The Ultimate Hog Hammer?
February 3rd, 2020
5 minute read
One of the fastest-growing segments of the shooting and hunting world is without question hog hunting. As a feral species in the U.S., hogs are numerous, destructive, and quite easily one of the most enjoyable ways to practice marksmanship while helping out local landowners.
While many hunting cartridges for the AR-15 will do the trick, hogs present a serious challenge for hunters. With thick shoulder blades, tough hides and surprising agility, a successful hog hunt requires the right ammunition and caliber selection, as well as the right firearm platform. As a result, there are several considerations to make when planning your next outing.
Armed with Choices
First, while bolt guns are more than capable in the right hands, there’s a distinct and obvious advantage to the SAINT platform. Since pigs often travel in groups (sounders, to be exact), there’s a high likelihood of multiple shot opportunities for the skilled shooter. With 30-round magazines available and semi-automatic gas operation, the SAINT can be the ideal firearm of choice for many pig hunters. Likewise, a SAINT can be easily suppressed and is capable of hosting a wide array of accessories from lights to lasers and rail-mounted optics.
Second, it’s important to select the right load for hunting. The SAINT platform is home to a number of effective pig pounding rounds, from the 6.5 Grendel to the .308 Win. The ideal caliber will be big enough to leave a serious wound channel, with a tough bullet construction to penetrate hide and shoulder blades.
One of the best selections is the .300 BLK, which is capable of sending a 110-gr. projectile at roughly 2,350 fps in Hornady’s Full Boar load. The .30-caliber bullet will put a wallop on a hog, but there’s less recoil than the .308, which alleviates shoulder sting on high volume shooting excursions.
Delivering the Goods
The other beauty of the .300 BLK is that it’s made to be suppressed, which means you can shoot more without all the noise pollution of a full-force muzzle blast. This is especially helpful when hunting from a truck with multiple shooters. Likewise, the .300 BLK is available in ultracompact variants like Springfield Armory’s SAINT Victor Pistol, which comes with a 30-round magazine and measures just 27.75” in overall length. At 5 lbs., 9 oz., it’s also incredibly light, making it the perfect choice in a truck or when creeping through the Texas brush country. The M-Lok aluminum handguard is proprietary to Springfield and is a great way to accessorize your AR with lights, lasers, and grips.
The SAINT Victor comes with an SB Tactical SBX-K brace that keeps it off the NFA list, allowing shooters access to a compact AR without the hassle of a tax stamp. Because the .300 BLK fits in an AR-15 platform, it’s less bulky than a larger rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Winchester. To deal with your high-volume shooting, the Victor comes with a carbine “H” heavy tungsten buffer that’s built to take serious abuse.
The one downside with the .300 BLK is long-distance shooting. Depending on your zero, a 110-gr. projectile will drop about 13″ to 15″ at 300 yards with a velocity of around 1,600 fps. Especially with a shorter barrel (the SAINT Victor features a 9″ barrel), velocity decreases along with long-range effectiveness. It is by no means a 1,000-yard gun, but for most hog hunting applications shots are going to be much closer than that.
Depending on how far you plan to shoot, the Picatinny top rail is capable of housing everything from higher power optics to night vision and red dots, giving you plenty of options for a variety of conditions. Because recoil is mild, reacquiring sight picture and fast follow-up shots are easier. Optics like Trijicon’s MRO gives hunters the ability to shoot with both eyes open, a valuable feature when the shots start flying and pigs start running.
Pick Your Poison
In terms of ammunition, there are numerous offerings from companies like Hornady and Barnes that will drop the hammer on a hog. Hornady’s Full Boar line utilizes the GMX monolithic copper bullet, which is tough, won’t separate, and penetrates through even the toughest old swine. Also in a 110-gr. bullet, Barnes’ TAC-TX features a solid copper design that will penetrate and open up remarkably well at close distances. The VOR-TX line ups the bullet weight to 120 grains and is equally effective. Similarly, many companies offer subsonic loads ideal for use with a suppressor, like Hornady’s 190-grain Sub-X.
From close range to 100 yards and even beyond, the .300 BLK is one of the best options for serious hog hunters. Combine that with the SAINT Victor Pistol in .300 BLK, and you have a potent means to bring home the bacon!
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