View Full Version : Best Hog Gun.

December 2, 2007, 06:13 PM
Hey everyone,
Name is Matt and I am new to the gun discussion world. I have been hunting quite a few times, but I am not very familiar with all the different types of guns.

I was just wondering your opinions on a light caliber varmit rifle that can also be used for hogs. What caliber and gun manufacturer would you go with? I was thinking either, .223 or .243 as that is what I have been shooting them with my whole life, but I am sure that ya'll know much better than I would. Any suggestions would be great!


December 2, 2007, 08:23 PM
Well I think I would go with atleast a .30 something. .308 30.06. That way you can if you handload go from mouse to moose with one gun. IMHO.


December 2, 2007, 08:49 PM
From what ATTT and I have gone thru.. be sure it is semi-automatic.
I bounced a 30-30 Hornady LeveRevolution thru a pigs face at less than 15 feet.
It was headed for me when I shot it. I got lucky when it turned away before disapearing in the trees.

Later that same afternoon, ATTT had a 300 Lb boar charge him.
He had his AR .223 on him. Took six to get that one to go down. It didn't turn from its charge.

I am a firm believer that if mine hadn't turned, I would be leg-less.
I didn't have time to cycle another into the chamber.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270536 a modified Ruger over-under.
He had it rebarreled to fire the 45-70.
He broadsided a boar thru the "boiler room" twice, before it quit running.

Friggin tanks.

December 2, 2007, 09:16 PM
See "first hog with new rifle" on this forum.......

After that let me say this.

If you're set on one gun, and the choice is between the .223 and the .243, the choice needs to be the .243.

My wife has a single shot H&R Handi Rifle in .243 that she uses. We spend most of our season here in NE Fla. walking up hogs. She's taken a dozen or so in the last few years along with one good sized ( For Florida ) buck. The .243 with a proper bullet will do the job but, and this is important as you do not want to leave wounded animals in the woods any more than you want a hog slicing up your leg in the palmettos, even with the right bullets you MUST be careful with where you shoot them.

Neck and head shots if they are close, as they often are in the palmettos, and solid lung/heart shots further away. None of that shooting at hard angles and certainly no shots from behind as you could do with a bigger round.

If hogs is the primary target I'd much rather have my old .35 Rem or something with a bigger slower moving bullet.

December 2, 2007, 09:17 PM
I have killed quite a few 200+ hogs with a .243, and 4 or 5 with a .223. But, that was almost from point blank. And the .223 was on a friends Mini-14 so I had a 30 round clip. I will be getting a larger caliber rifle later on.

I am just wondering what ya'll would recommend for a good varmit/target rifle.

I really like the look of the Savage 12 Series Low profile.

December 2, 2007, 09:20 PM
I have actually been chased by a nice size hog at 2am and at that time all I had was a .22. I don't know what i was thinking, I guess i was hoping for an eyeball shot or 6. But, I ended up shooting it 8 times and it charged me, I don't think I've ever run so fast. So, yea the right caliber really can make a world of difference in getting a good clean kill.


December 2, 2007, 09:43 PM
If you're wanting something that can be used on hog and also for targets, might I suggest a CZ 550 in 6.5x55.

December 3, 2007, 06:00 AM
"bigfatts" just suggested a exellent idea.................you can get 160 grain bullets that don't move to fast which will be MUCH better on the hogs and still go down far enough to do the varmints.

December 3, 2007, 06:58 AM
I use bullets designed for medium skinned game like corelock or failsafe. I believe this matters more than the cartridge, but I do shoot a larger caliber.

john in jax
December 3, 2007, 10:14 AM
I really like bull/heavy bbl'd rifles and I think you are right on track with the Savage 12. You might also consider the Savage 10FP series.

I'm a big fan of the .308 because I know I am "ready" to take any deer or hog I might come across. The .223 and .243 have killed a lot of game but they aren't quiet as forgiving as the .308.

December 3, 2007, 11:03 AM
Yea I really like the look of the big barreled guns. That savage feels like a real straight shooter and I handled a Tikka and the action on that gun is flawless. But, I definetly agree that i'd rather be safe then sorry with the caliber size. I can always put a slug or 2 in my shotgun for big hogs, no?

I like the .223 because I think its fairly accurate and fast and you don't necessary need ear protection to shoot it, althought you probably should always. Id like to be able to shoot armadillos, foxes, coyote (big problem killing calves now), and small hogs (40lb - 80lb the ones that taste the best).

