Hog Hunting Firearm Rundown

wild_pigation in check. What’s the best tool for the job? We took a poll at the Shooting Center to get everyone’s thoughts on the best ideas for hog guns. Here are the top five:

5. Any Quality Lever Action Chambered in .30×30 Win

It makes sense that one of the most popular cartridges for deer hunting would be used on hogs. Hogs are often taken during deer hunts, when the deer pickings are slim. Remington’s Hog Hammer 150 grain ammo punches out a gut stomping 1800 ft/lbs of energy into your pigs. Combined with the aid of an accurate, light lever action rifle and you’ve got a recipe for success.

4. Savage 110 Chambered in .30-06

savage 110
I know, it’s just a boring old bolt gun chambered in a common hunting cartridge. However, there a reason why the Savage 110 in .30-06 (or .270) is so common—it works! Designed in the 1950s, Savage’s aim was to create a strong and powerful yet economical rifle for the everyman. Since then, countless thousands have been sold. For dropping hogs, you could do a lot worse. It’s worth noting that Savage also has a complete line of short action bolt guns designed specifically for hog hunting.

3. Mossberg 930 SPX

Mossberg 930
An extremely reliable semi-auto 12-gauge shotgun is something everyone should own and this is a relatively inexpensive step into that world. For less than half the price of a Benelli, you can get into a fully featured and customizable shotgun that will spit slugs downrange with deadly precision. The 930 can pull double duty as a home defense gun as well. Accessories are widely available for this pig rig so you can tune the gun to your exact wants and needs.

2. Any Well Manufactured AR-15

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 2.32.01 PM
Some say the .223/5.56mm NATO round isn’t enough gun for feral hogs. I can assure you from personal experience that this round gets the job done. It’s simply a matter of ammunition. Buy decent hunting ammo and you’ll get your kill in one well-placed shot. Since it is a semi-auto, quick follow up shots are easy and ready if needed. There are hundreds of brands of ARs on the market now, and most of them are pretty decent. Much like the 930, you can accessorize to your heart’s content.

1. Smith & Wesson M&P 10

S&W M&P-10
For those who still believe the .223 isn’t enough gun, here’s plenty of gun. The M&P 10 rests on the inexpensive side of the AR .308s, and has a solid reputation for reliability and accuracy. Just as customizable as any AR platform, the M&P 10 touts itself as the ultimate all-purpose semi-auto rifle. Its 4140 steel barrel has an “in-between” length of 18 inches—longer than a tactical rifle, but shorter than most hunting platforms. This has a minimal effect on performance for either use, yet allows the AR to fill multiple roles better than a 16 or 20-inch barrel could. It’s also worth noting that the M&P 10 requires some sort of aftermarket optic or iron sight.

Do you agree with our list? What guns/calibers to you take hog hunting? Let us know in the comments below.

[Editor’s Note: We apologize for the confusion regarding the included image of a javelina. As we have limited resources, we couldn’t find a good image of the wild hogs we normally love to shoot. Using other people’s images require permission and usually monetary compensation. As for ourselves, we haven’t been able to take a good picture of a feral hog because we get to excited and pull the trigger before we can snap a picture. We apologize if our inclusion of a peccary was upsetting or confusing to some.]

83 Comments On This Article

  1. I use a Sig Sauer 556 Holo. The first hog I shot with an M855 and all it did was make the hog mad. I upgraded my ammo to Remington’s Hog Hammer in .223, and have since dropped numerous hogs in their tracks. My experience shows it is more about the quality of ammo than the caliber. A good .223 (Hog Hammer, Razor Back, Full Boar) is better than a cheap .300 WinMag. You have to be ready for follow-up shots because they will run at the sound of the first shot, but they will return in 5-10 minutes.

  2. I always enjoyed shooting hogs with a 22-250 using 52gr HPBT running just under 4000 fps. I would drop pigs instantly at 130 yds that were large enough they had to be drug off with a pickup. Also used a 308 with 125gr SP running at 2700 fps that was capable of taking 3 pigs with one bullet (just had to wait until they lined up)

    • I have found that quite a few of these Websites’ photo editors have their heads up their arses. They show grizzlies in black bear country, people shooting without eye and ear protection, Cape buffalo to illustrate Arizona bison hunts, improper grip and stance, gross safety violations, and – yes – a peccary in lieu of feral swine. I have seen it all!

