Best 5.56 bullet for hog/deer hunting

10point

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Feb 26, 2011
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What weight and manufacturer (that is available). I have hunted with bolt riffles but never with AR 15. My AR is rated for 5.56.
 

pdog2062

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Dec 2, 2012
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Bowie,Texas
I have killed a few with 55 grain soft points,head and neck shots work really good.Some people swear by the Barnes tsx bullet for body shots.My personal opinion is use what you have and are confident enough with to make head or neck shots with, but I would would not use v-max or other explosive bullets unless a hog snuck up while I was after coyotes or other varmints.
 

mountainman56

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West Texas
I don't think a 223 is suitable for hogs at all. I know, I know, lots of people using them and killin lots of pork but I've killed many hogs with old bullet holes from folks using too small a rifle. I've also seen a 350lb hog soak up 2 broadside hits from a 300 Win mag and still went 150 yards. A 223 may be a suitable deer rifle here in Texas with our anorexic whitetails but I will never use one for hogs......again. I learned my lesson the hard way. If your AR is all you've got use the heaviest good penetrating bullet it shoots well. JM2C
 

Packrat 6

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I don't think a 223 is suitable for hogs at all. I know, I know, lots of people using them and killin lots of pork but I've killed many hogs with old bullet holes from folks using too small a rifle. I've also seen a 350lb hog soak up 2 broadside hits from a 300 Win mag and still went 150 yards. A 223 may be a suitable deer rifle here in Texas with our anorexic whitetails but I will never use one for hogs......again. I learned my lesson the hard way. If your AR is all you've got use the heaviest good penetrating bullet it shoots well. JM2C
Totally agree! Seen too many run or attack with several .308's in em.

Packrat
 

snox801

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Spring Lake Michigan
I don't think a 223 is suitable for hogs at all. I know, I know, lots of people using them and killin lots of pork but I've killed many hogs with old bullet holes from folks using too small a rifle. I've also seen a 350lb hog soak up 2 broadside hits from a 300 Win mag and still went 150 yards. A 223 may be a suitable deer rifle here in Texas with our anorexic whitetails but I will never use one for hogs......again. I learned my lesson the hard way. If your AR is all you've got use the heaviest good penetrating bullet it shoots well. JM2C
Part of the problem with this is not the caliber. I know you stated the obvious lots of kills. The problem is in bullet selection. I have also seen hogs eat up 30-06 rounds. Problem is they go buy cheap shot bullets and think all bullets are the same. Also all shots and pigs are different.
I have had great luck with razor back xt's. Some guns shoot them well others don't.
Barnes also has worked well for me but hands down the best bullet I have seen is the federal loaded 62gr nosler partitions. Never had a pig make it more than 30 yards with one shoulder shot is no problem.
If you reload I would give the cutting edge raptor a try also. I have just starting using them in my 45acp, 357 mag rifle and 458 Socom. Very impressed so far next ill try the 55gr .223 bullet
 

Coy Franks

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My $.02;

It is not that important what caliber or bullet weight you use as much as shot placement. A gut shot is a gut shot if it's a deer or hog or elephant. You are more than likely going to kill the animal its just not going to be anywhere close to where you are. 50BMG excluded. I've shot a lot of hogs with a 22-250. Some were gutshot and I did not find them. That's fine with me because I don't eat them or touch them. If they were in a field that I could not drive in and drag or load them I gut shot them so they would die in the brush.

I coyote hunt quite a bit now and I shoot a 16" barrel 223. I've killed hogs with it too. You just have to be patient and take only the best shot if you expect to kill it where it is. After all the best spot is in the ear, really.
 

Packrat 6

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My $.02;

It is not that important what caliber or bullet weight you use as much as shot placement. A gut shot is a gut shot if it's a deer or hog or elephant. You are more than likely going to kill the animal its just not going to be anywhere close to where you are. 50BMG excluded. I've shot a lot of hogs with a 22-250. Some were gutshot and I did not find them. That's fine with me because I don't eat them or touch them. If they were in a field that I could not drive in and drag or load them I gut shot them so they would die in the brush.

I coyote hunt quite a bit now and I shoot a 16" barrel 223. I've killed hogs with it too. You just have to be patient and take only the best shot if you expect to kill it where it is. After all the best spot is in the ear, really.
Coy,
I think the type of hunting you are doing will determine the type and weight of round you are using. In your neck of the woods, you seem to have some distance on the hogs to shoot, as evidenced by the fact you sometimes use the truck to run em over. In Brush, I'd sure not want to only have a .223 at a distance of 10 -30'. I want something that will not only knock em down, but keep em down and sometimes several heavy rounds are needed. You don't always have the time to get an accurate sight picture, especially from head on. In fact I am often firing before the rifle gets to my shoulder, since there isn't a lot of time to aim.

