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Thread: Best Anti-Bear Cartridge ?

  1. #1
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    Question Best Anti-Bear Cartridge ?

    Hi Guys. I've got a thought here that might stir up the pot a bit.

    Background:
    I'm not a hunter. I enjoy shooting handguns, but I have never shot a rifle or a shotgun. I have just been researching rifles as a way to prevent myself from becoming food for a large brown bear while hiking or camping. I've joined this site just to post this thread because I've come to some unusual conclusions and this seems to be the place to get some quality feedback.

    OK. So... The two best anti-brown-bear cartridges are the .257 STW and the 30-06! ...How about that?!



    My reasoning on the .257 STW:
    .257 STW 1) Given two bullets passing through the internal organs of an animal, the bullet containing the most energy will cause the most damage, REGARDLESS OF THE BULLET'S WIDTH. That is, once you've punched through the bone structure of a bear, you're depending on ENERGY to damage the vitals via hydraulic pressure. Therefore, given adequate sectional density to get inside the animal, you want to maximize the ENERGY of the bullet, NOT THE WIDTH OF THE BULLET, to create the most damage. (True?/False?)

    .257 STW 2) Given two bullets of equal energy, the lighter one will recoil less. Therefore... Given two bullets of equal sectional density, the thinner (and therefore lighter) one will recoil less in order to create the same energy. Therefore, one wants the thinnest and fastest cartrige possible where high quality bullets of adequate sectional density are available, which brings me to the .257 STW. (True?/False?)

    .257 STW 3) Today's bullets can do the job. I think the aversion that people have to using light and fast bullets on big game comes from old bullets that couldn't handle the impact, and blew up in the hide. Given today's tough bullets, I think we can lay that concern to rest. (True?/False?)

    The way I see it, a .257 STW, can accelerate a tough modern bullet of sectional density .28 (130 grains) to around 3500fps (http://longrangehunting.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=0&Number=35586&page=41&vc=1). This ought to punch through a brown bear's shoulder just fine. Once inside, the bullet will be dispensing nearly the energy of a .338 Win Mag... all for less than the recoil of a 30-06 shooting a bullet of similar sectional density.

    The wider cartridges DO create more energy, but they do it less "recoil-efficiently." This is because they are creating their energy with heavier bullets (wider bullets of the same sectional density). Given that the .257 STW already creates over 3500 foot-pounds of energy, the cost in recoil of switching to a less recoil-efficient (wider bullet) cartridge is just too high.

    That is to say: I do not think that the slightly wider path of destruction created by the greater ENERGY (I don't care about width) of the wider cartridges makes up for the (let's be realistic here) poorer placement of my shots.

    (I extrapolated from the following chart -
    http://www.accuratereloading.com/recoil.html - that the .257 STW with a 130 grain bullet ought to have a recoil factor of around 250. I simply took the recoil factor of Lazzeroni's .257 Scramjet shooting a 100 grain bullet - multiplied it by 1.3 to get a rough estimate of its recoil factor with a 130 grain bullet. Then I added a bit to account for the increased velocity of the .257 STW. ...Even if I'm wrong in my estimate, I'd have to be very wrong in order for the .257 STW to have near the recoil of a .300 Win Mag or above.)

    Information from, or extrapolated from http://www.accuratereloading.com/recoil.html :
    .257 STW shooting 130 grains (SD .28) Recoil factor: 250 (my estimate)
    30-06 shooting 200 grains (SD .30) Recoil factor: 270 (my estimate)
    .300 W Mag shooting 180 grains (SD .27) Recoil factor: 376
    .338 W Mag shooting 225 grains (SD .28) Recoil factor: 469 (almost 2 X the .257 STW !)
    .375 H & H shooting 300 grains (SD .31) Recoil factor: 629 (Um... Ow !)
    .416 Rigby shooting 400 grains (SD .33) Recoil factor: 1117 (MAN !)

    Whew!