  3. I was thinking the same thing but I suspect they just picked a picture of this peccary from the archives. That being said the feral hog situation is of concern. I personally have three guns I like to use, two are AR platforms in 7.62X39 and 6.5 Grendel. They’ll get the job done and the third is the reliable Winchester ’94 AE in .44 Magnum. I live close to the California border and get a chuckle out of the fact they have a pig problem in the southern end of the state but can’t use bullets that contain lead! Self-inflicted restrictions.

  4. I’ve killed hundreds of hogs using a .357Mag lever gun and .223/5.56 AR. This year I am changing it up. I bought an AR10 and built a 6.5 Grendel. I am most excited about the 6.5 Grendel and can hardly wait to start handloading for it.

  5. Springfield M1A Scout is my choice. It is a rifle actually made to handle a .30 cal round, as opposed to the AR platform. All the reliability of a Garand with the 20 round magazine. With a scout optic it is good to 300 plus yards on moving hogs.

  6. The tried-and-true .45-70 will take down any game in North America. Some of the Native Americans called it “shoot today, kill tomorrow.” Slow as molasses, but lethal.

    • I have to agree with the 45-70 I used to have a Marlin 1895SS and still kick myself for ever selling it.
      With that said I now go to it’s younger brother the .45 Colt out of my Taurus Thunderer for deer, hogs and bear

    • For Feral Hogs, 45-70 is what I am using! As a kid, on the ranch my grand farther had a few hogs, I have seen what those tusk can do to boot leather. Slit if like a hot knife does butter. It will do the same thing to a mans leg or belly if they can get you on the ground. Yes a 45-70 and a 405 grain flat nosed bullet should stop that beast cold. Oh, yes and the picture is not a feral hog it is a Javelina, I took one of those with a 25-06 and the second on with my Hawken 50 cal C&B rifle. They can be just as dangerous so you want to put them down quick. I agree with dorabo, photo editors don’t get out much and they sure don’t have a clue about the subject of an article unless someone shows them.

  7. I think the 7.62X39 with the proper bullet and within range limitations would be great. The cartridge has much more potential than can be realized in common AK variants……accuracy is important in a hunting rifle…..a CZ mini Mauser is a great option, lightweight, low recoil…… ….I love my SCAR 17s…..it is becoming my go to rifle. It is as accurate as my Remington M24, has less recoil for very quick follow up shots. The bottom line in hunting has always been about bullet placement, a well placed 223 would be adaquate but for me……I insist on clean kills and would have to be very sure where the bullet was going before pulling the trigger.

  8. The only reason I clicked on this was because the javelina picture where a feral hog picture should be.
    I mean seriously? You claim to be an “outdoor” publication.
    Pull your head from your fifth point of contact and pay attention to detail.

  9. Michael Eugene Thornton

    A SOCOM .458 or Beowulf .50 are good short range hammers and anything that the.30-30 can do the.7.62X39 mm can replicate fairly well with good hunting ammo. Per shot, the 5.56X45 mm is probably the least expensive way to harvest feral porcines and have follow up shots for other pigs.

  10. Maybe I’m too old fashioned, but I’ll keep using my trusty 8×57 Mauser. White tails or hogs…..hasn’t failed me yet. Tried and true.

  11. I’m a strong believer in .270 and up for hogs. Nothing I hate worse than to get a good shot and the critter runs off, sometime even after the hit rolled it over. It’s true that a lethal shot in a smaller caliber can do the job, but I’ve seen plenty of evidence in wounded hogs running off after a .223 hit. Hogs move constantly, and seldom pose for the perfect shot angle. As I get older and shakier, I’m starting to consider the .338 Lapua! Not really. I have three .270s with differing optics for differing situations and am setting up a .308 Scout rifle for night use. Just good old fashioned bolt actions, except for a BAR. Note to self: don’t buy another semi-auto thinking to get rapid follow-up shots at night. The muzzle flash blanks out the night scope longer than it takes to operate the bolt on a bolt action. In daylight the BAR is fine, but with the occasional FTE. Lately I’ve been sticking with the bolts; old fashioned like I am. As soon as I develop good accurate load for the .308 I’ll put the night scope on it, and maybe suppress it later.

