View Full Version : Ammo for hog hunt

January 29, 2009, 09:39 PM
Going to go after some hogs with some friends pretty soon. We'll be in central Florida on some farms and wooded areas. I'm taking my new Ruger Hawkeye in .308 Win. What's good ammunition to use? I figure distance will be anything under about 100 yards. Suggestions?

January 29, 2009, 09:56 PM
I think any 150 or 165 standard hunting bullets will do just fine. My brother in law used 165 grain Sierra bullets that I loaded up for him in his .30-06. Worked just fine on the one he shot, I can't imagine it not working in a .308 Win.

Have fun on your hunt!

January 29, 2009, 10:00 PM
Any ammo that's designed for hunting purposes should work fine from your rifle. I'd probably go with the above suggestion of 150-165 grain bullets, and I like a soft point.


January 30, 2009, 01:33 AM
What part of central fla ya gonna be in? If ya'll would like I may be able get a hog dogger to show up and get ya'll a dog hunt in too...

Al Thompson
January 30, 2009, 02:16 AM
Agree with the bullet selection - I prefer a tougher bullet, but you can kill'em with cheap stuff just fine.

May want to make sure you know where your rifle shoots at 15 yards as well as 100. :D Sometimes a good hog hunt gets close and fast.

January 30, 2009, 02:25 AM
Al is spot on!
I will pass on most any rifle for a hog hunt. Rifle would have to have open sights and be a short carbine or I will choose a short shotgun loaded with slugs...
granted most of my hog hunts have been at night with dogs but I agree they are faster than most realize and often are not running FROM you:eek:...

January 30, 2009, 06:57 AM
if you where using a 223. Premium bullets must be used, But, Since you are using a 308, Use your preffered bullet. I would not waste the money on bullets such as the VMAX or others in the 308 for 100 yard hogging with a 308. Soft point ammo will work fine. If you move the range on out to 300-600 yards, better bullets will need to be used such as the Hornady SSTs, ( My favorite bullet for 300 Mag)

January 30, 2009, 08:45 AM
gmarr, I grew up shooting hogs in central florida with a .308. The green box Remington (which was all I could afford at that time) in 150 gr never failed. The biggest I shot down there was ~200#s, the smallest ~80 lbs. I think Brent has a few more pigs under his belt than I do, however.

BTW, the 80#ers not only carry easier, but IMHO they taste better. :)

In OK, I shot them using Remington 165 gr accutips and my daughter was shooting .243 using the Winchester 95 gr ballistic silvertips. No failures there as well.

Al and Brent are dead on though with close, often coming at you shots. Be ready.

Bottom line: take what you can shoot well that is not a varmit bullet.

January 30, 2009, 06:52 PM
Remington green box 150 or 165, whatever you usually shoot deer with will work just fine. Make sure you can see your target if it is under 10 feet and coming quick. My better half shoots 300# and under on a pretty regular basis with her .308 Win, though mostly at 75-100 yards and just behind the ear.

January 30, 2009, 10:41 PM
g-master, don't give me too much credit... I may have more hogs killed under my belt but hunt and shot in the woods I am a complete newb... I am a dogger and rarely ever carry a gun with pig in mind. I can tell you that I have killed as many as 12-15 in a week but most were out of traps and "dispatched for processing" type kills. I do prefer a smaller pig. I couldn't tell you what caliber is too small as I use .177 pellet rifle to kill penned hogs for slaughter. But smaller have thinner shields and skin faster. then it is just minutes till the meat is chilling. A 200 plus size is near 30-45 minutes skinning if I am not distracted with another 30-45 minimum hacking off meat. we are already at 1.5 hours and that is in my carport with all my knives at ready. I also know a boar that has sows in season nearby is full of testosterone from battle and the sows in heat have their own scent. A grace of dogging them and live capture allows us to isolate them from other hogs and feed them a planned diet thus the pork is excellent from any pig I butcher that has 7-14 days penned and after 30 days is FAR BETTER than domestic pork from a commercial grocer chain.

January 30, 2009, 11:04 PM
Interesting stuff here. I just have to ask... Has anyone had any experience using varmint loads on hogs? (Hogdog confirms that .177 pellets are sufficient under slaughterhouse conditions.) I have actually talked to some folks that hunt them with the .17 HMR. They shoot them in, or just behind the ear, apparently. It explodes in the head and they drop immediately.

I'm not advocating it, and I certainly have to wonder what these guys do if an animal pops out of the brush close in with nothing but a frontal shot to work with (Hopefully they have someone with them backing them up with something more substantial), but it sounds like great sport if you can control the setting and get those long range broadside shots. Maybe they hunt them from elevated stands. Otherwise, it sounds like one of those "extreme" hunting stories.

phil mcwilliam
January 31, 2009, 12:38 AM
I use Winchester 150 grain power points in my 308. I've never had any problems dropping hogs with the 150 grain power points, & use the same ammunition for hunting deer.

