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.308 load for MN black bear?

 
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:55 AM
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.308 load for MN black bear?

So, I've been told by a friend of mine to enter the lottery for a MN bear license this year (it's free so what the heck, right?). This got me to thinking about what ammo for my .308 to use for hunting. MN black bears range in size from 150-500 lbs, though the average is more in the 200-300lbs range. Pretty much all shots are closer range, under 200 yards and most shots are within bow distance at 20-30 yards, at least where we will be hunting. I just started hand loading, so it's not a problem to make my own rounds. I am thinking about something along the lines of 180gr Hornady Interbonds and try to run them at around 2600fps. Anyone have suggestions?
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:48 PM
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Re: .308 load for MN black bear?

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Originally Posted by emn83 View Post
So, I've been told by a friend of mine to enter the lottery for a MN bear license this year (it's free so what the heck, right?). This got me to thinking about what ammo for my .308 to use for hunting. MN black bears range in size from 150-500 lbs, though the average is more in the 200-300lbs range. Pretty much all shots are closer range, under 200 yards and most shots are within bow distance at 20-30 yards, at least where we will be hunting. I just started hand loading, so it's not a problem to make my own rounds. I am thinking about something along the lines of 180gr Hornady Interbonds and try to run them at around 2600fps. Anyone have suggestions?

Sounds like you need a big, slow bullet that could go through some brush without exploding. Just glanced at the Hornady 220 gr InterLock RN. Some of the guys should be able to advise if it might work. You would still want some long range rounds in your pocket for the occasional longer shot. How slow could said bullet be loaded, anyone?
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:00 PM
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Re: .308 load for MN black bear?

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Originally Posted by JimBoIHN View Post
Sounds like you need a big, slow bullet that could go through some brush without exploding. Just glanced at the Hornady 220 gr InterLock RN. Some of the guys should be able to advise if it might work. You would still want some long range rounds in your pocket for the occasional longer shot. How slow could said bullet be loaded, anyone?
somehow blanked on wanting something that could break brush. Thanks for pointing that out
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:29 PM
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Re: .308 load for MN black bear?

I've never had much luck shooting through brush with anything shoulder mounted. I haven't had a 308 for a very long time, when I shot 220 Silvertips in a 600 Remington it tested my dental work every time. It also left lengthy wound channels, and decisive exit holes. The 220 grain Nosler partition is also a solid performer up close. I haven't shot the Hornady 220, but have no doubts it would perform up close.
Big bears + thick cover + close range + bad angles (possibly going away) = tough tracking
Exit holes mean a lot to me in these situations.
I'd consider the 200 Accubond. It will give a bit better performance at moderate ranges , and won't give up much in close. Just rough numbers, but if you use 1800fps as minimum for expansion the Nosler 220 at 2400fps fades under this past about 250 yards, the 200 Accubond at 2500fps drops below this at 450 yards.
Others prefer some of the harder monometal bullets, but these 2 have worked for me in a variety of 30 caliber rifles. Good Luck!
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:15 AM
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Re: .308 load for MN black bear?

When I hunted in the Adirondacks of NY my partner and i always used a 180 gr Silver tip in our 308's.... No special bullet or reloads. We shot two bears with them. No problems anchoring them.

With dangerous game I recommend factory rounds especially if you're a beginner at reloading. I have reloaded for over 35 years and use factory ammo for dangerous game.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:43 AM
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Re: .308 load for MN black bear?

I killed both my black bears and my wolf with a 150gr Hornady GMX, superformance out of my single shot CVA Apex. DRT!!!
Ive killed a 500 Black bear, which if you see one in MN shoot it because they dont come that big very often, but a MN bear will fail to any 308 load 150gr or bigger, if you want a 165 or 180 to make you feel better that is great but its not needed.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:41 PM
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Re: .308 load for MN black bear?

.308 Winchester.... 180gr Super-X Power Point muzzle velocity at 2620fps the energy is about 2743ft-lbs.This is a great hunting bullet for average size bear. Very accurate in a good hand load.. or heck don't have time buy a box of factory.
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