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Thread: black bear gun

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    Default black bear gun

    Hello everyone, I am curious as to what would be the smallest caliber you would hunt BLACK BEAR with? Also what type and weight of bullet would you use? Thanks for all the advice, I appreciate it.


    RH

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The smallest I would go would be a .270 or a 7mm-08. Some might go as small as a .243, but that's too small in my opinion. I think the 7mm-08 with a 140gr. bullet would be a great small gun for blackies.

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    Did you mean small in diameter or range?

    If you like getting close along the waters edge or in deep cover and passing on long shots a lever gun in .44mag .454 casull .45colt using heavy tough bullets would be ok.

    If you meant bore diameter then I guess a 7x57mm Mauser caliber would be my smallest.....remember that "stuff happens"......you may stumble into a fresh kill of a Brown......even a karamojo bell 175 grain sp in a 7x57mm will seem veeeeerrrrrrrrrrry small then.

    jedi

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    I prefer something in the .270 range as my minumum but if I was hunting sheep with my 25-06 and seen a nice blackie I would use it.

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    Where are you planning on hunting? Have you ever hunted bears before? Alone or with a partner? These should all be big factors in your decision.
    Since you're asking the question, I'll assume you've never hunted bears before. If you're planning on hunting in Alaska, the smallest caliber you should use for black bears is the smallest caliber you're comfortable shooting a grizzly with. Black bears are generally not hard to kill, but you don't know what you might run into. I'd say for someone who is inexperienced with bear/Alaska hunting, nothing smaller than an '06. If you have something bigger that you're comfortable shooting (that is key), use it. No bear will ever complain that you used too much gun to kill him.

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    I hunt black bears with my 338 (for reasons stated above), but if I was hunting coyotes with my 243, or something similar, and happened across a black bear, I'd certainly take it.
    The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State.

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    i would go with a good old .30-30. Marlin makes a nice on in stainless, which is the one i have. With the new Leverevolution bullets from Hornady, black bears are an easy kill with good shot placement up to 250 yds.

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    My buddy and I went this weekend (didn't see any) and I was hunting carrying a 30.06 with 150 grain bullets and my partner was carrying a 7mm with 175 grain bullets.

    Tim

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    I wouldn't have a problem using a .243 for black bears. They aren't that big and there isn't a whole lot to them.
    However, you should be aware that there'll be more to punch through in the fall due to their fattening up for the winter verses the spring when they emerge from their dens. A good bullet would be a prudent choice.
    Now what ?

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    Why small?
    Dan

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    Thank you for all the replies. I know you fellas do lots of bair hunting up ther in alaska is why I asked. I will be hunting on the east coast of the lower 48. In the areas that will be hunted chances of a shot over 100 yards is slim. 50 to 75 yards is more the norm. I was thinking of a marlin 444.

    RH

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    Default use the right bullet

    Quote Originally Posted by redhawk1974 View Post
    Thank you for all the replies. I know you fellas do lots of bair hunting up ther in alaska is why I asked. I will be hunting on the east coast of the lower 48. In the areas that will be hunted chances of a shot over 100 yards is slim. 50 to 75 yards is more the norm. I was thinking of a marlin 444.

    RH
    The .444 is great but just make sure you use a bullet made for that round and not for the .44 mag. This was the biggest problem when the 444 first came out. 44 mag bullets were not tough enough for the higher velocities and would fragment on impact. This gave the round a bad reputation. There are some good loads today with bullets made for this round.
    Good luck
    Never give a gun to a duck...

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    Default in that case....

    If you're hunting on the east coast, that changes everything. No chance of running into a grizzly back there. I spent a couple years in upstate NY hunting deer and black bears....used nothing but a 30-30 and found it to be completely satisfactory and up to the job.

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    .270 with 150 gr. premium bullets.

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    Redhawk the marlin lever action in 444 at those ranges would be a fine black bear rifle. I myself hunt in NY and the marlin in 30/30 35 rem 44 and one if my favorites the 45/70 will all work well for you .My Dad favors the 35 remington . Good luck to ya

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    Any rifle adequate for deer will work fine. You are probably aware that every year a few thousand are shot in Pennsylvania during the 3 day season and almost all are taken with a deer gun. I personally don't know of anyone that uses anything different than their deer gun. In Pa. the average adult boar weighs 450 with the bruisers running 600-800.

    Here is a short lo-res video clip (400K) of one I took on POW with a 257Wby at 165 yards.

    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v6...t=QuikBear.flv

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    This has nothing to do with the original posters question but I thought it appropriate. Less than 2 hours after making my previous post I was sitting on my back porch and a black bear came walking around the corner. I had the portable phone with me and my ex-wife called. When I told her I was looking at a bear about 10 yards from me it heard me and ran across the yard a little ways. It stopped and smelled my still smoldering burn barrel from burning the paper earlier. It stood and tried looking in, then smelled around some of my tractor implements and wandered off into the woods on my 100 yard target trail.

    I ran to the car, got the digital camera from the glove box, and started running towards the bear. I tried taking a picture only to realize I had it in video mode, put the glasses on and rectified that. Second picture was with the flash and all it did was well lit the trees 5 feet in front of me but it was black where the bear was. Glasses back on, flash off, third picture was while I was running and it was walking away.

    In my mind I thought it was ignoring me because it paid no attention to me whatsover even though the leaves were crunchy and I was less than 20 yards, 10 when I would stop to take a picture. I am certain I could have run right up and smacked it on the butt. Finally I was broadside to it at 10 yards, it stopped and started digging at a rotten stump. I stepped sideways for a better picture, it finally realized I was there and it took off real fast.

    It was an adolescent going on mature boar, big frame, long legs, thick forelegs, blocky head, but the body was not filled in yet. I'd guess around 250lbs. Should be finishing up mating season around here. This is typically when we see them the most.

    Here is the 2 second video I took before I realized the camera was in video mode. It is only 2 seconds but I think 600K. The bear comes out about 2 o'clock from my 100 yard target. In hindsight I just should have left it in video mode.

    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v6...t=DSCN0617.flv

    This is the worst picture in the world but I was running and the camera chose a slow shutter speed being dark under the canopy. The black blob is the unzoomed bear.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...blurrybear.jpg

    Earlier today when I walked out to burn my paper there was a spotted fawn in the yard, and as I wait for this video to upload to photobucket I can hear a hen turkey clucking down over the bank. I got to thinking where the bear walked near the burn barrel knowing that is where I throw the cat litter. As I was looking at the tracks in the grey litter mud a big doe was snorting at me.

    A pretty decent nature day for just sitting at home!

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    Until I sold it, my .257 Weatherby was my "go to" gun for black bear. Now my .25-06 does the job quite nicely. However, I also like to haul this gun deer hunting on Kodiak and wont hunt with a buddy armed with something that pushes bigger pills. Black bears and their larger cousins tend to frequent similar habitats around Southcentral, and I definitely feel better with a .338 being carried around. That said, the .338 makes a ****ed fine round for black bear too!

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