Concealed Carry & Home Defense

Gun Test: S&W .460 XVR

As luck would have it, a hog hunt in Texas materialized right before closing time on this piece. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to chase a big mean hog behind a pack of hounds. Heck, I couldn’t wait! This kind of action gets you up close and personal. Shots are usually close range affairs with this type of hunting. Grabbing a box of Winchester’s 250-grain JHP ammo, my wife and I hit the road south for some Texas hog-hunting action. The XVR was ready for a trial run, now if we can only get one of those big old boars to cooperate.

We met up with some real dog men near College Station. The bottomland country is ideal for hogs and there are far more than plenty. When the dogs were turned loose they worked their way toward a small, brushy creek. The heavy vegetation along the creek bottom provided ideal habitat for hogs. It wasn’t long before the dogs found action. We headed toward the area where they were bayed but before we could get there the hogs broke and ran. One of the boars came flying past me and I tried to put a bullet in his boiler room, to no avail. The chase continued. Since there were several hogs, the canines got split up and were going in different directions. By the time we caught up with one particular dog, he was barking bayed, but the hog had other ideas and took off. If you think hunting behind a pack of dogs is easy or unsporting, think again. Luckily the dog handlers had put tracking collars on the dogs so we could eventually find them.

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Even with the short barrel, accuracy was acceptable with a variety of ammo. The XVR wasn’t finicky. It produced minute-of-bear groups with just about any ammo (above). There is a variety of quality factory ammo available for the .460 S&W Magnum (below). Photo: Mark Hampton.

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It was getting up in the day when we hiked for over a mile where another dog was barking. The hog was in the thickest jungle of undergrowth you could imagine. As I fought my way in to the gauntlet of briars and brambles, I could barely make out a dark shape in the impenetrable jungle. I fought my way a little closer and could scarcely see what the dogs were barking about. Unfortunately I couldn’t make out the head from the tail and about that time the big hog busted out of his hiding place never to be seen again. We crawled our way out of the thicket, wiped the blood off from all the thorn punctures and headed a different direction.

I didn’t have a holster made for the gun but that will soon change. Those across the chest rigs would work well for the XVR, keeping it close and readily available, yet non-restrictive. Leather-stretchers like Simply Rugged or Barranti Leather make a dandy system such as this and would be great for hunting or fishing in the backcountry where four-legged critters are a concern.

After a short break for lunch our luck changed for the better. Once again, the dogs had a pig bayed in a real thicket. I eased in this time with the hopes of dropping the hammer on some pork. By the time I scrambled through the vines and brush, sweat was running in my eyes so bad I could barely see. But I did see a big pig fighting the dogs. Carefully I got in a position for a shot. The distance was close. Heck, you couldn’t see 15 feet! I wanted to make certain the dogs were clear before shooting. The big .460 slug could go clean through a hog and I sure didn’t want to hit a prize dog on the other end. When a shot finally materialized, the mighty .460 performed as expected. The hog dropped on the spot and that chase was over. Those green fiber optic sights were an asset. Even though the thick jungle-like growth made for dim lighting conditions, it was easy to see the sights.

There are a lot different ways to hunt hogs but chasing a pack of hounds is sure a lot of fun. We hunted the rest of the day and took several hogs in the process. The S&W XVR worked like a charm. The Performance Center has once again concocted a superb revolver that performs like a champ. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Photos By Joseph R Novelozo

Bad Blood Knives
P.O. Box 220, Kodak, TN 37764
(866) 583-3912
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/bad-blood-knives/

460 XVR
Maker: S&W
2100 Roosevelt Avenue
Springfield, MA 01104
(800) 331-0852
http://gunsmagazine.com/company/smith-wesson/

Action type: Double-action revolver
Caliber: .460 S&W
Capacity: 5
Barrel length: 3-1/2 inches
Overall length: 10 inches
Weight: 59.5 ounces
Finish: Matte stainless steel
Sights: Hi-Viz green fiber optic front, adjustable rear
Grips: Synthetic
Price: $1,609

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