    ...My reasoning on the 30-06!:
    30-06 1) When a big mean animal bent on your destruction is charging at you, fast repeat shots are a very very good thing to have up your sleeve. (True?/False?)

    30-06 2) A 30-06 with heavy bullets will penetrate a bear just fine (True?/False?)

    30-06 3) The energy dealt by a 30-06 at (or darn near!) the muzzle is nothing to sneeze at. (True?/False?)

    30-06 4) Most imortantly, the 30-06 is the most powerful round that I can get 5 shots out of an autoloading rifle with, given what is currently available in the market. (True?/False?)

    And, similar to the .257 STW's, the kick of a 30-06 is "light" enough for me to possibly use all those shots and/or place them well.

    Therefore, although I think that the .257 STW is the best round for bear defense, the best GUN for bear defence is a quality autoloading rifle, in 30-06, loaded with heavy bullets... with ghost ring sights for quick aquisition... and no muzzle brake as muzzle brakes increase perceived recoil and are damaging to the ears. The .257 STW has more energy, but the 30-06 has adequate penetration and energy for the job given its fast repeat-shot capability.

    OK. You can all have at it now.

    ...And I'm looking forward to learning something, not just hearing everyone's religion about this.

    Thanks!

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    Someone needs to put down the bottle!!! Oh wait, thats me!!!
    J

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    Shootologist:

    Methinks, you did a lot of shootology for nothing.

    The amount of energy is superfluous.

    The amount of energy expended, and where and how, it is expended is what's pertinent.

    In other words, you can't count on all that energy being expended in the way you assume, (hydraulic pressure).

    The published FPE figures you read are of less value than some might believe.

    Smitty of the North
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    Hunting a bear and stopping a charging bear are two very different things.

    Alot of people who live in the Bush hunt bear, and just about everything else, with .223s.

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    I had this same set of questions half a dozen times last year. Yes the 06' will cook through a bear, and yes you can get 240 grain woodlieghs for it and yes the muzzle energy is enough to stop....You get the picture. This was my charge last spring. I forgot several things...1) Size of the bullet. No not just grains but width. There is a BIG difference between a .308 doubling and a .375 doubling as it goes to make a wound channel. After seeing some B-Jelly take a hit from both, WOW! go bigger..... 2) Yes round availibity and all around hunting the 06' is hard to beat, but as far as stopping goes, How many PH is africa use a 06'?

    Everyone in my circle thought I was nuts when I bought the 375 H&H last fall. Yet after seeing 3 charges from bears stopped by a 375, the only choice was it. When I hit deer with the 06 (you can pick the grain size) when still move, some more then others and all with good shots each time. If a deer can move 30 yards before dying, How about a Bear with lunch on its mind or protecting babies at 30 yards. Deer 200 pounds....Bear 800+.....Deer runs after I shot it 30 yards....Bear runs 30 yards....Your DEAD! BTW: My last deer didn't run far getting a 375 hit last year. I just hope when Its my time, The Lord takes me as quick.

    Ron

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    I'd say its the round you can put on target.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    How about a BAR in .338WM? Semi auto, low recoil for a .338, and better than an 06 for energy. Or a .35 Whelen pump.

  8. #8

    Default My Suggestion

    A .444 Marlin lever action. Put the round into the front shoulders and you're good to go... It's small, compact, a quick shooter, and although it's velocity is a bit slower than the .375 it makes up most of that lost kinetic energy in its larger mass.

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    Shootologist,

    While I can appreciate how much research you did on the subject I just don't believe that a .257 can drop a bear quickly. And that's really what you want. If you are looking for a protection gun you're always going to be in a situation that requires the bear to go down quickly. I've heard of bears taking multiple close range shots from large caliber guns making it all the way to the hunter. It's more about making the most possible damage, not just sufficient damage. I agree that larger caliber lever actions would be nearly as quick as the BAR and will drop a bear faster.

