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  #1  
Old 12-28-2013, 5:39 PM
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Default Caliber's & Pig Hunting Q's

Hello Everyone:

Currently, my wife and I are anticipating our 1st pig hunt as soon as I recover from surgery.

I received this link CA DFG Guide to Hunting Wild Pigs from another thread and after reviewing this guide book I have some questions and concerns regarding DFG's "recommended calibers for wild pigs" pp 13 & 14.

My wife and I have invested in a few firearms for the sole purpose of this "new adventure" however I want to make sure we didn't "short-change" ourselves.

My wife and I have spoken with many hunters that have claimed to of had taken down pigs with caliber's not recommended by DFG such as .357 mag, .44 mag & even .22 LR.

I like to know if any experienced hunters can give me feedback regarding DFG's recommended calibers?

Would a .357 or 44 mag in carbine or revolver be adequate?

Thank you,

Last edited by BlK Lantern; 12-28-2013 at 6:05 PM.. Reason: Complete
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Old 12-28-2013, 5:56 PM
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Give us some information......

What are you planning on using?
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Old 12-28-2013, 5:56 PM
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While we could quibble about the DFG list, I find it mostly accurate. Any simplified guideline, on any subject, by it's nature can be easily challenged. But the DFG list is OK.

How are you concerned that you may have shortchanged yourself. I don't understand.

As for what you have heard, a 357 with good bullets, and a 44 mag are adequate for pigs at close range, for example if you were hunting with dogs. As for the 22LR, that would be entirely inadequate.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Table 3. Recommendations for Using Various Calibers and Minimum Bullet Weights For Wild Pigs
(Bullet weights over the minimum recommendation are not shown)
Caliber Bullet Recommended for wild pigs of:
W
eight
(gr
ains) under 90 lbs over 90 lbs
Rifles
All 22 calibers all no no
243 Winchester or 6mm Remington 100 yes no
25-20 Winchester 86 no no
25-35 Winchester 117 yes no
250 Savage 100 yes yes
257 Roberts + P 100 yes yes
25-06 Remington 120 yes yes
264 Winchester Magnum 140 yes yes
270 Winchester 130 yes yes
7x30 Waters 120 yes yes
7mm-08 140 yes yes
7x57 Mauser 145 yes yes
280 Remington 140 yes yes
284 Winchester 150 yes yes
7mm Remington Magnum 150 yes yes
30 M1 Carbine 110 no no
7.62x39mm Russian 123 yes no
30-30 Winchester 150 yes yes
300 Savage 150 yes yes
30-40 Krag 150 yes yes
307 Winchester 180 yes yes
308 Winchester 150 yes yes
30-06 Springfield 150 yes yes
300 Winchester Magnum 150 yes yes
300 H&H Magnum 180 yes yes
303 Savage 190 yes no
303 British 180 yes yes
32-20 Winchester 100 no no
32 Winchester Special 170 yes yes
8mm Mauser 170 yes yes
8mm Remington Magnum 185 yes yes
338 Winchester Magnum 200 yes yes
348 Winchester 200 yes yes
357 Magnum (rifle) 158 no no
35 Remington 200 yes yes
356 Winchester 200 yes yes
358 Winchester 200 yes yes
35 Whelan 200 yes yes
350 Remington Magnum 200 yes yes
375 Winchester 200 yes yes
375 H&H Magnum 270 yes yes
38-40 Winchester 180 no no
38-55 Winchester 255 yes no
416 Remington Magnum 300 yes yes
44-40 Winchester 200 no no
44 Remington Magnum (rifle) 240 yes no
444 Marlin 240 yes yes
45-70 Government 300 yes yes
458 Winchester 500 yes yes
Guide To Hunt ing Wild g 14 Pi s in California
Handguns
Caliber Bullet Weight Recommended for wild pigs of:
(gr
ains) under 90 lbs over 90 lbs
.22 to .41 (incl. .357 magnum) all no no
.44 Smith & Wesson 200 no no
.44-40 Winchester 200 no no
.44 Remington Magnum 240 yes no
.45 ACP 185 no no
.45 Colt 225 no no
.454 Casull 260 yes yes
.50 Action Express 325 yes yes
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Old 12-28-2013, 6:16 PM
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My wife and I were once told by a hunter that he shot a pig in the head with a 44 mag & it did absolutely nothing... He recommended me when it came to revolvers to get a .480 Ruger...
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Old 12-28-2013, 6:45 PM
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He was full of it, and thats being nice.

