Hunting has been around since the beginning of time, and not much has changed at its core. It still takes a skilled hunter to ethically take game using the weapon of their choice. The weapons have evolved over time, but so has the hunter. This is largely in part to technology and the constant strive to be the better.
As an avid hunter, I am always looking for the edge, always looking to remove human error and make the hunt more enjoyable.
We booked a hunt for Southwest Texas in a hope to kill our first wild hog. As Ohioans, wild pigs are not common and do not pose an issue, yet. Our claim to fame is monster whitetail bucks. Since I was old enough to travel out of state to rifle hunt elk, moose, bear and deer, it has been a family affair. My brothers and I have hunted with our father since we were old enough to walk and haven’t stopped since. Fast forward to now and each of us has harvested big game in many of the western states with the additions of Alaska and Newfoundland, Canada.
As a passionate and ethical hunter looking for the edge, I set my sights on the Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint rifle. Eager to give this newcomer to the hunting rifle industry a shot, I quickly prepared one about a month before our Texas hog hunt. With a Burris Signature HD 5-25X50 scope, Nightforce rings and an Atlas bipod, it was ready to hunt. The carbon fiber rifle, fully set up with bipod weighed in at just 9 lbs., exactly.
Where we would be hunting was free range, not fenced, and was in a higher-elevation, mountainous portion of Texas. Anyone who has ever hunted higher elevation and steep terrain knows the last thing you want is a heavy rifle. This rifle was below 10 lbs., which many hunters set as benchmark max weight.
The Waypoint was sighted in and DOPE (Data Over Previous Engagements) was verified. Our rifle chambered in .308 Winchester is an absolute tack driver, consistently printing groups of 0.40” to 0.50” using some 168-gr. Hornady A-Max ammo. With this accuracy, if I missed, it was on me. With hunting, many things are out of your control, however, your performance is solely based on your preparations.
Fast forward from a 26-hour car ride to the ranch we hunted, where we were approximately 30 miles southwest of Van Horn, Texas, along the Rio Grande River. We had three full days of hunting ahead of us and were eager to get started. Upon arrival at the ranch, the ranch hand showed us around and where the hogs generally are depending on time of day. They had multiple feeders set up around the river to help attract hogs.
The first morning, just before 7 am, a large hog arrived at the feed and we were perched on a ridge 120 yards away. Our binoculars and the scope allowed just enough light to be gathered to identify the animal, but not enough to be sure it wasn’t a large Javelina, which we didn’t have tags for.
Just after 7, the sun had risen enough to make a clean ethical kill on the hog we were after. At 118 yards, I settled the crosshairs on the lung cavity, squeezed the trigger and the shot went off. I watched the impact on the hog and it quickly scurried off.
Shortly after the shot, we recovered the wild hog approximately 40 yards from where I shot him and the 168-gr. Hornady bullet struck him. He was dead from a perfect through and through lung shot.
This Waypoint had just officially become a hunting rifle and a darn good one at that. Accurate, deadly, reliable, lightweight and successful — it had all the qualities needed. It has the make-up of the perfect hunting rifle, and will surely help hunters across the spectrum become successful. I know it did for me.
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