Like I said in a different thread, one of these days I'll get you down to the Ranch and we'll see how close up and personal you can get with that 22-250 at 10'......LOL

Packrat
 

STEEL SLINGER

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The little .223/5.56 with heavy for caliber bullets is a perfectly suitable round for hogs with the proper shot placement at reasonable ranges. For a number of years working for a state agency, part of my job was feral hog removal and I did so with several different calibers, but my pet rifle was a .223 Remmy 700. The two bullets that worked for me quite well, although very different in construction, were the 75 gr. A-max and the 75 gr. Scirocco sitting atop of 25.3 gr. of Varget at around 2830+/- fps. Out to 200 yards this was bad medicine for hogs. . .deer too. Documentation of the hogs shot had to be recorded for the biologists and the largest hog I killed during that time was a male hog of 378 pounds. The shot was at 104 big steps on a mowed power line easement with the A-max. I held low and tight for the crease behind the shoulder. At the crack of the shot he hunched-up as on his tip toes and took several steps backwards in a half circle with his mouth wide open as to scream, then tipped over kicking. Total distance traveled maybe 15 ft., but very slowly. There was no blood on the scene and just a small leaching spot where he was hit on the hide, I think that the cartilage from the shields closed up the small hole. When I opened him up, the organs in the chest cavity looked like a five gallon pale of Smuckers grape jam. This same scenario played out on many hogs (100’s actually) with both bullets. I did get more pass through shots up close using the Scirocco’s, but the end result was always the same. Shots placed where the head and neck meet was an instant lights-out by far. “My theory” for this working so well was the fact more times than not the animal absorbed all the bullets energy and shrapnel exploded in the chest cavity turning it into a food processor. The larger calibers I used (308 Win., 6.5 Swede, 7mm RM – each w/140 to 180 gr. bullets) had more animals leave the scene when shoulder shot, only to find them dead a distance away. . .but dead non the less. I think that the heavier weight bullets traveling at high velocities don’t expand as much and pass right through, therefore they do not transfer the energy to the animal as well. This is at short range of course (under 150 yds.), at longer ranges it is a different story. In the hammocks and tight quarters I always wanted to try a .44 mag rifle of some sort to see how that would perform. . .under 100 yds. I think that would be bad news for any hog! Just my $.02 on the matter. Good luck.
 

Coy Franks

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Steel Slinger said;

" I think that the heavier weight bullets traveling at high velocities don’t expand as much and pass right through, therefore they do not transfer the energy to the animal as well."

This has been my experience also. For my kind of shooting I want the bullet to stay in the hog. I want him to absorb all the energy that it has. I also don't care if there is a blood trail I don't eat the nasty suckers anyway. When I switched to a 308 Nosler 125gr BT running a 3000 fps I had very few that ran off. The down side of this combination is that at close yardage the bullet will "splash". Even with this it always had enough shrapnel to kill the animal. This combination has been my most successful so far.
 

scrmblr1982cj8

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My $.02;

It is not that important what caliber or bullet weight you use as much as shot placement. A gut shot is a gut shot if it's a deer or hog or elephant. You are more than likely going to kill the animal its just not going to be anywhere close to where you are. 50BMG excluded. I've shot a lot of hogs with a 22-250. Some were gutshot and I did not find them. That's fine with me because I don't eat them or touch them. If they were in a field that I could not drive in and drag or load them I gut shot them so they would die in the brush.

I coyote hunt quite a bit now and I shoot a 16" barrel 223. I've killed hogs with it too. You just have to be patient and take only the best shot if you expect to kill it where it is. After all the best spot is in the ear, really.
I completely agree. The lung cavity is more vertical rather than horizontal. If you shoot in a line above the front legs, you will hit the lungs. If you hit 4 or 5 inches behind the front leg, you will miss the lungs and get a wounded hog. I gut shot a hog 2 years ago with a .338LM and never found him.
 

Double Naught Spy

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For 5.56 in hogs, I really like heavier bullets and in particular, 70 gr. TTSX solid. I want the bullet punching through and breaking things.

Even so, I prefer head/neck CNS shots if the hog is calm/still and neck/chest shots if moving. I would rather a quartering shot than a broadside on the body or behind the ear (and into the skull). I would much rather prefer to actually hit the head then have the bullet potentially pass behind the head and not disrupt the spine.

I find lung shot hogs to be runners. Same with heart shot. I don't like to track.
 

scrmblr1982cj8

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I completely agree with Coy's statement. They can absorb a .338 LM and still run off. I've not lost a single hog that I've shot in the head. Placement is critical.
 

jfbyerstx

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Mar 9, 2020
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San Antonio
I have no problems with using 223 or 5.56 for hogs. I do like a 62 or 68 grain bullet and shot placement is one of the most important things. With that said I have to favorites that are AR15's 1st is my trusted 375 H&H mag with 275 or 300 grain bullet generate a little over 4400 EFPS and the next is a old Ruger Deerslayer 44 mag carbine with a 240 or 260 grain bullet. The 375 H&H is good and accurate out to 300 or so yard about the same as 30.06 in trajectory. I believe you could shoot out to 500 with it, but my shoulder has never wanted to get it sighted in at 500. The 44 Ruger Deerslayer is good out to 100 yards or so, but is real effective up close and has a heck of a punch. Like said I have no problem with 223 and 62 - 68 grain bullet along with shot place. If you use a SS109 bullet then shoot for the head and let that bullet do what it does "penetrate"
 

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