Brown bear bullet decisions

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Powerguy, May 29, 2014.

  1. Powerguy

    Powerguy Well-Known Member

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    I have three hand loads for my .340 Weatherby that I have been shooting in preparation for a fall brown bear hunt. They are all grouping well. Probably does not make a big difference either way but would appreciate opinions on which bullet would be best to use based on your experience on a coastal brownie at 40-75 yards.

    250gr Barnes TSX FB

    275gr Swift A-Frame

    300gr Woodleigh Weldcore Round Nose Soft Nose
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  2. travelhunter

    travelhunter Well-Known Member

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    i have personal first hand experience on 2 bears
    1 9'6" and the other legit 10'1"
    one bear was shot with a 375 H&H mag
    the other succumbed to his injuries from a 375 ruger

    i first put a 300 gr solid in and then 3 soft point(expanding) bullets
    i also kept shooting until the gun was empty.I was told he was done around the second shot
    result:
    broken shoulder(both bears unable to run)
    double lung heart all shots take from 71 yards and 84 yards respectively
    DEAD BEARS
    for what its worth .Sir
     

  3. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. Keep in mind that I have never hunted brownies. The Barnes & Swift have a great reputation for integrity & penetration, I have no experience with the Woodleigh. With the yardage stated, i'd personally lean toward the Barnes as I have a pretty extensive working knowledge of that bullet.


    t
     
  4. Speedo

    Speedo Well-Known Member

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    I'm partial to Swift A-frames, I use them in my 375 H&H and shot a couple Grizzlies with excellent results. Last fall I shot a griz with a 250 grain Nosler Partition in my 338-378 Weatherby factory ammo when I ran out of primers and couldn't roll my own. They worked fine.

    Gus
     
  5. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    1 experience as a spectator. My partners BC grizzly, in BC. The 275 grain Swift worked great in terms of the bear died quickly. Bullet unrecovered, but I believe it's the bullet to beat in .338 when chasing big bears.

    You have 3 good choices I'd be completely comfortable with. A fourth might be the 300 Accubond. Supply might make my decision for me.
     
  6. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    My vote is for the 275 grain A frame. But, as others have stated, the others will do the job with extreme authority just as well.
     
  7. Powerguy

    Powerguy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all. They all are shooting well. My first 275gr Swift loads were a little hot but still grouping around 1.5" at 100yds. I have backed off the powder a little bit and will be finalizing my loads in the next few weeks. The Woodleigh's grouped about the same as well as the barnes.

    Trying to go with the heaviest bullet for the caliber so will probably bring both the A Frames and Woodleigh's on my hunt.
     
  8. 1100 Remington Man

    1100 Remington Man Well-Known Member

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    My vote would be with Swift A frame 275gr. All I have shot is a Black Bear, but I will tell you a friend of mine with a .340 Weatherby Mag flattened his Black Bear it never took a step. I know he was using factory ammo.
     
  9. sep

    sep Member

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    I've been party to killing 5 browns and 1 grizz. I used 225 grain Barnes Xbullets for four of em and the 225 grain Barnes TTSXs for the last two all in 338 Win Mag.

    It's a tradeoff and you'll be fine with any of em. The monolithics like Barnes will generally penetrate deeper than the controlled expansion type bullets of similar weight like the Swifts and Woodleighs. This is because the monolithics make a smaller wound channel than the others. The frontal expansion of the Swifts etc. will make a wider wound channel but will penetrate a bit less. I doubt either design will fail you.

    I personally have no need for bullets larger than 225 grains in the 338 Win Mag and have hunted with this combination exclusively since 1993. Almost all my experience is here in Alaska as I have lived here since 1985. Uncle Sam did move me out of state and back twice during my military career but the 338 Win Mag and 225 grain Barnes bullets have performed well for me on blacktails, caribou, moose, goat, black bear, browns and grizz. You'll have no problem with the 340 and any of the bullets you have chosen.
     
  10. jlreff

    jlreff Active Member

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    that barnes is the way to go. it will out preform a heavy lead bullet. I load a 185 barnes in my friends 340, for deer and elk. works great.
     
  11. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger Well-Known Member

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    They are all good. What velocity are you getting with each. . Reliability then accuracy is the most important with these 3 bullets. All else equal it would be a coin toss for me. In my 338 RUM I eventually decided that the 250 gr Swift A Frame factory load was about as good as I could get but the TTSX wasn't available then either.
    When in doubt I always knee jerk/ fall back to the Barnes.
    But any of the 3 are very good.
    The lighter bullet recoils with a little less momentum and is a little easier on the bedding.
    Ease of extraction is as important as any other factor when hunting brown bear, ie, give away that extra 75 fps in a given load to get better cycle function.
     
  12. Powerguy

    Powerguy Well-Known Member

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    300gr Woodleigh is around 2600fps with 78gr of Reloader22, 275gr Swift is around 2750fps with 81gr of Reloader 22 and 250 Barnes is around 2900fps with 84gr of Reloader 22. The 275gr Swift was a little sticky on ejection with 82g of Reloader 22.

    Thinking the more expansion the better on a brown bear. Want all of the bullet energy to go into the bear without pass through.
     
  13. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Any of those may exit depending on a lot of factors you'll only know in hindsight.
     
  14. Cold Trigger Finger

    Cold Trigger Finger Well-Known Member

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    The old bear guide theory was that you NEEDED 5' of penetration thru the bear. You do not want to overdo it on expansion. Remember the 340 ain't no howitzer when it comes to dumping a brown bear. !! It's a great round and a good bear round. But it ain't a 416 or a 458. . Take a running away shot on a 9' bear. If all your bullet does is make it to the pelvic girdle and smash it then that's OK. But if your bullet will smash it then keep going and destroy a lung or 2 that's better.
    On a chest shot or angled shoulder shot. Its good if u smash the shoulder or take out the heart and lungs. But its a lot better if you do that and your bullet keeps going and smashes the pelvis or a leg. .