View Full Version : .243 enough for Boar?

January 19, 2002, 11:36 AM
I might have an opportunity to do a wild boar hunt on the central coast of California in a couple of months and was wondering what the general consensus is on whether a .243win is sufficient for this. My guess is that we won't be seeing anything in the 300+ pound range. I'm building a 243 right now and it should be finished and ready in time ... it sure would be nice to take it into the field. If the .243 is marginal, however, I can go bigger with no real inconvenience.


ps ... I was thinking 100 grain bullets on top of H1000 which should scoot along at somewhere near 3000 fps according to the tables.

Al Thompson
January 19, 2002, 01:16 PM
A good friend hunted in that area with a 6mm. He did use Nosler Partitions with good results.


January 19, 2002, 01:30 PM
I am no expert on rifles by any means but a .243 is capable of a lot more than people think. It's probably considered a little to light to shoot at something that will bite back ,but I think it will kill one with no problem. I have had three .243's but never killed anything with them. I can't seem to find one that I really like. One was too heavy,one too short and the other just woudn't group, so I sold them all. Hopefully I will find one that I like because I love that caliber. I know I didn't help any but I am snowed in and bored so I had to write something.

January 19, 2002, 01:32 PM
.243 plenty gun. 45 70 not enough with bad shot placement.


Art Eatman
January 19, 2002, 04:35 PM
Concur with man of few words.

:D, Art

January 19, 2002, 09:37 PM

January 19, 2002, 09:58 PM
Go bigger. Never heard of a hog being overkilled.

Say 6.5 X 55MM minimum.

I suggest 12 Guage Slugs, 308/30-06 or 45-70 as a good choice.

January 19, 2002, 10:39 PM
Have you ever seen a boar up real close:) They have some Russians that were introduced to that area years ago. Ive shot boar in excess of 450 lbs. California is a great boar hunting.
Ive used only really big guns and have never felt guilty or unsportsman like. These things will really tear your a_ _ up if you give the opportunity.
If your hunting alone I dont think small is good. If you have a partner going with you I sugget one of you carry some horsepower. These guys are major tough and thick skinned. It would be intresting I suppose to get one p.o.'d but I have never had had the desire to do so. Ive shot smaller hogs in florida and Eastern TN. with .308 and .30-06
But as the man said gotta hit em right or a howitzer aint going to get it done. Ive had the opportunity to shoot sheep and goat in AK. using the .243 and thik its a great caliper. BUT sheep and goat dont have a lot of attitude and were always standing still so bullet placement was never an issue. Darn hogs seem to be in constant motion. I use my .375 most of the time. Usually 30- 40 yds. Never had one get back up. I could tell you some tales. He's got scars from what he thought was a dead boar...wrong. He ended up killing it with his side arm. (.44 mag)
I dont think Ive enjoyed anything more than boar hunting. Let us know how you make out.

Roman Knoll
January 20, 2002, 08:02 AM
All depends how you hunt. I've seen South Africans culling warthogs for meat with tripple two.

From my own experience I know that 6.5x55 with 156 grainer bullet works very nicely indeed on European boar. Should do for US variety too.


January 20, 2002, 11:36 AM
Thanks for the input so far. To date, I have only seen the mounted heads ... but the tusks I've seen are why I'm asking this question in the first place :eek: I'm not considering hunting solo ... and I am pretty sure that my buddy will be carrying a 270. I think I will ask some more specific questions about pig size and terrain before deciding.


January 21, 2002, 05:42 PM
The .243 will be fine, just be sure that you have been practicing at the range to hone those marksmanship skills.

My choice for wild hogs would be a .30-30 Winchester M94 rifle.

January 21, 2002, 10:15 PM
.243 Winchester is best reserved for things that can't hunt you back.

Wild pig and boar are probably the most dangerous game animal in the lower U.S. 48 states.

Here is a hint: pigs are CONFIRMED! maneaters.

Black Bears are far less dangerous.

January 21, 2002, 11:29 PM

I've done a lot of pig hunting in several states (FL, TN, CA, TX) and must respectfully disagree. A .243 with the right bullets is plenty for ANY pig on Earth if you put the bullet in the right place.

January 22, 2002, 12:08 AM
I've done a lot of pig hunting in several states (FL, TN, CA, TX) and must respectfully

And If you screw up YOU! are Pig food!

What about the unlucky?

They can't type! They are dead ;)

Pigs are Dangerous. Ask any pig farmer.

