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Thread: Hunting brown bear with 454 casull which ammo and why and where to shoot

  1. #1

    Default Hunting brown bear with 454 casull which ammo and why and where to shoot

    I am starting to consider hunting brown bear with my Ruger Super Redhawk 7.5 inch . The two loads I have are 240 grain hornaday xtp at 1900 and underwood hard cast 360 at 1425

    My shot should be around 25 yards . I am leaning towards the 240 grain because it is a bonded bullet and should open up at that speed and thinking shoot right behind the shoulder, in the lungs and hopefully destroy the kungs so they dont go to far,

    Or shoot the 360 in the shoulder and hope broken bone does some damage .

    I have shot a lot of black bear but they are not the same class of animal in build. This came up as my son was mentioning hunting admirality island with a 454.

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    Interesting; make sure you have someone video the adventure.
    I don't really know why you would want to intentionally go after a brown bear with a cartridge that only has about 2/3's the muzzle energy of a 308.
    Do you have much experience brown bear hunting, they don't like to die easily?

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wags View Post
    Do you have much experience brown bear hunting, they don't like to die easily?
    .....and they have a keen sense of marking where the danger came from.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbear View Post
    I am starting to consider hunting brown bear with my Ruger Super Redhawk 7.5 inch . The two loads I have are 240 grain hornaday xtp at 1900 and underwood hard cast 360 at 1425

    My shot should be around 25 yards . I am leaning towards the 240 grain because it is a bonded bullet and should open up at that speed and thinking shoot right behind the shoulder, in the lungs and hopefully destroy the kungs so they dont go to far,

    Or shoot the 360 in the shoulder and hope broken bone does some damage .

    I have shot a lot of black bear but they are not the same class of animal in build. This came up as my son was mentioning hunting admirality island with a 454.
    I shot a medium sized brown bear a few years ago with a .44 magnum at about 30 feet and he was DRT. I'd be fine using a handgun again, but there's no way I'd want an XTP in my revolver, a hard cast bullet of 300+ grains at 1200+ fps would be my choice. I would want as much straight line penetration as I can get and place the bullets with precision. I have great confidence that a .44 magnum (and a .454 is more of the same) through both shoulders will put down the largest of brown bears. FWIW, I've had failures to penetrate using jacketed bullets from handguns on moose and other big game.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I think I would use the heavy hard cast and shoot a bunch of times at what ever I could see after the first shot. Sounds to exciting for me, but have fun and post a pic!

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    I 2nd(or 3rd) the hardcast.

    I bought a box of DT Hunter hardcast recently. Have yet to shoot em but would definitely be another option for you.

    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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  7. #7

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    I shot and killed a brown bear with a 22LR once, but that doesn't mean I'd suggest someone hunt them with a 22.
    I'm sorry if I'm sounding a little snarky on the subject, but I think the chances of wounding and losing a bear with a marginal caliber is just too great. Hunting should not be like fishing for a 10 pound fish with 2 pound line, trying to set a line class record.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    .....and they have a keen sense of marking where the danger came from.....
    BTDT. Took one in 1990 with a .348 Winchester loaded with 200 gr bullets. 7 shots from the .348 and 2 from my buddy's .270. Not even a flinch from the .270 rounds. We were 25 steps away from him. 9.5' boar. I knocked him down with every shot from the .348. Each time he got back up and focused a little more on us. Turning more our direction.
    I haven't checked to compare the ballistics of the 200 gr in the .348 compared to a .454, but they probably aren't too far apart.
    I could have anchored the bear sooner with a head shot, but didn't want to break the skull. 6 of my 7 shots were in the boiler house and the 7th I used to take out the 1st vertebra behind the skull. Was a somewhat exciting adventure.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  9. #9

