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 deer—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 that’s legal. Suppressors, obviously, give people an edge in trying to shoot multiple pigs—not just because the hogs won’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 recoil—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 doesn’t exist. I may even agree with some of it. Over the past dozen years or so, I’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-stalk—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 Wilson’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?