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Your thoughts on gun pick - deer & feral pig

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Unread 10-17-2005, 01:13 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 172
Your thoughts on gun pick - deer & feral pig

Good afternoon all.

Instead of picking a gun and then asking what you think, I would appreciate the benefit of your expertise, advice and experience in advance of the pick.

First, my question and then my background to consider in answering.


- What would you recommend for deer and feral pig hunting?


This question is for next years' gun, so there is time to build and for some serious practice. After this season, I am going to retire my primary hunting rifle, a 1955 .270 Win M70 supergrade for a variety of reasons. I've used it for 30 years after it was given to my by a relative who bought it new, but on its 50th anniversary, it is time to go on the wall of honor and now it is time for a serious update.

I hunt primarily for control reasons on friends' ranches and wildlife sanctuaries, so I am shooting does almost exclusively with an occasional sub-optimal buck and just watching the better racks walk by (which is actually very enjoyable, but very rare in comparison). I anticipate this will continue to be my hunting pattern for a long time as the areas where I hunt have seriously out of whack doe to buck ratios. Also, feral pigs numbers are increasing rapidly in the central Texas Hill Country and along the coastal areas. Here in the Hill Country, there is not that much soil to start with and one pig can set off a serious erosion problem, so this is the reason I am focusing ever more on shooting feral pigs and am becoming more interested in longer range shooting to increase the number of available shots. I hunt by walking, stalking, sitting and waiting. I do no shooting from elevated stands as is otherwise common here. Up to now, I have self-imposed a limit of about 225 yards which I have seen as the functional limit of this gun with factory ammo to assure first shot kills, but know that with better equipment and practice I can extend this substantially and wish to do so.

I never shoot offhand, but on the other hand this hunting will be walking in the field without a table or benchrest. I like the looks of the bipods I am seeing, are there any which are practical for sitting or kneeling positions or is it always prone shooting? I am comfortable backpacking good loads long ways and would be fine carrying a rifle that is in the 15 - 25# range, but would not want to go much above that.

I consider myself an ok rifle shot, but certainly nothing special and nowhere near the level I see on this board, so I see lots of practice time in the future. I used to shoot skeet competitively 20+ years ago and in my best years brought home a few medals in class from national level tournaments and was very competitive on the local level. I reloaded extensively for shotgun, averaging 2,500 rounds a month, between my dad and myself. I did some rifle and pistol reloading in very small amounts just for the easy improvements in accuracy for my .270, but it was very, very small amounts. In fairness, comparing reloading shotgun rounds with rifle rounds is the difference between using a chainsaw and a scapel, so I would appreciate advice and references on that front as well. As my career took over and spare time became scarce, my shooting sports time fell away and I sold off all of the reloading equipment and stopped shooting altogether other than just the deer hunting as mentioned. Just recently I started shooting again for the sake of it and am enjoying it and so ready to get more serious again. While the rifle recommendation is primarily for hunting, I am interested in practicing on the longer ranges up to 1,000 yards/meters and would like to consider some local level competition if I can get back up to that level if it is feasible with the same gun (or hunting with a lighter competition gun if you want to look at from that angle).


I would like it to be a commercially available round, so even though I am willing to handload, if I am without handloads I still can find ammo at a decent quality gun store without them giving me a blank stare. Another bias is in favor of safety against bad pressure events and accidental discharges. On my skeet guns stock fitting is everything, so I can say I definitely prefer straighter i.e. less drop with higher combs which aids aiming and reduces recoil for me. The A-5 has caught my eye with its adjustable features, but I am really open minded on the issue. My one big bias is not to shoot more gun than is necessary. I will shoot what it takes, but have no desire just to have a big gun for the sake of it. I learned long ago that practice usually is far more valuable than firepower all other things being equal and recoil never helped me shoot any better so I want to do what is reasonable to keep down. Given my targets of deer and pigs, I am assuming the power issue should focus on the pigs, which routinely exceed 200# and occasionally go 250 or 300#. I've heard of a few near 400 but have not actually ever seen one on a scale so am still a bit unconvinced, but who knows.