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Originally Posted by BlK Lantern View Post
My wife and I were once told by a hunter that he shot a pig in the head with a 44 mag & it did absolutely nothing... He recommended me when it came to revolvers to get a .480 Ruger...
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Old 12-28-2013, 6:56 PM
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I wouldn't doubt he was full of it because my wife and I have spoken to plenty of hunters that have used a 44 mag or 357 and had no complaints - so I do not understand why these calibers are not recommended at all per DFG...

Last edited by BlK Lantern; 12-28-2013 at 6:57 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 12-28-2013, 7:21 PM
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They are fine for close range. If your using dogs or hunting property that is infested with pigs its not a problem to get up close. But in a lot of hunting scenarios you might bust your but for weekends on end and then your only chance is a super quick shot at 200 yards. The guy with a good caliber that can shoot is going to consistantly come home with more hogs because of this.

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Originally Posted by BlK Lantern View Post
I wouldn't doubt he was full of it because my wife and I have spoken to plenty of hunters that have used a 44 mag or 357 and had no complaints - so I do not understand why these calibers are not recommended at all per DFG...
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Old 12-28-2013, 7:31 PM
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Hunting caliber question is really an easy one. 30-06 and be done with it.

Anything in North America can be taken with it. Availability and variety is better than any other. Every rifle will be chambered in it.

Sure you can hunt with a 357 or 44. But you'll be limited. And I doubt you can find all copper bullets. Thank you kalifornia!! Besides be fair to the game. Fish with light tackle but don't hunt with light calibers. There's really no catch and release hunting.

30-06, 150yds. One shot, dropped right where he stood. Not even a step. Dead before we got to him.
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Old 12-28-2013, 7:41 PM
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Your range would be very limited with a 357 or 44mag carbine and I would limit shots to 75yds or less. I own Marlin carbines and used to hunt with them before being forced to load nontoxic ammo when hunting in the "condor" zone. My Marlin loves the Hornady 265gr flat point but when I shifted to copper it wouldn't stabilize a 225gr Barnes. After several emails I learned that the twist rate is too slow and I am now limited to a 200gr XPB.
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Old 12-28-2013, 8:33 PM
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How experienced with firearms are you?
How experienced of a hunter are you?
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Old 12-28-2013, 8:41 PM
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.223 is a no go but that 5.56 is the one the pros use
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Old 12-29-2013, 7:13 AM
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Tell us more about your hunt........if your using a guide he may have his own guide lines.

You can take a pig with any caliber if your close enough.
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Old 12-29-2013, 7:43 AM
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Tagged, good info here. Thank you
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Old 12-29-2013, 8:05 AM
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Fjold's question is key. If either answer is not much or no experience use a tool that gives you the best potential for success. That would be a rifle suitable for shots up to 300 yards give or take with a scope. If you are using a guide get their input as they may have requirements to hunt with them.


Here's an example of a parallel question that brings home the point: "can I wear low top tennis shoes instead of boots for pigs?"
The answer is sure, however if you are doing any sidehilling you may roll an ankle or at the very least kill your feet. Sure you can cross a creek in tennis shoes but with a waterproof pair of boots that have ankle support you will be able to hunt much longer than if you wore sneakers.

Same thing with what caliber to choose.

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I've gone to cabelas outfitter pattern for the central coast. Works so good the animals and I never see each other.

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Old 12-29-2013, 8:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wideflange View Post
.223 is a no go but that 5.56 is the one the pros use
obviously

Quote:
Originally Posted by boukca View Post
Tagged, good info here. Thank you
do you even hunt?
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Old 12-29-2013, 9:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlK Lantern View Post
I wouldn't doubt he was full of it because my wife and I have spoken to plenty of hunters that have used a 44 mag or 357 and had no complaints - so I do not understand why these calibers are not recommended at all per DFG...
The DFG recommendations are for clean kills with well-placed shots, and IMHO, their recommendations are sound.

It seems the 25 to 50 yard shots at pigs in California are rare, with 100 to 200 yard shot opportunities being more common. These pigs are tough survivalists, and they don't like people getting close. So, IMHO, a long gun is a must, and use a revolver in 357 mag or 44 mag if you need to pursue a wounded pig into the brush (sort of spooky).

