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With the range of feral hogs extending to 30 of our 50 states, much like whitetail deer they can be hunted in a wide variety of situations. They’re found in Mississippi swamps, Tennessee hardwoods, South Carolina pine forests, and in the dense brush and wide open fields all across Texas. Down south, it’s not uncommon to see wild hogs in your backyard. Also, much like with whitetail deer, given good bullets, almost any rifle cartridge will work. But for best results, you’ll want a rifle that’s optimized for the conditions you’ll be hunting in. Here are nine great hog-hunting rifles priced from the affordable to the not-so-much. Some are best suited for dense cover, others are ideal for open ground, and a few will work well no matter where you look for your bacon.
The Best Rifles for Hunting Hogs
- Ruger Scout Rifle 350 Legend
- Marlin 1895 Trapper 45-70 Government
- Wilson Combat Recon Tactical 450 Bushmaster
- Mossberg Patriot Predator 7mm PRC
- Kimber 84M Hunter Pro Desolve Blak 280 Ackley Improved
- Bergara B14 HMR 300 Winchester Magnum
- Winchester XPR Stealth Suppressor Ready 308 Winchester
- Franchi Momentum All-Terrain Elite 308 Winchester
- Stag Arms Pursuit Stag10 308 Winchester
Close Quarters Hog Hunting
For following up hog dogs, hiding in a pop-up blind, or sitting in a tree stand above a feeder, a compact, quick-handling rifle is what you need. You’ll want a rifle that’ll put your pig down hard and fast to keep them out of the pucker brush where rattlesnakes and cottonmouths live. Here are three compact rifles, chambered for three different hog-smacking cartridges. They’ll serve you well when the action is close enough to smell the stink of a big wild boar.
Ruger Scout Rifle 350 Legend
- Handy configuration.
- Scout scope configuration
- Bolt action can be slower than lever or semi-auto
The Scout Rifle, as conceptualized by Jeff Cooper, was intended for general-purpose duty, and the Ruger Scout Rifle chambered in .308 Winchester will deliver in that regard. However, this 350-legend version is a little more specialized. It comes with a threaded 16.5-inch barrel and is less than a meter long. Like all Ruger Scout Rifles, it has a fully-adjustable aperture sight and a forward-mounted rail suitable for a scout scope or a red dot. It also has a butt stock that’s adjustable for length of pull and it feeds from a 5-round detachable magazine. With heavy-bullet 350 Legend loads this bolt-gun seems perfect for up-close encounters with feral swine.
Marlin 1895 Trapper .45-70 Government
- Fires a hard-hitting cartridge
- Easy to snap shoot
- Heavy recoil
Since Marlin was acquired by Ruger, they’re turning out some of the best lever guns that have ever carried the Marlin brand. Marlin’s first three new rifles were all chambered for the .45-70 and when it comes to hog whacking, I think the Trapper is the best of the bunch. With its 16.1-inch threaded barrel, it’s only 34.25 inches long but still has a 5+1 capacity. It’s also outfitted with a sexy, black, laminated stock, and an excellent Skinner aperture rear sight and Skinner’s Bear Buster front sight. With the wide array of .45-70 loads, you can pick your pig poison and smack them with war-hammer-like energy levels from around 1500 foot-pounds up to more than twice that much.
Wilson Combat Recon Tactical 450 Bushmaster
- Fires the 450 Bushmaster
- Easy to take quick follow-up shots if needed
- Price, but you get a high-quality firearm for the money
When fighting it out with feral hogs around a feeder, multiple shot opportunities often occur, especially if you’re hammering hogs with a suppressed rifle and a hard-hitting cartridge. Coming in right at seven pounds, with a 16-inch fluted and threaded barrel, the Recon Tactical from Wilson Combat chambered in 450 Bushmaster might be the ultimate close-range pig pounder. Whether you’re over a feeder, on your knees in a thicket, or shooting hogs from a chopper, this precision–made modern sporting rifle is very likely the thing feral hogs have nightmares about. It has a billet machined upper and lower, a match-grade barrel, Wilson Combat’s TTU trigger unit, and an Armor Tuff finish applied over Mil-Spec hard anodizing.
Open Country Hog Hunting
Where feral hogs thrive in crop fields, shot distances can be extreme, and you’ll want an accurate rifle to maximize opportunities. These conditions also demand cartridges that shoot flat and carry lots of energy way down range. Depending on how you hunt open country, you might prefer a rifle configured for long-range precision or one that’s lighter and easier to carry around. One of these three should serve you admirably.
Mossberg Patriot Predator 7mm PRC
- Budget build quality, but still a very nice rifle for the money
There’s this notion that to have an accurate long-range rifle you’re going to have to spend lots of money. That’s not the case with the Mossberg Patriot Predator; with a bit of shopping, you can find one for less than $500. The Patriot Predator features a flat dark earth or Strata camo ($636) synthetic stock, a threaded, 24-inch fluted barrel, an adjustable trigger, a flush-fitting detachable magazine, and a spiral-fluted bolt. Select the one chambered for the new—seemingly gravity defying—7mm PRC and you should have plenty of money left over for a good long-range riflescope or a pickup truck full of feed corn.
