Hog Wild: The 5 Best Hog Hunting Cartridges for 2022

OUTDOORS

   03.18.22

Hog Wild: The 5 Best Hog Hunting Cartridges for 2022

Hog hunting has crossed over from being a fun sport that often helps out local farmers and ranchers into a necessity for a lot of rural and sometimes even suburban folk across the world. Hogs can start breeding as early as 6 months after they are born and produce 4 to 6 piglets per litter. With as rapidly as they can reproduce, feral hog populations can often grow by 20% every year even with hunters, ranchers, farmers, and other outdoorsmen actively attempting to hunt down and thin out hog populations. This can cause absolute chaos for the agriculture industry and sometimes even harm local wildlife populations. Part of what makes hogs so hard to hunt or cull easily is that they have some evolutionary traits that make them extremely adaptable to a wide variety of diets and environments while also being extremely tough. Hogs can often shrug off smaller calibers like .223 if your shot placement isn’t extremely precise. This is why those who hunt hogs in larger groups for culling purposes often opt for larger calibers and sometimes extremely specific loadings meant to take down much bigger game. So today we’ll try to give you guys an edge by showcasing 5 of what we consider to be the best hog hunting cartridges for 2022.

Hog Wild: The 5 Best Hog Hunting Cartridges for 2022

1. Federal Premium Nosler Partition

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Federal Premium Nosler Partition

The Editor’s Pick

Federal’s Nosler Partition line of hunting ammo is highly praised by our editor Rusty. While the ammunition is very popular in 270 Winchester and other 308 cartridge family members, Rusty says that with good shot placement the .223 variant can be extremely effective at closer ranges or on days when the wind isn’t wanting to toss your bullets aside. The ammo utilizes a copper-jacketed, dual lead-core Nosler Partition bullet that expands from the tip down to the copper partition to prevent over-expansion. The front half expands rapidly, creating wide wound channels, while the bottom section stays intact, ensuring deep penetration.

Pros/Effective and available in a wide variety of caliber options

Cons/Expensive and often subject to limited availability – smaller calibers require better shot placement.

Bottom Line/A solid choice in almost any caliber for singling out a boar or lone hog.

2. Underwood 458 SOCOM Extreme Penetrator

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Underwood 458 SOCOM Extreme Penetrator

Authors Pick

458 SOCOM is a somewhat controversial cartridge within the firearms community due to a number of factors. Many argue that the cartridge is obsolete and doesn’t do anything that other cartridges don’t do better or more economically but as a hand loader I absolutely love it for the wide variety of projectiles that can be found and loaded in various ways for specific tasks. The Lehigh Xtreme Penetrator bullet features progressive nose geometry, which allows for deep, straight penetration while creating a permanent wound cavity diameter exceeding that of most expanding bullets. To top it off, the bullet is solid copper and is able to overcome barriers to penetration; environmentally friendly, target unfriendly, very unfriendly, downright obnoxiously unfriendly. In simple terms, this offering is extremely effective at not only smashing through Hog’s shoulders but also creating deadly wound cavities.

Pros/Devastating when a round connects almost ensuring an instant knockdown

Cons/Builds and ammunition are absurdly expensive and range is limited

Bottom Line/A hand loaders wet dream and plus the name just sounds cool – this cartridge might also be overkill.

3. Hornady American Whitetail Centerfire Rifle Ammo – .270 Winchester – 140 Grain

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Hornady American Whitetail Centerfire Rifle Ammo - .270 Winchester - 140 Grain

270 is another popular choice for Hogs due to the extended range it offers you on packs of wild hogs that are often startled and scared off by a single shot. Hornady 270 Winchester American Whitetail uses a lead point and tapered jacket to consistently initiate and control expansion; and, a cannelure groove provides for a secure crimp for consistent velocities. American Whitetail Rifle Ammo gives you high-performance hunting ammunition at a great price point.

Pros/Affordable and offers extended range over 5.56 or .223 offerings

Cons/Might be overkill if you plan on using the meat for human consumption

Bottom Line/A crowd pleaser – good for groups of hogs due to its price.

4. SIG SAUER Elite Copper Hunting .308 Winchester, HT, 150 Grain

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SIG SAUER Elite Copper Hunting  .308 Winchester, HT, 150 Grain

SIG SAUER® Elite Copper Hunting Ammo features the solid-copper HTTM projectile, designed for penetration and predictable 1.8X expansion while remaining in one piece. And with slick nickel-plated brass cases and nose geometry optimized for feeding in AR-style rifles, SIG SAUER® Elite Copper Hunting Ammo is as reliable as it is effective. Made in the USA, 100% lead-free.  Editor’s note:  Extremely accurate, some of the best groups I’ve ever shot has been with Sig ammo.

Pros/Good for AR-10 Hunters for high volume shooting

Cons/None

Bottom Line/A good middle of the road option chambered in a popular caliber

5. Federal Premium Fusion Rifle Ammo

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Federal Premium Fusion Rifle Ammo

While this cartridge was developed specifically for deer hunting, it works great on hogs too especially if you are intending to harvest one for food. Years in the making, Federal Fusion bonds the copper jacket to the lead core at the molecular level to totally eliminate component separation. The result is the superior downrange transfer of terminal energy and outstanding bullet weight retention. The optimized boattail profile ensures excellent flight characteristics and accuracy. A skived tip provides lethal long-range expansion potential without minimizing short-range tenacity.

Pros/Complete projectile retention reducing the risk of contamination

Cons/Only available in limited caliber selections

Bottom Line/Great for the hungry hunter

Where is the best place to hunt hogs in the US?

Southern states tend to have the best hog hunting opportunities with states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennesse (my home state) having the best opportunities. Wild hogs are often attracted to mild climates with plenty of free food laying around (i.e. farms) so they tend to congregate, breed, and live there. Many land owners are more than happy to have other people hunt hogs on their property as the little piggies can be absolutely devastating to crop farming.

Is it safe to eat wild hogs?

Wild hogs, elk, bison, caribou, moose, and deer can all potentially carry the bacteria, which can cause fever, chills, weight loss, and joint and muscle pain. The good news is that taking proper precautions when field dressing, butchering, and cooking, wild hog is safe to eat for humans. Even as such, you should take every precaution when you can to make sure you’re cooking it in such a way that any preparation, cooking, or eating process won’t wind up with you being worse for the wear.

Is hunting hogs actually beneficial or just an excuse for hunters to fulfill their bloodlust?

Wild hogs are among the most destructive invasive species in the United States today. Two million to six million of the animals are wreaking havoc in at least 39 states and four Canadian provinces; half are in Texas, where they do some $400 million in damages annually. They tear up recreational areas, occasionally even terrorizing tourists in state and national parks, and squeeze out other wildlife.

Wild hogs have also been known to attack and even kill human beings and domesticated animals if they feel threatened and this risk only goes up during hunting season. Luckily, hogs are more or less blind and have a hard time realizing when an opportunistic and crafty hunter is sneaking upon them with a 30-round mag full of lead.

About the Author

Avatar Author ID 693 - 1320656482

Luke is currently a full-time writer for TheFirearmBlog.com, OvertDefense.com, AllOutdoor.com, and of course, OutdoorHub.com. Luke is a competitive shooter, firearms enthusiast, reloader, outdoorsman, and generally takes an interest in anything that has to do with the great outdoors.
Luke is also a private certified pilot and is currently pursuing his commercial pilot’s license in the hopes of becoming a professional pilot. Some of Luke’s other interests include anything to do with aviation, aerospace and military technology, and American Conservancy efforts.
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