Let me know what you guys think about a really good far/straight shooting gun in either a .243 or .223 or even something else in a smaller caliber.


December 3, 2007, 04:32 PM
MTT- I like the .243 for anything I've found on the ranch. Man, it's like a Chevy 350 of the rifle ctgs. I load 55gr and 58gr for varmints and you can go all the way up to 117gr according to Modern Reloading 2nd Edition by Richard Lee. It's fast enough to buck the wind and reach further than my .223's.

I don't know about their wisdom on this, but every once in a while, a couple of folks from Canadian, TX come down here and buy up a bunch of those short Russian Moisen Nagant rifles for hogs. Feller told me that they don't even try to find soft point bullets as the surplus jobs do just fine. Like I said, I don't know the wisdom of that and maybe their cheese is slippin off their crackers, but it's still pretty cool that there's at least a couple of farms and/or ranches that keeps a stockpile of these things for visitin hands, family, and guests.

OK, so the .243 is more like a versitile 305... the .30-06 is prob'ly closer akin to a 350 what with it being albe to load from 100gr plinkers to 220gr loads.

December 3, 2007, 06:55 PM
I was thinking about a very accurate .243 because I have shot a dozen or so hogs with my uncles .243 remington that has a 5 round clip and is semi-automatic? I guess since its not a bolt action. I have never had a problem dropping a hog all the way up to 275lb. and usually his scope is incredibly off so I usually have to put two or three rounds into one pig. So, I figured that if I could get a very accurate .243 I would never have a problem dropping a hog.

Who makes a good one?


December 4, 2007, 10:04 AM
AR-10 would be my weapon of choice.

December 4, 2007, 04:10 PM
Yeah, what he said- AR10.
I don't remember what model(s) replaced the Rem 740, but some of those and the Browning BAR at one time made some pretty good .243 semi's.

December 4, 2007, 04:23 PM
What does everyone think of the Remington 700's? And are the Tikka T3's any good?


December 4, 2007, 05:27 PM
The only two Texas pigs I have shot were with my Remington 700 in .270, my deer gun. They didn't move much after being hit. Their friends on the other hand jumped 4 feet in the air and ran like h*ll.

December 4, 2007, 06:12 PM
I'm no expert on hogs by any stretch, but from what I gather reading and talking to folks, the best gun for hogs is something that is NOT ALSO your "varmint" gun as you describe. Get two guns - this is great, as it's an excuse for you to get another gun. Get a .22 cal or .24 caliber centerfire for varmints, and a heavy gun for hogs.

It all depends on the SIZE of the hogs, but large hogs are called walking bullet traps for a reason - they are much tougher than game such as deer. When it comes to large game, most people consider calibers appropriate for thin-skinned deer and goat type game to be "level 1" in penetration and weight/energy requirements to humanely take the game. But hogs on are the next level ("level 2" we'll call it), to include hogs, elk, moose, caribou, and black bear, who have thicker skin, cartilage, and bone than deer type ungulates.* In addition, a wounded hog can attack and hurt you. Badly. So I'd go bare minimum of .30-30 for hogs, for in case you run across a large one, and preferably something more along the lines of .308, .30-06, or even larger. I have 4 rifles that I consider preferred for hogs, and they are chambered in:

9.3x62mm, and
12 gauge slug

The smallest caliber that I *personally* would actually use to hunt hogs is a .308 winchester or *maybe* a .270 win. I'd make sure to use a heavy bullet like a 180 in .308, and a 150-160 in .270. But again, I ainno expert....

*I would postulate that "Level 3" would be for very large and/or very mean animals, such as brown bear or bison, and "Level 4" would be african dangerous game like the Big 5.

Having said all that, a .243 would be fine for small piggies up to 100 lbs or so. I wouldn't use a .223 - that's no bueno if it hits bone or a gristle plate. Would be fine for clear broadside shots, but why limit yourself? The only shot you get might be quartering towards you, so you want a large caliber to punch through the shoulder.

December 4, 2007, 06:36 PM
I gotcha, yea that makes perfect sense. I've been thinking about this for awhile. Two guns is a very good idea. A very accurate .22 or .17 for armadillos and what not and then a larger gun .243 or .270 for deer and hogs because I still always have my 870 Remington pump for slugs and buckshot in the case where I want a big hog, but my largest hog so far was 275lbs and tasted like a rubber tire since it was a boar and wasn't cut. So the .243 or .270 would be for little hogs 50lb - 80lbs at most (the ones that taste good) and deer.