    • Javelina are not related to rodents other than they are both mammals. Rodents are in a completely different family order.

    • From what I’ve been told they make great pets. They bond very easily with those that show them the least affection and attention and feed them regularly. Years ago I spoke with a lady down in Tilden that used to take her’s to town and walk it on a leash. She said it used to cry like a baby when she walked too far away from it.

    • Nope , your thinking of capybara ( world’s largest rodent , over100 lbs ) . Peccaries belong to the mammalian order of Artiodactyla (pigs , hippos , camels , deer , giraffes , antelope , sheep , goats , and cattle )
      Rodents are a different mammalian order , Rodentia ,which are characterized by a single pair of continuously growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws !
      While ,not related to rodents , a Peccaries do taste like rabbit ( avoid the nasty scent gland in lower back area ! ! ! )

  12. I am surprised how many people do not know what a feral hog or a ‘wild’ hog is. They are domestic hogs that have been in the woods long enough to become feral or wild hogs. Growing up in South East Texas in the ’50’s I have killed more with my Ruger Single Six than any other gun. The dogs bayed them and I put one right between their eyes. Still have the problem with them and with no dogs I now use a Ruger AR. Traps work best and you can sell them at auction (they are pork). You can also pen them, feed them corn for a few months and make and smoke the best sausage, we did in the’50’s.

  13. I think you missed the best option of the bunch. Springfield M1A socom or scout. Short maneuverable and plenty of stopping power with the advantage of quick follow up shots for multiples.


    1. Marlin 1895SS with Williams FP aperture rear and ramp front sights and maximum (safe) handloads with Speer 400 gr. JFP and Winchester brass .

    2. Marlin 1895LTD-V with Williams FP aperture rear and ramp front sights and handloads with Remington brass and bullets cast in Lyman no. 2 alloy from RCBS 45-500-FN mould and sized to .458″.

    3. Savage 99C in 308 Win rebarreled to 338 Federal with Williams aperture rear and ramp front sights, see-through scope mounts, and Lisenfeld 3-9×42 scope with German no. 4 reticle, handloads with Nosler 225 gr. Partitions.

    4. Savage 99C in 308 rebarreled to 358 Winchester with Williams aperture and ramp front sights, see-through scope mounts, and Lisenfeld 3-9×42 scope with German no. 4 reticle, handloads with Nosler 225 gr. Partitions.

    5. Springfield Armory M1A Scout in 7.62×51 NATO with National Match aperture rear sight, see-through scope mounts, and Leupold 4-12×50 scope with German no. 4 reticle. Sellier 180 gr lead-free factory loads used at this time, head shots preferred.


    6. Remington 7400 in 35 Whelen with Williams aperture rear and ramp front sights, see-through scope mounts, and Lisenfeld 4-12×58 scope, handloads with Nosler 250 gr. Partitions. Used for stalking or sitting on stand, especially when boar hunting for boar at night just before and just after full moon.

    7. Remington 7600 in 35 Whelen with Williams aperture rear and ramp front sights, see-through scope mounts, and Lisenfeld 3-9×42 scope, handloads with Nosler 250 gr. Partitions. Used for drive hunts, owing to magazine capacity restriction for semiauto rifles.

    For hunting Eurasian boar in Germany the 35 Whelen 250 gr. handloads were used, as German weapons law prohibits handloading the 45-70 to its potential even in the Marlin 1895. Also, German hunting law restricts semiauto rifles to a 2-roung magazine capacity. The 35 Whelen handload with 250 gr. Nosler Partitions was chosen, because it is very close in ballistics to the all-purpose 9.3×62 Mauser load with 286 gr. bullet used in Eurasia and Africa.

  15. Dick McNary - McNary Firearms Manufacturing

    I fully agree that the AR-15 firing a .223 or 5.56 round is a bit light for Higs. But, if they are chambered to take the 300 Blackout you now have a round that will do the job nicely. Any of the AR-10 are also great as the .308 round will dispatch a hog quickly. The newest member of the AR family chambered in 7.62×39 will surly do the job as AK-47 have proven this in the past. There are many firearms that will get a hog down for the count and it is best to pick one that will do it quick and without question.

