When you care enough to send a big wild boar your very best, you send him your thoughts with a .458 SOCOM. You’ll both find it dramatically convincing, but only you will recall with excitement what happened. This is the story of a specialized weapon and tactics that may cause you to pull out your credit card. You have been warned.
If passively sitting in a blind bored is what you think hunting is all about I get it, but you’ve never hunted hogs in West Texas the way we do. Often we try to see how close we can get to the hogs before engaging them. In the darkness of night, it gets even more interesting.
One of my favorite people on earth to hunt with is Anthony Ainesworth, the hunting manager and guide at Spike Box Ranch. We have a good track record together and always have a good time. Usually Anthony guides our hog hunts, but I’m going to say we traded places this time as he carries my custom over-the-top .458 SOCOM build into the field.
It’s dark, probably about forty-five degrees outside. The moon has yet to make its appearance. Using thermal, I spot a couple of groups of hogs feeding down rows of green wheat, only six or so inches tall. They are guilty of crop destruction on a working cattle ranch and someone’s got to pay. An example will be made.
Anthony and I head into field. He’s wearing my Team Wendy EXFIL LTP helmet with a PVS-14 secured perfectly in Wilcox L4 G24 mount. To target the lead perpetrator he’ll use my Wilcox RAPTAR Lite ES IR laser. The .458 SOCOM has a full magazine of Wilson Combat loaded 300 grain TTSX Barnes Bullets.
I’ve fallen in love with the tactic of getting in front of group of wild hogs as they move down the wheat rows. They close distance on you as you close distance on them. If they spot or smell you first, it’s game over, they win. The adrenaline goes up as the distance goes down.
Purposefully working the slight wind to our advantage we move towards the two groups. It’s a changing dynamic as the groups spread out, compact, and spread out again. We’re moving, observing, changing our approach angles. The two groups merge into a single mass of roughly eighty hogs downing their dinner salad.
We close distance further, still unnoticed by the large group. At sixty yards, the big boar in charge this night knows something is up. They don’t get old and big without being smart, and he begins moving the group to our right. We carefully move up and right staying directly in front of them.
Fifty yards now. Through my thermal optic the Russian in this big boar is obvious. He is standing still, staring right at us. We’re crouched, still as stones, heart rates high. The group is still moving. I think we can get closer, so the shot waits.
At forty yards the big boar looks intense and the group is splitting to our left and right, picking up speed. It’s time. Anthony shoulders the .458 SOCOM rifle and places the laser dot low behind the moving boar’s shoulder. Time slows.
The Timney trigger perfectly breaks. The 300 grain TTSX accelerates down the Wilson Combat barrel, but Anthony doesn’t even notice the recoil. Time speeds up as pandemonium ensues.
The big boar drops instantly as the rest of the group scatters, some running 30 – 40 miles per hour. The boar is done. No kicking, no grunting, just dead right there. Anthony and I share the joy that hunters know, the joy of going up against the wild and succeeding.
The .458 SOCOM did a number on the hog. The entrance hole is a full inch in diameter. The pressure of the bullet on the internals has blown lung material back out the entry hole. There’s a two inch fat layer just under the skin. At two inches penetration the entry cavity is now two inches wide, but what is under that armor is remarkable. There’s a pure liquid filled cavernous hole where there used to be organs. The bullet hit the hog about four inches below the spine, but the force unleashed by the .458 SOCOM was enough to sever that spine. Impressive to say the least.
So pony up for the big gun if you’re ready. Take a look at how we approached building the ultimate .458 SOCOM hog hunting rifle to get some ideas. For an AR-15 platform rifle, this thing is at the top of its class. Now it’s up to you. Ready for a big bore for the big boars?
Read Part 1: .458 SOCOM Hog Hammer of Death >>>
Wilcox RAPTAR Lite ES intro, review and video >>>