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View Full Version : Pig Hunting Calibers?


JJ682
02-01-2011, 6:58 PM
A friend recently asked if I wanted to try Feral pig hunting and neither he nor I have been before.
Since I was told knife hunting is illegal in California...... :)
I was curious what the minimum caliber would be and what sort of ranges are typical while hunting Pig
I own a 30-30 winchester 94, a mosin 7.62x54R, an AR-15, and a mossberg 500....all of which I figured would do. Though I want to double check with the far more wise and experienced here.
I was also thinking I'd have to take into account Condor zones so no lead ammo.

I've got various handguns that would probably work as well, but I think I'd rather use a rifle on my first time out.

TonyMang_89
02-01-2011, 7:00 PM
take the mosin or winchester either should work fine

m98
02-01-2011, 7:02 PM
A friend recently asked if I wanted to try Feral pig hunting and neither he nor I have been before.
Since I was told knife hunting is illegal in California...... :)
I was curious what the minimum caliber would be and what sort of ranges are typical while hunting Pig
I own a 30-30 winchester 94, a mosin 7.62x54R, an AR-15, and a mossberg 500....all of which I figured would do. Though I want to double check with the far more wise and experienced here.
I was also thinking I'd have to take into account Condor zones so no lead ammo.

I've got various handguns that would probably work as well, but I think I'd rather use a rifle on my first time out.

Any of those guns would work. Key is shot placement and bullet selection

SScott
02-01-2011, 7:03 PM
12 gauge slug.

glockman19
02-01-2011, 7:04 PM
I'd take the Winchester

JJ682
02-01-2011, 7:04 PM
Where is the best shot placement? From what I've read during my research, googling over the last 20 minutes. I've see behind the ear a lot.

I was favoring the 7.62x54R myself but is there good lead free hunting ammo for that around?
Glad to hear the trusty 94 is in the running.

JJ682
02-01-2011, 7:05 PM
12 gauge slug.

Is it typical to get close enough for an accurate shot?

Flying_clutchman
02-01-2011, 7:14 PM
Would .375 H&H magnum be too big of a round for pigs?

m98
02-01-2011, 7:16 PM
Piggies arent as tough as people make em out to be unless its over 300lbs. Most aren't that big. Shot behind the ear is best if the shooter can do it but the normal lung shoulder will do also. Just look up hog control on pootube and you'll see how piggies fall over from getting hit with 223 from a chopper

m98
02-01-2011, 7:17 PM
Would .375 H&H magnum be too big of a round for pigs?


Not if you can afford to shoot it

Full Clip
02-01-2011, 7:27 PM
I'd go 30-30 or x54r...

rexbo47
02-01-2011, 7:46 PM
Where is the best shot placement? From what I've read during my research, googling over the last 20 minutes. I've see behind the ear a lot.

I was favoring the 7.62x54R myself but is there good lead free hunting ammo for that around?
Glad to hear the trusty 94 is in the running.


Custom Cartridge will have the 7.62x54 with a Barnes TSX Copper bullet.

Also for your 30-30, but you can probably get that cheaper elsewhere.

http://www.customcartridge.com/index.php

foxtrotuniformlima
02-01-2011, 7:49 PM
The one on my wall was killed with a 130gr bullet from a 270 Win.

Anything similar should do the job fine.

duckman1
02-01-2011, 7:53 PM
.375 is about right for any type of big game. Load it up or down and you have one rifle that will handle just about anything.

mif_slim
02-01-2011, 7:53 PM
.177 airgub did the job on a YouTube video. ;)


Calm down ethic police... Just stating what's true, not telling him to use it.

180ls1
02-01-2011, 8:09 PM
i dont like the .223 if you are new to hunting and trying to take shots behind the ear.

My first choice would be the the 7.62x54r and go for the lungs and heart. Followed by the 3030 same shot placement, just limit the range on the 3030 if you are shooting at bigger pigs.

hsiehjohn
02-01-2011, 8:18 PM
If its big enough to take down a deer, it should be sufficient. You would not want to go smaller than a 243 .... unless you are one of those that can make those 2000 yard shots all day long .....

foxtrotuniformlima
02-01-2011, 8:20 PM
With the Condor issue, I think the only thing choice you have in the calibers listed will be the 30-30 Winchester.

Corbon offers a load using 150gr Barnes TSX bullets. That should do the trick but I'd stick to < 75 yds.

