View Full Version : I learned my lesson about hogs tonight! (dead animal picture inside)

September 6, 2009, 11:24 PM
For all of those, "What caliber for defense against pigs" posts, here's one example.

Tonight I killed two hogs with my compound bow. The second hog was approximately 250 lbs "on the hoof." I did not give hog #2 enought time to expire on his own and approached him after approximately 20 minutes. At 10 yards I stopped and watched. No movement at all. The next step broke a twig and this hog jumped up and ran straight at me! He got to within 5 yards and stopped and started growling (yes, hogs growl). I was lucky he stopped when he did. I grabbed my Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm and aimed right between the eyes... BLAM! There is no way I miss at 5 yards. The 9mm didn't even phase this hog. I pulled the trigger again, BLAM! Again, no luck. Perhaps it was the noise, I'm not sure, but the hog turns and runs maybe 30 yards then falls over. I nocked another arrow and put it through his heart. That was the end of hog #2.

I felt around on the hog's head and found BOTH 9mm bullets under the skin. Although it may give you a warm and fuzzy feeling to just have a gun on your hip, make sure it's a gun that is up to the task. If this hog had charged the rest of the way, that 9mm WOULD NOT have stopped him. I have a new .44 mag redhawk but I'm waiting on the holster to arrive. Although a .22 mag/9mm/etc. may kill a pig when he is in a pen, a charging pig is a totally different beast. If you want to protect yourself, use the right tool.

I feel completely confident in a 9mm for stopping 2-legged predators. But, never again will I feel warm and fuzzy over a 9mm while in the woods. From now on, my .44 mag will be with me. I was lucky tonight!

I was using Hornady 147 grain TAP ammo (JHP).

In the following picture, the white area near the hogs eye was one of the 9mm holes.

Pig #2:



Lost Sheep
September 6, 2009, 11:34 PM
You are right. Right tool for the job.

or, if the link does not work, paste this into your browser

That is not me. I just kept the link for reference.

Congratulations on a successful hunt. You bowhunters have guts.

Lost Sheep

September 6, 2009, 11:38 PM
Yeah if I was using a handgun on hogs I'd feel be using my .357mag (GP100) but never used a handgun, always used my SKS.

srt 10 jimbo
September 6, 2009, 11:44 PM
I use my Marlin 336 .35 cal. works good on hogs:)

September 6, 2009, 11:50 PM
Since im a semi auto kinda guy i think the 10mm loaded with DoubleTaps would do rather well.
Caliber : 10mm
Bullet : 230gr Wide Flat Nose Gas Check Hardcast
Ballistics : 1120fps/ 641 ft./lbs. - Glock 20

460 Rowland 230 Grain Full Metal Jacket
Muzzle Velocity: 1250 fps
Muzzle Energy: 798 ft. lbs.

If guys in the know dont think that would do,i suppose its on to the .44mag
A pigs skull would seem pretty hard to get almost anything threw it.
.357 do ok on them?

I wouldnt mind carrying those .460 Rowlands in the woods,and mabey HD in my 1911. I wouldnt much expect to get a very accurate second shot but with that round you shouldnt need 2.

September 6, 2009, 11:54 PM
.357 do ok on them?

Does great around here. Two guys I work with hunt hogs ALOT and they both use nothing but their 4" GP100. They laughed at me the first time I went with them and brought my SKS (wondering why I brought an "assault rifle"), they thought I'd use my GP100 as well but I've always used the SKS so that's what I stick with.

September 7, 2009, 03:51 AM
Yep, that T34 angled skull really is hard to penetrate.

September 7, 2009, 04:14 AM
The last "hogs" I hunted was years ago in Arkansas, with a .357 magnum, and my first shot was total crap. I made the kill from up a tree that old boar ran my young overconfident a&*. Not a warm and fuzzy feeling, I really thought he was gonna knock me out of the tree and have fun with me before he killed my egotistical butt. Taught me real quick to learn proper placement, and always use the proper tool for the job.

September 7, 2009, 07:07 AM
The 9mm never impressed me much as a hunting cartridge.

No hogs here, but I usually carry a heavy loaded .45 Colt (300 gr bullet/1250 fps) when I'm in country that holds critters that might need killing in a bad way. I have a lot of confidence in both the loads I use in it, and my ability to use them.

No 9mm pistols for me in the hills.


September 7, 2009, 08:42 AM
Don't you know to not shoot at a hog's head? The skull is sloped and about a half inch thick. Even a .44 mag. would have a hard time handling that.

I don't think the failure of a 9mm to stop a hog discounts it as a PD caliber against humans.

