Narrowing this list to ten was a monumental task. So many choices, good choices, great choices… This is part two of my top ten list. If you missed part one, you can read it here. Here’s a recap of the concept for this list, then it’s on to the next five rifles.
Gun makers keep producing new rifles, in new calibers and various tactical configurations. Some of the new rifles on the market today are designed with rather specific hog hunting applications in mind, such as suppressed hunting. Others allow you to apply the tactical advantage across a wide range of hog hunting situations.
As a way to kick start the discussion, SHWAT™ presents ten of the top hog killers available today. Let us know what you think, as well as your personal favorites for engaging multiple hog targets. We’d like to include your suggestions in an upcoming SHWAT™ feature! Comment the here or on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SHWATteam.
Rock River Arms PRK EHIDE
One rifle I’ve had the pleasure of recently hog hunting with is the PRK EHIDE, made by Rock River Arms. A tactical hunter in .223, the PRK EHIDE comes with a unique camouflage pattern: a “hog” finish from a hardcoat anodizing process of real wild hog hair that’s been that digitally designed in a high resolution image.
The PRK EDHIE is part of Rock River’s LAR-15 HUNTER Series (which also includes the WYL-EHIDE, with a finish based on real coyote fur!). The PRK has a free floating half-quad rail, a chrome moly barrel, a tactical muzzle brake, a collapsible stock, and a comfortable Hogue grip.
The PRK EHIDE points well and easily, has a shooter-friendly two-stage trigger, and is darned accurate. It took me less than an hour at the shooting range and I was putting shots a half-inch apart at 100 yards. Light weight and mobile, the rifle’s equally at home in a shooting stand or while stalking hogs in thick brush
Caliber: 5.56mm NATO Chamber for 5.56mm & .223 Cal.
Lower Receiver: Forged RRA LAR-15 ®
Upper Receiver: Forged A4
Barrel: 16 inch Chrome Moly, 1:9 Twist
Muzzle Device: RRA Tactical Muzzle Brake/ ½-28 Thread
Gas Block: Low Profile Gas Block
Trigger: RRA Two Stage / Winter Trigger Guard
Safety Selector: Star Safety
Handguard: RRA Half Quad Free Float with 3 rail covers
Buttstock/Grip: RRA Operator CAR Stock / Hogue Grip
Weight/Length: 7.6 lbs / 37 inches
Accuracy: 1 MOA @ 100 yards
Included: One mag, RRA Case, Manual, Warranty
The Pig Package from Lewis Machine & Tool Company
If you’re a fan of the Sportsman Channel’s “Pig Man: The Series,” you’ve no doubt seen Brian “Pig Man” Quaca using his Lewis Machine & Tool Company (LMT) MWS .308 on some hogs. Now, LMT is offering tac hog hunters the same rifle set up as used by Quaca, in The Pig Package.
The Pig Package is a LMT Signature Model MWS .308 with a 16″ chrome-lined barrel in a 1:10″ twist. Other features include a SOPMOD Buttstock, two- stage trigger group, and an ambi-selector and ambi-mag release. With an engraved “Pig Man” logo on the lower, the weapon system also comes complete with an engraved Leupold VX-R HOG 1.25 – 4x20mm FireDot Pig Plex with a Mark 2 IMS mount. It ships with a sling, manual, tactical adjustable rear sight and tactical front sight, one 20-round magazine, two heavy-duty push button swivels, a torque/wrench/driver and three rail panels.
“I knew straight out of the gate that LMT folks were serious players,” says Quaca. “These are the weapons residing in the hands of our US men and women on the front lines across the world, and if it’s dependable and accurate enough to defend our freedom, I have no hesitation dusting a few dozen pigs with it in the field.”
Actually, a heck of a lot more than a few dozen! According to Justin Cook, Pig Man’s business manager, right hand man, and good friend, Quaca’s been using the Model MWS since February 2011. In that time, “I would say it’s a safe bet to estimate 300 pigs total with that rifle, just from Pig Man!”
.458 SOCOM by Wilson Combat
Here at SHWAT™, we like to bring you breaking stories that are current and relevant. How about this? “Lately, we’ve been working on the .458 SOCOM project and plan to be building them soon,” says Bill Wilson, owner of Wilson Combat. “So far, we have recovered five hogs shot with the 458 SOCOM that had poorly placed shots. I seriously doubt we would have recovered them if they had been shot with a lesser caliber.”
