Alaska Black Bear Caliber Choice?

Ckgworks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
895
Location
Washington
I like what I see in the 35 rem but don't own one. I have a Contender pistol, and recently picked up a 309 JDJ barrel and dies from a member here and have been really impressed so far. I believe from what I've seen JDJ maximizes what you can get out of a Contender but if you don't want to reload I think the 35 Rem is a good combination of shooting ease and power. However you did say rifle, so recoil from some of the larger bores shouldn't be bad. On another note, storage....... I would double, tripple wrap in oil, silicone socks, etc. any firearm left near the coast of AK. I put my aluminum arrows in a pvc storage tube upon returning from a AK moose hunt. 6 months later the tube was full of aluminum dust and fetching. The salt water in the air gets into everything. Obviously storage at another's home would be the best!
Sounds like a ton of fun!
 

APDDSN0864

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
188
Having lived and hunted in SE Alaska, as well as South Central and the Interior for most of my life, I have carried a Contender at times and settled on a .30-40 Krag.

Even without hot-rodding it, it has more punch than a .30-30, it’s able to reach out there for Sitka Blacktails with 130gr TTSX hand loads, or carry factory 180gr RNSP for bears.
Just my $0.02

Ed
 

frostop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2010
Messages
359
Location
ID
Well I have to admit that I tend to like single shot rifles, must be the bowhunter in me.

That and the switch barrel thing might come in handy, say a .410 stainless barrel to dispatch any large Halibut that I may catch.
 

DJ Morrison

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
90
Location
Wyoming
I agree with some of the other posters. Your in Alaska, the black ones generally don't get aggressive. Then there are the brown ones. They can get to be a problem, and the last thing you want on your hands is a wounded grizzly, with an attitude to kill you!! Use enough gun to take care of the problem. the deer and black ones won't know you used a bigger caliber to shoot them with...
 

yorke-1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
1,534
Location
WA
A 35 Remington will work great, but the 7x30 might be a bit better if 200 yards is a real possibility. The 7mm would give you better bullet options too.

I’ve had both in 14” Contender barrels, and I preferred the 35 Remington. I’m a medium bore fan though, so I’m a little biased. They both killed stuff just fine when the right bullet was matched to the modest velocity from those chamberings.
 

Ol' Red

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
1,640
Location
Wyoming
I like what I see in the 35 rem but don't own one. I have a Contender pistol, and recently picked up a 309 JDJ barrel and dies from a member here and have been really impressed so far. I believe from what I've seen JDJ maximizes what you can get out of a Contender but if you don't want to reload I think the 35 Rem is a good combination of shooting ease and power. However you did say rifle, so recoil from some of the larger bores shouldn't be bad. On another note, storage....... I would double, tripple wrap in oil, silicone socks, etc. any firearm left near the coast of AK. I put my aluminum arrows in a pvc storage tube upon returning from a AK moose hunt. 6 months later the tube was full of aluminum dust and fetching. The salt water in the air gets into everything. Obviously storage at another's home would be the best!
Sounds like a ton of fun!
Not to side track a thread, but are you shooting an early Contender? I was going to buy one of JD Jones 375 barrels when I lived in AK, but he would not sell it unless I shipped the frame to him to beef up. It was a six month turn around. Caribou season was coming up and I could not wait that long. I carried my .30 Herrett instead, but did not get close enough to connect with it.
 

ducky

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
559
Location
Colorado
I've been on two SE Alaskan black bear hunts with an Encore rifle and a Contender pistol. My first bear hunt my buddy used the pistol with a 14" .358 JDJ to take a bear slightly over 200 yards with a 200 grain Accubond. My second hunt while unsuccessful I hunted with an Encore rifle with 26" .375 JDJ barrel using 260 grain Accubonds.

I really liked the .375 JDJ and it was a stupid move selling off the barrel to try something different.
 

Ckgworks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
895
Location
Washington
No, not an early frame. I have heard the 375 jdj can be extra vicious though.....bent grip screws after 10 shots or so. I also shoot the 30 herrett which gets shot more due to it being much cheaper to reload.
 

phorwath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
7,749
Location
Alaska
Slightly off-topic. Owned a Ruger single shot once in 338-378 Weatherby, for the nostalgia. Killed a few moose with it. Sold it after function in the field became the priority over nostalgia... Never really liked it even while I was using it.