  16. Dick McNary - McNary Firearms Manufacturing

    As we manufacture custom ARs and AKs in all of the common platforms we have made several for hog hunters. Many are from Texas and a few from the southern eastern states. The only issues we have had are complaints from customers who expect the AR chambered in the common .223 will meat their expectations to be the end all hunting rifle. It just wasnt designed to be that. Recently, the US military is considering changing to a heaver round with more take down power.

  17. This is going to sound odd but i use 2 different guns for hog.
    If open field with long range i use a 224.00 Mosin Nagant fitted with an inexpensive scope.
    The 7.62 x 54R will stop anything short of an armored personnel carrier, so hog is simple.
    If in a dense area i use a surplus SKS that i picked up in never issued condition for 399.00.
    10 rounds of semi-auto 7.62×39 makes follow up shots quick and easy.
    Ammo for both is extremely cheap though the mosin surplus is drying up and the guns themselves are indestructible.
    Yes the Mosin is on the heavy side but nothing my 18 yr old daughter can’t get used to.
    Heck an old Chillean Mauser in 7mm can be had for 149.00 or rechambered in 7.62 Nato for 199.00 and will do the job just as well.
    Yea their not as “sexy” as an AR-15 with every attachment known to man, or a shotgun that doubles as a cannon but the point (to me at least) is killing the hog, besides most places ive hunted has magazine capacity limits so what good is a 100 round drum on a $2500 AR when over 5 rounds will get you in trouble

  18. As a southern boy me and my dad have always used a bolt action 22 repeater. the ammo of choice is Winchester 22 lr hp. It has never failed to get the job done. We have a 95% kill rate on first round and 100% with next one. Ranger Bob

    • 30-30 has identical ballistics to the 7.62X39……just has a rimless case and shorter overall length. Both are great short to medium range cartridges…………..

  19. Ken, you might want to check your facts a little closer before making that statement. Here is a quick definition of a peccary for you:

    A peccary (also javelina or skunk pig) is a medium-sized hoofed mammal of the family Tayassuidae (New World pigs) in the suborder Suina along with the Old World pigs, Suidae. They are found throughout Central and South America and in the southwestern area of North America. (Wikipedia)

    And here’s another just for fun:

    The collared peccary, also referred to as a Javelina or musk-hog, may resemble a pig, however, peccaries belong to a completely different family than true pigs. The collared peccary belongs to the Tayassuidae family while pigs belong to the Suidae family. The reasoning behind this separation is a result of anatomical differences between the animals.

    Collared peccaries are a widespread animal which range from South-western United States through Central America and into South America. In South and Central America the collared peccary prefers to live in the tropical rain forests. Although, in North America they can be found roaming the deserts, which are particularly rich with prickly pears.

    The javelina is definitely pig-like in appearance, however, they tend to be smaller than pigs with longer, thinner legs. As well, the collared peccary has a large head with a long snout and razor-sharp tusks which point towards the ground. Their coats are thick and bristly with a dark grey color and a ring of white fur around their neck, which looks a lot like a collar. The collared peccary also has a very strong musk gland located on the top of their rump. In fact it is so strong that you will often smell this animal before you see it. (A – Z Animals)

    (Side Note: if you should bag one of these that musk gland is the very first thing you want to remove. Do not use the same knife for this removal that you plant to start the gutting process with, You will use at least 2 knives in the gutting process or you will have to stop and resharpen the gutting knife. In fact don’t use that knife on anything else without first washing it with soap and very hot water. what ever you do, do not puncher that gland if you do, not only have you ruined the meat but the hide as well) (Yes, you can eat this little piggy and this brings another meaning to baby back ribs)

    I think you are confusing the peccary with the porcupines which are rodents.

  20. Ruger Super Blackhawk 44mag has always been my Wild Hog choice of weapon. But second would be S&W model 29 and model 94 Winchester 30-30 for a long gun.

  21. We go to Texas every year wild (Russian Bore) hog hunting and use 12ga, 300 Black Out, .556 with 69Gr, 6.5 Grendel, and SBR 6.8 SPC with 120Gr SST which works the best. All Suppressed aside from the scatter gun. We shoot 25 hogs average in 3 days. #Apocalypse2017

  22. Why don’t we use the lower popular 6.8 SPC in our AR-15’s. I think that would do the trick quite nicely, thank you very much!!! Stop those porkers smack dead in their tracks.

