View Full Version : My brother is going hog hunting - which gun to use?

January 7, 2005, 01:11 PM
OK, my brother likes guns quite a bit, but he's only about 1/4 as "nutty" as me - not a real gunny, and not really a big hunter. But, he's going on a hog hunt in south TX in Feb (dang it, I can't go). He needs to pick a rifle from one of his, or I can loan him one of mine. Now I had originally thought my .45-70 Marlin 1895 was the way to go, except that on this "semi-guided" hunt, he'll be hunting from these "tripod condominiums" in fields with some potentially longer ranges, over say 125-150 yards. Then I thought well aha, my Brazilian Mauser in .30-06 would be just right - BUT, it's iron-sighted, and since piggies often come out at dusk and dawn, he's probably going to want a scoped rifle, for the extra light gathering ability during those critical few minutes at dusk and dawn. My Howa in .25-06 fits that bill, but I don't think that's enough gun even with 120 grains of good construction, if he meets up with a 200+ pounder. So, what to do? I suppose put my Leupold on my currently-unscoped 7 remmag and sight that in for him. But I don't like that idea because I don't want him shooting such a big boomer such that he might become gun-shy, since he's not going to have a chance to practice much with it. I don't have any scopeable .30-06. I guess that leaves the also-currently-unscoped .270 with heavy 150-160 grainers? Maybe ideal. OK, after foregoing rambling, here's your choices in guns that are either his or mine that I think are potentially enough gun for big piggies:

Iron-sighted guns (as I said, I don't think ideal for low-light situations):
-Brazilian Mauser .30-'06
-Yugo M48 Mauser - 8mm Mauser (this one's probably in too good shape to hunt with, but I'll throw it out there since it's such a good caliber for this purpose).
-91/30 Mosin nagant - 7.62x54
-Marlin 1895 .45-70
-Smelly No. 4, Mk 1 .303

Scoped (or scope-able) guns:
-Swiss K31 with Darrel's scout mount with Burris fixed IER 2.75x28mm, 7.5x55.
-CZ550, .270 win
-Howa 1500, .25-'06 (doubtful this is a good choice)
-Savage 110, 7mm remmag

Any of the last 3 could be fitted with either of these two scopes and sighted before he leaves: Leupold VX-II 6-18x40mm, or Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x40mm.

Also, after your recommendation, what factory load?

Rich Lucibella
January 7, 2005, 02:25 PM
For stand hunting, I agree with you- the scope is probably preferred. However, that Burris IER is hardly a light gatherer. Take it out at dusk and I suspect you'll find the naked eye will make out objects better with failing light than thru the scope.

The VX II at 6X is, IMHO, a bit too much magnification. It'll do if he doesn't mind the bit of ribbing he may get. The Bushnell seems more practical....but their entire line is hardly good at light gathering.

My vote:
First Choice: Iron sighted 30-06
Second choice: Scoped K31 or Scoped Savage

January 7, 2005, 02:44 PM
I'd say either the Savage or the CZ with the Bushnell Elite. Either of those two would be perfect. I'd maybe give the edge to the CZ, if he's not really into guns. The 7mm mag may be a bit much. Get some .270 Hornady Light Magnums in 140gr, and you'll be good to go.

January 7, 2005, 04:48 PM
heck we use a billard ball in a wool sock to knock 'em silly then cut their throat. seriously anything bigger than a 22mag is overkill.

Rich Lucibella
January 7, 2005, 05:17 PM
Here we go again.

Head shots only I assume?

January 7, 2005, 05:25 PM
LoL Rich, I'm pretty sure he was joking. ;)

January 7, 2005, 06:05 PM
He said "seriously"..... :confused:

January 7, 2005, 07:54 PM
Put the Leupold on the .270, go with the 150 grain Federals.

January 7, 2005, 08:20 PM
The .270 should be lots of gun for hogs i dont hunt them myself since im from canada but id trust a .270 on just about any game with a 150 grain partition

January 8, 2005, 10:55 AM
Sounds like a great excuse to go buy a new rifle and scope...just practice with it before the hunt...My personal hog gun is a .308...If a new gun is out of the question of course the .270 is fine...check out the new Bushnell scope with Firefly reticle...looks cool and a guy at the local gunshop swears by them.

Long Path
January 8, 2005, 11:33 AM
With the best light-gathering scope set at the lowest power, any of those rifles would work.

The .270 would work fine with 150g or heavier, heavy-constructed bullets.
The '06 is fine, with 180's.
The 7mm Mag is fine, with 175's.
Of course the .45-70 would be great.

Keep in mind that longer shots are more the exception than the rule, so use the heaviest load you've got.

Frankly, I'd have no problem with the 8mm or the other calibers. .25-'06 with heavy bullets wouldn't be bad in daylight, but there might be better choices after dark.

As for the "we kill 'em with the sock/.22 LR", I believe it-- in a cage or trap. There's a substantial difference between a trapped animal and a loose animal, with regard to killing humanely.

