So, how did I wind up in the perverse, blasphemous, oft chastised state of being where I shoot hogs with shorts, never less than once? I mean NOBODY could be so silly as to actually use shorts in this day of Kevlar plated deer, right? Then, to step down to CB shorts for such efforts has got to be totally nuts, right? Well, no actually. I once thought myself a little tetched in the head about this, then during a flash of blinding insight realized it was the rest of the shooting world that was out of touch. (Yeah, OK, tongue in cheek a little)
1980 and I was living in a beach house on Florida's east coast just south of Cocoa Beach. I had come into possession of some CB caps and out of curiosity put one in a bolt rifle, stepped out back...not in that order...and pulled the trigger. I heard a 'ping' with the firing pin strike and a 'whop' with the diminutive bullet hit the intended target, and thought "Gee, that was neat. No noise."
1984, further down in South Florida and I ran across some "new" ammo put out by Winchester called CB shorts. All the counter monkey could tell me about them was it was a reduced load and fairly quiet...and $1.65/box, or thereabouts. I ran some thru the bolt rifle with its 26" barrel...."ping-whop" was how it talked. They weren't terribly accurate from that rifle but the lack of noise intrigued. Admittedly, at that point in life I knew next to nothing about the art of the rifle, having been devoted to quail hunting most of my life. Still....
1985: A Remington 572 came into my possession and on the side of the barrel it said "S,L,LR". Over half a box of bullets went down the tube and in the privacy of my back yard on the outside corner of a trailer park, nothing but an abandoned cow pasture and limerock mine in the back drop, it made a lot of "ping-whop" sounds.....and shot very well thank you. Younger eyes back then so the irons did OK for me, shooting about 1" groups all the way out to 15-20 yards from a sitting position. More intrigued I was.
1986: Feral cats began to gather in the neighborhood and a culling process began with the use of a live trap. The little CBs ended the story for a great many cats over a period of several months and to this day I know where all the bones are buried. I was surprised that all the shots went thru and thru.
Curious thing about old ladies and feral cats. It seems the ladies have a gene that requires they feed strays, and thus I had to go buy more ammo. Back then I did not discriminate much about source....it said "CB" and I said "OK". It really didn't make any difference to me, or apparently the Remington. Remington started making CBs somewhere around then and I was doing just fine until the Muscovy ducks showed up. Seems they like cat food too. Now, what I don't get is why old ladies don't seem to care for ducks, or why the cats wouldn't do their duty and defend their food bowls. One thing led to another and one day after coming home from work I laid out a trail of cracked corn from my crap covered drive to the back yard then went inside to load up.
Somewhere in cyberspace is the full telling of what followed, but the short form of it is this: The Remington held 27 or 29 shorts, don't recall precisely, and when I started I'd not fully loaded the rifle. After emptying the rifle once and reloading, the incessant 'ping-whop' and 'quack-quack' came to a stop. The stench of cordite was strong in my bedroom which served as my hide, and the battle field was littered with 27 dead ducks, all but one of which was a one shot kill. I had underestimated their determination at the beginning...the 'ping-whop' or sight of their fallen comrades did not dissuade the hoards from a sea of golden grain. My dog looked at me like I'd lost my mind, in the distance a mockingbird imitated Tiny Tim. The garbage truck hauled them away the next day, curb side service at its best! I think I got a call from Oliver Stone the next day wanting movie rights but I'd never heard of him and figured it was a crank call.
1987: Key Largo. The Keys are, or were, pretty neat. There are flies in the ointment however, one being the propensity of people to abandon cats by the brazillions. It was, in short, a target rich environment and they were baited by an nearby restaurant. I began stalking with a phenomenal string of one shot stops and over the course of 7.5 years totally lost track of the numbers killed. I lived in a seclude house, buried in tropical jungle...my perfectly private little Khe Sahn.
There was one particular hunt that fairly represents a galactic alignment of remarkable proportion. The mail girl was a very comely and leggy red head named Jill. She was always a bit aloof and I figured she was into alternative lifestyles which are popular down that way. Well, one day I was taking the garbage out and as I came around the corner I spied a small tom skulking around off the street shoulder in the back yard. Yep, my lot was fronted and reared by streets. Alternatives abounded. Retrieved the magic Remington, peeked around the corner and lined up for what would be my longest and best shot in life. Late morning, all was quiet in the area...bead between the eyes and a gentle squeeze...'ping-whop' and the tom went down like the switch was turned off. Then I heard Jill's Jeep coming up the street.
