In the black rifle community’s quest to figure out just what purpose this relatively new AR 15 round serves, the phrases “Hog Gun” and “300 Blackout” have been married. If you’re not an avid hunter or outdoors person, you may not be aware of this: Feral hogs have become a wildly invasive, dangerous species. These prolific breeders have ravaged farmland and state preservations across the country, and their aggressive temperaments, large tusks, and thick hides make them formidable foes.
In response, AR 15 owners and hog hunters have largely become one. Today, 300 Blackout AR 15s are popular favorites for those wanting to kill wild boar, so let’s get into why exactly that is.
300 Blackout Packs the Punch to Kill Hogs
Simply put, the AR 15’s good old .223 and 5.56 NATO just don’t cut it when it comes to killing hogs quickly. Although short and stocky, feral boars are quick as Hell and they’re mostly nocturnal. That means hunters who want success have to hit the trails at night – and shooting a feral boar with a .22 round in the pitch black (even if fatal) will likely result in said boar gaining too much distance to be found once hit. That’s why 300 Blackout is great for hogs.
With 110- to 125-grain supersonic loads, 300 Blackout will hit a pig at around 2,200 to 2,400 fps, packing about 1,300 to 1,400 lb.-ft. of energy. Compared to conventional .22 (55- or 62-grain) bullets, you’re getting away with nearly double the grain count and a much larger wound channel, while maintaining similar ballistic energy and accuracy.
Silent but Deadly
But where 300 Blackout really shines on the hunt for these nocturnal hogs is at night, with suppression. Once loaded with 225-grain subsonic loads, the 300 Blackout AR 15 gets extremely quiet, thanks to a lack of sound barrier deformation like .22 loads suffer.
Suppressed 300 Blackout manages to stay just below the magic number of 1,125 fps (supersonic) and it’ll still smack a pig with a respectable 500 lb.-ft. of energy. There are few calibers that can manage transferring this much energy to a target at such relatively low speeds, with as much accuracy.
Purpose-Built for Stalking Hogs
How much accuracy do subsonic loads afford, you ask? Many shooters have advertised 1” shot groups at 100 yards with subsonic loads, providing performance that’s comparable to .223 and 5.56 NATO, while, again, providing plenty more power below the sound barrier.
This wonderful, suppressed accuracy is one of the biggest reasons why 300 Blackout has become the preferred round for hunting hog. To illustrate why, let’s look at the predator that is the subject of our discussion.
Hogs Aren’t Easy Prey
Hogs may be ugly, but they’re surprisingly intelligent. Feral hogs have actually reacted to hunting behaviors in their territories, and this is why they’ve become nocturnal – they’re adapting to our daylight hunting preferences. Feral hogs are very secretive and “shy”, too. They’ll often avoid grazing in open areas, they boast an acute sense of smell and hearing, and they’re pack animals. Lastly, they can be vocal once alerted or when they sense danger, belting out loud grunts, wallows and other guttural sounds that will disturb the hunt.
That means three things for the hog hunter who wants to be successful: You have to engage from a greater distance, you have to be quiet doing it, and you have to drop your target quickly and quietly, without alerting other hogs. This is why 300 Blackout truly shines as the hog hunter’s round. But what about the actual AR 15 that shoots it?
Hog Hunt-Ready AR 15 Uppers
Getting that kind of accuracy and the convenient of going from supersonic to subsonic means investing in a decent AR 15 upper or rifle kit that’s built to perform. To ensure reliable feeding and accuracy with both loads, you’ll want to stick with a 1:7 or 1:8 twist barrel that’s at least 16” and sports a pistol or carbine gas system. A free-float handguard will only improve accuracy.
A fan favorite is our 16” Complete Rifle Upper that includes a 15” M-Lok handguard and a wickedly accurate 4150 Chromoly, heat-treated barrel. The muzzle features a universal 5/8 x 24 thread pitch for easy suppression.