January 17, 2005, 09:47 PM
Believe it or not, there is a bunch of K---s in Arkansas , North Louisiana and Florida that hunt hogs with dogs and go in for the kill with a 6" knife, having been around some domestic sows with a fresh litter, I would equate this with skydiving with an umbrella , oh well ;)

Rich Lucibella
January 17, 2005, 11:46 PM
Actually, it's not crazy, though it is challenging beyond my desires. Staff Member Rob has done it.

Basically, the Pit grabs the hog by an ear or nose and hangs on like....well, like a Pit. :D The hunter then goes in and dispatches the beast with a large knife. Don't mean to make it sound simpler than it is.....like I said, it's "challenging" beyond my desire.

January 18, 2005, 12:57 PM
Yeah, I've also actually seen videos of guys that get the hog at bay with dogs, then go in and steer wrestle/hogtie them around their legs, then release them - just like catch and release fishing, only far more dangerous. Crazy bastages...lol.

Thanks for the replies. I'm going on the hunt now myself as it turns out, and I decided that I'm going to loan my brother the .270 win with 150 gr Rem ammo, with the 2.5-10 Bushnell 4200. (afraid the 6x min on the Leupold might be too strong if I get a close in shot). For myself, I'm going to sight in and take the Mauser .30-06 with iron sights and 180 gr Hornady soft points. That orta do it! BTW, I've seen videos of my friend hunting at this ranch, and the piggies come out into the fields in giant packs of 15-25 at dusk. Should be able to get several.

Robert Garner
January 28, 2005, 07:04 PM
well only one of my three hogs was taken w/knife
I'm neither overly brave or without good sense
ALL the glory goes to the dogs
your job is to keep them alive
besides its fun!!!!!
now if you want to fatten some
just takem by the hind legs and "wheelbarrow" em out
That dont mean any ole cartridge will do
.22's same as using knife w/dogs
.357 up for pistol
most any centerfire rifle
cant use hold Behind foreleg like
deer,theres guts there on hog

January 30, 2005, 09:20 PM
The new PMC 45-70 +P round (350grains @ 2000fps) should shoot flat enough for a 150yard shot.

aussie bob
February 1, 2005, 06:49 AM

I have a Marlin in 45-70 with a 1.5 - 5 *33 scope. I would far prefer to use open or, better still, peep sights but my eyes are not as good as they used to be. The scope spends most of its time at 1.5.

In Australia the pigs often have enough dried mud on them to stop a .270W. Rimfire rounds usually get them mad although I will admit with everything in the shooter's favour you can kill pigs with the .22.

Cheers from down under
Aussie Bob

February 16, 2005, 09:26 PM
Man, I gotta tell you DO NOT USE THE 7 MAG!

I shot a pig with one. It turned him into jelly.

February 16, 2005, 11:39 PM
I kill pigs all the time with my .270. I tried the knife hunt once and only once, but some times in e-texas i use a smith 19 6inch .357 from tree stands nothing futher than 25 yards.

February 17, 2005, 12:47 AM
I went hog hunting on a ranch private no guide.killed a nice boar at 110 yards with a 3030 marlin.remember not to walk up on one thats been shot.you might want to shoot it again.anyway very tasty on the grill.tom

February 17, 2005, 07:46 PM
There is not a hog in Texas that can survive a lung shot from that .25-06 with a 120 grain bullet. I've shot plenty with a 6mm. Remington and a 100 grain bullet. If you can get close, a .22LR pistol shot just behind the ear will postpone hostilities indefinitely......

Sorry if my lack of melodrama makes the hunt sound less exciting, but those are opinions shaped from experience.

February 18, 2005, 12:14 AM
.45-70 :cool:

February 18, 2005, 10:59 PM
Since you don't have a .22 option I'd go with the Marlin 1895 .45-70.

Got to remember this is a trade-off between the amount of good pork spoiled and and how fast you can get the pig to bleed out. Shooting with a .45 through the ribs may damage a few inches but it should allow for quick blood drainage.

I wonder if they make barbecue sauce flavored bullet lube? :D

September 14, 2005, 07:19 AM
2) 270
3) K31

September 21, 2005, 12:47 AM
I think any of the choices you have would be fine. I live in South Texas and have taken hogs with everything from a 223 to a 7mm Weatherby mag. All the hogs I've taken with a 223 have been head shots though. If you hit them right, there not near as tough as some think they are. I've taken several 250 lb class hogs with 22-250's and 243 with lung shots, so I don't think you should have much trouble with any of the choices. I would definetly stick with a scoped gun though.

Harley Quinn
September 21, 2005, 12:57 AM
Yep I go for the 45-70, but the 270 is a sweet shooter.

If you pit velocity and bullet weight the two are pretty close at 100 yds, out further the 270 has the advantage. If you are in the brush the 45-70 for sure.