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View Full Version : What .223 bullet do you use for Hog Hunting?



blasternank
12-29-11, 13:59
What grain and brand bullet are you using for hog hunting? I shoot a 6.8 but a buddy only has a .223 caliber AR. I've just seen a lot of animals get away using 55 gr. soft points. Hogs, deer, etc. I'm in TX and deer are smaller than other areas. IMHO .223 is not a good hunting cartridge but it is what it is and he has what he has. I was thinking maybe he could go to a heavier bullet and that would help some. We do reload so that is not a problem. Please don't say head shots as I'm not a big fan of those for many people and have seen too many jaws blown off and a lot of animals suffer.

Thanks for all your help and input!

nineteenkilo
12-29-11, 14:02
.223 is not a good hunting cartridge


I prefer the 60gr Partition myself. It performs on par with its big brothers and does a fine job as long as shot placement is good. As far as the caliber goes, it is a very decent hunting caliber to me. Just like with other calibers on the 'small' side - it mostly depends on who's behind the trigger.

blasternank
12-29-11, 17:40
Just like with other calibers on the 'small' side - it mostly depends on who's behind the trigger.

That is the truth! :) That's why for this person I eliminated head shots. Too much risk of wounding an animal. Even if it is a hog it deserves a clean death. I'm just hoping to get something a little better than what he is using now. Thanks for your response.

yellowfin
12-29-11, 18:29
If you're reloading, the Barnes TSX is highly recommended.

robbf213
12-29-11, 18:43
I use my duty ammo which is a 64 gr Winchester soft point. So far this year I've shot four deer and about 30 hogs and haven't had one go over 30 yards or so.

The deer were all shoulder/lung shots and have had complete penetration on all deer breaking at least one leg going in or coming out, very little blood though but fairly impressive wounds channels through the chest cavity.

The hogs are shot in the middle of the neck half way in between the head and the front shoulders all but 3 or 4 had dropped in their tracks.

SGB
12-29-11, 20:25
http://www.ssarmory.com/556ammunition-70gr-leadfree.aspx

If he's got a 1/7 twist rate

If not ........

http://www.venturamunitions.com/5-56-mm-50-grain-tsx-black-hills-ammunition/

blasternank
12-29-11, 20:29
He has a 1:9 twist rate so I think the max would be a 69 gr. bullet from what I've read.

Thanks for the replies.

blasternank
12-29-11, 20:30
I use my duty ammo which is a 64 gr Winchester soft point. So far this year I've shot four deer and about 30 hogs and haven't had one go over 30 yards or so.

The deer were all shoulder/lung shots and have had complete penetration on all deer breaking at least one leg going in or coming out, very little blood though but fairly impressive wounds channels through the chest cavity.

The hogs are shot in the middle of the neck half way in between the head and the front shoulders all but 3 or 4 had dropped in their tracks.

I haven't seen the 64 gr. Winchester bullet around. I guess I need to look deeper. Thanks

MikeT
12-29-11, 21:16
I have hog hunted for over three years now with weapons ranging from a Savage 110FP in 308 Winchester shooting 165 grain Sierra GameKing Hollow Point Boattail to a Marlin 1895 shooting Buffalo Bore's 350 grain loading. I have found my M&P15MOE OR using American Eagle 55 grain black box loading to be more than capable of causing hogs of all sizes to embark on immediate dirt naps. Bullet placement is key (Yes, I stick to head shots exclusively). I have lost only one pig and it was due to a head on between the eyes shot that ricocheted off. No, the shot was not from the AR, but with the 308 Winchester. I am sure he died from the headache, but I never did find the rest of him (Only found a bloody fist size chunk of hairy skin left behind).

blasternank
12-30-11, 19:42
I wish the guy that will be using them could be trusted with a reliable head shot but unfortunately he has a reputation of wounding some animals or missing and I'm trying to narrow the gap to help improve the odds for the animals sake. He's not a bad shot but lets say I've spent my share of time trailing. Not good but I can't keep him out of the woods so I'm trying to give him every and all advantages including blinds that are closer in.

robbf213
12-31-11, 14:19
Head shots are not that easy on a hog because their heads usually don't stay still very long. Especially because they're usually feeding.

