311041 HP


Staff member
Several years ago, I worked up a load for my 10" .30-30 Contender to use while over on the Olympic Peninsula, hunting coastal blacktails with my buddy Bob. I specifically targeted a muzzle velocity of 1600-1700 fps to avoid (or at least minimize) the blow ups discussed in detail in Ben's excellent thread on Hunting with Cast HPs. Such a load was easy to find, and accuracy at 50 yards (a long shot over on the Olympic Peninsula) was satisfying.


I have used this combination to hunt coastal blacktails for the last 3 years or so, but have not had a chance to fire a shot with it. Deer numbers are way down over in that particular unit that Bob and I hunt in.

This last weekend, I was down in central Oregon with Bob and John on a spring hog hunt (Rick -- same ranch you and I hunted on, under new ownership, the new owner has made significant improvements). The animals were scattered, and we hunted all over the ranch, and I saw parts of it I had never seen before. We found our hogs in a remote canyon in the northern part of the ranch. We were glassing from up on top of the canyon wall and found them rooting around underneath a group of trees at the base of the canyon wall. It took us about 15 minutes to get around to them. Bob shot his from about 75 yards away with his brand spankin' new Savage .250. The animals scattered at the shot, but only briefly, and after a few minutes came right back to the same spot and started rooting again (the ground was soft and moist from all the snow we got in Feb and March, and there must have been something really tasty growing in it because they were really tearing it up!). As they reconvened, I made my final approach up to a large juniper, that gave me cover, and also had a conveniently located branch for me to use as an impromptu field rest. The black hog I had picked out Caleb nixed because he thought she might be pregnant, so he pointed me over to another black hog with 2 white legs. I had a nice 40-45 yard broadside shot lined up, but there was another hog behind mine, so I held off. Right as the second hog moved out, mine turned and started to walk away. I am NOT going to take a "Texas heart shot" on a 225 lb hog with a cast HP (maybe with a heavier gun/solid cast bullet but not with this one)! I followed her with the crosshairs, and after a couple of steps, she took a step to the left, giving me a very good angle on a raking shot. The crosshairs dropped to the desired spot and the Contender fired as if it had a mind of its own. The hog staggered sideways a couple of steps, backed up a little ways, then staggered forward back to its original spot and collapsed.


The 311041 HP had gone right where I told it to and entered towards the rear of the left side ribcage in the short ribs. The entrance was about 1 1/4" and filled with pink frothy lung blood. As we gutted her, we found that the 311041 HP had done significant damage to one lobe of the liver, punched a large hole in the diaphragm, shredded the back half of the left lung, just missed the heart, tore up the front half of the right lung, and punched a nice round .35 caliber hole through the top of the second rib on the right side, as it went into the point of the right shoulder. We looked for the bullet while we were skinning/butchering this hog, but never found it (I believe it was buried in the neck muscles and lost when we cut off the head). All told, it penetrated about 24" of pig.

Some might argue that this load is a bit on the light side for hunting hogs (and frankly, I wouldn't argue against them). I was comfortable hunting hogs with it simply because I knew that I was going for a moderate sized meat hog, and that would be able to pick and choose my shots (and could pass up any that would be unsuitable for this load). All in all, I am happy with how it performed. It is very satisfying to finally put this load to work in the field after all these years.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
"Someone" wrote something about eventually figuring out it's a lot more fun to learn how to hunt than quote ballistics tables from whizbang magnums ;). Hunt to the correct range, pick your shot, make your shot, meat on the table. That's a really good looking sow, lots of meat there even down to the shanks. Congratulations!