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Thread: Rifle for Brown Bears

  1. #1
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    Default Rifle for Brown Bears

    My local pawnshop has a .300 weatherby, some 30-06's, a .444 marlin, and some 7mm magnums, .270 winchesters, etc. Of those choices can ya'll recommend a good rifle for brown bear.

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    Pawn shop guns scare me a bit. You just don't know the history of the firearm.

    Of the choices you have listed I would lean on the 300 Weatherby loaded with a quality 200gr bullet moving around 3000fps. That would work fine for Brown Bear or anything else in North America.

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    Brown bear gun should be in a caliber starting with 4 usually. Any of those will do the job of hunting but I want something starting with 4 when I go to see if he's dead. Of those I would go 444 myself unless I had someone backing me up with a forty something, 300 Weatherby would be my pick then.
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    Thanks; it's more like a pawnshop/gun store, but I'm on a budget so...

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    I did have my eye on the .444, I just wasn't sure about the range I would get from that.

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    I'm well acquainted with the 444, and I wouldn't recommend it for a brown bear hunting gun. Just not enough power, range or versatility.

    Talk to your guide, and I bet he sezz the same thing. I'd pick the 300 Wby with 200 grain Noslers over any of the others any day. Your guide is going to be the one doing the walking up on bears anyway. I've got 6 brown bear guides among my circle of friends, and they all recommend a 375 if the client shoots one well. Bigger will certainly work, but the negotiations start when you go smaller. All would rather you shoot something smaller if that's all you can shoot well, rather than getting something big and muffing the shot.

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    Under 150 and best inside 100 but I don't see why you would need more in brown bear country. If you plan on using it for other stuff range could be an issue. You are from NC so will have a guide backing you. Something in a .416 bolt gun would be far better than the ones listed.
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    Okay thanks; I've been looking around for a .375H&H but can't find anything used, NC is white tail and black bear country after all. I have seen some new ones, but they're a little pricey If you had to go with a lever gun would you prefer a .444, .45-70, or .450?

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Try Gunbroker.com and see if you can't get what you want, .375H&H is a good pick.

    Lever gun? 45-70 is the gold standard in Alaska, 450 has a bit more off the shelf power but can be matched by hand loading the 45-70 and 45-70 ammo is cheaper.
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    I think pawn shops are a great place to shop and the cops get a ticket of everything pawned so nothing stold should be there. I would keep looking untill you found a 338 but 30-06 and up will work with good bullets and shot placement.

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    If your going to go 30 cal I would get a heavy bullet like 220s. Finding a 338 would be much better. A 35 whelen would be pretty good if you can find one of those. More bullet weight and more powder capacity are both good when hunting brown bear. IMO 30/06 case size, 220gr bullets and 338 bore size are about as small as I would go and bigger is better if you can shoot it ok.

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    I purchased some primers in a gun shop in North Carolina last week and they had several guns in calibers that have been mentioned in these posts. They had guns that would work for what you want both new and used. Several Marlin Guide Guns. I know I saw .444, 450 Marlins, and 45-70's in there. The name of the gun shop is Windy Hill Gun Shop. The telephone # is 336-366-2409. The guy you want to talk to is Gayle. He is the owner but his wife or any of the other people that work there will do you right. They are a well stocked gun store, and have a range on the spot also.

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    300wby period of the ones you named on dangerous game and I would even choose the 30-06 with a 220gr bullet over the 444Marlin
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    Is that in Windy Hill, NC off 74 on the way to the beach?

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    I found a .375 RUM; should I pull the trigger?(no pun intended)

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    Default budget- brown bear, huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by NCTenderfoot View Post
    I found a .375 RUM; should I pull the trigger?(no pun intended)
    Budget- Hmmm, doesn't compute exactly- unless you are talking close range personal protection and not hunting??? For hunting purposes there are a lot of 375 HHs available for around 900 bucks.

    Before getting the cart before the horse, find someone who has a 375 HH, 375 Ruger, 375 RUM or whatever. Ask them to let you shoot it with full house 270-300 gr. loads. Shoot a couple from the bench, shoot a couple sitting, then rested on whatever then prone. Check accuracy of placing shots on target out to a couple of hundred yards. Then find someone with a Marlin GG (or similar) in 45-70. Try it with full house loads the same way out to maybe 50 yards. That'll give the best idea what to expect. Then decide.

    Back to the original question...no doubt, of the ones you mentioned the 300 with good bullets is the much better choice. One of the big 375s or even a 338WM would be even better if you can shoot it straight or if for closer range personal protection the 45-70 lever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NCTenderfoot View Post
    My local pawnshop has a .300 weatherby, some 30-06's, a .444 marlin, and some 7mm magnums, .270 winchesters, etc. Of those choices can ya'll recommend a good rifle for brown bear.
    What cartridges have you shot and are comfortable with?

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    Mostly 7mm magnums, .223's, 762mm's, .30-6's and .270 w.

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    NCTenderfoot I just got to come back to this post today. No. Windy Hill Gun Shop is off I 77 north at exit 93. Turn left, go about 8 miles and turn left (I think the name of the road is Joe Lane Mill Road). There is a sign where you turn. You also have Bass Pro Shops that has a lot of different calibers close to you. Most gun shops will order you any gun you want if you will leave a deposit when you order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NCTenderfoot View Post
    My local pawnshop has a .300 weatherby, some 30-06's, a .444 marlin, and some 7mm magnums, .270 winchesters, etc. Of those choices can ya'll recommend a good rifle for brown bear.
    Of these, I'd go with the 300wtby or the '06.

    '06 has likely killed more brown bears than any other cartridge, and probably more than any two or three combined.

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