1st gear, 2nd gear, then just as she was about to pass the little ball of fur so purrfectly cammoed in the grasses on the shoulder, a neuro-spasm happened and the tom flopped wildly, bouncing off the side of the jeep with a resounding thump and....screech! O-M-G! The best way to confront disaster is head on....I put the rifle out of sight and walked to the accident site. Jill was hysterical, crying, apologizing...for running over my cat. I consoled her with comforting embrace of course and after she settled down and wiped her eyes I forgave her. -snuffle-snuffle- She accepted my offer to meet her that evening to talk about it and it was the start of another story I probably won't expand on much, except to say she was a gal of many alternatives, interesting talents and double digit IQ. Gosh, those CBs were looking really good to me about then.
1995-2003 I slipped and got married..not to Jill. It was a curious version of hell. Much conflict and much to struggle for. We bought a 100 acre parcel of mixed bottoms and uplands just north of Dublin, Ga and this is where my interest in the shooting sports really began to grow. In and of itself, shooting became an objective equal to hunting. I learned much in those days and nights. This is when I began to question much of what is written by gun scribes and peers, because I was seeing things that were incongruent with conventional lore. I found that it was not really necessary to use 20 mm cannons to kill things. In fact, I found that #3 buckshot from a 20 Ga. was absolutely lethal on hogs, deers, coyotes and such. I also found that a .22 LR would drop a hog dead on the spot, the first test of this coming on a boar of about 275-300#. And you know what? CB shorts were certified sufficient for 'coons, possum, and most anything else that needed a bullet. Still, it had not occurred to me that they were adequate for hogs. I wasn't that far over the edge...yet.
2003-present: My understanding 2nd and last wife and I retired in 2003, moved to the outskirts of Yankeetown, Fl. Because it is rural and bordered on wild swampy country we have...er, had a plethora of obnoxious pests to contend with. Mostly 'coons, possums, Kevlar-dillos. By then I had long since developed an interests in .22 shorts and had, in 1999 purchased a barrel so chambered from T/C's custom shop to mount on the Contender frame. A .30-30 barrel too, but that's another story. Me and 'Shorty' were having an awful lot of fun, what with feeding gators in the back yard. It has a little shorter barrel and makes an audible "pop" when I shoot it, but it is sufficiently quiet that nobody is aware I shoot it...off the balcony at sharply depressed angles. One of my favorite stories was the 'dillo that took a hit and conveniently rolled down the bank into the river. 'Gator bait.
The pigs came then. Sometime in the fall of 2004 we were beset by feral hogs. Gobs of them. At the time I had no access to private property across the street or state lands adjacent, so I was left to watch without being terribly proactive. Finally one day it occurred that a small herd was rooting in my front yard and the first thing within reach was the Remington 572, stuffed with CCI CB shorts. I figured to just 'move 'em along' in a manner of speaking, but when I got into position I thought "what the hey" and drew a bead behind the ear. "ping-whop-flop". Now I was surprised to say the least. Upon examination I found another oddity. This little porker of about 50#, shot at a later measured 38 yards, had suffered a thru and thru that included a shattered C-3 vertebrae.
To bring this "short" story to a close, I will tell you what I have come to believe about all of this. There is a paper cup on my bureau with 68 empty .22 cartridges. 2 are LR, 2 are CCI short HVHP cases. LRs work fine. HP Bullets shatter when they hit bone and that is problematic in my view. CB shorts will penetrate like the dickens because they do not expand in any significant way, thus retaining sectional density. They will penetrate thru and thru on broad side neck shots on smaller hogs. They will penetrate thru and thru skulls and brain on frontal shots, this with mature hogs. Of all the cases mentioned above, only one hog required two shots and that is the boar pictured in another post in this forum. He is the one that demonstrated the folly of the behind the ear shot with shorts, even though is didn't seem to upset him when so shot. he just looked around and when he turned back to face me the story ended.
If any of you are sufficiently bored to try this on your own I strongly suggest you be fully conversant with your rifle and personal skill set. I do not know of anyone who has ever been killed by a hog, but I know many who have bled during unplanned excursions with them. Get close, take a rest against a tree and wait for the shot to come together. Make sure your tennis shoe laces are tight. If you are inclined to shoot into a crowd, take the big sow first. They sometimes get a bit pissy if you squeal one of their babies, or so my experience tells me, and that can happen with a neck shot.
Lastly, anytime you run into somebody that thinks CBs are toys and not particularly dangerous, do set their mind right on the subject. They are deadly, very deadly.