Hog Hunting: Which Bullet to use???

Discussion in 'Texas Hunting & Fishing' started by ConnRadd, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. ConnRadd

    ConnRadd Active Member

    Here's a write up from a Ballistics Guy on another forum. I'm not looking to debate, just want to share some helpful information for people that might be new to Hog Hunting.

    Written By: Burt
    TEXASBOARS.COM :: View topic - Ammo Advice For Newbies

    We get many questions repeated by new hog hunters on this forum, regarding
    what calibers and bullet types to use on hogs.
    This is my feeble attempt to answer some of those questions in general.
    Not everybody will agree with me of course.

    First off, consider the knife, the spear, and the arrow.
    These weapons do not have the speed or the impact of a bullet.
    Yet, they kill hogs, and have done so for thousands of years.
    This is because they have the penetration needed.

    Without penetration to the vital organs, all that striking energy of a bullet
    will do little more than stun an animal for a length of time.
    They may eventually bleed to death, and then again maybe not.
    This is of little use to you if the hog has run off several hundred yards into
    heavy cover after getting hit.
    Such a situation may also make for a very hairy experience, if you try to track
    down a wounded boar...

    So above all else, regardless of the caliber or the cartridge used, shot placement
    and penetration MUST be good enough. If either placement or penetration falls short,
    you will not be a happy camper.

    Keep in mind that a bullet used in a broadside shot may be adequate, and yet fall
    short in penetration if a shot from a shallow angle is tried.
    Hogs are three dimensional targets, as are any animal.
    Try to visualize the path the bullet will travel through the target.
    Try to visualize where that bullet should exit on the opposite side.
    Failure to do this has caused many a bad shot, even on deer.

    Aim small, miss small. Always try to narrow down your aim point on any animal.
    Do not simply shoot at the entire animal, go for a specific location on
    the animal. This simple thing is often overlooked by many people.
    This one thing separates the good shooter from the "tourist".

    Now, as for specific suggestions:
    First off, be aware that you will always find controversy when it comes to the
    subject of what caliber, what cartridge, and what bullet to use.

    Rifle Stuff:

    Many hogs have fallen to the .223 Remington, and even some smaller rounds.
    This works for those people that take careful shots that are well placed, and
    in situations where they have the time to do this.
    This also assumes the bullet used has enough penetration.

    The advantage of the .22 caliber center fires is the lack of recoil.
    This also applies to the various 6 MM rounds, like the .243 Winchester.
    Obviously, not everybody can tolerate the recoil of a .45-70, or even a .30-06 for that matter.
    If you don't flinch and jerk the trigger, you stand a better chance of putting
    the bullet where it needs to go.

    Now, it is my opinion that the so called premium bullets really are a big help here
    in the smaller calibers.
    Nosler Partitions, Nolser Accubond, Barnes X Triple Shocks, bullets like those are a very good
    idea here. If you don't reload, the Federal line of factory ammo is a great
    line to look at first. Federal loads bullets made by many makers, not just their own.
    This is one of the main reasons I always suggest Federal right off the bat.
    They also load all of these various bullets in the larger calibers, along with
    their own "Fusion" bullet. ( It has a bonded jacket / core )

    Update, January 2009:
    Hornady is coming out with a new all copper bullet, called the GMX.
    No doubt due to the move in some places to ban lead in bullets.
    These should work well on hogs I suspect. Time will tell.

    When you get into the larger calibers such as .270 on up, I think there are two ways
    to go.

    1. Use the lower cost "deer bullets", but stay with heavy bullets for the caliber.
    Examples: 140 and 150 grain in .270, 165 and 180 grain in .30 caliber.
    These bullets are the older style "cup and core" bullets. They have no jacket bonded
    to the core, they have no partition, they are not made of 100% copper...
    Even here, you will run into controversy right away.
    Many people swear the Remington Cor-Lokt bullets work well for them.
    Others swear AT the Remington Cor-Lokts, if you follow me.
    Now, Remington has another line of ammo called Premier® Core-Lokt® Ultra Bonded®
    These bullets have jackets bonded to the bullet's core, and should work
    well. Do not confuse them with the lower cost regular Core-Lokt ammo.

    2. Use a premium bullet, such as the Nosler Partition, the Barnes X Triple shock, or
    a Federal factory loaded "Fusion" bullet. ( It has a bonded jacket / core )
    You can use a lighter weight bullet often times if you go this route, compared
    to the cup and core bullets.
    As an example, the .30 caliber, 130 grain Barnes X Triple Shock works very well.
    Of course, heavier bullets are also loaded by Federal with the Barnes brand, should
    you still desire a heavier bullet.

    Update on Nosler Ballisitc Tip bullets:

    Nosler "Hunting Ballistic Tip" bullets.
    In the early 1990's, the Nolser Ballistic Tip bullets developed a bad
    reputation for blowing up on deer sized animals, let alone larger stuff.
    Since that time, Nosler has improved that bullet. Recent reports from
    people on this forum state that the "Hunting Ballistic Tip" bullets are now
    taking out hogs much better than the original ballistic tips did.

