7x57 & 120 TTSX for black bear

Discussion in 'Bear Hunting' started by Jasper2017, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. Jasper2017

    Jasper2017 Previously Brent Barrows

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    Is a 7x57 loaded with Barnes 120gr. TTSX suitable for black Bear? Pa's black bear season is just around the corner and I have a bunch of this ammo loaded and was thinking about trying it.
     
  2. rharfo

    rharfo Well-Known Member

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    Ill be huntin the pa woods for said black bear as well. I would run the 120 ttsx. I watched a two shot kill with the 140 accubond out of a 7 rem mag on a 200lb black bear two seasons ago. I'm running a 308 with 165 bonded bullets this year. Shoot till it stops moving and maybe shoot again. They can be tuff!
     
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  3. FIGJAM

    FIGJAM Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Yes, that will be plenty of gun and a good bullet choice as well. My 11 year old son took a nice 250lb black bear last fall at 300 yards with a 243 and an 87gr hornady SST. One shot DRT. Good luck on the hunt! We spot and stalk instead of sitting over a bait, so our shots can be a little longer.
     
  4. Alibiiv

    Alibiiv Active Member

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    I've been hunting Maine black bear for about eight years now, have shot seven bear over that time period; and, by no means do I consider myself to be an expert bear hunter. I have been to almost as many outfitters over these years as well. Will the 7 X 57, 120 grain TTSX take a bear, "probably" it will "if" the right shot, and "if" the right bear presents itself. But......with that stated, I firmly believe that a larger caliber would make a much better caliber to hunt bear with. I hunt with 225 grain TSXs in my 35 Whelen and my .358 Winchester; every bear that I have shot with either caliber either dropped right there, or they've gone about 25 feet and died. The last two outfitters who I went with, would not have let you hunt with the 7X57 with "120" grain bullets! And....I consider taking a shot at a bear at 300 yards with a 243 and 87gr bullets to be highly unethical hunting! And you read that it was killed with the .243; however, how does the rest of the story go?? How far did the bear go before it was recovered? Unless the bear was struck directly in the head with the shot, I will guarantee you that it was no DRT!! There's a big difference between a 7X57 and a 7mm Rem Mag equally as well (like 400-500fps with equal weight bullets). If you are set on the 7X57 caliber I strongly recommend something in the 150-160 grain bullet; Barnes makes a 150gr TSX BT, and a 160TSX. I like Barnes bullets and hunt strictly with them due to how they perform. This year's bear weighed in at 234 pounds, I shot it from 75 yards, frontal shot quartering a little to the left. She dropped in her tracks. I consider the shot to have been a good shot, came out behind the front-left shoulder. This bear had eight inches of fat on her back side, and almost as much on her hind quarters. A 120 grain bullet at 2800fps or thereabouts (7X57) is just not going to cut it going through this much tissue and probably will explode upon impact in that much fat! I think that the caliber (7X57) is "okay" with the right bullet, however the 120 grain bullet is too light for bear hunting. What happens if the bear of a lifetime (400-500lb) comes out, presents itself, you shoot the bear and it gets away due to bullet failure? A couple of years ago I saw a 200lb black bear that was shot with a 300WSM, 165 Federal Premium bullet. The entry wound was just in front of the left hind leg, it hit some thick fat tissue and stopped just inside of the lungs; it was a slight quartering away shot! The guides had to look for a few hours before they found the bear. I could go on here forever with light bullets on heavy game, and for me a large black bear fits into that category of heavy game animal.
     
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  5. FIGJAM

    FIGJAM Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Thats pretty funny. Black bears aren’t that tough and they don’t require a cannon. Maybe your Maine blackbears are tougher than my Idaho bears, but I doubt it. We hear it all the time and it is true, bullet selection and shot placement. BTW - the bear didn’t take a step, he died right where he was shot. And a 120gr bullet out of a 7mm going 2800fps is going to explode because it hits fat? Come on man...SMH. I have been hunting black bears for a long time and killed several at long distances common out west. If you want to hunt with a large magnum caliber do it, I have them and hunted with several, but they aren’t neccesary. That 7x57 loaded with 120gr TTSX bullets will be awesome and work just fine.
     
