Pig Rig: The Ultimate Rifle for Hunting Wild Hogs

You can hunt pigs with any old bolt action. But to exterminate them—​day or night—you want this humvee of hog rifles. It isn’t cheap, but it’s damned deadly, not to mention insanely cool.

Photo by Adam Voohres

No wild pig has ever been pleased to meet a deer rifle. As many a whitetail hunter has discovered soon after a pig plows into his food plot and starts sucking up all the beans, a .270 bolt action does the job neatly. But that’s no reason not to build a dedicated hog slayer.

With feral pigs having eaten and bred themselves into the category of invasive non-game species in many states, wildlife officials tell us they shouldn’t be hunted so much as exterminated. Managers are urging us to forgo some traditional hunting rules and use the most efficient means of hog killing available, all day and through the night.

More pork for us.

So, here’s a warning to hunters and hogs: The outfit below isn’t fair. It’s more of a remedy­—like rat poison, only more discretionary, a tad more expensive, and a thousand times more badass.

Rock River Arms LAR-8 X-1
Price: $1,895 in tan
Website: rockriverarms.com

The LAR-8 X-1 is an AR-10-style rifle that’s chambered in .308 Win. and guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA groups. It comes with the best factory trigger in the business and has copious attachment points for devices to illuminate night-raiding swine. While the traditional deer hunter might call a rig weighing 91⁄2 pounds naked (13 pounds as shown) too heavy for field carry, the determined hog culler considers it a small price to pay for the option of firing 20 rounds as fast as his finger can pull the trigger. (That, and where do you put the flashlight on a Winchester Model 94?) Excepting the AR-type safety, the X-1’s forged receiver is ambidextrous, so lefties can change mags and slam the bolt home quickly. The buttstock is adjustable with a contoured cheekpiece that improves cheek weld for better long-range accuracy. And in .308 it’ll smoke even the portliest of the pack.

Eotech G33 Magnifier
Price: $589
Website: Eotechinc.com

The EOTech holographic sight is even more lethal when used in conjunction with a 3X magnifier, like the G33. For close work, you can slide this optic off to the side via the ingenious flip mount. Then, for longer shots, or should you wish to spy the ticks crawling upon a hog’s mud-caked hide, you can instantly flip the magnifier back in line with the scope and get back to work.

EOTech EXPS2 Holographic Sight
Price: $579
Website: eotechinc.com

Many seasoned hog shooters prefer iron sights to scopes because sneaking up on pigs is rarely a problem with a favorable wind. (Their noses are usually buried in your beans.) But a holographic red-dot sight like this one has a huge advantage over irons: Its glowing-dot-and-circle reticle is ideal for night operations. The EXPS2’s full field of view and zero magnification also make running shots easier. For the naysayers who bemoan batteries, one CR123A lasts for months.

Insight Light Weapon Thermal Sight (LWTS)
Price: $13,699
Website: insighttechnology.com

Because feral swine prefer to conduct their nefarious dealings at night, some states have legalized night-vision and thermal optics, which make it much harder to be a hog. The LWTS turns all warm objects into bright-white silhouettes, even in total darkness. With it, I exterminated two boars recently as they conspired in tall grass 300 yards distant—an impossible shot with regular optics or even night vision. It’s crazy expensive, but clipped onto the rifle’s rail just ahead of regular optics, it extends shooting hours infinitely.

Silencerco Harvester 30
Price: $788 plus $200 BATF tax stamp
Website: Silencerco.com

Now that suppressors are legal for hunting in 34 states, all hunters who can have one should—and perhaps would if the devices weren’t still difficult to purchase thanks to their sinister Hollywood image. Silencerco’s Harvester is an 8.8-inch, 11.3-ounce can that screws onto this rifle’s existing threads after the muzzle brake is removed. It reduces the typical report of a .308 round from 170 decibels to 134, which is quieter than a .22 LR. So you’ll frighten your beloved bucks (and annoy your neighbors) less now and save on hearing aids later.

Laser Genetics ND3x50 Subzero
Price: $600
Website: Lasergenetics.com

On the off chance you can’t ­afford thermal sights, go with this laser ­spotlight instead. Mounted so its ­dazzling beam matches your normal ­rifle­scope’s field of view, it illuminates both target and reticle at ranges far surpassing night-vision units (up to 800 yards). It’s also much simpler to use and less expensive than most decent night-vision devices. And its green laser beam doesn’t spook animals like a traditional spotlight does.

Hornady Full Boar ammo

Price: $51 for 20
Website: hornady.com

This round’s monolithic, gilding-metal GMX bullet features a hollow point for quick frontal expansion and near-perfect weight retention because there is no core to separate. The round is accurate, proven to function in AR-style rifles, and available in common AR calibers like .223, 6.8 SPC, .308, and others, making it ideal for high-tech hogging.