Middle of the neck between the head and front shoulders in a very lethal shot and much easier to make.

Also keep in mind a hogs lungs are significantly more forward in the chest cavity than a deers. On a broadside shot on a hog a hit much more than 3" behind the shoulder will likely miss the lungs completely.

kcmo83
12-31-11, 17:32
Barnes TSX, any flavor 50 gr. or above.

Robb Jensen
12-31-11, 17:47
I used 77gr BH Mk262Mod 1 and BH 5.56mm 50gr TSX this year on hogs in FL. Of the 4 hogs I got I shot two in the head with Mk262 and one with 50gr TSX in the head, all three where DRT like I flipped off a light switch. The fourth I shot with .300BLK using 110gr VMAX through the front shoulders which resulted in a DRT too.

jpipes
01-02-12, 16:53
I shoot 75 amax @3000 fps with my 223ai. Devastating on anything from deer down to hogs. If I had to slum a 9 twist, I'd look at the 50 TSX loaded as hot as I can get it.

SkyPup
01-03-12, 08:46
Barnes TSX 70 grain works wonders on squealing swine :D

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=94628

Stephen O
02-18-12, 15:34
Our writer Brian McCombie had great results with DTR Ammo on a hunt sponsored by S&W. This is what he had to say about it

"I was using a 79-grain Terminal Shock .223 round made by Dynamic Research Technologies (DRT) of Grant City, Missouri. The DRT round is lead-free and frangible, made with a highly-compressed core of metal powder inserted into a copper jacket. The bullet punched through a good inch of hard gristle covering the pigís ribs, the ribs themselves, and then essentially exploded (as it was designed to do), delivering all the roundís terminal energy into the boarís chest cavity." http://shwat.com/ArticleIndex/tabid/85/EntryId/5/Field-Test-Smith-Wesson-s-M-P15-One-Fine-Tactical-Hog-Rifle.aspx

We anticipate doing a full test for accuracy as well as live media for this round in the near future. When it's complete, we will of course write it up.

OkieOutlaw
03-11-12, 12:27
I hunt hogs, deer and coyotes almost exclusively with the 223. I reload and the best deal I have found is the Rem 55gr PSP bullet in the 100 rnd bulk packs at Cabelas. I usually give 12.95 for them and stock up with at least 10 bags at a time. I load them with 20.3 grains of IMR4198 powder and CCI 400 small rifle primers that I picked up on sale at the same store for 22.95 a thousand. This load has proven very effective with everything it encounters, but like has been said before bullet placement is CRITICAL. my ar and the Savage model 11 both shoot this round extremely well with the Savage producing ragged cloverleaf groups at 100 yards while the ar produces slightly larger .5 groups at that distance.

Shokr21
03-11-12, 16:36
I killed an ~185 lbs boar last week with a shot through the eye with an exit wound blowing out the back out of his head DRT.

Bullet used was a .223 55gr federal nosler ballistic tip.

ccoker
03-11-12, 22:46
We took two guys hog hunting over the weekend and they got one this morning
Nice boar, 250-275 I would estimate
They got it walking through the thick woods and lit it up at about 40 yards
One guy with an AR in 556 shooting 55g FMJ, the other an AK shooting FMJ
They Opened up on it and fired 6-8 rounds and it took off
They found it about 400 yards away and it took off again and they lit it up again
Said in total it took a good 20 hits and one spin hit dropped it and the back legs stopped but it kept going and finally a shot behind the ear put it down for good.

Both are experienced hunters and I watched them shoot a bunch yesterday and the could both shoot well.

Yesterday the guy with the AK shot another boar at about 40 yards and hit it a few times but no recovery
Pretty sure from the discussion he hit it in the lungs of guts and it just pencilled through and it ran off and probably died later.

Shot placement trumps everything of course but they ran the wrong bullets we all agreed afterwards

I like a 68 with 95 or110 barness because even a marginal hit will out it down fast 99% of the time

If I was going to hog hunt with a 556 I would run the 70g TTSX as hot as possible.

