The Remington 870 DM Goes Hog Hunting in Texas

Remingon 870 DM Goes Hog Hunting in Texas

By Kat Ainsworth

In the Lone Star state, the state mammal (small version) is the nine-banded armadillo, the state bird is the northern mockingbird and the state religion is feral hog hunting. All right, that last part isn’t exactly true, but it should be. In Texas, hogs dole out approximately $52 million of agricultural damage annually, contaminate waterways, and cause countless car wrecks.

In fact on Christmas night, off-duty Border Patrol agent Antonio Cordova was driving an SUV down FM481 in South Texas when he plowed into a feral hog. Cordova and two others were killed in the crash. So hogs cause big trouble, and they’re darn near everywhere. There are an estimated six million of them in the US, and more than half of them reside in Texas.

Hunting four-legged bacon is among my favorite pastimes and Texas is the best place to get it done, bar none. Who wouldn’t love chasing down a sounder of big, hairy omnivores with sharp tusks and bad attitudes?

Because it’s Texas, hogs can be hunted using night vision, suppressors, aerial gunning…just about anything short of a bazooka. There’s no permit needed, no bag limit and they can be hunted year-round. It’s Texas, baby, and we do what we damn well please.

In this case doing what we pleased meant chasing down pigs in a truck and shooting them using a variety of firearms. My hunter earlier this month was the first-ever hunt done with Remington 870 DM; the information embargo on the brand new DM didn’t even lift until after I arrived in Texas for the hunt with gun in hand (well, in Pelican case). A chance to hone my shotgunning skills while doing 30 MPH burnouts through a wheat field? Game on!

The new Remington 870 DM goes hog hunting in Texas

Before we get to the wild chasing and mayhem, a little background on the latest from Big Green. The 870 DM Magpul is a magazine-fed 12-gauge – “DM” stands for “Detachable Magazine” – with an 18.5-inch tactical Remington choke barrel, Magpul SGA stock and fore-end, and XS Sights ghost ring sights.

The new Remington 870 DM goes hog hunting in Texas

The afore-mentioned magazine holds six rounds and a three-round version is also in the works. It also has an XS Sights tactical Picatinny rail atop the receiver which I tried out by mounting the new Trijicon MRO to the gun. In the end I opted to hunt with just the factory-installed XS Sights.

My hog-hunting destination of choice was Spike Box Land and Cattle in Benjamin, Texas. Spike Box sits amidst 90,000 acres and does everything from working cattle to growing wheat. It’s also free range, meaning there are no guarantees. When you hunt Spike Box’s land you hunt hard and persistently if you want to bag whatever critter you’re after.

Of course, it’s Texas, so hogs are one of the things you’re most likely to see. Where they’ll appear, at what distance, and for how long is another issue altogether. After all, hogs might be ugly and smell like they bathe in garbage but they’re intelligent. Plus they have an incredible sense of smell and are capable of scenting odors as far away as seven miles above ground and 25 feet below ground (think buried food).

During my week at Spike Box I was after a variety of animals with multiple guns, several of which were new. Attempts to prioritize deer, ducks, coyotes, and a lone badger left hog hunting as a nighttime-only event, That was fine with me and worked really well in the long run. By the time I got around to dropping a hog with the 870 DM I’d already shot two Whitetail does, numerous ducks, and several hogs with those other guns. It was a wildly successful week. Granted, I didn’t sleep much, but that’s why God made coffee.

The Remington 870 DM goes hog hunting in Texas

 

The evening hunt started out predictably. We’d been hunting since dawn, occasionally returning to the bunkhouse to re-fuel with the important things in life (coffee and Coke). I was hunting with Tyler Pounds, the hunting manager for Spike Box. Tyler’s been working cattle and hunting on the land for most of his life and is not only deeply familiar with animal movement but seems to know every mound of dirt on the property well enough to navigate it blindfolded (we briefly considered adding that element to the hunt but discarded it as possibly going too far). We headed out at full dark, tired and filthy but ready to stretch the DM’s shotshell legs.

Once we hit the wheat fields, it happened fast. A sounder of pigs was making their way to the tree line and heard the truck coming, immediately picking up their pace although not yet running. Tyler spotted them and gave me the usual warning of “you ready?” before spinning the steering wheel to angle the truck alongside the sounder. And just like that, it was on.

Something you might not know about hogs: they can run. Fast. They tend to be sedate and lazy, shambling around looking for food, but they’re motivated to survive. That includes running at speeds of up to 30 MPH at a hard gallop they can maintain for a mile. As a result, chasing them in a truck means not only matching but surpassing those speeds. If that doesn’t sound fast, try leaning out the truck window for a clean shot while you fly over the bumps and furrows of a field.

The sounder took a hard left, and so did we. I already had the DM out the window, watching and waiting for an ethical shot because, moving vehicle or not, I want to be confident my shot will drop whatever I’m shooting at. The shotgun was loaded with Remington AccuTip 385 grain 3” Sabot Slugs – when you looked inside the shotshells the lime-green sabots were clearly visible.

