View Full Version : 223 or 50 beowolf for hogs

June 11, 2004, 12:36 AM
I was wondering if anyone could advise me what kind of ammo and shot placement on hogs for a 223 fired from an m4....the range would not be greater than 50 yrds or so. Also, Has anyone had a chance to try the 50 beowolf on any game? From what I have read it should make an excellent close range round.

Dave R
June 11, 2004, 03:23 PM
How big a hog? For a big'un, I would not use .223. Not enough bullet mass/penetration. .50 Beowulf sounds more like hog medicine.

Rich Lucibella
June 11, 2004, 03:37 PM
I hunt lots of hog....spell "lots" with a capital "L".

They are extraordinarily resilient animals. They have unbelievably elastic hides. I have personally shot hogs with .308, 45-70, .338 WinMag and 50 Alaskan only to have to track them, even after heart shots.

Because of the hide elasticity, they tend not to bleed much and large exit wounds are the order of the day if you need to track an animal. Using a .223 on hog is just not ethically acceptable to me. I can guarantee you, you'll seldom get a clean kill and wounded animals are the one item to be avoided at all cost by the ethical hunter.

Please rethink your choice on this issue of caliber. From my experience, a .308 is the minimum round to be used on feral hog, and there really is no such thing as "too much gun" for this particular game. Near-domestic Florida varieties will succumb to a .44 Mag, but even here, I'd not use a .223.

No experience with the Beowulf, but it should do nicely. Bullet placement is the same as for most game: picture a basketball sitting on the sternum between the front legs. Hit the center of the ball from whatever angle you choose. Frontal shots, even with .308 will often fail due to an extremely thick shield of bone, cartilage and fascia.


Johnny Guest
June 14, 2004, 09:58 AM
Find a thousand guys who have hunted hogs, and Rich probably has experience in the topmost five of them. His counsel is worthy of serious consideration.

You can get away with a smaller gun, sure - - I've killed three with a .257 Roberts and 100 gr. bullets, but they were targets of opportunity, while hunting deer. Two were from very precise bullet placement, through the earhole, DRT. One was dumb luck, and required a finishing shot from a big revolver. I've also had a big sow take a good hit from a .30'06 165 gr, and just run off into the brush. I'm sure she died, but best tracking efforts failed, so she kept moving for a long while. She could just as easily have come toward me . . . .

If I'm hunting hawgs in thick stuff, I want at least some .30 rifle with 180gr bullets, or my .45-70. I always carry a stout sidearm in pig country, as well.

I know men who have taken hogs with .223, and even one with a .22 Hornet. I'm also afraid that one of these days, I'll hear of one of them getting cut up . . . .

Good luck - -

June 14, 2004, 11:57 AM
Thanks everyone I'm gonna go ahead and get the 50 beowulf upper and not have to worry about it. The ar 15 carbine in the 50 looks like the best combo for me between knockdown and portability.....the 50 does increase the comfort factor too. :D

Double Naught Spy
June 14, 2004, 06:31 PM
Basically, the .50 Beowulf is like shooting a .45-70, only it is a .50 cal, but with the same velocities as the .45-70.

June 15, 2004, 04:39 PM
One more thing...I have a glock 22 and a ruger 6 in gp100 in 357 mag, which should I take as a backup and what loads?

Johnny Guest
June 15, 2004, 04:46 PM
One more thing...I have a glock 22 and a ruger 6 in gp100 in 357 mag, which should I take as a backup and what loads?
Of the two, I believe I'd take the GP100 loaded with .357 180 gr. solids. If you handload, you might consider the Keith-type 173s with a stout powder charge.

If push comes to shove with a hawg, you are NOT looking for expansion, but PENETRATION. :eek:

Good luck--

June 25, 2004, 01:31 PM
Being new here,I'm certainly not going to argue w/someone who obviously has done a lot more pig huntin' than I have ,so I'll just reflect on my own experiences.Of the 40-50 pigs that I have taken(all sizes),I'd say 75% of them were shot in or just behind the ear with either a .243 or .222mag.They drop like a rock.I wouldn't try those for any other shot though.