Al Thompson
January 31, 2009, 02:04 AM
73, I'm sure folks do it, but it requires a cool hand and has some of the same problems of a head shot on a deer.

There is also a difference between stand hunting (good for taking those precision shots) and stalking or just walking one up.

Wandering around on the ground is where things can get exciting. :D

It's also important to be cautious when approaching downed hogs. I hit one a bit too high and he decided to get up when I walked up. He had powder burns from the finishing shot. :eek:


January 31, 2009, 07:29 AM
Has anyone had any experience using varmint loads on hogs?

I'd stay away from varmit bullets for hogs. Some of the old boars have a very hard thick sheild behind their shoulders. That said, almost any 150 grain or heavier bullet from a 308 designed for deer sized game will work perfectly well for hogs. I've shot a truck load of them here in South Alabama with plain jane Rem Cor-Lokts and have yet to have one survive the experience.

I have actually talked to some folks that hunt them with the .17 HMR. They shoot them in, or just behind the ear, apparently. It explodes in the head and they drop immediately.

Well sure you can kill any hog sized critter on earth with darn near any caliber if you can hit it in the brain. But that is a big ass "IF" under field conditions. I walked up on a big hog once and shot it behind the ear with a 22 magnum. It killed him instantly. But I wasn't hog hunting at the time and just happened to find myself presented with a 30 yard shot on a broadside hog that didn't know I was in the world. It was just a lucky ideal circumstance. But I would never leave the house to purposely hunt hogs with a caliber that is only suitable under perfect ideal circumstances.

Al Thompson
January 31, 2009, 08:06 AM
To back Todd up a bit, I watched a smallish hog get tagged twice with a .35 Whelen (good hits, not so good bullets) and run off. We found him alive 150 yards off - 9mm in the head finished things.

One of the biggest thigs you have to do with a light caliber is accept that you'll have to let a few walk if your ethical. Getting the critical target attitude and distance is key - if you can't, wave good-bye! :)

January 31, 2009, 12:34 PM
I promise you.. 223 55 grain vmaxs are wonderful on pigs. killed dozens of them with a Ar15 using that bullet. some of them, not so great shots either. The furthest I recall was a small 40 pounder at 300 yards. I shot him in the butt. Found him right there.

January 31, 2009, 03:33 PM
I promise you.. 223 55 grain vmaxs are wonderful on pigs. killed dozens of them with a Ar15 using that bullet. some of them, not so great shots either. The furthest I recall was a small 40 pounder at 300 yards. I shot him in the butt. Found him right there.

I don't use fragile type bullets for two reasons, not because they don't work, though.

The primary reason I don't use them is that they tend to ruin too much meat. The bullet blowing apart inside of an animal causes a lot of blood shot meat that's hard to clean up, and causes some that can't be cleaned up.

The 2nd reason is that I tend to use the same bullets for most of my hunting. I find a good load, using a decent bullet, and use it. Fragile bullets can sometimes fail to penetrate deep enough for a quick death on larger and/or thick skinned animals. For an example, I use a 7mm mag for most of my hunting. My load is a 145 grain BTSP at near max load. I use it for our little coues deer (100 lbs perhaps), and for buffalo (1000 lbs+), as well as most things in between. They all die very quickly after being shot through the chest with that load, and it doesn't ruin much meat. The same load with a more fragile bullet would likely blow a coues deer nearly in half, yet might not penetrate a buffalo well enough for a quick, clean kill.

For the first 15 years of my hunting adventures, I used Sierra Bullets (mostly without exception). They were pretty fragile, put big holes in animals, and killed them very dead. I can't remember ever losing an animal while using them.

Then, I decided to try some others when a 175 grain Sierra Game King bullet failed to exit a broadside coues deer. It make me a little nervous, because I intended that load for elk.

I finally settled on Speer (and haven't lost an animal with them, either), and I like both the BTSP's and Grand Slam bullets. They work, and don't ruin all that much meat.

A few years back, I went antelope hunting with a buddy. He was using a .308 Win with ~165 or 168 grain Sierra Bullets. I was using my 7mm Rem Mag, with 145 gr Speer bullets. He took a shot (facing him) at ~250 yards, and lost nearly half of the meat from his antelope. I took a broadside at ~210 yards, and might have lost 4 ounces. His buck died in it's tracks, mine died after running a few steps.

And that's just about typical of what I've seen for years. Either bullet will kill quickly and humanely as long as it enters and/or passes through the vitals, causing sufficient damage. Like mentioined above by the quoted poster, I've even made bad shots and had them drop on the spot; it's just a matter of how much meat is damages in the process. There's no guarantee either way, but the tendancies I've seen lean toward less meat damage from better constructed bullets, as long as they're not constructed so well that they won't expand and thereby don't do enough damage to kill quickly.


Para Bellum
January 31, 2009, 04:07 PM
You will find all you need here (scroll down to .308):

I'd go for RWS'
- ID Classic

The RWS HMK offers rapid shattering of the first half, providing for quick shock and death and a hard rear half, staying solid and providing for an exit wound. My choice (in 7x57 = 7mm Mauser), here's more info:




or for Norma's ORYX:

January 31, 2009, 05:23 PM
A good friend shoots these because they stop pigs dead in their tracks (he loves shooting them but hates to hear them squell).