September 7, 2009, 08:57 AM
Wonder if these Fiocchi 357's would be able to punch thru. They are FMJ pointed bullets 142 grains. Well actually cone shaped and a flat on the end of about 1/8 inch. Not that I have any opportunity to try this in the near future, no wild hogs in this state that I know of.

September 7, 2009, 09:17 AM
CWP, yes I agree with you on both accounts. First off, I still intend to use my 9mm as a self defense gun. I carry one of my two 9mm daily here in Texas.

Regarding shooting the pig in the head. If I were hunting this pig I of course could have taken some other shot. I, first off, would never hunt with a 9mm anyway, and secondly I was being CHARGED by the hog, which means he had his head down and was heading toward me. Exactly where do you think I could have shot him aside from the head? I agree they have a thick skull, but you have to take what is given when in a situation like this, right?

I honestly believe that a .357 loaded with a hot (Buffalo Bore) solid metal jacket would have done the trick splendidly. But, from now on I will have my .44 mag with me.

Again, I am not arguing that the 9mm is not a good human stopper. I carry mine daily for that purpose. But, for a defense situation against pigs it just simply doesn't cut it.


September 7, 2009, 09:47 AM
a buddy of mine uses his .17 hmr, shoots em right behind the ear...not handy in this situation though ha. i've also heard of 9mm taking hogs before, but it was also from the side, and w/ extreme shock ammo

September 7, 2009, 10:05 AM
You don't need armor piercing rounds to penetrate a hog's skull but you do need a proper bullet. A standard weight cast bullet at 1100-1200fps will do the trick every time. The 9mm need not apply.

September 7, 2009, 10:10 AM
Good tread. This does bring to light just how tough a pig can be. If all i had was a 9mm it would have some kind of fmj in it for piggies. I would rather have my 357 with hard cast 180gr. That will punch a nice hole from any angle but you may have to track them, maybe. Hp rounds work well enough on a side shot but i don't want to trust them up close where your starting to look for trees to climb. Be a better shot with that bow and give them time to die. They do work well.

September 7, 2009, 10:19 AM
very nice thread, I am surprised it hasn't turned into this cal or that cal is best.

I wish we had wild hogs here to hunt. if i hunted hogs around here the farmers would get pretty mad. ;)

September 7, 2009, 10:57 AM
I've never hunted hog before but on a thick tuff skinned creature like a hog wouldn't it be better to use FMJ or other hard bullets. I wouldn't think a HP would get the proper penetration.On varmint they use softer bullets to get the expansion without over penetration so you think the opposite would hold true on a tuff skinned creature.

Jim March
September 7, 2009, 03:38 PM
357 is allegedly borderline for the task, and size-of-piggie limited unless you're a DAMN good shot.

No personal experience yet but all source I've read say that 357 wheelguns can work, but only with heavy hardcast loaded hot as they'll go. Shop with Buffalo Bore, Grizzly Ammo or Doubletap for factory specimens.

September 7, 2009, 05:21 PM
I have to agree with a few of the others. I was a guide for elk and deer for 9 years and I study terminal ballistics. I have never shot but 1 large hog so my experence is limited, that being said I have witnessed hundreds of animals shot. I came to some conclusion from experence. First and foremost of all the failures is marksmanship, not the case here as it appears you places the shots well. Second failure were due to the wrong bullet fot the situation. I know quite a few bear guides that detest hollow point bullet from a handgun. They experence the same failure with even 44 magnum. I would like to know how your 9mm loaded with 147 grain fmj,s would have done. An idea would be to experiment with your next hog hunt. Even if the pig is dead try the exact shots with you 9mm with fmj loads and let us know how it did. Nothing trumps experence and you have us at a disadvantge.

September 7, 2009, 05:22 PM
Presumably he now has a couple of hog skulls to use for tests!

September 7, 2009, 05:51 PM
I have to agree that if 147gr FMJs were used it likely would have punched through the skull. And of course there's 9mm +P ammo as well.

I also agree that right tool for the job is a must! Glad to hear that the hog didn't "get you". :)


September 7, 2009, 06:16 PM
The .41 Magnum is a great pig gun. I think it's slightly better than the .44 only because the recoil is slightly less and you can get back on target faster. That's mighty important when that tusked freight train is bearing down on you.

