I booked my hunt in May and am working to order the ammo for my hunt.
Since this is my first hog hunt, What the 30-06 bullet weight should I get for hog hunt ? (150/165/180 grs)
Thanks in advance for helping the newbie.
Whichever one your rifle shoots best. It is all about shot placement. My old 30-06 has trouble with accuracy on anything less than 180 so that is what I shoot. But any size will work as long as you can shoot accurately.
"Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid." - John Wayne
As db said, you need to get a few different kinds of rounds, and let the gun tell you what it shoots the most accurately. What gun are you shooting? Maybe someone here could help you narrow your choices.
Then practice with that round from different shooting positions, so that you know you can make the shot when the opportunity arises.
Good luck, let us know what you end up with (and how the hunt goes).
Think me not unkind and rude,
That I walk alone through grove and glen.
I go to seek the God of the wood,
And fetch His word to men.
All the grains will work. I have taken kids out to get there first pig or deer and they were shooting 110 grain in my 30-06. Like the others said above it is all about shot placement.
Last edited by asaxon; 03-02-2012 at 07:05 AM.
I can only repeat what others have said above....use the type/weight of bullet that shots best in your rifle and place the bullet where it will do the most damage to the vitals. I use handloaded 150 grain Barnes Triple Shock bullets in my .30/06 and my .308. One shot kills every time. Practice hitting a 6" circle at 100 yards from standing, sitting, kneeling and prone positions. If you use a bipod/tripod, practice with it as well. Poor marksmanship will screw up any hunt no matter which bullet you choose.
Now try this - with the rifle on the bench, jog in place for three minutes, pick up the rifle, chamber a round and hit the 6" target from a standing position....yikes!!! That humbles me every time! (but it's still fun!!!!)
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." George Orwell, English novelist
You need to decide if you are hunting in the lead free zone or in the "free" part of California. If you are required to use lead free bullets, you have fewer choices. You should list your rifle's make and model and maybe someone with the same rifle could give you more information. All rifles, even the same brand and model will shoot differently, but it would be a good starting place.
Twist rate of the barrel has a lot to do with shooting copper bullets well. You don't need a heavy bullet if you use the Barnes TTSX. 100gr 6.5MM TTSX bullets shoot in one side and out the other using my Grendel leaving massive damage in-between.
I'm guessing you will be hunting in lead-free zone. Get some cheaper lead ammos and a box of lead-free all with the same weight. Zero-in your rifle at the range with the lead ammo. Then fire a couple rounds of lead-free to make sure it is hitting the same spot. This way it saves your expensive lead-free ammo. Then go hunting and make sure you get as close as possible to your comfort shooting distance of the hog before taking a shot. Oh and bring a camera and take some pictures of your kill. Looking forward to see your report of the hunt.
Another practice technique for those running shot is to get yourself some old tires and place white butcher paper in the middle of the tire. Roll the tire off a hill and practice shooting it to simulate shooting animals on the run. those tires will bounce and roll just like an animal will. Make sure you find a long hill so you can shoot multiple times and so you can let the tire get further and further a way.
I agree with most of what others have said. But in my opinion 110 gr bullets are to light. Yes you can kill a pig with them , but if a really big boar steps out and you hit it in the shoulder plate will the bullet make it through to both lungs. If the pig is quartering away strongly or running is that little light bullet what you want ? Not me. So here is my opinion of good bullet choice. If your going to be shooting the copper stuff like the TSX or E-tip then its ok to shoot a little light so 150 gr and up. If your going to be shooting lead than 165 gr and up. Hogs can be tough critters, they are not tanks as some say but can be very tough. If you try some different brands in those weights Im sure you will find somthing that will shoot good. If it was me the first one I would try if I lived in Cal would be the Federal premium with TSX bullet in 165 gr. That way you can kill anything from varmints to moose and be good for the lead free zone.
At 3500fps using the 110grn tsx has about 2360ft/lbs at 100yds. Don't know any pigs will survive that hit. Even on angle shots.
At 2975fps using 150grns tsx has about 2470ft/lbs at 100yds. So about 100ft/lbs more energy with a A LOT more recoil.
Do some homework before you take other people's advise.
I agree with Luckypants. I have taken over 20 hogs with 100 grain bullet out of a 25-06 the largest one weighed in at 315 lbs. It is all about shot placement
If you are shooting copper, stay in the 150 to 168 gr. range. The copper is longer for each weight and will behave like a heavier cup and core bullet as far as stability (twist rate).
A 110 gr. bullet will do fine on most hogs, but your room for error does go down. I like a big heavy bullet that leaves two holes leaking (lots) of blood.
