View Full Version : First Timer Needs Help! M4 Enough for Hog?

too many choices!?
February 18, 2005, 12:34 PM
Is my Bushmaster M4gery enough to take a small hog(less than 65lbs) without a headshot? What grain/type bullet to use for hog of this size? If not a head shot, where do you aim for? Would I lose too much velocity to take a 150-175yrd shot from my 14 1/2" barrel? The distances I usually see them at are closer than 150 but could I feel okay with a little longer shot? I will have a friend dress the animal for me so no worries on that part ;) . As a first timer all advice will be taken to heart....

Thanx and feel free to add in any aspect of the hunt I may be leaving out :) !

Edited to say: Yesterday I saw a group of 15-17(they were moving too much to get an accurate count) at about 90-100yds and felt that I could of easily dropped atleast two..... :D Seemed like 3 larger ones and a buncha babies up to maybe yearlings or something. Is it okay to shoot any hog? I'm in Southeast Texas if that makes a difference.....

February 18, 2005, 12:41 PM
should do the trick, my uncle kills domestic pigs with .22lr at point blank range. one shot between the eyeballs drops them like an old newspaper.

February 18, 2005, 03:06 PM
Here in Texas, it is legal to take any size, number, or sex of hogs at any time day or night. As long as you have permission to be on the property you're hunting.

I think the .223 may be a little light for hogs myself, but, with a well placed shot it ought to do allright. I know guys that use the .223 and do headshots, and take them just fine.

too many choices!?
February 18, 2005, 04:59 PM
I have done a search of the forums(before I posted) and found some guys that used .223 but they had a little more barrel than I do at 14 1/2. I have permission ;) so I'm okay there. Anyone that could, chime in about what distances I should limit myself to pleaz? Secondly what type/weight bullet in .223 should I use? Hollow point? Soft point? Balistic tip? I saw a small hog(the ones here are about 60lbs and under from the looks) that was shot with a 30-06 and ballistic silver tip and let me tell you there was not enough hog to even slow the bullet down much :eek: ! I thought that was a little over kill but I guess that's better than under kill :D ....ruined a ham though :( .....

February 18, 2005, 10:37 PM
60lbs! and 223!= softpoint and neck shot. If you can make a clean two lung shot that will work to. But the pig will run. Good luck!

February 19, 2005, 01:17 PM
Don't try to kill a hog by shooting it between the eyes! The brain cavity is located above the eyes (behind a full inch of solid bone). The correct placement for a bullet for a frontal head shot is to draw an imaginary X between the ears and eyes,which puts the bullet at the center of the forehead and into the brain. A shot between the eyes would only work if that hog was looking up at the sky, you know, checking the weather or something.
That inch of bone can easily deflect a .22 round which isn't fired perfectly at right angles to the skull. I worked at a slaughterhouse years ago and have killed all my own pork ever since. Most of those hogs WERE killed with a .22 but the shot angles and conditions were ideal. A hog isn't particularly hard to kill if they are hit in a vital area with the first shot. A wounded hog is another matter. They can take a lot of lead after being wounded and still keep going. Personally, if I were going hog hunting, I would take my scoped 6.5X55 Swedish Mauser.

February 19, 2005, 03:31 PM
I have taken 4 hogs in my life, one was with a Rememgtion rolling block 45/70 and had some one standing behind me with a Miny 14. He weighted over 370 lb and the round hit him in the sholder as he ran towards me and made him roll over onto his head and he never got up.
The first one I took with a marlin in 44 mag with my own VERY hot loads. NEVER NEVER shoot a pig in the head, the first one I shot was with the 44 mag and hit him beteen the eyes and it diddnt slow him down, the only thing that slowed him down was me climbing up a tree. The second took his spin out through the back.
Dont let Arnold fool you from Green ackers, HOGS are dangerious and MEAN and very hard to kill. Take somthing heavy and go for a shot that will stop them from running,
Good luck.

February 21, 2005, 10:48 PM
ozzieman my firsy choice for pigs is a mini 30. But from time to time use a Marlin in 444. If you like the 44 cal give the 444 a try. The last pig I shot with the 444 was about 150 lbs. I made a high neck shot. The 444 almost took the pigs head clean off. The 444 has way more power than the 44mag. I have both the 45-70 and 444 and I think the 444 with pistol bullets will out preform the 45-70 when it comes to pigs

February 23, 2005, 12:09 AM
I shoot hogs with my .223 all the time I use winchester 64 gr power point. take nice neck shoots. I don't go after the big ones with that I get the 7mm mag for the 400pounders.

