What is the best hog hunting gun for you in 2023?
Due to the large and growing feral hog population in the United States, there are now more pig hunting opportunities than ever. Since their population that is rapidly increasing and expanding into different areas, the conditions under which feral pigs may be encountered are changing as well. For this reason, there are many different ways to hunt hogs.
You can shoot them out of a blind overlooking a bait site, stalk them on foot, hunt them with hounds, shoot them at night using thermal sights, or even shoot them from a helicopter. With this in mind, there are many great hog hunting guns, but it’s important to choose a firearm appropriate to the conditions and method you plan on using for wild boar hunting.
While feral hogs are tough animals, they are not bulletproof by any means and an appropriately armed hunter should have no trouble bringing down even the largest hog when using quality ammo. Truth be told, you don’t necessarily need to buy a new gun for hog hunting (though there’s nothing wrong with doing that if you want). If a firearm is capable of bringing down a deer or even a coyote, then it will probably do the same on a hog with good shot placement. For this reason, there are plenty of great hog hunting guns out there to choose from and this article is a non-exhaustive list of some examples of good pig guns.
Are you into serious pig control work that might involve shooting 10-20 pigs in a single outing? Well, a modern sporting rifle chambered in .223 Remington, 6.5 Grendel, or 6.8 SPC will work, but it’s tough to beat something in .308 Winchester like the Smith & Wesson M&P 10. In addition to facilitating the rapid follow-up shots that are necessary to shoot multiple pigs out of a sounder, the .308 Winchester hits really hard and is a very effective cartridge for hunting pigs.
The rifle is also accurate, reliable, easy to use, and it accepts a wide variety of accessories and optics (to include night vision or thermal scopes). This makes the M&P 10 especially popular among hog-control experts who shoot hogs at night with thermal optics.
Alternatively, hunters who want heavy hitting performance on par with the .45-70 Govt out of an AR platform should look into a rifle chambered in .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, and/or .50 Beowulf. Those cartridges are devastating at short range on hogs and there are a number of very good quality rifles chambered in those cartridges currently on the market.
Hunters looking for a great hog hunting gun for close quarters encounters on foot should consider the Marlin Model 1895 due to the rifle’s hard hitting, easy to carry, and fast pointing characteristics. When fitted with a low-powered scope or a ghost ring rear sight, the Marlin Model 1895 is set up perfectly for short range hunting and those big .45-70 bullets really do a number on even the largest feral pigs.
If you prefer the .30-30 Winchester to the .45-70, then maybe the Marlin Model 336, which is virtually identical to the Model 1895, would be a better choice for you. Though it is not quite as fast as a semi-automatic rifle, a skilled hunter can still cycle that action really fast and quickly get off several aimed shots if he or she really gets into a big group of hogs.
Most wild hog hunters use their trusty deer hunting rifle and the vast majority of rifles suitable for deer hunting will also work extremely well on hogs. With a reasonable price, good reliability, and near minute of angle accuracy, the Ruger American is just a good all-around hunting rifle. Ideal for use from hunting from a static location with a good shooting rest (such as over a bait site), the Ruger American is a great hog hunting gun for hunters who need a little bit of reach.
Though a hunter armed with a Ruger American chambered in a flat shooting caliber like 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington, .308 Winchester, or .30-06 Springfield and mounting a good scope (like a Leupold or a Trijicon) should have no trouble taking long range shots on pigs out to several hundred yards, the fact that it is a bolt action rifle does handicap most hunters attempting to shoot multiple feral pigs out of a sounder. So, while it’s not the best rifle for serious hog control work, it is still a great choice for those just interested in hunting pigs occasionally or to put some pork on the table regardless of whether they’re hunting in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, or Texas.
Designed to fulfill Colonel Jeff Cooper’s desire for a general purpose “scout rifle”, the Ruger Gunsite Scout is compact (sporting either a 16.1 or an 18.7 inch barrel), very accurate, and has a large magazine capacity. The rifle also comes with a set of high quality iron sights and a forward mounted Picatinny rail that facilitate rapid target acquisition. It’s also chambered in the hard hitting .308 Winchester and .450 Bushmaster cartridges that are deadly on feral hogs.
While not nearly as fast shooting as a semi-automatic rifle, a well-trained hunter armed with the Ruger Gunsite Scout can really do some damage on a big sounder of feral hogs.
Many hogs are encountered at unexpected times, so it pays to have a suitable hog hunting rifle on hand should the need arise. Sometimes, the best gun for hunting hogs is simply the one you have on you at the moment of truth. After all, it doesn’t matter how good your hog gun is if you don’t have it with you when you need it.
That’s where the Ruger American Ranch rifle comes in. An ideal “truck gun”, this rifle is compact, lightweight, rugged, and reasonably priced, yet is still very accurate and is chambered in cartridges like 300 Blackout, 7.62x39mm, and .450 Bushmaster that work quite well for use on a wide variety of game including feral hogs.
When hunting in really thick conditions or when doing some serious hog control work from a helicopter, a good quality shotgun may well be best pig hunting gun. Under these conditions, you need a hard hitting shotgun that facilitates rapid follow-up shots. With a load of 00 or 000 buckshot, the Benelli is absolutely devastating on even the biggest wild boar and is tough to beat as a pig hunting gun when you need to take multiple shots at moving feral pigs.
To learn more about shotgun gauges in general check out the article below:
No list of the best pig hunting guns would be complete without a handgun. The Glock 20 Gen4 makes the grade because it’s chambered in 10mm Auto, has a 10-round magazine, and demonstrates the incredible reliability that Glock pistols are known for. The lightweight, yet hard hitting, Glock 20 is an ideal handgun for hunters pursuing pigs with hounds and is absolutely deadly in the right hands.