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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Joined: 02/25/2006
Posts: 7
Which weapon should I hunt with?

I don't want to seem like an unethical hunter by hunting with something that won't take down a pig easily. I've been meaning to break down and buy a really good compound bow, but I haven't got around to it. I'm looking to get in a couple serious hunting trips over the upcoming summer, and would like to brush up with some weapons I currently own. Anyways, here are the guns I own:

-A vintage Martin compound bow: I don't know how old it is, but someone at an archery store told me it was probably around late 70's era. It's in great condition, and has some new equipment I put on it. It's only about ~60 pound draw though.

-.303 British Enfield: It's an old gun, but was kept in really good condition prior to me acquiring it. It still shoots straight and everything.

-7.62x54 Russian Nagant: Same as Enfield basically. I only bought them because they were really cheap. If anything, they are at least good collectors items.

-.50 Traditions black powder rifle: I actually haven't even shot this yet, so I'm not really considering this at all. I never thought about getting into black powder hunting, but I ended up buying this like a year ago due to its price. I guess I need to stop buying every cheap weapon that comes across my path Oops!

So, given those options, what would some of you vets advise (I have an over/under shotty too, but I'm not planning on using that). I wouldn't mind buying a new compound bow (I'm still planning on it in the near future), but for some reason if I'm not able to I would like to go with something I currently have.

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Which weapon should I hunt with?

If your not shooting your bow regularly, I would go with the .303.....That will do the trick. I don't know what the second gun is and the .50 cal muzzleloader will do it too.

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Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Which weapon should I hunt with?

60 lbs is more than enough for a bow. Stay away from the front bone armor. Go in behind the front leg.
Either of the rifles and the front loader will work fine.

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Location: East Texas
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 43
Which weapon should I hunt with?

All of what you listed above will take hogs without any problem. That said, you must be able to shoot them accurately. The key to putting a hog down in a hurry is putting the first shot in the right place.

The sights on both the Enfield and the Nagant are not made for pin point accuracy, but with practice they will suffice for distances under 100 yards. I think scopes can be mounted on these rifles. I think the scope mounts are rather expensives and are sort of cumbersome.

Most archers consider 30 yards about the maximum range for bowhunting. Not that the bow will not kill at longer ranges but it's limited to the shooters accuracy at longer ranges.

The best rifle for hogs might well be the .50 caliber muzzleloader. Scopes and mounts are rather inexpensive. Most muzzleloaders are quite accurate. With a stout charge of powder and a heavy bullet they will take down the biggest boar you might meet. Care must be taken in choosing bullets. Some are very expensive and prohibit lots of practice. Also a muzzleloader must be cleaned after each shooting session, without fail.

Good luck with your hog hunts
Ironwood

Nathan's picture
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Location: NewZealand
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 44
Which weapon should I hunt with?

Hi there, I am a Hog Guide in New Zealand, here is my two cents worth. There was a time in New Zealand when everybody owned and shot thousands of pigs using the Lee Enfield (our service rifle). In those days, everybody used their rifles every week or weekend and we were good shots. These days, without that kind of practice, it is really hard to pick up a military rife and expect to shoot game with a high degree of accuracy. A scoped sporter is much easier for pigs, especially low light shooting. Any of the calibres from .257 upwards seem to do the job although on tough pigs, a suitably constructed bullet should be used to avoid any dissapointment. I just had one client on a hunt two weeks ago with a set up identical to yours. Due to his love of bolt action military rifles (Millitary carrer man) he owned a Lee Enfield and a Russian. Just prior to the hunt he decided he would like to have a more accurate rifle for his trip so sticking to his historic military theme he purchased a sporterised 6.5 Swede which served him very well on his trip. One well placed shot at 277 yards secured his supply of bacon for the next few months. There are pics of him on my site. Hope this helps.
Cheers, Nathan
http://www.ballisticstudies.com

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
Which weapon should I hunt with?

HOwdy Mixorz,
I know for a fact that old Enfield will do the trick, And as Nathan stated proper bullet construction is DEFINATLY a playing factor. I reload so I have a few more options than someone that doesn't. I sporterized mine and like Ironwood said, the mount was a little pricey and it also gives you a pretty high "cheek weld" ( that means you have to raise your haed up a bit to see through the scope) so you will have to practice with it quite a bit to become proficient with it. But as far as the weapon itself is concerned, with proper bullet construction and placement it will do a fine job at downing pretty much any pig. Good luck.

Oh and another little side note. If you wish to upgrade your Bow, send me a PM. I have a Nice Hoyt for sale as I have a severe shoulder injury and from what the doc said Ill never draw one again so Im going to have to go to a crossbow to enjoy my love of archery. Im selling it at a very good price for the whole rig so drop a line if you wish.

Again good luck and happy hunting

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Moderator
Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Which weapon should I hunt with?

I love the 303 british round. It has worked great for me when I started hunting big game and it will do the same for you. The Nagant will also work so use which ever is lighter, more accurate, shorter, or whatever else that makes you like one over the other. It is you that has to shoot them and either one is more than enough for what you are hunting. The hog will never know the difference. Thumbs up

Nathan's picture
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Location: NewZealand
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 44
Which weapon should I hunt with?

Hi Mixorz, just wondering how you are getting on, you have had some good replies.
I should have included in my original reply that I have had a lot of experience with the Enfield and have shot probably in excess of 1000 animals with it (culling in New Zealand). The Enfield and the Russian definately have ample power, it is just a matter of whether these rifles are accurate enouigh for you. Open sights are good if you have plenty of practice but scopes make low light shooting much easier. I still do a lot of work accurising Enfields for locals. The newest mount which fits to the top of the Enfield without drilling or tapping is a good unit. As another member has pointed out, cheek weld is high but nevertheless quite adequate. Accuracy with Both Enfield and Russian rifles varies and is hard to predict without actually going out and using the individual rifle. I have handled police sniper Enfields that would group no better than 3MOA while other times I have shot old sporterised Enfields that would group around 1MOA. If you enjoy experimenting, these rifles can be interesting to work with but if you are not too confident in these areas then it can pay to start with something more user friendly such as a factory sporter or as my last client did, the Swede.

Ammo choice for the Enfield and Russian is another issue. If you decide to go this route, then let us know as I'm sure other members, myself included, will have some good options for you.
Cheers, Nathan.
http://www.ballisticstudies.com

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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Joined: 02/25/2006
Posts: 7
Which weapon should I hunt with?

Thanks for all the replies, they have been quite helpful.

Anyways, this weekend I'm heading to Panoche Hills to try my luck (just got my license and tag). I hear Panoche Hills isn't the hottest spot for boars, but this whole thing was planned sort of last-minute, and my friends wanted to go somewhere to camp. I guess if I don't get lucky I'll still have the tag for next time Big smile

I went target shooting earlier this week and I feel much more confident with the Enfield. It's a lot easier for me to shoot than the Russian (plus the ammo is significantly easier to find) and those sights are easier for me to use. If I get within 30 yards of a pig I'm positive I'd put it down. I'll post later if I got anything.

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Location: lawrence, KS
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 647
Re: Which weapon should I hunt with?

i've shot all three of those guns. if they're in good condition, they'll all work just fine.

the muzzle loader can be scoped, making for easier shots at long distance, but if you've got skill with iron sights, i'd use the russian 7.62x54. i read a magazine article that said it was the first calibur to kill every species of big game in north america... but you can't believe everything you read. no pun intended.

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