Sure, you'll hear many stories about 100 yd one shot kills with a 22...IMHO, most of those are just stories.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:00 AM
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do you even hunt?
No, but we all had to start some where and like the OP, want to get into it. Slowly learning that the members of CG are rude about it and some don't want to help people. So getting all the info I can.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlK Lantern View Post
My wife and I were once told by a hunter that he shot a pig in the head with a 44 mag & it did absolutely nothing... He recommended me when it came to revolvers to get a .480 Ruger...
I've killed two pigs with a 44 mag and in both cases it blew their brains out. Both were finishing shots at close range on "wounded but not dead yet" pigs.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:22 AM
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From my experience with CGners:
Rude-sometimes
Passionate-always
Correct-same as the first
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:40 AM
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My hunting rifle is .30-06. My sidearm is a 5" .44 magnum.
I wouldn't change a thing for a pig hunt.
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Old 12-29-2013, 4:48 PM
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I use a 300WSM if it's going to be open country and I may need to take a long shot and a AR15 chambered in 450 Bushmaster if I am hunting the bush. I went out this morning on public land seen 6 pigs


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Old 12-29-2013, 7:42 PM
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Boukca--Where are you located? I may be able to help you out.
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Old 12-29-2013, 9:10 PM
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I usually tell folks to use a rifle of 270 caliber or larger to give the simplest answer. It's always better to have something that can shoot a little further and hit a little harder when you need it.
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Old 12-29-2013, 9:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boukca View Post
No, but we all had to start some where and like the OP, want to get into it. Slowly learning that the members of CG are rude about it and some don't want to help people. So getting all the info I can.
You just need to understand that the people who were born with all this information imprinted on their DNA can't relate with the rest of us.
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Old 12-29-2013, 9:28 PM
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You just need to understand that the people who were born with all this information imprinted on their DNA can't relate with the rest of us.
Damn funny!
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Old 12-29-2013, 9:35 PM
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Thank you for your advice. My uncle took me on a few hunts as a kid but realistically I was too young to remember thus I consider myself "new" to hunting.
I spoke to a guide/instructor & although it cost $$$ for his services it might be best. We also have a few other friends that claimed to be experienced hunters & that'll probably be our 2nd option.
We had chosen the carbine/revolver pairing because we had thought it would be convenient.
Perhaps a .270, .308 or .30-06 should be taken into consideration...
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Old 12-30-2013, 6:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlK Lantern View Post
Thank you for your advice. My uncle took me on a few hunts as a kid but realistically I was too young to remember thus I consider myself "new" to hunting.
I spoke to a guide/instructor & although it cost $$$ for his services it might be best. We also have a few other friends that claimed to be experienced hunters & that'll probably be our 2nd option.
We had chosen the carbine/revolver pairing because we had thought it would be convenient.
Perhaps a .270, .308 or .30-06 should be taken into consideration...
Any one of those 3 calibers would be perfect. Few other helpful hints, don't get a cheap scope and don't get too heavy of a rifle. Cheap scopes will never stayed zeroed very long making the most expensive rifle useless. Heavy bull barreled style rifles may increase accuracy and distance but once you hike your first mountain with it you will wish you had something else.
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Old 12-30-2013, 7:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bigboarstopper View Post
Any one of those 3 calibers would be perfect. Few other helpful hints, don't get a cheap scope and don't get too heavy of a rifle. Cheap scopes will never stayed zeroed very long making the most expensive rifle useless. Heavy bull barreled style rifles may increase accuracy and distance but once you hike your first mountain with it you will wish you had something else.
^^^^Resident licensed guide. Always gives great advice.
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I've gone to cabelas outfitter pattern for the central coast. Works so good the animals and I never see each other.

224 rounds of high quality Winchester .223 FS/FT

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s....php?t=1226164
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Old 12-30-2013, 8:32 AM
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Quote:
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^^^^Resident licensed guide. Always gives great advice.
I thought Shays outfit was a Cabelas Big Game Hunt game video guide.

