Hard HP .30-30 Cast Bullets on Big Hogs

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Wilderness posted this 3 weeks ago

In previous posts I have described shooting pigs with hard HP .30-30 cast bullets.

My bullets are sized down .32 Specials from #U321297HP. The new size is .312". Weight is 175 gns with gas check. Alloy is watered down lino. Hardness is about 16 BHN per my friend's Lee tester (alloy is 11% non-lead). Muzzle velocity is 2180 - 2200 fps. Powder is 748 or LVR. Rifle is Savage 99 with 24"barrel and 12" twist, with Leupold VXI 2-7 scope. Five shot groups average about 2.7" at 100 metres.

Bullet hardness was adjusted to provide penetration at least to the second shoulder on a big boar while retaining sufficient destructiveness for rib shots on smaller pigs. Results have generally been very good.

The question has been asked however about effectiveness on larger pigs. I have provided some examples of successful encounters with boars, and now do so again for two large barrows shot recently. The smaller one was 60" from snout to butt of tail, which I consider to be a big pig. The larger went 71", which is the biggest I have yet measured. Range was about 60 metres.

These pigs were shot at night using the Oneleaf NV100 clip on scope attachment. They were coming to a carcase. The vision came from the video taken by the NV100, which demonstrates point of aim from the last frame before the big white flash.

The first image is of the pair before anything happened.

The next image is of the smaller of the two hogs the moment before the shot. The aim as per the NV image was behind the shoulder, lined up with the opposing front leg. He went straight down.

The post has the Browning Game Camera mounted on it, and also a solar powered security light with red cellophane to change the light colour. The light is on the low setting until something comes to the bait, then it becomes brighter. The light acts as a "doorbell" but does not contribute to illuminating the target. The hogs become accustomed to it very quickly, and may even use it to find the bait once they know it's there. The light has a secondary function, which is to indicate the position of the bait on a moonless night - helps scanning.

 

The third image is of the larger pig. This fellow was shot as indicated, and also went straight down. That forward of the shoulder spine shot works quite well. This fellow, against expectations, hung around long enough after his friend's demise to be added to the tally.

The last shot is of the large fellow again, though in daylight nearly a day after he was shot, and decorated by the birds. At the risk of presenting something gross, I include it to show the size of the hog.

I should add that this was shooting for pest destruction, and the "bait" was pretty foul also, so there was never any intention of turning these pigs into human fodder.

These pigs were part of a tally of 11, one of them a big boar, shot off this bait. All were shot with the cast bullet load. All but three went straight down. The three exceptions, rib shot sows, succumbed within 50 meters.

Yes, the hard HP cast bullets, with sufficient velocity, are effective on pigs, including the big fellows.

Those barrows looked like they had pretty good tusks too, but I haven't pulled them yet to measure.

 

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sluggo posted this 3 weeks ago

It looks like you found a good load for those pigs. Did your cast bullets expand or come apart after impact?

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Wilderness posted this 3 weeks ago

Sluggo - yes, the hollow noses break up in the pig, while the bases continue to penetrate and exit, being ground down and shortened as they go. The shrapnel seems to go through the hog as a cone, and on a small pig may exit like buckshot. These bullets start at 1.025" and the hollow is .500", but the recovered bullets indicate shortening beyond the hollow. Bullet recoveries are infrequent. Mostly there's just a .30 cal exit hole from the slug.

Velocity is critical to making these hard bullets break their noses. Harder linotype bullets as far as I can tell do not break at all at my velocities, and behave like armour piercers. Hardness has to be balanced with velocity.

The illustrated slug went nearly through a large pig diagonally. If bones are hit, the recovered slug will be more reduced. I didn't go looking for bullets in the barrows, since just touching the brutes would have been a health hazard.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 3 weeks ago

good stuff ... thanks .

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Aaron posted this 3 weeks ago

 Great write-up Bill. Thanks.

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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Aaron posted this 3 weeks ago

Question Bill. You called these pigs Barrows. Are they really castrated males having gone feral?

I had to look up the term Barrow since I don't know much about pigs except bacon and chops.

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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Wilderness posted this 3 weeks ago

Aaron - they were indeed barrows, and by no means the first I have shot in this area. Some of the pig catching fraternity (doggers) who eat these things may castrate young boars they've caught and let them go. Their hope is that they might catch them again before some spoilsport like me shoots them.

In another part of the country, where carcases were not part of the porcine diet, I have eaten bush pork. The sows were OK if you could find a fat one, but the boars, even the immatures, were strong with boar taint, so I can understand the motive for cutting the little boars and letting them go. Barrows will be free of that taint. Sows are usually OK, though a sow on heat may have the taint we normally associate with boars.

For what it's worth, old barrows can have some pretty impressive ivory.

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Aaron posted this 3 weeks ago

I learn something every day. Thanks Bill.

 

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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