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    Default 12 Guage?

    Since Im already taking my 12 guage for birds while moose hunting this Sept. Do you have an opinion on using it with slugs or 00 buck for bear protection? Thanks in advance for guidance on this subject!

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    Default slugs

    Quote Originally Posted by lvfire View Post
    Since Im already taking my 12 guage for birds while moose hunting this Sept. Do you have an opinion on using it with slugs or 00 buck for bear protection? Thanks in advance for guidance on this subject!
    Slugs would probably be the best choice since bears don't seem to receive "shock" as easily as white tails, caribou or various grazers.

    They need deep stuff in the vitals and big bleed holes...buckshot holes tend to close back up and bleed internally. (like small musket round balls)

    I once looked over a skinned black bear skull shot twice at 40 yards in the face with 00 buck.

    All the shot was under the hide and not one penetrated the skull.

    It went along the skull to stop in the base of the neck and shoulders.

    The bear was finally killed by 4 shots with a .30-'06 with 220 grain round noses.

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    Default 000 BUCK 3 1/2" mag

    If someone can't drop a deer in it's tracks with a 30-06, then they made a bad shot!
    000 buck will work better than 00 buck, by the way.

    Therefore, although I think that the .257 STW is the best round for bear defense, the best GUN for bear defence is a quality autoloading rifle, in 30-06, loaded with heavy bullets... with ghost ring sights for quick aquisition... and no muzzle brake as muzzle brakes increase perceived recoil and are damaging to the ears. The .257 STW has more energy, but the 30-06 has adequate penetration and energy for the job given its fast repeat-shot capability.

    Where did you hear that from? It does quit the opposite, it decreases the perceived recoil however, you are correct about the muzzle brake being very loud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Buster View Post
    If someone can't drop a deer in it's tracks with a 30-06, then they made a bad shot!
    000 buck will work better than 00 buck, by the way.



    Where did you hear that from? It does quit the opposite, it decreases the perceived recoil however, you are correct about the muzzle brake being very loud.
    The theory is.... If you hear more noise, as in great noise, you will "perceive" that the recoil is greater than it actually is.

    I think that's true, especially in the case of a muzzle brake or very short barrel.

    Smitty of the North
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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    I recall a really fine fellow from the 1960's that brought his .17 cal varmint rifle up with him from Las Vegas.

    This was of course back in the hot rod days when most of us thought that velocity, was the bee all end all.

    The fact that this old boy had more money than just about any person has a right to, plus that he was just down right as nice a guy as you have ever known., kept any thought out of are heads that this could be a mistake.

    In the pre- pipeline days, Alaska had what could best be called a beanie- weenie type of economy. Most every one only hunted with older guns and nothing that cost more money than what they had in there house. About the only thing we knew for sure is you didn't hunt large with "Silvertips"

    This was in the days when Weatherby was KING and pictures of ads from hunting magazines of railroad track that had bullet holes punched through them, Courtesy of this old boy from Southgate Ca. danced in our heads.

    In other words, we just wanted to see if another modern miracle was about to happen.

    There is something to be said about using tried and true methods when a fellow travels a great many mile and spends a lot of money for that maybe the last hunting trip of a life time.

    We sure know more than we used to about what works and what does not work. Yes, there were a few voices out there that told us to think bullet construction over velocity. But fast was KING! What we did not know was only a few bullets were made to stand all that speed and fast was what made Men rich. All the main bullet makers proved that with mass production and fancy advertisement.

    One fellow really stood out from the herd with his bullets and that was John Nosler from Oregon. But time and the need for what," more speed" caught up with him along about the middle of 1970's when the screw machines he used to make his copper tube jacketed bullets wore out.

    Something else happened about that time also, bullets from Oregon started to fail on us. The same shots that we used to take down the large stuff did not work as well. When we undressed the animals and found our bullets had become fragments. Newer bullets with thin jackets from the new, faster machines had problems coming out of our hotrod rifles. The up side was they shot better on paper. That made the fellows that hunted paper a lot happier, It just did not help the meat eaters among us.

