What's your ideal bear cartridge?

MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior MemberPosts: 4,337 Senior Member
Black, not Brown. Putting in for my first bear hunt this year, not sure what I should plan on using. I know they're not entirely tough animals, but not tiny either. I'm guessing an average weight will be in the 300 range. Can't bait here, so no sitting archery distance away from a bait bucket waiting for a perfect shot. Don't really forsee much over 300 yards either.

So, 300 lbs-ish, 100-300 yards, spot and stalk or lucky ambush. Many options from 260 to 375
Wambli Ska wrote: »
Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
«1345

Comments

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 18,961 Senior Member
    Any of your options from .260 - .375 with a good bullet capable of penetration and expansion should do the job.

    I've never killed a bear. But, they can't be that much different than a 300ish pound pig and you know what all I've used on them.

    Proper bullet and proper placement with adequate velocity to get there should rule the day.

    Pick a gun you like to carry.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 22,597 Senior Member
    Just don't use a .270 :jester:
    My new Signature
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,174 Senior Member
    Black Bear Lives Matters!


    Sorry had to say it. Now back to the OP ... only 2 I've ever seen taken first hand where with good old .30-06s with heavier old Remington soft point loads. Both were actually 1 shot kills and while not DRT both were less than a 20 to 30 yard run.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,081 Senior Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »
    ... only 2 I've ever seen taken first hand where with good old .30-06s with heavier old Remington soft point loads. Both were actually 1 shot kills and while not DRT both were less than a 20 to 30 yard run.

    Same with me. My 2 bears were both shot with my bolt action 30-06 with 165gr "deer" bullets. Both ran a short ways and dropped.
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,081 Senior Member
    Black, not Brown. Putting in for my first bear hunt this year, not sure what I should plan on using. I know they're not entirely tough animals, but not tiny either. I'm guessing an average weight will be in the 300 range. Can't bait here, so no sitting archery distance away from a bait bucket waiting for a perfect shot. Don't really forsee much over 300 yards either.

    So, 300 lbs-ish, 100-300 yards, spot and stalk or lucky ambush. Many options from 260 to 375


    Spring season? My season starts in 17 days.
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,000 Senior Member
    You have to ask?

    If I had the opportunity, and it wasn't in some rain forest like you might find along the west coast of Canada, it would be my 338x284 loaded with 225 grain Speer Grand Slams. If I had the good fortune to go on one of those British Columbia hunts, or some place where heavy rain would be likely, I'd probably opt for my 7 mag loaded with 175 grain Grand Slams simply because it has a synthetic stock.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,533 Senior Member
    .45-70 with 405 grain LRNFPs....300 Win Mag with 208 grain AMaxes if I have to reach out there some...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I was packing out elk quarters a few years ago. Third trip back to camp I took a rest. Heard a snort a few feet away. I look up, nothing there. Grass is waist high. Oh sh! I started talking to myself out loud for the last trip out. Drove the meat into town to get processed, back at camp cleaning up, guy and his wife sees me, stops to chat. I tell them the story. Guy asks if he can hunt my gut pile, I give him directions. He unlimbers this big 300 Weatherby mag, off they go. Later on, bang! One shot, out they come dragging the bear. Small bear, but one shot did it.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 13,750 Senior Member
    Black bear? The honest truth is that you can use anything you would trust to shoot a deer with. Oh, and the vitals sit a bit lower than where you would shoot a deer.

    Me? I used a .430 SJS, backup was a .338 Federal. Overkill-- yes, but I had 7 years involved in doing that hunt. Mine ran 20 yards then a death groan.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,181 Senior Member
    I think it depends on what's in your safe. Most anything .26 cal or larger that you can use on deer should do nicely on a black bear. If you've got a big caliber that hasn't seen the woods in a while, it might be time to take it on a hunt. That's what I did for my buffalo hunt last fall. I bought my .300 WSM a dozen years ago with hopes on taking it to Alaska or Africa on a hunt. Never made it back to Alaska for a hunt and never made it to Africa. When the opportunity presented it's self for the buffalo hunt it was an easy decision for me.

    What are your choices in guns and calibers, that might help you and us make a better decision.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    I have never hunted a black bear, but I guess I would reach for one of my .308s. It is the cartridge I am most comfortable with. I have no doubt it would do the Job.
    It's because I hate Trump.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 3,969 Senior Member
    I'd not feel under armed with a .270 with 150 grain A-Frames.

    If you're in doubt of your manhood, you might opt for larger.

    ;)

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,122 Senior Member
    Either a .358 WIN. or .35 Whelen with Sierra 225gr SBT or 250gr Speer hot core FB.

    Thats my preference, but I'll tell you to use any of your rifles that you shoot well and feel confident with.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 9,357 Senior Member
    Use your 30-06.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,337 Senior Member
    CaliFFL wrote: »
    Spring season? My season starts in 17 days.

    No spring season here. But I've decided to put in for fall, I've got a preference point, so i should draw
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,337 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    Use your 30-06.

    That's been used, looking to get some field time with newer stuff
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 9,357 Senior Member
    That's been used, looking to get some field time with newer stuff

    Then use the biggest and baddest you have, for Science!
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 382 Member
    Just remember a bears vitals sit lower than a deers. The lower 2/3 of the body is where everything sits. Good luck
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,590 Senior Member
    That's been used, looking to get some field time with newer stuff

    Why? The '06 is pretty much tailor made for the kind of hunting you're talking about; makes a perfectly acceptable hole; can be zeroed in such a way as to give point blank aiming on a critter that size to about 325 yards; doesn't beat the crap out of you.

