#1 buckshot v. boar, very poor choice...


Al Thompson
December 30, 2002, 07:32 AM
Morning all,

Just got back from a wonderful hunt in south Georga where deer were primary, hogs secondary.

Friday morning I bumped into a boar while packing my THR approved 870 candy caned with slugs and #1 buckshot. I had a right rear quartering shot on a decent sized boar (straight tail) at about 35 yards or so. He had his head behind a tree, so I hit him a bit furthur back than I would have liked, but did break his spine. That load was a Remington slug and it performed well. The boar started spinning in place. I sprinted up, shot him with the buck to clear the shotgun and then thumped him with the next slug at about ten feet. A quick 9mm to the head for insurance and then off to the skinning rack.

Quick caveat - I've killed something like 6 deer with #1 or 00 buck and have both seen and field dressed/butchered another 20 (+) deer smacked with buckshot. On deer, given the right range, this stuff works just fine.

Hogs, I've always used a rifle, so this was my first with a scattergun.

The #1 buckshot was worse than useless. I recovered one pellet in the body cavity and the rest never made it through the gristle plate or rib cage. If I had only used buckshot, he would have had a serious wound with no anchoring potential. I would have had a immorally wounded animal suffering due to my inadequate choice of ammo.

Word to the wise, buck is not the choice for hogs.

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December 30, 2002, 12:12 PM
It's great to have some real world Data. Some had posted a question on here a few days ago about using Buch SHot on hogs, so now we know.

Dave McCracken
December 30, 2002, 06:44 PM
Thanks,Al,and congrats on your Hog. I went as backup gunner on a hog hunt once, and used, surprise, an 870. The guide asked if I had buck in the shotgun. I replied truthfully it had all Brennekes and he relaxed.

Sounds to me like any dual game hunt like this one calls for a load that will do the job on the tougher critter. IOW, all slugs.

One question, in a world filled with excellent magnum revolvers, why a 9?

If I do that again some day, I'll pack a certain 41 Blackhawk.

El Tejon
December 30, 2002, 06:48 PM
Shotgun on a boar? You are a brave man, sir.

I'll stick with a .308.

December 30, 2002, 07:42 PM
Did the 9mm penetrate the skull. A friend of the family was attacked by a wild boar. He put 6 .357 shots to its head before the last shot penetrated the skull for a kill shot!

Al Thompson
December 30, 2002, 08:22 PM
My take on hogs is that they are targets of opportunity. I seriously hunted hogs in an area known forr hogs for about 3 years. We'd have lots of sign, no hogs. Hogs, no sign. Never was able to pattern them, unlike deer. Deer sign was heavy, so I planned on deer, with hogs a very secondary target.

The first round was indeed a dual purpose load, intent was that the buck would anchor any deer that had a less than perfect shot, as we were about 50 yards from a swamp.

Interestingly enough, this was the first time I've recovered slugs - both were classic mushrooms, the first in the off side rib cage, the second exited and was recovered in the right inside foreleg.

Dave, I pack a 9mm, usually a Glock 26, as I've found that that caliber is the minimum for cranial shots on deer. Having a light weight pistol for back up (especially in thick terrain) has always seemed like a good thing. Ammo was a Speer 124 grain Gold Dot +P. Penetration looked good but was not needed.

Back up Saturday was the .44 Magnum though.. :D

While the rest of the hogs I've killed (Feral ones) dropped right quick to a .308, I'm not bothered by the slugs performance. If I get lucky enough to pop another one with the 12, performance will not be something I'll worry about.

December 30, 2002, 08:58 PM
Instead of #1, how about #0, 00, or 000 buck? Or is it simply a matter of running something as massive as a slug? Now I'm rethinking my 450gr .45-70 loads as piggy ammo, after your results on the back end of a wild hog. :eek:

Dave McCracken
December 31, 2002, 05:29 AM
Thanks, Al. A coupla things...

I understand your choice of backup, and while the 9mm has its drawback in this role, so does the snubbie 38 I tote on occasion.

Recovering slugs from deer requires a long axis shot, a broadside shot means a pass through. The few slugs I've recovered recently were all flat, silver dollar or larger sized.

There's two schools of thought on whether it's best to have a slug exit or use up all its energy inside the target. On deer it's not important, IMO, but on something that may decide to chew on me if badly hit or just adrenalized enough, I'd rather have the slug stay in the critter. However, I think that if I were doing a dual game hunt, I'd use the heavier Rottweil Brennekes instead of the KOs just to ensure penetration. Splitting hairs, maybe.

Oleg Volk
December 31, 2002, 02:36 PM
I would have had a immorally wounded animal

Or maybe that animal would have had you :D
Glad you prevailed.

January 3, 2003, 04:41 AM
Some places only allow shot gun to hunt. I hunt with a 12 gage slug. Never had a problem bringing them down. As for the school of though about shock energy being absorbed by the hog, one word, "Hogwash" . Pun intended.
All the slugs go in one side of the hog and come out the other. The hog goes down in less than 10 feet from where it was shot.

