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.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%
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  1. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  2. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    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 :)
     
  3. CabofDoom

    CabofDoom Member

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    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
     
  4. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    It will work with a good bullet like the 180 Nosler. I have shot many with a 30-06 no problem.
     
  5. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    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.
     
  6. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    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.
     
  7. cooch

    cooch Member

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    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
     
  8. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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

    What are you trying to accomplish with a .378 Weatherby?
     
  9. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  10. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    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.
     
  11. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    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.
     
  12. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    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

    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...
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  13. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    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.

    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.
     
  14. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    H&H-I do not use a range finder. Thats why I like the trajectory of the .378.
     
  15. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    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...
     
  16. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    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.
     
  17. Leanwolf

    Leanwolf Member

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    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.
     
  18. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    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.
     
  19. jnfphd

    jnfphd Member

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    I'm in the "Don't Know" Category

    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.
     
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