View Full Version : First hog with new rifle.......

December 1, 2007, 07:45 PM


Slipped up on this one in the swamp last evening. I'm guessing he went close to 200 as he was bigger than I am by a bit.

Was working into the wind very slowly when I came on a tree that looked like a good place to sit and listen to the woods for a few minutes from. After about 10 minutes of sitting I heard a twig crack off to my right. The way I was sitting I could not turn so I shouldered the rifle left handed, which is something I'm not good at. As he came through the thick stuff, and I could see him better, it looked like he was going to pass directly across in front at about 20 yards so as he went behind a thick palmetto I shifted the rifle back to my right shoulder and waited. He NEVER came past the palmetto just took a right and disapeared.

For a couple of minutes I could hear him messing about, and I toyed with the idea of following him but as the wind was not in my favor in that direction, and as it was VERY thick I decided against it.

Sat there a few more minutes and decided, as our deer are still rutting a bit, to hit the grunt call a few times before moving on. After about 15 minutes of that I was ready to move when I heard another twig crack. Figured it was a deer. Scooched around to face where I heard the crack and waited. In a couple of minutes I see a black leg.

So it's not a deer but the same hog comming back the way he went. Now that I was facing the right way he recieved a 300 grain 45-70 slug at about 20 yards. Took off like a bat out of hell. I did not think I could have missed at that range but worse things have happened so as he ran past a open spot at about 15 yards I fired the other barrel.

Second barrel was not necessary. He piled up about 30 yards off in the thick stuff. I could see it shaking where he kicked out. Both shots hit him in the ribs, about 4 inches apart. No meat wasted.

And yes that rifle does look like a Ruger Red Label 20 ga. but it's actually a 45-70. Had it built on a Red Label action. Works great for pigs in the thick stuff.

December 1, 2007, 09:04 PM
thats a cool rifle and nice hog. Congrats:cool:

December 1, 2007, 11:03 PM
Nice pig Ben, and a very fine looking rifle too!

December 11, 2007, 08:34 PM
Awesome kill. What general area did this take place?

Charles S
December 11, 2007, 08:44 PM
Thanks for sharing.

Cool rifle (perfect for pigs). Who did the work? Tell us more about the rifle.

Great hunt. Congratulations.

Great job BTW.

December 12, 2007, 12:13 AM
Nice, Nice!!

December 12, 2007, 05:32 AM

We hunt on 19,000 acres of mostly swamp just north of St. Augustine, Fl. Hogs don't get as big here as some other places but they do eat good. Usually walk them up, ocasionally shoot one from a portable stand. Slipping up on hogs in the thick palmettos is interesting.......

Charles S:

Rifle was made by a smith in Iowa. Has 22 inch barrels. Is set up with Fire Sights and the top rib is milled and drilled to accept two different types of scope mounts. What is mounted is a Bushnell Red Dot. The Red Dot works good for the close type hunting we do. Seldom shoot one at more than about 25 or 30 yards.

The rifle started out as a 20 ga Red Label, the old model, that had ruined barrels from where someone had tried to put in tubes. It was a mess. I bought it for the action and wood.

The smith removed the barrels from the monoblock and replaced them with 45-70 barrels. He welded up the exstractors, set a Express Rib and then regulated it.

The contour of the barrels was kept to the same as the old 20 ga barrels so that the wood could be reused.

It's regulated for 300 grain bullets traveling at about 1500 to 1600 FPS. Will place both barrels well within 2 inches at 50 yards. Firing just one barrel it will do better.

We've tried some different loads, heavier bullets and less velocity, but they do not print as well. I gather that the regulation of the barrels is the most dificult part of the building process.

After the season we are going to play with it some more and try bumping up the loads a bit. Don't know how that will effect grouping........

It has been profed with loads about 20% over Trapdoor pressures. Chances are it would be safe with much more potent loads but I don't think they are needed. Besides that I would not like to damage it.....or me.

I did find some reference to Ruger having actually producing a test rifle or two on the Red Label action in .375 H&H so the action is strong.

If I was to do it again the only two things I would do different is that I would start with a 28 ga action and I would have the barrels a little shorter and ported. As she is she is a little heavier than I'd like but she does not kick at all and it does balence right in the middle of the action. With the Red Dot where it is you can wrap your hand around the action and it carries perfect.

I'll tell you.............it seems to me that Ruger should try this as a regular product...........maybe in a few different rounds.

And here is a interesting idea, in fact the idea I originally started out with: Imagine having 20 ga rifled barrels in place? That would be something. I even went so far as to buy 2 rifled blanks from Hastings. The smith still has them. If I run into a bunch of cash I don't need that will be the next project......

