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Thread: .444 for Incidental Brown/Grizz?

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default .444 for Incidental Brown/Grizz?

    My buddy and I got into a philosophical debate about whether or not to shoot a brown/grizz with a .444 Marlin. We were MOOSE hunting and I stated that I was bringing the .444. He thought that I should bring my .338 since we were in bear country. I informed him that I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot a brown/grizz if the right opportunity came up; right place, right time, terrain was good, shot was less than 100yds, etc. I am shooting 265 grain Hornady LeverRevolutions. I would have preferred to shoot 335 grain Buffalo Bore’s, but did not and have not sighted in with them.

    What do you think? I was also packing a .44 mag pistol. Bear in mind (no pun intended) that this ISN’T a BEAR HUNT. It was a MOOSE hunt. If I were hunting brownies on Kodiak I would have brought my .338 for sure. A chance encounter in the Interior, I went with the .444 and though if I saw a legal bear and the situation was right, I’d take it.

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    My buddy and I got into a philosophical debate about whether or not to shoot a brown/grizz with a .444 Marlin. We were MOOSE hunting and I stated that I was bringing the .444. He thought that I should bring my .338 since we were in bear country. I informed him that I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot a brown/grizz if the right opportunity came up; right place, right time, terrain was good, shot was less than 100yds, etc. I am shooting 265 grain Hornady LeverRevolutions. I would have preferred to shoot 335 grain Buffalo Bore’s, but did not and have not sighted in with them.

    What do you think? I was also packing a .44 mag pistol. Bear in mind (no pun intended) that this ISN’T a BEAR HUNT. It was a MOOSE hunt. If I were hunting brownies on Kodiak I would have brought my .338 for sure. A chance encounter in the Interior, I went with the .444 and though if I saw a legal bear and the situation was right, I’d take it.

    Tim
    I'm no expert, but that makes sense to me. I agree with you.

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    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default I have a question

    First let me say I agree with you on your gun and if the situation is right and all that. I will be doing the same sort of hunt. Moose hunting in Bear country basicly and Im going to take a Griz if the situation is right just as you will. I have a question and I want as many opinions, experiences, ect as possible. How prepared are you (tccak71) to deal with the bear hide after you shoot it? I ask because Im unsure if I myself am fully equiped. I have a couple boxes of salt. Being a moose hunt Im not focusing my gear around taking care of a brown bear hide but i am packing with the chance it might happen. Looking for any methods or different options in taking care of your hide? Any alternitives to packing in a bunch of salt?

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Boy, I can't help you on that one. I was just going to flesh it out as good as possible and throw it in a game bag and get back to town asap. I haven't shot a bear before so I don't know how to flesh the head, turn the lips, etc. I think I'd salt it if I'm NOT fleshing the pads and head in the field.

    Tim

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    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Talking 444

    I believe if you shoot a bear in the vitals with a 265gr bullet it will die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    My buddy and I got into a philosophical debate about whether or not to shoot a brown/grizz with a .444 Marlin. We were MOOSE hunting and I stated that I was bringing the .444. He thought that I should bring my .338 since we were in bear country. I informed him that I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot a brown/grizz if the right opportunity came up; right place, right time, terrain was good, shot was less than 100yds, etc. I am shooting 265 grain Hornady LeverRevolutions. I would have preferred to shoot 335 grain Buffalo Bore’s, but did not and have not sighted in with them.

    What do you think? I was also packing a .44 mag pistol. Bear in mind (no pun intended) that this ISN’T a BEAR HUNT. It was a MOOSE hunt. If I were hunting brownies on Kodiak I would have brought my .338 for sure. A chance encounter in the Interior, I went with the .444 and though if I saw a legal bear and the situation was right, I’d take it.

    Tim
    I'm well acquainted with the gun and caliber, and I agree with you completely. When it comes to quick shooting at defensive ranges, I'll take a lever any day over a bolt. Lots of philosophical arguments about whether a lever is really faster than a bolt, but in my hands there's no comparison. If you're bear smacking across a canyon then the 338 would certainly hold the edge. But inside 20 yards it's a one-shooter.

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    One of the largest brown bears taken on the Kenai Peninsula was killed with a 444 Marlin by two trappers who were attacked while checking their trapline in the middle of the winter. At one time the hide and skull were displayed at the Museum in Homer, I'm not sure whether that's still the case.
    The bear was really big and really old and had quite a storied reputation among the guys who trapped in the area. I worked in the taxidermy shop where the bear was taken after it was killed - Skinned the head and feet out and fleshed & salted the hide. The bear had long, wildly curved claws, I suppose because it was out of the den and surviving in the snow for several months before it was killed. The bear also had badly worn, nearly rounded-off canine teeth.
    Some time before, a local biologist and his wife were attacked by a bear in the area while camping under a sheet of visqueen. They had a fire going, but the bear that atttacked was not deterred by the obvious smell of smoke and people. The man's scalp was torn from his head and he was badly scarred. The fellow came in to the shop to look at the bear when he heard that a big, aggressive bear had been killed by trappers not far from the spot of his mauling. After looking at the rounded teeth, the size of the brute and the color of the hide, he was convinced that it was the same bear that had nearly taken his life - but for the teeth that gnawed on his head and rolled off his skull with a horrible grating sound rather than sinking in and finishing him off as a sharper, healthier set of teeth probably would have.
    At that time the cartridge was relatively new on the scene, it sure convinced me that it was a good go-to gun and calibre. So, I reckon that a really big bear was killed by a 444 marlin when pulled quickly to the shoulder by a desperate man and lots of tourists got to see the results of that encounter.
    Tommy