Dusty Miller
February 27, 2005, 04:14 AM
Wild hogs should be considered 'dangerous game' and as such should be given respect in the gun department. Sure, lots of'm have been killed with the .223 but its a numbers game and sooner or later some poor slob is going to get chewed up because he passed on a decent 30 caliber rifle or big bore handgun to hunt'm. I'm sure most people think they have the discipline to pass on a 150 yrd shot with a .223 when a prize boar steps out of the bush but the truth of the matter is that 99% of us would want it so bad we'd take a chance on wounding it and seeing it scamper back into the bush to die a slow agonizing death. Ethics require that we use enough gun to take that longer shot with a reasonable chance that the animal will be quickly killed.

Rich Lucibella
February 27, 2005, 01:59 PM
What Dusty said, plus a bit more personal input.

Responsible hunting requires at least the attempt to guarantee a clean kill. There is nothing more irresponsible than loosing a wounded animal because you shot it with a less than marginal caliber. 65 lb hog? Yeah, you can probably do it with a .45 auto.....but what do you do when that 350lb Hogasaurus with gorgeous teeth steps into your field of view, demanding to decorate your wall? Pass up the shot? I don't think so.

Unless you're in the top one percent of game hunters that seems to be able to guarantee "behind the ear", "between the eyes" or at the "base of the skull" shots on demand, in all conditions, Hogs deserve better than a .223. I'm simply adamant about this with certain exceptions:

1) Not all hogs are alike. Our South FL piggies give up relatively easily. (I no longer hunt them as a result). Texas hog, OTOH, are likely to take a .223 round and just keep going. Unless broken down, they tend not to know they're dead until long after their Piggy Souls have "crossed over".

2) Blind hunting over feeders at known distances. (If that's what floats your boat.)

In short, Use Enough Gun. The game (and our reps) deserve no less.

February 27, 2005, 11:15 PM
Dusty and Rich! Are you guys liberals from hell or what? Nature knows nothing about ethics.

Ever see coyotes mame a calf? The calf will lay in the feild for two days or so till the cows leave. Then the coyotes come in. One will hold the neck while the others will rip out the guts to kill the animal. Yah clean kill!

I can feel the flames already. But I can tell you nature is just as beautfull as it is ugly. for every thing in life there in an opposite. Who is to say it is right or wrong! It just is! can't have one without the other.

Man you guys need to stop watching the Animal Planet :D

Rich Lucibella
February 28, 2005, 01:05 AM
Dusty and Rich! Are you guys liberals from hell or what? Nature knows nothing about ethics.
Ever see coyotes mame a calf?
Yup (assuming you meant "maim"). I've also seen coyotes eat their own entrails when gutshot. I've seen coyotes feast leisurely on a deer caught on a barbed wire fence. I've seen a Government Game Scout leave a crippled and starving Cape Buff in the field as lion bait after it nearly severed it's own leg, breaking free of a poacher's wire snare. I've seen men wrongly accused, arrested and imprisoned. I've seen the results of child sexual molestation.

And in each case, I've stepped in and at least attempted to put a stop to it.

The fact that "it happens in nature" hardly exonerates a man for becoming a willing participant. I won't become involved in such activities and I won't have another man breathe MY air while doing so.

But I can tell you nature is just as beautfull as it is ugly. for every thing in life there in an opposite. Who is to say it is right or wrong! It just is! can't have one without the other.If, in context of what you advocate for a first time hunter, that was meant to be philosophical in some dark Existential way, I guess I missed it. It's crude rationalization for mortified ethic and gangrenous spirit.



February 28, 2005, 02:07 AM
I have a lot of "white tail" hunting friends that try to kill at least one hog each deer season. They use their deer rifles for this task. The 30-30 is still the most commonly used rifle followed closely by the 308. Keep in mind that some of these hogs are very large. The result of "hog claims" from many years ago.

February 28, 2005, 09:28 PM
Rich I take great pride in making one shot kills when I hunt. It proves to me my marksmanship. What I'm getting at you hardley see a animal out in the wild get old and die of old age. Something kills it before it gets a chance to die. So is that not the same thing as a wounded animal dying from a wound from another animal or a hunter.

I grew up out in the country. back in the old days if a horse broke its leg the horse was put down because of its suffering. Today you would be called unethical if you put down a horse for a broken leg. Funny how things did a 180 turn. I think when most people see an animal suffering they see themselfs in one way or another. The question is does an animal know suffering? Does an animal know it's about to die? Does an animal know horror like we do? I don't think so!

