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What Gun For Bears?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Art Eatman, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

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    On black bears.....it's a Marlin .444 for me.....have harvested a few with outstanding results. Great cartridge in a lever gun. Also, have seen the work of the 45-70.....impressive. Now if your talkin' about Alaskan bear the .375 H&H or Win Mag. would be it for me.
     
  2. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    I'm in Montana & regularly hunt elk. It is known to have a bear decide that the shot that kills the elk is really the dinner bell. In other words, he'll dispute the ownership of the carcass with you. This is not a frequent event, but has been known to happen. Your rifle leaning against a tree 5 yards away is perfectly useless when you're up to your elbows in elk guts & you get your visitor.

    A good sized caliber pistol on the opposite hip from the side you carry your rifle, in a cross-draw holster can be handy, as it were. Also a good idea to have grips on it that won't slip in your hand when the hand is bloody. Then too, practice with it enough that you can manage the recoil & get a quick & at least somewhat aimed second shot off. Missing with a panicked first shot & having the gun pointed at some poor innocent communications satellite is counter-productive.

    900F
     
  3. pokerman702

    pokerman702 Member

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    I shot a nice 250-300# black bear in Idaho with a suppressed 300BLK AR using 110gr Barnes TSX bullets last month. I hit him mid shoulder which then poked him through both lungs at 65 yards. I would have hit him in the heart instead but he was behind some bushes so I had to guess where to shoot him to hit the vitals. He ran around 25 yards and rolled down a hill. Was completely dead when we found him. Internals were liquified as shown in pics.

    I think 300BLK is big enough. The other guys I was with shot a bear around the same size with a 7mm mag which of course is a lot more powerful but he also ran about 25 yards before dying. 300BLK is a great round as it has near zero recoil and you can practice a lot more with the gun. When suppressed sounds like a 22lr as all the powder is burned so it suppresses muzzle blast completely. Also next time I'm going to use the 10" barrel instead 16" as soon as my ATF form1 clears. This makes for a very compact gun to carry through the woods.
     

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  4. Predator55

    Predator55 Member

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    if your talking about hunting black bears jut about any caliber will do. If your looking for protection from a angry bear especially a griz, then I'd go with a 12 ga or a 45/70 for ease of carry. Obviously other caliber so work like a 300 mag,375, etc. just make sure your able to shoot it well.
     
  5. luffy100

    luffy100 Member

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    a 12 gauge shotgun should be just right
     
  6. SARuger

    SARuger Member

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    Around here, most black bear are handled easily with a.........take one guess........30-30!

    But our black bear are usually not aggressive and are on the smaller size, under 350#.

    If I'm wondering around in bear area I have my .357 on my side.
     
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  7. luffy100

    luffy100 Member

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    get an AK
     
  8. luffy100

    luffy100 Member

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    dragunov
     
  9. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    It`s not the gun .......................it`s the cal.
     
  10. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    I disagree, it's not the caliber, it's shot placement. If we're talking black bear that is. Griz are another order of magnitude on the ursus scale.
    This past weekend I took an approximate 300 lb. boar black bear with my 6.5 X 55 mm Swede. One shot using my handloads, 140 grain Sierra GameKing bullet exiting the muzzle at around 2725 fps.

    900F
     
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  11. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    The chances of a fatal attack by a bear is very rare. Since 1900 there has been 71 Wilderness deaths attributed to bears. The states with the most deaths are Montana number one with 12, Wyoming number two with 11 and Alaska number 3 with 5. There were over twenty which occurred in zoos.
    The fact that the numbers are low proves that being armed stopped many other wise deaths. Bear spray is not likely to save you regardless of the government propaganda. The wind is usually blowing in Brown Bear country. You are as likely as the bear being blinded. It seems to me over the years the handgun has saved more lives than spray. Where you carry the handgun maybe more important than caliber. The guns carried on the side in budget priced leather will be lost during the initial attack. Carry the gun in a strong across the chest holster. This is your best last chance to acquire and fire point blank into the aggressor. Just some rambling thoughts from an old guy who has survived a live time with the Grizz.
     
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  12. luffy100

    luffy100 Member

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    rifle
    caliber
    shot placement, they are the key to take down a bear, mostly if its a very big one. lungs shot are always good
     
  13. 45XD

    45XD Member

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    Hello all,

    Can't believe this hasn't been posted here yet, but there have been a few examples of bears being killed by 9mm rounds this summer/fall up here in the Last Frontier. Here's one link:
    https://www.americanhunter.org/arti...ishermen-from-raging-grizzly-with-9mm-pistol/
    There was another one recently but I can't find it- bear charged a guy outside his home/cabin and he fell backwards retreating while firing. Ended up shooting a hole through his foot and stopped the bear about 4 feet from where he was laying.