    Their in lies the rub. It is easy to theorize about what should work, than it is to see it happen.

    Oh, and before I forget. That good old boy with his .17 cal rifle got his bear and a great hunting story to go along with a super nice rug.

    I just wondered if, the story the rug told the taxidermist, was the same story he told his friends?

  15. #15

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    Why does the subject of shooting bears with tiny bullets keep coming up here? To follow this logic, you could kill a bear with a .22 long rifle if you could get it going at 5000 fps. I don't think that any of these people can have been up close to a bear. Of course a number of things have been done in the past in freak circumstances and bears can be killed with small high velocity bullets a long range. But stopping a bear is different altogether.

    Hunt bears with a .257 if you will but no sane man would do it without a friend nearby with a proper rifle.

    We should also discuss the ethics of hunting animals with inadequate cartridges. An animal deservers to be dispatched as quickly and cleanly as possible.

    If you can't train yourself to handle a proper rifle, then in my opinion you have no business hunting brown bears.

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    Ach du liebe, another thread on best anti-bear cartridge. Will it ever end?

    A new member, 1st post, says he isn't a hunter, has never even shot a rifle or shotgun...and then he presumes to enlighten everyone with his own personal preference for best type and caliber of weapon for bear defense. Such bait must be hard to resist I guess.

    Pshaw. Dude, everyone knows that for all those man-eating bears out there that you need to carry a small cannon that shoots gigantic heavy bullets that pratically shock the animal to death whilst producing gaping entrance and exit holes and major blood loss. Man it does my heart good that someone who has never ever shot a rifle before would consider it adequate bear protection whilst hiking and camping, no matter the caliber. All kidding aside, you'd be better off with bear spray.

    I really like the way this little takedown .17HMR rifle fits in my daypack, so that's what I've been carrying lately. Not for bear protection, mind you...for bear protection I use my eyes, ears, and what brain matter I have left. However, I did have a friend in the bullet business make me up some hardcast .17 bullets just in case. One never knows, after all. BTW, I'm working on testing a new wearable electric bear fence --- it's a one-piece coverall that is fully electrically insulated on the inside but produces a whopping 50,000 volts on the outside. So far the results are mixed...had problems with one beta-tester wanting to take a leak and forgot to turn it off (there is a on/off switch under the armpit that you flap your arm to use). Oucheee! All of the testers, needless to say, are more than confident there is enough voltage to discourage a bear after the initial bite, but sadly none are willing to actually test this by charging hordes of man-eating bears. Until we actually get a few real-world results on that, I'm afraid we'll remain in beta-testing and the product will be unavailable for consumers. I know there is a big market for this based on all the bearanoia I read here on this forum, so with dreams of hundred-dollar bills in my head I'll keep at it. My goal is to have every outdoorsman and woman wearing one of my bearproof suits out in the field. One can dream.
    Selah bear whisperers,

  17. #17

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    A really light pair of running shoes and a sacrificial friend. Maybe a .22 to shoot him in the foot to give me the head start.

    Agreed with hunting and stopping are two different things... two different calibers. But if you can't hit what you're aiming for, does it really matter?

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    bears can't read, do math or run numbers, so firing off ballistics won't impress them. big holes in their faces will though...seen it a few times.
    but i'm with the electric wearable fence...maybe carhart can use those metal rivets some how to conduct? might be on to something there....i gotta ask though..wheres the battery pack fit???
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  19. #19
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    Jake, the battery pack is no problemo, four D-cells in a pouch inside the coveralls. They will last a week or more.

    You game for testing?

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    testing?! shoot you bet, i've got some clients i'd love to try it out on!! ya know..that way i can observe and form and unbias opinion of course...
    maybe an optional solar charger hat as an aftermarket accesory? this could work...does it work while wading in a river too?
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