Al Thompson
January 3, 2003, 08:18 AM
As regards heavier buckshot, H&H posted a thread on TFL regarding his disappointment using 00 on Texas hogs. I'd read that, but seeing it made a believer out of me.

Agree with 4th that slugs work fine. The initial slug broke a bunch of bones, so penetration was adequate though I recovered that one in the body cavity.

Brain Gravy
January 3, 2003, 08:18 PM
Al Thompson,

could you please provide more details concerning the #1 buck?

Copper-plated hardened lead?

Magnum load?

How many pellets actually hit the hog at 35 yards?

Do you think a solid hit at closer range might have been more effective?


Al Thompson
January 4, 2003, 08:43 AM
Sure BG.

Several years ago, I tested a bunch of buckshot and settled on the Winchester 2 3/4, #1, non-Magnum load. It's buffered, hardened (will not dent with a fingernail), max drams and patterns very well in all chokes. It has 16 pellets.

Range that I shot him with the buckshot was maybe 15 feet. I figured I needed to use a slug to finish the boar, so instead of just cycling the SG, decided to let him hold the buchshot round as well. The third shot was another slug that ended things.

Would OO or OOO been better? Maybe, but the difference in pellet size is fairly small. #1 buck is .30, OO is .36, OOO is (IIRC) .38. As they are all round balls, not at all sure that the Sectional Density would be any different and SD is what generates penetration.

January 4, 2003, 11:25 AM
Yeah... I think 45-70 or 454 Casull or even strong 44 Mag or 45 Colt would be the ideal for hogs.

And to the buckshot issue, I would have to think that 00 or 000 would be better than #1 but still far from ideal. A pellet of 00 is about the same as a light 100 Gr -115 Gr 38 Special round at a lower velocity. Just more chances for a hit (regardless of is ineffectiveness) at 20-80 yards or so. If you wouldn't shoot something with a very accurate 38 Special, you shouldn't shoot it with buckshot.

And it is called buckshot, not hogshot. ;) Thanks for the post though. Good reading and I can't think of a better candidate for the research than a nasty hog. Or maybe a mangy coyote. :D

April 10, 2006, 05:54 AM
The most recognized method of hog hunting where I come from is with dogs.
Most of the time guns arent even on the hunt. In Georgia, dogs hold the hog by the ears. I have seen them trained in SE La. to hold by the testicles.
You simply flip the hog over, use a plastic wire tie, put a stick through his legs and take him home to pen and fatten up for the feast.

Any Questions?

Big ole Indian

ps; If he has tusks it just makes him a lot easier to handle. Thick leather welder's gloves can come in handy tho.

April 10, 2006, 06:20 AM
Guys get all torqued up about buckshot for big animals, so a simple analogy..

would you shoot a boar with a .25 acp?? A load of buckshot is simply multiple hits with a .25 or .32 acp equivalent. A dozen won't penetrate any better than one. Just makes more surface wounds.

anybody that questions the impact (pun intended) of slugs has never used them. At 40 yards I'd take my slugs over a .30-06 any time. With the proper slugs anything from Cape Buffalo down would be fair game.

as for the .45-70, go to http://www.theboxotruth.com

April 10, 2006, 10:12 AM
There is some analogy about using the right gun and of course the right ammo. Well many lessons are learned the hard way, it happens.
Now I haven't yet gone hog hunting, but it ranks up on things to do right up there with pronghorn hunting, someday. But lets say I got a chance to do such a thing, given the size of the game you might think heck it works on coyotes or - along those lines. I may have easily made the same mistake. Sure yotes are tough but hogs are an entirely different critter.
Up here 'buckshot' is illegal for use on whitetail as another example, because they are thin skinned but they also get good sized. I can't get any spectacular patterns with even #4 @ 30 or so yards, but at the same time you could take advantage of that for coyotes or perhaps possible home defence applications.

April 10, 2006, 03:45 PM
Hogs are notoriously tough...and if you only wound one...LOOK OUT! ! ! Those tusks will rip you up like you won't believe, untill you see it first hand. NOT PRETTY

If you are limited to a shotgun for hogs, make it slugs. If I have a choice, a minimum o a 165-Gr in .30-06

Delivery McGee
April 11, 2006, 12:41 AM
I think I'll stick with my Marlin .45-70 Guide Gun for hogs. It'll go all the way through both shoulder bones. Of course, that's using a 405-grain JSP at 1400 fps that expands to .75". . . Yeah, I suppose my 18" 870 with slugs would work. :D

April 11, 2006, 02:28 AM
You are definitely a much braver man than me. I would never consider using buckshot on a hog. Glad every thing worked out for you. Hogs have torn up so much of our land that we try to take them out any way we can. I use a
300wsm with 165gr Interbonds. Hogs up to and a few larger than 600 lbs are fairly common and they are very tough animals.
Happy that you learned without getting hurt. We all do things that seem like a good idea and we just know that it should work, but somehow it ends a little differently.

