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Guns & Gear Hogs How-To

The Best Hog Hunting Cartridges Right Now

by Brian McCombie   |  December 20th, 2013 4

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.

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