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Thread: what caliber for bear and deer?

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    Default what caliber for bear and deer?

    going to start looking for a "alaska" gun. i would prefer to use just one gun. what caliber will get both done? oh, and no .338. not a fan of them.

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    There are multiple "Which gun for Alaska" and "One rifle for Alaska" threads that are pretty recent over the hunting forum. Read through those to give yourself a better idea of what you are looking for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Gibbs View Post
    going to start looking for a "alaska" gun. i would prefer to use just one gun. what caliber will get both done? oh, and no .338. not a fan of them.
    I guess this must be like asking a golfer, What is your all around the course club? I mean if you could only use one club for all 18 holes, which club would it be? Hint: only ask this question in the club house bar.

    If you are hunting deer in areas of coastal brown bear? Then your best choice would be the .375H&H.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    30-06 would work.

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    The bullet matters most..................

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    im not sure why you arent a fan of the .338, but you might want to look into a .45-70. a lot of people will tell you that the rainbow trajectory makes it worthless but really its a good all around rifle IF you take the time to practice with it. good luck finding what you need!

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    For deer and bear and you dont like 338's. How about a 30-06 then it will get both done.

    Mostly the work will be done by the bullet. Actually the shooter first then the bullet.

    There are many cartridges that will work and I think you should give more reason or qualities of what you are looking for.

    Since you dont like 338's I am guessing you dont like recoil which is why said 30-06 and not 300 win mag. If you cant shoot a 338 then I would not recommend a 300 mag either.

    What kind of bear, Brown or Black?

    If you are going to mostly hunt deer and once in a while shoot a Black bear then a .270 would do it.
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  8. #8

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    I understand your dislike on the .338. I shot a ruger .338 and I wasn't sure if the deer or me was worse off for it. That thing kicked bad.

    I have been shooting a winchester .338 and there is no comparison, I can shoot that all day long at the range with no worries. I can't tell you why it kicks less than the ruger, but it does.

    With that said you may want to check out a different .338. In my opinion Kimber offers a very nice .338 rifle that won't take your shoulder off. But they don't give away Kimber rifles...they are expensive.

    If you absolutely won't do .338 then I would go with a 30-06.

    Just my humble opinion.

  9. #9

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    I would consider medium cartiges that can use .338, .35 or 9.3 bullets based on necked up -06 or 9.3 x 62. .338-06, 35 Whelen 9.3x62. .375 scoville/hawk All can use at least 250 grain bullets at decent velocities to deal with any hunting at resonable ranges and adequate bear protection, with recoil that is similar to an 06. 9.3x62 with a premium 286 would be my choice for bruins. Bigger is always better for bears but not if you can't shoot straight. That said if I wanted to be a dedicated bear hunter, I would get a .375 and take the time to teach myself to use it.

  10. #10

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    For both with no other choice - 300Wby but come to think of it the 375Wby, wait a minute the 30-06!!!!!!! Glad I have a choice but it would be one of the these.
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    recoil is no big deal. its not the reason i dont want a .338. i was just thinking it was too big for deer (lets face it, your deer up there are small compared to ours, and .338 is too big down here, IMO). i was thinking something in the .300. what king of velocity difference are we talking between 300 WBY, 300 win mag, and 300 RUM? enough to spend the extra money on the WBY or RUM verus the win mag? is 300 win mag a viable option for coastal browns, if loaded correct?

  12. #12

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    300Win, 300Wby and 300Rum all three will do the job I would think, but if it was a coastal brown they seem to be pretty big from what I here and the pictures I have seen. Just call me a wimp but I would choose my 375Wby and a 300gr TSX.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Gibbs View Post
    recoil is no big deal. its not the reason i dont want a .338. i was just thinking it was too big for deer (lets face it, your deer up there are small compared to ours, and .338 is too big down here, IMO). i was thinking something in the .300. what king of velocity difference are we talking between 300 WBY, 300 win mag, and 300 RUM? enough to spend the extra money on the WBY or RUM verus the win mag? is 300 win mag a viable option for coastal browns, if loaded correct?
    As far as I know (and anyone correct me if I'm wrong) Remington is the only production gun maker to make the 300 RUM, other than like HS Precision, etc., which to me is unfortunate because I'm not particularly fond of Remington actions. So, you should be able to get a RUM (Remington) for about the same price as a 300 WM. If you check the various tables, you'll see about a 200 fps difference between the two out of a 24 inch barrel, but... the RUM should be configured with at least a 26" barrel and a lot of guys like 27" or more, which will give you up to an additional 100 fps. Now there are a lot of guys in Alaska who will say that a long barrel is not optimum for carrying around in thick alders for big brownies. I know of a guy in another forum who shot a 10 1/2 ft brownie with a 300 WSM, 180 AB @ 250 yds. It was a last day, now or never shot. The bear went 40 yds into the alders and died. I saw the pictures and the bear was huge. A lot of guys will tell you that while bigger is better, that a 300 WM will do the job, especially if you have a guide back up (the guides are probably shaking their heads reading this).

    I've been doing quite a bit of research on this becuase I am leaning toward a 300 RUM or 338 RUM and right now, leaning more to the 300 RUM with 27" #5 Lilja barrel, action to be determined and probably a McMillan stock. Not exactly a mountain rifle, but I will probably carry it there. I should easily be able to get 3200 fps with a 200 gr Nosler AB which has a BC of .588 For me, that's a pretty good load. I personally would take it to hunt big brownies, even without back up. It will put holes through them, not as big as a 375, but none the less it will make holes and smash bones.