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  6. Capt RB

    Capt RB Well-Known Member

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    I ran hounds on bears for a few seasons and saw alot of different kills on juiced up bears not static feeding bears. The bear with the most wrecked insides I saw was done with a 243, 85grn serria at 3250fps. My 300 wby didn't do the damage that little 243 did. Everything from 375 winchester to that 243 was used over our hounds. All were at fully engaged blacks that are far harder to kill than a feeding unaware bear.
    Your choice will be fine with the positive of it will have 2 holes instead of one. Take the time to learn where on that bear to put your bullet.
     
  7. Alibiiv

    Alibiiv Active Member

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    Wow I guess I ruffled some feathers with this post. I suspected that I would. Now it proba could be that the Maine black bears are tougher than they are in your neck of the woods. Probably why most of the guides in Maine like the 45-70s and the Whelen! I am not going to get into a p-----g contest here with you about what caliber is the most deadly caliber on the planet. If you think that the .243, 87grain bullet is an adequate cartridge,on a 300lb black bear at 300yds, then by all means that is what you ought to hunt with! We all have opinions, apparently I am a minority here (Capt RB and yours) about the .243 caliber and its capabilities. The most devastation that I have ever seen was from a 6.5 RemMag on a large doe that I shot at 280 yards with a 140gr Nosler bullet. When I field dressed the animal, the insides ran out of the cavity. With that said, it doesn't mean that I am going to hunt everything on the planet with it. There are famous big game hunters who have written about killing everything on this planet with a .270, and others who have claimed to have killed every possible animal that there is to hunt with the .303 British and the 6.5X55 Swede, THAT doesn't make them the best caliber to hunt these animals with. And "yes" the fat on a black bear will eat the the energy of a 120gr bullet going 2800fps. What I wrote about the 165gr Sierra bullet from the 300WSM is a true story. We recovered the bullet when we dressed the bear out. The bullet came out looking like the poster child for the perfect mushroom/expansion of a bullet, trouble is that it lost all of its penetration and stopped far shorter than it should have. That bear was tracked for a good part of the day before it was recovered. From the angle that it was shot at, one would think that his was a perfect shot, and...it would have been if it was a 180 grain or heavier bullet instead of the 165, the shot was less than 100 yards; probably 50-60 yards. And....maybe the 120 gr, 7X57 will get the job done, but I do know that the 150 or 160 grain bullet out of that same caliber WILL do a better job with a lot less of "maybe"! One last thing about hunting black bear in Maine. The shots are not long, the shots are usually over bait that is placed in heavily wooded areas with shooting lanes. If you shoot a bear, it does not go down quickly, gets into the thick woods, and you don't have a through and through blood shot, you have a tracking nightmare on your hands. One more last thing. I would like to tell you that I really like reading about fathers taking their kids out hunting, its one of the best gifts a parent can give. I work with inner-city kids, for most this is a gift that they will never receive or experience. My son is now 50 years old, we have been hunting since he was 15, and our hunting trips are still the highlight of our lives. We are planning our next trip while we are on our present one.
     
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  8. Jasper2017

    Jasper2017 Previously Brent Barrows

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    The reason I wanted to try 7mm 120 TTSX on bear is that I loaded up a bunch for whitetails and thought I would try them on a bear. I'm real comfortable with the rifle and these loads are traveling 2850fps and I'm getting less than 1/2 groups at 100yds. I called and talked to a Barnes Tec. and told him what I had and if it would work, I was told by all means that bullet would handle a black bear. I have bigger guns but I think bigger is not always better (maybe I'm wrong) I have hunted over 50yrs and I know shot placement is the key to success, I seen a guy shoot a bear at 100yds with a 30-06 loaded with 180 core lokt and, that animal got away.
     
