Quantcast

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

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Futo Inu, Sep 16, 2003.

?

.308 Enough gun for big ol critters?

  1. Yes

    167 vote(s)
    54.2%
  2. No

    141 vote(s)
    45.8%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    5,296
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    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
     
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    45,934
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    Oh, ARGLE-BARGLE!

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

    Art
     
  3. Glamdring

    Glamdring Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Messages:
    916
    Location:
    MN
    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.
     
  4. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    missouri
    Only in an emergency situation. I voted no.
     
  5. S_O_Laban

    S_O_Laban Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    858
    Location:
    near Independence MO
    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
     
  6. smokemaker

    smokemaker Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Messages:
    511
    Location:
    Western NY...yes, The Peoples Republic of New York
    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.
     
  7. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    21,442
    Location:
    Atlanta
    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
     
  8. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    21,442
    Location:
    Atlanta
    (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
     
  9. smokemaker

    smokemaker Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Messages:
    511
    Location:
    Western NY...yes, The Peoples Republic of New York
    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. :eek: 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.
     
  10. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    21,442
    Location:
    Atlanta
    :)

    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
     
  11. Mornard

    Mornard Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    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.
     
  12. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,233
    Location:
    Central IN
    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. ;)
     
  13. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    45,934
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    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
     
  14. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,050
    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.;)
     
  15. M67

    M67 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    793
    Location:
    Norway
    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.
     
  16. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,050
  17. Delmar

    Delmar Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,059
    Location:
    Cedar Bluff, VA
    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:
     
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    45,934
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    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
     
  19. M67

    M67 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    793
    Location:
    Norway
    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:
     

    Attached Files:

    • elg.jpg
      elg.jpg
      File size:
      69.3 KB
      Views:
      53
  20. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    45,934
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    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
     
  21. Simpotico

    Simpotico Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  22. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,050
    Holy resurrection Batman!!

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

    cliffy member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    643
    Location:
    Southwestern Michigan
    Inuits use .223 Remingtons . . .

    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
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    26,263
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    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
     
  25. Simpotico

    Simpotico Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    It was just some random thread that popped up on a Google search. :)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice