The Best Hog Hunting Cartridges and Calibers

VD September 09 2021

Hogs can indeed be tough animals to kill, and only a bullet that can blast through its heart and lung area may result in a dead pig. Feral hogs are able to destroy entire agricultural crops, and with an increase in their population at an exponential rate, they have undoubtedly become a challenge for the farmers in the United States. 

It can be pretty challenging to get a projectile into the hogs’ vitals because of their thick and resilient skin that is usually covered in dried mud with a thick layer of impact-absorbing fat. Therefore, it is essential to be informed about the best hog caliber and the cartridge to bring home the proverbial bacon.

How do we determine what caliber we need?

It is possible to hunt the wild hogs in a number of ways. The traditional hunters mostly hunt them with hounds or stalk them on foot. As far as modern-day hunters are concerned, they tend to use different tech tools like thermal sights for night hunting or shoot from a helicopter. 

Wild hogs are not impervious to bullets as they are tough, so an enormous boar in the sounder can be brought down by anyone who has good shot placement. When choosing the best caliber to use, one needs to consider a few factors like the gun, the shooting distance, terrain, and accuracy. Usually, the method used for hunting these feral animals will be helpful to determine the choice of a cartridge.

The top hog hunting cartridges

6.5 Creedmoor

Creedmoor is one of the best all-around cartridges for any deer size game, including the feral hogs. You can have an effective game at further distances by maximizing heavy through the high ballistic coefficients. It is the best hog caliber as it can maintain an energy of 1000 ft-lbs, even beyond the 550 yards range.

Creedmoor also can fit small action rifles. Therefore, it is possible to get a gun capable of serving any shooter and maneuver in the woods and blind. If you go to the market, you will find the quality rifles and ammunition to be available as 6.5 Creedmoor, as it is the top cartridge available in the market. Almost any hunter can manage it, and recoil is minimal for the cartridge that is also considered lethal.

.223 Remington

This may be a small-caliber that is generally used by recoil-sensitive shooters or youth who prefer more projectiles at faster fire rates. This is a fact that .223 Remington happens to lose its energy and speed important for more than 300 yards efficacy.

When taken within a range of 200 yards, its shots are more effective. This cartridge is unquestionably lethal when you deploy it with a rapidly-firing sporting rifle with high-capacity magazines. Therefore, as long as the pig is engaged within a reasonable distance, the correct ammunition and decent shot placement with .223 are very much acceptable.

.6.5 Grendel

Many hunters consider 6.5 Grendel to be the absolute best cartridge chambered in modern AR rifles. There is no doubt that this cartridge can offer a repeatable lethality and accuracy because of its projectile grain weights that lie between 95 and 129. Its recoil is minimal, just like .223 Remington, whereas its effective range is excellent, while the kill shots can be taken from as far as 400 yards.

The .26 caliber projectiles of Grendel are used in competition shooting, and with the growth of its popularity, several rifle options have started to hit the market. Not only is it possible to have sporting rifles with 6.5 Grendel, but because of its acceptance, various bolt action riles have also been introduced.

.243 Winchester

Basically, the .243 Winchester has been created by necking down the .308 Winchester to get a bullet of .24 caliber. With the 100 grain or heavier bullets, .243 Winchester is the best one that can be used on the hogs. Because of the low recoil chambered in rifles from many manufacturers, this is the top cartridge for hog hunting. There is plenty of ammunition available, and if the shooter is up to it, he can take the shot out to 400 yards.

.308 Winchester

.308 is known to be the parent cartridge to various successful hunting rounds and is the .30 caliber version considered to be America's caliber. Although capable of firing heavier and larger bullets, .308 Winchester tends to recoil more harshly than the other cartridges, but most hunters still consider its recoil to be manageable.

The weight of its bullet is between 110 to 220 grains, and because of this immense range of weights, it is undoubtedly a versatile cartridge. For hog hunting, the bullets that weigh between 150 and 170 can hit the sweet spot, and even beyond 700 yards, .308 Winchester can maintain above 1000 ft-lbs energy.

.30-06 Springfield

The original specifications of .30 caliber were formulized in 1906, and since then, it is putting meat on our tables. .30-06 is a versatile cartridge, just like .308 Winchester, as the weight of its bullets is around 110 and 225 grains.

One needs to understand that this is one of the hardest recoiling cartridges but still entirely below the magnum cartridge recoil. Its heavier bullets can maximize the distance retained at 1000 ft-lbs of energy to go beyond even 800 yards, but keep in mind that you will never be required to take a shot of a wild hog near this range. This is the best hog caliber enough to handle almost any game species that can be found in America.

Final Words

You must bring a powerful firearm when hunting for a hog because even a lightweight wild hog can be more challenging than it looks. You don’t have an option of giving it a single chance to fight back. Therefore, you need to go for the best hog caliber and cartridge, as you should for any hunt, but as you are to hunt a wild hog, you should be going for the one that can emphasize superior weight retention as well as a wide and reliable expansion.


What caliber can kill hogs?

Although 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, and .225 Remington can work when chambered in a modern sporting rifle, it can surely be hard to beat the .308 Winchester. In addition to this, one has to keep in mind the rapid follow-up shots necessary to kill multiple pigs.

Is .308 fine for hog hunting?

With the help of short-action calibers like the .308, the Remington 700 is not only superb for hunting a hog but it is known to be the best pig rig option for the drop-in chassis as well various other top-of-the-shelf customizations.

Can a 22 shoot a pig?

If you can place the shot in the vital area of the hog, then it is possible to kill it with a 22 LR. The cartridge can provide more expansion after entering the target, and this can increase the chances of damaging vitals, thus resulting in cleaner kills.