December 12, 2007, 06:43 AM
I think remember this rifle during the building phase (didn't you post an informative message on the 'smith corner?) What a beaut. I'm glad to see it draw blood.

Did the boar stink? I have a strong preference for sows.

December 12, 2007, 03:36 PM
Kind of like the beer..............smells bad, tastes great.

In all the years, over 30, of chasing hogs I can think of only one that has not been fit to eat. That one was a VERY LARGE sow I shot up on Cumberland Island, Ga. She was very pregnant and her milk glands were all swolen up and she had a off taste to her.

Never had a boar that was off but then we seldom if ever get one that goes over 250. They just don't live all that long in this area, parasites and the like, so they don't get rank.

December 12, 2007, 05:16 PM
Nice pics, nice rifle, nice write up - if I was a teacher, I would give you a :) on this.

I hate asking this, but can't stop my fingers from hitting the keys, so you can be as vague as you want, or tell me to MYOB with no insult taken, but what did the gun project run you in $$. Great concept, well executed!

December 12, 2007, 06:27 PM

Including shipping, scope and rings, FFL transfer fees ( Twice! ), the original shotgun, new but pad, sling and swivels, and the first 200 rounds of ammo to regulat it.........and of course the cost of having the smith actually do the work............over $4000............

OUCH! I hate saying that out loud..............but then as I've reached the point in life where on a very clear day, if I look real hard out at the horizon, I can see a faint line. That's the FINISH LINE and it seemed time to have at least one expensive gun just because I wanted it. And I wanted it while I was still in good enough shape to hunt with it for a few years.

Not a real good excuse but the wife bought it...............

December 12, 2007, 07:53 PM
Thanks! Like I said, great gun. Not sure I have reached the point where my wife would give me that much latitude :p

December 12, 2007, 11:23 PM
nice pic. you can bring home the bacon,now can you fry it up in a pan??couldnt resist

December 13, 2007, 02:04 PM
Great story and awesome gun - thanks and congrats! :)

Silver Bullet
December 27, 2007, 01:28 AM
How much meat do you typically get from, say, a 200-lb hog ?

December 27, 2007, 04:42 PM
Nice hog and definitely nice rifle. A 45-70 O/U must be good medicine for those hogs. Looks like that one was allergic to lead.

I've never been on a wild boar or hog hunt, although according to the Michigan DNR, who basically gave hunters shoot on-sight clearance, they are gaining in numbers here. Seems like a bonus to any hunt, really.

December 27, 2007, 05:42 PM
Meat yeild:

On one this size the ribs are worth messing with and will weigh about 10 pounds. The backstraps and loins might go another 8 to 10. Shoulders will be about 8 pounds each. The neck roast, if you leave the bone in and sever the head in the right place, might go 12. Hams will be stout, close to 15 each with the bone in ( We usualy saw the pelvis and leave that on the hams. )

There will also be some trimmings,,,,,,a few pounds.

The wild ones, unless they are VERY large, or if they've been feeding on corn ( We don't bait them so we never get them that way. ) will not have enough belly fat to make any sort of bacon.

It's all good stuff with not much fat and a fine flavor from the acorns and hickory nuts they have been eating for the last couple of months.

Silver Bullet
December 28, 2007, 06:17 PM
So over a 100 lbs of meat on a 200 lb hog. That sounds great.

I remember being surprised when I heard that typically only about 35 pounds of meat can be had from the average whitetail deer.

I'm thinking about taking up hunting for food, and I'm kind of leaning towards hogs, elk, and deer. Elk, however, seems like quite a logistics challenge for a beginner, given the size, plus I suspect their range is smaller. I keep reading lately that hogs are getting out of control; that, plus 100 lb of great tasting meat, puts them high on my list. Of course, I might change my mind after I've had elk.

December 28, 2007, 07:35 PM
Do note that those weights were with the bones still in the hams, shoulders and ribs. Depending on how you do it the actual MEAT weight off of a 200 pound hog, again depending on how much fat there is, will be much more like 50 pounds. And that is assuming you don't mess up a bunch with a bad shot.

We meat hunt and are careful with our shots. My wife uses a .243 single shot and only shoots them when very close and not moving. I usually use a .35 Rem or a 45-70, enough bullet to go through but not moving so fast as to blood shoot a lot of meat if I get it a little wrong.

And it is better than deer.........even though we never pass up a legal deer.

My brother in laws father has provided us with a elk meal a time or two.........darn good stuff too.

Silver Bullet
December 28, 2007, 08:04 PM
A local restaurant serves elk, so I think I'll get to try it in the near future.

I wouldn't have guessed that half the weight of the butchered meat is bone. 35 lb of deer meat doesn't sound so skimpy now.

I have read that both elk and pork are better than venison. Matter of "taste", I suppose. :)

Thanks for your advice.