.308 vs. A bear


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Fire_Moose
March 7, 2013, 06:43 PM
Just curious if anyone knows how effective a 2500-2700fps .308 projectile would be against a charging bear.

Ohh I hope there's some anecdotes.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

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Dr T
March 7, 2013, 06:58 PM
Can bears type?

ironworkerwill
March 7, 2013, 06:59 PM
dead bear! ar10 really dead bear! It would'nt be my first choice tho. If I had a choice it would be a .600 Nitro.

Dr T
March 7, 2013, 07:06 PM
I was thinking a .50 BMG with the APC option...

ironworkerwill
March 7, 2013, 07:08 PM
I would be satisfied with an M60 and a full can. Plus it meets the .308 criteria.

Skyshot
March 7, 2013, 07:09 PM
Depends on the bullet used and the size of the bear and the shot placement. If it's a big griz or brownie and you shoot at the top of that sloping skull with a soft point and he is close, you could be a dead man. Those big bears have a thick slope on the skull. I know of one guy that had a .338 bounce off a brownie, the guide stopped the charge with a 12 ga. slug.

Reloadron
March 7, 2013, 07:13 PM
You fail to mention the type of bear? Not to mention bullet weight and design?

Just for the heck of it give this a read for starters (http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=hunting.firearms). Also, avoid all bears at all cost for the time being. :)

Ron

jmr40
March 7, 2013, 07:23 PM
Most grizzly guides feel that a well constructed 200gr bullet fired from a 30-06 @ 2600-2700 fps will work. The same bullet at 2500-2600 fps will do about the same job.

It is still about bullet constructon and placement.

PlaneJain
March 7, 2013, 07:54 PM
Most grizzly guides also carry a 338win or 375H&H to finish the job when needed. ;)

As for me, when hiking in the woods up here in Alaska, I carry my 308 Galil.

Kachok
March 7, 2013, 09:51 PM
a 180gr TSX should penetrate around 40" of 10% BG call that around 33"-36" of bear if you factor in thick hide, and if you don't hit any of the really heavy bones. That makes for a very impressive performance for an off the shelf hunting bullet, and should be capable of passing through a bear's vitals from nearly any respectable shooting angle with full expansion, HOWEVER I have come to understand that there is a huge difference between a hunting rifle and a stopping rifle, as a stopper the 308 would not make my top 10 list unless you are talking belt feed fully automatic :D No a stopping rifle should hit really hard, ideally hard enough to break his stride or heavy shoulder bones if encountered, hardened 12ga magnum slugs really come into their own there, as do larger rifles, but a 308 can work, many a bear has been stopped with fast handling 44 magnum and 454 Casul wheel guns, just a long way from my first choice in a rifle.

Fire_Moose
March 7, 2013, 10:06 PM
Good read reloadron.

Like I said, just curious. I have no intention of running into a bear fir a few years.

I've never been hunting. But would live to bag a moose one day. My buddy said a .308 might not cut it but that article seems to disagree...

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

Kachok
March 7, 2013, 10:16 PM
But would live to bag a moose one day. My buddy said a .308 might not cut it but that article seems to disagree...

Sent from my CZ85 Combat
The 308 is capable of taking anything in North America, this has been well established. Now it is a long way from the ideal in some cases but I would think a tough 180gr bullet would not be too far on the light side, many a moose has fallen to less powerful 6.5x55s and 7x57s, just don't try to use a fragile bullet designed for deer. Now I will say that on any animal that can reach a ton in weight I would much rather have a potent 338, 358 or 375 caliber rifle myself.

funnelcake
March 7, 2013, 11:06 PM
There's a guy here on THR or TFL that (or maybe a couple guys) both live in AK and one survived being mauled by a bear. Basically their experience indicated unless you could successfully shoot and hit 'em in the nose (assuming you're using something smaller than a literal cannon) that you'd be better off with bear spray.

Granted, this is on the big bears but the OP did ask about stopping a charging bear, not hunting them; to me that's a key difference. I'd take a 12-gauge using slugs (with a good amount of practice and the right kit), and bear spray.