    There are a lot of threads on this subject with lots of opinions. Check'em out and good hunting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Gibbs View Post
    recoil is no big deal. its not the reason i dont want a .338. i was just thinking it was too big for deer (lets face it, your deer up there are small compared to ours, and .338 is too big down here, IMO). i was thinking something in the .300. what king of velocity difference are we talking between 300 WBY, 300 win mag, and 300 RUM? enough to spend the extra money on the WBY or RUM verus the win mag? is 300 win mag a viable option for coastal browns, if loaded correct?
    I think you're looking at this wrong. If you are hunting bears, you need a bear gun. You say the 338 is too big for deer and you're certainly right but so is a 300 mag of any kind and the 300 mags will destroy more meat with the non cross lung shot than a slower heavier 338. If you load the 338 win mag with strong 250 grain swift A-frame or similar, not light quick to expand bullets, it will be ideal for bears and not so damaging for the puny little Alaska blacktails. I would always prefer a bear gun with some over kill for small stuff than the other way around. A 300 mag really is no better for bears than a good '06 with good bullets. Velocity will work against you on that 100 shot on a 10 footer.
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    My own experience with shooting the .375 H&H on black tail deer with my regular bear loads has proven not to damage meat all that badly. The Woodleigh bullet just breaks the shoulders and the spine with little waste.

    I used to carry in the boat a light rifle (250-3000 or my .257 AI) when shooting from the boat they work vary well. I just don't go ashore with either rifle. So old age has brought on the KISS principle in my life. I have the .375 H&H, it works, I don't have to worry about a mean old nasty grizz while I have it. I don't have to fool around and take a chance with two different loads. I tried the two loads years ago and it cost me a huge bull elk on the peninsula in Washington state. Live and learn. In that case I had my fireforming loads mixed in with hunting loads. The bull went down at the shot, got up and started to climb out, my buddy told me you must have missed (60-70 yard shot) he's climbing. I told him elk always climb unless put down with the shot. No blood, No feathers, only tears. We went back to camp and set up a paper plate at about the same distance as the elk was away. I could not hit the paper plate. I'm thinking I have got a major equipment failure here. Reached into my coat pocket and found more shells, that when I discovered what I had done wrong. Problem solved.

    Neck, high shoulder or head shots are the way to go. If I can't get the shot, move on. The tide waits for no man.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I think you're looking at this wrong. If you are hunting bears, you need a bear gun. You say the 338 is too big for deer and you're certainly right but so is a 300 mag of any kind and the 300 mags will destroy more meat with the non cross lung shot than a slower heavier 338. If you load the 338 win mag with strong 250 grain swift A-frame or similar, not light quick to expand bullets, it will be ideal for bears and not so damaging for the puny little Alaska blacktails. I would always prefer a bear gun with some over kill for small stuff than the other way around. A 300 mag really is no better for bears than a good '06 with good bullets. Velocity will work against you on that 100 shot on a 10 footer.
    I love to read posts that actualy reason things out and put things in perspective, Thanks. There is still some voice of reason out there.

    When I do that on some other forums I get bashed pretty darn good because if it don't have extra mag ++ in its name it must not be good and I must not like anything new.

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Wink Stick Get Banned Yet Again!!!

    WTG Stick!!!

    How many bans is that now? I didn't even see what you did here. Tell us over at ARAIG how you managed this time . . .

  18. #18

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    Murphy is spot on.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I think you're looking at this wrong. If you are hunting bears, you need a bear gun. You say the 338 is too big for deer and you're certainly right but so is a 300 mag of any kind and the 300 mags will destroy more meat with the non cross lung shot than a slower heavier 338. If you load the 338 win mag with strong 250 grain swift A-frame or similar, not light quick to expand bullets, it will be ideal for bears and not so damaging for the puny little Alaska blacktails. I would always prefer a bear gun with some over kill for small stuff than the other way around.
    Very interesting to say the least Murphy!!! Especially where you made the statement "A 300 mag really is no better for bears than a good '06 with good bullets. Velocity will work against you on that 100 shot on a 10 footer." Wonder what my 06 would do with the 240gr Woodleigh which I am looking at 2400fps in my Mark V (will have to prove this with my Chrony) on a big bear and certainly would drop a deer. I am fixing to work on a 240gr load in my 06 which I did once before in a Kimber 06 but believe I will get faster velocities out of my Mark V in 06 and good accuracy. Will find out soon as I return from my trip to Tanzania around the 11th of August.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I think you're looking at this wrong. If you are hunting bears, you need a bear gun. You say the 338 is too big for deer and you're certainly right but so is a 300 mag of any kind and the 300 mags will destroy more meat with the non cross lung shot than a slower heavier 338. If you load the 338 win mag with strong 250 grain swift A-frame or similar, not light quick to expand bullets, it will be ideal for bears and not so damaging for the puny little Alaska blacktails. I would always prefer a bear gun with some over kill for small stuff than the other way around. A 300 mag really is no better for bears than a good '06 with good bullets. Velocity will work against you on that 100 shot on a 10 footer.
    Some good points Murphy, I'm curious why you say an '06 is as good as a 300 mag on a 100 yd shot?

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