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Thread: Brown bear gun...

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    Member Matt83's Avatar
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    Default Brown bear gun...

    Being new to Alaska, I realized I am probably going to have to buy 1 more hunting rifle specifically for brown bear. I already have a .270 which I will use for sheep, and a tried and true .30-06 for caribou, moose, and black bear. So now for a brown bear rifle, I have been looking at either getting a .325 WSM, or a .338 RCM. I have heard pros and cons of both, whether or not to get it in stainless/synthetic, or matte barrel/laminate stock. So I figured I would ask the experts, the people who have hunted brown bear multiple times, and try to get some better opinions, rather than what I would read in a article from someone who has hunted brown bear once. Thanks

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    A search on this forum would yield you days of reading.

    I'll start by recommending a .460 Nitro Express as a minimum starter pea shooter for Griz and Brownies.....if'n you kin shoot it good of course.

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    I agree. Anything less would be less than interesting.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have a 325wsm and have killed several bears with it. Still like my 375H&H for the bigger ones though.

    Good Luck

    Steve
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    A 325wsm or 338RCM would be a good choice especially if you were looking to use it for all Alaskan big game. Even better in my opinion would be the 338 win mag as it is more common and easier to find rounds for. Are you set on a short action? As for a gun that I would and have chosen as mybear rifle, you can't go wrong with the 375 H&H and if I were to buy another bear specific gun I would pick the 375. Then again if you go to any ofthe native communities I think you would find an overwhelming number of 30-06s that have killed every game animal Alaska has to offer.

    Beware, some people on this forum can be cantankerous when it comes to questions regarding appropriate caliber, some seem to have a general feeling that it is a dumb question. I do not share this sentiment and hope my opinions will help you in your search. On another note or perhaps the same note, I have not shot a 460 NE but I have shot 500NE, 500 Jeffries, and 416 Rigby and would not recommend any of them for a general bear gun, not because of lack of powerbut rather the opposite, however they will do the job even though they are generally used for elephant. I know 375 H&H is also used for elephant, but the recoil is manageable and thus I have the confidence to shoot it out to acouple hundred yards. I would not trust my flinch factor past 50 yards on anyof the previously mentioned 416-500s, but that’s just me.

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    Member Matt83's Avatar
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    I must say that my shoulder is killing me at the thought of sighting in a .460NE! I am not set on a short action, I have just read alot of good things about them, from what I have read they have the same ballistics as their full size counterparts, but about 10% less recoil.I am not really set on any caliber in particular as of right now, just trying to get a general feel of what would be appropriate. Thanks

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    375 Ruger Mag is my go to Bear hunter, All the Power of a 375 H&H plus a bit more but out of a shorter and hadier/lighter gun, aswell as cheaper. Actually just shot a Big Black bear with it yesterday and Loading up for grizzly today. What ever you get load with a great bullet IE Nosler Partition, Swift Aframe, Barnes TSX and you cant go wrong from .338 RCM/WI mag on up
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    First of all, your 30-06 is plenty capable of killing a brown bear. If you want an excuse to buy another rifle, that's fine, but don't stay home because your 30-06 is all you have.

    I have a similar setup as you - a mountain gun for sheep, a 30-06 for caribou/moose/etc, and assorted small game and predator guns. I came across a deal I couldn't pass up, though, so now I have a .338 WM for my bear gun. I think you'd be hard pressed to find two better options than the .338 WM or the .375 H&H. I can't see any reason for looking further than these two.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Another happy .325WSM owner. I won't hesitate at all to shoot anything in Alaska with it, and have the utmost confidence that it would do the job. Same can be said for the 300 winny mag, though.

    HOWEVER, my favorite caliber continues to be my .375h&h. I've shot moose, caribou, musk ox with it and it does so much less meat damage than the .325 or my winny mag. Instant kills with very little meat damage. What's not to like?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58dranger View Post
    What ever you get load with a great bullet IE Nosler Partition, Swift Aframe, Barnes TSX and you cant go wrong from .338 RCM/WI mag on up
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    First of all, your 30-06 is plenty capable of killing a brown bear. If you want an excuse to buy another rifle, that's fine, but don't stay home because your 30-06 is all you have.
    Two great points, I am a big fans of Barnes bullets and their outstanding terminal performance/weight retention.

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    Anybody ever try .25acp??
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    First of all, your 30-06 is plenty capable of killing a brown bear.
    True. I've killed a pretty good sized griz with one

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    Anybody ever try .25acp??
    If that was what I had and needed it I would try
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I don't find the cartridge to be all that high on my priority list......I look at it this way:

    RELIABILITY......is it going to go bang......does it function and feed flawlessly....can you clean muskeg, ice or beach sand from it in the field.....does it fit you or do you have to search for the scope??......does the floor plate flop open.....etc......and same goes for the scope.

    BULLET PLACEMENT......can you reliably place the bullet in the correct location......is it a cartridge you can afford to practice with?

    BULLET CONSTRUCTION......There are several quality bullets on the market today that are capable of penetrating deep enough ruin vital organs etc.....

    CARTRIDGE comes in about here.

  16. #16
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    The .375 Ruger in a Ruger Alaskan is pretty tough to beat for the dollars expended.... you don't mention where you'll be hunting but a .375 for coastal bears is pretty standard fare and a .300 or .325 makes a good Interior grizzly gun.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    As was said.....don't not go because "all you have" is the "lowly" 30-06. You put a good Barnes X bullet outta that barrel and you have a fantastic round for even the biggest of bears. That being said tho, the 338 WM is arguably the most popular Alaskan all around caliber of choice.
    If it was me tho, and I wanted a new gun for AK., it would probably be the 375 Ruger. I just saw what a 250 grain Barnes TSX fired from it did to a 3/4" thick solid piece of steel at 200 yards. Impressive to say the least.

  18. #18

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    I have a stainless Ruger Alaskan in 375 ruger. Pretty hard to beat in my opinion, short and quick handling. 300 grain TSX out of this rifle gets VERY good penetration on Brown Bears. Also be aware that the matte black version of these rifles are NOT stainless steel.

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    The 30-06 is perfectly suited for all animals in Alaska, all Bears at that.

    Those who feel inadaquate can always go bigger and faster in compensation, gun wize.

    I use a 7.62X54r with spectacular effect, and most I know use a .243W , .270, 30-06.

    If I ever run across a magnum or such, I would use one, simply because its no step backward to do such, but I dont even know anyone that actually owns or uses one around here, nor do our stores sell the ammo.....I'd have to go to Kotzebue.(Thats something to consitter for those who hunt Unit 23)
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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  20. #20
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    The long answer:
    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    The 30-06 is perfectly suited for all animals in Alaska, all Bears at that.

    Those who feel inadaquate can always go bigger and faster in compensation, gun wize.

    I use a 7.62X54r with spectacular effect, and most I know use a .243W , .270, 30-06.

    If I ever run across a magnum or such, I would use one, simply because its no step backward to do such, but I dont even know anyone that actually owns or uses one around here, nor do our stores sell the ammo.....I'd have to go to Kotzebue.(Thats something to consitter for those who hunt Unit 23)
    The short answer:
    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.
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