After seeing how fast most of them can move I'd likely be hoping the stench of my rapidly soiled boxers would serve as an effective deterrent.

Funnel

Kayaker 1960
March 7, 2013, 11:12 PM
I'm pretty sure a .308 with a good heavy bullit will be at least as good as a .44 mag, probably a lot better.

MCgunner
March 7, 2013, 11:13 PM
Black bear AND grizzly have been killed by .22LR. .308 is overkill for a black bear. More have likely fallen to .30-30 than any other caliber. Heck, for many years, the native Americans in Alaska relied on the .30-30 for everything, from browns to polar bear. Ain't the arrow, it's the Indian. :D

The OP, as is normally the case in such threads, declines to acknowledge that ther are several species of very different bear on this continent. It makes a big difference if we're talkin' Kodiak or 200 lb black bear.

http://catfishgumbo.blogspot.com/2007/10/grandmas-griz.html

funnelcake
March 7, 2013, 11:22 PM
Again, hunting and stopping a charge are potentially vastly different circumstances.

Funnel

USAF_Vet
March 7, 2013, 11:23 PM
Bears!? Better take off and nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

BruceB
March 7, 2013, 11:39 PM
Based on personal experience, I can say that the .308 AND .303 British AND the .30'06 will all cleanly kill bears and moose and caribou.

This is predicated on using GOOD bullets and placing them properly for maximum effect. (My personal benchmark for bullet performance is the Nosler Partition, but that benchmark is now being threatened by the Barnes TSX.)

An auto-loading .308 loaded with these GOOD bullets is a fearsome instrument against anything. I used a TRW M-14 with 180 Noslers as a camp rifle to deal with barren-ground grizzlies north of the timberline. It worked just fine, and I never worried a bit. Remember too, that a .308 at the muzzle is the full equal of a .300 Magnum at a couple hundred yards.

For charging bears, just get on that trigger and keep shooting while trying for good shot placement. (N0, senator, us civilians have NO NEED for large-capacity magazines... but that M14 with 20 Noslers aboard sure came in handy, and it was a great comfort.)

RPRNY
March 7, 2013, 11:41 PM
Yes a heavy for caliber, well constructed. 308 bullet at. 308 Win velocities will kill any bear on Earth with proper shot placement. I, for one, do not believe that I would be capable of proper shot placement if charged by a large bear. I guess I might get a shot into the bear before the adrenellin and yips made me turn and run but I doubt I could hold steady and take a killing shot in a surprise situation. I think this is why bear spray is often seen as a more effective deterrent. Aimed in the general direction of a bear it is more likely to give the bear pause than a non - lethal gunshot.

I wonder if the scent of human feces is a deterrent? I would be far more likely to get proper shirt placement than shot placement in a charge situation...

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2

eastbank
March 8, 2013, 12:00 AM
when you buy pepper sprey and little bear bells they have serial numbers on them that are registered to you,so when the dig thru the bear SH*T they can id whats left of you, 12ga shotgun loaded with hardened slugs with break them down quick. eastbank.

CA Raider
March 8, 2013, 12:27 AM
i've never faced a charging bear.
sure hope I don't ever have to.
if I ever do ... I pray I've got a 45-70 Marlin guide gun in my hands.
But anyway - I read a story this week (old story) about some guys charged by grizzly in Montana. They said that grizzly came at them very low to the ground and very fast. I don't know if that's "standard procedure" for a griz ... but getting a fatal shot into an animal doing that does not sound easy. Unless you've got a friend who's standing off to one side - you're in trouble. That may be the real answer - make sure you've got a friend who'll stand his ground and shoot.

CA R

goon
March 8, 2013, 03:04 AM
I'd be more worried about that moose you plan on hunting than a bear. Moose kill more people than bears.

