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Old January 6, 2020, 01:59 AM   #1
shooter43
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20 gauge buckshot and 45 Colt for hogs?

A friend and I are hog hunting this week and I wanted to know if 20 gauge buckshot is powerful enough to take down pigs? I have one box of #2 and two boxes of #3 buckshot. Also wanted advice on loads for my 45 Colt and if it is adequate enough for hogs? Thanks!
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Old January 6, 2020, 03:58 AM   #2
DockRock
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So, unfortunately, I'm serving waffles today...

It depends.

For shotgun, if we are talking about number 2 Buck and not number 2 birdshot, ( I ask not because I'm assuming you are confusing the two but because it does happen), then in a 3" 20 ga shell, you are looking at @ 15 .27" pellets that weigh about 39 grains each, so each pellet in the sort of 22 LR weight range, traveling a little bit faster. People have killed hogs with 22 lr. But it takes excellent shot placement. In my opinion, and I have done a fair amount of hog hunting but I claim no expertise, that's not good enough for me. Maybe piglets in the sub 75 lbs range. But mainly, you would get wounded hogs that would do anything fair bit of running and hiding before bleeding out and would be tough to find. So, for vermin eradication, ok. For hunting, not ok.

I killed a 545 lbs feral pig with two handloaded 250 grs Hornady XTP at about 1200 fps from from a 16" barrel Rossi R92. I shouldn't have. The bullet is too frail and I got lucky. It's a good example of where a wheel weight or Linotype lead bullet in the 250 - 325 grs range would have been much better.

So what are you shooting the 45 LC with? If you are shooting eating pigs in the 80-100lbs range, any 250 grs bullet from a 4.5" + barrel at SAAMI pressures will do it. But bigger hogs? I'd want Ruger level loads and 300+ hard cast lead from a Blackhawk or a rifle.
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Old January 6, 2020, 04:23 AM   #3
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How about a pic of that 545 lb. hog ??
Unless you are hunting hogs where you will be shooting them at very close range, the buckshot is not going to be effective. It simply does not have enough penetration to do the job....especially if you are over 30 yds. or so.
A .45 colt will kill hogs, but again I would not use it at longer ranges and bullet placement is critical with a cartridge in that category.
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Old January 6, 2020, 10:25 AM   #4
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Yep, two friends tried 00 buckshot on wild hogs. It failed dramatically to humanely kill wild hogs.
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Old January 6, 2020, 11:10 AM   #5
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Neither is really adequate. Almost any centerfire rifle from 243 on up would be a better choice.
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Old January 6, 2020, 12:24 PM   #6
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I have not hunted hogs, but I use "00" buck quite a bit on large bodied deer. After a few dozen, I feel that I know buckshot performance pretty well.

I agree 100% with the opinions given above. Buckshot will fail you miserably in this application.

As to why? Well, even .33 cal round balls ("00") at that speed is considered a "squirrel rifle" when fired from a muzzle loader. Simultaniously land at least 4 or 5 in the front half of a deer, and it's over pretty quick...but hog skin, flesh, and bones are tougher, thicker, and their vitals smaller. It presents pattern and penetration problems that soft, light soft lead balls, with their worst-possible sectional density, simply cannot answer.
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Old January 6, 2020, 12:34 PM   #7
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About that .45 Colt....

What make and model? It matters greatly, as the .45 Colt cartridge can be had in a wide variety of flavors, but not all guns will handle all available loads.

A 320gr/1200fps load may be safe in a Ruger, but can turn a a collectable Colt into a fragmentation bomb.
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Old January 6, 2020, 12:46 PM   #8
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Thank you for the input and advice! In regards to my 45 Colt it is a Ruger Vaquero chambered in 45 Colt. I don't shoot homemade reloads so I'm not sure if the Vaquero is durable or sturdy enough to handle high pressure loads. As of now I unfortunately don't have a rifle so I may just have to make due with what I have available.
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Old January 6, 2020, 02:01 PM   #9
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I'm in slightly murky waters here, but I believe there are 2 Vaqueros, an older, stronger, SBH derived model, and a newer more svelte model geared for CAS competition.

The former was also chambered in .44 mag, and will take magnum level loads, the latter...not so much.

Again I'm not 100% sure on this, so if anyone is feel free to jump in...
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Old January 7, 2020, 08:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samsmix View Post
I'm in slightly murky waters here, but I believe there are 2 Vaqueros, an older, stronger, SBH derived model, and a newer more svelte model geared for CAS competition.

