View Full Version : Wild Boar/Pig hunting... which sidearm to carry?

November 18, 2008, 02:25 PM
I'm going to be hunting some pig with my .308 here in CA. I like being prepared... Is a model 1911 .45 ACP or another semi auto 9mm enough to stop a charging pig? Should I pickup a .357 or .44 revolver? I've read some people recommend a magnum with a 6" barrel minimum for wild swine.

I don't own a real handgun, yet. (I don't consider my .25 ACP Ortgies antique much firepower) I've shot them all and can handle anything. There is no such thing as all purpose, but it would be nice to be able to take it to the range and not empty my wallet every time. I like the fact that the 1911 is semi auto and the 9mm or .45 ammo would be cheaper than the magnum. The .357 would be acceptable because I can shoot .38 specials as well.

Budget is definitely a consideration. So I'm thinking a basic 5" 1911 that I can customize later. Magnum wise I'm looking at a Ruger GP161 double action 6" bbl.

Any thoughts?

P.S. If you're about to recommend a Desert Eagle, forget it. I'm not impressed with those unreliable Hollywood POS(sorry if I offended any owners).

November 18, 2008, 02:41 PM
.45 On one hip and an easy to draw 6 inch blade on the other... Likely hood of being "charged" really are limited to 2 situations and one of those is extremely hard to create. First and most common charge will come from a wounded hog you get in close to and find it is not only NOT dead but very much alive. If you can get your gun drawn and finish it off before it charges or before it is knocking you over than GREAT the .45acp will poke a hole in their head better than a .22lr at the slaughter house.
If he gets the jump on your draw and you find yourself down, go for the blade and stick it in the arm pit and/or neck, the gun is too risky to yourself when your only thought is getting the pig off of you.
The other risk of charge is to actually sneak all the way up on pig/s. This is very difficult to accomplish with their hearing and sense of smell. If you make a pig squeal at your hand you really need to be lookin' all around as they can come to the defense of others.

November 18, 2008, 02:46 PM
If you really want a new handgun go fer it, but if you are hunting with a rifle and plan on using that rifle, then use the rifle.

I've never seen an unwounded pig charge. I've seen plenty of less curly tails and wide furry butts heading away from me, but never toward me if they had any inclination I was there.

If I were to handgun hunt piggies, I'd look at a 45LC or anything in that genre.

November 18, 2008, 03:02 PM
My friend was charged by a one and took it with his 44 magnum lever action rifle. It saw him and squared off and started charging. All before a single shot was fired.

November 18, 2008, 03:08 PM
Fisherman I can amend that statement somewhat...
"I have never seen an unwounded hog charge unless there have been dogs working them..." I don't mean that dogs have to be on their tail at the moment either. I have had several pigs and hogs charge me when the dogs were not around at that moment...Usually a RRRRAAAHHHH will turn the little ones. But on the same note... My son "free tipped" (caught a wild hog by hand no dogs involved) a nice 200+ sow as she tried to put the slip on the dogs and ran right by him in tall grass. Funny thing is he never let go of them ears while sitting to his waist in swamp water and a hornet nest right behind him on a reed that he had disturbed from their siesta:eek: Hollerin' for help for 10-20 minutes until anyone came to grab her hind legs... Once you got a bigun' by the ears you better not let go until they are held fast somewhere else:D

November 18, 2008, 03:16 PM
Ya'll must breed dem pigs like you do yer bass. I've had the wind bust me and send a whole pack headin to the hills. Last one I shot was very close, but she was trying her best to outrun 150 grains. She finished second.

I carry a .357 on my side while out hunting (or used to). I don't go out unarmed, but I'm a lot more afraid of rabid lions or any lions for that matter. I'll take a rifle most every time. I just got sick of hikin my drawers up.

November 18, 2008, 05:04 PM
I never carry a side arm. It is just me and my muzzleloader. I do put on chainsaw chaps when going into thickets after wounded hogs. Bring charged by hogs is what keeps my 70 year old heart working.

BTW: They're hogs not rhinos.

November 18, 2008, 05:19 PM
Had a wounded boar charge me form 60 yards...fast as hell and meaner, too!! Dropped it with my last rifle round...I wish I had brought my .45 as backup b/c it was getting a little hairy!

November 18, 2008, 05:38 PM
While not a Rhino, the wild hog is to be considered "dangerous game".

November 18, 2008, 05:42 PM
HOLY COW!!! Story behind it, please?!