Argonaut
02-01-2011, 8:27 PM
The best caliber really depends on how and where you hunt. We have killed pigs at 1000 yards and at 30 yards. either the 30-30 or the (yuck) Mosin has an adequate bullet size. Do not shoot full jacket ball ammunition (it is illegal). Good hunting ammo is more available for the 30-30 whether you need no lead or not. I use my 308's with variable power scopes a lot but my brother likes to shoot them at 1000 yards with his 338 Lapua TRG. Any typical deer rifle works fine.

Howie44
02-01-2011, 9:01 PM
You need to call first, but Ammo Bros will usally have at least one box of condor safe 7.62x54R on the shelf. They load it themselves. Barnes TSX and Graf brass. It is also $2 a box cheaper than Custom Cartridge and you can pick it up at Ontario or Cerritos and avoid shipping costs. I have some left over from last year that I'm gonna use to fill my last tag in March.
I know these are not in your caliber choices, but 30-06, and .308 probably have the most choices for off the shelf, lead free ammo

Fjold
02-01-2011, 9:12 PM
Would .375 H&H magnum be too big of a round for pigs?

Nope, I even have lead free Barnes 300 grain TSX loads for the condor free zone

Not if you can afford to shoot it

Not an issue, my handloads cost about $1.25 a shot.

.375 is about right for any type of big game. Load it up or down and you have one rifle that will handle just about anything.

One rifle, one planet Holland's 375

JJ682
02-01-2011, 10:29 PM
Ammo Bros will usally have at least one box of condor safe 7.62x54R on the shelf.
I live a bit far from them these days. Have they expanded to the new bigger part of the lot they were talking about doing? It's been a few years since I've been down there.


I was afraid my weapons would be adequate...Always looking for an excuse to justify a new one :)

So it seems like the 30-30 will be coming along then. Since the ammo for the 54R is probably more pricey. Though the AR is the lightest of them all.


My buddy has a .44mag lever action he is thinking about taking, he seemed skeptical about it but I was thinking it would be fine. As long as he isn't taking any long shots.

I was hoping to try sneaking up to see how close I can get before taking a shot, just for fun. Any stocking tips?

And what about handguns? In case I feel like more of a challenge next time out. I've got a range of semi's 9mm, .40, .45, and a .357 mag revolver. I'd probably go with the wheel gun, but how close would I need to get for the .40 or .45?

redcliff
02-01-2011, 11:40 PM
The 3 I've shot have all been with .308, 2 at around 150 yards and one at 40 yards. All were DRT with one hit, the largest being 300lbs.

winxp_man
02-01-2011, 11:48 PM
A good set of dogs and a nice lengthy Knife :D


just kiddin I would take the Winchester or the Mosin both will do good, and if you think you will be in short range the shotgun can work with slugs.

JJ682
02-02-2011, 10:49 AM
A good set of dogs and a nice lengthy Knife :D


I would if it was legal. I knew a guy who said the best way to hunt boar is to rope them from a tree and pull them up/slit their throats.


So I guess I'll need to buy a .308 for this expedition? Sounds like reason enough for me!

Rusty_Buckhorn
02-02-2011, 10:54 AM
I knew a guy who said the best way to hunt boar is to rope them from a tree and pull them up/slit their throats.


I think someone has seen "Old Yeller" one too many times. :rolleyes:

Rock6.3
02-02-2011, 10:58 AM
So I guess I need a .308 for this expedition? Sounds like reason enough for me!


Let's not confuse our needs and our wants.

.308 is sufficient.
So is 30-06 and .270 and 338 Lapua and........

Which one do you want is the question.

FLIGHT762
02-02-2011, 11:03 AM
I was hoping to try sneaking up to see how close I can get before taking a shot, just for fun. Any stocking tips?


I suppose any thick stockings will do, but I would wear shoes when trying to stalk pigs. :piggy:

Coded-Dude
02-02-2011, 11:22 AM
I would if it was legal. I knew a guy who said the best way to hunt boar is to rope them from a tree and pull them up/slit their throats.


So I guess I'll need to buy a .308 for this expedition? Sounds like reason enough for me!


Its not even that easy to tree a domestic pig for slaughter, much less attempting to do one out in the wild. If you want a little excitement(getting up close and personal) do some boar hunting with a handgun.

and yes I have heard many friends call the 308 a pig kill'n machine, so if you have the funds and don't need any further reason...go get one. :D

DirtyDave
02-02-2011, 11:36 AM
Any excuse is a good excuse to buy a new gun, but any of the guns you mentioned will work fine. Which one do you shoot the best? I would go with the Mosin. Doubletap has Barnes bullets loaded up in 7.62x54r.
My buddy has killed a couple 150lb pigs with .223 lung shots too.
What type of terrain will you be hunting?

beauregard
02-02-2011, 11:41 AM
12 gauge slug.

