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Thread: Bear load in .300 mag

  1. #1

    Default Bear load in .300 mag

    Iím working up a black bear load for my load for my hunting rifle (.300 win mag Kimber Montana).

    Iím thinking about trying 200 grain Barnes X which I should be able to push around 2800 FPS with IMR 4350 in a 26 inch barrel.

    The other possibility is a 180 grain Barnes X at around 2900FPS

    Iím trying to get the best punch possible out of the gun because Iíd like to get to the Kenai where thereís always the chance of encountering something much bigger than Black bears.

    I know both loads are adequate for black bears, but marginal for browns. The question is which would be better suited to the job? I havenít worked up any of these loads yet, but I imagine the 200ís may put out some recoil which could border on uncomfortable in a lightweight gun like the Montana. My 165 grain deer load comes darn close to scoping me on some prone shots but I havenít gotten hit yet.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    West"by GOD"Virginia


    Both loads your asking about are moderate as far as the .300WM is concerned,especially in a 26"bbl. Even though,your still going to notice an INCREASE in recoil which it sounds like you don't need. You don't need to be worrying about anything when trying to make an accurate shot. You didn't say what 165gr bullet your using or it's velocity but since we're talking black bear I'd think about using it provided it's a fairly well constructed bullet. If it's not,switch to one. If you'd still like to go with a heavier bullet,work up a load your comfortable with,just makeing sure it's accurate. One of the favorite deer loadsfor my .300 is a 180gr Hornady or Core-lokt at 2835 and I honestly would not be concerned if I had to use it for bear. Main thing is to find a load your comfortable shooting,it's accurate,and use a decent bullet. Put the bullet where it belongs and the rest is history.

    til later

  3. #3
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Fairbanks Area


    For a 300 WM, I would stick with the 180 TSXs. I have taken many animals with my Benelli R-1 in 300 WM shooting 180 TSXs. I shoot mine from 24 inch barrel and use 69 grain of IMR 4831 to push them. These guys did not know they were killed by an under powered rifle.

    If your Montana likes the 165s, try the Barnes TSX in either 165 or 168. That load would more than kill a black bear. Taking the wife out after Black Bears myself, she will be using 140 grain Noslers, her rifle don't like the TSXs. Still have to play with that load.

    Have fun and be safe.


    Happy Hunting

  4. #4

    Default New Scope?

    If you're close to getting scoped with 165 grain loads, it might happen with 180s or 200s...what type of scope do you have on it? Might consider getting something that gives you more eye relief.

  5. #5


    Read your other post about hunting Kenai...if you have a 4.5x14 power scope on your gun, no wonder you're almost getting scoped. The higher power scopes don't always offer adequate eye relief, you'd be better served with a 2x7, 2.5x8, or 3x9 power scope that offers more eye relief.

    Also, there could be a lotta spots where you wish you has a lower power than 4.5x for the bottom end, when you're in the brush and can't see very far.

  6. #6


    The scope is a VXIII. You're right the scope only comes close when it's zoomed way in. I'm thinking about picking up a 1.5-5 for this hunt.

    I figured 165's would be good for black bear, but would like to have something adequate for browns in the unlikely event it was required. I'd imagine I'd want something heaver than 165 in this instance, but really have no experience with browns.

    Would a well constructed 165 like a TSX work for a brownie in a pinch or should I step up to a 180 or 200? On the other hand I already know the 165's trajectory pretty well and it's unlikely I'll have any problem with browns unless I do something stupid like bringing fresh fish into my sleeping bag!!

    Nice looking bears by the way.

  7. #7


    I'd think of getting a 2x8 and just leave that on the rifle for all of your hunting needs, but that's just my .02.

    If you know the trajectory for your 165s, use them on the blackie. If you're only shooting a brownie in a defense situation and not hunting them, you won't need to worry about trajectory difference for the 200 grain bullet, as you'll be shooting at 15-20 yards or less. Just figure out where the 200 grainer hits at point-blank range, and you should be good to go.

  8. #8


    You *should* be able to get 3100-3200 fps form a 168 gr bullet in your 300 WM and about 3000 fps from a 180. I just got some 168 TTSX's for my 300 WSM and they are fairly long bullets (all copper). If you want to go with a 200 gr you might consider an Accubond?

    I think the 168/180 TSX or TTSX'x would be fine for blackies but for larger brownies (over 500 lb), I think I would want a little comfort zone, either in distance or caliber. JMO

    Recoil is the last thing you'll be thinking about when up close and personal with a big bear. Your biggest obstacle will be getting past the bench shooting.


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