Firstly I think I should say hello, as you can see my name is Leon. My background is a bit mixed, but I spent 11years as a sniper in HM Forces and trialled the LRLCR for the British forces.
In 2007 I am due to take part in an Expedition walking across greenland towing my gear with me, I have been asked about what rifle I will require if the need arised to take down a polar bear, the DPC who have done a lot of research on these things suggest something larger than a .308 at 220 grains, I personally would say something 250 grain or larger. Has anyone here ideas on calibre for this or has anyone hunted Polar Bear (obviously within the law).
Secondly a friend of mine is a hunter in Sweden and has been happy with his 6.5mm swedish (he has been usin 6.5mm lapua mega @ 158 grain), but recently they have had a problem with brown bear (not the same size as yours, but still dangerous) he is concerned about the calibre not being enough for the job in the event that he had to shoot a chargeing bear. Obviously the man is a subsistence hunter not trophy, at the same time if he is going to shoot something he does not want to cause suffering and would rather not carry 2 rifles. He would normally be hunting elk and moose, can you suggest a rifle with a caliber that is acceptable for his purpose.
Sorry to open with questions, and many thanks for any suggestions to the questions posed. Leon [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
Well I would look at a 300 Win Mag with 200 or 220 Partitions as a good start. Phil Shoemaker is a famous Brown Bear guide in Alaska and he said he has used a 30/06 with 200gr bullets for Brown Bear charges with good results. But if it was me I would take a look at a 338 Win or a 375 H&H. For long range Moose and Elk a 338win will shoot a little flatter than a 375 H&H but there are some new bullets out for the 375 H&H like the 260gr Accubond. Myself I would take a 375 with 260gr Accubonds and hunt anything up to cape buff with them. I do not know how you handle recoil but you might also want to take a look at the 338 Ultra mag or 340 Weatherby as well. You could always put a muzzle brake on the rifle.
Many thanks dakor [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] , I am familiar with .338 Lapua as it is one of the calibers that I used on the LRLCR trial and then subsequently in our sniper rifles,
It is a caliber that I had suggested to my friend in Sweden, but had to admit that it would of only been a guess (buest guess scenario) as I have no experience of hunting elk, moose or bear. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]
So far the best that I have managed to get out and shoot (as part of a cull) is reindeer and Zebra (both with 7.62mm @ 180 grain).
Once again thanks for your time, Leon [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
As I understand it you are not hunting, you are defending your self at close range. The requirement of the gun is to quickly incapacitate an animal at a range of 30 meters or less.
Put your sniper skills in the garbage can for this one (except for the ability to stay calm when chaos erupts). Open iron sights. Short barrel. I would personally prefer a 375 or larger diameter heavy full metal jacket bullet at moderate velocity. Never shot a polar bear but I have hunted stuff that was more dangerous. You just can't beat a fast handling gun with iron sights and FMJs for up close breaking bones. Once you got some bones broken you can light up a smoke, tell a joke, and then finish the job. I have never used hard cast lead but it serves the same purpose, so they say.
Iron sights do not fog up, and if you paint them with glow in the dark stuff they work when you are most likely to need them. They ain't cool but they are ever so deadly at 15 feet (5 meters for you).
thanks buffalobob, in my case you are more than correct, but Abbe (my friend) in Sweden is a subsistence hunter and his needs are different from mine. Hence me asking about what would be suitable for him shooting, elk, moose and possibly bear in defence.
Obviously iron sights are better for extremes of cold anyway (I spent 4 and a half months in South Georgia 800 miles south east of the Falkland Islands Hence the cull of Reindeer).
Once again thank you.
Any information that can be provided on this subject is gratefully recieved, Leon
Leon-1 for your friend a 338 Lapua would work well for Moose, Elk, and Bear. But if he does not want to go that big any of the .338's would work well. If he wants a 30cal I would go with a 300 win mag or 300 Ultra mag with 200grain bullets. Myself if I was hunting mostly Moose and Elk and wanted something for bear defense I would use a 300win mag with 200gr Accubonds or Partitions. For you I would go with a 375 H&H with 300gr Bullets that should do a number on any bear. I hope this helps.