SkyPup
03-12-12, 08:06
Shot this 450 pound sow at 225 yards at night with a PVS-14 and Eotech 557 NV using 70 grain TSX over 25.0 grain of Hodgdon BLC-2 and Wolf SRM primers in LC '09 brass.

One shot through the head two inches below the ear, dropped dead in its tracks and quivered a bit, but basically DRT.

I normally take lungs shots but knew at that range with a hog this big a head shot was going to be the only thing that worked, Barnes 70 grain TSX went through both sides of here skull.

http://www.phossil.com/thom/SIG%20556%20Commando/Night%20Hog/PVS14%20Night%20Hog.jpg

ccoker
03-12-12, 09:24
If you hit them right behind the ear just about anything works
And that is where I always aim and if I am stationary and they are feeding I just wait forthe right shot.

I came across a big boar last year out stalk hunting for deer about 30-40 yards away. It took off and I pulled the trigger when the crosshairs were dead center of the neck but f'd up and stopped swinging the gun. It went down hard, kicked for 30 seconds and was done.
Inspection revealed I hit it dead center low in the front shoulders a little low resting in a heart shot. The bullet was almost through the far side shoulder and you could see and feel the bullet embedded in the hide.
Cut it out and the 95g Barnes was textbook perfectly expanded with the petals peeled back like in their pictures about 1/2 inch in diameter.

Retained weight was like 93g, basically minus the weight of the plastic tip.

That is why I like barnes for hogs
I trust they will expand, and hold together even and close range.
Those metal petals cut and provided a lot of damage

With a well placed behind the ear shot just about anything works of course.

I wouldn't mind trying some 77g OTM out my 556 but I am concerned on the above scenario they may explode and not penetrate.

ccoker
03-12-12, 09:43
I would suggest calling Thad at Barnes and Art at SSA to see I they have had decent groups with the 70g TTTX in a 1/9 twist

Texas42
03-16-12, 09:03
I would suggest calling Thad at Barnes and Art at SSA to see I they have had decent groups with the 70g TTTX in a 1/9 twist

The box for the 70 grain barnes recommends a 1/8 twist or faster.

They are big bullets. If you reload, just get the 62 grain TSX. They should work in the 1/9 twist rate just fine

NulodPBall
03-17-12, 10:15
I'm new to hog hunting but not new to shooting and I recently was debating whether to go 6.8 or 75/77 gr. 5.56 so I checked out the ballistics.

Based on what I saw and what I've been told, I'd suggest your friend go to a 75 or 77 gr. 5.56/.223 and aim for a just behind the shoulder shot (close to the shoulder).

My reasoning is that the heavier bullet maintains it's energy around 1000 Ft/lbs out to about 150/200 yards (depending on manufacturer) which is what many people want for dropping power.

Also, for me, the trajectory for both the 110 6.8 (2600fps) and the 77 gr. 5.56 (I forget the speed but it was as hot as I could get) was close enough to a 6.8 in the same distance range that I could basically use the hash marks on my scope...my hash marks are specific to a 55 gr. .223 bullet so I just hold about one hash mark high for the heavier bullet and it seems to work out ok for me.

I can't really address the whole OTM vs. Ballistic Tip question except to note that one upper manufacturer (6.8) states that the Hornady Varmint line (Ballistic Tipped) does not work for their upper, and the person who ran my Hunter Safety class told me to stay away from the Ballistic Tip ammo because they do not expand well and he had too many animals run after being shot by Ballistic Tip ammo. Don't know if the hard gristle plate on a hog affects these observations.

From what I've seen, given your friend's accuracy, your friend needs to stay away from the 55 gr. bullets, and go for the larger target area.

Just my thoughts :)

40Arpent
03-27-12, 10:03
If you hit them right behind the ear just about anything works

Inspection revealed I hit it dead center low in the front shoulders a little low resting in a heart shot.

First statement is absolutely true. I have taken sizeable hogs (~300lbs) with a .22WMR behind the ear. Not DRT, but they dropped where they stood and expired quickly.

