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30-06 for brown bear

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 12GA00buck, Oct 2, 2006.

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  1. 12GA00buck

    12GA00buck Member

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    I'm looking at a 30-06 for my next rifle. I live in Alaska, and plan on hunting brown bear at some point during my stay. I was wondering if anyone would feel underguned with a 30-06 loaded with quality 220 grain loads, nosler partition or barnes triple x. Adequate bear loads seem to be a controversial subject; does anyone have actual experience with brown bear hunting? Some people I'ved talked to are horified by the idea of bear hunting with an 06', while others feel in would be completly adequate. I currently carry a 12GA stuffed with slugs, when I'm out hiking; but I'd rather have a rifle for actual hunting. Thanks for your advice.
     
  2. critter

    critter Member

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    As I understand it, for big bear you need deep penetration and, hopefully, breaking something important down so they stay put. The premium bullets do a good job of penetrating and holding their weight through stuff. I would feel ok with a good, stout built, 220 grain bullet from the '06.

    Of course, if you are looking for an 'excuse' to upgrade, go to a big-hole gun like a .338, 375, 458, etc. You also have to think about how far you expect to engage said bruin. You do not want to have to shoot great distances which would decrease the downrange energy of your bullets. They need velocity to penetrate.

    Long range you might want something like the 8mm magnum or some such.

    Nice things to have to worry about, huh? Good luck on your hunt!
     
  3. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    I don't have a problem toting a .30-06 around for brown bears and do it frequently. In fact bear guns actually only increase in caliber the closer you get to Anchorage.

    Out here in the bush most folks use .30-06s and in my particular area .270s are probably most common.

    As previous poster pointed out, a 220 gr bullet is entirely adaquate for brown bear. It's really shot placement rather than horsepower and better to use a standard caliber with a good bullet rather than a belted manglum that you're afraid of.

    That said, I do hedge my bet just a little. I use the Federal High Energy load with the 180 gr Nosler Partition when I hunt bears and moose. The HE loads push the .30-06 into .300 H&H territory. Hornady Lite Magnums do the same thing, but they have Hornady bullets which IMHO aren't as strong as the Partition. I'm not certain, but I think the HE is also loaded with Trophy Bonded Bear Claws and Barnes TSX.

    In 5 years of dealing up close and personal with brown bears here on the AK Pen, I've learned and observed lot about them. Two DLP kills that I've done have been one-shot kills with Brenneke slugs. One I investigated this spring was a one-shot kill at close range (20ft) with a Foster slug. Holes punched into the right spot work.
    Many more have been discouraged by a load of #4 steel shot to the arse and sent on their way.

    One phenomenon I've noted from ABWE Troopers and a few other folks dealing with wildlife, is for some reason, bear fur soaking wet, as on bears in salmon streams, tend to act as a sort of body armor and degrades bullet penetration in which case a premium super bullet becomes more important.

    The .30-06 with a good bullet and proper shot placement= a rug.
     
  4. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    .30'06 has been dropping monster brown bear for a century now. It'll work.
     
  5. Il Duca

    Il Duca Member

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    30-06 will drop a Brown no doubt. I, however, would opt for a little more. Just for my piece of mind. What if I never see the bear until it's charging at me? I would want something that hits a little harder. My friend has a Marlin in .450 Marlin that I would not feel undergunned with. The quick and easy handling and relatively light weight of a lever action I'm sure would also be appreciated. In a bolt action I would probably go with a CZ 550 American Safari in .375 H&H. Yeah...(we need a drooling emoticon.) I wish I had Brown bears in Florida, it sure would be a great excuse for another rifle...
     
  6. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Ditto what Stevelyn said.

    My older brother lived in Alaska for 5yrs back in the early '80's.

    He used the Nosler 180gr Partition in the Federal Premiums, as all his loading gear was in long term storage at McDill AFB in Tampa, FL.

    He was entirely satisfied with the Nosler 180gr from .30/06.

    Like Stevelyn stated, the calibers get bigger the closer you get to Anchorage. Most of the 'native" Alaskans used m94 levers in .30/30 or some cut down (some not cut down) military rifles, such as .303 Brits, m98 Mausers,ect. Whatever they have that they got "CHEAP"!

    Remember the three most important elements: (be sure to keep 'em in order!)
    shot placement-
    shot placement-
    shot placement.
     
  7. Skywarp

    Skywarp member

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    While bears are not on my list, If i was gonna go after one I think a good hot 180 grain TSX backed up by 7 others in a Garand would be one my list of loadouts
     
  8. Loanshark

    Loanshark Member

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    Underguned? I don't think I'd feel underguned exactly. A 30-06 is very capapable as you probably know. I think I'd feel better with my 45-70 though.
     