Rich Lucibella
June 25, 2004, 01:41 PM
You've certainly killed more than I. Can I ask where you hunt and under what condition?...Stand, stalk, feeder, open range?

June 25, 2004, 02:07 PM
Most all of my pigs have been taken either in the Texas Hill Country or South Texas while deer hunting.Clear,open shots up to 200yds. when they invade the feeder. Granted,some were also taken w/.270 and I certainly wouldn't recommend those little calibers in heavy brush or thick woods.But,like I said,placement is everything,so the shooter needs to be able to do his part.


Rich Lucibella
June 25, 2004, 02:38 PM
Point blank to 200 yards all behind the ear is pretty damn impressive, even from a stand. I don't know 3 people who could consistently do that without occasionally breaking a jaw or blinding an animal. My hat is off to you, sir.

I should have qualified my recommendation with my own personal experience. I don't hunt hog over feeders or from stands....I've nothing against it. I just don't like sitting still for long periods.

My hog hunting is typically on foot in plains/hills/swamps of the TX panhandle. Shots are from near contact distance to maybe 250 yards, from offhand or hasty field position. I've seldom had one posing in the opposite direction to chance the head shot...but then, I don't consider myself in your class for marksmanship (seriously). That's why I prefer to get big lead on them.

Again, I give you great credit for marksmanship and anatomy. Even topped with a 60 grain bullet, I'd imagine those screamingly fast .222 Mags must be real unpredictable against heavy bone. As you said, "Placement is everything".

Dusty Miller
June 25, 2004, 03:21 PM
About ten years ago I shot a 250 LB sow at less than 30 feet with an '06 using a 200 gr. Speer Grand Slam. The bullet went in over her right shoulder and ended up just inside the skin on her left hip. On the way it took out one lung and part of her liver. She ran 75 yards before collapsing. Next time I plan on better shot placement and I'll be ready to place a quick followup shot. Going after a pig with a .223 is asking for REAL big trouble.

June 25, 2004, 04:31 PM
Before my head starts swellin' up,I must be honest :o .Only a few were 150-200yds.,and they were in the 300-350 lb.category.BIG TARGETS! :D
The rest were from 75-150yds.But look at a pig next chance ya get.The area behind the ear is probably the softest spot on them except for the underbelly.
And,that well placed shot snaps it's spine like a toothpick.Doesn't waste any meat either. :D


Rich Lucibella
June 25, 2004, 07:57 PM
Yup, I know. I was looking at a bleached skull when I responded earlier.

Pretty damn small area that's not heavily armored. 'bout 2" square. Accept the compliment graciously. Even at 75-150 yards, on living, moving, rooting critters... at unknown ranges... consistently, over that many animals? That's pretty much world class, Bobby.

June 26, 2004, 09:33 AM
I'll humbly accept the compliment.The .222mag is an old Remington 700(1963) that's seen a LOT of use.The previous owner did a lot of varmint hunting and he tuned it in very well.I've had it a good 20 years and just recently took the old 3X Weaver off in favor of a Tasco World Class because I missed an early morning shot at a nice 10 point buck since it wouldn't pick up enough light to see it in the scope. :( :( .I haven't gotten it sighted in like I want yet,but when I do,I'm sure it'll make me proud again. ;) I certainly don't consider myself to be an expert marksman,but this old gun continues to make me look better than I am.Thanks.


June 26, 2004, 09:57 AM
This is taken from a local hog guide (Tn Extreme Hunting Adventures).

"A sight-in-range available for rifle and archery. Suggested guns include: 30-30, 32 Special, 35, 30-06, 308, 270, and 44 Magnum, 444, 45.70, 454 casull, shotgun with rifled slugs, bows, muzzle loaders."

If you are so inclined you can use a boar spear or knife (6" or more blade). On a more personal note, the common thread in gun choice amongst the hog hunters I know is short, light, and handy with a big hole (30-30, 35, 41mag, 44mag, 444, 45-70, 450, 454, and 12ga slug). The rifles are pretty much lever guns, the shotguns pump or auto, the pistols are revovlers.

Here the hogs are chased w/ dogs over hill and dale.

