What bullet for California Black Bear

Iron Worker

Well-Known Member
Apr 3, 2004
Reno Nevada
I have a 300RUM.Going Black Bear hunting october 1st.Guide uses dogs said shot could be from as close as 20 yds to 200.For under 60yds if we tree a bear.What about a Nosler 220gr Partion.And anything farther out a Nosler 200grAccubond.Guide says he hashad clients shoot bears close to 700lbs.Never shot a Bear before excited about trying one of these new bullets[partions have been around for decades,I know]
Go with the 200 accubond.

I'm a one-load/rifle guy.

Chris, in todays hunting world everyone think they need an elephant gun to kill a sparrow.
my neighbor has lion-bear dogs-lets just say i could build a couple nice lr. rigs for the price of 1 of his dogs.chris is right ,black bear really arent that tough to kill-they are considered "thin skinned game",mine dropped to a 140g nbt out of my 7-08ai and left nice big hole coming out the other side-if u are going to be hunting w/dogs the chances of a "treed" bear are quite high[then again some just wont "tree up"like u want them too]-good luck to you-dave
Anything in that cannon will work. 300 RUM is kinda overkill for black bears. They are not a heavy boned, thick skinned animal. Any deer sized caliber bullet combo will work, say anything from 243 on up. I'm gonna get a bit of arguement on the 243 but put the bullet where it belongs and it will kill a bear. I took 2 this last spring in Canada with a 308 and 175 MatchKing. 13 and 55 yards was the shot distances. One went over 7' and around 500 lbs.
I'm not saying you shouldn't use the 300 RUM, I'm saying if you have something a little smaller don't be afraid to use it. The RUM will dang sure put it down if you can shoot it. We had a hunter in camp with a RUM that was afraid of it and missed several times on a nice bear.
One other concern would be a pass through and hitting one of the dogs.... that kinda ****es of the guide....
I also have a 300 RUM. I currently shoot the 190gr Sierra Match King for target. I just picked up some 180gr barnes XLC for hunting larger animals. with the ulra mag it may be tough to find a bullet which would perform well for short to long range. I am hoping the barnes does it. I would love to hear from anyone with experience with the cartridge. I have read however that many shooters find the match king to be an excellent performer on game even though Sierra does not recommend it.

stick with the 300 rum. never ceases to amaze me when a question is asked regarding one cartridge and tons of advice is given on how you should use something else. would be nice to get an actual answer.
Dr. John
Everybody did give him an answer. Bears do not require a big magnum. A pass through when using dogs is a very real concern. Some of those dogs run upwards of $20,000. Everbody answered and then provided a little more from their own experience....
Hi, I shot a black bear in California in 1996(or was it 95), i used a 300 win mag, which was more than enough gun, youd do ok with a 308, a 30-06, if i was to go and hunt bears after dogs again i would be packing a Marlin guide gun or a hunting hand gun. Which guide are you going with? I went with a guy called Randy Penland who operated out of Big Bend, i also stayed with his Brother who lived in Anderson, I had a great week, the guys made me feel real welcom, good hospitality, good camaraderie, nice people and i got my bear..i'd love to hunt bear again.. Pete
Pete I'm going with a guide by the name of Tex Anderson. Dang I ran into a great deal on a Rem 700 in 300RUM houge after market stock,with a leapold V 111 3.5x10 for $800.00 bucks.thru it on my card.Rifle shoots great in fact really great.Just I guess its too much gun.Thought I needed a fancey controlled expansion bullet,after listening to every body.I'll just use Hornady 190 gr SPBT.I can spit them dudes out at 3250 with out pressure signs.So did you eat any of the bear you got? How big was it? How longt of a shot was it?
Heck i'd love to come along, the bear hunt was fun, i was over visiting my sisterinlaw n brother inlaw at the time, he was stationed at Travis AFB. and the bear tasted GREAT, unfortunately i could only get a cool box full back on the KLM flight to Amsterdam, i gave the rest of the meat away, best game meat i ever tasted, had the texture and colour of very best beef with a superb taste and smell. Bear was a little over six foot( the rug is in my office at home), i forget what it weighed, 360kg comesto mind but that would make it a 700lbs black bear and i cant see that somehow, i wish i had had a game book at the time,, shot at a distance of about 15 feet, in the head just below the left eye, the 180 grain failsafe exited the right shoulder. With hind sight the 300 win mag was more gun than was needed but hell it did the job, with hindsight i wouldn't use the fail safes on anything but the toughest game, for black bear and large hogs i'd go with a Nostler partition, Hornady interbond, Lapua Mega or something of the like. Where abouts are you hunting (general area) we where up near Burney some where, i remember driving back through Lassen Park on the way back. You know if Randy Penland is still guiding? His borther had a construction business in Anderson, the whole family where hunters, who knows, its a small world maybe some one knows em or they evern look in here from time to time. I sure enjoyed the superb hospitality and the company of a great bunch of bear hunting guys.. i shall return..
Don't beat yourself up cuz you think you've got too much gun. 300RUM is an outstanding cartridge
. Since 200 yds is top end range wise I'd be thinking of the 200 - 220 gr weight bullets. Any of the high performance stuff will get you where you need to be, partition and accubond are both excellent. Buy 5 boxes of the same lot and head to the range. Do some ballistic research and find out where you want to put your X-hair for minimum AND maximum point blank shooting. Get some dope for a 25yd (or less) shot. I would guess a zero at about 135 yds would let you hold a 3-4" kill zone POA/POI out to almost 200yds. Once you set it go enjoy your hunt w/ confidence.

Hope this helps.There is a guy in southern Oregon who turns the bear meat into very long weenies.3 feet sounds about right but it could be 4 feet.They taste like those pepperoni sticks you get at a deli there just longer and most people dip them in a small jar of frenchs mustard.Your guide should know him as most bear guys do mine was Mike Hayes.Bone the meat out as he charges by the pound and bones seem to weigh alot when your paying the tab.
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