It's good to have a plan. That way you have something to change.......
And while you are doing your homework also look at the SD ( .30 cal 110 gr is .166 as the 165 gr is .248 )
Higher SD for the same cal = more penetration.
You may also want to look up what some experts have to say about bullet weights for game like Chuck Hawks.
2360lbs of energy will kill hogs dead from any angle with an all copper bullet. You dont' need an "expert" to tell you that.
I remember reading "stories" from chuck hawks when I was first learning about ballistics. He was a good source of info for a novice.
Great advice here, but (yeah I said but) I do have a bit to add. When hand loading (or loading your own, whether you do it or pay someone to do it), you have a huge advantage of being able to load the rounds to YOUR particular weapon/gun. So what do I mean by that, well you can seat the bullet so that it is 1/1000 from the lans and groves of the barrel, thus providing grater accuracy. I could go into bullet expansion rates by bullet design, but with the new non-lead bullets, this for the most part becomes a moot point if your using a non-lead bullet. And, considering the regs in condor range, I would advise to go with non-lead bullets and trying to limit yourself to 2 bullets/loads. I would chose a bullet designed for varmit (80-110grain), and a bullet for big game (140-165grain) (those grain weights are just my not so humble opinion, NSHO). The varmit rounds will give you a much faster expansion rate, as they are designed for small animals like coyotes... and will disperse most of their energy before exiting the animal (and without a doubt, they will exit the animal). While the big game rounds are designed for larger animals (deer, pig, elk...) and will perform comparably for the thicker, larger animals; dispersing most of their energy before exiting.
I have seen 140 gr TSX bullets stop in the belly of impala and hogs that were shot head on. So if a 140 gr bullet can be stopped front to back, what would make me think that a 110 gr bullet would reach the heart and lungs of a big pig shot back to front. ( have you killed big pigs with the 110 gr 30-06 bullet shot from rear to front or is it just theory from numbers ) Yes it will kill it but will it be recovered. Energy is not the only factor of killing power or penetration. But then again this is just my opinion I am not an expert. Just reporting what I have seen in the field.
Also I just thought that if the guy was asking about what bullet weight he should shoot. That he might be a novice.
Oh yes, I have killed many animals with 130 ttsx. All complete pass thru. I've killed a bear with a front on shot at 80yds and it exited near the right ham. All dead right there. 130 ttsx SD is only .196. I agree with regular lead bullets that even at 2360ft/lbs of engery you shouldn't use it for pigs but we are talking about all copper.
I am going on a TX hog hunt soon. I will bring my 30-06 using 130 ttsx. I have permission to kill by any means so if I see one facing me I will shoot it head on. Put these bullets to the test. I might load some 110 ttsx for shiets and gigs but I prefer the 130s. Will let you guys know.
When jerryt brought up the 110 gr bullets there was nothing said about all copper bullets. And that is what I based my reply on. I know as well as you that all copper bullets like the TSX changes things quite a bit. But it still does not change my opinion of 150 gr and up for large hogs. ( However it is just my opinion ) I shot a small hog maybe 125 pounds a few weeks ago with a 7mm08 140 gr TSX at about 10 feet. Energy at that range is about 2542. The hog was hit just in front of the left ear and it went out the back of its head and back in the hog. the bullet did not make it to the hams. The bullet did not hit the spin or any other bones other than the skull. The bullet ran right down the neck behind the shoulder and stopped in the guts. My wife shot a impala head on right in the chest with the same bullet and cal and the bullet did not reach the hams. Impala are light built animals. Both animals were DRT , however if they would have been shot from rear to front would the bullet have enough energy to take out the vitals for a clean quick kill. I sure would not want to chance it with a 110 gr bullet even the TSX. I have seen bullets do funny things, like hit a animal in the neck and the bullet came out the shoulder. The animal was broadside bullet should have came out on the other side of the neck. These are my reasons for prefering a 150 gr and up copper bullets from a 30-06. Why do you prefer a 130 gr TSX over the 110 gr if you feel so strongly that the 110 gr can do the job at any angle ? And how about you shoot a big pig in TX with the 110 gr TSX and shoot it rear to head not head on to test how it works.
Good luck on your hunt in Tx . I always have fun when I hunt there.