    NOT that I'm advocating for using a 9 mm for bear defense, cuz I ain't. Just wondering if it happens more than we think it does. Though I absolutely agree with the saying to carry what you can shoot well- better 10+ rounds of 9mm in a bear than 6 misses with a .44 mag cuz you can't shoot it.

    On a related note, my wife recently said something to me- new, never heard her say this in 15 years of marriage- "you need to go buy a bigger handgun," after a couple of scary-ish moments- one on the Knik River and the other on the Little Willow. Apparently our usual CCWs aren't going to cut it. So I'm in the market for something with a bit more bite now. Poor me....
     
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  14. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    45XD;

    Seems we're pretty much in agreement, see post 26. By the way, if an XD is your carry gun, you may be interested in something my son found out. He carried one for personal defense, but was using it to dispatch a game animal in winter conditions. No bang. Racked it & tried again. No bang. Upon further investigation we found the the grip safety and gloves, at least his gloves, were incompatible. He now carries a CZ P06.

    900F
     
  15. 45XD

    45XD Member

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    I actually don't carry the XD daily, too bulky for where I've worked in the recent past- although not as big an issue where I am now. Good info on the gloves interfering though, I'll have to check that out. Getting colder up here so being able to shoot with gloves is going to be key; I'll take a few different pairs along when I head to the range next.

    Now for other questions- .44 vs 10mm? If a revolver, SA vs. DA? Do I seriously want to waste an opportunity like this (new firearm with no reprisals or having to part with a current one) on a Taurus? Lol, decisions, decisions...
     
  16. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    45XD;

    I was in somewhat the same situation a while back in that I wanted a heavy pistol for bear. I was searching for a Smith 4 inch 629, and still wouldn't mind having one. But, a guy I know shoved a pistol he was tired of under my nose at a price that was a jaw dropper to me. I couldn't pass it up, but it makes a .44 magnum look like a weak-kneed bed wetter. A fair amount of reloading & testing produced something I could live with, but I don't want no more recoil than a 425 grain bullet leaving the barrel at 1200 fps.

    900F
     
  17. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    I'm not a bear hunting expert as I've taken only two bruins in my life. Both were one shot kills from my Marlin rifle chambered for 35 Remington. I hunted with plain but effective core-lokt ammo.

    TR
     
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  18. luffy100

    luffy100 Member

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    also try a bushmaster AR10
     
  19. YogiBear2014

    YogiBear2014 Member

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    Caliber, I would say probably the largest you can shoot comfortably, then I would recommend something with a removable mag if you are using dogs, because of being in and out of the truck so much.
     
  20. Ledhead686

    Ledhead686 Member

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    Never hunted bear before, but from what I've read the absolute minimum caliber for a Kodiak (a bit bigger in both height and weight than a Polar, if I'm not mistaken) is a .30-06; better yet, a .300 mag. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  21. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Sapper;

    Let's make that a .338 Winchester magnum. At least that's what I'd prefer over a .338 Federal or .338-06 for a Kodiak.

    900F
     
  22. Ledhead686

    Ledhead686 Member

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    Okie-doke.

    Hey, with an animal that big and temperamental I'd just as soon resort to an RPG or howitzer. I'm not one for taking chances.
     
  23. onelastshot

    onelastshot Member

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    It all depends on what type of bear you're hunting and what style or form of hunting you're going to use. For hunting over bait, you're looking at short range shots and something like a marlin 444 is the perfect recipe. If you're doing the spot and stalk approach then you're going to need something that will afford you the opportunity to make longer shots. For longer distance shooting the thirty caliber selections with the right scope fit the bill. If it's a brown bear then the heavy calibers should be considered. A 375 H&H than has a quality expansion bullet that can take out a shoulder is something to be considered. In short, you've got a lot of questions to answer before members can give you the proper guidance.
     
  24. 10point

    10point Member

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    30-06 with 220 grain bullet
    Or 3 inch mag slugs for under 100 yards.
    works good . 3 inch mag slug at under 100 yards pretty much will take out anything on earth .
    And so will a 30-06 with 220 grain bullet and then some
     
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  25. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    A "properly" loaded 30-06 is more than enough, but properly loaded is with 200NP's or perhaps 220NP's.

    After seeing non-premium 220's come apart on heavy bone, I'm NO fan of putting my life on the line with them for bear protection!

    NP's will work EVERY time!

    DM
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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