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Thread: Bullets for Black Bear

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    Member Silver Tip's Avatar
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    Default Bullets for Black Bear

    What are your favorite bullets to use for black bear?

    Silver Tip

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Ones that go through their lungs. Seriously, black bears aren't particularly hard to knock over. The last black bear kill I was in on was my wife's bear from last year. She shot 140 grain core lokts from her 7mm-08. A double lung shot and her bear was crumpled up within 50 yards.

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    They have lots of fur and can soak up some blood if you have to track them for a little ways. I like a big exit hole to help them bleed freely after the shot. I also like a bigger than necessary caliber in case the black bears co-habitate with their less than nice fuzzy head cousins. I shoot the 375 ruger with the 250g TTSX. They expand well, shoot well and will penetrate well.

    If I were just in PWS and not a chance of seeing a brown bear, then I agree with Brian. What ever is loaded in your gun that will pulp-up some lung tissue before it exits.

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    45/70 with 325 grain lever evolutions knocked my bear down with no problems

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    If I were just in PWS and not a chance of seeing a brown bear...
    Seriously???
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    I hunted black bears in the interior for 9 straight years. I use a Thompson Center Contender 14" Bull Barrel w/ Muzzle Brake chambered in 30-30 win. with 125gr Nosler Partitions. Every bear I shot was recovered within 50 yards and often times they dropped there they stood. It's more about bullet placement and having the discipline to hold that trigger till the perfect shot presents itself. Spend time at the range shooting what you are comfortable shooting.
    What are ya...a fisherman...or a catcherman?

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Seriously???
    Yup, seriously. That is what I think. I may be wrong and would love it if somebody would give me an honest reply why not.

    In my opinion, not many brownies out there in PWS, with the exception of montague island of course.

    Seriously, what kind of answer is that.

    Seriously????

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Tip View Post
    What are your favorite bullets to use for black bear?

    Silver Tip

    They don't call me Silver Tip for nothing!
    I like the same bullet I use for everything else- a Nosler Accubond. Opens easily like a Ballistic Tip but holds together at higher impact velocity. In a second choice I'd take a Partition for the same reasons.

    Black bear are actually pretty lightly built- I think people tend to use bullets that are too tough and frequently under expand and just pencil through.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    .284 140 Berger VLD hunting for me - I moly coat my bullets and I noticed a while back that the moly was plugging the tiny hollowpoint up which I have come to believe is the reason I've never had one of those infamous "Berger blow ups" that you hear about, nothing but pass throughs with a good exit hole so far - time and more kills will tell a longer story though and I plan on hunting blacktails with that load too

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I have found silver tip ammo very poor on bear,blowing up on entry..One of the best off the shelf is the old remington core-lokt 180's for blacks and 220rn for brown
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  11. #11

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    killed 10 black bears with a 35 whelen, 250 gr. speer bullet going almost 2400 fps all shot in scapula, all dropped in their tracks

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    Quote Originally Posted by bearman8 View Post
    killed 10 black bears with a 35 whelen, 250 gr. speer bullet going almost 2400 fps all shot in scapula, all dropped in their tracks
    In one shot?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Tip View Post
    What are your favorite bullets to use for black bear?

    Silver Tip

    They don't call me Silver Tip for nothing!
    Ultimately, any bullet resulting from a well placed shot at a sensible range for the shooter is the best bullet with a black bear.

    All things being equal, I've taken them in open country with TSX's, partitions and Trophy Bonded Bear Claws, but it's been my experience that black bears are not that hard to put down. However, I've seen a couple of guys hit them poorly which gets them rev'ed and flat-out motivated to run.

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    I have kilt them with:45/70 325gn Leverlutions - complete pass thru's BIG holes, 300wm 180 partitions several pass thru's, 308's 150 Rem corelocks, 50cal muzzleloaders, and arrows. Never had any go far, seldom out of sight. If they are close I prefer behind ear shots if you are comfortable with your gun and skills, DRT. Black Bears have been one of the easiest critters to put down of everything I have hunted. I have tracked some shot ( not by me ) with 12 ga slugs and not to impressed with the old lead rounds as they did not exit reliably IMO.
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    ..One of the best off the shelf is the old remington core-lokt 180's for blacks and 220rn for brown
    Somebody buy that man a beer.....
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    I have tracked some shot ( not by me ) with 12 ga slugs and not to impressed with the old lead rounds as they did not exit reliably IMO.
    What rounds were they, exactly? Of course, in all cases, shot placement is paramount, but that said, we always debate or discuss bullet composition for rifle rounds, ad nauseam, but more often than not shotgun rounds are lump sum generalized and dismissed as ineffective. With shotgun rounds as with rifle rounds, projectile composition matters, a lot. Brenneke style slugs kill bears dead, period. Foster style projectiles, not so much.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    If I were just in PWS and not a chance of seeing a brown bear... In my opinion, not many brownies out there in PWS, with the exception of montague island of course.
    I've seen twice as many blacks than browns in PWS, but I've seen enough browns to know your odds of seeing one are a he11 of a lot higher than "not a chance", and I've never been to Montague.

    Some old data for what it's worth: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ho...s/mbr01_sc.pdf
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    What rounds were they, exactly? Of course, in all cases, shot placement is paramount, but that said, we always debate or discuss bullet composition for rifle rounds, ad nauseam, but more often than not shotgun rounds are lump sum generalized and dismissed as ineffective. With shotgun rounds as with rifle rounds, projectile composition matters, a lot. Brenneke style slugs kill bears dead, period. Foster style projectiles, not so much.
    Well sir, you are asking a lot from an aging mind! One group of hunters were from Mo., all (3) shooting their trusty ole pump shotguns they hunted deer with back home and to my best memory they were shooting the Winchester 1oz slug. Not newer rifled versions. We did not recover 1 bear, 2 were found but one had spoiled in the heat. Another chap in a different camp a couple years later got 3 into a young bear, found it next day maybe 300 - 400 yds away thanks to birds. I helped skin it and we found all three slugs - I don't know that he said the brand, but they were the old round ball type as well. I have seen the newer sabots work very well. One camp owner liked the Brenneke's when he hunted. Killing was not as problematic as the lack of exit reducing a good blood trail.
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    My one black bear was taken with a 180 gr. Nosler Partition pushed by RL 15 powder to roughly 2700 fps MV out of a Marlin XL7 30-06. It was a head shot, because that's the only part of the boar I could see. (Dense brush) The bullet punctured his skull and exited through his spinal chord in the back of his neck. He was dead before gravity was finished with him.

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    Took a black bear in June with my 8mmRM shooting 220 gr.Swift A-Frames.Bear was going away from me.Hit it in the spine just above his touch hole and the bullet came to rest under the hide between his eye and ear.The bullet weight was 199 grs. and was 3/4 of an inch in diameter.Bears hide was 74 inches from nose to tail.

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