The three little pigs - what REALLY happened

  • Last Post 27 September 2023
Wilderness posted this 07 September 2023

Sorry about the expression - I stole it from the fellow who does the "Into the Night" hunting videos (good viewing).

These three pigs were felled with TWO shots.The first shot got the spotted boar in the middle of the shoulder, exiting behind the far shoulder, and collecting the sow that had conveniently positioned herself for the shot. The second sow copped it as she ran. I'm not too sure which of the sows made the twosome. All three pigs had exit wounds, so the bullet of the double made it right through both pigs, whichever one it was. All were shot from the right side, so the wounds on the sows do not give the full story on shot placement.

This was with 176 gns bullets in .30-30 at 2200 fps. The hollow takes about 10 gns of bullet weight. Alloy is a little harder than #2.

I have posted before about using hard cast hollow point .30-30 bullets for hunting. There seems to be a widespread view that hard bullets will shatter and be ineffective. My experience has been that while the noses of hollow point bullets certainly break up, they do not do so all at once and the shank of the bullet can penetrate a long way. The shrapnel from the broken noses certainly does a job on pigs of all sizes.

This was my second double for the week, though the other was unplanned.

By way of admitting that penetration is not always forever, I can relate that I shot another large sow later in the afternoon, but the bullet just barely failed to exit. It was visible as a skin lump on the far side. It had been through both shoulders, bore the marks of a serious encounter with bone, and was ground down to 56 grains - I'd say it did a lot of work.

Truth is, I am seriously happy with the hard cast HP .30-30 bullets.

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mashburn posted this 08 September 2023

Hello Wilderness,

First of all, I like your rifle, it's what I call a real man's hunting rifle. I wished I had one of those pigs scalded and scraped and chopped along the backbone and laying on my real wood meat smoker. I'll have to wait to colder weather though. Here, you couldn't get the thing home or to the processing plant before it ruined and it would be miserable setting out on the back porch and tending my smoker for the long period that I cook one, but man is it good. After a little thinking, I believe the scalding and scraping would be the worst part of the ordeal. I would probably just skin it and get over with, but the taste wouldn't be near the same.

Are you shooting GC powder coated bullets or just plain base normally lubed bullets? I have been wondering what effect a cast bullet would have on a hog. Have you killed any larger hogs, than these, with these bullets and rifle. How do these work on medium sized deer?

I'm glad to see a hunting story, Thank you. I'm getting ready to switch all of my hunting to cast bullets, or at least that is my plans.


David a. Cogburn

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Wilderness posted this 08 September 2023

Thank you David for your interest.

Our hogs have a partiality for carcases, so in my case at least they don't make it to the table.

I use lubed GC bullets, since I have all the gear, and since I often fiddle about doing very small numbers. I am also doing some pretty radical sizing on my bullets - #U321297HP sized down from .322" to .312" in two steps - which probably would not go well with powder coating.

My performance criteria for these bullets were that that they had to get at least into the second shoulder of a big boar, whilst also creating a killing mess on a rib shot immature. Yes, they work very well on big boars. To us, a big boar is over 60" snout to butt of tail, max 66". Alloy is adjusted to achieve these objectives, although size of hollow can also be part of the adjustment.

While you were away I published some night time images of big pigs shot with hard HP and soft solid bullets ("Cast Bullets for Hunting - HP or Solid?"). Some hogs ran, some didn't. Point of aim just before the flash was recorded by the NV attachment on the scope.

I believe that these bullet performance criteria could also be met with a soft bullet with a much reduced hollow, but going soft may put the groups at risk. In testing (on pigs) I found a soft bullet without any hollow was providing too much penetration and not enough destruction. A single kill with a soft bullet with 4 gns drilled from the nose looked promising.

All of this depends on velocity, not just for killing power, but to make the HP bullets perform. My .30-30 loads start at about 2200 fps.

On deer I have no experience.


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mashburn posted this 08 September 2023

Hello Wilderness,

Very interesting, I want to pick your brain some more later.


David a. Cogburn

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Wilderness posted this 27 September 2023

Here's another one from yesterday re David's larger boars question. He's no monster, 54" over the curves, nose to butt of tail, but he'll do. This was with hard cast HP .30-30 bullets at 2200 fps as before. Penetration was a little less than I expected. Shot was hurried and sloppy, and through some intervening and obscuring dry scrub.

Bullet entry was about the diaphragm on what is the underside in the image. There was no exit, but there was a bloodshot area under the soft skin just behind the opposing shoulder. I didn't find the bullet, and didn't look too hard. It must have ended up back in the mess in the chest. Note some bleeding from the nose and mouth.

Pig ran about 100 meters.

I remain happy with my hard cast HPs, though if I were to adjust anything I might go for a grain or two less weight (= harder alloy).

Of the Three Little Pigs all that remains after three weeks is a dirty mark on the ground and a few bones. Their friends and relations have seen to their removal.


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