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Thread: Thoughts on black bear rifle/bullet combo...

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on black bear rifle/bullet combo...

    I've been doing some reading and want to gather some of your thoughts. I have yet to take a black bear but this is what I've been carrying around while out hunting. I have a Ruger M77 7mm Remington Magnum and shooting a 160 grain Nosler Accubond. What are your thoughts on this combo, I know it will kill a bear, no question there. But am I more likely to be following a blood trail than watching him go down? Being a bow hunter primarily I am always thinking to double lung an animal with a behind the front shoulder shot. With this rifle, should I do the same or aim high shoulder?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Black bear are not that hard to kill. That combo will do just fine, just put it in the right spot. My wife has killed several with a 270wsm using 140 grain TSXs and Accubonds.

    Have fun.

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    Depends. I've shot animals that were knocking on my door and they ran off, leaving me a blood trail to follow. Then again, I've hit them out at 150+yds and watch them fall over where they stood. 7mm rem mag might do that to you , travel too fast at short distances and not mushroom but when it slows down a bit, it will mushroom just fine. The Accubonds claim to expand close and far reliably so try them out.

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    I would think a crappy bullet that would explode inside the animal would drop em faster than one that punches a hole all the way through with out much damage, a 150 grain corelokt would do that form an -06, that eqivelant in a 7mm would be more like a 130 or 140, maybe, I have no knowledge of 7mm's but even a corelokt built for deer size game (and a average black bear isn't much different than a big whitetial) would go all the way through a black bear
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Having used Accubonds to kill several bears, I can say they WORK!!!









    Have not had ANYTHING run off after being hit with a Accubond!!!
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    if you hit it in the right spot it will die.
    plenty of gun, they die easy.
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    You wont know whats gonna happen untill you pull that trigger, and things to take a bit of time to die........

    Gun ammo combo sounds just fine.

    Good luck.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Few more Acuubonds recovered all shot from rifles with velocity over 3000fps. Have never had a problem with them even at 20 yards, can't say the same for TSXs. Not saying TSXs are not good, just that I have had them pencil through.

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    My first rifle hunt was this year and the accubonds did awesome on deer and caribou. I just don't know a lot about calibers on different animals and the differences in shot placement.

    I shot a bunch of different rounds through my gun this spring and the accubonds performed the best. Just wanted to see what others thought about that combo for bear. Thanks!

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    I've killed quite a few critters so far with the Accubond bullet in my .300WSM and it is, by far, my favorite. Nothing has taken more than 4 or 5 staggering steps with the majority falling in their tracks. I've yet to recover a bullet. If they had wandered any distance, all of them had large exit wounds and I imagine the blood trail would have been rather easy to follow and very short. I wouldn't worry about a shoulder shot- hit the lungs and let the bullet do its work.

    Federal lists the 7mmRM/160AB with a MV of 2900 and it's still doing almost 2400 at 300yds.- at similar speeds and ranges with the AB, bullet performance has been perfect for me. I think your cartridge/bullet selection is just fine for black bears (and anything else appropriate for a 7mmRM!) and I'd have zero worry about blowing up an AB @2900fps.

    Gun nerdiness aside- shoot straight and the results are inevitable, black bears die easy and are pretty lightly constructed -that combination should let the air out of them pretty quickly.

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    Stid, You got me thinking so maybe you can help me. In your opinion is it better for the bullet to mushroom and stay inside the animal or blow right threw. Looking at your picture of the bear skinned out it looked like the shoulder was hammered and would be a loss for consumable meat. I have no experiance but heard the Nosler partitions will hammer a shoulder pretty good and many of a hunter has switched due to meat loss. I understand if the bullet stays inside it will feel more of the energy than passing threw but a double lung shot should drop and animal pretty quick. Whats your take on it since you have a lot more experiance than me on shooting something breathing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabliss View Post
    Stid, You got me thinking so maybe you can help me. In your opinion is it better for the bullet to mushroom and stay inside the animal or blow right threw. Looking at your picture of the bear skinned out it looked like the shoulder was hammered and would be a loss for consumable meat. I have no experiance but heard the Nosler partitions will hammer a shoulder pretty good and many of a hunter has switched due to meat loss. I understand if the bullet stays inside it will feel more of the energy than passing threw but a double lung shot should drop and animal pretty quick. Whats your take on it since you have a lot more experiance than me on shooting something breathing?

    I've shot TSX's for a long time, with my 7mm, 154 grain, and I have run into issues with them passing straight through with no mushroom, it went straight through without hitting a rib or anything though, but I got double lung shots both times and like you said, they went down within 20 yds... I've heard that for bears it's better to break them down with front shoulder shots, but I don't like the idea of losing all that meat, I started taking neck shots quite a while back and have never had an issue since.

