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Help with pig load

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by amcardon, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. amcardon

    amcardon Mustang, OK Member

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    Hey guys, I'm going to hunt pigs in a couple weeks and will be taking my 30-06 (for big pigs or shots >150yds) and a couple ARs. If they were available, I would pick up a 6.8 SPC upper and call it good, but since they are quite unavailable right now... Anyway, I am going to load some 223 with 55 grain Hornady SP and WC844 and was hoping some of you might chime in with a good load suggestion. I typically run 24-25 grains 844 for a 55 gn FMJ or V-Max, but haven't loaded SP before, especially for hunting anything other than paper. I guess I also have a pound of 4895 I could use as well.

    FWIW they will be shot out of either a 16" 1:9 CM carbine gas, 16" CL 1:7 mid gas, or 20" stainless bull 1:8 rifle gas.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Unlike some, pigs are the main big-game I hunt, the name of the game in this is penetration, and nearly all shots are close fast running shots. Forget taking a big bolt gun with a scope, dot sights and battle sights are the name of the game here.

    If you're going with the .223 (I use an AR-15 carbine as well) I would highly recommend getting some of the barnes TSX, as lightly constructed bullets will have great difficulty penetrating the heart/lung.

    When I took my first pig, I did it with a large .308 bolt action rifle I usually use for shooting distance... I carried it around for a week, it was heavy, I missed a number of running shots because the scope wasn't well suited to taking running shots and I couldn't cycle the bolt fast enough. Also, when I finally got a chance to take a pig, the 150gr softpoint bullet I was using did the job, however when butchering the carcass it became very clear it was not the right gun for the job.

    Since then, most of the pigs I've shot have been close range, usually well under 100 yards, some less than 50. The barnes TSX and other copper bullets do a very good job of penetrating through the heart-lung cavity, if you don't know, there is a heavy cartilage layer on the shoulders and chest of wild pigs, this protects them when fighting in the wild, however it causes lightly constructed bullets to explode before doing any real damage. Even the 150gr Softpoint I used the first time barely penetrated into the heart cavity, and did not exit the other side. It seemed clear to me that the Softpoint was simply going so fast it exploded and destroyed a lot of tissue before penetrating deeply.

    Another good selection that I havn't had a chance to try yet is the hornady GMX, either in a 50 or 55gr loading. Just remember, pigs are a close in game, so you're bullet is barely going to have any time to bleed off muzzle velocity, the heavier the bullet construction the better.
     
  3. amcardon

    amcardon Mustang, OK Member

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    I would love to try some Barnes but I can't find them in stock anywhere...

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2
     
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    AMP aside asking about pig hunting on a PNW based forum is bound to be less then productive. As we have almost no wild pigs up here. In fact in the last 5 years I have only heard about one small area near Madras that has any numbers of wild pigs. So the only people here that might have some experiance would be either someone recently transplanted or someone who travels out of the area to hunt pigs. Both would be rare.
     
  5. amcardon

    amcardon Mustang, OK Member

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    Yes, I know they are rare, but I also know there's a number of guys on here that regularly hunt pigs in CA and other states as well as others that are obsessed with reloading and would know a solid pig round from hanging around reloading forums. I moved from PDX to OK so I'm still partial to NWF but posted a similar thread on my local forum. I got quite a few responses there but AMPs response was one of the best.

    I knew it was a bit of a long-shot posting a pig hunting question here, but figured it couldn't hurt! Now if I could just find some Barnes TSX in stock somewhere... :)
     
  6. Don H

    Don H Oregon Well-Known Member

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  7. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Mark, you know me, I am both a recent transplant, and someone who hunts pigs in CA... As a consequence I know at least a bit about the subject. Also, by comparison, deer are really easy to hunt as long as they're not in season, and havn't been spooked by all the goobers out blasting away at them. I've had more unsuccessful pig hunts than I have had successful hunts, even when I knew exactly where they were.

    Wow, I poked at some of my usual sources for these and nothing... wow! until now most people have been leaving the high-dollar bullets alone.

    Try calling Rick over at: Phillips Wholesale | Home this place is down the street from where I used to live, and he stocks tons of barnes stuff, and when I was there 2 weeks ago, he had lots of stuff, not sure if he had any TSX, but he did have a ton of varmint grenades in .22 caliber. In fact, when I was there, the only component bullets he had were barnes, and a bag of PRVI 303 brit bullets.