A 210gr solid at between 1250 and 1300 fps will usually penetrate the skull and then some. Looks like the pig ran straight into an anvil. A hard case 220gr LSWC-GC at 1200 fps works too, even through the sides if you do your part.
Never underestimate the toughness of a pig. Treat it like you would any carnivore. A friend of mine used his Ruger SA .44 on a hunt and found a nice pig just out of the brush at 20 yards, slightly downslope. He fired and the pig jerked, ran six feet, fell over and stopped. As soon as ol' Duane stepped out of the brush, Mr. Piggie jumped up and charged. Duane couldn't get off a shot - forgot it was a single action - and ended up in a tree. :D After his hunting partner put the pig down, they found Duane had missed his shot (he was sighted in at 50 yards, not 20 and had never fired downslope before). The next year Duane's hunting partner was gored in the thigh after approaching a pig he hit in the head with a 180g .357 round around 30 yards out.

Double Naught Spy
September 7, 2009, 07:45 PM
Well, you got your stop, LOL. Glad it worked out well.

You might have been a bet better with ball ammo...or maybe not. :o

September 7, 2009, 07:55 PM
The bare minimum handgun for hogs IMHO is a .357 Magnum loaded with heavy (180grn or more) non-expanding bullets or a 10mm Auto loaded similarly. I would feel much more comfortable with a .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, or heavy-loaded .45 Long Colt and more comfortable still with a .45-70 lever-gun with hardcast 405grn+ bullets or a 12ga shotgun full of hardcast slugs.

September 7, 2009, 08:10 PM
I absolutely agree with all of you that a hardcast 9mm bullet "probably" would have done a better job of penetrating the skull. I strapped on the 9mm before the hunt as more of an afterthough than really esxpecting to USE it. It was loaded with my typical defense loads; I didn't buy anything specifically for this situation.

Now, seeing as my new Redhawk will be my hog defense gun, it will indeed be loaded with hardcast bullets, loaded HOT.

If I can find some cheap hardcast bullets, I'll buy some and do a little test with my next kill. If anyone wants to send me a few just for this test, feel free! :^)


September 7, 2009, 08:24 PM
...it will indeed be loaded with hardcast bullets, loaded HOT.
No need to load it "hot". Anything much over 1200fps serves only to flatten trajectory and beat up the shooter unnecessarily. Like I stated before, no need for scorching velocity or heavyweight cast bullets for good eatin'-sized pigs under 200lbs. Standard weight hardcast bullets do fine, 173-180gr for the 357, 240-260gr for the .44 and .45Colt. They're not armor-plated but it's good to know that their brain is very small and not exactly the easiest target to hit. I once shot a hog's face all to hamburger meat (6-8 times) because I forgot where the brain was in my rush to put my sandwich down, draw my Bisley .44 and bust a hog as he rushed through. Placement is paramount!

September 7, 2009, 09:00 PM
I have dipatched quite a few hogs with .22lr. Then again it was a downward shot through the head. I have also had to put a few 12 ga slugs into the side of a few that people that did not know any better shot in the head with various calibers of handguns.
Personaly if I am hunting hogs with my bow I also bring a largebore handgun as a back up. I was chased up a tree by a sow when I was in highschool and at that moment would have traded $1500 worht of archery equipment for a cheap magnum revolver. I was pinned in that tree for over a half hour before she finaly left.

September 7, 2009, 09:03 PM
note to self- the 45 might not be enough, hunt near trees. Don't move after hog plays dead.
thanks for the tips guys :D

Lost Sheep
September 8, 2009, 02:45 AM
I read on another thread (can't remember exactly which one, sorry) that there is a very good 9mm cartridge for hunting dangerous, thick-skinned game.

9 x 57 Mauser.

Lost Sheep

September 8, 2009, 04:00 AM
Kyo +1, carry a "big stick" I'm to old to be climbing a tree. :D

Double Naught Spy
September 8, 2009, 07:17 AM
I strapped on the 9mm before the hunt as more of an afterthough than really esxpecting to USE it

There really is a very profound lesson in this statement.

I'm to old to be climbing a tree.

And another one!

September 8, 2009, 07:23 AM
If thats what they mean by 'hog heaven'.... I'll stay here thanks :eek::D

Uncle Billy
September 8, 2009, 08:02 AM
Sounds like hunting hogs from a tree stand might be a good idea- going up a tree because I want to would be easier on my ego than being chased up a tree by a mad pig.

September 8, 2009, 09:53 AM
Oh there are so many nay-sayers that have implied that I am crazy for discounting the 9mm etc. for defensive stopping of hogs. If I take a guy to try his hands at shooting a hog, I don't care how good he is with his trusty .45-70, my butt is toting a shotgun with slugs.

Nothing leaves a warm fuzzy feeling in yer drawers like facing down a mad hog that is chopping his jaws which is actually sharpening the "cutters" :eek:

I feel safe enough with the bulldogs that we don't even take a firearm when runnin' dogs. I have had a few close calls with "runners" in the dark but luckily I waited until the last moment to spook them and they always turned off. If you spook them from farther away, they have time to size you up to determine if fight or flight is best.