    I think that shot placement is key and you have plenty of gun so you'll be fine as long as your shot's good.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabliss View Post
    Stid, You got me thinking so maybe you can help me. In your opinion is it better for the bullet to mushroom and stay inside the animal or blow right threw. Looking at your picture of the bear skinned out it looked like the shoulder was hammered and would be a loss for consumable meat. I have no experiance but heard the Nosler partitions will hammer a shoulder pretty good and many of a hunter has switched due to meat loss. I understand if the bullet stays inside it will feel more of the energy than passing threw but a double lung shot should drop and animal pretty quick. Whats your take on it since you have a lot more experiance than me on shooting something breathing?
    Lets see if I can answer your questions,,, First it is also my experience that both Accubonds and Partitions do damage a lot of meat. With that said, you can't eat what you can't kill.

    For bears,, I like to put the first shot through the ribs. This takes out the lungs and makes an exit wound to leave a blood trail. I attempt to make a last follow up shot to the shoulder or spine area to plant them. I can only speak to my experience with bears and that is the "break them down theory" has not worked for me. Bears have some tough bones and I have seen 3 legged bears shot in the front shoulder run just as fast as a 4 legged bear and have had the bullet stopped by the bones and NOT be a fatal wound.

    For brown bears, I don't eat them and just keep shooting until they stop moving them shoot them one more time.

    For Black bears I want the first through the ribs and I try for the second into the neck or front shoulder. I prefer eating the backstraps and rear hams, so if I lose some front shoulder meat to bullet damage, I can live with it since I mostly ground it up anyway.

    For sheep, moose, or caribou I prefer a shot through the ribs to minimize meat damage or a shot to the neck. With neck shots the bullet is most often stopped by the spine so you only get damage on one side and a shot to the spine drops them in their tracks.

    No right or wrong I guess, just hunters choice. I would rather loose a small amount of meat to bullet damage than to loose the entire animal due to a poor shot trying to save a little meat.

    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossyhorn View Post
    I've been doing some reading and want to gather some of your thoughts. I have yet to take a black bear but this is what I've been carrying around while out hunting. I have a Ruger M77 7mm Remington Magnum and shooting a 160 grain Nosler Accubond. What are your thoughts on this combo, I know it will kill a bear, no question there. But am I more likely to be following a blood trail than watching him go down? Being a bow hunter primarily I am always thinking to double lung an animal with a behind the front shoulder shot. With this rifle, should I do the same or aim high shoulder?
    You'll do just fine with your combo...practice alot, put a good stalk on it until at a shooting distance that you KNOW you can hit it right, wait for a good broadside shot, and then shoot him right behind the shoulder between two-thirds to three-fourths (closer to three-fourths) down from the top of the back. If you are a good shot with an accurate load you'll kill him. Whether he drops in his tracks or runs for a bit is always the unknown for each specific hunting scenario. I will say that I have seen them go down pretty easy if done as described. I've also seen it get ugly when done poorly from the start.

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    A double lung shot bear will run fast. It's almost as if he wasn't hit. Just like with an arrow.

    Is it May yet?

    I've got a spring bear hunt planned. I'm going back to Kuiu. I'll be using my .416 with 350 Swift A-frames just because I like to whollup em. I'll be back up for my friend too, who is going after Brown Bear on Baranof.

    I'm all for your combo as long as you can get close and hit where you point. Which I know you can, you've proved that time and again with your keen archery skills.

    Good luck with your spring hunting. It's a great time to roam the woods.

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    M.H. I have been shooting that caliber for years and have taken deer, moose, goat, black bear, and a brown bear. Accubonds are good and do the trick but I have shot moose with the partitions and not had them take a step. I also like to shoot 175 grains because that is what my gun likes. If you want the best round for that gun ( only my opinion) Barns X has some 195 grain solids, the only problem is you need to load them yourself.
    As far a shot placement goes I like to break the shoulder or shoot them in the head. I shot a brownie a few years ago in the head with 175 grain partitions and there wasn't much skull left. That same year I took a friend out and got him his first brown bear, he hit it behind the shoulder with a 375HH (not sure what load he was using) and the thing didn't bleed at all. We came back the next day and after searching for 2hrs we found him over 200yds away and there was a 2in pool of blood where the exit wound was. After the autopsy we found that he hit both lungs and clipped the heart. Their hair is long in the spring and can make following a trail almost impossible (especially here in southeast). I would say practice doing follow up shots at the range, I have watched good shooters become really good shooters by doing this.

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    I have used that exact combo on black bears with no problems. As previously stated, hit them in the vitals and they will die. Hit them in a non-vital spot and you could be shooting a .460 and they will run off forcing the blood trail tracking. I changed from the 160 grain partition to the 154 grain hornaday because the hornaday is more accurate in my rifle and the bears still go down quickly as long as I do my part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akslaya View Post
    I started taking neck shots quite a while back and have never had an issue since.
    I used to believe that until I saw a moose that ran off with two .300 H&H's in his neck. He was killed two days later and nearly a mile away by another hunter while chasing a cow through the brush, his neck a mass of hamburger but still very much alive. A lung shot from a .378/.338 Weatherby did him in. I've also seen bulls die instantly from neck shots, but if you miss that spine it's too risky, IMO.
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    are those factor loaded accubonds or can you even get those?
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    are those factor loaded accubonds or can you even get those?
    Depending on the cartridge you're using, you can readily get Accubond bullets in factory ammo- Winchester (Accubond CT), Federal and Nosler ammo off top of my head...believe there are others as well.

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