Found throughout the southern United States, feral hogs are a popular year-round big game animal. They originated from free-roaming domestic swine and many interbred with Eurasian wild boar brought into the U.S. for sporting purposes. They reproduce rapidly; the U.S. population is estimated at nearly 10 million. They also cause an estimated 2.5 billion dollars worth of damage each year. Hogs are challenging and fun to hunt with handguns, and any deer-capable handgun will do just fine. Here are eight great options, from the affordable and common to the expensive and unique.
Glock fanboys know this pistol will serve the hog hunter well, and if you’re of the plastic pistol persuasion, look no further. Chambered for the 10mm Automatic, it has the power, and with its 6.02-inch barrel and elongated slide, you have a longer sight radius to help you aim better. In addition to the fixed sights that come standard, this MOS-configured Glock has a slide cut that allows for the easy installation of a compact reflex sight. Unloaded this pistol weighs only 32 ounces, but when you pack the magazine full—just in case you’re fearing an attack by a regiment of rampaging wild boar—those 15 rounds up the weight to 44 ounces. With its less-than-$800 price tag, out of the box, this might be the best conventionally styled, hog-hunting handgun currently available.
Since Colt introduced their Delta Elite 10mm in 1987, the 1911 has become the most popular platform for that cartridge, especially for big game hunting. 1911s can handle the 37,500 psi of chamber pressure produced by the 10mm, they’re accurate, and they’re highly customizable. One of the most affordable 1911 10mm handguns is the D10 from Tisas, which is made in Turkey. But don’t let that prejudice you against it—it’s well-made, accurate, and reliable. The D10 comes with a stainless frame and black Cerakoted slide, with black accented controls. It also has fully adjustable sights, G10 grips, Colt series 70 style internals, and 25 lpi checkering on the front strap and mainspring housing. But the best thing about the D10 is its price of only $799.
Ruger offers many different Blackhawk single-action revolvers suited for hog hunting. However, their New Model Blackhawk Bisley (#5249) seems to be the ideal holster gun for hog whacking. This all-stainless-steel single-action revolver has a 4.62-inch barrel, adjustable sights, and rosewood grips that are attached to the very ergonomic Bisley grip frame. Most important, it’s chambered for the .44 Special, which, with modern loads, is sort of a .44 Magnum lite. This revolver is available only as a distributor exclusive from Lipsey’s and is compact and light enough to ride comfortably in a hip holster even while driving. When paired with Buffalo Bore’s 255-grain Outdoorsman load, it’s a supreme swine slayer. A 5.5-inch barreled version is also available at the same price of $1019.
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No list of hog-hammering handguns would be complete without a .44 Magnum. In early 2021, Colt announced the reintroduction of their legendary Anaconda revolver. Currently, they’re offering two models, one with a 6-, and another with an 8-inch barrel for around $1,499. Both have a high-polish stainless steel finish, interchangeable adjustable sights, the distinctive Colt ribbed barrel, and rubber Hogue grips. They’ve also been redesigned to utilize an oversized and reengineered Colt Python action. The frame is drilled and tapped to allow for optics mounting. If you like to shoot big balls of fire from your revolver and make big holes in hogs, Colt’s new Anaconda is the answer.
Because feral hogs are hunted in such a wide variety of situations, I don’t believe the perfect hog-hunting handgun exists. I do however believe this eight-shot double-action revolver from Smith & Wesson is well configured for feral hog eradication—day or night. The Performance Center M&P R8 is chambered for the .357 Magnum and has a five-inch, stainless steel barrel. The underlug has a three-slot pic-rail to allow for the attachment of a laser or light, or laser/light combo, and the top is drilled and tapped for a scope/reflex sight rail. It also has adjustable sights, a scandium frame to reduce weight, and it comes out of the box with a tuned trigger and action. The cylinder on the R8 is cut for moon clips to aid with fast loading and unloading. It costs around $1,539 MSRP.
This revolver comes with a bipod because it’s so dammed big and heavy, there’s no other way to shoot it. It’s chambered for the .460 S&W cartridge which can generate nearly 3000 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. The big fat cylinder holds five rounds, the fluted barrel is 14 inches long and is capped off with a muzzle brake, and this bemouth weighs 5 1/2 pounds—unloaded. The barrel-integrated bottom rail allows for bipod attachment, and the integrated top rail will let you attach a pistol scope or red dot sight. The size of the fireball at the muzzle matches the intensity of the recoil, but if you want to inflict maximum destruction with a revolver, nothing will do it better. If you get one of these hand cannons, here’s a tip, double your hearing protection or you’ll soon be as deaf as an old gunwriter. MSRP $1,819.
Not all handguns suitable for feral swine are revolvers or semi-automatics chambered for common handgun cartridges. If you want to hit hogs hard at farther distances, Nosler’s Model 48 Custom Handgun is a smart option. This is a bolt-action, single-shot handgun, and it’s available in 22 and 24 Nosler, 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Remington, and 308 Winchester for around $2,495. The length of the Shilen 416R stainless barrel runs from 12 to 18 inches, and the action and barrel are housed in a one-piece billet aluminum pistol grip stock—and you can choose any Cerakote stock color you want. Barrels are threaded and come with a thread protector. Barrel fluting is optional. The Model 48 is a heavy handgun weighing from 5 1/2 to almost 7 pounds, so you’re going to need a rest, shooting sticks, or a bipod, for stabilization.
Read Next: How to Hunt Wild Hogs—Everything You Need to Know
If you want to sledgehammer hogs with one of the finest single-action revolvers money can buy, and if your pockets are full of 100-dollar bills, the Freedom Arms Model 83 Premier Grade is the handgun for you. At just over $3,000, It’s offered with or without adjustable sights in swine-smacking cartridges like the .454 Casull and .500 Wyoming Express. You can also buy optional second cylinders for lesser cartridges like the .45 Colt or .50 AE. Other options include custom grips, octagonal barrels, and a variety of finishes, and you can even have the receiver drilled for a scope base. These revolvers are handmade in Wyoming and come with a warranty that lasts for the lifetime of the original owner. So, if you buy one, you’ll become more health conscious just so you can shoot it longer. Hell, it’s so nice you might even want to be buried with it.
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