Does that sound like a reasonable plan? I agree that a .223 is too small, I just wanted a fun gun to shoot all the time without worrying about cost and shoulder pain. But, I think a .17 or .22 would do the trick in that department.

I really love the look of all of the savage brand guns, they just look like really straight shooting guns. And I love that you can remove the clip on the Tikka's. Who makes a good accurate .243 or .270?

I'm pretty sure I will be getting a savage in the .17 or .22.

December 5, 2007, 10:31 AM
I've been dwelling on the "pig gun" subject for a while now.....

I don't know jack about pig hunting, but I'm going in January.

People keep telling me how dangerous it can be. The hog can charge you once you've shot it. So, why are you guys talking about such small caliber weapons?

Shouldn't I be using something larger for safety's sake?

I mean, I used a remington 700 adl in .243 and I find it just enough power for deer. Sometimes, I think I should step up my deer rifle caliber. But for pigs that have this tough chest cavity.....

So, my pig gun is a .444 marlin made from an enfield No. 4 Mk II rifle......I was thinking that would be more appropriate...a bit more knock down power.

Please, anyone with hog hunting experiences and rifle preferences please tell me what it's all about.....

December 5, 2007, 10:38 AM
One of my favorite pig guns is my Mini-30.

For basic (smaller) varmints, I have a nice 25-06 as well as a 22 Hornet.


December 5, 2007, 11:17 AM
Vonfireball, the danger in pig hunting depends almost entirely on how you are hunting. I've only heard of pigs charging in two general situations. One is when using dogs and you corner a nasty one. The other is if you get between a sow and her piglets. Pigs will go out of their way to avoid you.

If you are really planning on downing a big trophy boar, then by all means use enough firepower to muscle through that shield on his shoulder (I've seen them almost 2" thick). However, if you are planning on shooting only a meat hog, any deer rifle will work just fine. Even a varment caliber will work if you place your shots correctly.

December 5, 2007, 11:37 AM
The only pigs I've ever shot was done from a tower with a .270 130 grain bullet behind the ear did the trick every time. I didn't get any pigs the time I tried to spot and stalk some, but I was using a Marlin 336C in .35 Rem with a red dot scope on it. 200 grain round nose bullet should have thumped any pig enough to stop a charge or turn it even if is only a glancing blow.

December 5, 2007, 12:11 PM
200 grain round nose bullet should have thumped any pig enough to stop a charge or turn it even if is only a glancing blow.

I've seen dents/chips in a pig skull from where a 180gr .30-06 just glanced off. A friend of mine banged one in the head (head on shot) with a hot loaded .44mag and still had to run. He looked awful funny hangin from that tree.

I will stick by my earlier suggestion of the CZ in 6.5x55. It's a good solid rifle and the single set trigger really lends itself to target shooting. Great for Deer and Hog and also a flat shooter for the range. My choice for a great all around hunting rifle. In the brush or tight quarters I carry a .454 Puma '92 with 300gr flat points.

December 6, 2007, 12:25 AM
This is right up there with the best zombie gun. If I had to have one gun for hogs only, it would be an 18.5 inch barrel stainless marlin lever action in .45-70 with a leupold 1x4 powered scope on it, with dual dovetail rings. That should lay any pig to waste under 100 yards.

December 6, 2007, 07:05 AM
I watched my Grandfather kill many, many hogs for slaughter. His method was always the same, a 22LR right between the eyes and then his pocket knife to cut the juglar to get the blood out. It always amazed me that when hit they would immediately fall over and start twitching. Once a hog turned just as he fired and the bullet glance off and hit a second one. Both immediatly fell down twitching.

He didn't want an immediate kill so that when he cut them the heart would still be pumping and get as much blood out as possible .

December 6, 2007, 12:17 PM
I started handgun hunting for deer and hogs this year and I decided on the Ruger SRH in 454 Casull. Now I'm a reloder so I loaded some 45LC with 250gr. solid and a couple of Saturdays ago I had 3 hogs and 5-6 piglets walk out under my stand. I sighted in on the largest sow at about 100lbs and opened fire. The 250gr. solid went thru the sow and 1 of her piglets.:eek: So I say try hunting with a handgun for a little more equality in giving the animal a fair chance. It'll really get you heart to pumping.:D

December 11, 2007, 08:21 PM
lol at you guys 2 posts above. Those stories are sounding like the ones you hear around the camp fire. I believe you though...I have a few of my own.