  23. That’s a Javelina, not a wild hog. A Javalina is a game animal and hunting is regulated by the state. A wild hog is vermin and can be shot all year round. Better get your pictures straight!

  24. When it comes to Hogs, think Keith, the bigger the better till your shoulder hurts. I use the highest SD this side of a 800 gr .510 and it is a Hunting bullet first, SD=.413, BC=.620. It is fired from a BFR, a Henry, and a MRC V2.

  25. Based on the recommendations of others, I’ve merged the best of both the 30-30 and the AR15 by building an AR15 in 7.62×39 caliber. Hogs is not the other reason I pursued this particular build but they are the main reason. Although I have not had a chance to try this out yet I’m very much looking forward to it.

  26. If everyone followed the rule of never pulling the trigger without a sure kill, most hog hunters would only need a 22 magnum.

  27. I have taken hogs over 350# with a single 125 gr supersonic 300 Blackout. I have AR’s, AAC Handi Rifle and Ruger American in that caliber and it works just fine on hogs.

  28. A Maryland Lawyer

    What about the .300 Blackout in an AR-15 format rifle…
    Is it not the perfect combination for wild hogs…?

    • Dick McNary - McNary Firearms Manufacturing

      We manufacture ARs in several formats for customers that are looking for an ideal round for hunting hogs. We frequently recommend that the 300 Blackout is a great all around caliber for hunting in North America. We don’t recommend it for game larger than a whitetail. Some have asked to have us build it for Moose hunting and it is our opinion that it isnt the ideal caliber for that ppurpose. For hogs, it will do the job niicely. No matter what caliber of handgun, shotgun or rifle you decide on what really matters if shot placement.

  29. Liberty's Advocate

    I’ve never had one run away after being hit with a 150 gr. Winchester Power Point from my A-Bolt .300 Win Mag … even at ranges of 250+ yards. Night optics or Day/Night scopes make stalking or standing near baited locations a lot of fun.

  30. Liberty's Advocate

    I’ve never had one run away after being hit with a 150 gr. Winchester Power Point from my A-Bolt .300 Win Mag … even at ranges of 250+ yards. Night optics or Day/Night scopes make stalking or standing near baited locations a lot of fun. Some call it over-kill. I call it sure kill.

  31. SKS with Silver Bear 124 grain Soft Point (7.62×39). Highly effective, have to become acclimated to the battle trigger of the SKS and yes the jacket will separate from the core on this Russian soft point ammo. I’ve killed many hogs up top 150 yards (haven’t tried further on hogs) and deer out to 200 yards. Normally they just flop around then die, occasionally you get a runner but if you placed your shot properly they aren’t going far.
    Don’t recommend this setup for “big game” like Elk, Moose, or Bear but it will handle anything in Southeast Texas.

  32. Here is Georgia we have in some areas with an abundance of wild hogs. I prefer to hunt them from up wind carrying either a Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter in .44 magnum or a Glock 40 MOS in 10 mm. I also carry a short trigger stick to shoot from the kneeling or sitting position.

  33. Not much for hog hunting in Montana, but I believe my 45-70 would do just fine. Maybe even my Ruger 44 mag Super Blackhawk

  34. I use what ever I have at the time. Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor, M14 (civilianized), Marlin 30-30, Winchester Model 70 in 300 WSM.

  35. While I do like my long guns, I prefer using a revolver for northern Calif. hogs. I use either a Ruger Super Redhawk, with 300 grain Hornady XTP bullet. Pushed to 1250fps. Works wonders on big hogs. Leopold 2x handgun scope on top.
    When the game gets bigger (elk or buffalo) Taurus Raging Bull 454 Casual, Same weight and make bullet only magnum version. 1875fps. Optics vary. Haven’t found one that doesn’t break.

  36. rudymacias67@gmail.com

    I use my trusty and faithful SKS for killing HOGS. The 7.62×39 is a HOG KILLING MACHINE. When it hits it tumbles beautiful, there is never any running involved.

  37. Well I have used my 2506 to hunt wild boar in North Carolina and they dropped on the spot hand loads with 120 grain round nose. I have a new 6.5 creedmoor to try out on them and I think it will do even better at taken them down. Load your own ammo and find a bullet that works for you and shoot placement does more then using a large bore rifle and you can eat the meat as it isn’t all tore up.