Double Naught Spy
September 8, 2009, 01:28 PM
Nothing leaves a warm fuzzy feeling in yer drawers like ...

Note to self: Hogdogs recipes produce some strange end products.

I suggest chewing your food more thoroughly after cooking it much more thoroughly.

September 8, 2009, 01:57 PM
As I've said I don't hunt piggies. but given my experience with how big and tough domestic hogs can get, I'd definitely would want a rifle or shotgun over any handgun.

While I'm on the domestic pig topic. We went to the county fair this weekend and saw some nice 4H animals. If you guys get a chance go bid on one of those kids pigs, or cows. Get some nice hand raised meat and support the kids.

September 8, 2009, 03:13 PM
A couple 2 or 3 years ago, my daughter had a pig in the fair show... we we helping the transport of the hogs and one persistent little hog got loose in the fair barn. Was not cooperating with getting herded to the pen... lil miss.hogdogs told the ag taecher we could bring a dog to "catch" the pig. He asked "Oh a curr dog?" She said "No, a catch dog..." He asked if it would do any damage, She said... well it might lose an ear...:D He declined the offer...

September 8, 2009, 03:38 PM
I've shot through hog skulls before with a .45 ACP and a .22 LR but not at a head on angle. I'm surprised that the nine didn't penetrate. I guess the skull must be thicker in the front and the slope probably makes the shot more difficult.

Hog Hunter
September 8, 2009, 03:53 PM
I have an M&P 45 that i use to carry with me untill last year when i downd a hog with my 7mm mag broke both front sholders, droped her right there. i Walked up an realized how big the pig was and to find it still alive. the pig was around 400 the biggest hog ive ever taken and ive shot alot. I pulled my M&P and put a round in its head at about 5 feet, if its two front sholders wouldnt have been busted up ida been hurt cause the hog tried to get up an just plowed towards me with its rear legs. I fired again and struck the pig in the spine. I was later abel to pull both balls out with a pair of neddle nose. They both fully mushroomed just under its thick skin.

I now carry a 7 shot .357 mag and am looking into getting a .44 mag. Me personaly i would carry something with a higher velocity and a big ball.

September 8, 2009, 03:56 PM
And i must also add that my "go-to" dispatch weapon for a penned hog is my Gamo 1,000 fps .177 pellet rifle. I just put some slop in the trough at night, when they put their face in to eat, "POP"... They drop on their knees instantly and twitch as any creature that has had the CNS destroyed will do. when I skin the skull I find nice deep .177-.2 hole in the bone... Under controlled situations any thing from my .117 on up is adequate... it is for those "all other" situations where I advise against anything under .45acp (that is questioned by me and prefer to feel a .44mag is minimum with a .45 colt being fine too. But slinging a 20 on my shoulder loaded with slugs makes me happier:o I have seen too many opened knees, thighs and bellies from getting bowled by a mad hog to want less.

September 8, 2009, 04:55 PM
I bet a FMJ would have penetrated a bit better, least that is what I have found on animal carcasses. The hollow points just dont get down deep like a fmj does.

We have a population of wild hogs here now thanks to a busted fence, most guys use a slug gun for them. No season, just shoot em if and when ya see em.

September 8, 2009, 05:03 PM
Markj, Also you can blame some nefarious types who go around buying hogs and letting them loose on hunting leases to have "exotic" game to hunt only to find they multiply like rats and run off the deer they worked so hard to propagate. Then they also go where they want in search of food, water and privacy.

September 8, 2009, 05:08 PM
I've never hunted wild boar or wild hogs. Don't want to, either. Nasty looking beast you've got there. However I shot a lot of domestic hogs with a .22 rifle when I was just a kid helping my grandfather slaughter hogs on his farm - a long, long time ago now. (I always used his Remington bolt action rifle; and used standard .22 Long Rifle non-hollow point rounds)The distance was maybe 6' or 8'. They always went down on the knees of their forelegs just like they'd been hit in the head with the back of an ax (which was the other favored way of killing hogs where I came from). I can't properly say I killed any of these hogs; my grandfather actually killed them when he jumped into the pen with them after they'd been shot and cut their throats with a razor sharp Barlow pocket knife, causing them to bleed out. (He was forever sharpening that knife.) Anyway, those .22 bullets were always found deep in the innards of those hogs, having passed through skull, brain, and neck and on down about midway the hog as I recall. I don't know if wild hogs have thicker skulls than domestic ones do, but if not, a 9mm ball round should have penetrated your hog almost from stem to stern, although if you didn't hit him in the brain, it might not have stopped him. Your problem with lack of penetration was probably caused by using hollow points which hit something really hard at high velocity causing it to immediately pancake and stop penetrating.

