Pig rifle


February 1, 2011, 12:35 PM
What do you guys think of me using a DPMS AP 4 w/ 16" barrel for a pig rifle? I am planning on putting a Trijicon illuminated scope on it. 1.25-4 power. Is the 16" barrel OK for that kind of stuff? I have other rifles to choose from, but am trying to think of a good use for this one.

Also, are ACOGs good for hunting? I was thinking of maybe going that route as well.

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February 1, 2011, 12:47 PM
Yes, cmdc, a 16" barrel works fine if you can make the shot. With the .223 on pigs, no matter what the barrel length, the key is to a kill is shot placement. Pretty much, if you want to find the pig, a neck/headshot will be required (unless shooting smaller pigs). Just know the range where you can consistently make this shot, and study the anatomy of a pig so that you can pick out your small target.

Either the ACOG or the 1.25-4 power scope will work just fine.

Oh, and I use soft nosed bullets or 62 gr HP's. No FMJ's or Varmint rounds for me.

My setup is a 16" Doublestar, 1 in 9" twist, and a 3-9x40 scope. (the scope is a little too big for the gun IMO, but it works while I find a suitable replacement)

February 1, 2011, 12:47 PM
.223 would not be my choice for a pig rifle.

I do however think the AR platform makes for an excellent pig rifle in .308.
I have taken a lot of pigs with my AR-10.

February 1, 2011, 12:51 PM
If you go .223, get some soft points. They make a real mess of any kind of wet tissue.

February 1, 2011, 12:52 PM
Let me clarify, with my AR I will not shoot at a pig that is bigger than about 200 lbs, and even then if I have a doubt as to the shot I won't take it.

If I know I am going to see a big pig, my .270 WSM will be in my hands

February 1, 2011, 12:52 PM
I should have clarified that the rifle is .308 caliber, not .223. Sorry.

February 1, 2011, 12:53 PM
Oh, then heck yes. Take that thing out and drop some pigs! :)

February 1, 2011, 12:57 PM
Thanks, guys. I really wanted to think it would be a good setup, but wasn't sure. That gives me much confidence.

If I was going to get an ACOG, which one would be best for that purpose and still be a good all around scope? I'm thinking the 3.5x35, but would welcome any advice.

451 Detonics
February 1, 2011, 01:00 PM
My opinion is simple, the .223 is not enough gun. Before the whole "it will do with proper bullet placement" arugemants start I would point out the vitals on a pig are well protected and low in the body, you need to be able to hit a softball sized target to place the bullet there. This is great for broadside shots (if you can make that kind of shot...offhand, excited, nerves pumped up) but what if you need to take a quartering shot? The .223 would like break up before reaching the vitals on that or with a frontal shot.

Personally I wouldn't go with less than a 30 caliber tho a 260 or 270 would be ok if you really watched your shots.

lot's of posts while I was writing...

scope choice will depend largely on the range you expect to be shooting at, I would think a 1x4 variable would be about ideal.

February 1, 2011, 01:01 PM
Also, and this is probably a weenie question, but how much louder is the short barrel than a longer one for hunting? I have lost enough hearing already, and do not want to go totally deaf shooting pigs for fun.

February 1, 2011, 01:03 PM
..... or get a Win. .375, 200 gr. FN bullets, then you've got bacon in the skillet.

February 1, 2011, 01:05 PM
451 Detonics, it is .308, not .223, and I agree with you. I wouldn't try it with the .223. I am sure it would work, with shot placement, etc., but far from ideal, based on what reading I've done on the subject. It seems that some hunters have had some real adventures in pig country. Apparently, they should be classed as dangerous game. The big ones, anyway.

February 1, 2011, 01:23 PM
I personally do not have any experience with a 16" .308, but if it is bad you might want to consider doubling up on hearing protection. (earplugs under muffs if you can)

Al Thompson
February 1, 2011, 01:25 PM
classed as dangerous game

Nah, unless your planning on lying down and arm wrestling them. :p

With a decent bullet, that .308 will take anything walking in the lower 48. Big key is going to be getting a soft point that will feed well. I like the 165 or 180 grain ballistic tip for pigs and the polycarbonate tip should feed nicely.