January 22, 2002, 12:43 AM
I think you are underestimating the .243 and giving the pigs too much credit. We'll agree to disagree, I guess.

I'd feel comfortable hunting pigs (including really big ones) with 30-30, .243, 7-30 Waters, 12 or 20 guage slugs, etc. My favorite round for hunting them now is the .44 mag out of my 14" Contender. Just choose your shot carefully. Remember, we're talking about HUNTING pigs, not pig attack defense. In that role I'd take a 12 guage with good 00 buck loads.

January 22, 2002, 09:31 AM
If I were hunting pigs, I'd use something more substantial than a .243. G-Father had a farm with hogs, and they can get quite pissed. A hog is very dangerous.

January 22, 2002, 10:17 AM
I must also respectfully disagree (Man going up against Art & C.R. Sam is dangerous ground!)

Why use a long distance flat shooter in a brush gun environ?

.243 plenty gun. 45 70 not enough with bad shot placement

If bad shot placement occurs with a .243, it's gotta be worse than bad shot placement with a .45-70

Art and C.R. please be gentle!

Tom Matiska
January 22, 2002, 02:50 PM
From my deer hunting experience I think the 243 lacks for nothing in the penatration department. 100's make just as many exit holes as any 30-30, 308, or 44 Mag I've hunted with.

The beauty of the 243 is shot placement on fast movers. It is a photon torpedo compared to the bowling balls some like to hunt with, and putting a shot into the vitals of a critter running for its life requires much less skill/guesswork.


January 22, 2002, 03:22 PM

ed mason
January 22, 2002, 03:30 PM
Keep in mind many of the bullets designed for the 243 are intended for varmint hunting applications and could have disastrous
results on large game.I would suggest looking at the barnes x or the nosler partition style.Even the remington core-loke bullets
should be a good choice.

As far as the crack about bullet deflection being worse with the 243 over the 45/70 this is just a myth.Any bullet of any weight
will deflect when struck by twigs and brush.I have even witnessed for myself in training a 12 gauge slug skipping off the rim of a
hat causing a complete miss at 5 yards.

January 22, 2002, 04:06 PM
This has made for very interesting and thoughtful reading ... I especially like hearing both sides and the cautions.

Ed: I have looked at the catalogs and the Hornady folks make a 100gr BTSP that they make a point of distinguishing as a hunting bullet and not the next weight up in their varmint line.

Thanks again,

January 22, 2002, 04:24 PM
Just my two cents.
I kill between 25 and 50 feral hogs every year. I use a .375H&H. Never had a penetration problem. I'll say this about the lighter 6MMs and such We seldom kill a really big hog who hasen't been shot some time in the past. Many of them have bullet wounds healed over in there shields. A hog shield is something that should be seen to be believed. I've dug bullet fragments out of their side many times I even found a mostley intact .25 cal nosler once didn't make it through the shield. So here is my take on this bullet placement is highly overrated. And here's why, a man cannot acuratley place a bullet on a running hog in the brush. You can put it in the front half but I dare say that you can't reliably call your shot within 6 inches in those circumstances. So my theory is to use a round that'll penetrait all the way through from any angle and hit the good stuff.
Last year we had a guy come down with his 25-06. After warning him that his gun may be a little light for our style of hog hunting (walking the brush for em) he informed us that he only made head shots. Well to save you the gory details he was sent over a hill to look for hogs after a few minutes we heard five shots in rapid sucession. After a few moments of reflection my partner looked over at me with a sly grin and said think all five of them was head shots.
A 243 is to light for big hogs. Unless your going to be hunting them from a stand and bait and can really pick your shots.

January 22, 2002, 07:26 PM
H&H hunter,

I'd like to do some of that type of hunting for big hogs. What state are you talking about? I'm planning another hog hunt soon so you've definitely piqued my interest.


ed mason
January 22, 2002, 08:17 PM

Federal makes a 100 gr nosler partition that should have no penetration problems.I have shot two hogs ,both with the 308.One
was a nosler ballistic tip and the other was with win fail safe.Although pigs are generally A little thicker than deer,I don't really
see any great concern for a larger caliber than the 243 with proper bullet selection.I would bet the gentleman that [email protected] hunter
was talking about was either a lousy shot or was using the wrong bullets.I know several guides in the south that have farms set
up with bait and they have clients come in on a daily basis to hunt.They tell me with a proper hit that most any cartridge will do
in the .243 class up provided the bullet's are selected correctly.For what it is worth a hogs anatomy is a little different than
white tail deer. The vitals are a little more forward of the shoulder thus requiring a forward hold.