Rich Lucibella
June 26, 2004, 11:02 AM
just recently took the old 3X Weaver off in favor of a Tasco World Class
Ahhh, the venerable Tasco in 2-8 Power. That's a lot of glass for 54 Bucks. I'll be interested in a range report...especially low light performance.

June 26, 2004, 01:22 PM
Actually Rich,I had planned on workin' on that this weekend,but I got over 4" of rain last night so right now my range out in the pasture is standin' in water.

:( :( :(

Long Path
June 26, 2004, 03:59 PM

Although I happen to be the man that Johnny Guest alluded to when he mentioned that a hog could, technically, be taken with a .22 Hornet, it was a stunt, and I freely acknowledge the fact. (I also thought that the 200 lb sow I popped behind the ear at 80 yards at dusk was a little closer and a lot smaller!) It was illustrative, however, how vulnerable that spot behind the ear is. My little 45gr bullet smacked her about 2" or 3" behind the left ear from about 7 or 8 o'clock, and she rolled right over. (She had, as Rich says, "posed" for me for a moment.)

So, could it, technically, be done with a .223? Sure, under controlled conditions. But why not use this oportunity to get a .50 upper, pop a hog or two with it, and come back with a range report for us. Remember to take pictures!!! :)

June 28, 2004, 11:08 AM
I finally got out there yesterday and got it tuned in.I hadn't shot it in so long I forgot what a light trigger it has! Long story short.After making adjustments,the last ten shots were in the bull w/about a 1" group at 100yds.
I can live w/that for now as far as the gun goes.Now I've got to work on ME!!

I think I'm really gonna like the scope.Very clear and bright.(Tasco World Class 3x9x40) I'll try to remember to try it out at dusk this evening and report back.


Rich Lucibella
June 28, 2004, 11:49 AM
Thanks much, Bobby.

June 28, 2004, 05:16 PM
Hey I don't want to hijack, but I have a quick related question: I'm probably going on a hog hunt in 2 weeks, and need to decide between using a rifle in .270 Win, or one in 7.5x55 swiss, or .44mag revolver (8.375" bbl). Which is my best bet, without overkill? My understanding is that these hogs get up to 250 lbs or so.

Rich Lucibella
June 28, 2004, 07:01 PM
There is no overkill with hogs, to my thinking.

June 28, 2004, 10:33 PM
Long Path, I love the reasoning there... But baby I NEED it!!! :D Definitely a winner there!!!

June 29, 2004, 06:34 AM
The .270 is more than enough if you do your part.Again,shot placement is paramount with these critters.The .44mag handgun will do the job too,if you can do yours,but I'd leave it at home unless your gonna be in the brush.


Long Path
June 30, 2004, 09:32 AM
FirstFreedom: I've seen a .270 140g (Hornady Custom) take a medium large hog pretty cleanly with a hit to the chest. But if I were using a .270, I'd find me some 150g Nosler Partitions or Swift A-Frames or the like. I wasn't real impressed with the penetration. (Admittedly, the distance was short-- about 20 paces.) The main thing is, when hunting hog, AVOID the 130g loads that're so popular!

BobbyWins: Be sure and keep that 3X9 Tasco cranked down to 3 power-- hogs move awful fast, in thick cover to boot! :) (If the shot's longer, there's plenty of time to crank up the power if needed.)

June 30, 2004, 02:23 PM

This may help shed some light on which gun:

This hog was killed near Cederville, Arkansas on Taylor mountain after 3
shots from a 7MM magnum.

The day before, the man saw the hog eating on the side of the road. He
pulled over and after slamming his truck door. The hog spooked and
charged him. As he dove back into the truck, the hog rammed the driver
side of the truck, leaving a huge dent and 2 holes from his tusks.

The next morning he came back in camo clothing and found a spot to await
the hog. When the hog appeared, he shot him once and the hog turned and
charged him. He shot again and the hog fell to his knees and got back up
and continued to charge !

After shooting the 3rd time, the hog died about two feet from his feet.
The rest of the story is in the picture - the hog was 8 ft long and
weighed over 800 lb, tusks measured 7 1/2" and razor sharp.