    Many people see no need to carry one. Others feel better with one in addition
    to their rifle.
    If you use a small caliber, stay with a full metal jacket bullet.
    ( Examples, the .380 automatic, 9mm Makarov, 9mm Luger )
    Hollow point bullets expand, and you trade off penetration when you get expansion
    with a handgun bullet.
    Again, this is especially true with the lower powered handguns.
    Remember, penetration kills.
    Of course, the use of these smaller calibers is not generally suggested, other
    than as a last resort, close range deal. Still, there are those that use them..

    The larger caliber handguns ( .357, .41. , .44., .45 ) are obviously more
    dependable. Even here, you should use either hard cast bullets, or jacketed
    soft points. Stay away from hollow points. Penetration kills.
    Bullets that work well for defense from other humans tend to be the
    bullets that expand fast. Anti personnel bullets are not usually good anti hog bullets.

    An exception to this: Very close range use with hog dogs present.
    In this situation, complete penetration of the hog may well expose the
    dogs to getting hit accidentally. In this situation, the use of lighter
    hollow point bullets in the larger handgun calibers makes sense.

    12 Gage Shotguns:
    00 Buckshot is only effective at very close ranges.
    Buckshot is usually fairly soft, and the pattern spreads out at
    any real distance. Being soft, and not weighing much per pellet means...a lack of
    penetration at any real distance. Not enough pentration...you just made
    the hog mad. As with the hollow point handgun bullets, buckshot works pretty well
    on people at close range. But, hogs are hogs, not people.

    Rifled slugs and sabot slugs.
    You have a lot better chance with these. ( Usually )
    The sabot loads in rifled shotgun barrels pretty much do what a .45-70 does.
    That should tell you something right there.

    The original style hollow base lead slugs have been deemed not quite good enough
    by some people, when it comes to penetration. They are
    pretty soft lead, which allows them to swage down when fired from
    a barrel with a choke in it. The fact they are soft might increase the expansion
    factor, at the loss of some penetration.
    I freely admit that I have not tried these on hogs, but simply include here
    what I have seen others say.
    Onward Through The Hog !

    Last edited by Burt on Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:22 am; edited 5 times in total

  2. ftw13

    ftw13 Active Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    Fort Worth
    .223/5.56,7.62x39,7.62x51(.308) all those are fine....and good old .30-30 can't go wrong with any of those
  3. jake75

    jake75 Active Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    Hurst, TX
    Depends on what size pig your shooting. My brother in law kills them with my Marlin Model 60 .22 or a 270 from a distance. I like to use a 7.62 round and a 9mm or 40 up close. 3030 is a good round and i'd use it if I could ever sight my rifle in.
  4. BurkGlocker

    BurkGlocker Active Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    Burkburnett, TX
    I've used Hornady 165 gr SSTs out of my .308 for years and havent had one take more than a few steps... But like most people will tell you... Shot placement is above all else... A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .50 cal...
  5. Big country

    Big country TGT Addict

    Mar 6, 2009
    Cedar Park,TX
    I plan on using the 150 gr sst with my 30-06 in a few weeks on pigs. I also use regular old soft points ie win power points, fed SPs. I'd say that just about any bullet will kill just about anything, only some are better than others.
  6. ConnRadd

    ConnRadd Active Member

    My .308 150 gr sst has been a great bullet for hogs. I found those Hornady SuperFormance for the .270. Can't wait to test them bad boys out.

    .270 130 gr SST SuperFormance:
    Muzzle...........100......... 200......... 300 ......... 400......... 500
    3200/2955 2984/2570 2778/2228 2582/1924 2393/1653 2213/1414
  7. Big country

    Big country TGT Addict

    Mar 6, 2009
    Cedar Park,TX
    At the range yesterday the federal 150 sp and the Winchester pp grouped a little better than the Hornady sst 150 did, but when we go pig hunting in two weeks I wanted a better bullet as this will be the first time for my wife so I want the best bullet I can get so that the odds of a one shot kill are still high even if she wiffs it and puts it in the shoulder.
  8. ConnRadd

    ConnRadd Active Member

    I took the LR-308 at the range and shot it a few times using the SSTs and each hole was touching. But, different guns will react different to the same ammo. Once you figure out which ammo works best for your rifle, better load up. Even try to get the same lot # if you can...

    Big C, what rifle is your wife planning to shoot with?
  9. Big country

    Big country TGT Addict

    Mar 6, 2009
    Cedar Park,TX
    My 30-06. She will be getting a 243 soon (within the next few months) as she shot an SKS and we likened the recoil to the 243 and she liked it so that is what she will get but right now she's stuck with my 06. LOL!
  10. ConnRadd

    ConnRadd Active Member

    I plan on bringing my .270 and my .308. So, she can have a chance to shoot the .270. Over the weekend, my wife came up to me asking to shoot it. So, that told me that she wasn't affraid of it.

    When are you guys planning to head up there?


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