View Full Version : possible taking a pig with a 223?
Can it be done? Would a 55gr or a 69gr be a better bullet? FMJ or HP? If no on a 223 what about a 357mag out of a 4" barrel?
Here is the story. I'm going hog hunting and I have three guns to choose from each with their own downfall.
AR15= A tack driver with .5 MOA groups out to 300yards but under powered for pigs.
357 Revo= Enough power but limited to 50 yards for a well placed shot.
30-30 (borrowed)= Lots of power but not a great shooter even out to 100 yards. We are talking 6-7 inches which just stinks for a rifle. Its a very old rifle with irons and no way to mount some glass for better shooting.
If I took the 30-30 it would be for shots out to 50 yards or less and I can do that with my Revo which I would rather take. If I take the AR15 I can make a well place shot just under the sholder out at 100 yards. If its 50 yards or less I can unholster my 357 for the shot under the arm. My hunting buddy will have a 7mm rifle if things go bad with my shot. What should I bring?
I have been doing some reading on the web and have found that people have taken boars with 55gr 220 swift rounds. I bet a hot 223 round in the 3000fps range would do the job with a neck shot. What do you think?
I took a 328lb Russian boar with my Colt Sporter Match HBAR. I used a Winchester 64gr Power Point. My first shot was just under the eye with a second shot going through the roof of the mouth exiting behind the ear(I was shooting up hill). Both my shots were under a hundred yards. Shot placement is paramount. My first shot was low as my weapon was dead on at 100 yards. I held on the boars eye not taking in to account my scope was 4 inches above the barrel so the bullet was still rising. Trapfan
A .223 with Winchester 64 grain JSP or Federal 55-grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw will do the trick with neck shots and head shots. I would take the neck shot over the shoulder shot myself, as the target area seems to be about the same size. My experience with neck shots is that they don't run off, they just go down kicking for a few minutes until they bleed out. I am sure a spine shot would just drop them motionless, but I have not accomplished that yet.
When I lived in Australia I went Feral Hog hunting up around Darwin.
I'd read all the Austrailian hunting magazines and a lot of the folks down under were real fond of the .22-250 and .220 Swift as a all around hunting cartridge.
I had a beautiful little Sako .223 and a 6.5x55 Sweedish Mauser that I had sporterized myself. Since everyone down there loved the .22
s I figured the .223 would be fine for pigs.
First morning out pig hunting I carried the .223 and kept the Mauser in the back of the truck. First Mob of pigs we came upon I bailed out of the land cruiser and went running after. A big boar came across the road in front of me and stopped to look at me. I was using 62 gr PMC soft points. Put the cross hairs just behind the shoulder and pulled the trigger. Saw the puff of dust raise up on his shoulder just where I aimed and the pig dropped to the ground. I turned and chased after some other pigs, saw another one in the tall grass and shot at it, ended up being a small sow, I only wounded her and she started squealing, well like a stuck pig, Another boar must have thought someone was getting into his sow because he came charging across an open field towards us. I hit the boar 3 times with the .223 while my partner hit him twice with a .243, it went down after the second hit from the .243. I then went back to the squealing sow and put one in her head. When we went to try and find the first boar I had we tracked him through tall grass for a long ways and lost the blood trail.
To make a long story short, 3 pigs, all hit with good shots, didn't go down to the .223. I quickly switched to the 6.5 x 55 Mauser for the rest of the trip. Hunted for 5 days, shot 7 more pigs, none of them required a second shot from the Mauser (one did get hit by both my partner and I).
Those were feral hogs, none over 250 lbs.
In my personal experience the .223 is not enough gun for hog hunting. I'd take the borrowed 30-30 over the AR any day. Hogs don't hang around real long for those perfect shots at the head and neck. Better to have a bigger bullet than can plow through them.
A pig is mostly guts behind the shoulder. Regardless of the round used, a gut-shot pig may escape.
I have a .223 and a 7mm-08, and it is the latter that I take pig hunting. If I had a scoped .223 that would shoot 1 moa, and an iron-sighted .30-30 that shoots 6-7 moa, I would take the .223 and make sure that I shot them in the neck or head.
That .30-30 should probably go to a gunsmith for some work if it shoots that poorly.
Of course it may not be the rifle, but the shooter.
I have hunted pigs in Texas with a K98k or a Russian made M-44 - both loaded with some potent handloaded JSP ammo. Never had an issue.
got a 258pound boar in Arkansas last year with a .22lr
was out for squirrel, came across some pigs, had an easy shot behind the ear.
man that was good eatin'.
p.s. i dont hunt boar with a .22lr, but you asked if it could be done with a .223, i say yes but its far far far from optimal.
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