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Scope for pig hunting

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    Posted: August/10/2017 at 11:14
Looking for information about a scope for pig hunting. I will be hunting pigs in Texas this fall when I go down there for a duck hunt. Leupold makes a dedicated scope for that particular application. Does anyone else? What scopes do you use?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2017 at 12:01
I have never hunted pig, but it seems most of it is done in low light.  So something with good low light optics and and an excellent illumination system seems prudent. 

Leupold fire dot and Trijicon seem to be the best in the illumination dept in the mid tier scopes.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2017 at 12:47
We have plenty of people here who hunt pigs in Texas, so they can tell you more detail on that (Rifledude, are you out there?).  Generally, anyone who want s to go to Texas and kill some pigs is met with open arms.

Based on my limited experience, any scope with good low light performance will work fine.  Simple illuminated dot is helpful in low light, so keep that in mind.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2017 at 13:12
There are a few of us here that frequently kill piggies in Texas.

As said above, your efforts will mostly be rewarded at dawn and dusk and in inclement weather.  If you could tell us what weapon it will be going on, that will help.  Also, is there a budget range?  Are there "needs" and "wants"?  Are you moving in woods or sitting in a blind over bait?

Those last few are important for several reasons, not the least of which is well defined here: my primary pig hunting rig is a helmet-mounted PVS-14, a 308cal AR with a 2.5-10X42 Nightforce and a PEQ-15 for use in darkness when the scope is useless.  The group with which I hunt ranges from AR15s with red dots up to hand-held thermals and NVGs with IR lasers of every flavor.  All that to say, we can help you spend a little money or a lot of money.

In general terms, most hunt with some variant of semi-auto (lots of bullets for lots of pigs) and engagements are quick and can range from point blank to several hundred yards.  Scopes need to excel at low light and other characteristics need to well match the kind of hunting you will be doing (dialing dope, wide field of view, capped turrets or target, etc.)

Pigs are mean and can be very dangerous, wounded pigs are not fun.

And depending on where you are hunting in Texas, they can be very, very large.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/10/2017 at 13:20
Basically, any scope you'd use for deer hunting will work fine for feral hogs. Good low light performance is preferable, since they are more active at dawn and dusk. Illuminated reticles are helpful, though not essential as long as the reticle is bold enough to be visible at the limits of your shooting light. Trijicon Accupoint and Accupower scopes are good reasonably priced illuminated reticle scopes.

Lately, I've been forgoing day hunting altogether and now prefer to hunt them at night with thermal optics, but decent thermal sights are quite expensive at present. Feral pigs are most active at night, so even if you don't use thermal or NV, some of the weapon mounted lights work ok until they become educated and associate the light with danger, whereupon they bolt as soon as they see it. Or you can hunt during a full moon, where a good low light performance conventional scope will work fine at relatively short range.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marine24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2017 at 09:44
For the style of pig hunting we recently did in FL, the SWFA 1-6X scope worked very well on our 300 Blackout ARs.

We were stalking and shooting out of blinds/stands looking out over feeders.  Shots were generally inside of 100 yards.

Red Dot would have worked fine, but having the magnification was nice when we were trying to shoot them through the ear.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2017 at 11:08
I was thinking of a scope up to and including $1000.00. I think that should do it. I wanted to bring my Tikka in 8mm mauser loaded with Nosler Custom loaded ammunition 200gr accubond or S&B 196gr soft points. These loads shot well in the rifle. My other option is my 30-06. What about Full Boar by Hornady, Hog Hammer or Razor Boar?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote urbaneruralite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2017 at 12:50
My only partially qualified opinion is that if you're hunting feeders you want excellent low light performance and have not much need for magnification. Although, my perception is having more magnification to a useful extent makes images appear brighter. 6x40 with a heavy reticle is an option, but not many make that as a regular thing.

My further partially qualified opinion is that ammo doesn't matter much if you place your shot to take out the CNS. Which you should, because a hog can take a surprising amount of damage and still make itself unrecoverable.

Story: I took a trip to shoot hogs over a feeder for the first time. After a little chit chat and being shown my bunk, I was shown a video. The video showed a smallish hog losing half its brainpan to a 7mm mag. The next video was that hog running around like normal several days later when they finally put it down.

Growing up we always killed meat hogs with a .22lr or knife. So, it's more how you do it than with what.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/11/2017 at 13:00
Okay, all that helps. 

First, either is plenty of gun to drop a pig, no need to go with any expensive ammo, I'd say shoot whatever the gun likes, no need for anything fancy.

On scope, It'd be hard to beat a 2.5-10 Trijicon accupoint for your purposes.  I ran that scope on a dedicated pig gun for awhile, loved it.  The post reticle is easy to pick up on moving game, and the tip of the post is a pretty good fine aiming point. If you want to save a bit of money, you can go 3-9, it won't be as bright, but is still a great scope (it's what my son's Tikka 308 wears and it has killed more than a few hogs.)

A great trick with piggies: pick a sow with small piglets, drop her in her tracks (bullet in the ear works very well, depending on angle) and the piglets will usually stick around, or come right back.  I've dropped a nursing sow and had piglets immediately attach and start eating.

If you plan to eat them, the smaller the better; if this is irradiation, the bigger the better.  You are running a single-shooter so stay put and stay quiet, they will often do not run and you can get multiples.  If you drop a sow, especially if it is the matriarch, they will often come back looking for her, if it is a quick, quiet dispatch.  The more noise and movement after the shot, the less likely you are to get another chance.