Wilson Combat Recon LW 14.7” .458 SOCOM carbine is short, light (just over eight pounds when topped with a scope) and hits like a sledgehammer. It has a permanent attached flash hider, giving it a legal 16.1” barrel.
Says Wilson, “Lately, this is my daytime every day go to carbine that’s always in the Mule,” when he’s scouting for hogs on his ranch in East Texas. “This carbine is very fast handling and gives you a lot of confidence in its stopping power and firepower when following up a wounded hog. Barnes 300gr TAC TX is the bullet of choice.”
The .458 SOCOM is basically a 150 yard gun, “which is further than I usually shoot anyway,” Wilson notes. “My average shot is 80 yards.”
Smith &Wesson 300 Whisper
Smith & Wesson added this .300 Whisper offering to its popular Military & Police (M&P) Rifle Series late in 2011, making it the first production rifle in the AR platform to be chambered in .300 Whisper (it also chambers .300 AAC Blackout). It was certainly made with the tactical hunter in mind.
One the rifle’s biggest draws for the tactical hog hunter is that the Whisper offers you sub-sonic and supersonic capabilities. Designed to operate with or without a sound suppressor, the M&P15 300 Whisper is equipped with a 5/8-24 threaded barrel along with an A2-style flash hider. The feed ramps and gas system have been optimized to run effectively with a full-range of factory loaded sub-sonic and supersonic ammunition, both suppressed and unsuppressed. The barrel’s twist rate (1 in 7.5) is compatible with a wide variety of bullet weights from 110 to 220+ grains.
Manufactured on the M&P15 platform, the Whisper features a 16″ barrel constructed from 4140 chrome-moly steel. Both the forged 7075 aluminum upper and lower receivers have been coated with a Realtree® APG finish for optimal concealment during hunting. Other standard features include a 10-round magazine, integral one-piece trigger guard, dust cover, forward assist and a six-position, collapsible CAR stock.
The optics ready platform is compatible with most sighting systems through the use of the picatinny-style equipment rail located on top of the upper receiver.
Actually, I had some range time with the new Whisper last fall, with suppressor, and it was a smooth and accurate shooter. With the can and firing sub-sonic rounds, the Whisper’s report was no more than that of a louder pellet rifle: Thaa—wack, Thaa-wack.
Unfortunately, my time with the Whisper was very brief, but, good news!, I just received a Whisper for testing and evaluation. I’ll be taking it afield in search of wild hogs soon. More to come on this rifle in an upcoming SHWAT™ article!
300 Whisper (also chambers .300 AAC Blackout)
Capacity: 10 Rounds – Metal Magazine
Barrel Length: 16″ / 40.6 cm
Barrel Twist: 1 in 7.5″ 5R Rifling
Overall Length: 35” Extended / 32” Collapsed
Stock: 6 Position CAR
Weight: 6.38 lbs.
Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
Barrel Finish: Melonite®
Receiver Material: 7075 T6 Aluminum
Receiver Finish: Realtree™ APG
Chromed Components: Gas Key, Bolt Carrier
Sig Sauer 556R
Last Year, SIG SAUER introduced the SIG556R carbine. Why this rifle hasn’t made a bigger splash in tactical circles is somewhat of a mystery.
After all, the rifle combines the time-tested 7.62x39mm (AK) cartridge with the highly dependable SIG556 platform, uses standard AK-style magazines, and comes with a two-stage trigger for better tactical accuracy. The SIG556R also features a distinctive folding and telescopic stock, and an M1913 rail for accessory attachment, and a 16 inch barrel with four-groove rifling and a twist rate of 1:9.5”. At its full extension, the SIG556R measures 36” but can fold to 26”, making it ideal for situations where maximum maneuverability is required—like making your way through thick brush on a hog stalk.
Maybe the problem is…the lack of an accessory rail? Tactical hunters, after all, really like their add ons.
Short of that, it seems an excellent tactical pig killer. The rifle debuted in black, but a camouflage finished version should begin shipping this July.
Caliber 7.62 X 39 mm
Overall Length 35.875 in
Rifling 1 in 9.5 in
Number of Grooves 4
Barrel Length 16.0 in
Weight w/out Mag 7 lbs 0 oz
Mag Capacity 30 Rounds
Accessory Rail No
Features Mini Red Dot Sight