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    I would prefer the heaviest hard cast made by Buffalo Bore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    BTDT. Took one in 1990 with a .348 Winchester loaded with 200 gr bullets. 7 shots from the .348 and 2 from my buddy's .270. Not even a flinch from the .270 rounds. We were 25 steps away from him. 9.5' boar. I knocked him down with every shot from the .348. Each time he got back up and focused a little more on us. Turning more our direction.
    I haven't checked to compare the ballistics of the 200 gr in the .348 compared to a .454, but they probably aren't too far apart.
    I could have anchored the bear sooner with a head shot, but didn't want to break the skull. 6 of my 7 shots were in the boiler house and the 7th I used to take out the 1st vertebra behind the skull. Was a somewhat exciting adventure.
    Your 348 with the 200gr silver tip has about 1000 pounds more energy at the muzzle than the 454 Casull with the loads mentioned above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wags View Post
    Your 348 with the 200gr silver tip has about 1000 pounds more energy at the muzzle than the 454 Casull with the loads mentioned above.
    ME energy makes about as much difference in killing efficacy as does the phase of the moon. I've killed enough brown bears to know that I can easily and effectively dispatch any brown bear with a .454 with proper bullet selection. The issue isn't killing power, it's shot placement with an appropriate bullet. I've never seen a brown bear crumple with a "boiler room" hit and that includes several kills with magnum rifles with 4000+ fpe. However, I've seen modestly powered rifles and handguns cause DRTs on large brown bears by breaking bones. Knowing where to shoot a bear and being able to hit a bear in the proper spot are the keys to dispatching a bear. So long as the bullet you've selected will penetrate sufficiently I wouldn't get too worked up about things that don't matter...
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    So long as the bullet you've selected will penetrate sufficiently I wouldn't get too worked up about things that don't matter...
    ^^ This ^^ could/should be pasted into every one of these "which gun/bullet" threads.

    My first thought was, what is the alloy and BHN of this Underwood "hardcast"? I wouldn't worry about anything else.
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    I have killed 25 plus black bears. Only 1 brown bear as I don't eat them. One blackie I killed with my bow. One shot. Many I have taken with a firearm, turned into a bear rug with one shot. Others could take a pile of punishment. trust me, I know where to shoot a bear. I still have some of the mangled bones from the brown bear.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    ME energy makes about as much difference in killing efficacy as does the phase of the moon. I've killed enough brown bears to know that I can easily and effectively dispatch any brown bear with a .454 with proper bullet selection. The issue isn't killing power, it's shot placement with an appropriate bullet. I've never seen a brown bear crumple with a "boiler room" hit and that includes several kills with magnum rifles with 4000+ fpe. However, I've seen modestly powered rifles and handguns cause DRTs on large brown bears by breaking bones. Knowing where to shoot a bear and being able to hit a bear in the proper spot are the keys to dispatching a bear. So long as the bullet you've selected will penetrate sufficiently I wouldn't get too worked up about things that don't matter...
    I was just using the ME comparison for an easy reference point.
    I agree; shot placement is of utmost importance. That partly explains why in my first post I asked the OP about his experience hunting brown bear. I also should have asked him about his experience hunting anything with a handgun. Each one of these handicaps (handgun, marginal caliber) exponentially increases his odds of failure.

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    I have probably killed 35-40 blacks and caribou and deer no browns yet I am very confident in my shooting ability with both loads. I have been around a lot of browns up close and I just havent shot one yet but have decided I want to now.Im still undecided on the handgun but feel it will do the job . If I do my part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    I have killed 25 plus black bears. Only 1 brown bear as I don't eat them. One blackie I killed with my bow. One shot. Many I have taken with a firearm, turned into a bear rug with one shot. Others could take a pile of punishment. trust me, I know where to shoot a bear. I still have some of the mangled bones from the brown bear.
    I'm not doubting what you know or what you've done, I just wanted to be clear that a brown bear that required 9 shots to anchor isn't because bears are super hard to kill. FWIW, I intentionally kill lots of things I don't eat: rats, mice, mosquitos, houseflies, feral hogs, etc...
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I've killed enough brown bears to know that I can easily and effectively dispatch any brown bear with a .454 with proper bullet selection....
    Wow that there's one hell of a statement....... "EASILY" and "ANY" even...!!! Well heck, in that case maybe you otta get yourself on down to that there Rock, pick out one of them 11 footers, walk on up to em' and show us how it's done...!!! There's gotta be an 11'er down there someplace.....eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    However, I've seen modestly powered rifles and handguns cause DRTs on large brown bears by breaking bones.....
    Yeah....and I've seen even smaller brownies get up and run a ways with both shoulders blown out too....

    I recall at least one pic of a brownie you shot. Weather it was with a pistol or rifle I don't know but I don't recall seeing a 10'er. If you think every bear is gonna die the same way just because you think you've got the right bullet goin to the right place then you are mistaken. It all looks good right up until the time it ain't, because there's ALWAYS present that potential margin where Murphy tries to turn things to sh*t in a real hurry. A broad head will kill even the biggest of bears too, time after time......again, right up until something happens and it don't. There's a reason why most brown bear guides like rifles with big bullets, a lot of poop behind them, and at fairly short distances. Imo there's no such thing as overkill when it comes to brownies....at least BIG brownies.