This.

Fjold
02-02-2011, 12:33 PM
I would if it was legal. I knew a guy who said the best way to hunt boar is to rope them from a tree and pull them up/slit their throats.


So I guess I'll need to buy a .308 for this expedition? Sounds like reason enough for me!

I've roped a number of pigs before from horseback and they are almost impossible to catch that way. Look at how a pig is constructed, their heads are tapered from back to front and all the pig has to do is turn to face you and the rope slides right off. Their feet and legs are shaped that way also. Their hooves are small and the rops slips right off when you heel catch them. Even catching both rear legs and getting the rope up around their loins it pulls right off the back. The only way that we could stop a pig is if we could rope them from the front and get the rope around the body so that one front leg was in the loop and one out. That's the only way we could get a rope to hold.

Rusty_Buckhorn
02-02-2011, 12:53 PM
you have to catch'em deep Fjold, at least 1 front leg. I've caught a few, but my brother and a few of his buddies are pretty good at it.

Coded-Dude
02-02-2011, 1:07 PM
even then you'd need some pulleys or several men(not to mention a sturdy tree) to hoist a 200+ pound pig into the air. I know a lot of feral pigs are generally about 100-150 pounds, but they can get upwards of 600 pounds in some places.

Rusty_Buckhorn
02-02-2011, 1:14 PM
none of the ones I've roped could have been hoisted into a tree(without a block and tackle or a winch), just doing it for fun years ago.

Coded-Dude
02-02-2011, 1:20 PM
I've got a buddy out here that raises pigs and have seen him go through some nightmares trying to hoist up pigs for cleaning. although the knife is definitely more effective as a killing tool; one misplaced shot can turn things ugly in seconds(especially if not properly hoisted).

JJ682
02-02-2011, 1:37 PM
I suppose any thick stockings will do, but I would wear shoes when trying to stalk pigs. :piggy:

Hah! Nice catch!

Let's not confuse our needs and our wants.

.308 is sufficient.
So is 30-06 and .270 and 338 Lapua and........

Which one do you want is the question.

Hmm....all of them? :D

Which one do you shoot the best? I would go with the Mosin. Doubletap has Barnes bullets loaded up in 7.62x54r.
My buddy has killed a couple 150lb pigs with .223 lung shots too.
What type of terrain will you be hunting?

I'm not sure what sort of terrain we'll be in to be honest. I shoot them all confidently, but the Mosin probably has the best range.

DeanW66
02-02-2011, 2:03 PM
From my own research any of the rifle calibers you mentioned would work. Many folks will say .223 is a bit on the small side though. Because of this, when I won a raffle I ordered a Mini-14 in 6.8SPC instead of .223. Over at 68forums (http://68forums.com)there are many folks in Texas hunting pigs w/ 6.8, and many of those are using lead-free even when they don't have to.

Whiterabbit
02-03-2011, 8:44 AM
If you are in brush or wooded areas, I suggest you both take your leverguns. They are safe, they are sporting, and they are a hoot to shoot! They are lightweight, and they are balanced properly. Your AR might be lighter, but it's a contraption. I've done (admittedly extremely limited) brush hunting for pig with both, and I will take a levergun in a 30+cal rifle 40+cal pistol cartridge any day as the primary sporting arm.

I DO have to admit I would think twice if you are hunting wide open spaces. But in brushy or wooded spaces I wouldn't think beyond what I've typed.

1911ShooterPhil
02-03-2011, 10:01 AM
I'd use your Winchester 94. As for ammunition, Hornady LEVERevolution 160 Grain Flex Tip eXpanding bullets are a good choice, as are the Winchester Super-X Ammunition 150 Grain Hollow Point. Both will cycle well in your lever action. Both are non-lead and available from MidwayUSA. California feral pigs are on the smaller side, so your 7.62x54R Mosin Nagant may be a bit much, in my opinion. I've hunted Russian wild boar in TN, GA, SC, NC. There they tend to be larger, ranging from upper 200-400 lbs on average (from what I learned from my talks with other hunters & DFG guys in those states). One that I bagged in GA was 265 lbs that I took with a single round fired from a Mauser Oberndorf sporter 8x57JS using 196gr soft points. Another was 311 lbs in TN, using 2 shots from a rebarreled Interarms "Mark X" 7x57 Mauser using S&B 173gr soft points. Like others mentioned previously in this thread, it's more about shot placement than weapon choice. Your Mossberg 500 using slugs would work too, but I'd stick to the Winchester 94 because you're going to be moving then shooting. If you're stalking them, pack light because you could be on your feet a lot. Happy hunting, be safe, and good luck. --1911ShooterPhil

JJ682
02-03-2011, 2:51 PM
Thanks everyone!
I'm going to take the 94 when we go!

winxp_man
02-03-2011, 3:07 PM
I think someone has seen "Old Yeller" one too many times. :rolleyes:

:rofl2: lol

jeffrice6
02-05-2011, 12:51 AM
12 gauge slug.

