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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So this picture came in from the game camera.

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It got me to thinking.

Prior to my trip to Afghanistan in 2013, I did volunteer work with USDA doing depredation control on predators killing livestock in Idaho. The USDA fellow I worked under was a long time friend. He had tried a number of guns in this work. For targeting wolves he had built a 6.8 SPC AR Platform. He got the best results of all the various bullets he tested with the Barnes 85 grain TSX both in accuracy and stopping power. His AR was thermal sighted and suppressed.

I bought the parts to build one of these guns. Later while I was in Afghanistan I bought the parts to build a second gun.

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The first gun I got was a Rock river upper with a 1-10 twist it is a military pattern barrel mounted on the extend upper for scope mounting.

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Stocks are Hogue. Hogue is used for noise suppression. When I built this gun I bought a YHM lower for it.

The second gun started as a Stag Arms flat top upper an with bull barrel.
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I switched the RRA extend upper with the Stag Arms upper. I wanted to scope mount the Stag bull barrel using the RRA solid extended upper. I used a YHM lower with this upper with a two stage trigger. I mounted a Leupold 4-12

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I put the RRA military pattern barrel on the flat-top Stag upper and mounted it to an Anderson lower also with two stage trigger. I mounted Mag pull flip up sights and later a Sight-mark Red dot sight.

When I got back from Afghanistan I was a bit distracted. At the time I was a widower and was busy chasing the mother of a former colleague, an Okie Widow lady. Chasing wimmen at 67 is just as mind numbing as chasing girls a 16. During that time period all I got done was assembling these guns and trying to catch her. As I write this I realize neither of these guns have been test fired-yet. I managed to catch the Okie Gal, or did she catch me? I have also accumulated some ammo and loading supplies for 6.8 SPC.

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I had ten boxes of the Barnes TSX but sent 8 of them and 40 rounds of brass to my friend in Idaho as he could not find any for his work.

In the meantime I had packed up and sold my Montana place and moved to Oklahoma. I was now 1500 miles from Idaho. FDA changed the rules for Volunteers and I wouldn't be allowed to shoot or carry any gun without taking their training course, in Boise. Then in 2017 my friend got bladder cancer and passed away. No more incentive to go to Idaho. As a result these two rifles became safe queens.

When this picture of the pigs eating the corn from our deer feeder came in, I immediately thought of these two guns.

So it looks like its range time for me. I will start with the three boxes of factory 120 grain and the Stag 1-11 twist barrel, and work from there. The 120 might work better with the 1-10 barrel, We'll see.

As to the hogs. They have been coming in just after sun-up to this feeder. We have an archery blind set up 50 yards. I am thinking I will setting up a blind about 100 yards out and go in before sun up and wait. I figure I will only get one morning of shooting before they move to another feeder.

Any thoughts or idea for loads or shooting the 6.8 SPC? Long experience shooting and reloading, but not with the 6.8 SPC.

Thoughts on setting up the blind-stay with the 50? Go with 100?
 

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Stay in the 50 yard range. If it is already there the hogs are used to it being there. So when they to go come to the feeder they won't know you're there.
 
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I have zero experience with the 6.5 cartridge, but will be interested in the 1:11 twist using the 120 grain bullets. Could be totally wrong, but think the lighter bullets would work better.
Nice rifles. Good to see them get out of the safe and get some work done.
 
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Stay away from bonded soft points. They are great traditional hunting bullets, but if you don't hit the CNS the hog is going to run a hundred yards or more. Fine if you don't care where they die, but I like recovering them. The two 'worst' bullets at dropping hogs I've used are the 115gr Fusion (6.8), and it's 120gr cousin the Gold Dot (6.5).

The 120gr SST is the gold standard for killing hogs in 6.8. You can still find component bullets for ~$38/100 on places like Gunbroker. AA2200 or H335 are "the" powders for 6.8, but anything within a few slots either way on a burn rate chart are acceptable. 95gr Barnes TTSX, and 105gr Cavity Back MKZ bullets did amazingly well too.

At some point I'll be testing 100gr Nosler Accubond, 100gr Hornady GMX, and 112gr Legigh Defense Controlled Chaos in the 6.8. Right now I'm still toying with the 6.5 Grendel...a very close alternative out to 250 yards or so.
 

