Hogs can be damned tough animals to kill. Yes, a bullet or slug that blasts into and thru the heart-lung area will surely result in a dead pig. But getting a projectile into those vitals? That can be the difficult part.
A wild hog has a thick, resilient skin—frequently covered in dried mud—stretched out over a nice layer of impact-absorbing fat, and heavy muscles on top of rock-hard bones. Boars are further encased in a “shield,” a layer of tough scar tissue beneath the skin and covering the shoulder areas. Formed through continuous fighting, shields can be two inches thick or better on a really stout boar, and feel a lot like a Kevlar vest.
Hit that shield with the wrong bullet or at a bad angle? You’ll have an angry boar, and a running boar. But you won’t have a dead one.
Plus, unlike deer, a high shoulder shot is not going to drop a big hog in his or her tracks. Heart and lungs are tucked down, forward and behind the front leg.
All that means hog hunters need rifle rounds and shotgun slugs that will penetrate and hold together, expanding as they go forward for maximum take down. Check out our list of the best hog hunting cartridges right now—you’ll be glad you did.
- Ammunition made by Dynamic Research Technologies (DRT) is at the other end of the penetration spectrum, in that it is made to come apart—inside the animal—and in the process create devastating terminal ballistics.
DRT’s 79-grain .223 Rem. round fires a frangible, lead-free bullet built around “powder core technology.” Which means the bullet is comprised of a hard jacket encasing a highly compressed core of powdered metal. With that jacket, the DRT bullet punches through shield and bone—and then essentially blows apart several inches into the soft tissue. Imagine a small grenade going off inside a hog, and you have DRT.
I’ve seen these 79-grain DRTs take out 200-plus-pound hogs and big deer. Most of them dropped right there or with 30 yards. Dressing them out revealed heavily lacerated organs and huge pools of blood inside the body cavity.
True, exit wounds are rare with DRT, so tracking can be somewhat difficult. Although, I must add, the 2 feet to 20 yards I have had to walk to retrieve my DRT killed hogs? It’s very do-able….