No I don't live on the dark side. Well if you want to call the city the dark side then yes. I moved from the country to the city about 20 years ago. I just started going to the country to help ranchers just to get back out in the country. I can't belive how much the city twisted my head in the last 20 years. I'm thinking about giving up my good paying city job and taking a low paying ranch hand job just to get back to nature. Kinda like what Fred Bear said! you need to cleanse the soul.

I don't like to see animals suffer! because I don't like to suffer! But when you see what animals do to each other makes me wonder if animals know suffering. Thats why I said is it wright or wrong?

Rich Lucibella
February 28, 2005, 09:49 PM
You've failed to speak to the point.

In response to a query from a first time hog hunter, I contend that the .223 is an inappropriate caliber except under VERY limited conditions. You basically respond that there's no big deal about creating animal suffering for sport, when it could easily be avoided. "After all, animals suffer in nature." There's not much you can say to back off that position now.

Most telling is that you fall into my special category of "One Percenters"....head shots on command....every time.....even on Geese.
Rich I take great pride in making one shot kills when I hunt.
The 444 almost took the pigs head clean off.
softpoint and neck shot.
Don't see why you can't take geese with a 20 guage. [snip] I always shoot at the head with good luck. I use a 12 and 3 inch sheels. It took me a while to learn to shoot at the head. It's easy to shoot at the body because it's the biggest thing you see. Shooting at the head will bring down more birds.

You're dismissed now. :rolleyes:

February 28, 2005, 10:11 PM
DON'T take a .223, except maybe as a backup to a bolt action. Even if you are shooting only for a barbecue pig, it's hard to resist a trophy shot. Also, if a little pig gets hurt and squeals a big pig may come running. For Texas boar you should have at LEAST a good deer rifle - I like a .375 myself.

February 28, 2005, 10:14 PM
yep, i read a thread on ar15 about a guy taking a black bear with his ar. took him 16 rounds......poor little black bear......hunt humanely please

February 28, 2005, 10:21 PM
Rich you can take a pig with a 223. just has to be a good clean shot. After all the 223 is used to kill people every day! in the military that is!

Dismissed????? you did not prove anything. I stand by every thing I said.

Explain Please!

Rich Lucibella
February 28, 2005, 10:50 PM
Rich you can take a pig with a 223. just has to be a good clean shot. If I read this kind of statement ever again, I swear I will blind myself to avoid any possiblity of repeated insult to my own common sense. You're right, Impact. They can be taken with a .223; they can also be taken with a 22LR or a blow gun...."just has to be a good clean shot."

The Devil's in the details, though. See, I don't hunt hogs in feed lots. I hunt them in the field where there is seldom (make that ALMOST NEVER) such thing as a "good clean shot". That's why you have to be a One Percenter to do it with a .223....you know- the "neck shot", every time; the "base of the skull shot", every time; the "in the ear shot", every time; or perhaps the "eyeball socket shot", every time.

Other than on the Internet, I've never met a One Percenter who could back up the claim, on command, in the field. And that's why I dismiss your position as too fantastic for my reality.

February 28, 2005, 11:28 PM
Rich don't freak out on me :D I past up many of shots because I did not think I could make a clean kill. But I still wonder if a clean kill matters. In resepect to how animals kill each other. Some may think it's ugly! But in truth that is the way it is. Some times I wonder who are we to judge what is wright or wrong.

After all we are the only species that is human and can do no other than judge.

too many choices!?
March 1, 2005, 03:51 PM
The little tribe I tend to see here is not even big enough for the BBQ grill ......Maybe a George Forman Grill master... :confused: :D . Seriously the largest hog I saw was shot by a friend a few years back and it was no more than 150 lbs. I have decided to limit myself to under 110yds or so and am going to try the m4gery. I also have a WASR that would work if I could hit anything with it....Maybe after I find a scope mount for it,hmmmm. As for now I see that it can be done. I simply need to watch the way I do it....Close up and good placement.....and a little piggy not a "porker". Friom what I have read I would be better with the Ak but am more confident in my ability to hit what I am at with the .223. How big in m.o.a is the vital zone going to appear at 110 yds? Like I have said before, I have a red dot and a bsa magnifying scope on my ar so 70yds and under=red dot....over 70=4xmagnification on the scope :D I can confidently hit a 3moa target at 100yds with my red dot from a knee. Should that be sufficient?

Thanx for all the great imfo I will let you know when I get one, man I'm excited!

Rich Lucibella
March 1, 2005, 04:06 PM
TMC....your hunt, your choice.

But if you're convinced that you can place a round correctly enough to take down a "little" 150LB hog with a poodle shooter, you should only need to load one bullet into the chamber. Empty mag in the gun is optional.

