.308 Enough gun for Meese, Brown Bear, Polar Bear


PDA






Futo Inu
September 16, 2003, 10:25 PM
..... on the largest North Am. game, if you take care to place an accurate shot and get within 200 yards? Maybe it's not ideal, but is it going to make the kill 99 times out of a 100 with good quality 180-190 gr bullets and a good shot to the vitals? Up or down, yes or no vote. :)

If you enjoyed reading about ".308 Enough gun for Meese, Brown Bear, Polar Bear" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Dr.Rob
September 16, 2003, 10:36 PM
No.

The 30-06 gets into moose territory because you can load it up to 220 gr round nose bullets.

I'd buy a bigger rifle for anything with teeth and claws. .375 H&H sounds about right.

Bigjake
September 16, 2003, 11:08 PM
with no previous experience, i'd say no way. anything that can take a bite out of me is getting it with a big heavy bullet no less than a .375, and for a polar bear, possibly bigger.

H&Hhunter
September 16, 2003, 11:14 PM
Can do under perfect conditions does not make it an acceptable round for hunting these critters. The answer is it could theoretically be pushed into service. But why???? If you don't have to..

AS you mentioned if you take your time and place your shot it'll kill every time. The problem with dangerous game hunting is that you don't always have the luxury of taking your time and placing a shot perfectly sometimes you've got to have enough horse power to make up for some bad placement. Like when MR. Ursus horribles wasn't impressed with your first shot and took off into the alders and is waiting for you an hour later with bad intentions.

killing and stopping are two different things....

Mike Irwin
September 17, 2003, 12:19 AM
Moose yes, at short to moderate ranges.

Brown and Polar bears?

I want at a minimum a .338 Win. Mag., and preferably a .375.

At close range a hot loaded .45-70 would also be a good puncher.

Keith
September 17, 2003, 01:22 PM
I think a .308 would indeed kill every time. It just wouldn't kill them right then and there. It doesn't do you much good to shoot a critter that dies two hours later, five miles away.

Keith

BigG
September 17, 2003, 02:03 PM
I concur with the general consensus: Yes, under laboratory conditions it will work but in the real world I would not choose it if I could get a bigger heavier bullet like a 300gr 375 H&H or similar. YMMV

Lancel
September 17, 2003, 02:30 PM
You could use a .308 on a Brown or Polar bear but then the bear would probably use your boot laces for dental floss.

Larry

Badger Arms
September 17, 2003, 04:11 PM
The 308 has more than enough penetration to reliably and cleanly kill a moose, polar bear (why?) or Brown bear. Expect a blood trail but it's more than enough gun. That having been said, don't expect to stop a charging animal with one reliably. I'd imagine that more Polar Bears are killed by the 30/30 cartridge than any other single cartridge. Why? The people most in contact with the animals favor a cheap gun. The 30/30 runs for less than $200 up here.

Oooohhh, that's funny. The two Alaska votes say yes, everybody else says no. Guess the cold has gotten to our brains. I'm SOOOO glad we have them lesser 48'ers to keep us in line about our own game.:rolleyes:

Lancel
September 17, 2003, 04:27 PM
Alaskans say:It just wouldn't kill them right then and there.That having been said, don't expect to stop a charging animal with one reliably.
No disagreement.;)
Larry

dakotasin
September 17, 2003, 04:44 PM
I'm SOOOO glad we have them lesser 48'ers to keep us in line about our own game.

yeah, that was called for. we can plainly see that all folks from the lower 48 have responded, and that all folks in the lower 48 lack the knowledge and ability that is inherently available to all residents of alaska. :rolleyes:

Keith
September 17, 2003, 05:04 PM
I didn't say "yes", exactly... I just said it would kill them; not reliably, not cleanly and certainly not quickly.

With heavy slugs, it would probably do on a moose though it wouldn't be my first choice - or my second or third, for that matter.

There's just no way I'd shoot a large bear with a .308. Unless you spine him or something, he's not going to drop right there. And you are not going to have a blood trail because there isn't going to be an exit wound. No way a .308 is going to have the steam to punch through three or four feet of bear muscle and bone to leave an exit wound - and a blood trail...

I know plenty of bears and other big critters have been taken with light rifles, but I suspect far more have been shot and lost. People just don't tell those stories.

Keith

Art Eatman
September 17, 2003, 09:05 PM
Aw, Keith, a .308 would do just fine. Of course, I'd hate to go totin' a danged M-60 all over the countryside...

:D, Art

H&Hhunter
September 17, 2003, 09:56 PM
Oooohhh, that's funny. The two Alaska votes say yes, everybody else says no. Guess the cold has gotten to our brains. I'm SOOOO glad we have them lesser 48'ers to keep us in line about our own game.

All righty Badger.

Can do under perfect conditions does not make it an acceptable round for hunting these critters. The answer is it could theoretically be pushed into service. But why???? If you don't have to..

I think that if you would actually read you'd see that we said exactly the same thing.

Oh and by the way Mr. Alaskan. I lived in Alaska for nearly 6 years up in The Northern part not down in Los Anchorage. And we used to make fun of them big city Anchorage boys when they'd come up to the bush and swather us in advice on how things ought to be done. I guess what goes around comes around.

P.S.

Most native kills on Polar Bears are done with dogs lots oh dogs that run a bear down and surround it bay it up then the native walks up and shoots the bear with what ever he pleases at close range with no danger of a charge because the dogs keep the bear bayed up. I'd feel just fine about using a .30-30 or a .308 or even a .223 as many natives do usually a mini-14. They used to hunt them with spears and sharpened seal ribs. So what does that prove?:confused:

JShirley
September 17, 2003, 09:57 PM
I am confident that a .223 FMJ will kill any North American game with a "good shot to the vitals" 99 out of 100 times.

Does that make it enough gun?

I would start with rifles in the .338/.35 Whelen class, if I was looking for big bear.

John

Mike Irwin
September 17, 2003, 11:50 PM
I'm going to ammend my answer (because I'm from the lower 48) and say that a pointy stick is MORE than enough, in fact it's OVERKILL, to take any of those critters.

Hunting large game, and especially dangerous game, in what can be tough conditions, requires careful selection of a firearm.

If you're hunting with a guide who has a "thumper" capable of stopping a pissed off bear if the situation starts to go south, or one that's running after being hit, then by all means, make a careful shot with a smaller caliber gun if that's what you feel comfortable with.

But given the sparse wording of the original question, the obvious choice is to error on the side of what isn't being asked, and suggest choosing a tool more suited for the job.

In other words, you can get a load of lumber home in a Yugo with some careful manipulation.

But isn't it easier to find someone with a pick up truck?

Bigjake
September 18, 2003, 01:24 AM
If you're hunting with a guide who has a "thumper" capable of stopping a pissed off bear if the situation starts to go south, or one that's running after being hit, then by all means, make a careful shot with a smaller caliber gun if that's what you feel comfortable with.




Guess it better not go south then, as those of us in the lower 48 know nothing of game bigger than a whitetail.....:rolleyes:

stevelyn
September 19, 2003, 10:56 AM
Bushkins along the Yukon River have probably taken more big critters with .308s and .30-06s than anything else. They have taken them cleanly and reliably. That being said however if you are going to hunt critters up to the big bears with a .308, any box of off-the-shelf ammo loaded with appropriate weight bullets will do well.
If you are going to go after the bears an ammo upgrade is called for and you should go with either the Federal Premium High Energy loads with the premium bulllets in the the appropriate weights or the Hornady Light Magnums to get a little extra ommpf from your rifle.
Call me an ammo snob, but technological advances in bullet making and the current crop of commercially loaded premium ammo/bulllets allow use greater versatility with rifles than ever before. We can use our standard rifle for things that 15-20 years ago would have required a jump to a larger or magnum caliber.

Signed
Former Yukon River Bushkin
Current AK Pen Bushkin

jercamp45
September 24, 2003, 06:31 PM
In my four years in Alaska I chatted with alot of gents that shot alot more critters than I. With all the new folks and gunner dudes, the Magnums were the prefered iron's. Caliber depended on who you asked.
With the old timers......30-06, 303 British were the most often mentioned. Maybe that was because they were too cheap to upgrade, or had better uses to put their money. Now, they all thought stopping a charging grizz was a most challenging thing for any caliber, but for hunting...the ol 30-06 won. And on the opposite side of the border it was the 303. Maybe more about availability of ammo, and surplus arms, can not say.
Yes, the 338, 375 and 45-70 are the ticket IF you are needing to stop a bear or out hunting one.
But the non-magnum 30's will kill everything that walks, crawls or slither's in north America. Like the 9m/m Para in the anti human role, it is enough gun, but in many cases...just barely...especially for the big bears.
Jercamp45

gun-fucious
September 25, 2003, 03:53 PM
the navy has .308 M14s aboard the nuke subs for polar bear defense

if they want to offend the bears, i gather they can escalate the weapon selection

JShirley
September 26, 2003, 01:27 AM
The .308 M14 is already the standard arm for the Navy. (Guess they got something right. ;))

Wildalaska
September 26, 2003, 02:32 AM
What Stevelyn and Badger says is right on..and Keith is right too....

I know of several guys who shoot polar bears and moose with cartridges like the 222...they dont use dogs by the way...

I had an old native guy tell me that "if its bigger than 17 its too much gun"...

That being said, my usual is a 338 Win Mag and I dont deliberately hunt bear...this year I have been using 6.5x55 and did not feel unarmed in bear country...

My buddies wife dropped a blackie this year with a 30/30....

Shot placement is they key....I am always amused by the internet experts who pontificate with out having the experiece to back it up...thats why I dont critisize peoples choice of caliber...use what you shoot good....

Wildsmallwithconfidenceisbetterthanbigwith notAlaska

H&Hhunter
September 26, 2003, 01:08 PM
After reading Wildalaskas response I just have to change mine. I mean a when a man of his obvious extensive hunting experience speaks slienece and reverence should be observed.

I am always amused by the internet experts who pontificate with out having the experiece to back it up...
Thank you oh master of the great land....


As far as critising anybodys choice of caliber.....

Niether has anyone else on this thread, they are just sharing their thoughts you are welcome to hunt with any frickin rifle you choose.

My buddies wife dropped a blackie this year with a 30/30....

I have killed multiple black bears with a .357 and a .44 mag. Black bears are thin skinned and really easy to kill. I wouldn't choose to hunt Browns with a pistol or a .30/30.. can it be done SURE has it been done MANY TIMES. I wouldn't, that's my choice.

As far as using dogs on polar bear I've lived in Kotzebue, Deadhorse and Nome and that is the perfered way of hunting polar bear either that or running them down on a snowmachine. And if a guy wants to use a .222 in those circumstances or any other great let them.

With that in mind I now have to say that the .308 is not adequate, it's to much gun! From now on it's a .22 hornet for all my hunting needs. A round which by the way has been used on the the largest bears and moose as well. And next year in Zimbabwae I'll be sure to limit my caliber selection to 6mm and smaller no reason to take a chance on a flinch.

And once again Wildalaska thank you for your informative and constructive post. You've kept us all on the straight and narrow I'll be sure and let Jim know that all of his over caliber magnum guns are a waste of time and money and that only a a dumb a-- gusick would ever own one. Can I tell him you said so??

4v50 Gary
September 26, 2003, 01:45 PM
For a clean kill, no. Use enough gun like a 45-70. If you want .308, go M-60. ;)

Keith
September 26, 2003, 02:45 PM
One of the problems is that most people, even many Alaskans, have never seen an adult brownie up close.

When someone describes some guy in the interior taking a "brown bear" with a .223, he's talking about a mountain grizzly that might go 350 or 400 pounds, tops - yeah, that's technically a "brown bear", but... it's on a whole different scale. There are black bears in the eastern US which grow larger than mountain grizzlies, sometimes much larger.
That grizzly seen in Denali, while an impressive animal, is only 1/3rd the size of a coastal brown bear. And those brownies seen along the rivers on the Kenai are almost never adults.

People just don't know!

I assure you that nobody down here in coastal brown bear country (even them "crazy natives") hunts brownies with .223's and .30/30's. I know it's been done, and I know it will be done again. And people will take them with .44 mags, bows and arrows and muzzle loaders - but it's a stunt! There's a friend or a guide standing by with a .375 or .338.