Fire_Moose
March 8, 2013, 03:10 AM
They sure do. I figure, at that point, I'd be up in a tree waiting for the majestic beast ;)

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

Lloyd Smale
March 9, 2013, 09:34 AM
big differnce in hunting a bear with 308 and stopping a charging bear. the 308 will kill any bear on the planet with a surgicaly placed shot. It is NOT a stopping round in any sense of the term. Stopping rifles for bear start at the 338 mag. and even that is considered light by some. Id bet more bear guides in alaska use 375s then all the rest combined. Now if your talking black bear the chance of you getting charged is about nil and if your one that gets struck by lightning twice a week and do get charged by one id still want something bigger then a 308 if given a choise.

WoodchuckAssassin
March 9, 2013, 09:56 AM
If it's in North America, a 308 will do the job. Anyone who says different probably isn't a very good shot.

goon
March 9, 2013, 11:40 AM
Not to mention that before the .336 Superwhiz Magnum became available in 2017, standard rounds like the .308 worked just fine.
Personally, I'd load the rifle with the best load I could make or buy, carry it, and just not worry too much.

MCgunner
March 9, 2013, 12:18 PM
big differnce in hunting a bear with 308 and stopping a charging bear. the 308 will kill any bear on the planet with a surgicaly placed shot. It is NOT a stopping round in any sense of the term. Stopping rifles for bear start at the 338 mag.

So, you're sayin' I can stop a bear with a .338 by shooting him in the ass? I don't think so. You still need proper shot placement, I don't care if you're using a ma deuce.

MCgunner
March 9, 2013, 12:22 PM
Me, I've always thought one of these in .325 WSM would be a cool Alaska camp rifle. :D Be better, I guess, in stainless, but the caliber seems like it's got plenty.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/browning_BLR.jpg

Art Eatman
March 9, 2013, 12:56 PM
Stop a charging bear? Easy. Take away his VISA card.

Sorry. Couldn't help it. It's that danged character defect. :D

MutinousDoug
March 9, 2013, 01:29 PM
If you are interested in more than anecdotes regarding bear kills and bear attacks, Steven Herrero's book: Bear Attacks, Their Causes and Avoidance contains a large compendium of data collected by Park Rangers and law enforcement personnel.
It includes a brown bear kill with a .22LR and a failure by a .458 Win Mag head shot to enter the skull of another.

12 ga slugs seem to be the defensive cartridge of choice of Alaskan fishing guides.

win71
March 9, 2013, 02:08 PM
If itís big and mad and charging, bullet placement usually means just hitting it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNYwusa8xUY

CA Raider
March 9, 2013, 02:36 PM
"I'd be more worried about that moose you plan on hunting than a bear. Moose kill more people than bears. "

That's an interesting comment - I didn't know that.
Maybe I need to read the companion volume to the bear attack stories ... "Hunters That Avoided Bears and Got Mowed Down By A Moose". Hahahaha!

CA R

jmr40
March 9, 2013, 02:59 PM
There are actually more humans killed by deer than by bear. Moose are right up there Not many seem to worry since deer don't eat their victims

mf-dif
March 10, 2013, 12:03 AM
What are you shooting the .308 out of? If it's a G3 or FAL and have 20rds to dump into it sure.

Love bear talk, I wonder what a 7.62x54 would do.

Alaska444
March 10, 2013, 12:16 AM
I'm pretty sure a .308 with a good heavy bullit will be at least as good as a .44 mag, probably a lot better.
Actually .308 is LOT better than a .44 magnum, depending of course on bullet selection. But the actual ballistic power of a .308 is nearly double many .44 magnum loads.

On the other hand, for a CHARGING bear is not something to take lightly and I HOPE to never have the opportunity to prove how effective my strategies are but I would want more than a .308 or a .44 magnum in that situation. No doubt though, a .308 is a lot better than a stick for sure.

Kachok
March 10, 2013, 12:25 AM
Actually .308 is LOT better than a .44 magnum, depending of course on bullet selection. But the actual ballistic power of a .308 is nearly double many .44 magnum loads.

