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Best Caliber for Hogs



          Typically most hog hunters will use the same gun they use for whitetail. And in most cases this is more than effective. However, if given the option for multiple calibers, we will discuss the best calibers for big feral hogs.

I am a .30-06 nut. I love this caliber. I have used it to kill countless animals across the country and I still believe that it is the one caliber that can kill everything that walks in North America. We will leave the details of the ballistics, and such to others much more versed than I am on that subject. However, when it comes to hogs, I would be carful using a cartridge less than the .30 caliber models.

I know a lot have been killed with the .270 and the .7MM-08 and with proper bullet placement these can and will effectively kill hogs quick and humanely. But in general, bigger is better when it comes to killing hogs. As mentioned in the story about hunting hogs with archery tackle. Hogs especially big hogs have a thick shield on their shoulders and it takes the larger slugs to get through it effectively.

While brain shots with smaller calibers are possible, I cannot recommend it here. There are too many variables to endorse brain shots of hogs. But good neck shots will definitely put them down and save meat, while omitting the issue of the shield on their vitals.

Still, if given a choice I would stick with the .30 caliber models and larger. As mentioned the .30-06, .30-.30, .308, all make excellent hog calibers with my preference leaning to the .308 in this situation. As the calibers get larger all are fine, with my preference at the .44 Rem. magnum, .45-70, .444 Marlin, .454 Casull and even the .460 S&W and .500 S&W are all perfectly suited for feral hogs.

One of my favorite hog guns is the Marlin GBL .45-70, this short carbine with the big lever makes a great pig gun in tight quarters. The bullet is ample for hogs, and the gun is plain fun to shoot.

Since many of the hogs killed are done so right at dark, excellent optics are a must. Great light gathering capabilities such as the Bushnell Legend series are excellent choices for gun hunters. While it is not necessary to purchase a new gun solely for killing hogs, it’s always good to have a reason to get a new gun, and if you are looking for a reason to get a new gun, go find one of these larger bore guns for your feral hog arsenal and you won’t go wrong.