You can certainly get away with taking big animals with light rifles. And probably, in most cases, they'll work. Everybody here knows somebody who's taken a "side-hill salmon" with a .22 - we all know that if you pick your shot you can drop a deer with your Ruger 10/22.
Well, a deer might weigh 150 pounds. A good brown bear weighs 1000 - 1500 pounds. Do the math - if you increase the weight of a .22 by 10 times you are approaching the scale of shooting a big bear with a 400 grain .45/70 slug - and at some little distance the velocities even match.

I know this comparison is perhaps a bit weak, but it gives you something to weigh the merits of shooting big critters with light rifles. If shooting a big bear with a .45/70 is "something like" shooting a deer with a .22, why would you want to scale that back even further?

Keith

Wildalaska
September 26, 2003, 03:17 PM
Keith your absolutely right in your analysis...same as I said, can be done, should it be done? Only the shooter knows for sure..

H&H Hunter, o master of internet invective, you really should learn to deal with your innner hostility. Read my signature. I visit this Board for fun and to keep it that way, you can join my ignore list. Ta ta.


WildanotheronebitesthedustAlaska

Art Eatman
September 26, 2003, 07:30 PM
Oh, ARGLE-BARGLE!

That's enuf, now. Y'all behave.

Art

Glamdring
December 24, 2003, 10:38 PM
Back in the good old days they used 6.5's of various flavors with plain 155-160 grain softpoints on everything in Alaska & Canada.

See Charles Sheldon's "The Wilderness of Denali"
also Vilhjalmur Stefansson's "Writing on Ice"

They both used 6.5's.

Not to mention what the 7x57 & 303 did.

A 308 with 150 grain X or Failsafe is going to out penetrate any of those other cartridges when they were loaded with soft points.

Might note that Sheldon fed himself and sled dogs in Denali area with that rifle. He learned that Moose was best tasting winter meat. He fed the sheep to the dogs in the winter.

Average sheep only made two meals for his 5 dogs.

Pumpkinheaver
December 24, 2003, 11:50 PM
Only in an emergency situation. I voted no.

S_O_Laban
December 25, 2003, 03:21 AM
I have a friend who has spent the better part of the last 40 years in Alaska. A good portion of his time was spent as a guide. I know from talking to him about this sort of thing that he said he used two guns, first for most everthing a 30-06 and second, for large bears a 375 H&H. This mirrors what someone said earlier about the older guys up there. Evidently milage varys some in AK, if this thread is any indicator:D




edited to add: I voted no

smokemaker
December 27, 2003, 07:24 PM
Frederick Courtney Selous used a 6.5mm with 160 grain round nosed bullets at 2300 fps with great results on elephant. If I recall, a pachyderm is a bit bigger than the biggest bear. No, it's not right for everyone, but it can be done. If you are a good shot, and confident in your placement, then go ahead and use a .308, but you better have a backup carying a .338 winmag, or a .375 H&H is even better. Hunting and saving one's backside are two very different things, ask anyone who has gone after cape buffalo, or even feral pigs. I prefer to use a muzzleloader for all my hunting nowadays, and would not hesitate to go after all three animals mentioned above with my .50 cal Omega, but my .458 winny is going with me, for brown or white bear medicine.
When I lived in North Dakota, the gunshop "experts" said you needed a belted magnum of some sort to hunt anything. But when you went out hunting, all the old timers were using winchester or marlin leverguns, in 30-30, for everything.

JShirley
December 28, 2003, 04:16 AM
Frederick Courtney Selous used a 6.5mm with 160 grain round nosed bullets at 2300 fps with great results on elephant.

That depends on how you define "with great results". Did he kill a lot? Yup. Did he lose some? Yup. He finally got a little more gun, but lots of folks just like to repeat the "small caliber" part...So, we have here someone using a round that's as effective on game as a .308. He uses it a lot, under very specific circumstances. Then he FINALLY realizes he needs a larger cartridge! I'm fairly sure there's a lesson in there.

John

JShirley
December 28, 2003, 04:52 AM
(Selous' favorite rifle was eventually a Gibbs .450.)

Another oft-brandished African hunter was Bell, who used 6.5 or 7x57mm for while. (He took only head shots.) He eventually moved to the 318 Westley Richards. (250 grain Soft Nose Bullet or Solid Muzzle Velocity 2400 ft/sec. Energy 3200 ft/lbs. BL 24")

The reason he didn't use a more powerful round...? He was recoil shy. :D

Use enough gun.

John

smokemaker
December 28, 2003, 07:47 PM
OK, I'll give you that one... Selous was recoil sensitive, and that is why he used smaller calibers. He admitted it in his writings and I didn't include it. My bad. :o I'd be recoil sensitive if I started out with a 4 bore too.
Selous was also a .303 brit fan too.
I would not use a .308 up north... as previously mentioned, I'd take at least a .50 cal muzzleloader with big bore repeating backup, but if I was going the cartridge route, I'd take at least a .35 Whelen, or a 45-70 loaded on the hot side. (I'm not a huge fan of belted cartridges) But I did vote yes, and still believe that some great shooters (better than me) could use a .308 if they were comfortable with it.

JShirley
December 28, 2003, 07:54 PM
:)

Yeah, that 4-bore used 4 oz balls! :what:

.35 Whelen or, even better, 9.3x62mm, would be a good choice (assuming ammo was available). Keith here has been known to carry the .35. How many bear attack survivors we have on this board? ;)

.45-70 or a good pump 12 with Brennekes would also work well, I think.

They wouldn't be my first choices, but I wouldn't fault those carrying .338, .375, or the various .40's.

John

Mornard
December 31, 2003, 03:16 AM
No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Can it kill them? Yes. Should it ever be done? Not by 9,999 out of 10,000 hunters, ever.

cratz2
December 31, 2003, 10:15 AM
I'll preface this by saying I've never been to Alaska and I've never seen a bear in the wild that weighed much more than 400 lbs.

For moose, I don't think I would have a problem using a 308 if that's all I had. But I have confidence in my shot placement ability which, as everyone has noted, is certainly key. A tough .308 bullet, placed well, will kill a moose I have very little doubt. But it wouldn't be my first choice.

For bears... I just don't understand the concept of hunting something like large brownies or polar bears with anything less than a near ideal cartridge. We're talking about something that can take large bites out of you or viciously swipe at you leaving huge tracks in your person... We're not talkin' surface scratches like from a kitty cat... I can't imagine going out with the specific intention of hunting large bear with anything less than a hot 45-70 or a .338. And I'd probably prefer a 375.

The two people I've talked with first hand that have hunted large bear in Alaska both said they very nearly crapped themselves the first time they saw a large brown bear stand up. I think that many people just don't have a concept of how large a large bear is . As a hint, THEY ARE BIG!

So... go ahead and hunt large bear with a .22 if you like. It'll be something to tell the grandkids about... But personally, I'd suggest you have grandkids before you go hunting with that .22. ;)

Art Eatman
December 31, 2003, 11:17 AM
The Outdoor Channel showed a bear hunt in Alaska. The guide kept telling the hunter, "Hit him again!" All the shots were apparently quite on target, but it was the fourth shot which put "paid" to the deal. A .338. The bear squared ten feet, and weighed an estimated 1,100 pounds.

Anybody thinks I'd select a .308 as the critter of choice just hadn't oughta quit his day job!

Walk up to an NBA center. Compare his size to yours. Then add two or more feet of height, and 700 pounds--plus claws and teeth. Then do some serious thinking.

:D, Art

H&Hhunter
December 31, 2003, 12:34 PM
Oh I don't know Art.

If'n you were a serious gun store commando you could shoot anything with any caliber you wanted.

The consequenses are pretty mild on that side of the door.;)

M67
January 1, 2004, 07:41 PM
Maybe this is my version of adrenalin sports... With this hostility between the Alaskans and the lesser 48ers, I now run the risk of having y'all forget your differences and join forces to take it out on the FFG (F... Foreign Guy). :)

First, I have no big game experience myself, I have so far limited myself to small, cute critters. I'm just making a couple of observations.

The three most popular calibers for moose hunting in Scandinavia are the 6.5x55, .308 and .30-06, in no particular order. The total number of moose taken in Sweden, Finland and Norway is somewhere around 230,000 annually. I would guess that well over half of those are taken with these three cartridges.

I'm also guessing that several thousand polar bear have been taken with the 6.5x55. Krags in that caliber were used extensively by Norwegian sealers and fur trappers in the Arctic from the 1890s until 1940, and they took several hundred polar bear annually in that period. This was of course not sport, and neither was it hunting. It was harvest of polar bear furs by professionals, many of them men who were used to shooting seals through the head from long range, often shooting from a standing position in a small open boat in the Arctic Sea. Every shot they missed meant less blubber and fur to sell when they returned, and consequently less food for their kids.

Oh, and my favourite polar bear story: Two guys named Fridtjof Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen left their ship in March 1895 in an attempt to reach the North Pole on skis across the sea ice. In August, on their way back South and dry land (they didn't quite make the Pole) Johansen was attacked by a bear they hadn't seen because of the ice ridges. The bear swatted him in the head without knocking him unconscious, he ended up on his back grabbing the bear by the throat with both hands. Nansen reported that while he was getting the rifle ready, Johansen turned his head and said in a calm voice "You have to hurry up, Dr. Nansen, or it will be too late." The bear got a bullet and died without more fuss. The caliber? 8x58 Rimmed Danish, from an 1889 Krag.

H&Hhunter
January 1, 2004, 10:19 PM
Ofta;)

Delmar
January 1, 2004, 10:26 PM
The way the question was phrased, YES. In a perfect world, the 308 will kill a cape buffalo. But, I rarely hunt in a perfect world:uhoh:

Art Eatman
January 1, 2004, 11:24 PM
M67, I guess one point about a lotta the hunters here is that our ideal is a one-shot kill, with a near-instantaneous "dead right there" result.

Now, this can be a common result with a head or neck shot. Trouble with a head shot is that it can seriously booger up a trophy mount. Trouble with a neck shot is that it's a fairly small target.

My understanding is that what y'all call moose is a critter like our elk. Our moose has wide, palmate horns. At any rate, many hunters here have killed many moose and elk, with weights to some 400 to 500 kg, with such as the .30-'06 and smaller.

The big problem with the brown bears of Alaska is that the encounter can easily become "up close and personal", with the odds changing toward the bear's favor. That's the main reason that a lot of folks want more than a minimum or a "well, it'll probably do" cartridge.

:), Art

M67
January 2, 2004, 12:51 PM
Art, the ideal here is a one shot kill. If you can't make a good shot, you're not supposed to shoot at all. Indeed, big game hunters are required by law to search for wounded animals, including wounded game that wanders onto someone else's private property. If you fail to do your best to track down the animal and put it out of its misery (and "they" can prove it), you could lose your hunting permit for the next few years.

I've never heard of anyone shooting a moose in the head. Moose like most other game is shot through heart/lungs. I am not arguing for or against the use of specific calibers. My opinion on this or any other matter is just as irrelevant as Wildalaska's. :) I'm just reporting the fact that a lot of people in my neighbourhood shoot a lot of moose and that many of them do it without magnum calibers.

Art, if your American moose have horns, they are indeed different from ours. Scandinavian moose have antlers. :p

We don't have what you call elk (wapiti deer). The confusion is probably caused by linguistics. The Norwegian name for the animal is "elg", in Swedish it's "älg", in German "Elch", the scientific name is Alces alces. The English name for the animal is elk. Since they don't have this animal in England, I assume that the first Englishman to see a wapiti deer in America said "This must be the elk I've heard stories about". Then the name stuck, and when someone who knew the difference discovered that there were "real" elk in America, it was too late, and someone came up with the name moose. Aha, I looked it up: The word moose comes from Algonquian. Anyway, elk in "UK English" is not the same animal as elk in "American English".

Scandinavian moose is the Alces alces. There are probably small differences from the American one, but it is basically the same animal. Our moose can have two types of antlers, both palmate and cervine, but it's still the same animal. I looked up the size to make sure: Norwegian bull moose can reach weights of 600 kg with a possibility of extremely large individuals reaching 800. In most cases they are much smaller, though.

I stole this from the 'net:

Art Eatman
January 2, 2004, 01:10 PM
Thanx. I knew there was some sort of linguistic confusion, but I guess I had it backwards. Wouldn't be the first time...

