To quote Buddy the Elf, “I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!” Don’t tell my wife, but this is how I feel about the Maker Overwatch Field 62 grain.223 Expanding Ammunition. You see, this new and well deserved love affair started out of frustration. The 55 grain soft point ammo just wasn’t doing it for me any more. Sure, we had created some great memories and shot a lot of hogs together, but I was growing weary in this relationship. In reality, my finger trigger was the one getting tired…tired of having to squeeze off several rounds (in some cases 4-5) to take down a pig. I had my breaking point and since Jonathan was responsible for introducing me to my wife, I decided that I needed to talk to him and see if he could introduce me to a new love of my life, well at least my hunting life. Jonathan gladly accepted the role of matchmaker and was able to connect me with this awesome ammo from Maker Bullets.
As excited as I was when I received the tracking confirmation that the ammo had been shipped, I was honestly having a lot of self-doubt about continuing to hog hunt with my .223. Even though I knew the story of when SHWAT™ Co-Founder, Stephen Owen, killed a hog with his 9mm pistol and I was with Jonathan when he killed a sow with an FN PS90 that shoots a 5.7x28mm round, I still scoured the internet forums searching for some reassurances that my .223 would suffice.
Mostly what I encountered were people saying that it’s not practical or feasible to hog hunt with such a small caliber. If you want to challenge a winner, tell them it can’t be done. Challenge Accepted! Although I had never met any of these so-called “experts”, I felt as if I had a point to prove.
I took the Maker Overwatch Field 62gr ammo out of the box at the farm and the first thing I noticed was the three unique lines that were cut into the bullet, starting at the tip and appeared to continue straight down under the casing. This is what allows the round to expand, causing tremendous damage once it penetrates the target.
There were no cattle behind the house just then and it was nice to step out the back door and create my own personal mini-range. My Lancer mag was loaded and I paced off 50 yards, give or take, and fired three rounds into my target and I was good to go. I wasn’t sure how much my point of impact would change going from a 55gr to a 62gr round and the change was negligible. With a little bit of daylight available, I made the quick drive to a couple of fields that turned into nothing more than a field trip.
Because I was out on my first date with the Maker Overwatch Field 62gr .223 ammo, my wife decided to chaperone. Maybe her womanly intuition kicked in and she was trying to prevent this inevitable lovefest from happening, but she was unsuccessful. We checked a handful of fields before we decided to head down by the river. As we cruised down the highway, I checked the 120 acre field on the east side and there was a loan boar not 50 yards from the road. I sort of panicked because the truck lights wouldn’t turn off.
I pulled over on the grassy shoulder and turned the engine off and commenced on the stalk, which wasn’t far. Once I was in position, I kneeled and put the boar in my sight and gently squeezed the trigger. The 62gr Expanding round left my barrel at around 2750 feet per second. My electronic hearing protection kicked in but I still heard the confirmation “thwap” of the Maker Overwatch 62gr Expanding round enter the hog right below the ear. The boar collapsed and it only took only one pull of the trigger.
It was time for that hog to meet its Maker.
Ha Ha! Did you see what I did there? I got back to the truck and it was right around midnight and the wife was asleep. It was time to call it a night but Maker Bullets and I were just getting started.
Now fast forward to the next hunting opportunity. I spotted pigs on the far west side of a 210 acre field around 5 pm. In the middle of this field is a bunch of brush that we often use for cover but it’s a little over a quarter mile from there to where these hogs were rooting in the wheat. The group of 15-20 were heading north and I decided the best thing to do was to try to get all the way across the field to the fence line and use what little vegetation there was for cover.
The wind was out of the north, which does not happen often and I felt like my strategy was solid. With the wind in my favor, I wasn’t concerned about being heard or their catching a whiff of me, but all it takes is one pig seeing me and the hunt ends. I was about 25 yards away from the fence line when one of the few big porkers in the group spotted me. It’s a big open wheat field so it’s not like there was any place to hide. My goal was to see how close I could get without being seen.
The hogs seemed aware of me but were not bugging out as I closed the gap to about 100 yards. The big sentry pig looked at me again as I squatted in the middle of the field pretending that they couldn’t see me. Suddenly all the hogs started making the mad dash for the brush just to the west. I didn’t have much time and aimed at one of the smaller pigs in the middle of the herd and fired, fired and fired again.
There were several pigs down and to my surprise, I ended up shooting 4 hogs with 3 shots! I’ve never done that before! These were about 20-25 pound pigs, so they weren’t that big but until I got to them I didn’t realize that my first shot went through 2 of the hogs. Pretty proud of my shooting, I snapped a couple of photos and headed back to the truck.
As I continued to use the Maker Overwatch Field 62gr .223 Expanding Ammunition over the next several hunts, I was thrilled. I don’t know if “revolutionized” is the right word, but it has definitely been a game changer for me and even provided a first time experience of a two for one shot. Before using this Ammo from Maker Bullets, there were weekends where I would connect 10 shots and maybe recover 4-5 pigs (sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less). Since I’ve started using Maker Bullets loaded ammo, I’ve shot 13 hogs and recovered 12 bodies and I love those results. As far as pricing goes, the list price for a box of 20 is $26.00 but currently they are on sale for $24.00. This is right in line with some of the higher end 62gr options like Lehigh Defense ($23) and Gorilla Ammunition ($26). You can check out Maker’s line of products at www.makerbullets.com.
The naysayers on the internet might have been right based on their experience but I doubt they’ve used this ammo from Maker Bullets. As for me, I’ve experienced a significant improvement using Maker’s slightly heavier, marginally more expensive round. That 62 grain Overwatch has allowed me to recover 12 of 13 hogs shot while never pulling the trigger more than twice per hog. It’s so much better than continuing on the road to frustration that I was on with the lighter, cheaper bullets I had been using. It could take anywhere from one to five hits per hog and I had a much, much lower recovery rate.
While this love affair is just beginning, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was love at first sight but it was definitely love at first shot. And my wife approves of this affair!