.22lr bullet recovered from pig head

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.22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by Pademelon » 31 Jul 2019, 1:06 pm

First of all, this was a domestic pig shot from close range in the brain using a .22lr copper washed hollow point. It was interesting to see the results, the bullet penetrated about 2 cm of bone close to half of which was solid, went through 5.5 cm of brain then stopped about 1 cm into the bone on the other side of the brain cavity. There wasn't as much damage to the brain as I was expecting but there was a lot of blood in the brain cavity. I don't know if the bullet would have gotten to the brain or done enough damage to kill if the shot was taken at a greater distance but if there was any doubt, yes a .22lr hollow point will kill a pig at close range with precise shot placement. In this case the bullet entered right in the middle of the brain lengthwise, but slightly to the right and if it had been 1-1.5 cm further to the right it would have completed missed the brain.

Here's the bullet:
recovered bullet.jpg
recovered bullet.jpg (1.33 MiB) Viewed 468 times


The outside entry hole:
entry hole outside.jpg
entry hole outside.jpg (1.79 MiB) Viewed 468 times


The inside entry hole:
bullet entry hole inside.jpg
bullet entry hole inside.jpg (1.48 MiB) Viewed 468 times


The point where the bullet came to rest:
bullet stopped.jpg
bullet stopped.jpg (1.35 MiB) Viewed 468 times


Just so you have an idea of what you're looking at (if you can pick out what's what):
entry and exit points.jpg
entry and exit points.jpg (857.62 KiB) Viewed 468 times
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by bigfellascott » 31 Jul 2019, 3:12 pm

I had to smack one 3 times in the head with a 308 the other day before it would finally stop livin, one tuff bugger that one was. :shock: :?
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by PaddyT » 31 Jul 2019, 5:50 pm

bigfellascott wrote:I had to smack one 3 times in the head with a 308 the other day before it would finally stop livin, one tuff bugger that one was. :shock: :?

arent you meant to use the 308 to fire a bullet instead of as a club? :D :D
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by bigrich » 31 Jul 2019, 6:38 pm

bigfellascott wrote:I had to smack one 3 times in the head with a 308 the other day before it would finally stop livin, one tuff bugger that one was. :shock: :?


ya supposed to put the cartridge in the rifle scott, not use it to hit the pig on the head :lol: :lol:

sorry mate, couldn't help myself :P

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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by Oldbloke » 31 Jul 2019, 6:44 pm

bigfellascott wrote:I had to smack one 3 times in the head with a 308 the other day before it would finally stop livin, one tuff bugger that one was. :shock: :?


Must have missed the brain?
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by Chappo » 31 Jul 2019, 7:09 pm

bigrich wrote:
bigfellascott wrote:I had to smack one 3 times in the head with a 308 the other day before it would finally stop livin, one tuff bugger that one was. :shock: :?


ya supposed to put the cartridge in the rifle scott, not use it to hit the pig on the head :lol: :lol:

sorry mate, couldn't help myself :P

:drinks: :drinks: :thumbsup:


:lol: :clap:
Common practice here to use a 22lr for euthanasia and butchery.
Bang flop on pigs, cows, horses, etc 99 times out of 100.
I’ve never done the post mortum though..... interesting to see the damage done and the bullet distortion.
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by Die Judicii » 31 Jul 2019, 7:10 pm

Quite some years back I knew a taxidermist that was given the job of mounting a large boars head.
The boar was taken with dogs, and stuck.
The young fella that got him noticed that it only had one eye, and the injury had obviously happened a long time ago, and was fully healed.

When doing the job, the taxidermist was amazed to find a mangled .22 rf projectile still embedded in its head.

WOW,,,,,,,, they are tough. (anyone got an aspirin) ????
I do not fear death itself... Only its inopportune timing!
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by GQshayne » 31 Jul 2019, 7:19 pm

When I was a youngster, using a .22 for pig hunting with dad, I had one bounce off a big pigs head. It was charging me, and I shot it at about 5 metres or less. Pig went down, but got up again, and charged off like it had been stung by a bee!
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by on_one_wheel » 31 Jul 2019, 7:47 pm

It doesn't always work out that way with the good old .22lr

I'll never forget as a young lad, watching my boss casually walking into the pig pen with a bucket of feed to shoot the old bore.
The old pig had been having serious skin issues and was on his last legs...
He wanted to end that faithful old pigs days with dignity and without fear.
He poured the feed into the trough, drew his .22 revolver and shot that old bore right in the sweet spot.
That old pig let out a massive squeel and charged through the pen and made a dash for freedom into the scrub.... all the other pigs went batsiht.
The boss looked at me with surprise and said " I'd better go get the rifle and hunt that poor bugger down"

That old pig's head was tough as iron, and that .22 revolver just wasn't quite up to the task.

He found the old bore making the most if his short lived freedom, foraging in the sand by the creek as if nothing had happened..
The boss finished the job with the .243 finished the job and we spent the rest of the arvo dip-scalding, scraping, and preparing him.
Gun control requires concentration and a steady hand.