Yeah, antlers are regrown each year; horns are "forever". Howsomever, it's the usual usage thing, like "clips" and "magazines". :)

:), Art

Simpotico
October 3, 2008, 06:03 PM
Is the .308 enough gun for moose, brown bear, and polar bear? Absolutely. Dear, Elk, Moose, Black, Brown and Polar Bear are NOT bullet proof, regardless of what you might read on the internet. The .308 will do the job just fine on any of them as well as the 30/30, .303, 30-06 and bow and arrow. Patience and placement are the keys to whether or not the "bullet" you are using will be effective on your quarry. Folks who say that you need something labeled "magnum" or "at least a .338" are usually making an emotional judgment based on what they read on a ballistics chart or some other internet myth; not practical real world experience.

But what about self defense you say? If you're trudging through the woods and happen to stumble upon and surprise a sleeping bear, you're in trouble. Surprise one in the brush while it's eating, you're in trouble. Come between a sow and her cubs, you're in trouble. If you think that you can get off a fatal aimed shot to stop a 700 pound bear that's just as surprised as you are and bent on defending itself with everything God gave it to do the job, good luck, regardless of what kind of cannon you're carrying.

Situational awareness and using the best weapon available to you, your mind, will provide you with more security than a .375 H&H. Do yourself a favor, pack an electric fence in bear country, if you're that concerned with it; carry a can of bear spray, just smart in bear country; and whether it's a .308 or a 30/30, hump a rifle that you're not afraid to shoot and can shoot accurately. Be patient, the shot will present itself. If not, at least you have yourself another good memory.

Best wishes.

H&Hhunter
October 4, 2008, 12:11 AM
Holy resurrection Batman!!

This post is OVER 5 years old. How did you even find it!

cliffy
October 4, 2008, 12:28 AM
Polar Bears are regularily taken with .223 Remingtons and .243 Winchesters. These are CLOSE shots and any Inuit will tell you, "DON'T MISS!" Lower 48 hunters seem to favor MAGNUM POWER for everything shy of a cottontail rabbit. Aussie hunters regularly kill BIG wild hogs with .223 Remingtons and .243 Winchesters. There is a huge POWER difference betwixt these two calibers, but apparently either is sufficient since most animals don't shoot back! For military use against soldier who will shoot back, .223 Remington usage doesn't seem quite as appropriate as solid hits from a .243 Winchester's ton of muzzle energy. Practice and accuracy account for more kills than sheer horsepower, so therein lies the dilemma. cliffy

MCgunner
October 4, 2008, 12:34 AM
Much as I love my .308, the big bears are pushing the limits. Oh, I know, the Inuit hunt 'em, or did for a long time, with .30-30s. But, I'm a white boy, well, mostly. :D

Was I even on this board 5 years ago? 12-03-05, uh, no. ROFL

Simpotico
October 4, 2008, 01:09 AM
It was just some random thread that popped up on a Google search. :)

Byte
October 4, 2008, 05:05 AM
Sure .308's enough...if you're hangin' out the door of a chopper attached to a minigun!

Ah all kidding aside, .308 is fine for meese and smaller bears assuming load, bullet, & shot placement are all taken care of. I wouldn't point and click at anything with teeth and claws that looked to be over 1300lbs or so with anything smaller than a .338 though. I'm a scared! Mostly because I wouldn't be willing to take the shot outside of 500m or so. Wound something that weights 2000lbs, eats canned foo...er cans, and can run like 40 miles an hour? Not me no sir.

Byte

22-rimfire
October 4, 2008, 06:34 AM
Since I have never hunted the big bears, I can only say what I would do. I'm in the J Shirley camp.

I would start with rifles in the .338/.35 Whelen class, if I was looking for big bear.

But I know that these animals have been taken with 30-06's for years. Part of me just wants an excuse to buy a 375 H&H and I can't think of a better excuse than big bears.

koja48
October 4, 2008, 09:59 AM
I voted "No." Could/would a .308 work? . . . The potential is there, but if I'm holding the rifle & facing a large bear, I'll opt to hold one with a bit more oomph such as those JShirley suggested.

MCgunner
October 4, 2008, 11:54 AM
Well, I'm glad you found the site, anyway. :D

paintballdude902
October 4, 2008, 02:37 PM
yes, but not the best gun

it can be dont but i would want something bigger

.308 on a moose is fine with me but if ive got a bear charging at me i want more power and a larger bullet

pricedo
February 20, 2009, 02:26 AM
:D
Short barreled shotguns are permitted in Canada.

I have an exposed hammer SxS 12 gauge with 12.5" barrels (both cylinder bore - no choke) that is quite legal (non-restricted) and can be disassembled/reassembled in seconds and fits nicely in a packsack or duffle bag or under a SUV/truck seat.

Together with 1 1/2 oz. Rottweil Brenneke rifled slugs the shotgun is deadly on nuisance/predatory bears at close range.

NELSONs02
February 20, 2009, 02:30 AM
Polar bear hahaha NO, otherwise it'd do fine but c'mon...... polar bear?

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 20, 2009, 06:03 PM
Necromancy - sweet. I'd say, sure from a treestand, in the case of bears. Wait, make that polar bears only, since browns can climb trees. Wait, there's no trees where there are polar bears. So, no. :p

3pairs12
February 20, 2009, 06:13 PM
I vote yes if you can do it with a bow why not a .308

whited
February 23, 2009, 02:42 PM
3pairs12, its hard to argue with that!

frogomatic
February 24, 2009, 12:43 PM
I think I'd be okay taking a .308 for moose. I wouldn't want a .308 for bear though. For potentially dangerous game I would want as much power as I could shoot accurately.

edit to add: A previous poster mentioned the 35 whelen. I built a 35 whelen last year and used it to take a nice whitetail this past fall. After seeing what the 35 did to the deer, I would not feel undergunned using the 35 to take a bear. Though to be fair, I already have picked out and purchased the gun(s) I will be taking on my bear hunt next year. A rossi puma92 in 454 Casull, and a Super Redhawk also in 454 Casull. Though to be fair, I'm not looking forward to lugging that redhawk around on my hip, but I definately want to have a sidearm, so I'll deal.

351 WINCHESTER
February 25, 2009, 11:49 PM
A .308 with proper shot placement would probably work, but maybe not quick enough. Decades ago the .222 remington was a favorite of native Alaskan's and they used it for polar bears, walrus - they were good shots.

moooose102
February 27, 2009, 08:10 AM
seems a bit light to me. it would be fine, if you are able to stalk it, or at least shoot it when it does not see you. but if it finds you, well, persoanlly, i would want a more powerful cartridge/bullet combo. maybe like a 338 magnum minimum, more like a 375 H&H! persoanally, i have no desire to be mauled by any bear!

mordechaianiliewicz
February 27, 2009, 08:29 PM
My .02 cents (which mean next to nothing because I've never hunted anything larger than a whitetail).

Shooting a ruminid, regardless of size is a different story from shooting bears. Bears are predators. Ruminids are herbivores. While one wants a one shot kill, it it doesn't happen, a moose won't likely run after you to kill you if you are 200 feet or more away from it. A bear would.

A moose won't be hunting you at the same time you are hunting it. A bear might start hunting the little hominid with that metal thingy.

Basically, if I was going to hunt any bear, I'd probably want to carry a lever-action .45-70 into the field. Moose or elk (or large European varieties), simply a .308 or similar caliber would do just fine.

Main difference is this: with a moose or elk I need to kill.

With a bear, I need to stop and kill.

T.R.
March 6, 2009, 11:39 PM
I thought everyone knew that that the 300 Win MAG shoots almost 2 inches flatter at 300 yards and hits with 8% more energy than the much lower recoiling .308! To deliver this whopping 8% more energy it only takes 40% more powder and twice the recoil. What an easy choice!

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/muley4.jpg

TR

Big Bill
March 7, 2009, 01:59 AM
A .308 will work for Moose, it the shot is properly placed I suppose. But, I'd want something substantially for Brown Bear or Polar Bear. I saw a full body Alaskan Kodiak Brown Bear mount - standing/snarling. It was very imposing and stood about 10" tall, IIRC. That bear must have weighed 1000 LB live.

Nope, If I were hunting that critter, I'd want a 416 Rigby at least.

But, here's the advice from the Alasks F&G

14. What is the best rifle to use for brown bear hunting?

Most experienced hunters consider a .30-06 rifle with a 180 grain soft-nosed bullet to be the smallest effective caliber for Kodiak brown bears. The .300 mag, .338 mag., and .375 mag. are popular and well-suited calibers. A waterproof rifle stock is also beneficial during a Kodiak hunt.

Don't wait until you get to camp to sight in your rifle. Sight in at the range and practice shooting from several positions. Knowing your own capabilities is as important as knowing how your rifle's ballistics.

http://wildlife.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=kodiak_bear.kodiakfaqs#rifle

Notice that .308 isn't mentioned, and even a 30-06 with 180gr SP is the smallest effective caliber. Why would anyone go hunting a Kodiak bear with the smallest effective caliber???

Big Bill
March 7, 2009, 02:05 AM
Dr. Tad - Adult brown bears can't climb trees. Neither can adult Grizzleys. Only smaller black bears can climb trees.I vote yes if you can do it with a bow why not a .308An arrow won't kill a big bear immediately. And, won't kill one at all unless you hit it right. When an arrow is used, a bear ususlly just runs off and dies quietly somewhere else. They don't normally get a sense of direction of where the arrow came from. But, when you shoot a bear with a rifle, they can sense the direction the shot came from. That in itself makes it more dangerous, IMHO. Besides, the wound channel from a good broadhead arrow is very devastating - perhaps even more so than a .308.

caribou
March 11, 2009, 11:57 PM
~LOL!!!~

Been there , doing that:evil: Gonna use my Mosin again.
were above 0 degrees, and by the beginning of April, it will warm above +20, and Bears of all kinds will be out for the picking.

.308 is plenty good at killing all Bears.
Polar bears, Brown Bears and certainly Black Bears.

I dont know any Eskimo that uses uses anything bigger than a 30-06. But as year round hunters, most all of us are pretty handy and calm, and placing a proper shot is routine.
Shot placement is everything. Magnum Power in the wrong place is still a sucky shot.

I personally have used my ever ready Mosin Nagant, .243w for a few years, an 8mmK98k, and a .223 three times on Browns and they all died quickly, because I shhot them all in teh Neck or temple.

I know several guys that use .223 alone. No other gun, 'cept a 12 gauge, and theres a saying about a man with one gun is to be feard , as a man with several guns should not be, because a man with only one gun is SURE to know how to use it well.

Ive posted a bazillion pix of Bears I have, of all types:rolleyes: and Boto-phucket is under maintainance or I surely would again...~LOL!!!~:neener:


If you cant kill it with a 30-06, you should hide.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
March 12, 2009, 12:59 PM
Can I come live with you, Caribou? I'll pull my weight and bring lots of guns. Any cute little inuit girls up there? :D

sophijo
March 12, 2009, 01:35 PM
"....if you can't kill it with a 30-06 you should hide"

3pairs12
March 12, 2009, 01:37 PM
An arrow won't kill a big bear immediately. And, won't kill one at all unless you hit it right. When an arrow is used, a bear ususlly just runs off and dies quietly somewhere else. They don't normally get a sense of direction of where the arrow came from. But, when you shoot a bear with a rifle, they can sense the direction the shot came from. That in itself makes it more dangerous, IMHO. Besides, the wound channel from a good broadhead arrow is very devastating - perhaps even more so than a .308.


The question was it is ennough not ideal not will it run off and die. So I stick with my vote. If anybody on this thread would know it would be Caribou.

cassandrasdaddy
March 12, 2009, 02:28 PM
Dr. Tad - Adult brown bears can't climb trees. Neither can adult Grizzleys. Only smaller black bears can climb trees.


browns just pull the tree up by the roots

LionHunter
March 12, 2009, 09:25 PM
Hunting the White Bear is different than hunting almost any animal on Earth, and I've hunted a coupla species on a few continents. In the barren ice, while you are hunting the bear, he is very likely hunting you. Everything on the ice is food to the bear, and that includes you. He is always searching for food. Want to be armed with a minimum caliber under those circumstances?

Since I've killed more than a dozen head of Dangerous Game with both rifle and handgun, I can assure you that if I was chasing Polar Bear I would be doing so with a .416Rem rifle and/or a S&W 500 revolver. I've killed Cape buffalo with both.