November 18, 2008, 05:50 PM
Here is the link, Scrap,
It was copy/pasted from a hog/dog hunting board. I am not any involved in the hunt. I simply posted it as at the time there were many here at TFL/Hunt going back and forth that
A)Hogs are just piggies
B)Hogs are dangerous game capable of inflicting serious injury.
It was an exciting hunt to be sure. I have never had these level of injury but been bitten several times and both junior and I have had britches torn. A little 60 pounder ran 'tween juniors legs and with one thrash of his head his little 3/4 inch tusks slashed his brand new jeans from knee to knee... Junior thought he had gotten castrated and didn't feel pain due to shock but on inspection he didn't even have a scratch...


November 18, 2008, 06:03 PM
Wowwwwwww, thanks for the link...holy crap!! The one that charged me was about 220 pounds, would have definitely done some damage on me!

November 18, 2008, 06:55 PM
HD, I wouldn't make the assertion that feral pigs aren't dangerous, but I'd guess most stories that involve injury or threat come from cornered, chased or injured hogs (perhaps even rabid). There are exceptions to every rule, and Mother Nature like to throw curve balls.

I'm sure you have killed many, many times the number of hogs our family has, so I will defer if you say unprovoked hogs are likely to attack.

BTW I'm eatin some of my latest pig as I type. Brined then smoked shoulder.

November 18, 2008, 07:02 PM
Unprovoked and not cornered are very LOW risk... It is those wounded, cornered and provoked ones we worry of. I think as far as unprovoked the elephant is far more likely to attack.
Not that it isn't going to happen but I have never thought of a rabid hog until your post and I have been in rabies warning areas where the coons and wild dogs were mentioned... Maybe I better pay attention to that too.

November 18, 2008, 07:37 PM
I can share with you my personal experiences using a handgun to hunt boar and white tail deer size game. I always had good success using my Glock 20 in 10mm. For home defense I use the DoubleTap Gold Dot 165gr hp but for hunting the game listed above I use DoubleTap 200gr XTP, or DoubleTap Beartooth WFNGC 200gr to 230gr. The Beartooth WFN ammo will penetrate straight through white tail deer and hogs/boar from a radius of around point blank to 100 feet and create a small exit wound and leave a blood trail to chase the animal, but they do kill the animal. My friends have had better success using hollow points on smaller deer and hogs/boar. Best ammo I seen for quicker shock and knock down power on that size game are the Winchester Platinum Tip and Winchester Partition Gold which blow a hole around the size of a golf ball or bigger out the other end.
I personally think the best rounds to use for that size game is anything from 10mm, 45Long Colt, 41mag, 44mag, 50AE, 454 Casull with a good quality HP like the Platinum Tip and Partition Gold from Winchester.

November 18, 2008, 07:45 PM
P.S. My friend was using his Desert Eagle in 44mag using Platinum Tip's, it can hold 8 rounds of either 41mag or 44mag. You can also use the D.E. chambered in 50AE holding 7 rounds. Great gun for hunting small to medium size game. And I love how you can buy all three barrels for the DE as their option, you can convert your DE to 357, 44 mag or 50AE by purchasing their kit.

Magnum Research has so many great options for you to choose from and you can choose from so many different kinds of holsters whether you want hunting holsters outside your jacket or underneath, hip holsters and what not, I was impressed with Magnum Research's customer service and their catalogue for DE customer, they treat you first class especially for DE buyers.

November 18, 2008, 07:53 PM
P.S. If you're about to recommend a Desert Eagle, forget it. I'm not impressed with those unreliable Hollywood POS(sorry if I offended any owners).

I'm sorry, I had too.

Seriously, my friend's DE is very reliable and dependable, just clean it after every use and it works fine, he's had his since 2000 with no problems, and if you take care of it like a 1911 you'll be fine. I just love the fact you can put 8 rounds of 44mag and 7 rounds of 50ae in a semi-auto magazine.

November 18, 2008, 08:33 PM
I've killed lots of hogs in Texas and have never had one charge. The ones we trap will ram the sides of the cage trying to get to you, but they've had plenty of time and reason to get crazy. never had one charge me in the woods. I've never wounded one either. Could you be charged, sure, but I wouldn't base my next handgun purchase based on that scenario. I carry a .45 colt blackhawk in the woods just b/c I like to shoot deer/hogs if they are close w/it. If you want a hunting handgun I say get a good .45 Colt,.44 Mag, .41 Mag (pick one) and have fun hunting. If I wanted a good all around gun for target shooting and possibly hunting with i'd go w/a good .357 Mag.

November 18, 2008, 08:43 PM
I am with publius on this too.... Nothin' wrong with getting a reason to buy another gun. One reason I suggested the .45ACP is that the 1911 is the coolest Auto loader platform on the face of the earth...:D

Dusty Rivers
November 20, 2008, 09:33 AM
I have hogs tearing up my ranch. I have NEVER seen one though. If I happen on one with a 22 MAG rifle or a 40 cal auto. Where should my shot placement be?

