AR15 and 416 lb Feral Hog; Semi-Autos Good Hunting, Target Shooting, Defensive Arms

By Dean Weingarten

AR15 and 416 lb Feral Hog, Semi-Autos Good Hunting, Target Shooting, Defensive Arms

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -( Opponents of an armed population often make the unfounded claim that AR-15 rifles are unsuitable for hunting. Joe Clowers of Texas shows that America’s favorite rifle, some variation of the AR-15, works very well for hunting feral pigs.


A Texas man shot a 416-pound boar that he found ripping up his backyard and terrorizing the makeshift deer sanctuary he has on his land.

Joe Clowers, of Union Grove, Texas, said he shot the boar with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. He was fed up with the boar preying on his fawns for the last five years.

The semi-automatic rifle has become common on the hunting grounds all over America. It is the modern sporting rifle. It is extremely versatile, used for target shooting and self defense as well as for hunting.

Feral pigs have become a serious problem in Texas. An estimated four million of them do significant damage to crops and wildlife. They are smart, adaptable, and eat anything and everything. The become nocturnal to avoid hunters. Hunters have adapted by using night vision devices. Semi-automatic rifles are well favored by Texas pig hunters.  Rifles such as the AR15 help to reduce the damage created by the destructive, introduced species.

The pigs are a big problem in Australia as well. While Australia has banned the possession of semi-automatic rifles for the vast majority of its population, it makes an exception for farmers that have a problem with feral pigs. This Australian farmer waited two years to obtain a special permit for the semi-automatic SKS that accepted 30 round magazines. It worked very well on feral pigs.

AR15 and 416 lb Feral Hog, Semi-Autos Good Hunting, Target Shooting, Defensive Arms

In the video below, two Australian pig hunters use semi-automatic rifles to stop the charge of a large crocodile. It shows the versatility of the semi-auto in self defense. The video is well worth watching for only 69 seconds. Put yourself in one of the hunters’ boots. Think about operating a manually reloaded gun in those circumstances.

Semi-automatic rifles are very well suited to hunting. They are rarely used in crime. FBI statistics show that more people are murdered with blunt instruments than with all rifles, not just semi-automatics. In 2015, 252 people were murdered with all types of rifles, while 437 were murdered with blunt objects.

2015 Crime in the U.S. Chart

When people tell you that semi-automatic rifles are not suited for hunting, they do not know what they are talking about. Joe Clowers’ experience, and the experience of the Australian hunters in the video show just how wrong they are.

Consider how much more suitable semi-automatics are for disabled people, older people, people with arthritis or limited mobility.

Semi-automatics have been used for hunting in America for over a hundred years. The most common rifles purchased in America are semi-automatics, the most popular rifle is some version of the AR15. In spite of those who want a disarmed public, Americans will not be allowing their government to limit their rights to own semi-automatic rifles.

Even the gun-phobic Australian government acknowledges the advantages of semi-automatic rifles for hunting feral pigs.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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What caliber? Surely no one is going to hunt feral hogs with a .223/5.56mm?

James Brigham (Bigg) Bunyon

You might want to do a little research on some of the online gun forums; 5.56mm has indeed been used to humanely take many deer and hogs. As usual, choice of bullet and shot placement are prime factors. My favorite deer and hog rounds are 60 grain Nosler Partition and 25 grains of IMR 4895 and a Barns 62 grain TSX and 25 grains of BL-C(2).


Although nine states refuse to allow deer hunting with AR-15s (supposedly on the basis that .223 is not sufficiently powerful to reliably bring down big game), those rifles do work very well for small-to-medium sized game… including most feral hogs, which – per the Oklahoma Wildlife Commission – average just under 200 pounds.


Converted one of my AR’s to 7.62×39, topped it off with a Primary Arms 4x compact prism scope. Load up with Hornaday SST or Zombie Max. No piggies are safe within 150 yards. Place the shot behind the ear and they are DRT.