BTW, I won't be hunting the White Bear anytime soon, since USF&G has once again outlawed their importation. And if you haven't seen what the results of a PB attack on a human looks like, you shouldn't be hunting them either.

jerkface11
March 15, 2009, 11:11 PM
I wouldn't use .308 on anything that could eat me.

saturno_v
March 16, 2009, 01:59 PM
I learned very well never to argue on THR with people's pet theories or calibers with things like math, physics and penetration tests....in a few words with facts and/or a scientific approach.

So I will just put a link to this video that speak for itself (I did already post it on the Rifle Country section) about a brown bear hunt in Siberia...the local hunting guide backs his American Clients with a sporterized Mosin Nagant 91/30...enough said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU3wIorO04s&feature=related

JImbothefiveth
March 16, 2009, 04:18 PM
I've never hunted grizzly bears, so take it for what it's worth. I'd want something that would stop a charging bear, just in case.
on the largest North Am. game, if you take care to place an accurate shot and get within 200 yards? Maybe it's not ideal, but is it going to make the kill 99 times out of a 100 with good quality 180-190 gr bullets and a good shot to the vitals? Up or down, yes or no vote
At 200 yards? I wouldn't want to shoot a big bear with one at 200 yards.

I actually wouldn't want to shoot a big bear with even a .30-06. Before the "shot placement" crowd jumps in, it's because a bear is dangerous, and a wounded bear might start stalking humans.

To deliver this whopping 8% more energy it only takes 40% more powder and twice the recoil. What an easy choice!
The round should at a minimum be able to go through the skull and hit the brain. Better yet would be if it can go through the shoulder and hit the heart and lung, since I'm not sure if I could hit the brain when it was charging me. (Although I don't know if either would do that.)

if you can't kill it with a 30-06 you should hide"
If one charges me, and I hit it, a .30-06 might not reach a lung when something more powerful would. (I'm not sure if it would or not, I'm unfamiliar with grizzly bears.)

txcookie
March 16, 2009, 08:25 PM
Dont they kill those things with bows???????:evil:


yes all about placement IMHO!

CSA 357
March 16, 2009, 08:29 PM
Yea 308 is big enough for meese!:d

ColeK
March 23, 2009, 12:54 PM
Quote
.308 Enough gun for Meese, Brown Bear, Polar Bear..... on the largest North Am. game, if you take care to place an accurate shot and get within 200 yards? Maybe it's not ideal, but is it going to make the kill 99 times out of a 100 with good quality 180-190 gr bullets and a good shot to the vitals? Up or down, yes or no vote.


Of course it will work under these conditions. And so will a lot of other NON-magnum calibers, such as 6.5x55, 7x57, 8x57, .308, .260, 7/08, .270, .280, and 30-06.

Art Eatman
March 23, 2009, 01:12 PM
With any dangerous game, it's a sort of risk/reward deal. Sure, a .308 will kill a brown bear or polar bear. No doubt about it. But that's a tad less important than the real question: Will it STOP Mr. Bear if he gets up close, personal and POed?

ColeK
March 23, 2009, 01:51 PM
Art, I agree that .308 is not a stopping rifle and would not be my first choice for large bears.
When I went I took a 9.3x62 and it worked well on a charging bear that had been hit twice with a 180 Partition from a .300 WSM.
The 9.3x62 worked my on my bear at a 168 yards with a .286 gr Partition through both shoulders.

caribou
March 23, 2009, 10:18 PM
My personal obsevation of my fellow hunters and my storys, Skinning/gutting/postmortems and trigger pulling on Bears is this;

The .308 IS a "stopping round".:D Damn good one too.

A charging Bear is best shot between the eyes, and a bit higher still gets you the spine.Moving tward you, they present a centerd target.
Even a 12 foot Polar bear with a busted spine will stop.They dont keep charging when they are dragging their back legs.


A 50 Browning wont stop it with noise, you MUST hit it in a vital. Remember the bullet is NOT a wall of sort, it it moving thorugh its target as it moves to you. You want "instant death"??? then you must hit the Nervous system.

A close second to stopping a charge it to gut shoot them. They sit like a dog and nip at their wound. Might not work for you, but you can save a buddie whos getting the sharp end.

Bullets do NOT bounce off of Bear skulls either, they plow right on through.

Theres some serious B.S. out there about stopping Bears, but most basics of anatomy and riflemanship will place the bullet right and get the job done.

Most Bear attacks occure from behind,in dense brush/cover or while they find you in your sleeping bag.....at least here, in the Arctic.

saturno_v
March 24, 2009, 01:00 AM
A 50 Browning wont stop it with noise, you MUST hit it in a vital. Remember the bullet is NOT a wall of sort, it it moving thorugh its target as it moves to you. You want "instant death"??? then you must hit the Nervous system.


Amen to that...

PT1911
March 24, 2009, 01:02 AM
did someone say MEESE? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHH>... gasp... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH gasp HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA... wow.. alright.. headache..

PT1911
March 24, 2009, 02:21 PM
but seriously, I would have no hesitation taking big game with a 308.

JImbothefiveth
March 24, 2009, 02:32 PM
A charging Bear is best shot between the eyes, and a bit higher still gets you the spine.
I still want a safegaurd in case I can't shoot that precisely under stress. Will a .308 with heavy FMJ bullets reach the lungs if I hit the shoulder?

caribou
March 24, 2009, 10:46 PM
Shot placement is EVERYTHING!!!

A miss with any gun is worthless.

Ive seen a 9foot Brown go 50 yards uphill, with a huge hole in his heart, and both lungs popped, and a busted shoulder.....They dont stop Bears fast either.

Use an FMJ if you think your gonna need DEEEEEP penatration.You can put an FMJ in his neck and most will plow completly through to the guts, easily. Ive seen that with an 8mmMauser, turk ammo.

A shoulder to lungs shot with a good soft point isnt hard, Ive seen that, but you still wont stop 'em if it wants to chew you up.

Then you know what your made of and "If" you can make the shot.


Theres not much you can do inthat situation except keep your cool and aim.
Practise , practise , practise shouldering ,aiming, proper trigger squeeze and a fast reload over and over untill you dont even think about it anymore. This is where dryfiring at teh TV gets to be fun.......Could be at every celebreaty or man inna suit, or everybody in the camera view.....just be ready, and have fun.....then get out and shoot the real stuff, and STILL hope you never meet a Bear.

Avoid Bears with your good habits and good luck!

zstephens13
July 9, 2009, 08:08 AM
I hunt moose in Alaska with an AR-10 chambering the .308 Winchester. They walk around for a second, maybe 10 feet, then drop.

KenWP
July 9, 2009, 09:22 AM
I was talking to my barber while sitting there getting my hair cut and he was telling me about hitting a deer solid with a 308 and it ran off and he could not find it. His solution was that he now carries a 300 Win. instead. I had to bite my lip and just listen to this one. A 30 caliber hole is a 30 caliber hole but it helps if it's at least in the right place. I have seen guys squint there eyes up so bad shooting a magnum its a wonder they could shoot in the right direction let alone hit a target.

.333 Nitro Express
July 9, 2009, 10:27 AM
They all can be summarized this way.

Q: Can large game animals be taken with my pet small-ish caliber?

A: Anything can be taken with any caliber, but I'd prefer something heavier, since the hunt is expensive, I have limited time, I don't want to wound or to pass up too many shots and I'd prefer to come back with both my buttcheeks still in one piece (or is it two pieces?).

Retort: But Bell did it. But the natives do it. But my uncle Gruff who lives in a hut in Denali's shadow says that anything bigger than a walking stick is being overgunned.

Furious discussion on semantics, anecdotes and geographically-based side-swipes ensues. And the thread goes on for pages, since it's too hard to resist.

Ah, the joys of off-season. :rolleyes:

THEmandrew04
July 9, 2009, 10:43 AM
I vote yes, provided proper shot placement and a willingness to hike after the well-placed shot.

338 win mag would be the choice of my legs though...

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 9, 2009, 10:44 AM
This thread seems to never die! Lol, anyone got a silver bullet on them? :)

natman
July 9, 2009, 11:52 AM
Big bears are dangerous game and should be hunted with a dangerous game rifle.

A 308 can kill one with a well placed shot and no doubt several people will chime in with stories to prove it. However, when dealing with dangerous game you need a rifle that can stop a charge, and a 308 is a bit out of its league then.

Uncle Mike
July 9, 2009, 12:03 PM
WOW...maybe we need a governor on bear threads... hehehe

If the gentlemen want to hunt bear(big, mean ones, not the cute blackies) with the rip snortin' .308, by all means... please.

.... which pocket do you guys carry your wallets......and what kind of beer is in the fridge...:evil:

:D

ArmedBear
July 9, 2009, 12:35 PM
Sure it will make a kill, probably 100% of the time.

If you shoot one of the above large animals with a .308 at 200 yards or less, somewhere near center-mass, it will die of the wound. It might take weeks, but it will die unless it knows how to get to a veterinarian.

Infections will eventually kill if not treated.:D

jim in Anchorage
July 9, 2009, 01:18 PM
What is it with this .308 thing? A blah,boring caliber. Is it because it's military? So does that mean you can get cases of free ammo? Gee I could get a .300 mag, but I prefer the 400 fps slower .308. I just don't get it. By the way,the brown bear regulations in the unit I hunt moose in in where relaxed this year[1 a year,instead of 1 every 4] so I will swap my 30-06 for a .300 WBY. I see no reason to use a popgun when real rifles are available.

saturno_v
July 9, 2009, 04:09 PM
I think Caribou put this thread to rest LONG time ago.....

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 9, 2009, 06:22 PM
I think Caribou put this thread to rest LONG time ago.....

Yes, he did. Too bad he cannot CLOSE it, too. :)

Uncle Mike
July 9, 2009, 06:32 PM
Gee I could get a .300 mag, but I prefer the 400 fps slower .308. I just don't get it.

I see no reason to use a popgun when real rifles are available.


Hehehe...you tell em' Jim...:D

:D

jim in Anchorage
July 9, 2009, 06:38 PM
think Caribou put this thread to rest LONG time ago.....
There are no trees were Caribou hunts. No cover for a wounded bear to hide in. If you wish to pop a .223 at a tundra bear,fine. Don't do it in the cottonwood and birch forests I hunt in.

saturno_v
July 9, 2009, 06:52 PM
There are no trees were Caribou hunts. No cover for a wounded bear to hide in. If you wish to pop a .223 at a tundra bear,fine. Don't do it in the cottonwood and birch forests I hunt in.


That statement is very thin....

What Caribou said and its principle apply from the Tundra to the Rainforest....in a charge only CNS hits count...if a cartridge has the ability to get there from any anghle at a given distance, it doesn;t matter if it's a 30-06 or a 375..it will get the job done......and bears are not bulletproof...stout bullets fired froma full power cartridge could "bounce off "bear skull only in certain cases of bad shooting angle not because bones are bulletproof...

jim in Anchorage
July 9, 2009, 07:29 PM
You are mixing"charge" with the desired result-the routine taking of a brown bear. A charge is exactly what you are trying to avoid in the first place with a adequate rifle. My hunting environment is very different then Caribous-I get a quick glimpse,and the bear needs to be put down now-head and neck shots are not always available as on the tundra.

ArmedBear
July 9, 2009, 07:33 PM
There can be a HUGE difference between "can kill X" and "enough gun to hunt X under Y conditions."

A .22 can kill a 1000 lb. animal. ...in a slaughterhouse.

"Can kill" means NOTHING.

saturno_v
July 9, 2009, 08:30 PM
You are mixing"charge" with the desired result-the routine taking of a brown bear. A charge is exactly what you are trying to avoid in the first place with a adequate rifle. My hunting environment is very different then Caribous-I get a quick glimpse,and the bear needs to be put down now-head and neck shots are not always available as on the tundra.
__________________


In a charge you need a gun that can get to the CNS (brain/spine) from any angle at a given distance (usually well below 100 yards)...if that particular gun can get there there is virtually no advantage in a bigger caliber....

A bad shot with any caliber is a bad shot.....power is no substitute for poor shot placement...never...

When hunting in any environment, if you do not have a clear sight of the vitals you should never get a shot...regardless of caliber...

Paradoxically, a bigger caliber is more useful in hunting situations rather than charge stopping...a non-CNS shot to the vitals with a wider wound channel may slightly accelerate incapacitation and reduce tracking time

A .22 can kill a 1000 lb. animal. ...in a slaughterhouse.


a 22 cannot get to the vitals of a 1000 lb animal from any angle even in a slaughterhouse....