Al Thompson
January 22, 2002, 09:26 PM
Agree with Ed. For up close and personal stuff I do like heavier guns. For popping them from stands and the California stalks, shot placement gets the first nod - with high SD and tough bullets.


January 22, 2002, 09:45 PM
This thread reminds me of a hunt some 38 years back. I had skipped school with some buddies to do some hog hunting just off US1, south of Jacksonville Fla, in Palm Valley.

We would up being hunted by a BIG hog. What a surprise when he charged out of the palmettos, and ripped my buddy's inner leg from knee to groin. We shot the hog with .30/30, a .357 Smith, and a 12 Ga with slugs. He finally died. My buddy almost died too. We held his artery closed off inside his leg with fingers, while rushing him to the hospital in Jax Beach.

Personally, after hunting hogs in Florida, Tenn, Ga and Virginia for over 40 years, I think that a .243 is not enough gun.

I have another good hog story concerning a certain diabolic porker up in Bottomless Bay, north of Mcclenny Florida. That one almost punched my ticket. Thank goodness for Mr. Bill Ruger's fine .44 Mag three screw Blackhawks, and the fine folks that made 2400 powder.

January 22, 2002, 10:10 PM
Having never hunted hogs, what do I know?

I'm just thinking that hog can run 25+MPH - I can't = :eek:, hunt them in fairly thick cover & I'd want something to break 'em down pretty toot sweet. To heck with killing one - I'd want to stop it & then worry about killing it.

.243's a sweet thang, no doubt, but I'd be thinking along the lines of a .308 or 12 ga/slugs.

Deer/elk run quite a ways when "dead" - but they run the other way - not at me. :p

.243 from a stand would work for me, but "in the bush," .... ? maybe stilts? ;)

January 22, 2002, 10:54 PM
Not to chage the subject, but what about a 25.06? I've been invited to do a little "hog erradication" on a Texas lease this spring, 25.06 is the only thing I have.

January 23, 2002, 02:05 AM
The .243 or .25-06 are great for open country or when hunting from stands. But when hunting in the brush I think you will need a more compact, faster gun.

A Winchester Model 94 Ranger Compact chambered in .30-30 would be better as you can come on to a target really fast and pour a lot of repeat shots quickly into a moving target.


A pump-action shotgun loaded with slugs may be good too. Perhaps one of those rifled shotguns with the sabot loads....

ed mason
January 23, 2002, 09:19 AM
I don't dis- agree that your choice of a 94 30-30 is a bad choice,I think it is a excellent choice!!!!!.I do however dis-agree that
you have chosen it for the wrong reasons.

First of all bolt action guns can be just as fast as a lever action gun with deliberate practice.It takes a little more technique to
manipulate the bolt. Once you get the basics down and practice it you will be just as fast.I have been to classes that teach
general rifle techniques.At these classes you see bolt guns and lever actions being operated in field like enviroments.At the
beginning of the class the guys with lever guns start out being a little faster but by the end of the week with lots of manipulations
and repetitions with the bolt ,the guys with the bolt guns are every bit as fast as the lever guys.

Second,caliber selection has no bearing on "brush guns".

Brush guns should be light and handy.Remington makes a model 7 that is about 1 pound lighter and has the same barrel length
as a 94 winchester.Bolt gun's with it's one piece stock design and less moving parts in the action makes the bolt gun a better
choice in the brush because it will withstand the elements better and is more rugged.

I think a lot of people are under the impression that a heavier round nose bullet will break through the brush better.This is pure
BUNK!Even a 50 cal bmg if hit by a branch will be deflected off course enough to completely miss the target.I have conducted
test in the field with caliber's from 223 up to 12 gauge slug placing targets at various distances past brush obstacles and found
that all of the caliber's deflect.Another thing that these test showed was that bullets regardless of shape or ogive will turn
sideways when hit by branches.

I like lever guns for certain things.It's flat design lends itself particularly well for storage in a vehicle or gunrack.It also comes in handy when mounting on a scabbard.I just feel that the
bolt action gun in many circumstances is a better choice.

Art Eatman
January 23, 2002, 09:55 AM
I'll definitely second the notion that one should not use a varmint bullet in one's .243 when chousing after Mr. Hoggus Feralus. The usual "However," is the situation. If you're sitting in a stand, and can take an eye or heart shot with any certainty, the .243 will do just fine.

