Advice on load selection for a new bear hunter

willtim

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I went bear hunting for the very first time in the mountains of SC. On the last day I caught a glimpse of a bear through a laurel thicket and I'm hooked. I am currently in the process of building a rifle for whitetails. It is a blueprinted 700 action on a 20 inch Proof Sendero Light 1:8 with a Timney trigger bedded in an AG Composites stock. 7mm-08. My original plan was to load 140 grain Accubonds around 2900 fps. Now I'm thinking 160 grain Partitions at around 2600-2700 fps. Where i hunt 90% of the time you can't see 80 yards although there is potential for 200 yard shots. Advice, please.
 

BallisticsGuy

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Anything that's not a varmint pill or a target only bullet will flat kill a black bear at that distance. I'd pay a lot more attention to learning their anatomy so you can get good shot placement. It's not super intuitive where the vital bits are since they tend to be a bit on the fluffy side. The parts you want to drill a bullet through are a good bit higher up than you might at first think. For bullets, hell a Core-Lokt is all you need. Anything better than that is icing.
 

dogz

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I went bear hunting for the very first time in the mountains of SC. On the last day I caught a glimpse of a bear through a laurel thicket and I'm hooked. I am currently in the process of building a rifle for whitetails. It is a blueprinted 700 action on a 20 inch Proof Sendero Light 1:8 with a Timney trigger bedded in an AG Composites stock. 7mm-08. My original plan was to load 140 grain Accubonds around 2900 fps. Now I'm thinking 160 grain Partitions at around 2600-2700 fps. Where i hunt 90% of the time you can't see 80 yards although there is potential for 200 yard shots. Advice, please.

You're golden with what you have in the works. Make the first shot count and you'll be fine. Bruins can be problematic to follow up and locate if the first shot isn't spot on.
 

LVJ76

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Personally, the Partition as mentioned on your other thread is the perfect choice. Just can't go wrong at those ranges

Either the 140gr, 150gr or 160gr version will work. And all will be good out to 400 yds or more depending elevation.
 

HunterMann

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On any bear it is the first shot that is most important. Study the anatomy and lots of pictures of bears. You need to focus on the bear's vital zone. All that fur can be confusing compared to a deer. They are not built the same as deer, so remember to visualize the VZ and adjust the point of impact on the target.
 

Airedale56

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calling4life

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Personally I like bonded, will settle for mono metal like the triple shock.

Looks like those accubonds are a bonded bullet, but they do have a 160gr and I would definitely go there for the higher probability of good, deep, straight line penetration.

Looks like there is a Swift A frame in 160gr as well, stellar reputation on this bonded bullet, even in Africa on Dangerous game. This would be my number one choice.

Nothing against the partition, it has been wildly successful for many for many years, but we've used spears for about 400,000 years as well, they still aren't going to be my choice, we've got better.

So I'd go bonded, 160 or 165gr I'd love, 150+ grain for sure. Unless you're talking killing over bait or treed bears with hounds, then use about whatever is legal with a big hollow point as you can really pick your shot.

I like knowing if something just didn't go quite perfectly, that my follow up shots are with a good bonded bullet that will hold together while punching through bone or much more tissue to get to that boiler room. Whether it's running away or at me, or putting a hard quartering away through a hip, imperfect first shot can make a tough second, third, and so on an ethical/moral necessity sometimes.
 

twister

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that will work, sameish but different is the 308. and the 152 hammers works a treat and no meat loss at 50yards and flattened my bear this year. the 143 or so would be great out of the 7mm-08
 

gyrfalcon

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Oct 13, 2021
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calgary, Alberta
I went bear hunting for the very first time in the mountains of SC. On the last day I caught a glimpse of a bear through a laurel thicket and I'm hooked. I am currently in the process of building a rifle for whitetails. It is a blueprinted 700 action on a 20 inch Proof Sendero Light 1:8 with a Timney trigger bedded in an AG Composites stock. 7mm-08. My original plan was to load 140 grain Accubonds around 2900 fps. Now I'm thinking 160 grain Partitions at around 2600-2700 fps. Where i hunt 90% of the time you can't see 80 yards although there is potential for 200 yard shots. Advice, please.
Your 140 grain accubonds in your 7-08 are perfectly fine for big whitetail bucks, elk and black-bear. Black bears are not heavy boned animals and are easy to kill with a well placed shot. Sounds you are building a fine set-up👌
 

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