Your Help required please

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by leon-1, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. leon-1

    leon-1 New Member

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    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 /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  2. dakor

    dakor Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. leon-1

    leon-1 New Member

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    Many thanks dakor /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif , 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. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    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 /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  4. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    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).
     
  5. leon-1

    leon-1 New Member

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    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

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  6. dakor

    dakor Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. 5Redman8

    5Redman8 Well-Known Member

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    My suggestion would be 9.3x62

    Good enough for Cape Buff, good enough for Polar Bear!!

    JMO,
    Kyle
     
  8. leon-1

    leon-1 New Member

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    Thanks very much guys, I have passed on your recommendations to Abbe and will look into the other suggestions for my trip, your help has been very much appreciated.

    Thank you for answering the questions of a newbie /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  9. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    i agree with buffbob,but then we agree on everything.for up close and personal, go with a big dia bullet.a 375 rum would do the job.
     
  10. Saulg

    Saulg Active Member

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    What is funny is that the Sumi, Laplanders etc. who live there year round mostly use military surplus rifles in 6.5 x 55 Swede as there hunting and protection rifle.

    Our camp is in a polar bear migratory route and the camp ground is protected with a signal wire that sends a charge to the bear and sends a signal to the camp. The cookhouse has a 12 gauge loaded with 2 slugs and a 000 buckshot, and 2 Marlin Lever Guns one in .41 Mag and the other in .45/70. We can't have handguns in Canada for hunting or protection in the wild.

    We have a half dozen single shot 12 gauges around the camp all loaded with "banger" shells that shoot an exploding sound charge to scare the bears away. Get into big trouble if you kill them unless they charge or attack then you can kill them.

    My personal guns are both Westley Richards bolt guns the first in .425 WR which is never out of my hands when I'm out of doors and close at hand indoors and the other is in .318 WR which I feel is adequate but prefer definite so I carry the .425. I have it loaded with a soft nosed (chambered) followed by two solids and then another soft. I have never had to shoot a polar bear, came close so many times but they luckily backed off at the last minute. My partner is buying a used Z-Hat lever gun based on the 1895 Winchester chambered in .375 Scoville-Hawk as his personal carry rifle. Have heard very good things about the cartridge and also about the .411 Hawk although the butt looks very scary for recoil. I'd put a good pad on before anything.

    The most we ever had around camp were 7 bears at one time and 25 over the fishing/hunting season. You shoot the bangers and they go away but come back 4,5 even 7 times before they get the idea they aren't wanted or invited to dinner.

    The polar bear is the only known bear that will deliberately stalk a human. They are fantastic hunters, can smell a freshly dead fish miles away, are powerful beyond belief, have paws that can be 16" wide and they are the most effective stalkers I've ever seen. All white but disappear in a field of green. You see them stalking lemmings or ptarmigan and they look like huge cats.

    Be very, very careful and vigilant and make sure you have a signal wire setup around your campsite. Small ones that would cover about 20' to a side and have on each corner has a banger and flare are available. Set it up before doing anything else.

    The Inuit (Eskimo) say to shoot a charging bear in the nose to stop him. Behind the ear is the safest immediate kill.

    This hasn't answered your question about caliber but I hope this helped some, Best wishes for a safe and uneventful trek.