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Thread: 7mm Loads For Bear

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    Default 7mm Loads For Bear

    I'm planning a Kodiak Brown Bear hunt this fall and at this point in time am planning on using my 7mm. My buddy will be backing me up with a 300 win. I'd prefer to use the 7mm because it is my gun and the 300 is his.

    Any suggestions for a good load to use? I appreciate all the advice I've already received! Thanks!

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Can't say I think much of a 7mm for a Brownie hunt...but if you gotta, the 175gr Partition is the only game in town IMHO.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    The bullet and placement does the killing, not the headstamp on the brass, imo. Do you reload? If so, try some 160gr TSX or Swift A-Frames a try. Nosler Partitions, too. Phil Shoemaker guided a client recently and he used a 270 Win. Two quick shots to the shoulder and down and out.

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    I think I would second hodgeman and say 175gr bullet as well. Are you hand loading ammo or buying off the shelf? I don't know that you'll have more than one or two options for off the shelf in 175gr. Look for the Nosler Partition, Swift A-frame, or a Tropy Bonded Bear Claw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Wonderer View Post
    I think I would second hodgeman and say 175gr bullet as well. Are you hand loading ammo or buying off the shelf? I don't know that you'll have more than one or two options for off the shelf in 175gr. Look for the Nosler Partition, Swift A-frame, or a Tropy Bonded Bear Claw.

    I've actually been given some hand loaded 160 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. Just getting everyone's expert opinion on this so I can comfortably sit and fling that lead in the bear's direction. I also believe placement is the key and having a reliable backup doesn't hurt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLNhunter View Post
    I've actually been given some hand loaded 160 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. Just getting everyone's expert opinion on this so I can comfortably sit and fling that lead in the bear's direction. I also believe placement is the key and having a reliable backup doesn't hurt.
    I would say that 160 grain does seem a little light for the task at hand. I would also be very careful about shooting someone else's hand loads, especially on a bear. I guess if you have the back up it covers a lot of possibilities but I wouldn't feel comfortable with that situation. Has the friend that is loading been doing it a long time and someone that you trust with your life? Because that is what you are doing!
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    I can't comment from personal experience, i.e., with respect to how well the 7mm will preform for your intended use, however, I can say that my 7mm Rem Mag shoots a 175 gr. Swift A-Frame incredibly well. I typically shoot groups in the .300's at 100 yards and have recovered those bullets in the back-stop and albeit not an animal, they hold together incredibly well. I'm loading those rounds with H4831 SC at just over 2700 fps. The advice from others is consistent with what I would give, choose a well made bullet.

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    I would go with the 175 class bullet as hodgeman pointed out. I do believe you are a little light as well(I am by no means saying not to use it,you sound very comfortable with it and that means more then anything) and I would definetaly make sure your back up is prepared for the what if. I have been down this road many times even had hunters try to run when they realize the size and awe of these critters up close. I find these "enough gun"things are always quite interestiing to read to say the least. Yes Brown bear are NOT hard to kill they ARE hard to stop when wounded and determined(thats where a good back up comes in handy),just take a poll of the guides to see why they are not walking around with .243's I personally carry a 416 wby as a backup to my hunters and trust me its not cause I like recoil it cause I like to say it with a statement when things(and thet do every now and then) go bad. With the lighter caliber/bullet combo I would make sure your first shot kills the bear meaning heart/lung ect... big bones need big bullets..but that could just be my opinion..

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    Although not optimal, a CORRECTLY PLACED 175 gr. premium 7mm bullet will do the trick. In general it is not advisable to shoot someone else's hand loads that were not loaded SPECIFICALLY for your rifle. As a final note, a 300 WM is a great round but not generally thought of as a backup round - but way better than a sharp stick as my mother used to say. Your best shot would be at an unsuspecting bear at less that 100 yds - less than 50 is even better. Before I take off to hunt some critter I usually have shot hundreds of rounds of the load I plan to use from positions other than off a bench at the shoot range - am I a bit obsessive, yea, probably. Good Luck.
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

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    OP: With your past experiences with your 7mm (assuming shots on lesser game) what ratio of game falls right away? Perhaps the bear falls from the first shot. If it doesn't - I would be more concerned with what bullets your buddy was using.

    A well placed first shot using the 300 WM using 180 TBBC would seem more prudent than one shot with the 7mm with follow ups by both hunters.

    If it were my hunt, I would take the implied advice; get a larger caliber rifle and then use the heavy and well constructed bullets that you could shoot well.

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    I've shot 2 interior griz with my 7mm. One shot through both front shoulders and he flipped end over tea kettle (running full speed broadside) and didn't twitch after he stopped rolling. The other stood up and looked at me and I put it in the neck, breaking it, once again not even a twitch. These were 5 foot interior griz though, defenatly not kodiak browns, I'll agree it's shot placement that counts. I think I was using factory loaded core-locked 175's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLNhunter View Post
    I'm planning a Kodiak Brown Bear hunt this fall and at this point in time am planning on using my 7mm. My buddy will be backing me up with a 300 win. I'd prefer to use the 7mm because it is my gun and the 300 is his.

