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Location: austin and amarillo texas
Joined: 07/21/2007
Posts: 195
Best Pig/Brush Caliber

Great pics and a good looking rifles. Congrats on the hogs.

Nathan's picture
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Location: NewZealand
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 44
Best Pig/Brush Caliber

Hi all, just a couple of notes from my own research. Although I like an allround cartridge like the 7mm Rem mag whether for brush or open country, hunting pigs with medium and big bore cartridges has produced interesting results for me. I have shot pigs with every calibre up to .458 but would like to recall a couple of accounts with the Whelen and .45/70.

On a typical foray, I had two rifles with me as I wanted to retest two particular bullets, both by chance Nosler Partitions. I was in steep country and it was just on dusk as a mob of pigs wandered out onto a gully face. The first shot with the 6.5 Swede found its mark and flattened the pig, I got the shot I wanted. Very quickly I switched to the second rifle, a .35 Whelen firing the 225 grain Partition at 2550fps. The shot would have to be a running shot which was what I had hoped as I was trying to study medium bore frontal area as an aid to shot placement error. As the pigs ran at a range of 180 yards, I lined up on a big grunter, gave it some lead and fired. The pig continued by its own momentum another metre into the scrub after which I lost sight of it.

Anyway, I climbed the ridge and there was the wounded pig, the 225 grain Nosler had not hit vitals, the shot too far back. Nevertheless the pig was unable to move off without immense difficulty. When it saw me it tried to run but moved off very drunkenly and gave me plenty of time for a finishing shot. I was absolutely wrapped in the performance of the .35 on pigs. These densely built animals just absorb bullet energy.

during another test I wanted to study plain old Winchester .45/70 factory ammo on pigs. I found a mob of pigs, again in a gut just on dusk. Three shots went off for three pigs which were at ranges of 50 to 70 yards. Even though velocity was around 1300fps, none moved off from where they were shot. Again excellent energy absorbtion and good frontal area providing room for error. As other members have already pointed out there was little meat damage using the .45/70.

I have shot a lot of pigs with each calibre during research but if I had to choose just one medium to big bore cartridge I would probably cheat a bit and opt for one of the .375 family. A cartridge like the old .375 H&H is pretty versatile as projectiles are cheap and plentiful, the cartridge shoots flat in open country and works well up close. On game like pigs the .375 is dynamite.

Cheers, Nathan.

http://www.ballisticstudies.com

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Location: austin and amarillo texas
Joined: 07/21/2007
Posts: 195
Best Pig/Brush Caliber

The 35 Whelen is a great cartridge for pigs, or anything other than DG in my mind. I enjoy shooting pigs with my 416 remington, 45/70, 9.3X74R, and soon, my 470. Pigs are perfect for practicing with big bores. They are tough skinned, and the big boys won't cause too much meat damage. Nothing more fun for me than shooting pigs with big guns. You might want to try some of the buffalo bore bullets for your 45/70 if you have a gun that can handle the pressure (I'm assuming you don't reload, but if you do, you can jack that 45/70 up past the buffalo bore ballistics_. Those buffalo bores will make that 45/70 a great pig stomper. Thumbs up

Nathan's picture
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Location: NewZealand
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 44
Best Pig/Brush Caliber

Don't know if you were refering to me but yes I do reload for all cartridges including the .45/70. My current .45/70 is built on a Lee Enfield No.4 mk 2 so it easily handles high pressure loadings. Unfortunately though, a combination of soft Win brass and loose chamber dimensions causes sticky extraction which is a bit of a pity as the full house loads hit hard and produce excellent results on game. Extraction becomes stiff as 300 grain loads approach 1800fps. Top loads in this rifle produce 2350fps and extraction is just the same, no stiffer. I can see why Marlin came out with the .450 with its heavier brass.

Were I to do it all over again, I am not 100% sure which way I would go.

Some Marlin .45/70 owners state that their rifles handle full house loads with no extraction issues while others seem to have similar problems with soft brass. I definately like the Marlin lever action for its fast follow up shots but whether I would opt for the .45/70 or .450 would need more consideration, or perhaps even a plain old Brno .458Win mag would do the trick nicely.

How do you guys find extraction of .45/70 brass at modern pressures? I would be interested to hear.
Cheers, Nathan.

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Location: austin and amarillo texas
Joined: 07/21/2007
Posts: 195
Best Pig/Brush Caliber

I was reffering to you and must of miss read your post to assume you didn't reload. My apologies. I haven't reloaded for the 45/70 in a while but I think I might remember the pressure limits of my specific guns. I have one in a Ruger #1, which I'm sure you know can take pressures upt o and past 50,000. I also have a Marlin 45/70 in the cowboy action. It's recommended to keep it below 50,000 psi. I really never had any extraqction problems with either rifle. The single shot especially... you could nearly get that thing up to energy levels equivalent to a 458 win mag. Since I've moved, I haven't been able to set up my reloading junk, so I bought some buffalo bore and some ler evolution cartridges for my 45/70's. Both perform very well and make excellent brush guns. The lever evolution shoots a 325 grain bullet at just over 2,050 fps out of a 26 inch barrel, and they really hold their heads better than the flat nosed bullets.

