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Thread: Lets hash this brown bear with a muzzleloader thing again

  1. #1
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Default Lets hash this brown bear with a muzzleloader thing again

    Ive been having great fun with my encore 50 cal. Its shooting just about everything very well inside 100 yards, including heavy conicals and powerbelts.

    I'm thinking about going on a trip where Ill sit in a ground blind along a salmon creek and try to get a brown bear this fall.

    Should I go with my 50 cal or get a bigger caliber? again inside 50 yards I can make clover leafs with the 410 grain great plains bullets or the 385 grain power belt bullets. Also 300 grain xtp/mags shoot great.

    One rifle that interests me is the cabelas sporterized hawken carbine in 54 cal. It has a 1 in 28 twist but only a 21" barrel. The regular length gun has a 1 in 48 twist, and ive not heard that that is a good twist for anything so Im not real interested in that. But again, about 80 percent of the BP rifles out there have this twist, so maybe it isnt all that bad.

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    Member akndres's Avatar
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    That 1-48 twist is supposed to be a compromise twist to shoot PRB's and conicals. Most PRB barrels have a 1-60 twist or slower. Conical barrels usually have the 1-28 or faster (exception, my GPH has a 1-32). I wouldn't worry about the 1-48 twist, you just have to find the load and bullet it preferrs. If you like the gun, it fits, and is reliable, I wouldn't let a 1-48 twist turn me off of it.... others may disagree

    For griz... If I had a 50 and a 54 sitting in the corner of the house. I would take the 54 (use enough gun theology). However, if I only had a 50 cal ML that was shooting 350gr+ quality ammo, I wouldn't hesitate to take it either. And don't get me wrong, PRB's will do the job too within their limitations.

    What did the mountain men use in the 17 and 1800's???? I'm sure they dispatched a griz or two. I'm sure there were plenty of them packing 50 cals too.

    A 50 (with the right load) is enough gun IMHO.
    "The rich... who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own excellence, these are the real enemies of game".... Theodore Roosevelt's A Principle of the Hunt

  3. #3

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    Irrespective of bore size, bullet weight and powder choice, I wouldn't do it solo with a slow-to-reload single shot. Too many brownies require multiple shots to drop once and for all- whether using a 375 H&H, a 460 Weatherby or anything in between. They can go too far and get into bad situations before actually dying if you can't get off quick and often multiple followup shots. Not a dig at muzzleloaders' capabilities so much as their rate of fire.

    You can probably do your job with a 50, but I'd still have competent and well-armed backup with me. Not just someone who happens to own a high powered rifle, but someone who is really good with it and cool headed in tight situations.

    My own choice for a ML brown bear would be something heavier than a 50 simply to improve the odds of a one-shot kill. I'm drawn to the Pedersoli double in 58 or 72 to give me a quick followup shot. The 58 has a fairly broad selection of conicals available, so in spite of its smaller bore I'd lean that way. The 72 has fewer options for conicals, though I've seen some made from custom moulds in South Africa. Haven't sorted it all out and spent money yet, but one or the other double is probably in my future.

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    Member akndres's Avatar
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    Brownbear is correct. A quick follow-up is in order. I wouldn't let it keep me from using one, but to have a partner with a 338 or bigger would definitely err on the side of caution.

    I look at the 50 as a 30-06, and the 54-72 as 338-416. Shot placement and smarts always trump caliber.

    Just don't let the bear know who/what hit him or where he was hit from. If he breaks and bolts in your direction... You have a good story to tell... if your heart makes it.
    "The rich... who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own excellence, these are the real enemies of game".... Theodore Roosevelt's A Principle of the Hunt

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    On page 224 of the gun digest blackpowder loading manual 4th edition the ballistic specifications of a 54 caliber white mountain carbine is given. This rifle has a 21 inch barrel and a 1:48 twist according to the specifications and should correlate quite well to the sportarized hawkin you are considering. The specifications provided are as follows:
    With 100 grains pyrodex RS behind a 375 grain deerslayer bullet the retained enery at 100 yards is 980 FPE.
    With 100 grains RS behind a 430 grain T/C maxi ball the retained enery at 100 yards is 1100 FPE.
    These carbines are great for packing but because they only weigh about 6.5 pounds, can beat you up with the recoil when sighting in with hunting loads. One trick I've used for light riflles when sighting in is to strap a 5 pound velcrow ankle weight around the stock. It sure helps reduce the beating you would otherwise take at the bench.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Go for it! I would take a 12 ga. pump loaded with slugs along for my backup.

  7. #7

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    A 12 gauge with slugs is a fine backup if the bear is pointed in your direction, but in my experiences they're usually pointed somewhere else. If they didn't start from outside shotgun range on the first shot from the hunter, they'd be there in one big hurry.