My standard shot on a hog is exactly where you hit yours....low on the front shoulder. Every hog I have hit in that spot has been DRT. I don't take that shot with anything in the .22 cal arena, though, and that includes 5.56. You never know what shot you're going to be presented with, and while an approriate 5.56 round to the vitals can make the kill, the risk of not making a clean kill isn't worth it, IMO. That's why my hog hunting is generally done with something larger than 5.56 (7mm-08 and .308) that I know will punch through the armor plate and hit vitals. There are a few areas that I stand hunt where I know I can get a head shot, and I reserve the 5.56 for those.

MegademiC
04-01-12, 14:33
You might want to look at the xm223sp1 load also. Not in stock anywhere currently, but if/when it becomes available again, it should work very well at closer ranges. And its $.50 per round.

For longer shots, or if money isnt an issue I'd probably stick with the 50 or 70 grain tsx as both seem pretty proven. I do plan on getting the sp1 if its in stock before my helo-hog shoot as it should be near perfect for that situation - good performance at a good price.

Stephen O
04-02-12, 16:42
We have posted a couple of videos of the DRT Ammo in gel on Youtube. The .223 video is here. We were impressed. We have not had a chance to have a third party do a full accuracy test yet. When that happens, we'll post that too. Here is the video: http://goo.gl/WJLU8

We also just did an article on .300 AAC Blackout. No testing yet, but more fuel on the Blackout fire for sure. It's here: goo.gl/03w4r

Stephen O
04-11-12, 15:00
In case anyone is interested, we posted an article by Bill Wilson on his standby gear for hog hunting. This is a guy that has or has access to all the best stuff out there for hog hunting. He lives for hog hunting and has personally taken over 1000 hogs through the years. He even developed a new caliber for it. When it comes hog hunting (among some other things) he is one of the most knowledgable people out there. Disclosure: While SHWAT is not beholden to any one company, group or individual, we are honored to have Bill Wilson as a new contributor on our blog. We consider him to be an expert in a number of fields and are grateful for his participation.

hamour
04-30-12, 12:23
For years I have used the Speer 70 gr Semi Sptz. This was due to getting a heavy 223 bullet to work in slow rifling of the SP-1's I was shooting.

This is a reloading proposition, when I was short of my hand loads, I would use the WW 64 gr power point. Both bullets gave good penetration.

The smaller hogs (200LBS or less) would be broken down by the .223 Speer bullet, even if an angle shot was taken, same for the Texas deer we were shooting. (Live weight around 100-140 LBS).

Range was 25 yds to 150 yds. We had no problems with shallow penetration or bullet blow up if we kept velocity 2700 to 2800 FPS.

When hogs moved in on our hunting grounds big time, and it was common to see 250+ LB boars and sows, we moved back to .30 cal rifles. The shoulder on the bigger ones would stop most of a 223's energy.

My recommendation is pick your shot with care on the bruisers and if you use the .223 use a long for caliber expanding bullet. The Nosler Partition would be a good one as well as the others mentioned.

TangoSauce
04-30-12, 13:00
I also recommend the TSX.

Bigger fan of the 6.8 for hogs though.

Stephen O
04-30-12, 22:39
Had the opportunity to try the DRT Ammo for the fist time in East TX during the Wild Hog Roundup. We used both the 55 grain and 79 grain in .223 and the .308. The .308 left a 4-5 inch mushy bulge on the far side of an approx 200 lbs pig but no exit wound. Two 50-70 lbs pigs went down unremarkably with the 55 grain. One had a large exit wound on its soft underside. That was from a 10 yard frontal shot. 12043I hit a approx 250 lbs sow at 125 yards behind the shoulder but high with the 79 grain. Unlikely the vitals took a direct hit. She went down but came back up immediately. A follow up hit below the spine 2/3 of the way back. No exit wounds. She made it about 30 yards and collapsed. A .45 round behind the ear finished her. We didn't get a chance to examine the wounds but plan to do so next time. 12044

meat hunter
05-11-12, 06:49
If you don't handload the Barnes VorTx 55 gr TTSX works very well with the right shot. Readily available too.