  9. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

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    An interesting observation - I stood in front of a stuffed brown bear several years ago. It was standing on it's back legs and if I recall, it seemed like it was eight feet tall. It was enormous. If I was hunting that thing, .30-06 would seem kinda small.

    Talking about it is one thing, but seeing that thing up close, I would want something a lot harder hitting. If I was out there, getting ready to pull the trigger, I would prefer a .375 H&H or a .458 Lott/Win Mag. I know plenty of people have shot boat-loads of them with .30-06, .30-30s, etc.

    If I was shooting at one that was 100-200 yards away, that's one thing, but if one was a lot closer and looking at me... sniffing in my direction... standing on it's hind legs and taking notice, I would like to have a more comforting caliber in my hands.

    "But hey, that's just me..."
     
  10. nico

    nico Member

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    I don't have any experience whatsoever with bears, but I think I'd rather have too much gun than the possibility of not enough. A good .375H&H bolt action and 45/70 levergun are both on my list of guns I'd like to own some day and planning that kind of hunt would give me a good excuse to buy one or the other.

    With the versatility of the .375, you could always load it down to near 30-06 levels for the initial shot and have a couple hotter rounds in the magazine if they end up being necessary.
     
  11. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    30-06 in a BAR, a WW II military BAR that is with spare magazine. One of these days, I'll post an Indian bear hunting story that'll make you open your eyes in awe.
     
  12. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    i just spoke with a guy at the range here, he said when he goes hunting, all he uses is 30.06, with either a stout 200 or when he can find them, the 220's. he said he has never had a problem taking them down with the 220's, one shot. he said he could not remember if he had to use follow ups with the 200's. which , I guess , in itself, is a good sign as well.
     
  13. kir_kenix

    kir_kenix Member

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    i watched this documentary...or maybe it was a movie...anyway, this eskimo shot a polar bear in the neck w/ a .22 lr. it was pretty cool. i would never reccomend it, but it all just goes to show that its all about shot placement. and sides, the ole '06 has plenty of power to knock down a bear w/ a good shot. it worked great on them damn germans and japs back in wwII...not that they are anything like bears...idk. well anyway, back to the "documentary" movie i was watching....it was awsome. true story.
     
  14. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    I got a deal on some Hornady 220 gr round nose interlock bullets a while back. I think they'd be great for moose, but on bear I think I'd like a bigger gun. Like that CZ .375 everyone is so keen on.

    Then again, it's been said anything in N. America can be killed with an '06 and I bet if it was loaded right the 220 would do the job. Not sure about THIS particular bullet though. Need some IMR 4350 to get it above 2500fps.
     
  15. MDHunter

    MDHunter Member

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    PRACTICE with Whatever You Choose

    Whether you go with a .30-06 or something bigger, please remember that being proficient with that firearm is your best defense. You already hike in Alaska, so I'm sure you can imagine how much time you'll have to shoot if you bump into a bear in an alder thicket! Practice quick shots at close range, acquiring the target and getting off a good shot quickly - a whole different ballgame than driving tacks from the bench.

    I live in Maryland, but try to hunt Alaska each fall. About 10 weeks before my trip, I start practicing 25-yard offhand shots at an 8-inch square, bringing my rifle up quickly and firing as soon as I acquire the target. The first couple of times you do this you'll learn that it's a WHOLE different shooting experience, and you'll also get much better acquainted with your rifle.

    I've been fortunate never to have encountered a bruin at really close range, but this practice at least lets me feel like I've prepared as best I can, when I'm approaching a downed moose or caribou in timber to retrieve the rest of the meat. I used to use a .30-06, but opted for a .338 just because I wanted one!

    Good luck with whatever you select, and practice...

    Michael
     
  16. MDHunter

    MDHunter Member

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    OOPS, One More Thing...

    If you're buying this gun partly for bear hunting or defense, PLEASE do not put one of those 6x14 variable scopes on it that people seem to love....if you want to know why, go to the range and see how fast you can acquire that 25 yard target with your scope on 6x from a standing position. Then try it with a scope set on 1.5x or 2x, and you'll see what I mean....

    Michael
     
  17. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    If by "knock down", you mean kill, I agree. If by knock down, you mean knock down, I can prove scientifically this is impossible.

    John
     
  18. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    Now try the same test with a Lyman receiver sight, and you'll see what I mean.....:D
     
  19. Shifty

    Shifty Member

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    having seen how big some of those suckers get, i'd want something on the order of an RPG. semi-auto .50BMG at least.

    whats that gun the old A-10 uses, GAU-8a avenger or sumthin like that??


    depleted uranium 30mm FTW


    brown bears scare me
     
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