Rich Lucibella
June 30, 2004, 02:29 PM
Shoulda shot him behind the ear. :D

That's one Hogasaurus, FF. Do they often get that big up there? Any disintegration with the 7-Mag or did they perform pretty well? Lots I wanna know.

If that guy is typical of what you're going after I'd take the 7.5x55 Swiss and the best hand loads I could work up or buy. The 44 mag might be a back up piece, but I sure wouldn't use it for primary.


June 30, 2004, 05:48 PM
OK, thanks Rich and others - I think the 7.5 swiss it is then, with a heavy 180+ load. Besides I have a 2.75x scout scope on the swiss with one of Darrell's milsurp mounts on the rear sight, and for a dangerous hog, that may be just the ticket (or remove it and go with irons only). And .44 mag for backup. Anyhoo, I dunno about that particular "hogosaurus" - lol. I just got that today in an email - it supposedly is from Ark and I am in OK (not too far away) - I'll be hunting in SE Okla, with is close to Ark - actually, now I'm informed by the guy that's taking me hunting (I'm mostly a hunting noob myself) that they can get up to 600 lbs here he says, but he usually only is able to harvest 100-200 pounders. As far as that Ark hog there, I don't know if that's even a recent occurrence or what, but I'd assume that probably it is, since it's making the email rounds today. Dunno if that's a record or not either, or even close. ???

Long Path
June 30, 2004, 05:59 PM
Boy, but that hog's story gets better and better every time I read it. :D

I first saw that pic about 3 or 4 years ago, if memory serves. It was also a TX hog, last time I read of it.

Proof positive-- those porkers can really move fast! :)

Rich Lucibella
June 30, 2004, 07:26 PM
Thanks Matt.

We both got taken on that one; I took it as real. :D Sounds like you're hunting hog more like what I see and what Matt's experience has been. You may see a 300 pounder once in a very long blue moon...400 lbs is not non-existent, but they're basically a once in a lifetime opportunity for us hobby hunters. Generally, if you can get one over 200 lbs, that's a real good day.

My hunting partner has certainly killed in the triple digits and probably seen 3X that amount. He doubts he's seen 5 that went over 300 lbs. He suggests that most men are probably as accurate about the size of the hogs they see as they are about the size of....well, never mind :o. I dunno what people are killing these monsters with, but my only 200+ lb hog ate a hot 45-70 load thru the mid spine and was still trying to get up the hill on two legs when I finished him.

I assume you're shooting that cool deal Schmit and Rubin. I bought one a couple of months back and gave it to a friend. What I saw him do with the stock iron sights on target rocks, lasered by me out to 600 yards, almost caused me to make an offer to buy it back!

Have seen the Scout Mount for it also. Either irons or glass, that's one very accurate and hard hitting piece. I think you picked a winner. Hunt reports and pics encouraged.


July 1, 2004, 11:19 AM
Oops - shoulda known - internet BS - well it's a real hog looks like, but as to WHEN and WHERE and the story surrounding it.......

July 15, 2004, 08:31 PM
I never seen satisfactory results hunting ferral hogs with a .223 As others have said, there is not much chance of a one shot kill, and a big chance of a wounded animal.
I hunt hogs in North Florida and South Georgia. I have had success with the Marlin 1894S in .44 Mag, using Speer 270 grain SP over a lot of H110.
Another good combo is my fast handling Mannlicher-Schoenauer carbine in 8mm, using the Sierra Game King 220 grain slug. This bullet, designed for the 8mm Rem Mag does not expand much with the slower velocity I get using 4064 powder, but it just goes, and goes, and goes.

July 18, 2004, 08:53 PM
I've got a standing invitation to go pick off some wild piggies in and around Avon Park and the local Florida area in a few month's time while on R&R. I've worked up some serious .45-70 loads for my Ruger #1S, running a Beartooth 405gr hard cast, gas-checked bullet over 2000fps through my chronograph. I'm comfortable with the gun, it's 1.5-4.5x scope, and the load, but I'm curious after reading about your scrambling piggy who took one in the spine and kept going - maybe the falling block rifle isn't fast enough for the job? With the bigger wound channel offered by the 405gr slug, I would've thought it would be the "right" combination for feral porkers once I put one in the breadbox. Or should I be glad I'm bringing along my .357 Desert Eagle w/180gr zingers as a backup? :(

Rich Lucibella
July 22, 2004, 05:16 AM
Our local Florida hogs are not quite as feral as in some other areas....or perhaps that's just my limited experience. I've only hunted them down here a few times and they seem to succumb more easily than the TX "Felon" hogs...."So you shot me. Now what, %$$&^(* ?"