Please report back with pics.


March 1, 2005, 05:39 PM
TMC, if you are determined to go with a .223, you need bullets which won't fragment in the first few inches of penetration. I killed a deer several years ago which had a crater in it's right ham about half the size of a large cantalope. I had heard the shot which made the wound but the deer didn't appear to be limping or anything when I shot it. (30-06) The hunter contacted me as I was loading the deer in my truck and told me he had took a shot at it but had missed, he guessed. He was using a .223. When I processed the meat, there was no wound channel at all, just that crater with little bits of jacket and lead pieces scattered around in it. Granted, I have no idea if the bullet struck anything before it hit the deer and I'm not commenting about the wisdom of shooting at the south end of a northbound very large (best I've taken) buck with a .223. If he had lucked that shot into the back of the neck or head, he'd be looking at the horns now instead of me. If his bullet would have held together for deeper penetration it might have been different also.

I've not kept up on factory offerings for bullets in .223 but some time back, all factory bullets were too lightly constructed for hunting anything much more robust than a coyote. That may have changed by now but if not, get some Trophy Bonded bullets or some other maker's offering which will hold together and handload.

March 2, 2005, 12:29 AM
steve499 I have sean those same flesh wounds on deer as well. I thought thay may have come from some sort of infection? I thought maybe gun shot wound! but I got to thinking how many deer I killed with my 222 with remington green and yellow box ammo. I never shot a deer with a varmint bullet because a deer is not a varmint :D But yah any kinda core lock type bullet and a good neck shot will bring down a pig fast.

Most pigs in the wild go at the 100 to 150lb mark (in texas anyway) and only saw one that may have been close to 200lbs any pig up to 100lbs is a good shooter. Over 125lbs they are not as good to eat as the smaller pigs. piglets on the pit are the best ;)

too many choices!?
March 4, 2005, 11:34 AM
:) Rich Thanx for the concern.....But when I said a "little piggy" not a "porker" I meant limit is pig about the size of the one my firend shot with the 30-06 ballistic tip.....It was only about 50-60 lbs....If I see a 150 lbs hog I wihile in the brush then, you will quickly see my Carl Lewis impersonation as I am not stupid and know that a wild animal has a large will to fight/survive :eek: !I will not be far from home probably less than 200yds and I will have many places to take advantage of if cornered or treed by a big bore.....I agree a Rich, .223 and a 150lbs hog is a no no except for the suicidal ;) ....If I see one that big I will go get my freind and his ballistic tips in the 30-06.....150lbs should catch the bullet better than that littler piggy(60lbs)did.....It had a quater sized hole through the ham(back right ham exit and entry wound was through the ribs below the spine with entrails out the exit :eek: ! I think a will try to find a .223 ballistic tip, aim for neck/head shots and see what it do...lol

Is there a mag limit if hunting hogs in Texas....I would like a second opinion....Don't wanna run foul of the law! I keep hearing a five round mag limit? I would fell better with a 30 rounder full of Ballistic tips just in case !
Rich come on, if I want a real challeng I will try the knife or spear tmethod. :cool:

Rich Lucibella
March 4, 2005, 11:48 AM
Wasn't really you I was worried about. It's the hog. Unlike Cape Buff, they tend not to "hunt back". They are a danger if you happen to be at the point of the compass they intend to travel.....but that's about it.

Again, as I stated earlier, there are definitely situations in which the .223 will do the job....if you're hunting from a blind over a feeder at known distance, for instance.
I'd have no problem with that.

My point was borne of the fact that I try to introduce lots of first time hunters, including kids, to the sport. In those situations, it's real important (at least to me) to communicate our responsibility to respect the animal we're about to kill. That means knowing (as much as is possible) that your shot will bring a quick death.

When you state, "I would feel better with a 30 rounder full of Ballistic tips just in case", it demonstrates to me that you are not at all convinced that the .223 can do the job, which brings us full circle. I personally feel more than safe with as little as 5 rounds of .308 and a good handgun.

Enjoy your hunt. Pics still requested.

March 4, 2005, 01:15 PM
I wouldn't take an AR after a pig unless it was chambered in 50 Beowulf or an extreme emergency.

March 4, 2005, 02:12 PM
There is no magazine capacity restriction for a rifle when hunting in Texas, but Rich Lucibella makes an excellent point. Your comment about feeling better with thirty rounds does sound like you lack confidence in your ability to use the rifle effectively. If that is the case, you will be much happier and shoot better with something more powerful. :)

March 7, 2005, 07:37 PM
Nope, never hunted pig. However, I find this interesting is that this is the same caliber our government in it's infinite wisdom consideres the end all for a combat round.