On the other hand, for a CHARGING bear is not something to take lightly and I HOPE to never have the opportunity to prove how effective my strategies are but I would want more than a .308 or a .44 magnum in that situation. No doubt though, a .308 is a lot better than a stick for sure.
Would not say ALOT more you have to consider caliber/mass/momentum when talking stopping power, and a 240-300gr 44 mag has an abundance of all of the above, going by a KE only standard is deceptive, in terms of energy the 223 is more powerful then a 44 mag, in reality we know the 44 is much more effective on target. I did a thread on this once posting BG tests for those two cartridges and we are talking a night a day difference.
Chuck Hawks killing power index has the 150gr 308 at a 34 and the 240gr 44 magnum at 26, I use both and would call that a fair comparison, the 308 is no doubt more effective but not twice as much. The huge advantage the 44 enjoys is real world reaction time and followup, a revolver is quicker to point, aim, shoot and repeat then any 308 rifle I have ever seen .

Alaska444
March 10, 2013, 12:41 AM
Would not say ALOT more you have to consider caliber/mass/momentum when talking stopping power, and a 240-300gr 44 mag has an abundance of all of the above, going by a KE only standard is deceptive, in terms of energy the 223 is more powerful then a 44 mag, in reality we know the 44 is much more effective on target. I did a thread on this once posting BG tests for those two cartridges and we are talking a night a day difference.
Chuck Hawks killing power index has the 150gr 308 at a 34 and the 240gr 44 magnum at 26, I use both and would call that a fair comparison, the 308 is no doubt more effective but not twice as much. The huge advantage the 44 enjoys is real world reaction time and followup, a revolver is quicker to point, aim, shoot and repeat then any 308 rifle I have ever seen .
I own and carry my Ruger Super Redhawk .44 magnum for woods carry here in Northern Idaho where we also have a few griz. Hopefully, I never meet Mr. Griz. Nevertheless, given the choice between a .44 magnum revolver and a .308, hands down, it would be the .308 IF that was my only choice.

http://www.ballistics101.com/308_winchester.php

http://www.ballistics101.com/44_magnum.php

The .308 gives you the extra benefit of hydrostatic shock that the .44 magnum does not. Comparing the ballistics even of the +P+ Buffalo Bore .44 magnum load which I carry, it is not even close to the .308. The average 240 gr load is closer to 900 ft-lbs of muzzle energy compared to 2700 with the .308. Sorry, but I will simply have to differ on the .44 magnum even though it is indeed my choice of revolver for woods carry. Given a charging bear, I would definitely prefer a high powered rifle starting with a 30-06 and above but a .308 isn't a slacker either being just below a 30-06.

The .308 is not my choice of rifle, I go with a .444 Marlin or my .300 WSM which are both on the lower end of acceptable bear guns.

Kachok
March 10, 2013, 12:52 AM
Hate to say it but you are not fixing to "shock kill" a 700lbs angry bear with anything shy of a 50 BMG. You don't see any safari guides shooting uber high speed cartridges talking about hydrostatic shock do you? Nope they all use larger caliber, slow, heavy bullets as their stoppers and I would venture a guess that none of them use 7mm ultra mags to stop a charging cape buffalo :)

Alaska444
March 10, 2013, 01:42 AM
Hate to say it but you are not fixing to "shock kill" a 700lbs angry bear with anything shy of a 50 BMG. You don't see any safari guides shooting uber high speed cartridges talking about hydrostatic shock do you? Nope they all use larger caliber, slow, heavy bullets as their stoppers and I would venture a guess that none of them use 7mm ultra mags to stop a charging cape buffalo :)
Sorry my friend, lets not make ridiculous statements and then attribute them to me.

.44 magnum revolver vs. 308? My choice would be .308 but really both are inadequate. If you prefer .44 magnum, just fine with me since that is my minimum woods carry as well.

Push comes to shove, I take my 444 Marlin before my .300 wsm due to it's large slow loads even though the .300 wsm edges it out on muzzle energy. Anyway, have a great day my friend.

mljdeckard
March 10, 2013, 01:47 AM
For black/brown bear, I would feel fine with a .308 or even a 7.62x39.

Grizzlies/Kodiaks/Polar bears are a different story. The problem with bears is, their heart rate is so slow, even if you hit them in the heart, they still have a few minutes left to ruin your day before you fall over. There are plenty of stories of big bears taking fatal hits from monster-sized guns that still manage to wreak some havoc.