For example

A 375 will not give you a quicker kill on a whitetail than a 30-06 with the same bullet placement (and assuming a similar soft nose bullet) at 150-200 yards with both pass-through shots....if there is any difference it would be negligible.....15-20% of an inch wider wound channel is not going to change things that much...

jim in Anchorage
July 9, 2009, 10:16 PM
You are all over the road. First its CNC, then vitals. When I shoot a bear,I want to break bone. Important bone,like hips or shoulder. Then it is crippled,unable to get up,and I finish it off. Hunt bear as you please.

saturno_v
July 10, 2009, 01:17 AM
Jim

I did not mix anything, I was very clear


1) In a charge situation, CNS is the key to guarantee a stop..brain or spine....a bear with a busted back or the back of its skull missing can't go anywhere or maul anyone...


2) In a hunting scenario on an undisturbed bear you can go for heart/lung shot and possibly breaking bone/shoulder to limit mobility....you have the "luxury" to wait for the bear to expire because of the distance and because the animal is not enraged...you have the opportunity for a second or third shot...

But during a close distance bear charge, a big bruin with a busted heart and lungs can still hurt you very badly....

I hope it's clear now what I meant to say before...

When I shoot a bear,I want to break bone. Important bone,like hips or shoulder.

In a charge situation (very short distance, and the bear focused on you) that kind of shot can still get you mauled....at best you may slow down the beast....

jim in Anchorage
July 10, 2009, 05:50 AM
Somehow this has twisted to to the point where it looks like I was the one endorsing light calibers for bear,or saying shot placement is unimportant. I was going completely the other way,and pointing out the terrain Caribou hunts in allows the use of calibers that would be unsuited for woods hunting. You simply do not always have the chance of putting a .22 under the ear of a bear in in thick cover,like on the open tundra. Again,AVOIDING charges is the goal.

Gunfighter123
July 11, 2009, 04:32 PM
Given the 200 yards and under etc. --- I voted Yes,it is. BUT ---- not my first choice !!!! I did NOT read all five pages of replies yet --- would I feel "undergunned"
with my SA M1A Socom with 20 rds. ??? Not at close range. Would I feel undergunned with my "deathray" accurate Savage 10fp --- YES , a little .

On a TV show once , I seen a herd of elephant get culled with the park ranger useing a full auto FAL in .308 ---- he was within 30 yards and a quick 3 or 4 round burst plus a mag change , had 5 or 6 of the big elephants on the ground in seconds !!!!

Again , I AM NOT stateing that a .308 is the best weapon for very large game --- I sure wish someone made a Hi-Cap semi-auto 45/70 !!!!!

Cowboygunsmith
July 13, 2009, 01:12 AM
Hmmmm lets see! They kill them criters with bows all the time so what is the main reason they do not get et all the time. Making sure of there shot placement and getting into the right conditions before takeing the shot. I am a strict rifle hunter but we can all learn from the bow hunters in this case. As a hunter it is your responsabiltiy to your self and the game to insure you are in the best conditions possiable to make a quick clean kill. Look at what your capabilities are and will be then choose what you need to make it work and nothing less.

H&Hhunter
July 13, 2009, 02:18 AM
There are no trees were Caribou hunts. No cover for a wounded bear to hide in. If you wish to pop a .223 at a tundra bear,fine. Don't do it in the cottonwood and birch forests I hunt in.


I lived and hunted out of Kotzebue. If you have ever hunted that area you'd know just how wrong that statment is. There are Plenty of trees and thick brush for stuff to hide in. Especially around river, drainages and such. Of course there is plenty of tundra too. But don't fool yourself into thinking there are no trees or thick tall brush up there.

jim in Anchorage
July 13, 2009, 03:31 AM
I am simply explaining that the experiences of a native in North west Alaska are not relevant to someone hunting browns,on say Admiralty. He can have the luxury of just spine shots,because his season is 365 days long. He can sometimes give the impression a .22 hornet is plenty on grizz. and the lower 48's eat it up.

And no I have never hunted around Kotzebue,but Hunt often in the Mulchatna drainage and yes there is spruce in the river bottoms,and alder patches here and there but I spot grizz on the open hills,grazing like a cow on ground squirrels and berries.I am sure I could,given time,sneak up and slip a .22 under the ear,but that is not relevant to a hunter in heavy cover

H&Hhunter
July 13, 2009, 02:44 PM
He can have the luxury of just spine shots,because his season is 365 days long. He can sometimes give the impression a .22 hornet is plenty on grizz. and the lower 48's eat it up.

Jim,

We are in 100% agreement. It's just like when guys get all hot and bothered and excited when these guys talk about shooting 100's of caribou with a .22LR. what they aren't telling you is that they catch them crossing a river drive up to them in a boat and pop them in the ear hole from about 2 feet away.

It sounds impressive though. "I've killed hundreds of caribou with a .22 pistol!!" It's all good until you read the fine print.

jim in Anchorage
July 14, 2009, 02:05 AM
Perfect example with the caribou. I am afraid most outsiders don't realize how different the hunting can be there,and take this .223 OK for dangerous game thing seriously.

geologist
July 14, 2009, 02:56 AM
If you perform well and the range is suitable then a .308 will do the job.

When I sleep in a tent in the arctic I keep a 20" CRF .375 H&H with 6 300 gr Failsafes in the magazine and the safety off. YMMV.

jim in Anchorage
July 14, 2009, 03:45 AM
If you perform well and the range is suitable then a .308 will do the job.

When I sleep in a tent in the arctic I keep a 20" CRF .375 H&H with 6 300 gr Failsafes in the magazine and the safety off. YMMV.

I see you practice what you preach. What is the range in your tent?:D

caribou
July 14, 2009, 04:36 AM
Ahhhh haaaa.....

Well, there are trees and plenty of brush up this way, the "Tree line" begins on the North Slope, and Im a bit south of that. Not tall but still Black Spruce and Arctic Birch.

One thing about shooting a Brown on open Tundra is that they know exactly whos trying to kill 'em and the Head shot will turn on you and presents itself nose first and closing.

I have and always will tell you fellas that I do shoot Caribou , LOTS and LOTS, from the boat ,in the head, with a .22LR. I have posted that many times,with pictures and vids over the last couple years, and its the safest way to hunt them.
We get no wounded,nor do we wound any, no sick , no skinnys, we and pick out exactly what we want amid bunches of hundreds crossing.
Shooting Moving Caribou from a moving boat in a roughly 3sq.in. target area requires skills.....My wife can get one a shot, an shes often out in front. No pistols, but Ive seen it.
Its a hunt like no other, It's a harvest, and the ONLY legal time we can use a .22 on big game. We still have legal limits and its best done when the big boys cross the mile or so of Kobuk river and we are able to harvest good meat in the fall. We catch them just as freeze up occures and we can store large ammounts of meat while we wait for the ice to thicken enough to travel. The Caribou only get skinnyer as rut comes on and the temp gos down, so were catching bulls in their prime.3 inches of fat on most, and thats the "Trophy". We cut the heads off, cut out the tounge and toss the antlers. We take all the organs, skins and fats, to usel and the wife and I make arts/crafts and sell them for our income, while we wait for the freeze and X-mas comes on.Fat Bulls make great X-mas gifts and trade easily..
It is an AWSOME hunt and very helpfull for my family, extended family and elders that we share the meat of at least 60 Caribou+ a year. Gas here is still 7.65$ a gallon, so all the food we can harvest is never wasted.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g71/edwardhailstone/goodoldones0092.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g71/edwardhailstone/File0002.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g71/edwardhailstone/IMG_0177.jpg

Jim is quite right; I get a Caribou or Bear on my terms because I have time to. My season allows me to skip a bad shot/presentation, and to hunt another day and not lose 10,000$ or so in tickets, guide fees ect......because I live here. Besides, Bears come to me enough that I can actually just wait my turn.


When I hunt , I take all the advantages for myself, and away from the animal. Taking a "Chance" with an animal once or twice in a lifetime can be a great thrill, but doing it often is gonna get you killed....and if it dosent kill you, you may get a bad limp.

Another thing is that I and the wife, dragging the kids along, get to do this for a living, and Ive raised 7 kids doing so, so I have a bit of experiance, lotsaF'ups and plenty of practise.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g71/edwardhailstone/bear.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g71/edwardhailstone/goodoldones0071.jpg
I use a Mosin Nagant M-39 with czech LPS because the rifle (I am a Rifleman) is accurate, the ammo is too, and the bullets tumble for excellent effect in the body, often better than a softpoint. I dont care what caliber it is, if its accurate,dependable and affordable, its a gun/ammo combo to bank on. For me, .338 is 75$ a 20 box, Czek 7.62X54r was 62$ for 800 + shipping, and I got a quantity that guarentees that I will will ammo to my kids...

Ive used a .223 because it was the rifle I had in my hands and I had the advantage of suprize each time. A .223 can do the job, in capable hands, and any centerfire cartridge, no matter how boring can defeat a Brown Bear with a properly placed shot. I certainly wouldnt go after a Brown with a .22Hornet,and not a first choice with a .223, but I wouldnt pass up a shot with a 100gr, Rem corelok .243Rem ,either.
I use spine/brain shots because its what I was shown, I can do that consistantly and it works.
The "Ultimate" shot on a Bear is in the Temple, between the Eye and ear. All three of my .223 kills were temple shots at less than 100 yards.

Despite my experiance, my experiance is Not yours, nor are the conditions or the opportunitys. I post what I see and know, and hope you fellas get something as good out of it as I get outta your posts.

Do not underestimate the power of a gun.:D

AgentAdam
July 14, 2009, 05:30 AM
I have faith in the .223 and would rather be 100y away with a .308 than 40 yards away with a 12g slug.

H&Hhunter
July 14, 2009, 01:58 PM
Caribou,

I for one appreciate your posts and pictures. The point I was trying to bring up is that your hunting and the hunting a Gusick on a guided hunt is going to do are two completely different things. Heck even a guy like me when I was resident was doing a different style of hunting than what you are doing as a pure native substance hunter.

Some guys read your posts and the only thing they see is .223 is a great brown bear round or .22LR is a fantastic caribou round. Then they go around preaching it. Nothing you've ever posted is wrong or bad information it's just that some guys don't get the difference in the style of hunting. Which is a major thing.

The way you guys shoot swimming caribou is a prime example. You are as you said harvesting them. In many ways it's the same as shooting a penned beef with a .22. Of course I am not implying that your caribou are penned up simply that the shot distance and placement is similar. Guys read this and think that you are "hunting" caribou with a .22lr. They need to understand the difference between a spot and stalk caribou hunt on land and shooting them in the river for winter larger.

And I've got question for you.

As you well know the bears up in your area are smaller than down south in on coast sometimes by a large margin. Would you feel comfortable hunting big coastal brownies down on the penn or out on Kodiak in the thick alders with a .308? It definitely wouldn't be my first choice. I wouldn't feel naked with one but having spent some time cruising the thick brush down there I always like to carry more rifle than that. So do just about any and all bear guides you meet who hunt down there. Whats your take on it?

caribou
July 14, 2009, 05:42 PM
H&H, I very much get your point.
Its also why I post here, to share the way I hunt, as well as those people around me. Its certainly like no other hunt.
I have never advocated small cartridges as "Big Game" cartridges,, but I do know what they can do, and they cannot be discounted. Sometimes they are the perfect choice.
Subsistance hunting is quite a different hunt than Trophy hunting for sure.
I hunt for a living, so the thrill of chasing animals across tundra and packing them back to the boat is long gone. I try to do things as effeciently and as economicly as possible without injury or going hungry. Sweating in -20 winter alone can kill a fella 20 miles from home.

Shooting Caribou in the back of the head with a .22 while in a river IS hunting. When you want to take home 20 or so Caribou as Meat , with perfect meat at that, thats how its done.
We harvest Caribou in the rivers, like Indians did with Buffalo and 'Jumps", strictly to get alot of choice food at the right time,only at the end of Fall with a 4-5 day "window" for a hunt.
The other 360 days of the year, we hunt like the rest of the world.
Theres a fine edge between getting choice meats, rut arriving and the river freezing. Were able to catch them and freeze them whole, and make it home before thin ice cuts up the boat on the trip home.
I have posted detailed info on that kinda hunting because its unique and I think folks here are interested in all types of hunting. I have gotten little negeitive feedback, but I didnt consitter how folks would understand my methods, so you have a good point.
To me, shooting Caribou from the boat is much more of a "Hunt" than sitting over them in a tree, waiting for them to come to the feeder.......but that ,too, is called "hunting" ;)
Depends on where you are and what your hunting...