As for a scope, the 2.5x8 Leupold has been a favorite for hunting. Quick to use at 2.5, 8 power gets you some good range. Key is (IMHO) having enough power on tap to let you see the pigs.

Unless you have a muzzle brake, a set of active ear muffs work very well. You can turn up the volume to enhance your hearing and the active electronics will muffle the shot.

February 1, 2011, 01:30 PM
txhoghunter, I am a newbie at this. I didn't know how practical it would be to hunt with hearing protection, but will for sure, if it is recommended. I typically use plugs under muffs at the range, and it helps a lot compared to doing just one or the other.

I will definitely get some soft point bullets for hunting the pigs.

February 1, 2011, 02:10 PM
I never hunt without hearing protection. A great little invention that helps hunters out alot are electronic muffs that amplify sounds under a certain decibel range, but reduce the loudness of a gunshot to acceptable level. They are a little more expensive, but are very effective. You can also get them in an in-ear plug basically so that you can get a comfortable cheek weld that you can't get with muffs.

February 1, 2011, 02:13 PM
Thanks. I shall get a pair.

February 1, 2011, 02:13 PM
And since you said you are new, welcome to the sport! You will enjoy it and make some great memories :)

Just be sure to share your experiences with others and get others involved, trust me, that is the best part :)

February 1, 2011, 02:27 PM
I will do so, sir. I am hoping to go to your fair state sometime to do just that. A friend of mine has a brother-in-law who lives somewhere in TX and has plenty of hogs to shoot, apparently. Don't know where or any details, but we are going to do it sometime next year.

February 1, 2011, 02:53 PM
We have plenty of hogs to be sure, and we welcome the help to get rid of them. ;)

February 1, 2011, 03:07 PM
If you are talking about using the 223 version I would recommend using soft points or barnes x bullets. Even with that in mind you don't want to shoot anything just enormous. If you plan to drop them at the shot a 300 lb. pig will be kind of tough.

Al Thompson
February 1, 2011, 08:39 PM
Cmdc, even big pigs are great eating. Gut'em and get the meat cooled down quickly and you have lots of high quality ham for the freezer. :)

February 1, 2011, 10:00 PM
I know I said neck shots for the .223, however, if you can make the shot I still recommend it for a .308. In all honesty, I recommend a neck shot on hogs for whatever caliber you are using as long as you (being the shooter) can make the shot. It drops 'em in their tracks and you don't have to worry about walking up on a wounded pig.

As we all know, a wounded pig is about as dangerous as an animal can get...

February 2, 2011, 01:10 AM
Thanks for all of the great info and encouragement. How much of a problem is trichinosis in those wild hogs?

February 2, 2011, 06:08 AM
I kind of envy you guys that can hunt hogs in your neck of the woods.

February 2, 2011, 06:13 AM
I'd much rather use my .308 bolt action CZ on pigs. You can kill them with the 5.56, but the .308 is much more lethal on an animal that tough.

Al Thompson
February 2, 2011, 08:49 AM
How much of a problem is trichinosis

Not much of a problem, as you should always cook wild pork to a high temperature. 160 degrees is the recommended minimum. ;)


February 2, 2011, 11:07 AM
Thanks, AL. I won't worry about it. Just shoot and eat. Well, after I cook it, I mean.

February 2, 2011, 11:17 AM
If you will be using a 223 for hogs you might want to consider a partitioned bullet in a heavier grain such as the Nosler partition.
These open up like a soft point but still have the base intact for deep penetration which might be an advantage on quartering or head on shots.
I believe Federal makes such a load
Just an idea

February 2, 2011, 03:16 PM
Here's my advice for what it's worth...

.308 is excellent for pigs. That's what I use for long range (anything over 100 yards) for pigs.

However, I don't think the AR platform is the way to go. I love my 5.56 AR for close range pig hunting but I believe that the accuracy of a good bolt gun is the way to go if you're going to be doing longer range hunting for pigs.