Virtual reality pig hunting?
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Old 12-30-2013, 2:27 PM
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Virtual reality hunt? Hmm. No bloody hogs to pack out. Get to sleep in every morning. No taking a crap in the bushes anymore. Taperxz, you handle the tech side and I will supply the pork from the supermarket. 50/50 split. Wadda ya say?
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Old 12-30-2013, 2:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigboarstopper View Post
Any one of those 3 calibers would be perfect. Few other helpful hints, don't get a cheap scope and don't get too heavy of a rifle. Cheap scopes will never stayed zeroed very long making the most expensive rifle useless. Heavy bull barreled style rifles may increase accuracy and distance but once you hike your first mountain with it you will wish you had something else.
Oh come on, you know a .177 air rifle is all that is required to hunt wild pigs.

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Old 12-30-2013, 3:16 PM
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Originally Posted by taperxz View Post
I thought Shays outfit was a Cabelas Big Game Hunt game video guide.

Virtual reality pig hunting?
i got one of those cabelas african safari games for xmas. Let's just say I got mauled by the leopards about 15x in a row before I could kill the 4 of them.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckhandmike View Post
I've gone to cabelas outfitter pattern for the central coast. Works so good the animals and I never see each other.

224 rounds of high quality Winchester .223 FS/FT

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s....php?t=1226164
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Old 12-31-2013, 7:15 AM
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[QUOTE=bigboarstopper;13090834]Any one of those 3 calibers would be perfect. Few other helpful hints, don't get a cheap scope and don't get too heavy of a rifle. Cheap scopes will never stayed zeroed very long making the most expensive rifle useless. Heavy bull barreled style rifles may increase accuracy and distance but once you hike your first mountain with it you will wish you had something else.[/QUOTE ]

That's just common sense for people that hunt a lot. Also get some good hunting boots something that go's past your ankles.I have stepped into holes with my Danner proghorns and hurt myself a little but was still able to go on.If I had a regular shoe I would have been hurt really bad.
On a guided hunt you might not need to hike a lot the first corner you turn a group of hogs might be right there you never know.Then on others you might have to hike over a hill to get to a hog crossing . Private lands hunts is awesome not like public were it takes weeks to find a hog.
..
To the op what types of rifles do you have ?
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Old 12-31-2013, 7:25 AM
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Originally Posted by BlK Lantern View Post
My wife and I were once told by a hunter that he shot a pig in the head with a 44 mag & it did absolutely nothing... He recommended me when it came to revolvers to get a .480 Ruger...
I find this very hard to believe. I've killed many pigs with lots of different methods including knives, bow and firearms, most of them I've dispatched with a .41 cal Ruger at close range and I have never had a round bounce off their head, but of course anything is possible but I would feel very comfortable with a .44 mag and a pig in front of me. They aren't grizzly bears......
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Old 12-31-2013, 8:31 AM
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Originally Posted by boukca View Post
No, but we all had to start some where and like the OP, want to get into it. Slowly learning that the members of CG are rude about it and some don't want to help people. So getting all the info I can.
Not rude just trying to help. You should just get out in the field instead of trying to learn everything here.
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Old 12-31-2013, 9:12 AM
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Originally Posted by DanM View Post
I find this very hard to believe. I've killed many pigs with lots of different methods including knives, bow and firearms, most of them I've dispatched with a .41 cal Ruger at close range and I have never had a round bounce off their head, but of course anything is possible but I would feel very comfortable with a .44 mag and a pig in front of me. They aren't grizzly bears......
In situations where shooting close distances with pistol calibers (1-20 feet) just about any decent caliber works. But if your attempting to shoot these calibers in the 30-75 yard range a person should use a larger caliber. I shoot a 41.mag pistol for hogs. Usually at point blank range but I've reached out further on numerous occasions. I have seen 357. 44mag and my 41mag bounce off hog skulls and shoulders at close range. Most of the time it's because of the angle but it has happened at optimum angles. Thick bone and armor plating can be surprisingly tough. Although it is rare.

The hand cannon pistol calibers like 454, 500 ect ect will of course have more punch but these pistols are usually complimented with a scope for shooting at distances that bow hunters are accustomed to. When using the dogs for hogs I cringe at these larger calibers simply because there is a very likely hood of bullet pass through when shooting hogs at ultra close range. Pass through shots are dangerous around dogs and the muzzle blasts these pistols can produce can blow out eardrums of dogs as well.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:10 AM
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Let's throw a twist in to this.

There appears to be several factions, the 'one true caliber' crowd, the 'X' and over' crowd and the 'whatever works' crowd.

