What is a boar rifle? The short answer: Anything that will cleanly kill a wild boar. In other words, it’s the same thing as a deer rifle being any rifle that will cleanly kill a deerâ€”but there are differences.
Recently Savage introduced the Hog Hunter, a Model 11/111 that features a threaded barrel. And if you saw our March/April 2012 issue you probably read about the 7.62×42 Wilson Tactical round, which was developed specifically as a pig round. What these two developments have in common illustrate the primary difference between hog hunting and other big game pursuits: In many cases, the goal of a pig excursion is to severely control or eliminate populations.
In the case of the Savage, the design allows hunters to employ a suppressor, where thatâ€™s legal. Suppressors, obviously, give people an edge in trying to shoot multiple pigsâ€”not just because the hogs wonâ€™t be quite as spooked by gunfire noise but also because suppressors allow the operator to shoot better, faster due to reduced muzzle blast and rise.
The 7.62×40 WT aims for the same goal but accomplishes it through sheer firepower. It gives you .30 caliber diameter without .308 recoilâ€”all with excellent feeding from an AR-15 lower. The result is fast, accurate shot placement with sufficient bullet diameter to get the job done. (Yes, I know tons of hogs are killed with .223s, but I like a lot more bullet than that.)
Some of the comments to this post are going to yell about suppressors for hunting and/or about new developments that commenters feel are just companies marketing a solution to a need that doesnâ€™t exist. I may even agree with some of it. Over the past dozen years or so, Iâ€™ve killed pigs with handguns, muzzleloaders, slug guns and more rifle chamberings than I can recall, but all my hog hunting has been spot-and-stalkâ€”the goal to kill a single pig, which then ended the hunt.
But a lot of people in a lot of places have different goals. Could they accomplish those goals without boar rifles such as the new Savage Hog Hunter or cartridges such as Wilsonâ€™s 7.62×40? Sure, but where would be as riflemen and hunters if we never strove for something that was just a little better than what we already had?