My 5.56 AR is a DPMS with an EoTech 512. No problem dropping hogs with that within 100 yards. If I know I'm going to be shooting more than 100 yards the Marlin XS7C in .308 comes along.

February 2, 2011, 04:45 PM
Okay the OP is not using a .223, I just assumed he was after his first post. He cleared it up and has said that his AR is indeed chambered for .308. Lets not get off on a .223 vs .308 for pigs argument when it isn't necessary please ;)

February 2, 2011, 05:05 PM
My newest Texas pig gun is the new KelTec RFB. A bullpup semi auto rifle in .308/7.62. It is a new design designed from the ground up as a bullpup and has a unique feature where it ejects empties out the front of the rifle. This allows the gun to be truly ambidextrious and it is a hoot to shoot. I added a Vortex Strikefire red dot sight for fast target aquisition. Later this year I will add a suppressor. Several buddies have already offered the pigs in their properties to try it out. Here is the gun and the 50 yard target used to sight in the Strikefire.

February 2, 2011, 05:21 PM
Thanks, TX, for reiterating the .308 caliber.

I actually want a Keltec RFB but can't find one reasonably priced, so figured the DPMS would suffice for now. Also like the SCAR 17 too.

February 2, 2011, 09:37 PM
BIGmike goes for a LITTLE gun to kill him ALOT of pigs ;)

February 2, 2011, 09:53 PM
shoot the pig with any .308 with a good shot and a nosler partition and done!

February 3, 2011, 04:08 AM
I don't know that I'd recommend an ACOG as a hunting scope. A good 4x fixed or low variable 1.5-4x will give you a more precise sight picture at longer range.

Doesn't matter if you plan on hunting up close in heavy cover, the ACOG will work.

I'd also recommend a good expanding bullet with deep penetration like a Nosler partition or Barnes X bullet. For pigs you want that bullet to stay together not fragment.

February 3, 2011, 05:32 AM
A bit of input from Aus. I've shot pigs of all sizes and if you don't think they are a dangerous animal, wait until your Ruger 44mag carbine jams and Mr pig is meters off chewing your leg. Thanks to a reliable 44mag Blackhawk all was sorted out. I've shot pigs with 22mag, 222, Mini 14, 243, 303, and 8x57 and as far as I'm concerned nothing is too big. :D

February 3, 2011, 08:38 AM
I use a 8MM mauser...... puts them down good!

Would NOT recommend a 223, or small bore.

I know others that have used an AR and had to use several shots to kill

February 3, 2011, 03:56 PM
I would not recommend .223 for pigs. If you like the AR15 design why don't you go with a 6.8 spc? Just need a new upper and mags.

February 3, 2011, 06:04 PM
I have killed nearly a dozen pigs with a stag arms model 7 AR, a 6.8 mm SPC with a 20 inch barrel. I think 16 inch barrel is fine as the 4 inches difference is probably less than 75 FPS.

I think you might like the AR15 platform better (.223, 6.8 SPC, 6.5 grendal) since once you load up the rifle with a optic and freefloating handguards for your flashlight attachments etc, you will still end up with a rifle system less than 10 lbs.

A fullying loaded AR-10 system would probably weight at least 12-14 lbs.

Shot placement is still critical. The last big male Hog (estimated 300+ lbs) I wounded from my stand ran 40 yards away into the thick woods after I fired at it six times from 100 yards away! I'm sure not all my shots hit but most scared unwounded animals would disappear much quicker so I'm pretty sure at least one bullet hit him.

Most hogs dont appear until after sunset so I'm not tracking a wounded Hog in the dark in the middle of thick woods! The lesson I learned was to place your shots carefully and dont shoot at a moving target unless you have no other option. I rushed the shot because it was the Biggest living creature I have ever seen crawling around outside a zoo. All prior pigs I shot dropped within 20 yards with 110 grain Nosler Accubond with shots to the chest.

