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Hello. If you live in far south Texas or in a southwestern state where javalina can be found and you hunt, you truly owe it to yourself to try taking one or two with a handgun. It is a hoot.

I was fortunate enough to get to hunt on a ranch with a fellow who was a master shot and a tireless reloader, though he worked mainly with Thompson-Center Contenders and Ruger .44 Magnums. (His carry gun was a .45 1911.) It was just north of Edinburg and crawling with javelina (snakes, ticks, fleas, and thorns, too).

These little things get around 30 to 35-lbs I'd estimate, but are tougher than their size would indicate. A .22 magnum might be "enough," but I'd only go for brain shots if using one.

I used 9mm and .45 ACP and my buddies primarily used .45 ACP's. Ammunition used over the years in 9mm included Corbon 124-gr. XTP +P, Corbon 124-gr. GDHP +P, Triton 125-gr. Hi Vel JHP +P, a 124-gr. XTP handloaded to 1244 ft/sec, Corbon 115-gr. JHP +P, and Triton 135-gr. Quik Shoks. In .45 ACP, ammo was Federal 230-gr. HydraShok, 230-gr. Golden Saber, Corbon 165-gr. JHP +P, Corbon 185-gr. JHP +P, Federal "Personal Defense" 165-gr. HydraShok, and Winchester Ranger 230-gr. SXT.

The only load that was consistently lacking was the Federal 165-gr. PD load. For reasons I do not understand, the little "pigs" were never staggered, even with good hits. They'd run when hit and require a second shot. With any and all of the other rounds, a good hit resulted in their at least dropping to the ground for a few seconds before regaining their footing and running a few yards. They are worthy little adversaries.

I'd practice shooting at coffee saucer size targets at 25 to 35 yards. I could almost always ooch around and get that close, often considerably closer. They have a strip right at the shoulder. Put your bullets in the stripe or foreward of it. It looks like it's way too far forward, but trust me, it is not. The vitals are in this area.

Each of these CZ-75's were used on the "devil pigs."

While we only used 9mm or .45 ACP on our hunts, I think expanding loads in .38 Super, .357 Magnum, and up would be fine. "Honest" hand-loaded .44 Specials and .45 Colt should work very well, too, I'd think.

I did not hunt javelina with this .45 Colt S&W Mountain Gun I've owned for several years, but I believe it would be a good choice.

The SIG P210's accounted for one or two as well.

The .45 ACP was used with fine success with all ammo tried except the Federal 165-gr. mentioned previously.

I have never seen creatures so infested with fleas, jumping damned things that are more than happy to "come aboard" when you're cleaning the animal. That in itself has to be done to be appreciated and you'll never look at guacamole quite the same way again. Hahahahha!

For 3 years after three separate hunts, I cleaned my kills and honestly tried to eat it. The first time I tried cooking it inside (big mistake), the wife thought the sewer had backed up. I tried barbequing it; you cannot get enough BBQ sauce to mask the taste....or I couldn't, anyway! Tried doing a ham in the smoker. Neither of us could eat more than a few bites. My wife took one bite I recall and left the table. She has more manners than me; I finally just spit the last bite out. Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches do cleanse the pallet pretty well. The final year that I got to hunt them, I promised the wife I wouldn't bring near so many home. Hahahhahahaha! I kept my promise and only brought three. This year I had a secret weapon. A close friend knew a Hispanic lady who said she knew how to prepare them. She'd make us tamales out of the javelina for a reasonable price. She did and you could eat them; it was better not to eat anything at all for the whole day before trying, though. Anyway, I eventually happened to have some Hispanic men working on a sprinkler system and I thought to ask "Benjamin" if he had ever eatten javelina. He replied that he had and that he really liked it. I gave him all I had.

This average javelina was taken with a SIG P210 using a Hornady 124-gr. XTP handload. (The females have a musk gland on the rear of the back that's hidden by bristles. Do NOT mess with it. It has to be experienced to be "appreciated.")

Now you might like 'em, but just be advised that the rule about "eatting what you shoot" is not always necessary.

They are a peach to hunt and make neat little trophies. Despite their fierce appearance, they are not vicious, but they will damned sure defend themselves if you get them cornered or don't show proper respect when one's down, but not out. I certainly do not "blame" them for such.

Used a Browning Hi Power on more than a few of the little critters.

If you get the chance, try hunting them with a handgun. I think you'll be hooked.

This one was popped with the P210....

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