Kimber 84M Hunter Pro Desolve Blak .280 Ackley Improved
- Some say the trigger is not easy for shooters to adjust but it breaks cleanly from the factory
Some hunters want long-range reach, but not all the features and added weight that comes with many precision-style hunting rifles. They want a rifle that’ll reach way out there, but at the same time be light enough to carry all day while feeling and handling more like a conventional hunting rifle. That must have been the impetus for the Kimber Hunter Pro rifle, particularly when chambered for the 280 Ackley Improved, which will deliver 7mm-Magnum-like performance. Its stainless action and threaded 22-inch barrel are pillar bedded to a fiber-reinforced stock with the Desolve Blak camo finish. This rifle only weighs 5.6 pounds and comes with a multi-port brake and thread protector. Load it up with 140-grain AccuBonds in Nosler factory ammunition and put the hogs on warning.
Bergara B14 HMR .300 Winchester Magnum
- Sub-MOA guarantee
- Adjustable stock
Over the last several years, Bergara rifles have gained a reputation for extreme precision and one of their most popular models for long-range competition and hunting is the B14 HMR. This rifle comes with a sub-MOA guarantee, a stock that’s adjustable for length of pull and comb height, multi-point swivel attachments, a detachable 5-round AICS magazine, and a heavy and threaded 4140 chrome molly barrel. At 9.5 pounds, this is not a carry-around rifle. But if your idea of hog killing is sniping them from a secluded perch, one of these in .300 Winchester Magnum will let you channel your inner Carlos Hathcock or Chris Kyle. If you need even more reach, it’s also available chambered for the .300 PRC and in a left-hand version.
General Purpose Hog Hunting
For most who seek the maximum destruction of feral swine, more of a general-purpose rifle is what’s needed. General-purpose hog rifles are compact enough you can maneuver them inside a blind, thick cover, or your truck cab. But they’re also capable of reaching out several hundred yards and they’re suppressor ready. These rifles are not too heavy and they’re comfortable living behind your truck seat or in a rack on your UTV. They’re also chambered for a general-purpose, hog-slaying cartridge, the best of which is undeniably the .308 Winchester.
Winchester XPR Stealth Suppressor Ready .308 Winchester
- Light and handy
- Suppressor ready
- No iron sights from the factory
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good hog rifle. This compact bolt-gun from Winchester features a threaded and target-crowned, 16.5-inch free-floated barrel, a Perma-Cote black finish, Winchester’s M.O.A. trigger, and a nickel Teflon coating on the bolt. It comes out of the box with a scope rail and feeds from a detachable magazine. At less than seven pounds, it’s light enough for all-day carry, and at less than a meter long, it’s easy to stash in a hunting vehicle or work with from inside a pop-up blind. Screw on a suppressor, and it can quietly be put into swine service up close or out to several hundred yards.
Franchi Momentum All-Terrain Elite .308 Winchester
- Factory iron sights
- Picatinny rail for lights and accessories
- Box magazine can get in the way
New for 2023, this rifle is based on Franchi’s Momentum platform and has a modernized scout rifle-like vibe. It’s available in .223 Remington or .308 Winchester—forget the .223 for general purpose hog hunting, go with the 308—and it’s outfitted with an extended one-piece Picatinny rail that free floats over the free-floated,18-inch, threaded barrel, that comes with a brake already installed. With a good set of adjustable open sights and optics compatibility, this rig is ready to dig a big boar out of a muddy bog or reach across a plowed field. It feeds from a 10-round AICS magazine, has an adjustable trigger, M-Lok slots on the forend, and comes with a TrueTimber Strata finish on the synthetic stock.
Read Next: The 8 Best Handguns for Hunting Hogs
Stag Arms Pursuit Stag10 .308 Winchester
- Available for right- and left-handed shooters
- Adjustable stock
Engineered specifically for hunting, and brand new from Stag Arms in 2023, is their Pursuit series of the modern sporting rifle. Offered in Stag10 and Stag15 platforms, they can be had chambered for the 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, or the 350 Legend. These rifles are built around a lightweight Hanson Profile barrel, feature a handguard with a full-length rail and M-Lok compatibility, and have a stylish leather cheek pad attached to the adjustable stock. They’re also offered in a midnight bronze Cerakote finish. The 350 Legend Stag15 would make a great close-quarters hog slayer, but for general-purpose hunting go with the Stag10 in .308. It’ll deliver all the firepower you need to deal with single hogs near and far, or those moving in a platoon-size formation. The full Pursuit series line is offered in right and left-hand configurations.