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I have zero experience with the 6.5 cartridge, but will be interested in the 1:11 twist using the 120 grain bullets. Could be totally wrong, but think the lighter bullets would work better.
Nice rifles. Good to see them get out of the safe and get some work done.
1:11 is what my Ambush Arms is, and it shoots legit MOA with factory 120gr SST.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I do have plenty of 120 SST's, for now. Headed to Colorado in a coupe hours on long pre planned trip to be a tourist. Don't ask. When I get back I need to sort all this out.

A thought just came to mind. Is it legal to hunt hogs with a rifle during Archery Deer season? Places I have hunted in the past, you show up in the field during bow season with a rifle would get you a ticket.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. I do have plenty of 120 SST's, for now. Headed to Colorado in a coupe hours on long pre planned trip to be a tourist. Don't ask. When I get back I need to sort all this out.

A thought just came to mind. Is it legal to hunt hogs with a rifle during Archery Deer season? Places I have hunted in the past, you show up in the field during bow season with a rifle would get you a ticket.
1) You have to have deer tags to hunt hogs during any of the deer seasons.

2) You definitely CAN NOT hunt hogs with a rifle, and deer with a bow/muzzleloader from the same stand at the same time. Only time that is acceptable is during rifle season. However, you are allowed to hunt either/or...so if you can prove to the game warden that you're just there to kill hogs then no ticket...but you better have good proof.

^ I've gone so far as to contact my local warden ahead of time to let him know when I was taking a rifle out for killing "coyotes" (dogs) that were running my deer and cattle. I already have a good rapport with him though as I contact him before every nighttime thermal hunt too. As such, he gives me no grief for thermal hunting hogs during archery and muzzleloader seasons...but does not want me anywhere other than my own property during rifle season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's about what I thought.

I have the Senior Citizen lifetime hunting license, so tags are not an issue.

So TTSX bullet work fine on hogs? I am concerned about the tip causing explosive expansion like a Horn day V-max
 

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I use the ttsx on elk. They are not constructed to be a rapid expansion varmint bullet. The plastic tip is designed to start a controlled expansion so the tip doesn’t get clogged with hair and skin like hollow points sometimes do.
 

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That's about what I thought.

I have the Senior Citizen lifetime hunting license, so tags are not an issue.

So TTSX bullet work fine on hogs? I am concerned about the tip causing explosive expansion like a Horn day V-max
Here's how the 95gr TTSX did for me in the 6.8. There is no explosion like a varmint bullet...just rapid energy transfer along with pretty good penetration.




Going to add here that while I would use them again, my results weren't really any better/worse than the 120gr SST...and the SST bullet is half the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I have loaded factory ammo to start with the Hornady 120 Gr. SST's.

Wife has stepped in here and said she wants to shoot a hog. We just drove 700 miles from Edmond to Dillon, CO and she talked a lot about doing this while driving up. She has this all worked out.

She is going to use her 7-08 Model 70. I am going use one of the 6.8 SPC AR's. She doesn't feel competent enough to shoot her AR and I hardly agree with her assessment. Her plan is for us to sit side by side in the blind. She will aim and and I will aim in and she will whisper 1-2-3 and she will fire on 3 and I will fire on 3. Then I will follow up with my many shots from my AR. That's her plan. Why not. Might even work. I am sure not going to try to dissuade her. If she wants to go hunting with me, that gets me more time in the field.

The wife's has been covering every contingency in this- We get back from Colorado, next Sunday. Her plan is Monday we take care of business that has come up while we we were gone, Tuesday we go to the range to sight in and function test all guns. Tuesday afternoon we load up all our gear-UTV and Wednesday we go to the lease. We have some other things to do down there, which includes cleaning out the Hired man's apartment for us to use. Then Thursday morning we kill hogs.

While she is doing all this planning and scheming, I am just smiling. This sounds like a idyllic "Yes Dear" moment. If she wants to do this, I am in.

I suppose we might get away with this once, before pigs move on or become nocturnal. We do have/will have camera's on the other feeders to check.
 
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