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bear hunters undergunned ?

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Unread 01-03-2011, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 69
Re: bear hunters undergunned ?

I've hunted Southeast Ak three times with a group of guys for black bears. I saw a small 6' fat black bear take a perfect shot straight on to the chest with a 180gr Nosler Pat. 30-06 at 30yrds. It flopped on the ground for about 3 sec. then got on it's feet and started running full speed at my Buddie. I don't think it was charging him, but he was just standing in the direction the bear wanted to go. My buddie anchored him on the second shot. Needless to say the next year we built bigger guns! The next year my buddie shot a nice 7.5' black bear at 100yrds broadside with a 338win, 225gr part. It was a perfect shoulder shot, but the dang thing got up and started heading for the tree's. Thats when I hit him with my 338. Ultra with 225 AB. When We skinned that bear we found both bullets under the skin on the opposite side. Bears are built totally different then deer and Elk. They aren't as impressed with numbers. On paper a 7mm RUM has the juice, but a 375h&h is way better.
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Unread 02-16-2011, 07:25 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 98
Re: bear hunters undergunned ?

I hope I don't anger anyone here on LONG Range Hunting by mentioning a slow moving, fairly short range round.

I hunted black bears about 400 miles north of Montreal a couple of years ago. I took a 45/70 guide gun shooting 350g Corbons and 2 buddies of mine each took 300 Win Mags. Can't remember their bullet weights or brand but I do recall thinking that the bullets were, in my opinion, lightweight. I fired one round at a bear from about 40 yards and dropped it. Aimed exactly at the shoulder. My buddies on the other hand, at the same ranges, fired 2 - 3 rounds to kill their bears.

Guys have killed cape buffalo with 45/70s GGs in Africa. Although I wasn't shooting the 560g rounds African hunters were, I didn't feel undergunned in Canada. I should say that my first two rounds in my GG were 350s the third was a 405g flat point penetrator and the fourth round was a 460g corbon hardcast. the 460g round was for me in case the bear was mean and tough enough to get through the first 3 hits.

I had a firearms instructor from Arizona once say in a class that the mass of a bullet, along with good shot placement, is what neutralizes an attacker. At least in shooting a bear, I'd have to agree with his assessment.

Last edited by Nobody; 02-16-2011 at 07:33 PM.
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Unread 04-02-2011, 06:57 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
Re: bear hunters undergunned ?

I have been to South Africa twice, & the PH there told me that he gets a lot of clients who come with too big a rifle, that they just can't shoot accurately. The 460 Wby is just this sort of gun, with impressive velocity & energy, but many people just can't aim it properly when they know that a huge thump of recoil is coming. I have a 375 H&H, which I can shoot accurately without flinching (at least for about the first 10 shots!) It is far more important to hit your target animal in a vital area with an adequate rifle than hit it somewhere else (or miss it) with a cannon. I have not hunted bear, but my "little" 375 H&H will be with me when I hunt buffalo in Australia later this year.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 12:07 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 373
Re: bear hunters undergunned ?

You cannot compare black bear hunting to brown bear hunting, not at all. Two very different animals and a drastic difference in size. I hunt black bears regularly with a 280 AI, and that is plenty of gun. I wouldn't take that out for griz or kodiaks though. It would kill, but it just isn't the best choice. I would want at least a 338 caliber. My favorite is the 358 Norma Mag for griz. That is what I use when I hunt them. Self-Defense is another story.

With brown bears, the best place to hit them is in the shoulder. Break the animal down, eliminate its mobility, and it will go down. If you do have to take a quick shot in defense, a 12 gauge slug is a great choice. If you by chance do hit the bear in the skull, the slug will make more solid contact than a higher speed, smaller rifle projectile. This will usually knock a bear down.

Your 460 would be plenty to crack the skull though, and would likely not glance off.

Hunting, any high power rifle will work. It is for the defensive situations that you should plan for, and in those I want a 12 gauge with slugs and 000 buck interchanging, or a 45-70 repeater. If you have to use a handgun, make it 454 or larger. A 44 Mag is often underpowered against a big griz or kodiak. the 454 casull has more energy and velocity at 100 yards than an equally barrelled 44 Mag load. I carry a 454 Ruger Alaskan when I am in bear country as a back up to the rifle or when I am fishing and carrying a rifle isn't always handy.

Last edited by Lapua guy; 04-04-2011 at 12:11 PM.
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