The former was also chambered in .44 mag, and will take magnum level loads, the latter...not so much.

Again I'm not 100% sure on this, so if anyone is feel free to jump in...
You're absolutely correct. The old Ruger Vaqueros were built on the Super Blackhawk frame and are heavy, large frame revolvers. These guns in .45 Colt will handle the Ruger-only loads.

The Ruger New Vaquero is much more svelte, closer in size to a true Colt SAA and not even close to suitable for heavy "Ruger-only" .45 Colt loads. Stick to SAAMI-spec ammo for these guns.

Strangely, I'd much rather carry and shoot a New Vaquero in .45 Colt with a 250gr cast SWC at 900-fps as a general purpose woods gun. (I'd rather a real Colt over either Ruger, but Ruger's modern coil-spring action is more robust.)

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Old January 7, 2020, 12:07 PM   #11
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Buckshot, of any size or gauge, is unreliable. Moreso past 30 to 40 yards.
Use a slug(Hornady makes a 250 grain, SST, 20 gauge) and rifle sights or a low magnification scope. A lot depends on what shotgun you have. No hunting with ammo you haven't sighted in with though.
There are "Ruger only" loads on Hodgdon's site. No mention of New or Old. Hodgdon's MBA's are just as frightened of law suits as Ruger's MBA's.
However, since you're not reloading, you need try a box of as many brands as you can to find the ammo your Vaquero shoots best. If it doesn't have adjustable sights, I'd suggest you refrain from hunting with it.
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Old January 7, 2020, 06:53 PM   #12
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advice

O'Heir's suggestion about slugs is a good one, in that a slug would be a big improvement over 20 ga buckshot. I'm not sure I'd spring for the premium SST slug though. My understanding is that the SST 20ga is a sabot set up, and I'm not sure you'd derive any benefit unless you have a rifled barrel,and a decent sight set up to obtain a proper zero.

A 20 ga standard Foster type slug has a dia around .60 caliber and will weigh about 270 grains. Muzzle velocity will be in the 1500 fps vicinity. Those numbers, while not an apples to apples comparison, equal a heavy handgun load, ie, about a hot .45 Colt. Trajectory and velocity loss is significant, so consider 50 yds or so as max range. A Foster slug is pretty soft too, so penetration, though better than buckshot, will not be extraordinary either. The good news is that 20 ga traditional slugs are cheap, and you can get a 5 pack or a 15 pack for about $5-10 respectively. Consider too, that bead sighted shotgun may or may not shoot to point of aim, and a single bead is a marginal sight arrangement for single projectiles, but can work to 50 yds.

Reference the OP, I've never heard of #2 buck in a 20 ga, I believe all factory loads in 20ga are #3 buck. Too, I would not go so far as to call buckshot totally unreliable. There are lots of hogs being rolled by buckshot loaded shotguns in the helo-shooting videos, though likely 12 ga OO buck. I've also read that they used buckshot to follow up leopards in Africa. A lot would depend on the size of the hog. I can't imagine a hog under 100 lbs taking a load of buck inside 30 yds and not going down.
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Old January 8, 2020, 02:33 PM   #13
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I am assuming the 45 Colt is out of a handgun. I have killed pigs with a 1911 in 45 ACP, so yes, it will kill them. Running shots? I wouldn't, but a standing shot where you get a good, clear shot at the vitals within 30 yds would be pretty much a sure thing. For a 20 gauge shotgun, go to slugs.
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Old January 8, 2020, 10:21 PM   #14
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I have a Redhawk chambered for the Casull. I normally shoot heavy 45 Colt loads with it. It can handle a pig with no problem. My longest shot so far has been 70-75 yds stepped off. I have never shot a hog with a Casull load.

I have killed them with a 22 LR, at least I have not lost one with it. One of my BILs is not a very good shot. He has shot a few and has never recovered one using 22 Hornet up to 303 British, with a 30-30 in between. As I said, he ain't a very good shot.
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Old January 9, 2020, 09:41 PM   #15
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I’m from SC but live in FL now and do quite a bit of hog hunting. Will the 20ga work? Yes. Typically, I don’t like slugs but for this case, it would be a good choice. As for the 45colt, works fine. I normally handgun hunt with a .44mag and the key thing is bullet selection. For big tough boars, I want a hard cast bullet for maximum penetration. If I’m going for more of a eater size, Hornady XTP are my go to choice in a 300gr variety. You don’t need that much bullet weight but it’s a preference of mine.
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Old January 9, 2020, 09:47 PM   #16
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do even just a little homework on hunting before you go.
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