I think a .223 is very marginal on Hogs and would only go for headshots with such a caliber and use large grain bullets 69 or 75 grain. Hogs aren't built like deer. They have a thick hide and fleshy covering over their front shoulder and thick bone structure which acts like armor. Also their lungs sit lower to the ground making a much smaller vital zone than a similar size deer. Since they sit lower to the ground than deer, much of the vital zone can be covered by tall grass. I guess if they are really close, you might want to consider head shots but I never have done so yet.

The last thing I want to do is track a wounded Hog...in the dark.

red caddy
February 3, 2011, 10:18 PM
I am of the opinion that your chosen weapon will get the job done. Carefull target selection and good shot placement are critical. If you are walk hunting and jump a great big 'ol boy in the bushes,(or foolishly try to track one in the dark) the .308 ain't the best choice, (35 Rem or 45-70 Govt spring to mind) but a well placed double tap, with the .308 will work.

I recently built a FN-FAL specifically to kill hogs.( predator control) we typically shoot from a buggy and take full advantage of NV gear and IR filtered spotlights.

The barrel is cut to 17 inches with a brake installed. This weapon is heavy, short and fast handling, almost totally recoil free and swings very much like a shotgun, on running hog's. When we jump a sounder, the goal is to kill 'em all, DRT is preferred, but not always possible. I use 150 Gr. HPBT at 2800 FPS and get very few run off's.

Again, this isn't your kind of shooting, but it shows what the .308 is capable of. Paul

February 4, 2011, 12:48 AM
Any reliable simple .308 (ie: Saiga .308 in 16" ) + Barnes TSX 168 gr. = Pig falls like hit by lightning.

They are devastating. Makes a consistent wound channel of .40 at the entry and 2-3" across all the way leaving 90% of the energy in the animal. They drop from the shock and you will be surprised if they take more than 2 steps.

For me nothing has escaped these solid copper rounds. The Nosler partitions are also brutal.


February 4, 2011, 04:43 AM
I use a SA Socom II and it works just fine. However, as far as noise goes.....I have to say that that is one of my dislikes of my preferred hog rifle. I think it may be the loudest rifle I have ever shot. I use plugs at the range of course....it wasn't until I took that doe with irons in a total quiet setting that I realized "wow, I cannot hear anything out of my left ear now...RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING". So i learned that when I take my baby hunting, I use the Caldwell electronic muffs. It amplifies sound and cuts out the loud BANG of the rifle. Anyways, I think the .308 is all I'll ever need here in Florida. Oh, and I personally use Hornady TAP 168 GR when I hunt hogs here...they are definately "one hitter quitters"..lol

February 4, 2011, 09:28 AM
For those concerned about the accuracy of a .308 AR, most reports I've seen on DPMS and Armalite guns (never mind the high-end rigs like LMT, Noveske, KAC, etc) indicate 1-1.5 MOA accuracy with good ammo. That's right up there with a typical bolt gun built for hunting.

February 4, 2011, 05:50 PM
Thanks guys, for the input. How about a Trijicon accupoint in 1.25-4 with the illuminated post reticle for the AP4? Better than an ACOG?

I'm going to get the best .308 hunting rounds I can find.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 4, 2011, 05:52 PM
After looking at that video of the two 600 pound hogs fighting each other and taking arrows, I would think a 300 Win. Mag. or 338 Win Mag!

Friendly, Don't Fire!
February 4, 2011, 05:53 PM
I'm going to get the best .308 hunting rounds I can find.
Barnes Triple Shock
Nosler Partition

February 4, 2011, 06:05 PM
A quick handling lever action in 30-30 Win or 35 Rem would be a better choice for penetration and knock down power.


February 4, 2011, 06:17 PM
Hmm. I have a few lever-actions in assorted calibers. 336 stainless in .30-30, BLR in 7mm-08, 1895 GS (45-70), two MXLRs, one in 308ME and one in 338ME. Those are both at Marlin right now getting fixed...but I wanted to use the AP4 because I thought it would be well-suited to that task.