    That's why most of the guides I hang with prefer the 375 H&H over a 458 Win Mag. The trajectory is flatter and it puts more energy on the target way out there where most backup shots are taken- 150 to 350 yards. Several experimented with the various 416's but drifted back to the 375 for the same reason. I don't know any who would consider a shotgun a reasonable backup weapon, even though they frequently carry them in summer when escorting bear viewing clients.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I guess I'm poor in .375 H&H's, it is my main carry rifle caliber. But with the proper slugs in a 12 bore I'm afaird my old .375's are left in the dust. Remember we were talking about a back-up. I don't know of any guides that don't keep a 12 bore in camp for protection of camp gear. Granted they are loaded with 8's or 8 1/2 to chase bear out of camp. Just something about a 1200 to 1250 grain slug @ 1300 fps, that's hard to beat.

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    Backup for me is an entirely different issue than carry/protection/camp gun. That's all close range stuff. Backup for a shooter on the other hand, is a gun that can settle the hash at all ranges whether the bear comes at you after being wounded or goes the other way. Talk to the guides and they almost never have to shoot a wounded bear coming at them, compared to the number of times they're faced with a wounded bear headed for a thick alder patch or over the next ridge. If the bear is first shot at 75 or 100 yards, it's already out of shotgun range. If you don't stop it NOW, you're going to have a nasty followup job on your hands. You might wish for the shotgun once you track the wounded bear into the alders, but a better idea is to stop it before it ever gets there. Whether the alder patch is 200 yards away or 400 yards away, you want to break down that bear before it disappears from sight. Aint gonna happen with your camp shotgun. Aint going to happen with a 458 Win Mag and it's 500 grain bullet at 2100 fps either. The trajectory simply isn't there- and that's from the guys who make their living at it.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    "If the bear is first shot at 75 or 100 yards, it's already out of shotgun range." It is?

    "Aint going to happen with a 458 Win Mag and it's 500 grain bullet at 2100 fps either. The trajectory simply isn't there- and that's from the guys who make their living at it." It won't?

    And just how far away do you think you or the original poster will be taking a shot with his black powder firearm?

    So let us sum this up. What does need to be used then would be a fifty cal Barrett?

    I know a Master guide that only carries a S&W 340 PD, .357 mag for backup. I asked him what would hapen if he needed a rifle " I just take the rifle away from the client" was his reply.

    His clients, for more than a few years, have taken the largest brown bear taken in the state. The last time I asked he told me he is booked 7 years in advance.

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    Thanks for the smiles.

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    Big Al you lost me what are you talkling about when you mentioned a 1200-1250 grain slub at 1300 FPS.

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default Brownbear is spot on.

    Have a repeating magnum caliber or slug gun as a backup. The Encore 50 is a fine gun, but those bears can be locomotives when wounded.

    Be safe on that hunt.

    Frank

  14. #14
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I have on order from a barrel maker on the east cost a 31" swamped barrel in .6725 bore id. This makes it a 16 bore. I building a flinter the twist is 1 in 98. built for round ball only the ball will weigh in at one ounce.

    This should work so, so on large bear as this pattern worked fine for rino and bigger on the dark continent prior to the advent of the nitro express era.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Big Al "master guide takes gun away"

    "Take the clients gun away"....Yeah, right...Can't imagine what kind of man would give up his gun in a life or death situation. Not being entirely stupid about self defense, having fired and been fired upon, though not charged by a "big fuzzy thing", I can't believe that the "mind set" of this master guide would allow him to be so pompous as to enter into what some would say is combat, unprepared. To depend upon "taking away" another mans weapon? WOW! The term "back up" should only be construed to mean one of two things. That is, to "back up" either another or "back up" your own weapon with another weapon. "What" is adequate is entirely up to what your experience dictates.

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    Jim Shockey shot a Brown Bear once with a Muzzleloader. The gun he was carrying looked like an Encore. His statement afterwards was, "It can be done, but I'll never do it again. And I won't advise anyone else to do it ". Not me, I'll never take my Encore after Brown Bears or Grizzlies either.

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I'd like to try it some day. I want to get a black bear with mine first.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default California used to be swarming with brown bear

    and they were eradicated with smokepoles and round balls. Make that big balls. Just have some kind of back up and go for it with the 50 and something that will penetrate.

  19. #19

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    The best accounts I've read of hunting grizzlies with muzzleloaders are sprinkled through the accounts of Lewis and Clark- both their own and Fredrick Glass. Good place to learn a bit about tactics, as they probably had more extensive experience than anyone else. Just remember that those were "interior" grizzlies rather than coastal brownies.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    The California bears were coastal brown bears (salmon eating).

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