My best choice for a target was a medium-sized sow running at a 45-degree angle from my window. With the distance fluctuating between 25 and 30 yards as she wove within the sounder she wasn’t my closest option, but the angle was perfect. I wedged my knees against the truck door, used the truck’s frame to brace my right side, and shouldered the shotgun. No thermal, no night vision, not even a light mounted on the DM. No matter.

I squeezed the trigger and was immediately rewarded with the high-pitched squeal and instant collapse of a hog down. One down didn’t mean it was over, though; I turned my sights on the stragglers who had yet to make it into the tree line and kept shooting.

The new Remington 870 DM goes hog hunting in Texas.

The first hog downed by a DM was a steel-gray sow weighing about 150 pounds. No surprise she dropped in her tracks considering the wound cavity created by that sabot was wide and traveled a neat, angled path through her vitals. There’s no doubt the DM did its job. In fact, during the hunt the gun proved itself accurate out to 100 yards and probably could have stretched further but the drop rate on a heavy slug made me opt not to force it.

The new Remington 870 DM goes hog hunting in Texas.

Overall, the DM performed well despite being clogged with red Texas dust and dirt. I’ve shot it with four different magazines and a wide array of 12-gauge ammo without any issues (I’ve also run it in three different states in both tactical and hunting scenarios). It’s a fun shotgun and an awesome hunting option. Say what you want – and undoubtedly you will – but Remington did a good job with the 870 DM. Several Whitetails and hogs, countless paper and steel targets, and a couple sacks of potatoes I may or may not have decimated in mid-air speak for themselves. And hey, I have a freezer full of meat, so I have zero complaints.

The new Remington 870 DM goes hog hunting in Texas

Insert disclaimer here: Because Spike Box is private property, I was legally able to hunt hogs from a truck. But it isn’t only during Texas hog hunts on private land where shooting from a moving vehicle takes place. For example, there are three-gun competitions involving shooters firing at targets from moving vehicles.

Secondary disclaimer: Yes, you still need to observe the golden rules of gun safety while hunting from a truck. The fact that it’s hunting on steroids doesn’t change the reality of the weapon in your hands. Be safe, always.

comments

  1. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    I see the point of the weapon I think (makes reloading a pump shotgun faster) but I’m sorry I just cannot bring myself to care about this or the 3rd party option made for the Mossberg 500. it really just does not matter that much to me for shotguns to be mag fed. I’m sure it’s an awesome gun (or you were at least well compensated to say it is) and I’m sure it’s a game changer for those super into competition shooting, tacticool costume play, and action hunting with shotguns it’s just not my cup of tea. More power to yall though for getting a factory option made and more power to the folks buying them up.

    1. avatar J- says:

      It makes unloading the gun easier too. That is a plus for any type of stalk hunting where you have to cross a stream or a fence. It’s like emptying a bolt gun, pop out the mag and cycle the action and it’s empty. With a tube mag, it’s more complicated and people have had accidents. I’d agree, a tube mag makes sense for upland game, but the box mag is great for turkey, deer, or any time you will treat a shotgun more like a rifle. You can also switch loads easily. Take a mag of 2 3/4 for close shots and 3 for long ranger or for turkey, loads of different shot sizes. Also having on the 3 round mag means you don’t need a tube plug for states that have a 3 round mag limit. I wouldn’t pheasant hunt with one, but I do want an 870 DM.

  2. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    Remember folks this ain’t the end of Ramadan. Keep all celebratory fire confined to an approved shooting range or large empty area and follow the 4 rules.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/29/police-warn-against-celebratory-new-years-eve-gunfire.html

  3. avatar BLoving says:

    Still amazes me how much too many Texas landowners want to charge for the privilege of killing their agricultural pests…
    🤠

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Yeah. I won’t go back.
      Not only did they charge a bit much, we ran into a thief of an outfitter.

      1. avatar Splic3r says:

        A pity, because I’d be tempted to fly down if it were more of an “open season” premise

      2. avatar Joleolsen says:

        Does anyone have a recommendation for a great outfitter/guide that is fairly priced?

  4. avatar Diksum says:

    I’ll take my 870 with the 9 round mag tube. Gives me ten shots and I didn’t have to buy a new gun.
    The detachable mag would make more sense on the semi-auto 11-87.

    1. avatar J. Simmons says:

      The magazine fed 870 also makes sense if you register it as a SBS, now you have a handy 14″ barrel, AND the standard capacity of 6+1 rounds. Also does anyone really believe that there won’t be larger aftermarket mags offered by third parties? I will gladly take a short class III 14″ entry gun, with a 8 or 10 round mag, as opposed to something the size (both length and weight) of a Mossburg 590.

  5. avatar Murry Weiss says:

    another failure from rem….no surprise

    1. avatar DerTeufelKatze says:

      So you’ve used it?

  6. avatar Daniel Crowe says:

    More Remington copycat junk1

  7. avatar Calvin says:

    Great Article! Thanks!!!

    1. avatar DerTeufelKatze says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Calvin. It was an awesome hunt!

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        Isn’t it DieTeufelKatze?

  8. it looks as though you can just unscrew the four screws and the mag well would come off making it just like all the rest of the shotguns, if that is true than I wonder if you just need that part to convert your M870 to use the magazines with out having to buy another shotgun.

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