Feral Firepower: Best Hog Hunting Guns for 2015

Feral Firepower: Best Hog Hunting Guns for 2015

Freighter loads of ink have been spilled on the topic of the right gun for deer or elk, but hogs are often marginalized as "me too" game when it comes to the outdoor media. So what should you put in the gun case when you're headed out to hunt hogs?

Choosing the right firearm for hunting wild pigs is hardly a "one size fits all" proposition. Hogs live in diverse habitats from the thick swamps of my native Florida to the steep hills of Hawaii and just about everywhere in between, save maybe the Rockies. The size of a hog can vary as much as the terrain they inhabit. The rifle I'd choose for a small meat sow is a far cry from what I'd shoulder to chase a heavyweight trophy boar.

Which hunting method you'll employ is the final, and perhaps most important, consideration. Sitting on a stand overlooking acres upon acres of irrigated crops calls for a vastly different choice of arms than trailing a pack of hog dogs through thick stands of palmettos. You wouldn't dog hunt with a long and heavy precision rifle any more successfully than you'd use a .45 Colt to take a shot at 400 yards.

Cartridge preference for hogs runs all over the map. Some "experts" act like feral pigs are North America's Cape buffalo and arm themselves accordingly. I've been around plenty of Florida cowboys who wouldn't think of shooting a hog with anything larger than a .22 Hornet. Common sense puts appropriate cartridges somewhere between the two extremes with an emphasis on bullet performance.

We've combed through the new product selections in each of three different categories and selected twelve hog-appropriate rifles, carbines, handguns, and shotguns to suit every conceivable hog hunting scenario. A few of these options are versatile tools suitable for a variety of hunting styles and locales, while others are more specialized and suited for unique situations.

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