Are you hunting feeder or food plot or wandering?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2017 at 11:11
Rancid Coolaid,
I will look at the Trijicon scopes. I will not be eating the pigs. I don't know if I am hunting feeder, food plot or wandering. What about a low magnification scope with illuminated reticle?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2017 at 11:28
Rancid Coolaid,
Do you have the AccuPoint 2.5-10x56? If so do you have the yellow or green reticle?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2017 at 14:31
I had the 2.5-10 with red, I think. The 3-9 now is the yellow, which I like.
I had the 5-20 also, green mil dot, did not like that at all.

I like the red because it doesn't blend with anything, unless you are shooting stop signs.

The 2.5-10 is appreciably brighter, but the 3-9 is brighter than most others in that price range.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2017 at 18:38
The more that I look at the 2.5-10x56 with a yellow dot. The more that it grows on me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2017 at 21:22
I have owned red, green, and yellow trijicons. I prefer the green by far. So make sure to actually look at them before you buy. Yellow is actually my least favorite of the 3
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2017 at 22:16
Now I have to find a place that has both the green and yellow dot in stock. So I can make a final decision Also, I am thinking that my Browning BAR in 30-06 would be a better choice. Not sure? I think the shooting would be at pigs by a feeder? I never considered night vision equipment for night hunting. Maybe if I was an avid pig hunter I would.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2017 at 12:04
Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

I had the 2.5-10 with red, I think. The 3-9 now is the yellow, which I like.
I had the 5-20 also, green mil dot, did not like that at all.

I like the red because it doesn't blend with anything, unless you are shooting stop signs.

The 2.5-10 is appreciably brighter, but the 3-9 is brighter than most others in that price range.

I agree on the red, though I have several green reticle scopes.  Red light (approximately 620-750nm) is claimed to have the least impact on night vision, but I do not find that to be the case.  Green (approximately 490-570nm) actually allows better visual acuity at a lower brightness level than red.  I vassilate a lot on which I actually prefer… many factors come into play.  I don't like the amber/yellow at all.  Quality and range of brightness adjustments are primary.  I have some illuminated reticle scopes that I have removed the battery from and never use illuminated because the lighting is so poor… generally over bright  and visually oppressive. 
Everyone's eyes are different, but human sensitivity to light is pretty general.  There are exceptions to everything, but physics always applies.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cheaptrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2017 at 14:52
I'm color blind, I 'm pretty sure the yellow would work for me. Green is a no go. Not sure about red. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cheaptrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2017 at 14:54
Originally posted by Whale Whale wrote:

The more that I look at the 2.5-10x56 with a yellow dot. The more that it grows on me.

You mean the more it..."glows" on you. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2017 at 14:56
Might have to purchase both the green and yellow dots and see for myself at night.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/14/2017 at 05:12

Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

I'm color blind, I 'm pretty sure the yellow would work for me. Green is a no go. Not sure about red. 


If "color blindness" affects green, it affects red as well.  You should see well with yellow and/or blue.  There are many blue reticles now... some actually anticipating color vision deficiencies. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/14/2017 at 09:45
Originally posted by Whale Whale wrote:

Might have to purchase both the green and yellow dots and see for myself at night.

My issue with the dot reticle - a mil dot reticle in the 5-20, specifically - was that the reticle was very, very thick.  The dot presented a great fine targeting ability, but the reticle thickness was way too thick for me.  This was the 5-20, I haven't seen the dot in the 3-9 or 2.5-10.

I am a fan of the post and triangle reticle, it is quick on target and the triangle is larger - so dimmer - as an aiming point.  As I understand it, the tritium volume is the same for all their riflescopes, so the larger the illuminated portion, the dimmer the illuminated portion.

Get them both, tell us what you think.  And, if the conversation on preferred color tells you anything, it should be clear that all eyes see things just a bit differently.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gdpolk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2017 at 22:21
My pig gun, a Marlin 336 in .30-30, wears a VX3 2.5-8x36.  Dark thirty to dark thirty it gets the job done well.  After dark a nice thermal vision would be my next step up.  A glowing dot doesn't mean much if the woods don't have enough light for the optics to transmit the image of the animal to the eye.

As for the 2.5-8, its small, light, tough, bright enough to go +/- 30 minutes in heavy timber, has a wide field of view for the close shots, and plenty of zoom at the range for accuracy testing.  It's kind of hard to not like.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2018 at 21:14
Sorry for not reporting back earlier. Looked at the 2.5-10x56 with green and yellow dots. Scope was heavy and I did not see the dots as well as I thought I could. Ended up purchasing the 3-9x40 with the red triangle post. It allowed me to acquire the target faster or I thought it did.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2018 at 04:25
Here in merry old Europe we tend to go for pigs at dusk / night under the moon. The most popular scope for that is something like a fixed 8x56 with a No 4 Reticle and an illuminate centre dot.

This will work well from a tree stand. Might not work so well if chasing pigs through dense scrub.

The set up I went for on my "piggy rifle" is 2 scopes in a QR type mount

1: Swaro 8x56, No 4 ret with illuminated centre dot - tree stand work
2: Aimpoint with no mag for driven, pushing, scrub stalking

Some people have decided that something like the S&B1.5-6x42 is hard to beat and you can see why if you want one scope as a do all.

Whatever you choose, happy hunting!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tt_tomson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2018 at 09:52
We hunt hogs 3 or 4 times a month in central Texas. I normally use a Sig 716 running Hornady SP 165 gr. SST topped with a Leupold VX-R 3-9×50 on the moonlit nights (1st-3rd qtr) On the darker nights I use a Scar Heavy with the same ammo and topped with a Trijcon ACOG TA11J-308G. Both optics get the job done with the ACOG being the quicker of the two.
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