February 4, 2011, 06:58 PM
After reading back, I see that you were talking 308, not 223. That will be more than adequate for up to Hogzilla sized porkers.
Good luck.


red caddy
February 4, 2011, 09:15 PM
As far as a choice from your arsenal, for hunting from a blind, I'd go with the 1895. A 305 Gr. jacketed soft point at ~ 1900 Fps works real well down here in the palmetto's.

I've used a guide gun, several times, out to 100 yds. and a NEF classic buffalo hunter at 160 Yds. (length matters, lol) There are many hotter, "thumper" loads available, although I don't enjoy recoil as much as I used to. (I think age trades you common sense for your fade away jump shot, so I now load down to the best accuracy.)

I tried an ACOG, on the FN and found it usable, but awkward to get a good cheek weld. I liked the SUIT a little better, but still too "buck Rodgers" looking and hard to integrate with the NV. I'm currently using a 2 X 7 X 42 W/ Illuminated reticle, mostly because of the wide field of view at 2X (better on the "runners" than a red dot) and the more traditional look. The Ill. reticle is an advantage in low light (early evening and pre dawn, before and after the the NV is most effective) At 7X, it's enough magnification in daylight, but not too much for me to use, effectively, offhand.

YMMV, what I'm doing is more killing than hunting.

February 4, 2011, 10:21 PM
If you want something affordable and simple and lethal pick up a $550 saiga .308 - 16" and done. Then get some nice loads with barnes TSX or nosler partions and go hunt a griz. if you want.
They come from the same pegree as the VEPR (VEPR is the name of a wild pig in Siveria, russia) and those are very popular for all type of hunting int he most extreme conditions. Those rifles will always fire from -50 degress to 120 degress, wet or dry, dirty or clean and easy to carry in the woods.
And the funny part is that for that kind of money expect sub MOA accuracy. Remember, the 16" one not the 21" ones or VEPRs as they are good too but not so accurate.
Do your own research on this if you want.


Ignition Override
February 5, 2011, 12:26 AM
On Youtube videos filmed onboard Robinson helicopters, is .223 the most popular rifle caliber used for swine and dine?

One video ("Hell's a Comin'...") lists a Rock River .223 with an Eotech.

If it works out this spring for my first hunt (correct-First hunt), it will be with an Enfield "Jungle Carbine" for pigs near Austin.

February 5, 2011, 10:29 AM
There is just a ton of good info here. Red Caddy, what ill. reticle scope are you using?

February 5, 2011, 10:35 AM
I prefer my 1985g with 430gr paper patch bullets at 1850fps. Never fails to stop them DRT.

February 5, 2011, 10:39 AM
I would think that the .47-70 would absolutely flatten just about any pig right on the spot...

red caddy
February 5, 2011, 03:54 PM
CMDC, I bought a cheap Leapers, ($60.00 shipped) just to see if the parameters met my needs. The red dot didn't have enough magnification, but I was not sure if the 2X would have enough field of view, for the "run 'N gun" type targets here in the winter. (yea, I know, according to most of you guy's, we don't get "winter" here, but the cooler temps and shorter days do change how the hog's move around)

So far, it's working out fine, I had to mount it on extra high rings and I'm currently playing with an IR monocle out in front of it. I really need to spend the 2K on an IR rig, but I can't decide which guns to sell to get it...(land owners around here arn't gonna pay anybody to kill hog's, we have been keeping them pretty much in check lately, for free. So I'm not want to invest more money in better gear.) I'd really like to hook up with some landowners in Texas or new Mexico, for a 2 or 3 month tour. Bunk house privileges and some ammo money would get 'er done for me...

The .35 Rem and the 45-70, even with really heavy bullets, are no magic wand on big hog's. you still need to put the hole in the right place. I've got a buddy that uses a .338 win Mag with 275 gr. Nosler's and he has had a few runoffs. That same load DRT'd a bull elk at 710 Yds, so we know it's got the power. It's a bolt gun, so a quick double tap (like I use on the big 'uns) ain't gonna happen for him.


February 5, 2011, 04:10 PM
Thanks, red caddy. The Trijicon accupoint scopes are around $800 or less. I'll find out how well they work soon I hope.

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