I toted my 35 Whelen I built over the winter on a recent bear hunt in unit 17. Some of you guys may remember the thread I had going on it last winter but for those who don't, it's a tang safety Ruger 77 ultralight I rebarreled and bedded into the factory stock. 20in SS MRC barrel, with barrel band swivel, iron sights, trigger job, and a Leupold M8 2.5X scope.
I stoked it with some 250gr RN bullets of unknown make but obviously coming from a Corbin swage, much like and even possibly from the old Colorado Custom bullets. I put them over a stiff charge of 4064 in eformed 270 cases for 2450fps.
On the first day of our hunt we spotted a beutiful bear up on a hillside and decided to put the sneak on it. We closed to within 200yds to find the bruin asleep in a berry patch. We closed the distance to 151yds before we ran out of cover, my Dad readied himself for a shot off my backpack, while me and his best friend got ready as well. Suddenly as if on que the bear rolled around stood up and turned broadside. Dad put a perfect shot in right behind the shoulder with his 7mm SAUM and one of my 160gr Nosler handloads. The bear begun growling and biting at the wound and took off down toward the alders in the bottom, in the melée that insued we all took a shot or two managing to put the bear down before it got into the brush. Upon examination both the Noslers from his rifle and my mystery bullets had passed through on the chest shots. The bear squared a touch over 7ft green and dad was stoked.
We hunted for several more days seeing bears every day and finally getting a good stalk on one for me on the last day. After watching the bear for almost 2 long hours in the rain we finally belly crawled to a better position to find the bear moving toward us. She was about to walk into a canyon taking away the possibility for a shot when she paused on the rim, I quickly ranged it at 177yds and readied myslf to shoot. The bear was quartering toward me at a fairly steep angle so I aimed for the shoulder hoping to drive that big bullet into the chest through the shouldr bone. As I sent the bullt on it's way I felt my elbow slip slightly but watched through the scope as I scored what I call a good miss. My shotwent about 6in wide taking the bear right behind the ear ranging back to break two vertebre and lodging under the hide in front of the shoulder on the off side. I saw the spray of mist fly off of the wet hide as the bear wilted out of the scope, my bear was down on the last evening and I was pumped.
I was able to retreive the bullet that broke the neck when skinning the bear, it was beutifully mushroomed to .81 about halfway down the shank and weighed 249.1grs on my powder scale.
We had an awesome trip the real highlight was of course, being with my Father as he fulfilled his lifelong dream of taking a Grizzly. But I was also super happy with the way both my rifle and my handloadsperformed. Although it rained on us every day I experienced no problems with my wood stocked rifle which I partially chalk up to the full length bedding job, I also never felt like I was at a disadvantage because of my low power scope or what some magnum fans would consider low velocity hand loads.
My only question from the whole ordeal is, where the heck do I find more of these bullets I've come to like so much, I'm down to 8 of them.