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Hog hunting with the 260

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 10:24
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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First and foremost, I ain't a newbie to hog hunting.  I've been hunting hogs for over 10 years  with probably well over 100 killed in that time.
Typically, I hunt hogs with a 308 or 300 Winchester Magnum; however, having just built a custom 260, I decided to give it a try on this weekend's hunt.  Ammo used was 142-gr Sierra Match King. (I have previously hunted 175-gr SMKs in the 308 and 190-gr SMKs in the 300WM, with both giving great results.)  My typical shot-placement rules are: brain-shot inside 200 yards, vitals - through the front shoulder - beyond 200 yards.

I spent the weekend hunting outside Laredo, Tx.  Anyone not familiar with  Laredo, the landscape can best be described as harsh: every tree and bush and cactus has thorns, and animals that move more than 10 yards after the shot can be lost forever.  It is dry, and brush is extraordinarily thick.

I've taken more than a few hogs on this same ranch, 15 on a 2-day hunt last year, and have been very successful with what we call the "bang-flop": one well-placed round drops the animal on the spot.

So, day one, in the blind about 6:30, sun up at about 7:30.  I have very high hopes for the rifle (which, as a point of reference, is a 0.25MOA gun.  It is, without question, much more accurate than me.)  The first 3 hogs come out about 7:20, I range them (with my new Zeiss range  finder - which I really, really like, but that is another post) at 225 yards.  I set up, pick my hog, aim for the front shoulder, low, and squeeze.  I hear the report, I hear the impact (nice thing about hunting with a suppressed weapon: no hearing protection needed, and you hear the impact), the hog bucks once and disappears into the brush: no bang-flop. Damnit!

Now, as most of you hunters can empathize, I begin questioning everything.  "Did I jerk the trigger?", "Did my scope get knocked out of alignment?", "Did my turret get spun unintentionally?"  I hate the self-doubt. 

As I sit and stew, another hog comes out on another road, definitely a 150+ hog, ugly as sin, deer in front and behind.  I set up on the hog, waiting for the deer to clear. The guy with me in the blind says he'll watch the impact in the spotter, see where the round hits.

Finally, the deer clear, I get a clean broad-side shot, and I squeeze. Report, impact, pink mist, pig bolts for the brush: gone. Damnit!

As I begin to convince myself I suck, the rifle sucks, the scope sucks, my spotter says the round was a perfect low shoulder hit, no question.

We talk, quietly, about why everything prior was a "bang-flop" and how this rifle is the only new dimension.  As we talk, quietly, another hog wanders out on another road to our left.  He is about 250 yards out. (My fellow hunter doesn't share my love of killing piggies, and he is armed with a 300Whisper, which we prefer to use only at 100 yards or so, so I am today's designated hitter.)

I set up on the new hog, determined to not take a low shoulder shot on this one.  The hog wanders in to around 200 yards. All the deer clear, the hog turns and faces me: boom. Bang-flop.  I hit him square between the eyes.  He drops, his rear legs twitch once or twice, game over.

My hunting buddy asks me if the blood-lust is satiated, I tell him, "for now", but I also tell him I have to investigate the 2 that aren't dead in the road.
Off he goes to get the truck, off I go (with the 300Whisper) to see what has become of my 2 first hits.

Down the first road toward the first pig, I find a blood trail Stevie Wonder could follow, it was definitely a good hit. However, off the road about 5 feet, the blood trail goes into the thickests, nastiest scrub on the ranch.  I decide to give pig#1 to the vultures.

I head down the road for pig#2 and find him about 10 yards in, very dead, double lung shot, lots of blood.  I look at the entry hole: very small.  I look at the exit hole: very small.  I poke around, no bone shrapnel is obvious.

I walk down to pig#3, lying in the middle of the road.  He has a tiny hole right between the eyes, and a blown out shoulder.  Entry hole is very small, exit hole is impressively large, lots of obvious bone shrapnel.

Then, last night, last hunt of the weekend, while packing our gear into the truck, (while hunting with a new hunter who has yet to kill a pig), I spot 3 pigs on the edge of the brush about 200 yards away.  In the failing light, I set my fellow hunter up on the hood of the truck with my gun (he had already unloaded his gun and packed up his ammo - and did I mention the failing light?)  He sets up, finds the hogs, one turns broad-side, I hear report, I hear impact.  I look downrange, the hog is on the ground, one back leg twitching.

We pack up the gear and head over to the dead pig. No pig.  Nice blood trail, no animal.  I tell him to stay in the car and keep me in the headlights (very thick scrub+ injured hog+total darkness = very dangerous, possibly stupid.)
I find the blood trail and simultaneously hear the hog in the brush, not too far away.  As I didn't watch the impact and do not know how injured the hog is, I decide against following.  Wandering into very thick brush in the black of night, following an injured black hog: done it before, it ain't a good idea.

So, final tally: 4 shots, 3 definitely dead hogs, one dying, only 1 bang-flop.

In terms of accuracy, I couldn't be happier. In terms of results: I am borderline despondent.  On this ranch, bang--flop is essential.

So, I will be back out hunting hogs (and deer) in about a month, and will be running Nosler Accubonds this time, another report to follow.  And, I'll take the 300WM, just in case.

