Wild Boar Rifles with Overkill

The story of the 630+ pound boar reminded me of hunting rifles quite commonly used by European hunters: Double rifles and drillings. I have yet to see an American hunter in the West use one. Maybe they are more common on the East Coast?

A double rifle or drilling is very well suited for the ‘spot and stalk’ method of hunting in forested hunting areas of many European countries with a great variety of widely differing game animals and at times overlapping seasons. A hunter with a drilling is prepared for just about any quarry that happens to cross his path.

As hunters we are all familiar with double-barreled break open shotguns. They come as side by side or over and under versions. Double rifles look and function exactly the same way. They also come in side by side and over/under versions.

Drillings have two side by side barrels and a third barrel, generally with a much smaller caliber, either above the side by side barrels or under them. The third small caliber barrel is almost exclusively used to shoot predatory targets of opportunity, such as feral cats, wild cats, small foxes and so on. The rifle barrels are for big game from deer to elk and, where they still exist, bear.

All of the doubles and especially the drillings have one significant thing in common: They are sinfully expensive. Prices between $ 2,000 and $ 5,000 are common. Better specimens cost even more, especially those with handcrafted ornamentation on the stock and the receiver of the weapon.

Many of these hunting rifles use the old 9.3 mm caliber. That’s a .366. This caliber was already around before smokeless powder came on the market. The smokeless rimmed cartridge was developed in the early 1900s in Germany. It was widely used for big game hunting in Africa and all over the world.

Today it comes as 9.3 x 74R with 286 grain bullet. The muzzle velocity of 2360 fps produces 3538 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy. That’s enough to deal with any big and dangerous game. It is more than adequate for a very large wild European boar. For lesser boar it is overkill! Here in the US it is a good choice for bear and other large dangerous predators.

Heym, Brenneke, Beretta, Bernardelli and, I believe Ruger, rifles, among others, come in 9.3x74R versions. Hornady just announced that they will offer this caliber in 2007. Other manufacturer are Norma, RWS and A-Square.

The 9.3x74R cannot be used in repeating rifles. It is rimmed.

Repeating rifles, bolt action and other repeaters, use the shorter and more compact 9.3×62 cartridge. It has almost identical performance characteristics. The original Mauser 9.3 bolt-action rifle is making a remarkable comeback after it almost disappeared from the arsenals of hunters around WWII. Whelen also makes a rifle for this cartridge.

Repeating rifles chambered in 9.3 x 62 are good all purpose hunting rifles for the discerning hunter of very big and dangerous game.

Copyright 2007 United Seabears Corporation/Peter Jaeckle.

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