Finally, from having been down this route on the shotgun end and going through three guns before paying what it took to get it right which was a far more expensive round-about way to get to the same endpoint, I am willing to pay to get it right on the first try which appears to be in the mid 1,000's with the optics from what I am seeing here.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Unread 10-17-2005, 01:51 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: East TX
Posts: 773
Re: Your thoughts on gun pick - deer & feral pig

My Dad just faced the same thing this year, and since I was a young boy, all he talked about was some men in Mason, TX shooting a 270 Weatherby Mag. They were routinely taking cull bucks and javelinas out to 600 yards. My Dad has since always wanted one. For his retirement, my older brother and I found him a 270 Weatherby Mark V at a Cabela's used gun rack. The rifle was not even broke-in yet. We picked it up for $600, and he topped it with a 4.5-14x-50mm VXIII. Shooting 72 gr RL 22 and 130 gr Barnes X at 3350 fps, the first two shots go into the same hole, and the third 1/4" higher. With 73.5 gr RL 22 and 130 gr TSX at 3416 fps, it shoots the same group. That equates to 7.6 MOA drop at 600 yards with 3.6 MOA of drift @10MPH. The rifle is sighted in at 220 yards. My Dad's eyes aren't what they used to be, but he can still put 3 rounds into 1" at 200m bench. That was without his glasses, and the groups were 5 inches right because of that.

He is using the rifle for the same reason as you stated, deer and pigs. He has developed a great dislike for the rooters at our stands. You will never be undergunned, and the recoil is comparable to a 25-06 or 243. It is definately less than my 30-06. When shooting off a bipod, it doesn't even bounce with the recoil.


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Unread 10-17-2005, 04:21 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 172
Re: Your thoughts on gun pick - deer & feral pig

Interesting. That is not a round I had considered, don't really know why not. That is the benefit of others' input. Will put it on the list. Thanks for the input.
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Unread 10-17-2005, 06:18 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 628
Re: Your thoughts on gun pick - deer & feral pig

Search for [Ric Horst 7mm wsm] it will do what you are looking for then some with factory ammo.
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Unread 10-17-2005, 08:00 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Back in the south -NW FL..
Posts: 1,160
Re: Your thoughts on gun pick - deer & feral pig


Welcome and congradulations for hunting with the same rifle for 50 years!
I didn't put a world of thought into this but here goes.
You don't mind a little weight.
Will kill a BIG HOG.
Not too much recoil.
Shoots good at 1000 yd/mtr..
Can buy ammo over the counter.
>>SAVAGE-112 BVSS=300 WSM<<<--+top notch scope Zeiss Conquest 6.5 x 20 =50mm <The optic zone-theopticzone.com -owner -john is onboard here ,reloading equipment,ect,etc.
OR >> A full custom would be a dream gun in several of today's top calibers>>Gunsmiths -Fiftydriver - Chris Mathews..onboard here .Best of luck to you [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] ..Mike
AIPAC for president !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 10-17-2005, 11:47 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Joseph Oregon
Posts: 115
Re: Your thoughts on gun pick - deer & feral pig

Savages are dam accurate. Ive got two and they both shoot fantastically.

When you look at a savage though check the recoil pad. The Hunters and Weatherworriers recoil pad on the synth are pretty cheap. But they are a great action, barrel and trigger, if you dont get the 112 serious which is heavier and i think has a better recoil pad, it does not cost much to buy a pretty good stock with a good recoil pad. Savage synth stocks and recoil pads are the only week link in one of these rifles.

I have no experiance with savages that dont have synth stocks on them so i dont know about the wood and laminate rifles. The info i have has just come from when ive been in shops and bs with guys.

Savages are the most affordable rifles around too. I picked up a 116 in 300wm for 350 if memory suits me right i will be putting a new stock on it (150) (you can go much cheaper too) and its got a vxII 3-9 on it (300). So when its all said and done ill be looking at a 800 dollar rifle that shoots i would argue as well as just about any other factor rifle and maybe some costem ones.

Just my two cents
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Unread 10-18-2005, 08:13 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 723
Re: Your thoughts on gun pick - deer & feral pig

I´d go with a 7 rm, perfect for the hogs. Got fine bullets weights from under 140 to 175.......

If you want to go bigger, get a 300 wm.

And if you like to go with the new ones, 7 wsm or 300 wsm. Just think about factory ammo availability.
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