No plans to own another single shot rifle for hunting large game while I live in Alaska.
 

frostop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2010
Messages
359
Location
ID
Well, at present the plan is to try and get a bear tag for Kupreanof Island, I may be wrong but I don't think there are any of the brown bears on that Island. The bear hunting will likely be spot them from a boat and make my way to shore and stalk from there.

My contender is one of early ones just prior to the G2 version. The G2's are a little stronger and less likely to stretch.
The JDJ rounds are interesting but I already have enough reloading to do, don't really need another round that would have to be formed as well.
 

phorwath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
7,749
Location
Alaska
There may be a few brown bear on Kupreanof Island, according to this 2019 article. I've "cut and pasted a few sentences" from the article below.


I've never hunted Southeast, and I have no inside information on brown bears on the Islands in GMU 3. But this article suggests some brown bear on these islands as of 3 years ago.

"The islands of game management unit 3 are home to smaller and less dangerous black bears. In the last few decades residents have reported sightings of the larger and more dangerous brown bears. Bears are able to walk and swim from the mainland to these islands.
Petersburg hunter and former hunting guide Paul Lutomski told the board he's seen multiple bears on the island and believes there's a healthy population here. "A lot of these bears that are being seen by others are in areas that are heavily recreated and I think it's only a matter of time before there's an incidence with a bear and a person," Lutomski said.
The board initially voted down that amendment but later reconsidered and decided to allow a hunter one bear every four years, similar to the bag limits in other parts of Southeast. The fall season will be open in game management unit 3, namely Mitkof, Wrangell, Zarembo, Kupreanof and Kuiu islands.
"
 

Ol' Red

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
1,640
Location
Wyoming
Well, at present the plan is to try and get a bear tag for Kupreanof Island, I may be wrong but I don't think there are any of the brown bears on that Island. The bear hunting will likely be spot them from a boat and make my way to shore and stalk from there.

My contender is one of early ones just prior to the G2 version. The G2's are a little stronger and less likely to stretch.
The JDJ rounds are interesting but I already have enough reloading to do, don't really need another round that would have to be formed as well.
That is why I went a .35 Remington from a .357 Herrett. Now I miss the 357 Herrett, but I still like the .35 Rem for convenience.
 

frostop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2010
Messages
359
Location
ID
Well that's interesting.
There may be a few brown bear on Kupreanof Island, according to this 2019 article. I've "cut and pasted a few sentences" from the article below.


I've never hunted Southeast, and I have no inside information on brown bears on the Islands in GMU 3. But this article suggests some brown bear on these islands as of 3 years ago.

"The islands of game management unit 3 are home to smaller and less dangerous black bears. In the last few decades residents have reported sightings of the larger and more dangerous brown bears. Bears are able to walk and swim from the mainland to these islands.
Petersburg hunter and former hunting guide Paul Lutomski told the board he's seen multiple bears on the island and believes there's a healthy population here. "A lot of these bears that are being seen by others are in areas that are heavily recreated and I think it's only a matter of time before there's an incidence with a bear and a person," Lutomski said.
The board initially voted down that amendment but later reconsidered and decided to allow a hunter one bear every four years, similar to the bag limits in other parts of Southeast. The fall season will be open in game management unit 3, namely Mitkof, Wrangell, Zarembo, Kupreanof and Kuiu islands.
"


The 35 remington just seems like a round that hasn't gotten the attention that it should have. There are so many other rounds available anymore in other platforms some of these just get overlooked and forgotten.
Having lived and hunted in SE Alaska, as well as South Central and the Interior for most of my life, I have carried a Contender at times and settled on a .30-40 Krag.

Even without hot-rodding it, it has more punch than a .30-30, it’s able to reach out there for Sitka Blacktails with 130gr TTSX hand loads, or carry factory 180gr RNSP for bears.
Just my $0.02

Ed
The 30-40 Krag is another example of that, I never even looked at it till mentioned here, it sits right in between a 30-30 and 30.06. So that is another viable round for what I am wanting. The 35 Rem is probably more available "normally". But nothing is normal right now, but getting better as the days go by.

I called the local hardware store up there and asked what ammo they had on the shelf. Of course non of the contender rounds were on the shelf. He did have .270 and 30.06. So the thought process continues.
 
Last edited:
Top