    But as has been said, you aren't dealing with charging rhinoceros - I'd be more concerned about configuration of rifle for the hunting you're doing than the round fired. Example: My primary deer rifle for the last five years has been a 24" '06 with a mil-reticle, side focus 4.5-14 shooting a 168 grain bullet a skosh under 3000 fps. The three deer I've killed with it have been standing at 140 yards and less. The experiment this year will be an 18" .308 with a 2.5-8 with a 130 grain bullet at 3000 fps. Not concerned about the effectiveness of either round, but thinking the .308 is set up in such a way as to make taking the shot easier.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • FlashoverFlashover Member Posts: 383 Member
    303 British. It's used to take more polar bear each year than any other round. Have used it to take 3 black bear and all were DRT.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,337 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Why? The '06 is pretty much tailor made for the kind of hunting you're talking about; makes a perfectly acceptable hole; can be zeroed in such a way as to give point blank aiming on a critter that size to about 325 yards; doesn't beat the crap out of you.


    I didn't mean not A 30-06, I meant MY 30-06, which has already drawn blood. I've been using a muzzleloader the last 3 years, so I've got several rifles that have never even been pointed at fur.

    What 130gr are you going to be using for the 308? Curious about that one. I've got several boxes of 130gr TSX I plan to try out if me and Calebib figure out the stock on my 308
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 13,750 Senior Member
    Johnny reb wrote: »
    Just remember a bears vitals sit lower than a deers. The lower 2/3 of the body is where everything sits. Good luck
    You are correct sir. I fixed my post above. I had to go back and look at my bear thread-- I thought I had hit him a bit low when in fact I had hit him a little higher than I had anticipated.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,217 Senior Member
    In PA they take black bear on a regular basis with 243 Winchester. 11 out of the biggest 20 black bear were killed in PA so the avg weight is probably higher than CO http://www.petersenshunting.com/galleries/bc-world-record-book-20-biggest-black-bears-of-all-time/

    I would take whatever you are comfy with.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 382 Member
    Use your 375 if you haven't taken anything with it. Out of the 26 I've killed the 30-30 and a 44 have taken the most.
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    Flashover wrote: »
    303 British. It's used to take more polar bear each year than any other round. Have used it to take 3 black bear and all were DRT.

    I find this very interesting. I got real interested in hunting a Grizzly several years ago and looked into suitable cartridges. I read all kinds of "wisdom" espousing bigger and bigger cartridges. Lots of people on lots of forums claiming a 375 h and h being minimum, and all that. I finally found my way to an Alaska forum where locals posted all the time, and they would make fun of all of that kind of stuff they would read. Plenty of guys on that board hunting grizzlys with .308s, and a few with .243s. Some of the Native Alaskans regularly hunted Grizzlys with 30/30s, and even .223s. I learned a lot during that little research phase. One of the things I learned was to Find people who regularly hunt what you are interested in hunting, and get your info from them.

    Please note I am not telling you to hunt a coastal grizzly with a .223 bolt gun or a .243, just a point of interest is all.
    It's because I hate Trump.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 18,961 Senior Member
    Thinking over what I would personally choose from my safe to spot and stalk hunt in the mountains as you described, I've narrowed it down to the following.

    Kimber Montana .308 Win w/ 3-9 UL Leupold & 165gr TB Bearclaw
    Rem 700 .260 Remington w/ 3-9x Leupold & 140gr A-Max
    Custom 6.5-284 Win w/ 3.5-10x Leupold & 130gr Scirrocco II
    Rem 700 7mm Mag w/ 3-9x Leupold & 162gr A-Max
    Rem 700 300 RUM w/ 3.5-10x Leupold & 208gr A-Max

    Those are the rifles I have that I feel are best suited for mountain hunting Black Bear.

    And those were chosen due to weight and configuration more than chambering.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,174 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Thinking over what I would personally choose from my safe to spot and stalk hunt in the mountains as you described, I've narrowed it down to the following.

    Kimber Montana .308 Win w/ 3-9 UL Leupold & 165gr TB Bearclaw
    Rem 700 .260 Remington w/ 3-9x Leupold & 140gr A-Max
    Custom 6.5-284 Win w/ 3.5-10x Leupold & 130gr Scirrocco II
    Rem 700 7mm Mag w/ 3-9x Leupold & 162gr A-Max
    Rem 700 300 RUM w/ 3.5-10x Leupold & 208gr A-Max

    Those are the rifles I have that I feel are best suited for mountain hunting Black Bear.

    And those were chosen due to weight and configuration more than chambering.

    What, no tire iron? :jester:
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 18,961 Senior Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »
    What, no tire iron? :jester:

    I would not be opposed to its usage.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 20,687 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    Just don't use a .270 :jester:

    Oh come on Ned, I've always got mine loaded for bear...:jester:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 20,687 Senior Member
    All BS aside, if I'm in bear country, and I don't care what color the bears be, whether black or brown, I'm not taking a .270, nor a .280 or .260 or 6.5-06. And a Bear isn't like a hog. For one thing a hog can't climb trees.
    I've heard hogs will chase you if you shoot at em or wound em. I have never experienced that. And I've never heard of a hog killing a man. But I've heard many stories of bears killing people even black bears. So to me, they're dangerous game. A 30-06 with minimum 180 grain bullet and preferably something bigger for me. You can call me chicken but at least I may survive to hear it.

    I can't think of a sweeter round for bear than a 9.3x62 with a minimum 250 grain bullet. That's my recommendation (preferably with a 12 inch bayonet on the end). Put a 250-270 grain bullet between his ears and he's gonna stop in his tracks or very close there on..
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
«1345

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file