So I'm intrigued by the idea of hunting pig in California, never done it and only have a hunting history of dove, quail and pheasant.

Obviously the shotgun used for those is not applicable to pig and I'll need a different firearm.

Here's the rub.
I own two bolt action rifles, a .22LR Ruger and a Savage .308 that weighs between 12-15 pounds and does a good impression of a field artillery piece.
I own only 2 because I really am not interested in or overly fond of bolt actions and have no interest in buying another one.

I do enjoy semi-auto rifles and lever action rifles as well as handguns in just about any format and semi or pump shotguns.

The firearms i own that might be viable are a few AR-pattern rifles, Mini-14, .357 lever action, pistol carbines and an M1 Garand. The rest of my rifles, shotguns and handguns are more focused on combat rather than hunting.

I don't like uni-taskers, a firearm that is 'purpose built for pig hunting and nothing else' is not going to find a home in my safe.


So, with my interest and criteria on the table what would people suggest I look at as a firearm and caliber for pig hunting in California?
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestryll View Post
Let's throw a twist in to this.

There appears to be several factions, the 'one true caliber' crowd, the 'X' and over' crowd and the 'whatever works' crowd.

So I'm intrigued by the idea of hunting pig in California, never done it and only have a hunting history of dove, quail and pheasant.

Obviously the shotgun used for those is not applicable to pig and I'll need a different firearm.

Here's the rub.
I own two bolt action rifles, a .22LR Ruger and a Savage .308 that weighs between 12-15 pounds and does a good impression of a field artillery piece.
I own only 2 because I really am not interested in or overly fond of bolt actions and have no interest in buying another one.

I do enjoy semi-auto rifles and lever action rifles as well as handguns in just about any format and semi or pump shotguns.

The firearms i own that might be viable are a few AR-pattern rifles, Mini-14, .357 lever action, pistol carbines and an M1 Garand. The rest of my rifles, shotguns and handguns are more focused on combat rather than hunting.

I don't like uni-taskers, a firearm that is 'purpose built for pig hunting and nothing else' is not going to find a home in my safe.


So, with my interest and criteria on the table what would people suggest I look at as a firearm and caliber for pig hunting in California?

To make things simple, keep in mind that after you pig hunt for the first time you may get hooked which could open the door to out of state hunts and other species.

You have a 308 which is a great round for big game IMHO. The bolt action rifle is paramount when hunting for several reasons. Accuracy is one although you will get arguments on that topic too. Reliability is the most important reason however. The chances of a bolt gun screwing up on you is slim and none. The semi auto has a better chance of screwing up with dirt or foul weather.

Also keep in mind that "your one chance" at an animal, if you are lucky enough to see an animal is not the time to test reliability of the firearm.

Basically, a bolt action hunting rifle in 308 with a good scope (much lighter that an old military rifle) would be a one gun does it all in North America.

Some will argue this and start talking ballistics, and whatever else their opinion is. (all experienced hunters do this LOL)

I am only picking out a 308 for YOU because you are already invested in that round. Others will suggest other calibers but i am trying to keep it as simple as possible as you requested.

Last edited by taperxz; 12-31-2013 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:46 AM
taperxz taperxz is offline
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I should also note that you can pig hunt with your shotgun but you are also limiting your range which also reduces the places you can hunt do to terrain.

Some of the Fort Hunter-Ligget guys hunt with shotguns if i'm not mistaken. Generally speaking though, shotgun hunting for large game is something done back east due to population growth in areas (15-20 acre pieces of rural land all stacked up next to each other) Not a great place to use a rifle! California doesn't generally have this problem.

I'll take it that the PM i sent you is a "no" since no reply?

Last edited by taperxz; 12-31-2013 at 10:51 AM..
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:05 AM
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On the PM, not a 'no' just trying to find where I put the file for my '8 questions for LE candidates'. If I'd have named it something like that it would be easy to find...

I kind of expected the .308 bolt action to be the first suggestion. If I went that route it'd be easy, I'd pick up a Savage Trophy Hunter XP in 308 and be done. The action, trigger and such would be similar to my 10FCP-K, not a hunting rifle by any means but damn ice if you want to take a fixed position and play area denial.

But I just don't like bolt actions really, that's the twist I was referring to.
What would be the suggestions for other than bolt action firearms?
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