If you're working thick cover, a bone-breaker of a cartridge is better--and one which can break bone no matter what angle you hit that hog.

Whole-hog recipe: First, gut and skin hog. (Actually, first, acquire hog.) Next, build a fire pit and a second fire. When fire burns down to coals in pit (We're talking deep in coals, here), spread about an inch of dirt on the coals. Cover with roofing tin. Put hog on tin. Put more roofing tin on top of hog. Put maybe an inch or two of dirt on tin. Cover with coals from second fire.

Kick back, drink beer, pick guitar until hog's ready to be loved by you. Much better than any of Dimmy Jean's Puke-Poor SausLinkages down at the Hoggly Woggly Feed & Seed Emporium!

:), Art

January 23, 2002, 02:48 PM
Art, that sounds like a hell of a recipe. How long would you estimate that hog should sit wrapped up in foil? (it doesn't sound like a particularly convenient arrangement for checking it too often) Four hours? Eight hours? I prefer game meat to be well done.

Art Eatman
January 23, 2002, 03:37 PM
Best as I recall, it was somewhere after six hours or so.

Checking on "doneness" is a two-fella job. One guy lifts up the cover-tin with a shovel. The other takes an old piece of plywood for a heatshield to kneel down and do a quick check.

The "Designated meat-checkers" should refrain from over-indulgence in beer. Don't burn the cook!


January 23, 2002, 06:56 PM
Ca Dept Fish and Game does not recommend .243 for any pig over 90lbs. They have a downloadable guide to pig hunting on their website. It is quite informative, even includes recipes.

January 24, 2002, 12:12 AM
I've hunted our little porcine friends up in the Northern Territory with my trusty 223, no problems at all. It's taken out pigs up to around 150 kgs+ which is okay for that calibre, so a 243 should hack it no problems. I've even used a .45 for sneaking up and knocking off sleeping pigs from around 3-4yds, that's even better fun!:D
If you are using a 243 in the usual sort of country that you find pigs, you wont be shooting over any more than about 100 yds, more likely less, around 30 - 50yds or so. You'll more than likely be hunting in company, so you can backup with a shotty loaded with SG's if need be, that'll stop anything!

January 24, 2002, 03:01 AM
Well Mason, I never said that a round point bullet, or any bullet would deflect brush.

My point was that the range of engagement in brush country will be rather close and that the targets will be moving.

One needs a fast handling firearm for the brush and a lever-action carbine is better for such fast action than most bolt-action rifles.

Most bolt action rifles are built for long range precision rather than fast handling. Some bolt rifles are as short as the Winchester M94 Rifle, but they are not as compact as the M94 CARBINES like the Winchester M94 Ranger Compact.

Most people can operate a lever gun faster than a bolt, though it is true that one can practice with a bolt gun to match the speed of a lever gun.
For the average guy though I would recommend a lever carbine for fast handling in brush country as the shots will be close and moving fast.

All in all though the best option may be a pump-action shotgun with slugs or buckshot.

ed mason
January 25, 2002, 08:57 AM
Salt,sorry !I think I read into your last post something that was not there.When I read your post "the .243 or .25-06 are great
for open country or when hunting from stands. But when hunting in the brush I think you will need a more compact, faster gun."
I thought you where suggesting that the caliber's where not good for brush hunting.My mistake!!!!

I cant argue about your choice for a pump shotgun other that the fact it is extremely heavy!

Art Eatman
January 25, 2002, 09:34 AM
One problem with this sort of discussion is the hunter's intent. If you're after tasty meat, shoot a shoat of 40 to 60 pounds; most any cartridge will do.

If you're sport-hunting for full-grown feral hogs or Russian mixes, larger cartridges make life a bit safer. Up close and personal with a wounded hog isn't the place for ribbon clerks.

If you're a rancher who's fed up with hogs killing your lambs or kids--as in baby goats--or a farmer who's fed up with hogs making a field appear as though an insane backhoe operator went bonkers, a .22 rimfire in the guts will do. He doesn't care about "sport", ethics or fair play. Sorta like a housewife finding a nest of spiders in her pantry.

"Situational ethics", for sure.