For those who don't know hog hunting intimately: they are very tough critters.  Hit in the brain or spine, they drop on the spot; hit in the heart or both lungs, they will run before dying.  Hit elsewhere, they'll limp for awhile, then get back to destroying property and making more little piggies.  They are very, very tough.  And, not least of all, when injured, they will absolutely hunt you.  More than a few hunters have been injured by a wounded pig.

Do as I say, not as I do: never follow a wounded pig into his domain, especially at night.  Mark the spot, and go check on him the next day.

And, last but not least, don't hun pigs with 142-gr Sierra Match Kings.  They will punch clean holes through small bones and leave small exit wounds, which isn't good.

As for the rifle, cycling was perfect, accuracy was fantastic, recoil is humorously little, balance is great, and suppressed, it is quiet and easy to shoot.

I couldn't be happier with the rifle, but will never again recommend SMKs for hunting, unless the caliber is much more than needed for the intended prey.

I'll post the least gruesome pictures soon.


Edited by Rancid Coolaid - October/10/2011 at 11:40
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 10:51
Bigdaddy0381 View Drop Down
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Georgia peach

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Thanks for sharing. I have heard but not seen that SMK's at lower to mid range speeds don't have the explosive result like some of the others have, but when it hit bone it has no choice.
 
Yeah pig's can get mean when wounded and chased.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 10:58
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Interesting

Definitely sounds like a fun place to hunt
I love that area
So you think they just pencilled through?

I haven't shot any hogs with Accubonds, have shot a few deer in 6.8 and 308 last year with them and results were perfect, both were at 250 to 275 yards.

I definitely trust Barnes the most for hogs, have you tried any for the 260 yet?

I will be using a new rifle this weekend, a Nosler in 280ai with their 140 AB load.
We will be hunting deer but I hope to test on a pig as well.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 11:28
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nice read!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 11:39
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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The rifle is about 3 weeks old, nothing but SMKs and Scenars have gone through it.  I have the components to load up some accubonds shortly.

I have not tried Barnes but probably will soon.  I was disappointed enough with the SMKs to need to move away shortly.  As I said, "bang-flop" is essential on this ranch in Laredo.

When contact with big bones took place, it was effective (but not instantly incapacitating.)  I am definitely moving to a hunting-specific bullet in 260.

All that said, I have taken more than a few deer with SMKs and Amax bullets; and took all my hogs last year with 175-gr Amax in a 308 - all but one were bang-flops (and that one was too far back to hit a big bone, he ran about 20 yards.)

I had a 6.8 loaded up with Accubonds but wanted to try to 260 (and the 6.8 had an issue that needs some time to fix.)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 11:42
anomad View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:


Down the first road toward the first pig, I find a blood trail Stevie Wonder could follow, it was definitely a good hit. However, off the road about 5 feet, the blood trail goes into the thickests, nastiest scrub on the ranch.  I decide to give pig#1 to the vultures.



That made me laugh.

Interesting results. I've never been pig hunting.

Edited by anomad - October/10/2011 at 11:52
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 12:11
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2011 at 16:06
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Jeff,
Great read, I love hog hunting, mostly because there is no season and you can hunt at night.
Again great report.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2011 at 00:57
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Who built your 260 for you?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2011 at 10:01
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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RPRifles in Spring Tx.  They do great work.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2011 at 10:17
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I looked for non-gruesome pictures, they are all pretty bloody.  The one below, I used "red eye reduction" to blacken in most of the blood.  He was somewhere around 200 pounds, maybe just shy of.  As you can see from the blackening up front, he bled quite a bit.

This was pig#2, the big nasty.

The pic of the head-shot isn't too bad, but mods tell me how much is too much blood.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/24/2011 at 12:31
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I have had nothing but success with Barnes bullets, but the pigs can prove tougher than the bullet at times.  Case in point, last weekend, a guy I was taking pig hunting shot a nice albino boar that stood about 6 inches taller than the big bruisers around him.  He hit him with one shot of my .50 Beowulf using 275 gr Barnes TSX bullet.  That pig hit the ground as if a piano had dropped on him.  He was on the ground, on his back doing the kickin' chicken for about 30 seconds.  He turned over, got up took a step and fell over, again, doing the kickin' chicken for about 30 more seconds.  then, the most astonishing thing happened.  He got up and took off like a track athlete!!  On the trail about 70 yards in I found a 3/4 inch piece of rib.  The hog was bleeding out both sides and had lung in the blood.  3 and 1/2 hours of tracking later and still no pig!  We brought in dogs the next morning and never could recover that pig.  The terrain is different where I hunt, but not unlike yours where everything pokes and cuts!!!
 
I too, have shot deer with SMK bullets with no issues.  I would still use them for deer.  Unless hit in the "light-switch," every pig has made it about 20-40 yards with Barnes.  Definately dead when I pull the trigger.....they just won't accept it for a minute.  I think that with the Accubonds (or other quality hunting bullets), you will notice an immediate difference.  I have a 6.5-06AI and use 130gr TSX bullets for it.  Very accurate and very deadly.  The bullet that I have seen (not shot with) that is the most destructive (even more than a Barnes) in my personal opinion is the SST from Hornady.  They make a 129 gr in .264.  I saw a hog shot with a 154gr SST from a 7mm Mag on a hunt this spring and man was that a lot of destruction!!  Tough critters and that is why I love hunting them.  Looking forward to more pics. 
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