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Calibers for feral pigs?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Arbee, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. Arbee


    May 15, 2000
    DFW - Texas
    What's the minimum round needed to kill a feral pig? I am not asking what will work if you're lucky, because I value life and limb, and am not a great tree climber any more. What's the minumum that's sure to kill if I hit my target?

  2. Well I am no expert by any means, but would start with a minimum of a 30 caliber such as a 308, 30-06. Smaller calibers will work, but keep in mind that it depends on how big the pigs are? Also I like to have a sidearm with me if hunting these animals.

  3. eisman

    eisman ARGH! CLM

    Jul 28, 2002
    Moving Target
    I hunt pigs with a 6.5 using 159 gr Honady bullets. No problems. I have also used a .41 magnum handgun.
  4. Mwinter

    Mwinter I'm MilkMan Dan

    Oct 26, 2001
    Bullet selection is just as important as caliber to me....
    hogs have surprising amounts of gristle plate, muscles, fat and other bullet-slowing layers. Some 'deer' projectiles will sometimes simply fail.
    The Winchester Failsafe (.270 and above), Federal 220gr SP in .30-06, HCL in .45-70/.44Mag, and 12ga slugs (Brenneke) have all performed well for me.
    I've also heard good things about Cor-Bon's Penetrator FMJ sidearm rounds.
  5. Beaten

    Beaten Brand X

    Jul 4, 2001
    Austin, Texas
    The only thing I haev ever hunted hogs with here in Texas with my dad was 4 dogs and a Ka Bar knife. But now that I moved out on my own I hunt them with either my Rem 742 30.06 or my Matlin 45/70. I do still like going with my dad hunting with a knife and dogs but I carry my G29 also ;b
  6. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    Small pigs under 150 pounds:
    44 mag revolver
    10mm Glock - close in

    Larger pigs farther away:
    7mm rem mag
    300 win mag
    Big rounds
  7. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

    Apr 28, 2002
    Above ground
    .30-06 because you can load it with heavy bullets for large hogs but also use it for deer, elk, etc. etc. Therefore you would have more than just a hog rifle you'd have a very versatile rifle. I guess that's why .30-06 is the best selling rifle cartridge in the US. Which brings up another plus for this round. You can find the round anywhere that sells ammo.
  8. Tom Horn

    Tom Horn Duty & Country

    Jul 9, 2002
    Belly of the Beast
    12 gauge #1 buckshot - full choke.

    If you want to preserve the meat - then use slugs.
  9. For the big hogs (300+ pounds) the 45/70 will stop them cold if hit right, anything smaller and you have to track them down. The big guys go down hard, as hard as a big black bear. I have heard from people that the 450 Marlin and say it works as good as the 45/70. Use big, heavy, deep penetating, bullets to stop the big guys. With a handgun, use nothing less than a 41 Mag with heavy solid bullets. I have never seen a pig go very far after taking a 400 grain or so solid from a 45/70.
  10. yeap 30.06 all arounder
  11. Grey Wolf

    Grey Wolf SHEEP DOG

    Feb 7, 2001
    SW Michigan
    125 grain Magnus 2 blades, 60lb hoyt compound, 2213 Aluminum's... and no fear... well maybe a little.;f

    Grey Wolf
  12. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    Friend of mine knocked off about a dozen in northern CA with a .44 Super Redhawk and good shooting. Then he had one that didn't wanna die, soaked up 6 rounds (the first was deflected and annoyed it, the second and third were fatal and the others were decoration, it was dead, it just didn't know it yet) and as he was getting up from prone and looking for a tree to scamper up his backup gunner with a .30-30 knocked it over from one side with a single shot. His second and third shots shredded the lungs, the others were peripheral. The .30-30 broke a shoulder and dropped it. Now he hunts pigs with a .30-30. :)

    This was not a small pig. If I remember right it was in the 200-350lb plus range.
  13. Fox

    Fox Varmit Control

    Nov 7, 2001
    .30-30 Winchester

    .32 Winchester Special

    .303 Savage
  14. safetyslug

    safetyslug Hogs Beware

    Sep 4, 2002
    SJ, CA
    I hunt pigs in CA and I have taken them with a wide range of calibers (rifle and pistol). If you want the rule of thumb check out this guide by CA DFG

    This guide gives a list of calibers for pigs under 90lbs and over 90lbs.
  15. Fox

    Fox Varmit Control

    Nov 7, 2001
    Blackpowder cartridges:




    The .32-40 winchester lever-action rifle would be my choice.

    Muzzle-loading calibers: .45, .50, .54, & .58 using patched roundballs for the small ones, heavy conicals for the big 'uns.
  16. 40Cal

    40Cal Modurbator

    Mar 7, 2001
    Tampa, FL
    Anyone ever taken a smaller pig with .223? Seems to me that a head shot would be pretty effective.
  17. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    So what's the skinny with knocking off a dozen hogs?

    That's a lot of meat isn't it?

  18. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    That CA hog pamphlet is nice but what, 10mm and 41 mag handguns aren't allowed for shooting small hogs?

  19. marvin

    marvin sci-fi nut

    Mar 26, 2001
    greentown ind.
    boy i love this one. 1st pig 175# went to 50 cal muzzel loader 385 grain lead 100 grains of powder. in under chin out left ham no trailing. #2 went to 357 mag 158 grain exp loaded to 1450. 3 shoots one to both lungs then 2 more farther back as he ran a way. all broad side none recovered went about 150 yards good blood trail. went 225 field dressed. #3 went to 50 cal again this time 100 yards away with 300 grain exp to left shoulder found under skin on right side. perfect mushroom went 25 to 50 yards the pig was the biggest yet but didn't get a weight.
  20. safetyslug

    safetyslug Hogs Beware

    Sep 4, 2002
    SJ, CA
    It is not that the .41 and 10mm are not allowed, just not recommended. Remember if you read the section before the list-o-calibers, the measurement they use for small pigs is the bullet must have 800lbs+ of energy at 50 yards and for large pigs they want 1200Lbs+. This is a guideline for new hunters (or to those who have not taken pig).

    However, that said I am more than sure if you are point blank to 15 yards from a pig and you place your shot correctly even a .22 could kill a pig.

    Well make that a CA pig. Now a Russian boar on the otherhand:

    If you could bag one of these with a .41 or 10mm then my hat is off to you. I will stick with my .454 or .480 =)