Hunting wild hogs has become a mainstream sport in Texas due to the proliferation and destructive nature of this invasive species. Being a non-game animal, there are very few restrictions on how they may be hunted. They may be pursued year-round by almost any means necessary. So, what makes a good hog hunting rifle?
The answer to that question is dependent upon your intent. If you are a professional intent on eradication you have different needs than the weekend warrior who simply wants to have a good time and harvest some free-range pork along the way. In this article we will discuss hunting pigs for sport, not high-volume eradication.
First of all, despite all the hype and hysteria, most wild hogs are not all that difficult to kill. For decades, deer hunters have harvested plenty of hogs with whatever rifle they took to the stand that morning. I think much of this misinformation comes from people who come across a pig and blast away with 55gr FMJ ammo out of their AR-15. Bad ammo choice along with faulty bullet placement will lead to poor results every time. To be sure, a mean, old, full-grown boar is a formidable beast! However, proper bullet selection and accurate shot placement will drop most wild hogs dead in their tracks. I’ve done it many times. Dead Right There, as we say.
The perfect hog hunting rifle for me is a lightweight, easy to carry, accurate, suppressor-ready, 6.8 SPC short barrel AR-15. Mine is a premium build using the best components I could find:
Wilson Combat 11.3″ match-grade stainless barrel
Samson Evolution 10″ handguard
Geissele Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced trigger
PRI Combat Latch
FailZero Bolt Carrier Group
Crux Ark30 titanium suppressor
Magpul single-point QD sling
For optics, I run a Trijicon AccuPoint 1-6 Circle-Cross during the day and a FLIR ThermoSight PTS233 at night – both on QD mounts. My preferred method of hunting pigs usually results in shots of less than 50 yards to I don’t have any problems with accuracy swapping between scopes. The Trijicon AccuPoint 1-6 Circle-Cross allows for super-fast sight acquisition (put the hog’s head in the circle and squeeze the trigger) and excels in low-light conditions.
I have seen this come up often on forums and had people ask me.. well, let me tell you that with good shot placement and a good bullet it works VERY well. I have shot numerous pigs and deer within what I would call “bow range” of 30 yards.. All went down fast and hard. My pistol is a Dan Wesson Valor shooting primarily Hornady Crticial Duty 220g +P. I had it fitted with a threaded factory barrel by my friends over at STI Guns in Georgetown. I installed a set of aftermarket suppressor sights from Novak. I run a Rugged Obsidian can.
Texas Outdoors Network is headed out to Honey Brake Lodge to test drive the new Polaris Ranger XP 1000! Scheduled events include hard-core testing of the new Polaris line up, skeet shooting, teal hunting, and hog hunting with dogs!
Polaris is the undisputed leader in All Terrain Vehicles. We have a long-term 2017 Ranger XP 1000 out on demo and it is fantastic! Smooth, powerful, and fast. The new 2018 is even better.
Honey Brake Lodge: “Honey Brake, located on 20,000 acres of the old Louisiana Delta Plantation and nestled on the banks of beautiful Larto Lake and its tributaries, offers the avid outdoorsman a unique array of outdoor recreational opportunities all on one property. Louisiana’s premier duck and waterfowl hunting lodge has year round outdoor experiences.”
Special thanks to Donna with Polaris for inviting us on this awesome adventure! Stay tuned for a full report.
The FLIR Scout TK is the most affordable thermal monocular in the Scout product line. Thermal vision has become more affordable in recent years and every outdoorsman should carry one. Thermal is one area where you get what you pay and the FLIR Scout TK, with an MSRP of $599, is a competitor to the Seek Reveal XR and the Leupold LTO. It can detect a man-sized target at about 100 yards. Someone needing a long-distance camera must step up to the Scout II or Scout III and pay a premium price.
Trijicon purchased IR Defense last year and is aggressively moving into Thermal night vision devices. The first four products include the IR-Hunter and REAP-IR thermal riflescopes, the IR-Patrol thermal monocular, and the SNIPE-IR thermal clip-on. One of their target markets is hog hunting.
We know hog hunting! It is one of our favorite activities. We were fortunate enough to receive one of the first IR-HUNTER thermal riflescopes to hit the field. It is impressive to say the least.
Trijicon’s recent acquisition of IR Defense is an interesting development coming on the heels of FLIR purchasing Armasight last summer. We have field experience with night vision / thermal products from all of these companies and they are all amazing. To be able to spot a wild hog 200 yards away in total darkness is very cool.
Trijicon recently launched their new Trijicon Electro Optics website to promote the new line of IR Defense based thermal scopes. We should have two in for testing in the next couple of weeks. Can’t wait to take them hog hunting!
Lewis Machine & Tool Company (LMT) is recognized for producing high quality rifles in demand by law enforcement and military. The British Army and New Zealand Army have selected LMT weapon systems. The LM8MWS is built around a Monolithic Rail Platform and the Modular Weapon System that allows the operator to easily change barrels and calibers. My particular rifle is fitted with the standard .308 caliber chrome-lined 16″ barrel 1:10″ twist. I look forward to adding a 6.5 Creedmoor down the road. So how well does the LMT .308 perform as a hunting rifle? Continue reading “Hunting with the LMT LM8MWS 308”
Armasight makes some of the best thermal rifle scopes available. These are high-end units – professional grade. The Armasight Zeus Pro is simply a superior solution for hog hunting.
I have taken the Armasight Zeus Pro hog hunting at night but did not have the DVR available to record the video. As you know, deer hunting past twilight is a criminal offense. The video taken here is intended to demonstrate the capabilities of the thermal scope – we were not deer hunting at night!
Thermal is different from traditional night vision devices in that the subjects really jump out at you. On one occasion, we had both a Gen 3 NVD and a thermal out one night hog hunting. We had spread corn down a long road, parked up on a rise, and were waiting on the pigs to arrive. Scanning down the road with the NVD, I didn’t notice anything moving. I then picked up the thermal and wow – a doe was standing about 60 yards away! Because she wasn’t moving I did not notice her with NVD. However, with the thermal she just popped!
Coker Tactical is our preferred supplier of thermal imaging and they are an authorized Armasight dealer.
I love it when a plan comes together! Friday night we went out with Gary from the Silencer Shop and his son Zachary.
That boy was excited about getting on some pigs!
We weren’t out 15 minutes and right at dark ran across three groups of pigs.
Is there anything more fun that hog hunting at night with suppressed ARs and Thermal imaging?
Not that I can think of!
For this hunt I ran a Wilson Combat 6.8 with 100g Hornady GMX Boar Buster ammo. Silencer is a CRUX Nemesis 30. Thermal scope is a FLIR PS64 and video recording is being handled by a MDVR from Ultimate Night Vision.