.270win enough for black bear?


September 7, 2006, 02:24 PM
So in addition to getting out for deer this year my Uncle and I have toyed with the idea of going out for bear also so hence the question, will .270 win be enough for black bear?

We are talking SC in wooded areas so not terribly long ranges.

And if .270 will do the job, what bullet weight would be best to go with?

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September 7, 2006, 02:44 PM
270 is plenty. I'd use your basic Rem 150 gr core-lokt. Good penetration and the ammo is fairly cheap.

September 7, 2006, 03:41 PM
I don't see why not with a good 150gr bullet. People around here kill moose with .270s every year.

Reminds me of being at the gunshop the other day, listening to the guy behind the counter telling a gentleman how he thinks shooting a moose with a .308 is a stunt while using a .30-06 is OK. Either one will do the job, with the bonus being if it's your regular deer rifle, you should be well practiced and proficient with it.

That said, depending on the range, I'd be sorely tempted to grab my brother's Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 instead, loaded with plain-jane Remington 405s. Much gun for much things! :cool:

1911 guy
September 7, 2006, 04:01 PM
If you were talking brown bears I'd say get a bigger gun. But for black bears a .270 is plenty medicine. Use a bullet like the bonded core or interlock to get a little better penetration and you're in like Flynn.

September 7, 2006, 06:11 PM
It sure is. I'll second the remington 150 gr core-lokts, too. Cheap and excellent penetration. The cheap winchester power points also do a good job. Unless you hit the scapula, expect through and through penetration on a broadside shot, with an impressive exit hole.
I'd stay away from the lighter weight, rapidly expanding, 130gr bullets, but they'd probably work too, in a pinch.
Bear hunting is an excellent excuse to buy a marlin .35 rem or a .308 carbine, btw. :D You'll probaly "need" a .44 revolver, too. "Don't you want me to be safe, honey?"

Good Luck

September 7, 2006, 06:51 PM
I'd be perfectly comfortable taking a black bear with a .270 - especially down in the SC flatlands where they don't get all that big anyway. As for the ammo, I'd use Federal's 140-grain High-Energy Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. I like Federal ammo a lot, and that HE stuff hits hard, which is a good thing. If your gun won't handle HE (like some semi-autos, for example) I'd go with the 150-grain Nosler.

Even though black bears aren't all that dangerous, the one thing you don't want is to end up tracking a wounded one through thick brush (and from what I've seen it's all thick in SC :cool: ) - so place your shot carefully and use a quality bullet.

September 7, 2006, 11:20 PM
sweet. I picked up the rem 700 the other day and using cheapo 9.99 a box federal 130 grainers it made one nice clean hole at about 50 yards, not much yardage but best I could do till I can get to the range and I wanted to play with my new toy :D

Also just out of curiosity a seperate but related question.

In SC it is aparently not legal to hunt bears over bait, any other suggestions?

1911 guy
September 8, 2006, 12:06 AM
I'd suggest scouting places that have good cover, water and several food sources in one handy localtion. Bears will get into stuff so thick a mouse couldn't make it (or so you'd think) and are just lazy enough to find a home where lots of good features intersect. Think nuts and berries more than fish. The old stories about grammaw running into a bear in the berry patch aren't all tall tales. Check topo maps for rapid feature changes, too. Gulleys and peaks offer more cover than rolling flatlands.

September 8, 2006, 12:45 AM
The most sure-fire way is to find someone with dogs. This is an exciting way to hunt them and is probably your best bet.

Spot and stalk around beanfields can be good around here, but most of the good land is private and you need to be in a club. Bears are particularily fond of peanut fields. They'll use the same paths to access a productive field. Early and late is the best time to spot them. In one area I hunt, they have to go across a canal and cross a road to get to the fields. We'll ride the road, early in the morning and look for places on the road where a wet bear went across, during the night. I've spotted quite a few like this. A friend of mine pulled off a long stalk last year and got one with a bow. You can also pattern them, like deer, and ambush them coming to the field in the evening.

Stand hunting on public grounds can be productive. The well known public lands around here get pounded during bear season, though. I see quite a few while deer hunting from treestands, but they get scarce once bear season opens.

Good luck still hunting them. I've run into a few on bear sanctuaries, still hunting, but they get very shy in areas where they are hunted. If they're feeding on gum berries, you might see one up in a tree. I can about guarantee he'll have seen you first.

I'd look at the harvest figures for SC to find which counties to check out and go from there. If you're in an area with bears, they leave very distinctive signs. It's an interesting feeling, the first time you see deep scratch marks in a tree, a couple of feet higher than your head. Stepping over a steaming pile of bear crap, first thing in the morning, makes hunting a little more interesting, too. What's in the pile is a clue to what they've been feeding on, btw.

Bears have very good noses. I've heard they're near sighted but they seem to see movement well enough.

We're not allowed to bait here, either.

I've heard you all have pretty good hog hunting down there, too.

Good Luck

September 8, 2006, 11:05 PM
I would look at the county kill records and then decide where you might want to go. Your uncle probably already has the area chosen. I would do some scouting this fall for general sign. You can put on mini-drives with a partner. Depends how much hunting pressure there is and how folks hunt in that area. Bears are very elusive. Hunt near the thick stuff where there are natural funnels that a bear would move toward as they move toward the thick cover.

I have a Model 700 BDL 270. Good rifle!

September 11, 2006, 12:00 AM
150gr partitions will do

September 11, 2006, 11:08 AM
Black bears don't have much sturdy structure outside of the muscle mass on their front leg and hind quarters. Their bones tend to be similarly sized to humans in mass.

Pretty much any off-the-shelf FedRemchester load in the 130-150 gr range that shoots accurately out of your rifle will be more than adequate for the job.

September 12, 2006, 12:32 AM
Never hunted before but it would seem disrespectful to the Bear to take them with anything less tha a 300 win mag.

September 12, 2006, 12:54 AM
Buddy of mine shot a black bear in Alaska with a 270 and 130gr Remington Core Locks twice before it gave in. The bear traveled 75 yards after the second shot in the vitals.

I personally wouldn't use anything less than an -06.

1911 guy
September 12, 2006, 09:29 AM
Friend of mine was a guide, lived in Adak. Said a heart shot bear is good for at least 50 yards. He had no good reason why, just knew if it took off, it was plugged in the heart.

September 15, 2006, 02:58 PM
However, I would perfer my .308 browning because I could shoot a ant off his ear at 100 years with that rifle.


September 27, 2006, 02:22 AM
Heart shot bears.


"Friend of mine was a guide, lived in Adak. Said a heart shot bear is good for at least 50 yards. He had no good reason why, just knew if it took off, it was plugged in the heart."

They have a slower heart beat and lower blood pressure, hence the running for 50 yards.

September 27, 2006, 07:50 AM
The .270 Winchester is one of my favorite center-fire cartridges. It shoots flat, hits hard and fast. Use 140 to 160 grain bullets. In the 140, I suggest Barnes X-bullet. In the 150, I suggest a partition or core-lock, and the same for a 160. Though, the 160 really is over-kill. Calculate the sectional density and see for yourself. Then, go to the literature to see the suggested sectional densities for each listed game. The combination of the 2 is proof-positive that the .270 Win. exceeds the minimum by leaps and bounds! To think I used to have to calculate it manually.


Enter Bullet Weight in Grains: 160
Enter Bullet Diameter .000" .277
Sectional density of 0.298 with a bullet weight of 160 and diameter of .277".

Happy hunting! And remember, always take a slower runner with you, so when the bear chases you, you can out-sprint the fellow who is slower. The bear catches him, and you make your escape.

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