Going Whole Hog Over Full Boar

Based on new ammo announced by several major manufacturers, hunting is getting pretty “boaring.”

European wild hogs and feral domestic swine seem to be spreading like bacteria, and ammo makers such as Winchester, Remington and Hornady are working overtime in their labs to address the threat.

Hogs, of course, are native to Europe, Asia and Africa, but not North America. Escaped here since the exploratory wanderings of early Spanish conquistadors, swine are a serious threat to ecosystems, especially in the South, where they cause billions of dollars in agricultural damage.


Neal Emery dropped this big boar with a single 165-grain GMX bullet from a Hornady Full Boar load in .300 Win.Mag.

Similar problems erupt in places such as Australia and Argentina. More than a decade back some friends and I tackled Australian pigs with Winchester’s then-new WSM cartridges and the old Fail Safe bullet. One of those applied to the south end of a big boar heading north ended up plowing through four back vertebrae, three neck vertebrae and the skull before stopping against the hide above the snout.

More recently in Argentina, several of us applied Hornady’s GMX bullet (as loaded in its new Full Boar line of ammo) to the grizzly boars down there. They didn’t appreciate it.

Neal Emery used a Steyr bolt-action in .300 Win. Mag. and Full Boar ammo to send a 165-grain GMX bullet at roughly 3,100 fps through the tough front shoulders of the boar pictured. Lights out.

I used a Steyr Scout bolt-action in .308 Win. to spit the same GMX bullet at 500 fps less velocity, though it didn’t make much difference. My slug entered behind the ribs of a boar angling away, ripped through the lungs and lodged against the hide covering the brisket. As the sorely wounded hog scampered through the grass, a second bullet smashed through a back leg, broke the bone, penetrated the body and kept going. The hog didn’t.


This is a recovered 165-grain GMX bullet from a .308 Win. the author used to terminate a hog. It traveled half the length of the boar's body before lodging against the hide in front of the shoulder. It’s a classic GMX mushroom shape with long remaining shank and nearly 100 percent weight retention.

In my experience, hogs (and I’ve taken them with everything from .22-250 Rem. to .358 Win. to 7mm Rem. Mag.) don’t much care what cartridge you use—so long as you use the right bullet and put it in the right place. Big ones can be tough, but monolithic bullets like the GMX are tougher. Park them in the front half and, whether they weight 50 grains or 500, whether they’re moving 3,000 fps or 1,600 fps, you’ll be makin’ bacon.


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