Do you bait them in? They come up to about 20 yards to the back of my house at night, but try as I might I have never gotten a flashlight one one.
Now coyotes and deer are a different story.


hope I haven't hijacked the thread
Thanks for any info.

November 20, 2008, 11:18 AM
Is a model 1911 .45 ACP or another semi auto 9mm enough to stop a charging pig? Should I pickup a .357 or .44 revolver? I've been researching this myself. The problem is that if you get caught hunting in in the PRK with any FMJ ammo in that pistol - even as a backup, then you're in trouble. I picked up some Buffalo Bore 180gr flat nose lead for my 357. That should have the penetration needed. I'd rather have a 44mag but that's out of my budget right now. But if you really want an autoloader consider a 10mm loaded with DoubleTap's full power 230gr flat nose lead.

November 20, 2008, 12:08 PM
Dusty, Bait works well. I buy corn and soak it in water with yeat fir a week or 3 until it has a strong sour mash odor. Then pace the corn mostly in a pile with trhe rest scattered around that area. I use a strainer so to save the liquid. The liquid is slung with a cup up onto tree trunks and foilage as it will get the scent farther out. Once in the area they will home in on the corn. Game cam and/or motion light will cathc them in the act.

T. O'Heir
November 22, 2008, 02:13 AM
If you can't make a killing shot with a .308, you should re-think hunting anything. A handgun isn't going to help. In any case, neither a .45 nor 9mm are suitable for hunting anything but varmints.

Fat White Boy
November 22, 2008, 11:35 AM
I hunt Central California for pigs, also. I use either my Rem 700 in .308 or my Win model 70 in .270. I carry a Ruger Stainless Security Six in .357 Mag. for my side arm. I haven't ever been charged but my hunting buddy shot a pig, breaking its back. When he went to cut its throat, it jumped up using its front legs only and chased him for 60-70 yards until it bled out.

phil mcwilliam
November 22, 2008, 01:57 PM
I have been on hundreds of hog hunts over the last 30 years and have only seen unwounded hogs charge on 3 occassions. A wounded boar, however, if approached will usually charge. I use to carry a sidearm for hog hunting and used the 38 Super in 1911 with great success. I also owned a S&W 44 magnum- but prefered the semi-auto for hogs. While a 9mm would be ok on smaller pigs, I think it would be on the light side when it comes to stopping a large boar thats charging. I no longer bother to carry a sidearm if I'm hunting with a rifle as I have never had a rifle fail on me, & the added weight of carrying a handgun & ammo is not worth it, especially if you do a lot of walking.

November 23, 2008, 10:44 PM
If I take a shot on a hog, I'm pretty sure I'll take it down. I'm a pretty good shot. I'm not worried as much about wounding the hog and getting charged. I'm just saying I know of friends that have been charged by unwounded hogs.

Now that I'm really thinking about it, I'm also going to be hunting other game in areas with mountain lions. I could even come across bears if I take a trip to northern California. I don't plan on killing lions or bears, just want to be prepared to defend myself if necessary. You know the old boy scout "be prepared" tag line.

I'm leaning more and more to the .357 Ruger. Plus 38 specials are cheap for some range fun. I'm still torn though. I'd really like a semi auto like the 1911. I mean 8-10 consecutive rounds of 45 ACP should stop a boar, bear or mountain lion.... right?

Jeez, I'm probably going to end up with both of them before I know it.

November 23, 2008, 11:07 PM
.44 mag! Been carrying one for 35 yrs. Also good for pesky gators, snakes and a handy backup for deer and hogs. I can go pistol if the shot's too close for a rifle, it also shares cartridges with a 1894 Marlin.

November 24, 2008, 08:39 AM
ZJEEP, If'n you haven't put down hogs yet... don't think it is like a deer. Bullet placement is much different on hogs than deer. The heart lays lower in the chest, and IIRC the gut room is further forward leaving a smaller target. The shoulder shield on a "warrior" boar is up to and possibly beyond 2 1/2 inches thick. I have found broadheads and FMJ bullets in the shield of hogs that were fully healed and fighting off my dogs just fine. Some of the meanest fighters I have seen were "tri-pod" hogs with a bum front leg from previous gun shots. One of the nicest mounts I have seen was a hog that had abscess all over his face from a full load count of 00 buck so distance was not excessive and he not only survived the shooting but healed up enough to live on and when he got bayed by dogs, was able to kill one and cut up the rest. They are not un-stoppable but they are much hardier than many shooters give them credit.

