, 10:27 AM
DAVE MOON's comment is interesting. I assume factory ammo was used.

I bought some Fail Safe 150-grain bullets for my .30-'06. I loaded my usual, and went to the bench rest. One hit about center, one six inches left, and one about six inches right. Yuck!

I later read that they have harder jackets, and one should reduce the powder charge and work up. Really, I should have done that from the git-go, but I fell into the "assume" trap and made an ass outta me. I also forget, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I just went back to my Sierra 150-grain Spitzer boat-tail bullets. The Sierras have been killing deer for 30 years from that gun--which oughta be good enough...

:), Art

March 16, 2000, 01:16 PM

good point - if we're talking about different bullets them i'm FOS.

Interesting about the FS being higher P:

Was looking through Winchester's reloading manual, it gives reduced velocities for the FS bullets compared to other bullets of the same weight. (Due to higher pressures with the harder FS jacket ?). Example for the .308 Win, 180 gr

type mv

SP 2610
FMJBT 2600
FS 2420

To stay on topic, my first hawg hunt will also be this spring. My load/battery will be a factory 180 gr Rem Core-Lokt or Rem Nosler Parts in a 20" barrel Model 7 in .308 Win. I expect most shots to be under 75 yds. (I'm helping out with local feral hog control, most are in the 150-300 lb range, so these aren't big trophy boars.)

I considered taking a big-bore revolver or slug-gun as backup. Decided on the handgun. If I have to crawl in after 'em into heavy brush (gulp !) i'll use a S&W 625, .45 AR with 250 gr hard-cast LFN around 1000 fps. Also, it's comforting to know there's six more chances on my hip should the 7 hang-up at a bad time.

good hunting


Al Thompson
March 16, 2000, 01:59 PM
Ric - FWIW, when the FS came out Winchester had to bullets in .30 caliber - one for + 2600 FPS and one for below. Here in South Carolina very few folks use (d) the FS bulets. (either flavor)

Not sure why the RE data is slower for the FS. Barnes simply has different powders for the X bullets. Seems to yeild a reasonable velocity.

Art - my experiance with the high tech bullets is that your rifle either loves them or hates them. Very few in-betweens. A buddy has a .284 that shoots one weight of X bullets into little bitty groups but throws any other weight into patterns. Strangely enough, the .33 and up bores do not seem to have this trouble. My .458 would shoot very small groups with the 400 grain X bullets.


March 16, 2000, 06:44 PM
Yeah, my overpressure round was factory loaded. I had fired 3 of the same prior, and accuracy was horrible, with sticky bolt lift.
Interestingly, the Rem core-lokts have proven to be excellent game loads (150 grainers) and very accurate in my hunting rifle. I bought 2000 of them for only a buck a thousand more than FMJ, and was just going to load up some practice ammo for the .308's I own. They shot very well in my Rem 700, Win 70, FN-fals, and H&k 91. I've used them on deer, antelope, all one shot kills, and I wouldn't hesitate to use them on boar, even though I generally like 165 grainers. The 150's shoot so accurately and perform so well on game, I'll just stick to it.

March 30, 2000, 06:16 PM
FWIW, I was still curious about the different 180 gr Fail-safes so emailed Winchester. Here are my original questions and the reply i got today.


"There are two Fail Safe 180 gr .308 cal bullets listed in the Handloader's
Digest (17th edition) for Winchester components, one for 2700 fps the other
for 3000 fps (mv's I assume). Do these correspond to the FS and FS(CT)
bullets in the downloadable reloaders manual ?

Which of these bullets are factory loaded in your .308 Win, .30 '06 Spgf and
.300 Win Mag 180 gr FS ammo ? "


From: "Huseman, Chris D EALT"

Subject: Fail Safe bullets

The 180gr. Fails of different velocity ratings are a thing of the past. We
have re-engineered the technology into one bullet that expands reliably from
2700fps to 3000fps. The 300 Win Mag used the higher rated bullet while the
30-06 and 308 Win used the lower. When listing the FS and FS(CT), the
reloading data will be the same regardless.




Al Thompson
March 30, 2000, 08:00 PM
Thanks Ric!

May 6, 2000, 12:49 PM
Brent, I have some experience with hogs here in California, and I would definitely recommend the Fed Premium with Bear Claw ammo in their high energy loading as one of the very best commercial loadings you could possibly use. I personally have seen 270 and 30-06 and 300 win mag standard jacketed bullets (sierra, nosler bt, game king, and standard Federal) just blow up without penetrating, or break up without breaking bone on medium or large pigs.

Gunmart: my son uses the 165 gr failsafe factory loading in his 30-06 with super results. It is the same bullet as is loaded in the 308. It is super accurate. I don't remember him ever shooting twice, and the last couple of hogs just collapsed at the shot. He shoots a model 700 with 22" barrel, for everything.

El Rojo
May 8, 2000, 10:52 PM
I got a couple of good CA boar stories for you. First, my dad has taken smaller boars with his .22-250 and 55 grain hollow points. Let me stress how important shot placement was there.

I have shot one with a 7mm mag with I believe a 165 grain sierra spitzer boattails. That was a one shoter, but the sow still ran down the hill about 30 yards.

My next kill was a double. I shot the first one with my .30-06 with 150 grain Sierra Spitzer Boat Tails. That was a one shot kill, but the pig started squealling and rolling around, she didn't get more than 5 yards. Then I shot another one right after, and unfortunately hit him in the upper back. As we went to find the 2nd pig, we saw him walking up the other side of the hill with a slight limp and a big chunk missing out of the top of his back. He was shot in the head with the 7mm mag 165 grainers. We checked the first pig and on returning to the 2nd pig, he was no walking back down the hill towards us again. He took one more head shot at 10 yards with the .30-06 and was still not out. One final round stopped him.

I believe those 180's will probably stop a pig with a proper shoulder shot. I just loaded up some 180gr Sierra Spitzer Boattails for the .30-06. When I get a pig with one, I will get back to you.

My last comment is please do not use FMJ. I don't think you will have much luck.

May 9, 2000, 05:11 AM
I'm surprised there wasn't any discussion of the 180gr Nozler Partition in this thread. Anyone have thoughts on using these on hogs?

Calif Hunter
May 11, 2000, 11:32 AM
I've shot several pigs, most over 180 pounds. The worst performance was from a 44 mag revolver, trying to finish one off from 25 feet. The bullet was the problem: a Remington HSP with the scalloped jacket did not penetrate the gristle plate. The hog died, but it must have been from the shock effect. I've since gone to 250 gr Sierra silhouette loads with a little dimple of exposed lead. They expand on a pig's shoulder but still punch through. I have used 180 gr corelokts in both a 30-06 and a 300 mag, and they worked great. The 300 mag was mainly used for long range in the barley fields, not for increased power. The main thing is to try to kill them with a good first shot. Once wounded, they take a lot of killing! Noslers also work well, but did not seem to be required on pigs up to 300 lbs.

May 11, 2000, 12:31 PM
Just in case the message was lost in all of the excellent posts above...


My hunting buddy shot a boar in the shoulder with a .44 magnum JHP. The boar flinched, then took the revolver from my friend's hand and was beating him over the head with it when I finished him off with my .308.

Them hogs is tough critters!

Jeff, CA
May 11, 2000, 08:55 PM
Where does one go to hunt boar in California?