If you look at the pictures you might notice that we shoot Browns in the Spring, because we can negate the brush, as its filled 6 feet high with snow. Tracking is easy, shiny dark balls of fur stand out against the snow very well..... and the Bears have lost all the rotten salmon taste to the meat, and are usually very fat and tastey.
Hunting Browns for meat is alot like hunting Caribou in the rivers. We take our best advantage and are quite happy with the results.

As I noted too, I take away all advantages from the animal.
I will not meet a Bear or any other animal I'm hunting on their terms, and hunting Browns in thick brush is near suicide.:rolleyes:
The gun for that type of disaster is a 12 gauge with slugs and a death wish.

A Bear in brush is best delt with by getting above 'em, or bait them out into the open, if legal.
Browns in the brush are in their territorys, and having them come out in the clear, then you can size them up and see if the have cubs, a big no no to shoot.
If a Bear Im hunting has made the brush unharmed, I hunt another day.

I use a Mosin in7.62X54r and its" 30 cal", moving as fast as a .308, so the end results are exactly the same. I would use that against any Bear, anywhere.
Im not a guide or a guided hunter, so the problems that relitivly new to Bears hunters have with "Buck fever", fatigue, unfamiliar territory and "New to Alaska" and "New to Bear hunting" in general, are not a factor. Nor can I throw $$$ at the problem, and buy a gun/shells just for Bears.
What I have works VERY well, through my experiance.

By all means, hunt with what you feel is nessarry, as long as you can hit what you intend, and regular like at that.
Learn anatomy of the animal your hunting and have fun.

Bell and his .257rigby would have had a ball here, dontcha think?.... :D

.333 Nitro Express
July 14, 2009, 05:46 PM
I for one appreciate your posts and pictures. The point I was trying to bring up is that your hunting and the hunting a Gusick on a guided hunt is going to do are two completely different things. Heck even a guy like me when I was resident was doing a different style of hunting than what you are doing as a pure native substance hunter.

Some guys read your posts and the only thing they see is .223 is a great brown bear round or .22LR is a fantastic caribou round. Then they go around preaching it. Nothing you've ever posted is wrong or bad information it's just that some guys don't get the difference in the style of hunting. Which is a major thing.

The way you guys shoot swimming caribou is a prime example. <snip> Guys read this and think that you are "hunting" caribou with a .22lr. They need to understand the difference between a spot and stalk caribou hunt on land and shooting them in the river for winter larger.

Amen.

saturno_v
July 14, 2009, 06:08 PM
Caribou's post is very informative


I never understood what big of an advantage a few percentage of an inch wider wound channel is going to give to you when hunting DG (or any animal for that matter)...1%??, 3%???

What I always heard is that if the cartridge and bullet you are using can get to the vitals from any angle at that given distance you are good to go..

I don't know well the 308 but I do know that a 30-06 (or a 7,62 X 54R as proven by Caribou and many hunters in Siberia) with the proper bullet can go though a grizzly, no matter how big from any angle at typical hunting/charging distances for them.....would a 30 Carbine adequate for the same task?? Of course NOT.

Recently I read of a 9 footer hit at 60 yards on the shoulder with a 220 gr. partition 30-06....the bullet broke both shoulder and left a ping pong sized exit hole on the other side....bear dropped in his tracks....I think it qualifies for saying that the critter was put down with authority.

Someone can tell me what would be the difference with a 375 H&H....a 10% of an inch wider wound channel???


Thick skinned very large animals (Rhino, Elephant, Cape Buffalo) are a different story....you need lots of power to drill through muscle huge bones, fat, etc...very large and powerful calibers are fully justified...indeed necessary.

If a 30-06 fail to penetrate very deeply on a grizzly the reason is always the use of inappropriate bullets (shape, weight and/or construction) or excessive distances....I would not choose your typical cheap spitzer soft point 150 gr. 30-06 ($12 a box in the good old time) against a big bruin...

jim in Anchorage
July 14, 2009, 06:45 PM
Recently I read of a 9 footer hit at 60 yards on the shoulder with a 220 gr. partition 30-06....the bullet broke both shoulder and left a ping pong sized exit hole on the other side....bear dropped in hit tracks..I think it qualifies for saying that the critter was put down with authority
Thats bull, I have a collection of Nosler partitions [the back half] I retrieved from moose I shot with a 30-06,that never hit bone and stayed in the animal. BOTH shoulders on a 9 Ft bear,and a exit wound? Thats one hot 30-06.

saturno_v
July 14, 2009, 06:54 PM
Thats bull, I have a collection of Nosler partitions [the back half] I retrieved from moose I shot with a 30-06,that never hit bone and stayed in the animal. BOTH shoulders on a 9 Ft bear,and a exit wound? Thats one hot 30-06.


Moose shot lengthwise?? What distances?? What bullet weight?? Even if you did not hit bone, soft tissue can actually increase drag compared to hitting a hard surface...

One of my Russian co-workers during his hunting time in Siberia told me that they shot for defense (very short distance) a big brown bear with a Mosin (203 gr. soft point), hit the chest and broke his hump exiting paralizing the bruin.

The stories are totally credible...the 220 gr. 30 cal bullet have a tremendous SD...the 240 gr. Woodleigh is even better and it does quite the numbers....I saw high powered 30 cal bullet (cheap 7.62 X 54R 148 gr. FMJ) going completely through a live oak at 50 yards.....


This 6.5 mm bullet fired from a 6.5 X 55 Sweden cartridge was recovered more than halfway through a Moose lengthwise and it took few ribs.....the 6.5 Sweden is a ~2200 ft/lb cartridge....way less power than a 30-06 but that bullet has a formidable SD...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Halvmantlad_.jpg

saturno_v
July 14, 2009, 07:57 PM
H&H

I do not want to argue, you have ton of experience but I just weant to try to understand your point of view.

What is the difference, in terms of the cartridge used, between hunting in the open or in the brush??

The most obvious are, I think, distance of egagement and visibility....correct me if I'm wrong...

Assuming you are using at least a cartridge capable to get to the vitals from any angle (and let's assume that a 30-06 is that cartridge), how a more powerful round is going to help you?? If you miss, you miss with both and you are in trouble....if there is a difference it is statistically so minuscole to be irrelevant...let's speculate a slightly off centered shot where that 10-15% of an inch wider wound channel is going to clip that particular organ or CNS spot that a smaller caliber is going to miss?? What are the odds of that happening???

If you track a wounded bear in thick cover and you get into an hairy situation there is a possibility that you may have only one shot (if you are lucky) before the bruin is on you...if you miss the CNS, 30-06 or 375 what is the difference??


I can understand if the difference is more on the type of the gun used and the bullet style and weight (heavy round or flat nosed to be less susceptible to deviation) rather than the cartridge power di per se (without going below certain performance level, of course, as we said before)....you need a more handy and manoeuvrable rifle...infact is well known that a long barrel bolt gun is not the best in thick cover..many prefer a lever, a pump or a reliable semi-auto.


Interesting the point of view of Caribou.....hunting grizzly in thick cover is nearly suicidal no matter the gun you carry......

H&Hhunter
July 14, 2009, 11:57 PM
Assuming you are using at least a cartridge capable to get to the vitals from any angle (and let's assume that a 30-06 is that cartridge), how a more powerful round is going to help you?? If you miss, you miss with both and you are in trouble....if there is a difference it is statistically so minuscole to be irrelevant...let's speculate a slightly off centered shot where that 10-15% of an inch wider wound channel is going to clip that particular organ or CNS spot that a smaller caliber is going to miss?? What are the odds of that happening???

If you track a wounded bear in thick cover and you get into an hairyt situation there is a possibility that you may have only one shot (if you are lucky) before the bruin is on you...if you miss the CNS, 30-06 or 375 what is the difference??


Until you've seen the difference it's pretty hard for me to explain. I am not sure that I said anything about .375H&H's in my above post but if that is the rifle you want to compare then lets use it. My carry rifle in bear country was and still is for the most part a 20" stainless CRF .375H&H with 6 rounds. Are we seeing a trend here?;)

It puts over 4,000 Ft lbs at the muzzle and is known as one of the deepest penetrating sporting rounds on earth. The difference in striking force and authority on game is exponentially greater than that of the .30-06. One thing these bigger rifles will do is give you reliable length wise penetration on a smaller critter like a brown bear smashing the pelvis on the exit is a really good stopper if you don't hit the spine or brain on a frontal shot.

What we are getting into there is difference between killing and stopping. If you really want a serious stopping rifle in my opinion they start at .416 level of power on thick skinned DG and the .338 on bear.

And to answer your question about rifle type vs caliber my rifle is set up short and fast. I am capable of working 6 rounds on target just about as fast as anybody I've ever raced with a heavy lever gun. I don't know how much time you've spent cruising the alder brush country of South Central AK but a .375 or larger rifle is a nice thing to be carrying for (maybe false) sense of security. The bear that really wants to get you is the one that you never see or have a chance of shooting anyway for the most part that is the one that is on you before you have time to react.

The difference being that if do get that one shot in and miss or hit the vitals for that matter as vitals have NOTHING to do with stopping a critter at close range. My one punch is going to hit like a freight train. That might just be enough to turn or stop, it may not but I'll take all I can get.

Mr. Phil Shoemaker one of the most experience big bear guides on the planet has written much on this subject. He speaks of several stopping rifles that he's carried for Bear if my memory serves me his primary rifle is a .458 WM though he has also carried .375 Ruger and is happy with it, he has also mentioned a .416 of some sort. He has written about a failure to stop a bear with a .505 Gibbs and a body shot. There are simply to many variables for me to make a definitive statement on the subject. All I know is that my comfort zone in big bear country starts with a .375H&H, one that I am completely familiar with and have the utmost confidence in if that rifle is your .30-06 then that is what you should be carrying.

H&Hhunter
July 15, 2009, 12:00 AM
Bell and his .257rigby would have had a ball here, dontcha think?....

Caribou,

He did, Bell was professional meat hunter in the Yukon before he went to Africa.:)

saturno_v
July 15, 2009, 12:25 AM
The difference being that if do get that one shot in and miss or hit the vitals for that matter as vitals have NOTHING to do with stopping a critter at close range.

I totally agree...only CNS hit guarantee a stop..with any gun...a 30-06 in the spine is going to stop a big bear for sure where a 375 to the guts may not...

It puts over 4,000 Ft lbs at the muzzle and is known as one of the deepest penetrating sporting rounds on earth. The difference in striking force and authority on game is exponentially greater than that of the .30-06. One thing these bigger rifles will do is give you reliable length wise penetration on a smaller critter like a brown bear smashing the pelvis on the exit is a really good stopper if you don't hit the spine or brain on a frontal shot.


The 375 is much more powerful than a 30-06 for sure, no doubt about it...however the best 220-240 gr. loads for the '06 can put over 3000 ft/lb of energy at the muzzle....if your 375 is going to hit like a freight train ther 30-06 is not going to hit like a Yugo....:D..at least like a semi-trailer :evil:

The .30 cal bullets over 200 gr. have tremendous SD and are well known to achieve exceptional penetration.

The stories I read and heard about very short distance of 30-06 vs. big brown make me think that we can still use the word authority....how would you define a 60 yards shot that break both shoulder before exiting??? Or a chest shot with a 7.62 X 54R that break the hump (tough muscles and bones) on its way out??

All I know is that my comfort zone in big bear country starts with a .375H&H,

Totally agree...you said some time ago that you can fire a 470 NE fairly comfortably....if you do there is not reason for you to choose a lesser gun than the one you shoot very good....but there are sunday hunters that are almost afraid to shoot their big boomer but they have no choice because some outfitter guide told them to bring the biggest baddest rifle possible...I read an outfitter web page that said that if some client felt comfortable with the weight, they would allow a 50 BMG to camp..and no they weren't joking!!...:rolleyes:

Then you read of situations of enraged grizzlies shot all over the place with 375, 416 and 458 that "take bullets like candies, then I need an ever bigger gun"....talking about poor shot placement...

Ending on a light note, the comparison: "Bell killed elephants with a 275 Rigby then we can use a 30-06 on bears (or lions)" doesn't make much sense..the old 275 Rigby is significantly less powerful than a modern 30-06 and Elephants weight one order of magnitude more than Grizzlies....let's have the right perspective here!! :D

H&Hhunter
July 15, 2009, 01:20 AM
I totally agree...only CNS hit guarantee a stop..with any gun...a 30-06 in the spine is going to stop a big bear for sure where a 375 to the guts may not...