I actualy just acquired a model 70 winchester 450 Ackley, so I've been spending most of my time on it. It can shoot 458 win mag, 458 Lott, and 450 ackley ammo. I'm going to load down some Lott ammo with 450 grained bullets to about 2,100 fps. Should be a real Babe killer. I'll probably use mosly solids, so that I don't actually vaporize the pigs. I might try a 350 grained bullet at 2,500 fps as well. Yes

Nathan's picture
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Location: NewZealand
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 44
Best Pig/Brush Caliber

Your .450 Ackley sounds like a nice rig, thanks for passing on your experiences with high pressure .45/70 loads versus extraction. I also have been using the Hornady Lever Evolution in .45/70. Soon I will pull some bullets and load them up to 2350fps and hunt with them. It would be unfare to expect these bullets to hold together at high impact velocities but it will be interesting nevertheless. I have only just bought my first camcorder/ digital camera so one day I will be able to upload pics.

over the last few weeks I have been using the .444 on everything, wish I had digital pics to upload as the results have been pretty spectacular.
Cheers, Nathan.

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Location: austin and amarillo texas
Joined: 07/21/2007
Posts: 195
Best Pig/Brush Caliber

Nathan- I wouldn't expect your bullets to blow up at those speeds, particularly if you shoot whatever it is you're shooting at a reasonable range (not too close). Just use quality bullets. I often use solids when hunting pigs with big bores so as not to create too much meat damage. If you're using enough gun with enough diameter, you really don't need that much expansion on smaller feral hogs.

I mispoke when I said I had a 450 Ackley. After I checked it out I realized it's actually a 450 Watts. It's essentially the same thing as the 458 Lott, but the case capacity is larger. The 458 Lott uses a cut down 375 H&H case reemed out at 2.8 inches; the 450 watts uses a full 375 H&H case reemed out at 2.85 inches. Basically, this is good news for me because I can buy 375 H&H brass and kneck it out to .458 instead of the more expensive 458 Lott cases. Should be a fun winter project. Big smile

Let me know how your reloading with the 45/70 goes. I'd like to get back into it eventually. Post some specs/ballistics if you get the time. Thanks and good luck. Thumbs up

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Location: East Texas
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 43
Best Pig/Brush Caliber

Jeepers!! I consider my ol' Ruger 77 in 7MM Remington Magnum to be my big gun. 160 gr. Nosler Partition have always done the job smartly for me. Quick one shot kills. I don't take running shots maybe that has something to do with it. If I don't get him today. I'll get him tomorrow. If I don't get him at all that's hunting.

Took this one in 2005 with the Ruger and 160 grain Speer SP. Please note that he doesn't have any ears, just some little nubs. I'm sure he lost them fighting. Ear lost to hog dogs or other boar hogs is not unusual. He was for sure still a boar hog!

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Location: austin and amarillo texas
Joined: 07/21/2007
Posts: 195
Best Pig/Brush Caliber

That is a great piggy there. What did he weigh? I do take running shots at pigs on my own ranch b/c we consider them to be nuissance animals (they kill the quail crop and kill the farm crops). I don't care whether they die today or tomorrow. If I'm on someone else's deal, then I'll obviously hunt ethically.

I don't shoot pigs with big bore rifle b/c I have to. A 22-250 is plenty on most pigs with well placed shots, but I like the practice, and Like I said earlier, I don't care about meat damage on pigs, coyotes, or alley cats. Big smile

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Location: NewZealand
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 44
Best Pig/Brush Caliber

Well Ironwood, that makes two of us. My personal rifle is a custom Win M70 in 7mm Rem mag and I also favour the 160 grain Partition.

The big stuff I use is during the course of ballistics research. Here in NZ I have a Company which has three divisions, Ballistics research is the main division, guided hunting and gunsmithing are secondary divisions. That said, the hunting and smithing are promoted to the public while the research is done behind the scenes (10 years and over 6000 head of game now) and has been an ongoing all consuming work in progress.

By remaining unbiased I have been able to enjoy the strengths of many cartridges and have had a lot of fun with some such as the .375 RUM- even though it kicks like a mule and costs a bundle to feed (very similar to my experience with women and yet I am married, go figure!!)

Sometimes during research I have found that a lot of hype around a particular cartidge is a load of bullocks, other times I have discovered some very real and unique strengths in some of the less popular cartridges including the medium to big bores. In all cases I try to duplicate a shot over and over on game in order to gain consistant, predictable results.

That's a nice hog you took, whart happened to it next, did it go into bacon?

Cheers, Nathan

http://www.ballisticstudies.com

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