November 24, 2008, 12:01 PM
I use to hunt hogs on the Great Pee Dee River in S.C. before I moved here a couple of years back and I always carried my Ruger NM 30 Carbine w/me..It stops them in their tracks..Don't get to hunt them here;well because I haven't seen any wild hogs in Va.;Think the ol' farmers around here would get upset if I shot their lose pigs..LOL!!!But think of getting rid of it;if ur interested in it let me know..(see pics.)She might be a little worse for wear; but bad to the bone!!!;)

November 24, 2008, 06:36 PM
hogdogs, I'll be hunting with other friends that have taken many a hog. I also took the time to learn the anatomy of a properly placed hog shot. I found a sweet website that showed pictures of a pig layer by layer down to the vitals.

Thanks for the offer on the .30 carbine, Geronimo. It's just not quite as versatile as my other choices.

November 24, 2008, 07:14 PM
Z, was it the "texasboars" site? they have tons of info too! Ya'll keep in mind i have never shot a hog on a hunt... Just point blank .22 or pellet gun to the head in a pen. I started trapping just to get "trainer pigs" to start the hog doggin' thing. But I was amazed at how much they deviate from deer anatomy. I have butchered with a guy beside me who had shot one hog and never found it and his jaw dropped when we opened 'er up. He said that thing is so lazy the heart is resting on the floor...:eek:

November 24, 2008, 11:44 PM
HOGDOGS, me and you would get along famously. I was in SC for 4 years. While the pigs don't get the tusks yall have down there, they can grow em big. A buddy and I took his 80 pound black lab down to the state forrest one night. It was 2 weeks before deployment and we were looking for some action before we left. Anyway, we went down to the swamp, drove the roads with the dog in the back, looking for hogs with the Q-beams. Well we saw a pack and stopped the truck. That dog played bay and catch. Seperated a 150 lb sow from the herd, and bayed. Long story short, went to the dog and hog, 200yds with knives and surefires. Got to them, they took back off back towards the road. Went back and Champ (dog) had that sow by the tail going round and round. Flew and stuck her thru the shoulder blades then behind the shoulder.

That was by far the hugest adrenaline rush ever, ever. When we got to the hog my buddy didn't have but a 4 inch lock blade, I had the Rambo first blood knife. She grabbed him by the pant leg and shook her head like a pitbull. Then I closed her down.

Backstraps were 30 minutes from field to the grill. We killed another before we left.

Killed pleanty more with the bow. I love to shoot hogs with a bow. The squeal they make after an arrow goes thru the shoulder is priceless.

zjeepgozweeln :
As far as a side arm, Don't worry about the extra weight. Put the .308 where it needs to be and call it a day.

November 25, 2008, 12:02 AM
WP, I bet that lab was givin' that hog heck! For a real deal seal the deal do or die you gotta see a solo bay dog bayed up in a meadow and send in one 54 pound bulldog to catch on the ear of a 200 pound hog. When that white dog is being shook it looks like the pig is waving a surrender flag but you never know which shake is gonna ruin that dog or worse.
Cutters are as genetic as antlers... One spot we hunt has a gob of pure black hogs that get real big (200+ is common) but they have little teeth and not terrible fighters... Then a mile or 2 away we get on Duroc (red hogs) or spotted pigs that will be 125-145 with 2 full inches and a mean-ness for fight... just dog wrecking slobs! It is weird hor much variation we get in little distance.

lt dan
November 25, 2008, 02:30 AM

i hunt wart-hogs about twice a week. i often carry a side arm and a knive and hope i never have to use them. any of the hand guns you mentioned will do the job. just remember the best option(when charged) is still your hunting rifle the handgun is a distant second option and i dont even want to talk about the knive.remember the old rule when charged is go down on one knee so that you are the same hight as the hog. this will improve your chances for a chest/head shot.

i am glad so many hunters here see hogs as dangerous animals. the hogs over here tend to charge when they have piglets and i have no doubt that such a charge will be a fight to the death.

let us know what you bougt in the end.

November 25, 2008, 02:34 AM
Dan, I do not doubt your remarks at all but it takes a certain mindset (not sure I have it) to get on a knee when they are charging but I rarely have any firearm... just a 3.75 inch Buck 110 lock blade in my hip pocket...:eek: My first thought is SIDE STEP SIDE STEP SIDE STEP.... Second thought is "Where the heck is a tree when you need one....:D

lt dan
November 25, 2008, 02:52 AM
aint that the truth!!

November 25, 2008, 03:33 AM
first hog i ever shot was from a ground blind over bait at 20m . the boar (150#) came at the bait head on to me and started munching. i shot dead in the head with a .357 mag. he went down for about 5 seconds and was up and running. which of course was right tword me. i got 3 more rushed shots before i finaly dropped him for good at 15'.