+1 or a 45-70

DirtyDave
02-05-2011, 11:21 AM
12 gauge slug.

Really? You pick the one that is the least accurate and has the shortest effective range out of the calibers he listed??

Should go in this order of preference; Mosin - Win94 - AR - 12ga slug

Now even if it was a dedicated slug-gun like mine with a rifled barrel and a scope, your effective range is only 150yds. Your range with a smooth-bore and no scope is half of that or less depending on your abilites.

There is only 1 slug available that is unleaded for smoothbores, the DDupleks steel slug which is like a home defense slug.

Other guys saying to buy a .308 like that is the end-all-be-all of calibers. The 7.62x54r and the .308 are very close balistically. There is a ton of ammo options for the .308 though and even more for the 30-06 if you want a new gun.

SLYoteBoy
02-05-2011, 3:07 PM
whatever your most proficient/accurate with. .223 or bigger.

1911ShooterPhil
02-07-2011, 8:16 PM
whatever your most proficient/accurate with. .223 or bigger.

I've heard of folks using .223 hollow points on Javelina. I don't know if a .223 would be enough on a feral pig. I know it wouldn't be enough for wild boar. I've read some articles about Texas hunters bagging feral pigs with 223's. I would think that if you placed the shot well enough, like behind the ear for a brain shot, or maybe a through and through flank shot, that may be enough to drop the animal humanely. The problem I have with hunters using small bullets on big game is that a small bullet won't always humanely dispatch the game. A hunter's duty is to dispatch his/her quarry as humanely as possible and still fill their tag. I guess it all comes down to shot placement and the confidence of the hunter taking the shot. Happy hunting. Stay frosty people.

--1911ShooterPhil

m98
02-07-2011, 8:19 PM
I've heard of folks using .223 hollow points on Javelina. I don't know if a .223 would be enough on a feral pig. I know it wouldn't be enough for wild boar. I've read some articles about Texas hunters bagging feral pigs with 223's. I would think that if you placed the shot well enough, like behind the ear for a brain shot, or maybe a through and through flank shot, that may be enough to drop the animal humanely. The problem I have with hunters using small bullets on big game is that a small bullet won't always humanely dispatch the game. A hunter's duty is to dispatch his/her quarry as humanely as possible and still fill their tag. I guess it all comes down to shot placement and the confidence of the hunter taking the shot. Happy hunting. Stay frosty people.

--1911ShooterPhil

Many many piggies has fallen to the 223. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGC1tjHCSVE

1911ShooterPhil
02-07-2011, 9:29 PM
Many many piggies has fallen to the 223. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGC1tjHCSVE

Pig hunting from a helicopter...wow! I don't know that'd I'd call that hunting as much as "aerial target practice". A former Ranger RRD buddy of mine from Ft. Benning said he's done the same from the side of a little bird helicopter.

I don't doubt that many pigs have fallen to 223. I heard an Alaskan hunting guide once say that, during an emergency, he's dropped brown bear with half a magazine of 223 from a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. I personally have firsthand combat experience using the 5.56 NATO against insurgents in Iraq as an infantry scout with the Marines, and I've written articles about my experiences on www.Military.com and www.SFTT.org, as a contributing editor. I know its lethality on soft-skinned critters, both four-legged and two-legged. The 223's lethality is not the issue that I bring up, friend.

My point is not that the 223 won't do its job if placed well enough by a confident hunter; my point is whether it will humanely dispatch the animal. One shot, one kill. That's the issue I raise. I was taught that there is a Code of Ethics for hunters, and one of the tenets being, "I will do my best to acquire those marksmanship and hunting skills, which insure clean, sportsmanlike kills." If someone can humanely take down a 200+ pound animal with a single shot from a 223, more power to them, and they are a more skilled marksman than I, and I'll tip my hat to them. But if not, they should get a bigger gun.

Have a great evening.

--1911ShooterPhil