Assuming that the average man on the face of the earth is between 150-200 lbs. and we are concerned with "being" able to kill a 150 lb. pig, taken from ambush, I think this says a lot about this caliber for military use...Never liked the caliber when I was in the service, not enamored of it now...suggest for pig, you purchase a nice lever action rifle in 30 caliber...

March 7, 2005, 10:56 PM
As a full time hog hunter, which is what I have become since moving to Florida, I would not use a .223 on hogs. Yes it will kill them. I have killed 3 hogs with a .22 mag. Then I pulled a shot and hit the hog in the jaw and it ran so far it left out property and was not recovered. All I had was the hogs teeth.

The .223 will work for head shots, but you really need to be close to the pigs. Pigs move around more than anyother animal I have ever hunted and a 100 yard head shot is very hard to come by. Espcially if there are 15 pigs in the herd.

Please understand the anatomy of the pig. It is VERY different than that of other 4 legged animals.

Go to http://www.texasboars.com and read the forums for anatomy pics and lots of good advice.

too many choices!?
March 8, 2005, 10:16 AM
At under a 100 yds I feel more than confident in my little m4.....I just don't know what to expect since this is my first time....That is what brought out the comment......If one .223 can be good enough then 30 should be just right :) !
I saw the little tribe again and was going to have my friend drive me up to theim in the back of the truck, but the punk left before i could get my guns togerther :( ....I see the pigs go to get the m4 and my glock just in case and when I come back outside, this $%^&^%^%$ is down there doing doughnuts around the pigs :( .....Scares them all to hell and I get NO SHOTS OFF.....He got to with in atleast 60 yds or closer before they bailed on him! I was sooooooo pissed!! I could have even used the ak clone at that distance :eek: ......Needless to say I am not very happy with my friend right now :mad:
I am not giving up though. The fact that I saw them has revitalized me....PICS hopefully will be coming this month if at all possible ......

PS Nobody better laugh at my little piggy either :) ...I am going to go with the 55 grain winchester fmj load.....If I can keep it under 120 yds I should gey fairly good frag/tumble or atleast enough for a hogs head neck shot at distance(my gun likes winchester fmj 55gr the most.....I saw another hog and at 100 yds the head was about 8"-10" long easy moa at 100yds for the ar my conficence is building.....

March 8, 2005, 09:46 PM
I was talking to a friend of mine today. His wife works for a city close to me. She was given a new job. killing pigs in the city limits. The only gun the city would let her use is a 22lr. So far every pig she shot she dropped dead it it's tracks. all head and neck shots.

Don't tell her a 223 is to small for pigs. I might add she is from louisiana and hunted all her life.

March 12, 2005, 04:24 AM
She was given a new job. killing pigs in the city limits.

Forget the new college degree! Where can I apply! I might even move to Lousiana for that!

too many choices!?
March 13, 2005, 09:31 PM
No offense intended, but I don't find the anatomical similarities between hogs and people to be that close outside of both being mammals and possessing the same vital organs, which are in different locations and covered with varying amounts/types of tissue :confused: ?

March 18, 2005, 07:58 PM
I usually hunt them in thick brush and swamps where they are usually encountered at close range and they may be moving. I want a bullet that blows a large hole through them and leaves a nice blood trail if they run. I have killed hogs with 8mmx57JS (using Euro spec loads of about 2650 fps and a 180g bullet), 7.62x54R, .30-06, and .444 Marlin. I have also seen them killed with a .45-70 Government. All clobbered the hogs. I have also killed a wounded hog with one shot of a .357 Magnum using 158g XTP, but that is hardly the same thing as shooting one that is not already hurt.

As others have said - sure it WILL kill one with proper shot placement but there are so many better choices out there. If money is a concern pick up a cheap Yugo M48 Mauser or Mosin Nagant at the next gun show for under $100.

too many choices!?
March 19, 2005, 02:18 PM
I already know that 7.62x39 is hog friendly, as many say it's balistics are comparable to 30/30.....So if I can find a good scope mount for the side mount rail, then that is what I will use(with my red dot) since the motto of this thread appears to be "Bigger is Better!" However, if in the immediate future I come across one of those, "M4/.223 size hogs", believe me I will take the shot and post pics :cool: I still say the little piggies around here(50-60lbs) wouldn't take much to put down "clean"......

March 19, 2005, 02:38 PM
with 30 rounds it shouldnt be a problem