The 405 grain 45-70 is a great round for hog, regardless. The fact that you're pushing it over 2k gives you some real probability of collateral, hydrostatic damage, IMHO. I'd not think twice about what you're using. However, if you really want to "customize" those loads for hog, consider an expanding bullet. Hogs are not Cape Buff. I know for a fact that a good jacketed 405 at those speeds will give you the best of both worlds....considerable damage plus a sizable exit.

My guess from watching is that hogs are not inherently dangerous. The get shot and run away, if possible. The problem is when we happen to be standing in that "away" path. ;) For that very rare occasion, a backup piece to a single shot rifle is always comforting....at least to me.

Range reports expected.

Johnny Guest
July 22, 2004, 10:55 AM
I might be able to imagine a hog expedition on which I wouldn't carry a hefty sidearm, but it's something of a stretch.

Gewehr98, in my mind, it'd be difficult to come up with a better load than the .45-70-405-2000 load you mention. I'll bow to Rich Lucibella's experience in suggesting an expanding bullet for the purpose, but your load sure sounds good.

I've at least temporarily standardized on a 400 gr Speer SP at about 1800 for use in my Marlin 1895GS, but haven't blooded that load yet. Recalling my own, long ago, experience with a .45-70 Ruger No. 1, I think you'll have some substantial recoil. :p

At first glance, I thought you were using the 180 load in a .44 DE, and I was about to suggest another bullet. I like the 180 in the .357, though. I'd be tempted to go with the Hornady silhouette bullet, for utter max penetration. As Rich said, you don't need a Cape Buff-capable rifle load for hawgs, of course. Buuuttt, if I need to get shed of an up-close-and-personal hog, having misplaced or emptied my rifle, I'd want my handgun bullet to go deep.

Many seasons ago, I put a finisher into a sub-200 pound pig with a .45 NM - - Speer 200 gr Flying Ashtray, about ten feet, square-on into the forehead. It DID penetrate, but I was alarmed to see how shallow it stopped, even with an optimum shot. I want a bit more penetration . . . .

I've a great deal of respect for what Rich wrote: My guess from watching is that hogs are not inherently dangerous. The get shot and run away, if possible. After all, he's been toe to toe with some REALLY lethal animals, with notable success. Feral hogs are about as near as I've ever come to "dangerous game." Or am likely to. I admit: Perhaps I'm exaggerating the "danger" to enhance my own hunting experience. But I don't have a gun bearer, and the slung Marlin gets clumsy while standing around munching sandwiches, so I'll still haul that heavy resolver along, thank you. :D


July 22, 2004, 01:01 PM
I like to hunt German boar using .458 dia, I personally use a scoped Marlin 450 guidegun, Handload pushing a Hornady 350gr Interlock FP on top of 50gr H4198, CCI Mag primers, Lee factory crimp(heavy) 2180fps...Knocks them off there feet, good Hog medicine. I just worked up a load using Hornadys 300gr JHP's for the guidegun as well, they shot very well, not far off the 350 interlocks, but could not achieve the velocity of the 350gr FP. Just like those ashtrays on those Hornady JHP's, I was averaging around 1900 fps with good accuracy at 100 yards, might use this load for whitetail and blackbear, but when hunting dangerous game, and hogs are dangerous,hogs will turn and charge when you least expect it, you need a very good jacketed or cast bullet to be able to penetrate there tough bodies, if the shot placement is just right, most bullets can do the job, but if your off and into the shoulder, you may find that some bullets will frag on solid impact, and misdirect flight, and basically deflect. Now you have a pissed off boar on your hands, not a good situation in heavy brush;). Aim small hit small. RAMbo.