    I'm sure not gonna try and talk the guy out of killing a bear with his pistol, because it sounds like he's up for the challenge and I'm pretty sure he can. And I particularly like what he said about planning his shot to be around 25 yards. Hopefully he can take out both shoulders too. You'll have to excuse me but when somebody talks about killing a brownie I just always think of a trophy animal in the 9-10' range. I mean, if a guy is gonna go after a brownie isn't that somethin' you'd look for? All I'm sayin' is that pullin' down on a "decent" bear with a pistol is one thing, but pullin' down on a monster can be quite another. If it's a monster and it's within that 25 yard range then all I can say is you better have all your ducks in a row and be really good with accurate follow up shots, and/or possibly have a nice easy tree to climb up real close by.....

    But then again, I guess you don't have to worry about such things, because I just remembered you can EASILY kill ANY bear with your mighty 454. Sorry bout that......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wags View Post
    I was just using the ME comparison for an easy reference point.
    I agree; shot placement is of utmost importance. That partly explains why in my first post I asked the OP about his experience hunting brown bear. I also should have asked him about his experience hunting anything with a handgun. Each one of these handicaps (handgun, marginal caliber) exponentially increases his odds of failure.
    ME is frequently the default reference point, but its ability to predict terminal results is dubious at best. Using a handgun can offer some limitations, but dead is dead and a .454 can neatly dispatch the largest of critters. The .454 Casull is far from marginal.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I shot the brown bear I killed with a .44 Magnum six times in a matter of a few seconds. Only two of the six bullets failed to penetrate the bear completely. The bullet on the right is from the first shot and broke both shoulders, dropping the bear instantly and was recovered bulging the hide on the far shoulder. There was nothing marginal about the .44 magnum's performance and it is less in every measurable category than a suitably loaded .454.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Wow that there's one hell of a statement....... "EASILY" and "ANY" even...!!! Well heck, in that case maybe you otta get yourself on down to that there Rock, pick out one of them 11 footers, walk on up to em' and show us how it's done...!!! There's gotta be an 11'er down there someplace.....eh?

    Yeah....and I've seen even smaller brownies get up and run a ways with both shoulders blown out too....

    I recall at least one pic of a brownie you shot. Weather it was with a pistol or rifle I don't know but I don't recall seeing a 10'er. If you think every bear is gonna die the same way just because you think you've got the right bullet goin to the right place then you are mistaken. It all looks good right up until the time it ain't, because there's ALWAYS present that potential margin where Murphy tries to turn things to sh*t in a real hurry. A broad head will kill even the biggest of bears too, time after time......again, right up until something happens and it don't. There's a reason why most brown bear guides like rifles with big bullets, a lot of poop behind them, and at fairly short distances. Imo there's no such thing as overkill when it comes to brownies....at least BIG brownies.

    I'm sure not gonna try and talk the guy out of killing a bear with his pistol, because it sounds like he's up for the challenge and I'm pretty sure he can. And I particularly like what he said about planning his shot to be around 25 yards. Hopefully he can take out both shoulders too. You'll have to excuse me but when somebody talks about killing a brownie I just always think of a trophy animal in the 9-10' range. I mean, if a guy is gonna go after a brownie isn't that somethin' you'd look for? All I'm sayin' is that pullin' down on a "decent" bear with a pistol is one thing, but pullin' down on a monster can be quite another. If it's a monster and it's within that 25 yard range then all I can say is you better have all your ducks in a row and be really good with accurate follow up shots, and/or possibly have a nice easy tree to climb up real close by.....

    But then again, I guess you don't have to worry about such things, because I just remembered you can EASILY kill ANY bear with your mighty 454. Sorry bout that......
    I love your wisdom, there can be no doubt that you know your stuff. I look forward to the tomes that you're preparing to release on all things hunting.

    I'd like to seen the necropsy on a small brown bear running on two blown out shoulders. I guess you regularly see the impossible. I live in reality, where broken shoulders (though maybe blown out is short of broken??) don't support weight, except for bears of course. I don't recall ever seeing a picture of a bear you've killed, but then I can't say I recall much of anything you've posted.

    The OP wanted to know what load to use in his .454, I said a heavy hard cast bullet at over 1200 fps. He asked where to place the bullet and I said to break major bones, preferably both shoulders. Obviously, you think I'm mistaken. I'm sure your advice is more to his advantage.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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