I am going on my first hog hunt in a few weeks. It is guided but very cheap. We will be hunting from a blind in the morning so I will use my .243 for that. We will also be stalking them with a guide in the afternoon. I will be bringing my .223 Ar-15 for that. I definatley want to be able to shoot again quite quickly if necessary since I will be at eye level with them.

My interest is meat so I will not be going after the trophys...just the sausage and pork chops.

December 11, 2007, 09:24 PM
For hogs, get a Remington 870 in 12 gauge and add a low power 1-4x scope, I would suggest using 1 1/4oz foster slugs.

January 2, 2008, 04:27 PM
Around Texas hogs are a problem and when out I shoot them, this means I have shot many with a wide array of calibers. I was with a buddy that dropped one with one shot broadside at about 15 yards with a Glock 9mm using Blazer FMJ. Then again I have hit one twice with a 243, both body hits, and had to follow it through all kinds of cactus and brush to get a third shot on it, to put it away. I often shoot them with a 357, or a Ranch Rife 223, cause it is what is in the pick-up, and results are usually ok, but the shot has to be broad side. I have seen a 270 fail to do much when the hit was in the shoulder area head on. But when I hog hunt, purposely, I use a 30-30 170 grain PP, or a 30-06 150 grain PP. I guess the point of all this is well placed shots are key like they always are. I definitely could see the use for a fast follow up (semi auto or lever action) due to the fact that multiple targets are often possible.

January 2, 2008, 06:57 PM
As a hogdogger I assure you that a hog is the meanest animal I will likely encounter! I also know of a couple hog doggers that went out scouting one day... They had guns... I don't know the caliber used but do remember it was a sufficient size over .30-30. One guy popped a fine hog and went after it. He had to crawl thru a thicket and came face to face with a wounded hog. That hog went straight for him. Cut him real deep all the way up his inner thigh and tried to gut him putting some nasty belly gashes on him. He needed serious ER work and tons of stitches. Don't ever consider a hog no longer a threat until he is DEAD! I don't carry a gun when hog hunting as I would never have time to pull and use it. Once my dogs are caught on it the hog is not standing still and dogs are either being used as flags or running in and out so it would be a hindrance to try to shoot. If the hog is winning against my dogs I have to go for in for "the stick" and get the vitals from the arm pit. I have pulled whole broad heads and bullets from the "shield" while butcherin hogs. I have seen the "shield" 2 inches thick on a 2 hundred pound boar hog. Tough animal!
My tip for meat quality is to soak the meat in a cooler of ice for 3 days, drain the water each day and top off with fresh ice. This removes the blood, testosterone and adrenaline released when the hog is either fighting or dying...

January 2, 2008, 08:17 PM
My hog gun/guns are a 8mm Mauser scout conversion. I only shoot my handloads in this though, as factory loadings are a little to light for my tastes. My other hog gun is a Raging Bull in .454 Casull

January 2, 2008, 08:21 PM
"My tip for meat quality is to soak the meat in a cooler of ice for 3 days, drain the water each day and top off with fresh ice. This removes the blood, testosterone and adrenaline released when the hog is either fighting or dying..."

Good post.

Killed 17 hogs last year, most of them with my .50 caliber muzzleloader. Biggest boar went about 365 pounds on the hoof: Surprisingly, the meat was good. We always clean the hog up real well in the field and rinse it out with a couple gallons of water that we carry in the truck.

When we get it home the hog is hung up and hosed down good. This gets a lot of the smell off the animal. In hot weather we get it iced as soon as possible. A lot of the smell goes away when you ice the carcass down well.

At 80-90 degrees a hog will spoil in two or three hours. A lot of them are lost that way.

January 2, 2008, 08:41 PM
While never one to back down from a scrap I will say that after wrestling a few mad hogs reinforced my decision to NEVER BACK DOWN! They are here to survive and will die fighting... they have much more fight and resolve than yer average street thug!
365 is a big sumbish! It is hard as heck to toss a 200 pounder on his side to tie up so I hate to think about tossing a slob like that to hobble!

January 2, 2008, 09:51 PM
"While never one to back down from a scrap I will say that after wrestling a few mad hogs reinforced my decision to NEVER BACK DOWN!"

Never wrestled with a hog. Did go into a plum thicket after a big boar that I wounded: Only thing I had was the muzzleloader. He did come after me and was shot at about 10 feet from me. Now before going after a wounded hog in a thicket I go by the truck and get my rifled barrel Model 870 and some slugs.