Interesting thread reading everyone's preferences and reasoning behind each. I'm interested because I too will be going on my 1st pig hunt within the next couple months with my 30-06. I've decided to shoot either the Hornady GMX 165gr or the Barnes TSX 165gr, because both have great reviews on the damage they inflict. I don't recommend just buying some cheap ammo and then taking a couple shots w/ the copper to ensure you're dialed in. I shot some Sellier & Bellot last week and will never ever load that crap into my rifle again (Savage Axis). I had 5 rounds jam in the chamber from neck pinch. I measured the brass of those rounds and they were all long by a few thousandth, enough to make me not happy. Buy lower cost Winchester or Remington loads of similar size/performance. Any well place bullet from your 30-06 will take down any pig, so will a stick with a razor on the end flung from the string of a bow. Anyway, practice makes perfect, lots of good practice ideas here, I like the tire rolling down the hill, if you have someone else bring it back to the top of the hill. Where are you going pig hunting? Hope to see pics from the aftermath... Good luck!!!
Last edited by californiabull; 03-05-2012 at 04:41 PM.
I use 130 ttsx primary in my 300WM. I chronoed it and it averaged 3730fps. Not sure if the chrono was correct or not but that is flat out scary fast. If I were to use the 110 ttsx, it will destroy the bullet on impact regardless of all copper construction. So I stuck with 130 ttsx instead.
I have several boxes of the 130 ttsx so I chose to load those for 30-06. Have not yet chronoed those but I'm thinking 3200-3300fps. I'm sure the 110 ttsx will go 3500fps and the results on game will most likely be similar to the 300WM.
I like to run these coppers ultra fast. Not only will it penetrate deep, but hydrostatic shock is what I'm really after. The shock from a fast moving bullet will literally put them down even if it's not hit in the head or spine. Every animal I've shot DRT. I have also used 180 tsx in my 300WM and a buck I shot from only 20yds away ran about 50yds before I put another round in him. I had shot this buck front on from 20yds and it went completely thru. Why did it not go down instantly? I'm thinking no hydrostatic shock and a small hole in small hole out.
For long range hunting (400+ yards), I will use extremely frangible bullets. Bullets that will open up quickly like the bergers VLD. But that's for another thread.
what was the inside of the buck like ? Was the lungs like jello ? It is strange to me how one animal is DRT and another one runs off a little even shot in the same spot with the same bullet and gun.
You have the same train of thought as Roy W. And thats not a bad thing. I have shot 13 animals with a 165 gr Federal fusion from a 30-06. Its a soft bullet that opens fast but has held it weight well. I have recovered 6 bullets 3 of them found just under the skin on the off side shoulder and 3 in the gut from frontal shots. 8 of the 13 fell right there but I would have liked to have seen an exit hole on the broadside 3. Just because 2 holes bleed better than 1 . The fusion shoots great out of my 30-06 thats why I have been using it. The next bullet I am going to try is the 165 gr Hornady IB, it does not shoot quite as good as the fusion but I can still get 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch groupes at 100 yards with it.
Here is a pic of the hog I shot in the head at about 10 feet. I am 5,7 180 pounds.
I've used the 130 TTSX in my .300 wm also. Handload velocity in the 3,600 fps range. Killed two animals with it: one hog--DRT and one nice Blacktail 3 X 4 that ran about 80 yards. No idea why 'cause the bullet (rear quartering at 325 yards), turned everything in between into pudding. It was THE most destructive wound I've ever seen. He had no lungs at all. When I opened him up his innards poured out. It was cool. The other nice thing about that load is that out to 350 yards or so you just aim for hair.
For pretty much everything, though; the 168 TTSX is my bullet of choice. I like to be prepared for the LARGEST animal I might run across. You just never know when a big cutter boar will show up.........
It's good to have a plan. That way you have something to change.......
This story is a bit off topic but it relates to how animals react to being shot. I shot a deer with my bow and the arrow hit one lung and the liver and it was dead at 20 yards. 2 weeks later shot another deer with a 12 gauge slug, slug hit the heart and both lungs and the deer ran 60 yards or so.
with all the different replies I have to wonder if Pigeater is scratching his head thinking ( I still dont know what bullet weight to use )
Thank a lots for everyone's comments. I learned a lots in this thread.
I ordered the unlead Barnes 168gr and 150 gr at Midwayusa. But, yesterday (our 15 yrs anniversary)
my wife showed a receipt that she bought for me a Cooper custom classic 7mm remington
mag with AAA wood together with Z3 Swarovski scope 4-12x50. I was stoked. Now, I am in dilema to decide what rifle to take for my first hog hunt. :)
Last edited by pigeater; 03-14-2012 at 03:32 PM.
Woww..it is a really nice hog. I bet it should be a good and tasty bacon
Last edited by pigeater; 03-14-2012 at 03:31 PM.
That's a good idea. But, I can not shoot more than I can consume.
one hog bacon is enough me and my family :)