The Best and Worst Hog Hunting Guns to Use with Thermal Optics

The Best and Worst Hog Hunting Guns to Use with Thermal Optics

Choosing the “best” gun for anything is highly subjective. Every weapon is unique, and every hunter has his own aesthetical tastes, pet peeves, and platform preferences. Even the animal in question, the feral hog, comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes ranging from the juvenile pig to hogzilla himself.

Hogzilla, for reference

The Wraith Mini Thermal, Sightmark’s flagship digital thermal riflescope, is the optic for hunters who are dipping their toes into the waters of nighttime hunting for the first time. With its 1400-yard detection range, 384x288 thermal sensor, five thermal color palettes, and other features, the Wraith Thermal is a superb digital thermal optic that performs a cut above other optics in its price range, which typically have lower sensor resolutions and less stellar features.

The Wraith Mini Thermal is built on the body of the Sightmark Wraith 4k Mini, a compact but durable digital night vision optic. Aside from the obvious visual similarities, the two models share similar recoil resistance ratings since both were built with the same rugged aluminum construction. This means the new Wraith Mini Thermal is rated for a maximum recoil of .308 Winchester just like its night vision counterpart.

Assuming you’ll be using a Wraith Mini Thermal, the question then falls to what weapon to put it on. With five configurable weapon profiles, the Wraith Mini Thermal can be attached and zeroed for five different rifles, but many gun owners have “favorites” and this optic is most likely going to stay mounted on that particular gun. But which gun should it be?

There are bad weapons to mount it on. The SCAR-H, for all its fancy European engineering, is widely known as an optics killer due to the violence of its recoil. While the Wraith Mini Thermal has been tested on a SCAR-H and survived, there are better rifle options there which use the same powerful .308 caliber and are much gentler on your optic.


FN Scar-H

Springfield’s M1A, for example, is a fine rifle with manageable recoil which uses the same hard-hitting .308 cartridge as the previously mentioned SCAR-H. However, the issue with the M1A lies in its optics rail. Located several inches forward of the receiver, the only optics that will work on an M1A without modifying the mount to sit closer to the shooter’s face will be red dots and scout scopes, ergo, any optic with several inches of eye relief. To make matters worse, red dots can’t even be used with magnifiers since the eye relief would still be too far. Anyone who intends to hunt with the M1A and a thermal optic or a non-scout riflescope must purchase a third-party mount for proper eye relief. For reference, the Wraith Mini Thermal’s eye relief is 2.4 inches, requiring an optic mount resting much closer to the face.

The Zastava M77 normally requires a third-party rail for mounting optics.

A third-party scope mount is also needed for the Zastava M77, a powerful Yugoslavian rifle with comparable accuracy to the American M1A. Capable of making 1.5-inch groups at 100 yards, the M77 is great for hog hunting as long as it’s shooting the right ammo. However, for those who want to accessorize with suppressors, lasers, and flashlights, the M77 is not your friend.

F1 BDRX-10 rifle.

The AR-10, however, is. The predecessor of America’s national rifle, the large frame AR-10 is a rifle with the power and accuracy of its M14 predecessor with the light weight and modularity of the AR-15. A modern AR-10’s integrated accessory rail provides all the space one needs for canted sights, weapon mounted lights, lasers, and other devices. The AR-10’s accuracy is also beyond compare, and on the very best of guns, is expected to be 1 MOA to sub-MOA at 100 yards.

Enter F1’s BDRX-10. This masterpiece rifle has a comparable price point to the M1A but absolutely crushes it in features. Chief among these is the construction of F1’s Durabolt Bolt Carrier Group. Subjected to PVD coating, where compound materials are deposited atom by atom to form a thin bonded metal onto the surface of the bolt carrier, F1 Durabolt BCGs can be cleaned without the use of gun oil, requiring only a simple rag to wipe the bolt clean.

However, cleaning isn’t the only area where the BDRX-10 shines. Thanks to its skeletonized frame, designed to trim off unnecessary weight, the BDRX-15 is one of the lightest rifles on the market, weighing in at only 8.40lbs where other rifles in its class weigh closer to 11lbs. When it comes time to put the rifle to work, its high tolerances and precision engineering ensure that even the most basic handloaded ammo is capable of hitting targets with sub-MOA groups.

A precision machine, customers buying the BDRX-10 online are offered several options for triggers, compensators, barrels, and cosmetics, giving shooters the opportunity to customize their rifles to their individual needs.

That being said, if someone was in need of a modular, lightweight, easy-to-clean rifle with pinpoint accuracy chambered in the hard-hitting .308 Winchester Magnum for hog hunting with the Wraith Thermal, the BDRX-10 is the way to go.

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