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Cartridge for blackies

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Hog huntin Harry, May 17, 2020.

  1. Hog huntin Harry

    Hog huntin Harry Member

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    Which cartridge would y'all rather have for hunting blackies in wooded terrain ?
    357 mag
    30-30
    44 mag
    444 Marlin
    35 Remington
    45 Colt
    45-70
    450 Marlin
    358 Winchester


    243 Winchester
    25-06
    6.5 creedmoor
    7mm-08
    308 Winchester
    30-06
    338 federal
    35 whelen
    338 win mag


    (Btw this isn't a "what's best" just what y'all use or would rather use)

    Updated list to provide more variety and so thread doesn't die.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  2. CarJunkieLS1

    CarJunkieLS1 Member

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    Can never be too careful with bears so I'd say the 444 Marlin.
     
  3. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Rather have the 444 if I knew I was about to be lunch, if there was a slim chance the 44 mag would be fine (for the choices ) . I'm an old fashioned guy though, 45 colt & a 45-70 from my assortment . either or any is fine .
     
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  4. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I have both a 44 rifle and a 444 rifle and I would take the 444 every time.
     
  5. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    1st choice 30/30
    2nd choice 444
     
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  6. Obturation
    • Contributing Member

    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Interesting , any specific 30/30 load you would have in mind?
     
  7. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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  8. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    I have all four cartrides in rifle form.
    Marlin 336 in 30/30
    Marlin 444 lever action
    Ruger 77 in 357 magnum and a
    Ruger 77 in 44 magnum.

    For average size black bears a 30/30 would be my first choice because it is lighter to carry, delivers enough energy to take any size bear you might happen upon. I would probably load up 150 grain round nose bullets for it and if deer season was open at the same time you could shoot a deer without damageing a bunch of meat.
    The 444 Marlin would be my 2nd choice for black bear.
    The 357 mag and the 44 mag would stay at home on black bear hunts. If these two calibers were the only calibers I had to hunt bear I would stay at home.
     
  9. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    I have two guns specifically for black bears. One is on your list, the other is not.
    Marlin in 30-30 (on your list), is my go to (to be transparent with you, I’ve not had the chance to shoot a bear with it yet). When I’ve seen bears killed with it by others, the typical load is 170gr Remington or federal cup and core bullets. It does the job, but almost every one of these bears was shot three or four times. When I was developing a bear load (thinking I’d get to use it last season) I wanted to avoid that, so I went with a Barnes 150gr tsx (flat base made specifically for 30-30s).
    While not on your list, my backup to the marlin is a Henry in .41mag, which is similar to a .44. I load a .210 gr loaded at max with h110. A similar .44 mag loading (fairly heavy loaded hot) would work.
    A lot also depends on how you hunt them. These loads are designed for hunting over dogs. If I were spotting and stalking, I’d use a standard deer rifle and worry more about the glass than the load. You listed lever guns, so I assume you’re talking about dogs, bait, or both.
     
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  10. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    30-30
     
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  11. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    30-30 is plenty for black bear and a 170 grs Core-Lokt will be just fine.

    But, if 444 is an option and you don’t mind a little extra weight, that will most certainly do the needful.
     
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  12. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    35 Remington should be added to the list.
     
  13. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    35 remington is a great deer/bear cartridge.
    I have one in an old Remington 141 pump and would use it for either spiecies. I also have a fifteen inch 35 Remington barrel for my TC Contender.
     
  14. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    In order of preference:

    30-30
    *
    *
    *
    44 mag/444 tie
    *
    *
    357

    The 30-30 wins by a wide margin for me. The 444 and 44 mag shoot the same bullets, the 444 just shoots them faster. That doesn't kill anything any deader, just at longer ranges. I give the 30-30 the edge for a couple of reasons. #1, it tends to be more accurate meaning better shot placement. #2 most any off the shelf 170 RN bullet is going to give more than adequate penetration. The standard 240 gr loadings in 44 mag and 444 are not known to be as effective. If you move up to 265-300 gr bullets in the 44's then I'd rank them equal to 30-30, maybe better. But not all rifles will handle bullets that heavy and it just adds another level of difficulty.

    A 357 mag with good 200 gr bullets would also be effective. But once again, you're not going to find adequate loads in off the shelf ammo and even if you do the others above would be better options.
     
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  15. hillman23

    hillman23 Member

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    When you said “blackies”, I thought blacktails. Your cartridge list works for those, too.
     
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  16. George P

    George P Member

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    Sorry, black bear or blacktail deer?
     
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  17. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    Pretty much all of them would work, but I happened to like the 30-06...

    DM
     
  18. Hog huntin Harry

    Hog huntin Harry Member

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    A black bear blacktail hybrid
     
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  19. hillman23

    hillman23 Member

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    I heard some folks call that a "beer". In this case, it may be a porter or stout.... extra dark.
     
  20. hillman23

    hillman23 Member

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    I've never shot a bear but I've killed blacktails with 223, 257 Roberts, 30-06, and 338 win mag. If I were after bears, I might forgo the 1st two and lean toward the 2nd two mentioned. Of course, one hunts with what's in his hand.
     
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  21. Hog huntin Harry

    Hog huntin Harry Member

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    If you don't mind I'd like to hear the story of the blacktail shot with your 338 win mag, and the condition of the meat.
     
  22. George P

    George P Member

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    It would have been thoroughly tenderized!
     
  23. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    35 rem in a 141 pump.
    Choice number two would be a Win 1892 in 44 mag with a 300 grain flat nose over a case full of H110.
     
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  24. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    I'd be more interested in platform than caliber, since some of those rounds tend to be more popular in various calibers.

    But... in a wooded area, I'd be looking at shorter barrels in a pump, lever, semi or maybe even a stubby bolt.

    I like:

    30-30 16" lever
    30-06 18.5" pump
    338 fed 16" AR10

    Wildcard: my current Blackbear rifle, M44 Mosin in 7.62x54r
     
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  25. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Where I hunted black bears in Maine (where I used a 30-06), the locals used the same typical rifles they used for deer: 308, 270, 30-06, 30-30, etc. They said that the magnums and big-bores were generally the caliber of choice for the "out of state" hunters who thought black bears were armored. I get this, as it relates to our wild hogs down here. Most people that kill them use whatever they use for deer. Personally, I kill them very efficiently with 223.
     
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