April 11, 2006, 12:11 PM
cherokescott, thats the way we do it in the Alabama Black Belt also.:D Fun fun fun. Most fun hunt in north america, I think.:rolleyes:
I have shot just about everything that walks, creeps, crawls or roots in my +60 years of hunting and if them dam #1 Bucks didn't do the job at 35 yards, you missed him.:neener:

April 11, 2006, 08:10 PM
i use slugs for hogs. they are usally about 20yrds away. i use the remington express slugs. i have used 00 in a hog it was under me in the blind. shot it in the head. it died. i used my Rem 870 hd. i never leave home without it. shots pellets penatrated the brain. but usally use a 308 for them or slugs.

April 11, 2006, 08:57 PM
I can testify that a Ruger #1 in 45-70 will put a hog in the sausage mill most pronto!

Also, I have used a .357 mag to dispatch penned hogs and it worked very well indeed. I do NOT think I would use it all as a primary weapon on them when not penned though. The gun was a 4" Ruger GP 100 using a stiff handload with a 180 gr XPT bullet. Penetrated the skull just fine. DRT!

January 10, 2009, 01:01 PM
Well the debate about the cost of slugs or smooth shells is insignificant and so is the whole discussion here.
In Louisiana and South Georgia, and right here at home, we just use dogs and a small baseball bat.
You guys sound like you are hunting wild leopards in Africa!
"Great White Hunters" as we used to say.

January 10, 2009, 01:25 PM
I my experience, buckshot has always worked on hogs. Granted I do use the 12ga. 00 and 000 (patterns best out of my Mossberg). The trouble you had may be due to a smaller diameter sized shot that doesnt have the "oomf" behind it like the 00 and 000 have. I have killed a bunch of hogs with a 20ga. with #3 buckshot and they have all dropped where they stood.

If you havent patterned your shotgun it would be avery wise decision to do so, that way you'll find which harder hitting buckshot load works best.

confed sailor
January 10, 2009, 02:35 PM
My Uncle up in VA is talkin bout taking one with the new spear season!!!:what:

bugger that i say, but he is taking my cousin with a m-n 91/30 as the follow-upper. we were joking just mount the bayonet, and he can spear him too.

January 10, 2009, 03:38 PM
A wildlife management area near me is having open hog hunting in Feb/March. The catch is buckshot only. I plan to maximize my potential with my 10 gauge and 00. Buckshot sux, but it's the rules of the hunt, can't do anything about it. I'd rather use a rifle or handgun.

January 11, 2009, 12:31 AM
Check out the TriBall II Buckshot round loaded by Dixie Slugs. Three .60 caliber hard alloy 315 grain (3/4 ounce) per shell moving out at 1100 fps.

Patterns run 4 to 6 inches in diameter at 40 yards from standard full chokes. Yes it is a factory loaded 3 inch 12 gauge buckshot buckshot round! Shoots to the point of aim for me with a 870 Express 26" with a vent rib and bead for sights!

Same total payload weight and velocity level as the WW 3 inch 12 gauge #1 Buckshot round.


January 31, 2009, 12:04 AM

January 31, 2009, 03:08 PM
Darn. I've had an idea for a three-projectile longer-ranged shotgun load for a while. It'll be meant to be fired from rifled barrels...but that Dixie load seems pretty good!


January 31, 2009, 03:39 PM

Hell, I know a guy who emptied his Redhawk into a boar, and it finallly dropped just short of slashing his leg.

January 31, 2009, 07:38 PM
I have used 00 12 guage on a few hogs, normally within 25 yards though. My stands are set up for bow. When I stalk them, as long as wind is good, I get about 20 yards away.

As for 9mm, my buddy gets with ranchers who are having hog problems. He sets up a "client" to hunt them and his buddy runs them to the hunter with dogs. Well, the dogs ran this hog up a trail we were on, the "client" ,lol, freaked!! and just started blasting with his rifle. Emptied it, lol, well we were on the trail so the hog kept a coming. My buddy emptied his 9mm into this hogs chest as he came by.....when he went past, he put one in the head and dropped it. When we skinned that hog, none of the chest shots went deeper than a inch in its chest..... and this was not a massive hog. Under 200 lbs...

January 31, 2009, 08:21 PM
would you shoot a boar with a .25 acp?? A load of buckshot is simply multiple hits with a .25 or .32 acp equivalent. A dozen won't penetrate any better than one. Just makes more surface wounds.
Not true. In the ballistics gel tests I've seen, buckshot goes a lot further than .25 ACP. (Don't remember any .32 ACP tests)

January 31, 2009, 08:34 PM
Boars aren't made of ballistic gelatin.

No way, no how are ballistic gelatin tests applicable to boar hunting.

January 31, 2009, 09:11 PM
You are right in that gelatin tests are not applicable to boar hunting. What I'm saying is that 00 buck and .25 ACP are not on the same level.

January 31, 2009, 09:21 PM
.32 ACP FMJ, perhaps, and that's giving 00 Buck too much credit for velocity.

Energy is a pile of BS.

Momentum carries slugs through tough game animals. Light bullets are worthless, unless they're spitzers going Weatherby velocities.

It really doesn't matter whether 00 Buck is better or worse than .25 ACP, when .44 Magnum bullets at close range have been seen bouncing off boar skulls without having any apparent effect on the boar.

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