September 8, 2009, 05:13 PM
I would think a nine would penetrate a little better than a .45 ACP. The hog I shot with the .45 ACP was a 170 lb sow and had been wounded by a friend's muzzle loading rifle. A friend jumped it up in the swamp and we chased it until I could get a shot at it. I hit it in the center of the back as it was climbing out of a creek, then missed a shot at its head. While the shot in the back had anchored it, I was afraid it might run farther into the swamp, so I popped it behind the shoulder. I then had time to aim and put one behind its ear which ended the affair. The .45 didn't have any trouble penetrating the skull from that angle.

The hog I took with the .22 lr was a 180 lbs boar and had no idea I was there. A single shot behind the ear at thirty yards was enough. I did have the .357 out and the .22 rifle slung when I approached it.

Both hogs weighed less than the pig the author of the op shot and may have had thinner skulls. The angle was also different. I guess I'll have to be more careful if I run into one head on.

September 8, 2009, 10:14 PM
My new Simply rugged holster arrived today and so I am now ready to carry my Ruger Redhawk with me from now on. No more "maybes" for me.

Here's #2 the "whole hog"...


And, dinner (Hog #1)...



September 8, 2009, 10:31 PM
That number 2 hog is prime pork, while #1 is a right fine sausage monster. The cutters are sizable too. So did you notice him "chopping" his jaws?
The top tusks are hollow and act as a permanent whetstone against which the lower tusks are continually sharpened. The lower tusks are indeed extremely sharp.
Thus the terms whetter for top tusk and cutter for the bottom...:D

September 8, 2009, 10:35 PM
Nope, I was too busy trying not to crap my pants at that point. I do remember the growling quite well though...


September 8, 2009, 10:40 PM
too busy trying not to crap my pants Funny how they have that affect on a guy!
But they are just pigs...:D I mean they can't run fast and are afraid to engage in battle with an armed man!:rolleyes::D
My son had a little 40-50 pounder with 1/2 inch or so razors run 'tween his legs... it grunted and slashed as it went thru and juniors brand new britches were cut from knee to knee in the inseam... The color drained from his face and the look of fear was incredible... He almost passed out thinking he was castrated and couldn't feel it due to shock and and asked me to look... (he was 15 at the time) I told him "Naw son, thems yer jewels you look!":eek::D

September 8, 2009, 11:49 PM
Do you think a 357 sig will do? Would the 125 grn do, or the 147? Just curious just in case I find myself in this situation.

September 9, 2009, 01:41 AM
Bonedigger if your looking for some good cast bullets, go look for the 300 WFN from here, I have used many of their bullets in my 444 and they make some of the best.

September 9, 2009, 06:30 AM
Good looking pigs

September 9, 2009, 09:48 AM
Be wary of approaching any hog that appears to be dead. Over the past ten years I have seen several apparently dead hogs suddenly come to life and go after hunters, including myself.

Sometimes when a hog is wounded it will just lie there. Eventually it will die unless it hears a human voice or someone approaches the animal. A friend got a lot of stitches last month when a wounded sow jumped up and nailed him. For going into thickets after wounded hogs I wear chainsaw pants: No hog will get through that kevlar.

September 9, 2009, 12:29 PM
When I was younger we and most of my neighbors had hogs and we would get together and kill them on some cold days. I have killed dozens with a 22 LR between the eyes. There is a spot about the size of a quarter that you need to hit. If it's off by much more than that it's ineffective. If a hog was chasing me I doubt I could hit him at all, much less a quarter size target.

September 10, 2009, 01:35 PM
All this information holds true for predatory animals, such as Bobcats, as well. I shot one with a .308 and literally blew out both front shoulders. Twenty minutes later I walked within 20' of the non-moving animal covered with blood. I felt a little uneasy about getting any closer before being sure, so I picked up a 2" diameter Pecan tree limb about 3' long and tossed it onto the animals body. The Tasmanian Devil comes to mind here....this supposedly dead Bobcat, literally with it's rear claws and mouth, chewed all the bark off the limb, and the rest looked liked it had been run over by a tractor/shredder. I put a round from my 41mag through what was left of the chest and that took care of the animal.
I have been a hunter for over 40 years and was always taught not to walk up on a wounded/dead animal without first verifying it had expired. The Bobcat really drove that home for me. I have hunted hogs, that even with a clean "kill" shot and after over an hour of time, was still a viable threat to the hunter. Ever been chased up a tree by a "kill shot" Russian Boar.....I have!! He died at the base of that tree!!!