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7.62X39 vs Bear??

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by smokemaker, Mar 8, 2004.

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  1. smokemaker

    smokemaker Member

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    So I'm watching the Sopranos season premiere last night and I see they're using an AK-47 for bear watch... I couldn't resist :evil:
    How would the 7.62X39 do against a black bear?? I have very little experience with that round, only dumping one 30 round mag out of a thumbhole chinese AK. IIRC, it's pretty close to a 30-30 in ballistics.
     
  2. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Black Bears are pretty thin skinned and light boned. I've found the .30-30 to be quite good on them . The 7.62X39 should be fine inside of 100 yards.
     
  3. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Member

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    I gotta disagree with H&H. I missed the Sopranos episode, but even assuming we're talking about an SKS or AK or something with a bunch of semi-auto rounds, this just doesn't strike me as a good choice. Black bears are a whole lot smaller than their brown cousins, but they also seem to be less predictable, and some of them are remarkably big. I've been within 100 yards of blackies at least half a dozen times, and within 10-feet of an enormous one (in northern Saskatchewan) once.

    The bottom line is that these guys scare me, and while I have no doubt a few rounds (or maybe even one well-placed shot) of 7.62x39 would kill them, I'm just not sure it would do the job quickly enough, especially if the bear surprised you. This is just my opinion, obviously, but I do a lot of camping in black bear country, and I do fear the critters, but it wouldn't even cross my mind to bring a 7.62x39 for protection, though I realize the selection may, and I repeat may, be different for hunting. I've never hunted the blackies, but when in their country I bring a .45-70 if possible, or at least a .44 magnum when it's not.

    Then again, I stocked up for Y2K, so maybe I'm just paranoid. But I'd encourage you to not underestimate the black bears.
     
  4. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    Much larger game has been taken with rounds like 7.62x39 than black bear. I wouldnt hesitate at using 30-30. Of course i dont hunt black bear either so take it for what its worth. I would imagine the "sopranos method of hunting" involves dumping a whole mag into the poor thing on sight.
     
  5. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

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    I wouldn't take hunting advice from The Sopranos any more seriously than I'd take business advice.
     
  6. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey guys,

    I am not giving you my opinon on this one. I was a hunting guide in NM who specialized in hunting bear and lion for several years. I have killed and been in on the killing of dozens of black bears A .30-30 knocks the piss out of your average black bear. That is not my opinon it is an observation. The .30-30 carbine may well me the perfect gun for hound hunting blackies.

    Would it hurt to use more gun? No. But a black bear is just not as bullet resistant as his brown cousin. I didn't say they aren't unpredictable or dangerous just that they're built pretty light and ain't all that tough to kill or stop.

    I've relayed the story before about my brother a few years ago. I was with him when he was attacked by a black bear in the Valle Vidal in NM. I have the utmost respect for any bear of any size.


    If I was protecting myself from huge old Candian Blackies or costal Blackies I'd feel better with a .45-70 as well.........;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2004
  7. JohnDog

    JohnDog Member

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    Well, since Tony is a mafioso, I'm sure he doesn't pay much attention to NFA or ATF regs. If he does open up on the bear, it will probably be in full auto-mode and if he can keep them on target, I'm sure the "actor" bear will be going down!

    JohnDOg
     
  8. Rebeldon

    Rebeldon Member

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    It depends on the size. The 7.62X39 would easily kill a 200 lb. black bear. A 600 lb bear might be a bit harder. Shot placement would matter a whole lot. However, I've heard a story about poachers killing a rhino with an AK-47.
     
  9. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Member

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    Undergunned by choice??

    H&H's signature line says it all: Elephants can be killed with a 7 mm Mauser. Also, poachers routinely kill deer with .22 rimfires. Lots of bear have been harvested with a very 7.62x39-like round, namely the .30-30.

    But it's been said before, by wiser heads than mine: Use Enough Gun! Partially it's the respect thing (respect for your quarry) but partially it's self-preservation! Suppose that first shot does nothing more than p*** off Mr. Ursus americanus, at the short range necessary with a 7.62x39, likewise a .30-30? For short distances he can outrun a horse—How good are you at a second shot with 300-600 pounds of anger coming at you full tilt?

    Bears have long necks; their heads move around an awful lot; ergo, we're talking a body shot most of the time. You want enough destruction going on in there that the bear isn't coming your way in any hurry.