January 31, 2009, 06:27 PM
I'd say anything over 125 grains that shoots good out of your gun is where to stop lookin:D

January 31, 2009, 08:57 PM
this guy was killed with a 7mm mag, 150 gr nosler partition, total pass thru on both lungs. On the ground, I'd carry or have a friend carry a 12 ga with 00buck for close up work, and you will have close up work

January 31, 2009, 11:46 PM
When possible, I hit the hogs in the head, Simply due to Damage. Vmaxs do make really big holes in stuff. I also like th e fact that they will not carry as far. No Richochets to speak of. We have cows. and people.
You are right though, you have to watch your shot placement with these bullets- not because they need to be in the correct place to kill, but because they tear up alot of meat.

Al Thompson
February 1, 2009, 09:54 AM
Colt, replace the OO buck with slugs and I'd agree. I've had big problems (:barf:) with buckshot not working with hogs and I don't use it anymore.

February 1, 2009, 10:06 AM
Seeing a hog with abscess all over the face and neck from buckshot is hard but the foul odor will flip your stomach bad!:barf:

February 1, 2009, 10:45 AM
I just switched to a .30-30 lever action for most of my hog hunting due to it's lighter recoil. 150 grain bullets have worked well so far. I recently dropped a 250lb boar with my .30-06 shooting 150gr bullets as well.

For smaller hogs, 80 - 200lbs, any bullet in the 150gr range will work great out of a .308. Even a big trophy boar can be taken with one, it will just require more attention to placement.

February 1, 2009, 12:07 PM
A shotty with slugs would be my favorite. You may find yourself being attacked by more than one hog so fast follow up shot can be very handy. When I was a kid I creeped up on a group of hogs in Jacksonville Fl. It was about the scariest day of my life. If I had a bolt rifle I would Probably of been their dinner.

Para Bellum
February 1, 2009, 12:53 PM
If I had a bolt rifle I would Probably of been their dinner.
So which gun saved you from hoggy dinner?

Al Thompson:
I've had big problems () with buckshot not working with hogs and I don't use it anymore.

Tell us more, please. What happened with the buckshot?

Al Thompson
February 1, 2009, 01:26 PM
I popped a hog with a load of #1 buck at about 50 FEET and most didn't even make it through the gristle shield. I found where one pellet had slid between two ribs. :barf:

In fact, I popped him with two slugs and they were the first two slugs I've ever recovered.

I'll see if I can find my old post on the hunt. Think it was in Shotguns..

Al Thompson
February 1, 2009, 01:31 PM
Saw the post on OOO buck, have not tried that myself. I'm not sure how it would penetrate much more than any other round ball, but I'd open for discussion. :)

May have to try some this spring! :D

February 1, 2009, 02:35 PM
I shot MANY hogs first one I shot was whith a 16ga. buck 3 to the head about 20 yards down she went 130+ LB. I let most walk now unless my fellow hunters wants pork :D I shot few whith bow & arrow one hit the spine & lungs down where he was hit 3 1/2 in. tusks mounted it ,but OP Any bullet 100 grn. & up ought to do so good luck!!!!!

February 1, 2009, 03:25 PM
I prefer 165 to 180 grs in my .308 or 30-06 when hog hunting, not to say the 150 will not work. This is just what I prefer.

If you want to use buckshot, I strongly suggest the use of Dixie Slugs 3" triball loads. It has 3 .60 cal balls per load, and they will crush any hog in existance. That is 3 20ga slugs per pull of the triger. (They have some monster killing slugs also)


My favorite killer for the woods is my .348 Winchester/Browning, fast on target with a bone crushing 200 gr bullet @ 2500fps.

Close second is a 45-70 lever gun shooting 400gr bullets @ 1800fps.

Have fun on the hunt

February 1, 2009, 10:35 PM
Using a 308 I don't think it matters much what you use, just make sure to have plenty of it. When I lived in south AL I hog hunted with a landowner and his 2 sons. Hogs were destroying their farm and we killed every one of them we saw. It was not uncommon to shoot 10 or more times a day with a rifle. We all used 00 buck when dog hunting or tracking.

February 4, 2009, 07:46 PM
168gr VLD Bergers. You can't beat them and they are deadly accurate. If you hit em right you will get bang flop kills.

February 4, 2009, 08:21 PM
On a side note... here is the best ammo for hogs...
Results in this...
My buddy down round the La. Ms. Marshes got this warrior today... not real big but loaded with ivory...

February 4, 2009, 09:32 PM
Nice pics HogDogs. THX for sharing.

Fat White Boy
February 10, 2009, 10:13 PM
I use a .270 with 130gr CoreLokt bullets. They go right through 'em and kill 'em dead. I have taken hogs up to 200 pounds with this round...