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    Smile

    TCCAK:
    Your friend obviously hasnt hunted very much or shot much game. After taking a few animals and learning about hunting you will notice that bigger bullets result bigger wound channels and in quicker kills. And from further shooting you will see that heavier bullets result in more penetration. Bigger is better in this case. I think your friend will be stunned at the performance of the .444 on bears and anything else. Much more powerful than the .44 pistol and a lot more accurate. I wonder if he is one of those velocity snobs who do not know a thing about shooting....
    “I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. “ Fred Bear

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    The .444 has plenty of energy to take a brown bear even in a defensive situation. Just stay away from the too common pistol bullets as they are not up to the task. It sounds like you intend to use quality ammo suited to the task. I would have no reservations with that choice of caliber at reasonable ranges .

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    Jeff P: That's where I'd aim; right in the boiler room.

    Sollybug; you're on him like stink on you-know-what! My buddy is fairly new to big game hunting. His point was that I'd be better off shooting a brown/grizz w/a 7mm than a .444 due to the velocity and energy at 100 yards, regardless of bullet size. He went as far as to say it would be unethical to point a .444 at a brown/grizz (except for defensive purposes) because it isn't enough to kill one. I'm not a reloader so I can't really get too philosophical about ballistics.

    Brownbear: I suppose in my example it wouldn't be a defensive situation. I was going to use the .444 to take a brown/grizz @ less than 100 yards, if the opportunity arose.

    Tommy sohappy: good story, must have been a heck of a bear!

    Thanks for the replies,
    Tim

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    I had to respond since you mentioned the 7mm. I hunted with one for 20 years in Alaska and the velocity caused all kinds of problems. Finding a good bullet is tricky cause you have to avoid fragmenting, but also need some expansion and the right bullet will change depending on the game, shot placement and even distance from the target. I have several times made a good shot and had the animal continue feeding until they finally bled to death cause the bullet was so fast and diameter so small. Close range was the worst cause velocity was so high. It was like shooting them with an arrow. I like quick and sure kills and dont like to have to chase stuff through the woods. You shoot something with a .444 they will know they have been hit! Boy, if I was going after bear I would take the .444 any day of the week. Give him the 7mm and stay close as you may have to save his butt!
    “I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. “ Fred Bear

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    I've never shot a 7mm, but I've always thought they would be perfectly suitable for sheep or caribou hunting.

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    I've never shot a 7mm, but I've always thought they would be perfectly suitable for sheep or caribou hunting.

    Tim
    You're right. I've been shooting the caliber since its first year of release. I bought my current rifle in 1976 and have shot the heck out of it. Still accurate as can be. No telling how many deer, a couple of moose and a fair number of elk have buckled under it's impact. Clean, quick one-shot kills from 1976 till now. Nosler 160 grain Partition mostly. I bet my luck with such good kills will continue to hold for another 32 years!

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    That's pretty much all my dad shot was a 7mm in Washington and up here. The one moose he killed without the 7mm was with a 30-30. 7mm seems a little light for moose though.

    Tim

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    Maybe I am missing something here. Since when was a .444 a better choice than a .338 for Moose hunting. I don't disagree witht the fact that a .444 will kill a brown bear, but how can you take a shot at a moose 250 yards away witht .444?

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    I shot my moose this year with a .243WSSM one shot to dead and a grizz with it 2 years ago. I think everyone needs to really step back and evaluate your rifles that you shoot at game when the same effect can be had for much less.

    With all this said I have a .458 win mag, .300 ultra, .375 all in the safe that have done some killing in the past for me but they will continue to stay in the safe unless a coastal brown bear trip is planned or africa.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    Maybe I am missing something here. Since when was a .444 a better choice than a .338 for Moose hunting. I don't disagree witht the fact that a .444 will kill a brown bear, but how can you take a shot at a moose 250 yards away witht .444?
    The .444 was new and I wanted to take it. I didn't plan on shooting a moose at more than 150 yards. Most moose I shot have been an average shot of about 100 yards. Also, I don't believe a .444 is a better choice for moose than a .338, just wanted to try the new gun.

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    \ Also, I don't believe a .444 is a better choice for moose than a .338, just wanted to try the new gun.

    Tim
    Sounds perfectly logical to me!

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    I agree and after watching what a 45-70 did to a blackie on our hunt this year I am starting to get the itch for a second lever gun to compliment my thuty-thuty. 35 yards she never saw it comming and was dead before she hit the ground. The term wrecking ball comes to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I agree and after watching what a 45-70 did to a blackie on our hunt this year I am starting to get the itch for a second lever gun to compliment my thuty-thuty. 35 yards she never saw it comming and was dead before she hit the ground. The term wrecking ball comes to mind.
    Amen!
    I've got the old 94 in 32 Win, & a pre safety Trapper in 44 mag laying under the bed, but at times I yearn for a sweet big bore Marlin. 450, 45-70..... yes even the 444! Had the factory ported 444 at one timre but decided I needed something to shoot further.... So I sold it & went back to bow hunting??
    Vance in AK.

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