    Remember, The Sopranos is Hollywish. Since when has reality had much bearing on what screenwriters choose to write?
     
  10. Diggler

    Diggler Member

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    Bears can soak up a lot of lead.

    I shot one that weighed 435 lbs. with a 30-06. He was sitting on his haunches, facing me, put one right in the center of the chest. He started trotting off... I put another one right behind the shoulder. He kept running into the brush.

    I heard him fall several seconds later. It took me several minutes to get to him, he was in a creek bottom with high sides and was doing his best to get to me, he was chewing on a log about 6" in diameter that was above his head. I put ANOTHER one behind his shoulder just to be sure, waited a few minutes, then finally went to get help. He was finally dead when I got back.

    My brother was with another hunter when they shot a bear that weighed less than 200 lbs. It was PERFORATED with .300 Weatherby Mag. bullets and 7mm Mag. ballistic tip bullets before it stopped moving.

    You don't know if the bear will be 75 or 750 lbs., and it's hard to judge size at a distance. Use enough gun, and use a bullet that WILL perform. I now use a Barnes XLC bullet, because I know that it will expand no matter what the size of the critter. I live in PA, and if I had to do over again I wouldn't have bought the 7mm Mag; I would have got a 7mm-08 for deer and something bigger (like a .338) for bear. There are some big ones out there and I don't want the guy over the hill getting it after I shoot it.
     
  11. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Do any of you guys know anyone who's ever been charged by a black bear in a hunting situation after the black bear has been shot?

    I am well aware of the number of people attacked and killed every year by black bears. It's quite a few more than Grizzlies actually but I've never heard of anyone being swated by a black bear when hunting.

    I've never heard of or seen a black bear charge after being shot.

    I'm not saying it can't or won't happen just that it's pretty darn rare.

    Even a 600 lb fall black bear ain't got the frame of a 600lb summer Grizz. When you hear about these 600 lb bears it's almost always in the fall and the bear is normally a 400 or 450lb bear that is fattened up for the winter. In either case it's a big bear.

    I shot a pretty good black bear a couple of years ago on my inlaws place in NM. he came into a cow call while I was elk hunting.

    The bear got to within about 25 yards of me and i really didn't want to shoot it so I stood up and hollered. The bear puffed up and woofed then popped his jaws at me.

    I shot Mr Ursus right on the point of the shoulder with a .30-06.180gr HE nosler sailed right through this boar rolling him over he got back onto his three good legs and bounded twice into the brush but not before i popped him twice more. It took him a while like it does most bears to die. But my point is that even an agressive black bear will generally take the easy way out rather than stay and fight.

    Now guys I am an advocate of using enouogh gun anyone who's read my posts ahould know that. I just fell that on black bears in the lower 48 a .30-30 qualifies.:)
     
  12. goodranger

    goodranger Member

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    Bears will just about always run off regardless of what you shoot them with, unless it is hit in the head or spine, and distance they go is less that 100 yds, usually much less.

    Ballistic tip bullets are poor choice for anything but long-range shooting, they tend to blow up under 100 yds with little or no penetration, especially if you hit bone.

    7.62X39 will do well with an expanding bullet put behind the shoulder. Death is quick. Already have seen the proof, and, yes, same results as 30-30 on bear and deer.

    To quote an old-timer "Ain't nothing deader than dead"

    Goodranger
     
  13. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    This bear is truely a trophy Boar. Look at the flattened out skull and blunt nose and the size of the paws.

    In Ak you probabley wouldn't even shoot this guy but in the Lower 48 and especially in NM this is about as big and old and as narley as it gets. This bear was over 6 feet long (not squared) and weighed in the neighborhood of 350-400lbs

    As you can see from the picture he wasn't very fat he just had a good frame.

    One shot from a .30-30 trough the chest settled his hash very nicely.
     
  14. Diggler

    Diggler Member

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    I think just about anything placed behind the shoulder will KILL a bear. Around here though, you can't use dogs or bait, so bear sightings are few and far between. Most of us are successful with drives. However, there are a LOT of people hunting bear in this area nowadays. That being said, we've found since that the best way to anchor a bear quickly is to BREAK BONE. Use a quality, heavy bonded bullet and don't shoot behind the shoulder, shoot for the shoulder and shatter it. Where we hunt, if the bear runs 100 yards over the top of a hill, someone else will shoot and tag it.