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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by on_one_wheel » 31 Jul 2019, 8:01 pm

Chappo wrote:
bigrich wrote:
bigfellascott wrote:I had to smack one 3 times in the head with a 308 the other day before it would finally stop livin, one tuff bugger that one was. :shock: :?


ya supposed to put the cartridge in the rifle scott, not use it to hit the pig on the head :lol: :lol:

sorry mate, couldn't help myself :P

:drinks: :drinks: :thumbsup:


:lol: :clap:
Common practice here to use a 22lr for euthanasia and butchery.
Bang flop on pigs, cows, horses, etc 99 times out of 100.
I’ve never done the post mortum though..... interesting to see the damage done and the bullet distortion.


My missus has people come to the farm to take sick cows and bulls, some with broken legs or joints, others with cancer and other sicknesses for dog meat.
When they roll up with a .22 she asks them to leave and come back with something bigger.
She's seen too many not go down with the first shot... she respects her animals too much to allow that to happen any more.
Sometimes I do the job for them if they don't have a bigger gun.

I've seen it for myself with a cow in the race...
Old mate say "I always use the .22, never had a problem"
POP ! .... MOO
The clown only had one bullet on him to, heads to his car to get a few more ... POP ! MOO MOO
POP! POP!
"That's never happened before" :unknown:

I leave the .22 for rabbits,
Gun control requires concentration and a steady hand.


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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by Oldbloke » 31 Jul 2019, 9:17 pm

"I leave the .22 for rabbits,"

Yeh, I would have thought it would be borderline. The 22mag would be a better choice i think.
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by Sarco » 31 Jul 2019, 10:39 pm

Agree with a 22Mag being a better choice for 100% effect. Locally, we use (with authority) 22Mag for euthanasia of injured wildlife (mostly skippy). Larger animals and/or longer distances is usually 223 or 308.
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by Stix » 01 Aug 2019, 12:07 am

Ive never had anything not drop its head instantly like someone pulled the plug, from a subsonic 22lr into the middle of the brain...
I always do it from directly in front or directly behind & always aim (well point) the shot through middle of brain angled so as to get longest travel through the brain & not have an exit.

Rabbits, roos, sheep, & right up to cows...always instant.
Never done a pig though.

Im not a fan of using magnum rimfires for smaller stuff (foxes/roos etc) just because of the excessive power up close... (talking about put-downs here).

Oh...and i dont own one... :)
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by bigfellascott » 01 Aug 2019, 7:00 am

Oldbloke wrote:
bigfellascott wrote:I had to smack one 3 times in the head with a 308 the other day before it would finally stop livin, one tuff bugger that one was. :shock: :?


Must have missed the brain?


Nah this thing was dead first shot, just the rest of the body hadn't received the email :D I've seen it before with skippies too, the brains on the ground next to em yet the body still keeps flopping about.

First shot was behind the ear, the second was side on through the eye and a final shot straight between the eye and through to the heart/lungs going by the blood which was foamy as it poured out it's mouth.

The boar was around 150-180kg range going by what the owner said (
Was a good 2m long and stood a good 1m+ at the backline, head on it was around 2ftlong at least and had nuts on it like footballs :lol:

It was a shame to put it down but it had to go as it had gone a bit rogue going by what the owner said. :unknown:
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by Pademelon » 01 Aug 2019, 7:21 am

bigfellascott wrote:I had to smack one 3 times in the head with a 308 the other day before it would finally stop livin, one tuff bugger that one was. :shock: :?

What... using one of them plastic stocks? Was that the problem? :lol:
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by Pademelon » 01 Aug 2019, 7:36 am

Yeah I keep the .22lr for head shooting rabbits and wallabies. This pig was one we had done by an abattoir. The farm gun I have with me most of the time is a cheap .22 mag since it can put down all animals on this property. I've started taking it spotlighting now because of the results it gives. I mostly head shoot but using the hornady 30gn vmax ammo it drops even the bennetts wallabies on the spot with a heart/lung shot. Walk over to them and their heart and lungs are hanging out the exit hole I don't find that with the .22lr
Even though .22 mag is an approved calibre for euthanizing cattle and it would work most of the time it wouldn't hurt to use something greater
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by mickb » 01 Aug 2019, 8:50 am

22LR is obviously not ideal but I've shot quite a few pigs hunting with 22LR, the base of the ear does the trick. I don't attempt other shots in the wild. It will penetrate 1.5-2" of pine board after all which handles a lot of animal skulls, 'if' the angle is perfect. I did penetrate tests between 22LR and shotgun pellets in the 90's and an 00/SG pellet would usually beat 22 in wood, 22LR was similar to the smaller SSG pellets.

22WMR is a different level and depending on bullet you can get decent kills... or you can be following the pig. We used to shoot them at night coming in to feed on plantations. 22WMR was all that was allowed by the farmer with FMJ. Bodyshots would result in the pig running off naturally but 'usually' you would find them dead.

I will say there is no other animal like a pig to bring out examples of poor shooting. As soon as the thread kicks off, especially on an American forum you will have people saying "30-30 aint enough" then all the way up to one time their buddy shot a hog with 338 win mag twice in the head and it ran off . Never understand why people were so attracted to outline their sloppy shooting stories for this animal. :lol:
Last edited by mickb on 01 Aug 2019, 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: .22lr bullet recovered from pig head

Post by Oldbloke » 01 Aug 2019, 8:54 am

I remember a mate yonks ago took 3 or. 4 shots from a 22lr to put down his dads xmas pig.

BFS, maybe sometimes its like chopping the head off a chook & letting it go for a run? Lol
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