January 25, 2002, 06:18 PM
Last time I went on one of these 'eradication' missions we set up bait and waited in a blind after dark. I had a S&W mod. 57 .41 mag, two other hunters; one with a 30.06 and the other carried a 12ga semi-auto with buckshot. When the smoke cleared there was definate carnage. Maybe not the most ethical way to hunt but we were there to reduce the population.
40-60 pounders definitely make the best eating. Prep with spices, jalapenos & onions, wrap in foil, put 'em in a charcoal pit for 24 hours. Damn, I need a couple more of those!

January 26, 2002, 03:23 PM
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to you. we hunt in north TX around the Childress area. We have already killed several hogs in the 300+ lb catagory this year one of which was a good boar. Who by the way took 5 well placed 150 gr 30-30 rounds all behind the shoulder and 1 30-06 before he went to the light. I'm telling you guys when your dealing with big hogs it's a different story than the little ones. Use enough gun.

January 26, 2002, 11:05 PM
Five shots of .30-30 150gr bullets?

That is one tough animal. Probably should have used 12ga shotgun W/ slugs or perhaps a .444 Marlin rifle

January 28, 2002, 07:26 PM
Neither of which are bad choices my other hog rifle is an 1895 marlin in 45/70. We recomend as a minimum a .308 with 180 gr well constructed bullets. You are however, free to hunt with whatever pleases you.
My advice is given on many years and many hogs shot. I've seen em shot with just about everything and have a pretty good idea of what works in different situations. Light high velocity is a bad choice on big I repeat BIG hogs. They work just fine on the little ones. I've found that most of the really big boys that have been killed with light rifles have been shot from a stand in the head or some such arrangement. Most of our shots are at running hogs from all different angles so penetration is key to success.

January 30, 2002, 02:10 AM
Five shots of .30-30 150gr bullets

I would think 170 Grain Silver Tips would be a better choice.

No Ballistic advantage to 150 Grain bullets in 30-30.

February 1, 2002, 01:56 PM
I agree the heavier the better. I must qualify the 5, 30-30's in the side with little effect story. The guy started shooting at about 100 yds and finished at about 220 so he wasn't using a 30-30 to it's best effect on hogs. He did however connect on every shot on a running hog quite impressive at those ranges I'd say.
His bullets just barrley made it through the shield and into the lungs, very poor penetration. It did however stop and would have killed him eventually. This was a good sized hog about 300 lbs. I don't think a .243 would've done it in that situation. But you never know. I for one would not rely on a poddle shooter in the brush with a big pissed off boar, but hey that's just me.

Art Eatman
February 1, 2002, 03:55 PM
H&H, if in thick brush with a large, irate hog, I'd say that hot-loads of .45-70 are merely a starting point!

I think the "height above hog" world record for climbing a thorny mesquite is somewhere around 2.3 seconds.


February 2, 2002, 01:14 AM
If i were to hunt such creatures, i would go with a Browning BAR in 300 WCM. Real nice for quick follow up shots if nessacary.

Put some type of fixed power [2power] or illumnated dot and have at it.

With that some Federal 220 grainers. Nuff said.


Bud Helms
February 2, 2002, 07:12 AM
Here in GA I hunt hoggies with a little NEF Handi Rifle that originally was a .357 Mag but had a .30-30 Ackley finishing reamer dropped into the chamber for a .357 Herret "Long". It's a ballistic cousin to a .35 Remington. Fairly stout loads. 200 grain Hornady RNs, in front of some W748, as I recall.

I have also rolled 'em with a Mech Tech upper with a Tasco Red Dot on a Springfield Gov't Model lower with .45 Super loads out to about 40 yds. That was exciting!

I also christened my new 10 in barrel on my SBH .44 Mag w/factory sights with a little 80 pounder last Spring. Another 40 stepper. Of course, I've kiilled more with a .30-30 than anything else.

A good friend uses a .223 Mauser short action bolt down in Pasco County, FL.

I'd rather hunt hogs than deer any day! Art, I spent a couple hunderd bucks on a New Braunfels Bandera last Spring with some of Uncle Sam's largess. 'Works great, but ... nothin' beats a fire pit.:)

September 22, 2002, 12:03 AM
California has a way of creating 500+ LBS PART RUSSIAN HOGS THAT NEED BAZZOKAS TO KILL!

Not really a joke. There is some truth.

California has a problem with Volkswaggon sized pigs.

California Pig Season is 24/7 365, Unlimited Bag Limit!

Come! kill'em all but you can't but hey! at least kill 50?........PLEASE!