So why would you shoot them in the spine with a .30-06 but aim for the guts with a .375H&H?;)

I see this all the time "A well placed shot with an XYZ is better than a gut shot with a heavy rifle." Simple answer don't gut shoot them with the heavy. Because a well placed shot with a heavy is mo betta. :)

saturno_v
July 15, 2009, 01:32 AM
So why would you shoot them in the spine with a .30-06 but aim for the guts with a .375H&H?


Oh I know that!!! :neener::D...just for some people power is everything....when they say "that bear was taking .375 slugs like candies" they forget to mention where those bullets were really going...

A heavy recoiling rifle can induce more aiming error...I'm not talking about you, just in general for people not used to that kind of guns....and there are individuals that despite having a lot of experience with firearms will never properly master that level of power...is not for everyone...

H&Hhunter
July 15, 2009, 02:58 AM
All I know is that my comfort zone in big bear country starts with a .375H&H, one that I am completely familiar with and have the utmost confidence in if that rifle is your .30-06 then that is what you should be carrying.

Agreed in my previous post rifle comfort and familiarity trumps all. My advice is that if you are going to be treading amongst things that can kill you to get familiar with an adequate rifle. A .375H&H is hardly a difficult rifle to master. No more so than a .30-06.

Just to set the record straight I'd walk across Africa with a .30-06 and decent 220 grain solids just as I would Alaska without a second thought. But I'd prefer my good old .375H&H given the choice.

saturno_v
July 15, 2009, 04:25 AM
H&H

A bit off topic question for you.

What is your take on the Woodleigh 300 grain .338 bullet (both the Soft Point and solid)??

Double Tap makes a SAAMi complaint load in 338 Winchester Magnum which delivers 4200 ft/lb of ME (~2500 fps) out of a 24" barrel.

I heard some comments and stories from hunters that used it on Cape Buffalo hunting (where legal) and they were very impressed with the load...incredible penetration (the SD is truly impressive) even when engaging on a full frontal shot...the animals went down like being hit by a lightning.

What do you think???

H&Hhunter
July 15, 2009, 11:37 AM
I've used Woodleighs extensively. They are a very good bullet in fact I'd rate in the top three. They also make heavy for caliber rounds like the 300 gr .338 and the 350 gr .375. And yes the combination of extremely high SD and tough bonded core construction make them a devastating bullet. Do they I wonder make a 220 gr .308 version of the same combination? There's your brown bear medicine.

As far as their solids go I've personally used them on Cape buffalo. I was shooting a .458 Lott at the time. I witnessed full length wise penetration several times on a buff bull with no deformation. They are a good bullet.

saturno_v
July 15, 2009, 12:29 PM
H&H


Yes Woodleigh makes 220 and 240 gr. .308 cal. bonded core and solid bullets.
The 240 gr. SD is fenomenal and you can still push them at over 2400 fps from a 30-06 within the SAAMI spec limits.

However for brown bears many people in Alaskaalso use premium 180 and 200 gr. bullets in 30-06 and the 300 Magnums (Winchester or Weatherby) with great results.

H&Hhunter
July 16, 2009, 01:05 AM
However for brown bears many people in Alaskaalso use premium 180 and 200 gr. bullets in 30-06 and the 300 Magnums (Winchester or Weatherby) with great results.

Funny you should mention that. Living and hunting in bush of Ak is where I learned about and started using a .375H&H. When I first arrived I was carrying a .300 Weatherby. It was on the advice of some experienced old sourdough bear hunters that I changed to a .375H&H. Several had very bad experiences with the .300 mags on bear and all had changed to either a .375 or a .338. I've never looked back.

JImbothefiveth
July 16, 2009, 01:32 AM
1%??, 3%??? The difference from 30 to 375 is 25%

jim in Anchorage
July 16, 2009, 05:13 AM
Funny you should mention that. Living and hunting in bush of Ak is where I learned about and started using a .375H&H. When I first arrived I was carrying a .300 Weatherby. It was on the advice of some experienced old sourdough bear hunters that I changed to a .375H&H. Several had very bad experiences with the .300 mags on bear and all had changed to either a .375 or a .338. I've never looked back

I would like to hear your reasoning as to why the .338 Win[225@2800] is Superior to the .300 WBY[[220@2825] And yes I put my hide where my mouth is. I will be doing a fly in hunt[Supercub] in the Talkeetnas this year on a salmon river stiff with bears,just me and my hunting buddy,and I will carry a .300 WBY. If I get mangled my only option is to call for help on 121.5 on my aviation radio.

saturno_v
July 16, 2009, 11:35 AM
The difference from 30 to 375 is 25%


I meant the percentage of advantage with a larger bullet, not the difference in power....

Funny you should mention that. Living and hunting in bush of Ak is where I learned about and started using a .375H&H. When I first arrived I was carrying a .300 Weatherby. It was on the advice of some experienced old sourdough bear hunters that I changed to a .375H&H. Several had very bad experiences with the .300 mags on bear and all had changed to either a .375 or a .338. I've never looked back.

From what I heard, in some occasions the 300 Magnums (Win or Wby) failed to penetrate at very short distance against a grizzly because the bullet literally exploded on target...too much velocity and use of inappropriate bullet I guess....actually the same thing sometimes happened on deer too!!!!...like a 223 exploding on a blade of grass..I saw it myself....

With the right slug, the 300 Wby is a great thumper, same energy level of a 338 Winchester Magnum

H&Hhunter
July 16, 2009, 11:46 AM
Jim,

Did you miss the part where I said I went with a .375?;)

But to try and answer your question first off I wouldn't carry 225's in a .338 in bear country I would use premium expanding 250's. I am not sure that .338 gives you enough over a .300 to make a difference and that is one of the reasons I chose a .375.

The main reason I don't like the .300 Weatherby for your sated purpose is two fold. First off I don't like Weatherby Mark V's it's a personal choice thing and not a slight against your rifle if it's a Mark V, or Weatherby in general. And secondly to get what you want out of a .300 Weatherby it has to have a 26" tube. When I lived in AK I flew myself in and hunted solo quite a bit my choice for a hunting /self defense rifle was a stainless 20" .375H&H and it still is today. I've killed everything from jack rabbits to cape buffalo with that rifle I've shot it more than any other rifle I've owned and I've killed hundreds of head of game with it. This is a rifle that I am extremely comfortable with therefore I have confidence in it.

If your .300 Weatherby is that rifle for you then it is the right choice. It doesn't really matter what my opinion is on the subject it boils down to what you are comfortable with.

So with that in mind I can't answer your question as I don't know that a .338 is superior to a .300 Weatherby. A .300 Weatherby is a hard hitting SOB. I've owned several of them.

H&Hhunter
July 16, 2009, 11:56 AM
From what I heard, in some occasions the 300 Magnums (Win or Wby) failed to penetrate at very short distance against a grizzly because the bullet literally exploded on target...too much velocity and use of inappropriate bullet I guess....actually the same thing sometimes happened on deer too!!!!...like a 223 exploding on a blade of grass..I saw it myself....


Yep that was the consensus that turned me. Right or wrong I haven't regretted my decision. I actually have some first hand experience with a .300 WM failing to penetrate on a grizz at close range. Fortunately the bear exited and was killed later.

Long story short but a buddy of mine used a partially covered kill as his stand and waited for the bear to come back. He got a head on shot at about 15 yards with a 180 gr partition. He hit the bear just in the bottom of the nose. The bullet turned and exited just where the nose meets the forehead. The bear was killed the next day.

Would a heavier slower bullet done the same? No telling but it is my experience that you can count on more reliable straight line penetration with a heavier slower moving slug.

jim in Anchorage
July 16, 2009, 12:27 PM
Funny you should mention that. Living and hunting in bush of Ak is where I learned about and started using a .375H&H. When I first arrived I was carrying a .300 Weatherby. It was on the advice of some experienced old sourdough bear hunters that I changed to a .375H&H. Several had very bad experiences with the .300 mags on bear and all had changed to either a .375 or a .338. I've never looked back
I am going off your remark here. My .300 WBY is a 700 Rem. Nowhere near the gun my pre war M70s are,but they are all 30-06 and I want a change of pace. For a life long 30-06 guy,when I sighted in the .300 I was astounded at how flat the trajectory was. And yes,I do own a.375,a ZKK 602 I have had for 20 years,but never use because it is as heavy as a bag of bricks

saturno_v
July 16, 2009, 12:42 PM
Yep that was the consensus that turned me. Right or wrong I haven't regretted my decision. I actually have some first hand experience with a .300 WM failing to penetrate on a grizz at close range. Fortunately the bear exited and was killed later.

Long story short but a buddy of mine used a partially covered kill as his stand and waited for the bear to come back. He got a head on shot at about 15 yards with a 180 gr partition. He hit the bear just in the bottom of the nose. The bullet turned and exited just where the nose meets the forehead. The bear was killed the next day.

Would a heavier slower bullet done the same? No telling but it is my experience that you can count on more reliable straight line penetration with a heavier slower moving slug.

Yes, velocity and spitzer bullets are not very straight penetration friendly in some situations..

Same thing happened with a 300 Win Mag on a whitetail....exploded on impact where the good old 30-30 went through and through with the astonishmnent of the shooters!!!

But the 300 Wby with round nose 220 gr is a different animal....

H&Hhunter
July 16, 2009, 01:31 PM
But the 300 Wby with round nose 220 gr is a different animal....

Agreed..

BMF500
July 16, 2009, 01:51 PM
First of all I have never personally hunted any type of bear, nor do I have any desire to. I've tried the meat and think it tastes like doo-doo. My current big boy bolt action is Weatherby chambered in .300wby. I am looking into a Sako in either .375H&H or .338Lapua, still no intrest in bears, just to have one 'cause I want to.

Now, I've made several trips to the Canadian Arctic for work reactivating a drilling rig that was cold-stacked (no pun intended) for 13 years. We hired environmental monitors, A.K.A. bear monitors (for polar bears) as escorts on the ice roads and for surveillance for all ground work. These guys, who were all born, raised, and live in and around Tuktoyaktuk, NT Canada, all carried .308's and 30-06's. .308 being the more popular. Now, exactly what cartidges these rifles were loaded with I don't know. So, as my answer to the OP, yes.

saturno_v
July 16, 2009, 03:04 PM
First of all I have never personally hunted any type of bear, nor do I have any desire to. I've tried the meat and think it tastes like doo-doo. My current big boy bolt action is Weatherby chambered in .300wby. I am looking into a Sako in either .375H&H or .338Lapua, still no intrest in bears, just to have one 'cause I want to.

Now, I've made several trips to the Canadian Arctic for work reactivating a drilling rig that was cold-stacked (no pun intended) for 13 years. We hired environmental monitors, A.K.A. bear monitors (for polar bears) as escorts on the ice roads and for surveillance for all ground work. These guys, who were all born, raised, and live in and around Tuktoyaktuk, NT Canada, all carried .308's and 30-06's. .308 being the more popular. Now, exactly what cartidges these rifles were loaded with I don't know. So, as my answer to the OP, yes.


+1 to that

As I mentioned in another post some while ago, one of the people I met worked for several years in a similar job you described for an oil company up in AK and he had quite few "close and personal" encounters with big bruins.
His favourite bear defense guns were the 12 ga Remington 870 shotgun with Brenneke Slugs and the Remington 760 pump rifle in 30-06 with an extended 10 rounds magazine.

H&Hhunter
July 16, 2009, 05:07 PM
And yes,I do own a.375,a ZKK 602 I have had for 20 years,but never use because it is as heavy as a bag of bricks

Jim,

Would you be interested in selling that 602?

saturno_v
July 16, 2009, 06:11 PM
H&H

As you know for sure, one of the most famous victims of exploding bullets in Africa was an English gentleman, Sir George Grey

He shot a Lion in the chest with its 280 Ross and the bullet exploded on its vay to the vitals not disabling the beast.

The big cat too offense and mauled Grey severely....he died few days later.

Expanding bullet technology at that time was primitive and the 280 Ross gained a bad reputation in Africa for overexpansion, total jacket separation and fragmenting because of his very high velocity for that time...unreliable bullets and a rifle with a problematic action killed an otherwise excellent cartridge.