    Any suggestions for a good load to use? I appreciate all the advice I've already received! Thanks!
    Properly loaded I wouldn't turn my hand over for the difference in killing power between .284 and .308 cartridges. I've seen numerous brown bears meet their demise and with proper shot placement they simply die. Pick a proper load and be confident that your cartridge is more than able for the task at hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLNhunter View Post
    I've actually been given some hand loaded 160 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. Just getting everyone's expert opinion on this so I can comfortably sit and fling that lead in the bear's direction. I also believe placement is the key and having a reliable backup doesn't hurt.
    In the last twenty years bullet technology has changed a lot more than the opinions of hunters. If I were to choose a 175 grain pill for a 7mm (I'm assuming you mean the Remington Magnum version) it would likely be a plain Jane Hornady SP guaranteeing good expansion with sufficient retained bullet weight for adequate penetration. Using a 7mm likely entails I'm going to use a "premium" bullet of some type maximizing my performance threshold at various ranges. If I am going to use a "premium" projectile from a 7mm RM I'm going to opt for a lighter bullet traveling faster. A 160 grain Nosler Partition would be worth a consideration as is the 160 TBBC that you've been given. As for using handloads you've been given that is a decision you need to make on your own. I've been handloading for nearly 30 years and I've zero qualms using my own loads and I've produced my share of ammo for buddies that want tailored ammo for their own rifles, but lack the expertise to handload their own ammunition. Quality ammo is what you're after and handloaders can achieve that as easily as mass produced ammo if the handloaders are competent. Whether your ammo comes out of a new box of factory ammo or if its from handloads I recommend you chamber each round from the magazine of your rifle to insure that your rifle and your ammo will feed reliably in the field.

    If I were going to use factory ammo in a 7mm RM for bears I'd give any of these loads some consideration:

    LINK
    LINK
    LINK

    Remember as you're hunting that bears hit properly die quickly and poorly hit bears can sometimes seem to not die at all. Hit right you're 7mm will dispatch your bear as easily as your buddies 300..........
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I like the Winchester XP3's in 160 grains running between 2900 and 3000 fps. Very good penetration and expasive wound cavity. I've shot several deer, yes I know not a big bear and a fairly large Caribou (325 yards). I have yet to recover a bullet and all have had a large wound cavity. Recoil is light, accuracy very good, and as a factory load easy to repeat. As much as I love my 7mm I would carry my 375 but would not hesitate to shoot an interior Griz with my 7mm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    Remember as you're hunting that bears hit properly die quickly and poorly hit bears can sometimes seem to not die at all. Hit right your 7mm will dispatch your bear as easily as your buddies 300..........
    Such qualification reminds us to really study those bear anatomy charts and shot placement manuals regardless of the caliber used. Then take a look through many bear photos, apply the knowledge, and become familiar with "if the bear presented this look ... then shoot here."

    Our butcher used 22 LR for killing our cows, so the same could be said with many calibers/loads.. IMO, bear hunting is less controlled ....So if the shot presented or the bullet hits "less than right", then what caliber/loads would you desire?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet eNuf View Post
    Our butcher used 22 LR for killing our cows, so the same could be said with many calibers/loads.. IMO, bear hunting is less controlled ....So if the shot presented or the bullet hits "less than right", then what caliber/loads would you desire?
    I much more interested in the bullet than the caliber/cartridge and I simply won't shoot at an unwounded brown bear with a "less than right" shot. Arguing what's minimal is for brown bears produces a lot of heat and very little light; I've felt very comfortable around brown bears with much less "power" than a 7mm RM and likely will do it again..........
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    If it makes you feel any better my Dad toasted an interior Grizzly a few years ago with his 7mag. 160gr Partition at abit under 3000fps produced good exit holes and throughly destroyed heart and lungs. After the first shot there was a geyser of blood blowing out the offside over 4ft.
    He is coming back this fall to try for another and plans to tote his 7/08 he gave up the 7mag for. I'll be there for backup but as well as he shoots that rifle, I get the feeling he won't need it.
    Get your load picked out and then practice as often as possible, from field positions. Hit him good the first shot, then pour the coal on before he gets out of sight. The more holes you put in the right spots the less chance you'll need to go dig a bear out of the bushes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLNhunter View Post
    Just getting everyone's expert opinion .....
    i don't care who you are .... on this forum that's just funny!
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    i don't care who you are .... on this forum that's just funny!

    I gotta make them all feel warm and fuzzy otherwise I don't get to hear what I want to hear!

    In regards to the hand loads I was given, they were done by someone who has been loading for a long time and for a lot of people as well. He's kind of a human factory. The loads were not done specifically for my rifle though so that is certainly something to consider. I do plan on spending a great deal of time at the range and shooting from field positions. If I don't end up using those Trophy Bear Claws then I most likely with go with the Partitian. But I still have more research to do on those as well.

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    I don't think I would shoot hand loads from just anyone but wouldn't turn them down from someone I knew had trusted. Factory ammo can always fail as well.

    The 7mm is probably my favorite caliber and I have lots of confidence in the round. With other options in my safe it wouldn't be my first choice for Kodiak but I wouldn't try to talk you out of it. A well constructed bullet will get good penetration and the lighter recoil should make for quicker follow up shots.

    I've been shooting hand loaded 160gr Partitions. Only taken two animals since I loaded these up. Both were broadside double lung shots on caribou, so no bullet recovery. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a bear with this caliber if I were given the opportunity.

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    I have only shot at two brown bears, both small. One died instantly from copper poisoning to the heart and lungs at 200 yards with a 300 RUM. The other died after taking 3 hits from a 375 ruger. One at 30 yards straight through the chest when it stood up. The other through the top of the lungs, the other in the ass. None of them "Stopped" the bear, it did die about 100 yards away. I have heard enough stories of brownies taking a lot of lead. Bring enough gun for sure. So, if you are dead set on the 7mm, maybe shoot big for caliber bullets or something that will make a big hole and penetrate well. How about a hawk bullet? You can't ever go wrong with a barnes or partition. If I was in Kodiak hunting, I think the 375 would look small.

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