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Grown-Up Hog Loads (Page 2)

He just couldn't take it anymore. The author shares his true opinions regarding hog loads. If you want to put down a hog, pick up a beast.

Cor-Bon has ammo using the Barnes Tipped DPX 300-grain bullet developed for this cartridge. The muzzle velocity is 1825 fps. They also have a 300-grain hollow-point at 1900 fps and a 400-grain jacketed hollow-point at 1600 fps. These velocities are from a 16-inch barrel.

Southern Ballistic Research offers 21 different loads for the .458 SOCOM with bullets ranging from 100 to 500 grains. There are a lot of hunting bullets including the 300-grain and 350-grain Barnes bullets.

It might have a military background, but in a rifle like the Rock River LAR458, the .458 SOCOM is a hog-killing machine.

.50 Beowulf
I like cartridges that hit hard and remove all doubt and the .50 Beowulf epitomizes that concept. With a 325-grain bullet at 2000 fps, there is never any doubt when you hit something.

Bill Alexander of Alexander Arms was one of the pioneers of big-game hunting cartridges in AR-15s. He developed this cartridge and named it after Beowulf, a legendary warrior who slayed the undefeatable Grendel by ripping off his arm. (Now that’s bad!) The next day Beowulf battled Grendel’s mother, a horrible monster, and killed her by cutting off her head with a mighty sword from her armory. A sword, of which it was said, “no other man could have hefted in battle.” Years later, in his old age, Beowulf fought and killed a dragon.

After killing monsters and dragons, do you seriously think any hog stands a chance against Beowulf?

The .50 Beowulf was the first of the AR-15 specific, ultra-big-bore cartridges to be offered by an AR manufacturer. It is based on the .50 A.E. case, but in a longer version. The case has a severely rebated rim so that it fits a bolt head designed for the 7.62x39mm cartridge, which works well with an AR-15.

From a 24-inch test barrel the .50 Beowulf pushes a 325-grain bullet to 2010 fps and 2,916 ft.-lbs. of energy at the muzzle. The 400-grain load has a muzzle velocity of 1875 fps and 3,123 ft.-lbs. The bullet is half an inch in diameter and can expand to more than an inch.

Compare that to a 55-grain, .223 Remington. The 325-grain Beowulf has almost 500 percent more bullet weight and an unexpanded diameter that is larger than a .223’s fully expanded bullet. Once it has expanded, the Beowulf bullet has a 123 percent larger frontal area. Not to mention that the Beowulf has about three times more energy than the .223 Remington.

Even from the stubby 16.5-inch barrel on my rifle, the .50 Beowulf loads are moving at 1950 fps for the 325-grain and 1,800 fps for the 400-grain. Considering the 7.5-inch difference in barrel length, the velocity loss is minimal. Clearly this is a cartridge that is well suited to the shorter barrels often seen in the big-game versions of guns made on the AR-15.

Besides, there is something very comforting about hunting hogs with a gun that has a barrel with a hole in it the size of a road culvert.

AR-10 Rifles
When you move up to the larger AR-10 rifle, the hog-hunting options expand. This rifle is designed for the .308 Winchester, so any variant of that cartridge will run well in the gun. While they will work, I am not a fan of sub .30-caliber cartridges for hog hunting, so I would start with the .308 Winchester. I have hunted hogs a lot with my DPMS .308 Winchester, mostly with Barnes TSX bullets, and I have zero complaints.

My first choice, though, for shooting hogs with this style rifle would be the .338 Federal. It is one of the best hog cartridges offered in any gun and particularly in an AR. Federal and Fusion offer a wide range of ammo options, but I am partial to the 200-grain Fusion load with a muzzle velocity of 2700 fps. Some years back I used an early engineering sample of this ammo to shoot my best-ever black bear, and have nothing but confidence for its use in hunting hogs.

My choice of rifle would be the incredibly accurate J.P. Enterprises LRP-07H Long Range Precision Hunting Rifle. With the Fusion load, three-shot 100-yard groups averaged .71 inch. The best group was a ragged hole that measured .3 inch.

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4 Responses to Grown-Up Hog Loads (Page 2)

Aaron wrote:
February 14, 2014

I am just gettin started in hog hunting and wondered about using an 8mm mauser that I have. I don't have any AR type of rifle yet and money is tight. Will this be adequate for the job ?

James wrote:
December 26, 2013

I bet the author also thinks any caliber under .30 is unethical for white tail. Look, there is nothing wrong with power and large calibers - but discounting a small caliber simply because your personal experience doesn't jive with umpteen thousands of other applicable data sets doesn't mean your personal beliefs somehow have super majic powers over real world data. (And really - it was hard to read past the horrible comparison with M855 ammo that the .mil uses versus the plethora of mid to premium hunting designed projectiles available to us that the .mil cannot use). The obvious Barnes homerismn didn't help either - they make good projos, but they are far from universally accepted as the best in the world (a Mr. Nosler would make a strong argument against the author's in this regard). Bottom line - choose the caliber that is up to the task at hand, and take ethical shots. But make no mistake about it - caliber is 4th or 5th on the list of importance of decisions that need to be made for hunting game.

Craig Black wrote:
December 25, 2013

Don't forget the mid weight calibers that will drop the big ones and not blow up the little ones. The 6.5 Grendel and the 6.8SPC II. Both are dropping hogs like crazy. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ARHunting/

Alex wrote:
December 25, 2013

What about the 6.8 SPC II? I have had mine and have taken over 400 hogs in two years. It is devastating with Hornady 120 SST ammo. I have seen it take everything from 20 pound piglets to 320 pounds boars with ease. I hunt for eradication and take a lot of shots at running hogs. This round will anchor them in their tracks. A 120 grain bullet going 2500-2600 fps at the muzzle from a 16' barrel is plenty for hogs. 6.8 SPC ammo is more available then 30 RAR too. It is produced by Hornady, Federal, and Remington. I rarely see 30 RAR in my area and when I travel. Please take the time to do some research at www.68forums.com . I think you will like this cartridge once you understand it.