This is a discussion on Wild Boar Loads - 45-70 and 223/556 within the Hunting Forum forums, part of the Related Topics category; If you are going to mess with an new upper and you like hog hunting......
If you are going to mess with an new upper and you like hog hunting...
My experience is based on shooting hogs in Texas, and the ones I hit were mostly in the 100-150# range. For those, the 77GR OTM rounds out of an 18" barrel did just fine. For shots out of a truck I was going for "boiler room" shots, and dropping them with one good hit. All of those shots were 200 yards or less.
If you come across a big group of them running around, you will want a semi-auto vs. the lever gun.
Fortes Fortuna Juvat
Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor
Pigs around here run 100 to 300 lbs. Most are right in the middle at 150 to 200 lbs once fully grown. A 3030 seems to be the favorite pig getter. I have seen a few shot with a .223, but you had better pick your shot well.
I have hunted with a 45-70, a 12 ga slug, etc but my favorite is a 45 Colt lever gun with 325 grain bullets. I load them to the low end of 45-70. If it were me Id shoot the 45-70 with something like Remington's 405 grain load. They are easily good to 200 yards, and not too hard on the shoulder. The 405's have been a favorite deer load for many years, and will do fine for pigs.
Oh, one more thing. if at all possible don't shoot through the ham's. The best part of the pig! DR
As others have stated, the AR round needs proper placement to actually drop the hog. It'll run off and die elsewhere if you hit it with a heart and lung shot but if you can tap it right behind, or in the lower part of, the ear you can drop them where they stand. It's not really a difficult shot if you've got a decent scoped AR and you've got passable skill with the rifle. If not, then I'd go for the larger cartridge where you've got a better chance of getting it to drop with a body shot. FWIW, I like the Barnes TSX bullet on pigs but if you're hitting them where you should any decent (non-varmint) hollow point or soft point should do the trick.
expat no more
Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem
I would use the 45/70 with a 350 grain round. Coming out around 2,000 FPS. I don't like to play games.
NRA PATRON LIFE
AzCDL Life Member
BROWN WATER NAVY
I've hunted hogs many times in the Texas hill country and my firearm of choice depends on the terrain.
If we're hunting on the ground in thicket/brush I take a S&W 629 6" .44 and my Ruger B-92 lever .44.
FWIW: A scoped rifle in thicket is useless for hogs.
But, if I'm hunting from an elevated blind I use my go to deer rifle, a Sako Finbear .270.
However, the last hog I shot was from a natural ground blind during muzzle loading season...a 90 yard shot on a 180 Lb hog with a Browning Mountain rifle .50 cal. The hog dropped without taking another step.
Since then I acquired a Marlin 30-30 which seems to be the perfect hog gun...we'll see!
As far as the OPs choices: either cal will work but I'd take the 45-70
If you find Barnes 70 Grain TSX bullets for your .223 you will be fine. Talking to our guides about hunters that used 223 he said do not use a Balistic Tip. He had never seen anybody using Solid Coppers and was pretty impressed.
I personally would go with the .45-70, but I also am quite traditional when it comes to hunting firearms. I don't like semi-autos for hunting. Not (just) cause some tend to be finicky, but because I prefer to operate a firearm manually when I'm harvesting something. I also would choose that caliber because in my limited experience with hogs (granted, the ones I've seen shot and mine were around 300lbs, not any smaller) they don't know they are dead until they are dead. So I would want a fat bullet bustin' a hog up. But then again, if I'm making a trip for a hunt I damn well want the best chance of bringing something back.
Best of luck regardless of your choice.
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
"Take off ya hoser!" - Bob & Doug McKenzie