Flatbush Harry
March 10, 2013, 03:25 AM
I own a couple of .308 Win hunting rifles, a couple of .30-06s, a .270 Win, a 6.5x55, a 7mm RM and a .375 H&H. Since I go to the range at least 2x/week and practice from field positions, I'd feel ok with any of them though I'd feel that the sub-.308 cal rifles were a bit lacking for bear.

As to stopping a charge, particularly at reasonably close range, that's going to require a CNS hit. Since I don't carry a LAWS rocket, I'd probably want any of the .308 calibers or my .375 (a Rem 700 XCR II with a B&C Sporter stock). Hitting a brain or spine shot at a rapidly shrinking distance is going to be a tough proposition no matter what you're using, but the .375 with a 260gr bullet has approximately the trajectory of .30-06 with a 180gr bullet and a lot more energy to improve the odds.

I read a wise statement a long time ago..."Don't practice until you can do it right, practice until you can't do it wrong". I spend no less than 10 shots per range session working on off-hand shots at 50 yards to try to develop conditioned reflexes even though I seriously doubt I'll ever need that skill...but that's why I'd be ok with a .308 if that's what I had and I got surprised by a bear. If I was was visiting in bear country, I'd be toting my .375. I practice with it at least once every 6-8 weeks to feel comfortable with it, using full power hand loads with 260gr AccuBonds or 250gr GameKings. Despite the practice, I'd expect to be on the losing end of a fight with a charging bear, so I have also practiced rapid prayer to grease the skids for my final trip.

FH

Kachok
March 10, 2013, 03:33 AM
Sorry my friend, lets not make ridiculous statements and then attribute them to me.

.44 magnum revolver vs. 308? My choice would be .308 but really both are inadequate. If you prefer .44 magnum, just fine with me since that is my minimum woods carry as well.

Push comes to shove, I take my 444 Marlin before my .300 wsm due to it's large slow loads even though the .300 wsm edges it out on muzzle energy. Anyway, have a great day my friend.
My bad, I thought that was what you were trying to say. Sure the 308 can do more soft tissue damage, but I'll take a quick handling revolver over a 308 bolt at point blank range anyday in a defense situation, now a carbine AR-10 might be a different story :D

caribou
March 10, 2013, 04:30 AM
30 cal from 150-200 grain moveing at 2700fps will do the job every time.

Brown Bears run with their heads down, like a Hound dog, and a shot to the brain or the follwing spine (Central Nourvus system) is the key to a Dead stop.
If your buddies being charged, hit 'em in the GUTS. They will stop and sit like a Dog, even attacking bullets the point of entry...

Ive posted numerous vids and pictures of what the wife and I do each Spring with Brown Bears and Mosin Nagant's :evil:

Its all about where you hit them, placement is everything, but snap shooting is not always an easy hit.....

Often the charge is a bluff and the gun going off is enough to turn them, or a warning shot in the air when you first see 'em....

Chris-bob
March 10, 2013, 05:41 AM
Grizzlies/Kodiaks/Polar bears are a different story. The problem with bears is, their heart rate is so slow, even if you hit them in the heart, they still have a few minutes left to ruin your day before you fall over. There are plenty of stories of big bears taking fatal hits from monster-sized guns that still manage to wreak some havoc.
Every Brownie and Blackie I've seen taken up here with a heart shot dropped in it's spot dead. As to stopping a charging bear, I say it's a matter of luck. Some have it, some don't. Best to be prepared with the biggest ouch you can deliver to the charging bear.

Kachok
March 10, 2013, 07:09 AM
Ive posted numerous vids and pictures of what the wife and I do each Spring with Brown Bears and Mosin Nagant's :evil:

Often the charge is a bluff and the gun going off is enough to turn them, or a warning shot in the air when you first see 'em....
Nothing odd about that the ruskies do it all the time. 7.62x54R is equivalent to our 308 and a hair behind out 30-06.

Art Eatman
March 10, 2013, 11:08 AM
Caribou summed it up as well as could be, and for sure he should know. :)

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