Two decades later Winchester got it right with its fantastic 270 Win equipped with an early version of its silvertip bullet...just a tad less hot than the 280 Ross, the new bullets held very well allowing reliable expansion and deep penetration.

The 280 Ross is almost a ballistic twin of the modern day 280 Remington.

H&Hhunter
July 16, 2009, 06:34 PM
Saturno,

It is amazing how a cartridge can suffer bad press to it's demise or near demise. The .458 WM almost suffered similar fate due to compression and caking powder after it's advent. I have read one story of a .416 RM sticking in the chamber due to over pressure problems and now you can't mention the .416 RM without somebody bringing that incident up. What I don't get is that they all blame high CUP for the incident and say that high pressure rounds shouldn't be used in Africa due to the heat. But the most arguably famous African round of all time the .375H&H is always given the highest regards. And it is a high pressure round to be sure.

saturno_v
July 16, 2009, 06:42 PM
Yes, very true....

caribou
July 16, 2009, 07:00 PM
FMJ's boys.

Their legal here in Alaska, and quite deadly. Hit bone and things are broken for sure.

Three cartridges that Ive found that have and will shoot right on through, are all FMJ military cartridges.
8mm Mauser, 30-06 and my 7.62X54R.

Only once with the 8mm, but a true shoulder to shoulder shot, with both lungs toasted, but a relitvly small exit.

Several times with the '06 but most were neck/head shots that blew big holes right on through, as well as my Mosin with steel cored Czeck still moving after busting the neck into bone meal and leaving a fist sized exit hole with bullet and bone projectiles adding to the hole.
Often if the bullet hasnt exited, its laying under the skin on the far side of the shot.
In my experiance the '06 and Czeck are wicked tumblers and wild hole makers.
Im not out to get a bullet to go all the way through an animal, Im trying to bust their neck/backbones, and finnish the job 1/2 way through:D

I belive solids are popular for Africas game, and Ive used FMJ's for years as the ammo I buy is usually in bulk.

I also had some good Turk8mm and some bad, which is why I set the Mauser aside and fell in love with Czeck LPS. The accuracy is awsome, so when I do my part, the hole makers do theirs.

Its interesting to hear about what the larger/faster calibers have to offer.

What I see is what I shoot if its appropriate. Caribou will fill my sled if I see no Bears, Wolves if no Caribou.....what ever pops up.

saturno_v
July 16, 2009, 07:11 PM
Caribou


Yes I bet that a FMJ from an 06, Mosin or 8 mm tumbling should make a hell of a damage....

jim in Anchorage
July 16, 2009, 08:25 PM
Jim,

Would you be interested in selling that 602?

H&H-No. I thought someone might ask-it seems to generate a lot of interest. I plan on keeping it but shorting that unwieldy 25 inch barrel to 21 inch. Any thoughts on a .378 rechamber?

scythefwd
July 18, 2009, 10:09 AM
Shot placement is EVERYTHING!!!

A miss with any gun is worthless.

Ive seen a 9foot Brown go 50 yards uphill, with a huge hole in his heart, and both lungs popped, and a busted shoulder.....They dont stop Bears fast either.

Use an FMJ if you think your gonna need DEEEEEP penatration.You can put an FMJ in his neck and most will plow completly through to the guts, easily. Ive seen that with an 8mmMauser, turk ammo.

A shoulder to lungs shot with a good soft point isnt hard, Ive seen that, but you still wont stop 'em if it wants to chew you up.

Then you know what your made of and "If" you can make the shot

What I'm made of?? That would be bear poo. In that situation, I would die... period. I have a 1/4 inch shake to begin with, under stress..... I would be luck to hit minute of barn from the inside :)

CabofDoom
July 19, 2009, 07:55 PM
I hope like hell a .308 is enough for moose cause my 12yo boy pulled a moose tag for this fall (just passed hunter safety so it will be his first hunt...pretty cool) and I thought a .308 in the 180gr range would do the trick. besides, it will work great on deer ( primary quary) and the black bear of oppertunity. Thats about all we here in the NE get to hunt for big game and I dont have the oppurtunity to travel much to hunt

COD

jim in Anchorage
July 19, 2009, 08:02 PM
It will work with a good bullet like the 180 Nosler. I have shot many with a 30-06 no problem.

H&Hhunter
July 20, 2009, 12:49 AM
Any thoughts on a .378 rechamber?

Jim,
A .378 re chamber is WAY to much trouble. I'd blow it out to .375 Weatherby and call it good. Actually I'd personally leave it alone but if you just had to mess with it, the Weatherby is the way to go. If you are going to to that however you'll want to leave the barrel @ 24" at a minimum.

jim in Anchorage
July 20, 2009, 01:32 AM
Why would a .378 be to much trouble?
From what I can see I am looking at-
Rechamber.
open bolt face.
minor feed rail alterations.
The magazine will accept .378 as is. The action just seems wasted with the"short" .375.

cooch
July 20, 2009, 04:57 AM
Hmmm......

I see Bell mentioned.
FWIW, I have never seen Bell's marksmanship rated at anything less than "excellent". More often "superb". However it's also said that you could fill a modest village cemetery with those who sought to emulate Bell's use of small calibres on dangerous game and missed just once....

I also recall that his meat-hunting in the far north was done with a handgun (.45LC?) "running down" game in deep snow while wearing snowshoes. The man was also very, very fit.

I also agree that for most able-bodied males, the recoil level on a .375 is such that the difficulty is mostly mental, and that learning to shoot a rifle in a more reasonable calibre is a part of the price that we should be prepared to pay if we wish to hunt big critters.

The cross-sectional area of a projectile is proportional to the square of the diameter.... thus a .375 has a CSA of approximately 50% greater than that of a .308. If you're trying to let blood out or air in, that is not insignificant . Of course that doesn't guarantee anything, but a man who hasn't missed anything, hasn't done much shooting. If you miss by just a little (and most misses are.....) then that difference may be what you need. Again, no guarantees, but it tips the odds a little more in your favour, and I'm not so arrogant that I want to ignore the percentages.

While I haven't shot any bears (Drop-Bears excepted ;)), I've spent my life amongst bushies. We tend to "make do" and use what is available - even if it isn't what is best for the job. We also tend to accept a slightly higher degree of risk (rural industries tend to be high-risk occupations) as a matter of course. Point being that just because you know a "local" who does something in a certain way, doesn't mean that it is a good idea for you to imitate him.

Regards.......... Peter

H&Hhunter
July 20, 2009, 12:35 PM
The action just seems wasted with the"short" .375.

Sell it to me and I'll be sure it isn't wasted.

What are you trying to accomplish with a .378 Weatherby?

jim in Anchorage
July 21, 2009, 01:37 AM
Little better trajectory and punch at longer range. I get the occasional 400yd take it or leave it moose shot. Actually when I bought it 19 years ago it was for a .505 project but I have no use for such a animal so thought of the .378,which I do have.

H&Hhunter
July 21, 2009, 01:29 PM
My longest range elk kill ever was at 443 yards with my 20" .375H&H and a 285 gr Speer grand slam. The bullet entered the last rib and exited the off shoulder. The ole .375H&H has plenty of punch even at long range.

If you want to do a .378 that 602 action is sure as heck the right choice. I was simply thinking of simplicity sake offering the .375 Weatherby. One pass with a reamer and your done.

jim in Anchorage
July 21, 2009, 04:12 PM
Hard to argue with those results. I may leave it H&H or go with the"'improved" WBY. version. That 25 inch barrel has got to go however,it is just to much for the terrain I hunt in.That set trigger sure is slick-seems odd on a .375 though.

saturno_v
July 21, 2009, 04:28 PM
H&H

Couple of questions for you:


The 375 H&H is a quite high pressure cartridge (62.000 PSI SAAMI specs) capable of mid or upper-mid 4000 ft/lb ME out of a 24" pipe....how much speed/energy do you give up in a 20" barrel???


Of the "classic" African cartridges, historically the 375 H&H has always been the flattest shooting (close to a 30-06 in some load/bullet weight combination), which one of the newer big calibers (375 & up) super boomer shoot as flat or flatter?? 378 Wby?? 375 RUM?? 416 Remington Magnum??



P.S.

You said in a previous post

And secondly to get what you want out of a .300 Weatherby it has to have a 26" tube

You are absolutely right!! Infact in a 24" barrel the 300 Win Mag and the 300 Wby are basically ballistic twins (within 100-200 ft/.lb of difference, depending on the load).
It's funny you did mention that because I explained the very same thing to a guy in a gun shop that was buying a Weatherby Vanguard (24" pipe) in 300 Wby hoping that he was getting the "Weatherby power premium" over the 300 Win Mag......when you consider the much higher average cost of ammo (he was not a reloader), the less availability (in thew good old days you could buy a box of 300 Win Mag even at Wal Mart) and the increase in blast and recoil, 100-200 ft/lb of difference and a fraction of an inch flatter trajectory is not worth it.....the 300 Wby start to noticeably pull away from a 300 Win Mag in barrels longer than 24".

The guy eventually bought the 300 Win Mag Vanguard...

H&Hhunter
July 21, 2009, 06:55 PM
Saturno,

My .300 is a Win Mag with a 24" barrel as it is close enough to the Weatherby with 180 gr bullets that I won't ever notice the difference plus the ammo availability and cost is better as you mentioned.

how much speed/energy do you give up in a 20" barrel???


Amazingly little with most loads I am within 50 FPS of 24" numbers.

The super .375's..Hmmm. The two kings of the hill are the .378 and the .375 RUM. Neither of which are necessary in Africa IMO. Both would make fantastic long range moose and eland thumpers though. To me you are just giving up to much in rifle configuration with the super .375's needing the longer barrels, increased recoil etc. I REALLY like short .375H&H's and the new .375 Ruger is a really cool little round as well.

The various .416's shoot way flatter than they have a right to. The New .416 Ruger out of a 20" pipe would be a great choice for AK or Africa. The old Rigby is a power house as is the .416 Weatherby both of which are capable of shooting real flat within the context of a big bore rifle with a 400 gr bullet.

My .40 is a .404 Jeffery firing a 400 gr bullet @ 2350 FPS. I am confident out to the 250 yard give or take range with it. Of course most dangerous game hunting takes place at 50 yards and in I've had situations where there is something you want to shoot way out there so it doesn't hurt to have some reach in your DG rig.

I killed a wildebeest at 218 Yards with a .470 double rifle one time. All of these rifle can be used at range if you know your holdover.

jim in Anchorage
July 21, 2009, 10:05 PM
at 443 yards [218 Yards with a .470 double rifle one t
H&H-I do not use a range finder. Thats why I like the trajectory of the .378.

saturno_v
July 21, 2009, 10:26 PM
I killed a wildebeest at 218 Yards with a .470 double rifle one time. All of these rifle can be used at range if you know your holdover.


The problem with many African big bore cartridges is the residual energy more than the trajectory at very long ranges.

The 470 NE, for example, past 300 yards has comparable energy or even less than some stout 30-06 loads at the same distances....however at 200-250 is still a remarkable powerhouse...

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 22, 2009, 01:36 PM
This is a great discussion. I wish a mod could snip it or separate it at the point it diverged from .308 etc., and place it into a new thread, with a new title.

Leanwolf
July 22, 2009, 02:08 PM
DR. TAD H. WINSLOW - "This is a great discussion. I wish a mod could snip it or separate it at the point it diverged from .308 etc., and place it into a new thread, with a new title."

Doc, why do that?? Afterall, this thread is only six years old at the moment. How about just leaving it as is and see if it will run another six years or so?? Set a record, so to speak. ;)

L.W.

Dr_2_B
August 2, 2009, 08:56 PM
well, the statistics pushed me over into the 'no' category. 99X out of 100 is pretty high and 'take care to make a good shot' leaves too much room for error.

jnfphd
September 14, 2009, 02:43 PM
Hate to see a great thread die, so here's my two cents. Never been to Alaska or hunted anything bigger than deer. Hope to hunt elk for the first time this fall.

I think "is a .308 enough" is a good question to ask, especially given advances in bullet construction and powders. Always good to learn more about your firearm, I've got a Rem 700 308 winchester, and appreciate the opinions in this thread.

FWIW, Federal rates the .308 Winchester as effective on brown bear and moose, but not polar bear. But again, don't have any experience myself.

http://www.federalpremium.com/recommendation/default.aspx

Good thread.

If you enjoyed reading about ".308 Enough gun for Meese, Brown Bear, Polar Bear" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!