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  9. Capt RB

    Capt RB Well-Known Member

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    I've been a part of about 100 bear kills. Biggest was 525 dressed. The bear killed with that 243 was shot at 70ish feet in a tree was 304 dressed. Most of the others with the first shot at least were shot the same way. The guides I know in Maine don't or didn't use to set their clients up much further than 40-50 yds if that. Most adequate bullets in a 6mm and up centerfire will kill an average bear with proper bullet placement at maximum point blank range. A 6mm bullet is marginal at best for bear medicine. However the experience I have showed how devastating it can be. The 13yo that shot that bear couldn't have done any better with any thing else that day. That happened back in 1988.
    The barnes bullet as other copper bullets perform far better than a cup n core bullet for bear. When they open up the petals are sharp so they cut. If they break off they are more lethal than a cup n core bullet. I saw bears of decent size shot with them. If I was running hounds again I'd run that type of bullet in my 06. I know it will have 2 holes which is key for bear hunting the way I hunted them.
     
  10. Alibiiv

    Alibiiv Active Member

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    You are point on with the distances that the Maine outfitters set their sites up at, 40-50 yards. My point about the guides liking the Whelen and the 45-70s was that the guides like them because the do not have to track the animal, or if they do the tracking is minimal. The guides all like a through-and-through wound channel if they can get it. My first bear (150lb) was with a 30-06, 180 grain Barnes TSX, from about fifty yards at a moving bear. The bear was quartering away from me, as I squeezed the trigger it decided to change directions. Instead of a raking shot into the chest cavity, the bullet entered just in front of the left rear hind leg and came out just behind the front right leg/shoulder. It wasn't my proudest or greatest shots, however it was a through-and-through and pretty easy to track in the dark. I hunt out of ground blinds because I cannot climb tree stands due to a back injury. I will let the outfitter know, and will ask for a site that is a little further from the bait if possible; I swear that a bear can hear you breath!! My last bear was 234 pounds, shot at about 70 yards, bullet hit center chest slightly quartering to the left, and came out just behind the left shoulder, bear humped up and went down, then moaned for about 5 minutes and died; 35 Whelen 225 grain Barnes TSX. There was lung tissue coming out of the exit hole. The year before was a 205lb bear, .358 Winchester 200gr TTSX, 50 yards, shoulder to shoulder broad side, through-and-through, went 20 feet and piled up. So yes the copper bullets do their job. I've yet to use the 45-70, but have the Barnes TSX hollow points for it, problem is that they are really expensive to shoot; $20 for a box of 20 heads! That's it I'm done typing here, great reading everyone's posts and getting their input on hunting experiences.
     
  11. Capt RB

    Capt RB Well-Known Member

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    Your choice(s) of caliber are beyond adequate and optimum for your situation. What the guides want in there set-ups are again for the situations they are in so they don't have to go into areas so thick you have to push through back wards. I get and I've done it. I know what it's like to have a bear growl at me I couldn't see inside of 50' in raspberry tangles. That's not the same question and doesn't have the same answer the op asked. His choice of 7mm bullets are going to give him his through and through. His up close energy will not be squandered due to a bullet disintegration. He will just have a smaller hole than your choice.
     
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  12. Waynzee

    Waynzee Well-Known Member

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    I've killed a few bears in my life, and I'll tell ya from my experience heavier bullets in a larger caliber is better. You don't want a wounded bear coming at you because of a minimal shot placement. And that could happen to even the most experienced hunter. Don't under estimate a black bear.
     
  13. Alibiiv

    Alibiiv Active Member

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    Thanks for the post, it is exactly what I have been trying to put across. Its not always a sterile shot when we hunt. We all try to make that perfect, ethical shot with proper shot placement. However things do not always go as planned, and will go sideways in a hurry. Three or four seasons ago I was with an outfitter in Maine who had a large group of hunters from Ohio hunting with him. One of the hunters shot a bear at the barrel with a 30-06, and....it "should" have been dead from the shot. When we went in to help take the bear out, it was at the bottom of the tree stand, where he shot it coming up the ladder.