    Hunting and defense are different... I wouldn't hesitate to hunt bear with a bow, but if I knew I was going into a situation where I'd likely get attacked by one, a bow wouldn't be my weapon of choice. Nor would an AK, though the best gun for defense is the one you have with you.

    Although, in response to the original question, if a bear (black or grizzly) or even a lion or elephant were charging me and all I had was an AK, I wouldn't throw the gun down without shooting because of the lack of power. If I didn't stop the critter with it, at least the beast would be very uncomfortable whilst it killed me! :D
     
  15. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    As a general rule of thumb if you're comfortable shooting a deer with it. Then it's a good black bear round as well.

    Here's another victim I killed this one with a .357 using 158gr soft points.

    Black bears just ain't that tough......

    Sorry guys that's just been my observation.

    And once again you are welcome to shoot hem with anything you like.:)

    if I'm coming across as B-hole know it all than I'm sorry. It's just that I've hunted alot of bear and lion and I kinda get all excited and shakey about the subject.

    I've got a starnge realationship with bears. I'd never seena black bear in the wild 10 years ago and then I killed one. ever since that day it seems like i can't go into bear country and not see and be close to multiple bears. it's really kind of wierd.

    3 years ago my brother got slapped. I've shot one at close range cow calling and I've had them in camp more times than I can remeber. But I've never really felt threatened by a black bear. Even when my brother got B-slapped. It wasn't really an aggresive act on the bears part just a common flight or fright action on both the bears and the brothers part. After the event a strange calm overcame us and we just went about getting him patched up. I hunted the Collin Neblets area of NM for elk sevral years ago and I personally counted 6 bears in 5 days.

    I think somehow killing that first bear awoken the my animal sign spirit. :)
     
  16. HankB

    HankB Member

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    People have been hunting bears with bows and arrows for thousands of years. They still do. Sure, a few have gotten chewed up from time to time, but if what is basically a sharpened stick will kill a bear, then it's hard to believe an AK47 won't.

    Particularly if you give the bruin 20 or 30 rounds in the space of two or three seconds. (Wouldn't the AK's used by mafiosi like the Sopranos have "the switch?") With that many holes, even using non-expanding ball ammo will be effective.

    BTW . . . elephants and rhinos have been successfully poached in Africa by people using AK47s. These are bigger and tougher than bears.
     
  17. Detachment Charlie

    Detachment Charlie Member

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    An old friend of mine who lives and hunts in Potter County, PA, won't go deer hunting with anything less than his .348 because of the bear in them-thar woods.
    Use enough gun.
     
  18. munk

    munk Member

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    Do any of you guys know anyone who's ever been charged by a black bear in a hunting situation after the black bear has been shot? >>>> H&H Hunter

    Yes. When I lived in Ca a locksmith and gunsmith told me what happened when he hunted Black Bear with a 30/30 He and a friend were together and saw the bear down a ravine and across the stream. His friend shot and hit the bear. The bear fell down, got up, and starting walking towards them.

    They shot and shot at this bear. It charged them. The locksmith emptied his 30/30 at the bear and the animal fell dead a few feet from them, after having run uphill to get at them. I don't remember what his associate was shooting, but I think it too was a 30/30

    The locksmith concluded the 30/30 inadequate for Black Bear. I don't believe that- instead I just think this proves anything can happen. The Locksmith believed many of the shots at the Bear were mortal, but the bear did not die right away.

    I haven't heard of any other Black Bears charging like this. There were a couple in the San Bernardino Mt's in CA., that pulled a boy scout out of the tent and tried to eat him. Unfortunately, Boy Scouts don't carry 30/30's.





    munk
     
  19. goodranger

    goodranger Member

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    Munk,

    I doubt the bear ever actually saw the shooters, and running towards them was a coincidental, as a black bear's vision is somewhat on the poor side. The bear was "running scared" and just happened to pick the wrong direction. And, with the adrenalin rush, I am willing to bet not too many of those shots hit the mark.

    I would only believe differently if it happened to be a sow with cubs to defend.

    Goodranger
     
  20. Richardson

    Richardson Member

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    I didn't see the Soprano's, so I don't know where they were, or the terrain, that made them think of watching out for black bear. But if it was a wooded area, I think the choice of an AK would be most appropriate. The more dense the woods, the closer he is IF he attacks (and that's a big IF). In that scenario, I'd want a quick handling .30 cal semi-auto rifle. The more bullets the better (especially if I was depending on an urban warrior to be on the lookout -- the body guards probably are not hunters).

    If I knew I' be in dense woods in the morning and in a sparse woods in the afternoon, I think the AK would be OK for defensive use on black bear.

    Given my choice, I'd probably want a .30-06 bolt rifle for black bear hunting.

    Richardson
     
  21. munk

    munk Member

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    GoodRanger;

    That's certainly a more logical explanation. Unfortunately, the intelligence and veracity of the Lock Smith are high. He talked about the bear fumbling around after being hit, trying to see what was going on, and then fociusing in their direction with the other shots and charging.

    I rather think he charged them. For years we heard Black Bears wouldn't attack, either, and that turned out not to be true. We heard the Mother and Cub exception, and that turned out not to be true. Lately, I've heard a lot of the "Well, someone fed the bear" (like the incident in Tucson several years ago. That was true, a gal refused to stop feeding the Black bears and someone finally got hurt.) But then there was the person who was stalked, rushed and attacked by a blackie in one of the Lake States.

    I included the story because someone asked. We really don't know from many anecdotal tales. But I think the unpredictable does take place.

    I have a Black Bear Story my own- well, a couple, but here is this one- I used to hike by the light of the moon. I'd bring friends. We were on the shoulder of San Gorgonio in a meadow- running around like little kids really. Just laughing and having a good time. The moon hadn't risen much yet- and was still blocked by trees. I was off by myself ( this place was pretty large- many football fields)- and I heard a big grunt right next to me, and something moving. We got our flashlights out and starting looking, but never saw a thing. I think it was a Black Bear who'd been startled and then run away.

    Now, that's more like real Black Bear Behavior, isn't it?


    munk
     
  22. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Munk,

    yes that is more like black bear behavior, however they are to considered a dangerous an unreliable animal at all times. Never get to cozy with any bear.

    It is possible that you're friend was charged. I'm not saying that it can't happen just that I've never heard of it and it's never happened to me or my partner who's been a professional guide and outfitter specializing in bear and lion for nearly 40 years.

    I can tell you this though when a bear is in an aggresive fight or flight mode it's hard to fathom how fast he can move. It's simply not to be believed until seen.

    I keep hearing about these 600 & 700lb bears any of you guys out there care to guess on the average weight of lower 48 fall boar?
     
  23. Diggler

    Diggler Member

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    I know that in PA a 'nice' boar will be in the 300's. That's what most people call big, most bear killed around here are in the 200 lb range.

    I also know that there are several boars within 100 miles of where I hunt that the PA Game Commission have trapped, weighed and tagged, and that a FEW of them have been over 700 lbs. You won't likely see them during hunting season, because they go into hibernation earlier than their smaller associates because of the increased demands of larger body size. Even if they aren't hibernating, they don't move around as much as the smaller ones.
     
  24. goodranger

    goodranger Member

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    Munk

    I think the story would be much more captivating if you claimed it was Sasquatch! in the dark, and you feel fortunate you were not carried off as his "bride to be"!!!!!

    Have a good weekend!

    Goodranger
     
  25. munk

    munk Member

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    Goodranger;

    I think I had a choice of Bear, Big Horn Sheep, and wild Burro. Based upon the deep sound of the grunt I didn't think it sheep and never saw a wild Burro there. It just sounded Bear.

    I didn't hunt and barely was starting to shoot then, so it took several moments for me to even process the event.

    Unlike most you guys, I was raised in a liberal household in a liberal State. One day I analysed the gun issue. I was one struck-dumb kid of 30 when I realized I'd been lied to all my life. The more I read the worse it got- the extent of the ridiculous belief system given me by CBS, ABC, NBC, and the State of Calif.

    Firearms were among the greatest teachers I've ever had. Responsibility is intrinsic to the event, the study, the issue, the hardware.

    I'm 47 now; so what is 17 years for me has been a lifetime for most of you.

    This Bear thread reminds me of our modern trend- the idea that animals have become tougher. What was previously thought ample is now barely adequate or 'sufficient". What did Jack O'Connor and other's call that- megafauna??!!! lol

    I think the 375 H&H not only one of my favorite calbres, but a great elk gun. But geeze, I guess all the Elk and Bear killed with a .270 were gypped, huh?


    munk
     
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