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Thread: Black bears and 7mm-08

  1. #1
    Member Ripper's Avatar
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    Question Black bears and 7mm-08

    It looks like I'll be going on my first black bear hunt this spring, and will probably be carrying a 7mm-08. I have a 140gr whitetail load worked up with 140gr Nosler Solid Base SP, but was looking to put together a bit tougher load. I was leaning towards a 160gr Barnes TSX, but max velocity will only be about 2475 fps or so. Just wondering if you folks think I should go with a bullet like the TSX, or if I should go with a Partition or a bonded bullet. Finally, was curious if you think I should go with the slower 160gr or a faster 140gr or 150gr. I was gonna give the nod to the higher SD of the 160gr, but am open to better ideas. Thanks. -JR

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    it don't matter. i'd just wouldn't use the SP you've got now, any of the others will work just fine, 10 grains of bullet weight ain't gonna change the bears reaction much. pick one you like or sounds good and use it, you'll be fine. the speed don't matter either.
    Master guide license #212.....now what?!

  3. #3

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    Personally I wouldn't go with the 160 TSX. Your muzzle velocity is enough to open it up but out at 100 yards I wouldn't trust it, in one of the 7 mags no problem. I think the 7-08 would perform best with a 140TSX or any of the 150 bondeds.

    I've taken big black bear with a 257 Wby using 120 partitions and in a 270 with 130 accubonds. Both were one shot kills at 165yds and 65 yds respectively.

  4. #4

    Default use a good bullet

    I had my daughter shoot her first black bear with a 7mm08 and she ended up hitting it perfectly at 15 yards, but the bullet did not penetrate! Use a TSX and you will be fine. Realistically the bear will run off, but watch and listen for the death bellow and you will find the bear. Don't expect to find a blood trail, especially on spring bears.

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    What was she using that didn't penetrate? 120gr Nosler Ballistic Tip Hunting?

  6. #6

    Default Bullets

    When you get ready to load consider the Woodliegh 140 or 160 grn, as well as Hawk projectiles. Both of these companies have reputations for building quality big game bullets.

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    Glad you asked this question Ripper.
    I have an Encore pistol in 7mm-08 on the way that I intend to use for black bear this year & I too am curous as the the recomended bullets & folks experience.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  8. #8

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    I use a 7X57mm with 140gr. NP's. Federal factory load. They work just fine.
    Dan

  9. #9

    Default Nosler Partitions are excellent

    I use Nosler partitions, and never had any issues. I would go with no more than 150 grainers in the 7MM-08, tho. A black bear is not as tough to take down as a grizzly, but good constructed bullets and proper bullet placement is vital. the 7MM-08 will work just fine.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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    Thumbs up

    Well, I ordered up some 140gr TSX that I am gonna try first and see how my gun shoots. If it don't like them then I guess I'll switch to Partitions (probably at 140gr). I decided to go with the lighter bullet rather than with the 160's which may be a bit heavy for this cartridge. Ty at Barnes sent me some load data they just got back from testing on the 7-08. PM me if you are interested in it.

    By the way, anyone looking to buy reloading components on the web, check out dnrsports.com. I compared them to Midway, MidSouth, Cabelas, and Wideners, and they were cheapest on average. MidSouth and Wideners were good too, but Midway and Cabelas were highest. DnR showed $24 for shipping on the web page, but I called them up and asked if they would ship in the priority flat rate box and they said no problem. So shipping was $8 with no handling fee. Definitely recommended!

    -JR

  11. #11

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    I killed one at 20 yards with a TC Encore pistol using a 7mm-08, 140 grain Nosler Partitions. First shot through the lungs was a complete pass through, second shot, which probably wasn't necessary, was quartering toward me, hit behind left shoulder, stopped in the opposite rear ham. I would definitely use it again.

  12. #12

    Default 160 grainers

    Yes, 160 grains in the 7MM-08 is a tad heavy. I use 160 Partitions exclusively in my .280's, and they work very well, but 160's in anything smaller is pushing the envelope for performance at any distance but very close. The 7MM-08 is one fine, underrated cartridge, and is one of the best sheep rounds there is. Enjoy it.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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    OK, so how about "normal" bullets?
    Anybody have experience with Hornady's 139 gr spire point Interlocks or their 139gr SSTs on black bear size game with the 7-08?
    Reading the SST reviews on the Midway web page nobody complained of bullets coming apart on deer size game & one reviewer said he took two Caribou with good results.
    I don't mind paying extra when it's needed, but if the bullets that are $14.00 per hundered work as well on this size animal as the ones that are $22.00 per 50 I'll take the less expensive ones.

    Also, has anybody used the new Combined Technologies bullets from Nosler/Winchester in this caliber?
    The new Handloader mag. shows them in the section on "Botique Bullets".
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  14. #14

    Thumbs down Hornady bullets

    For "normal" game that is easy to kill, such as a whitetail deer, any bullet will do. But I shot a brown bear a few years ago with Hornady bullets in my .375 H&H Magnum at a perfect broadside angle at about 60 yards, hitting it right in the heart/lung area. The bullet exploded right under the hide. My buddy and I would have been mauled or killed if I wasn't able to get a shot from the hip at less than 10 yards that hit it along the left side of it's nose and blew it's brains out. It was in full charge and it wasn't bluffing.

    I had a Speer bullet fragment in a black bear that killed it dead, but tore two huge holes in the hide on the off-shoulder. I went to Nosler Partitions and have never on any species I have taken since had one problem or issue. I am sold on them.

    Caribou are fairly easy to take if hit in the vitals. I have taken them with calibers from .44 Magnum handgun to .338, and many calibers in between. Also took with a bow.

    The key to being both frugal and using the best you can buy is in your practice. I do not shoot the partitions when I am just at the range to either break in a new rifle of keeping my skills up with a particular gun. I buy the same type and weight I hunt with. For example, I shoot hundreds of Speer and Hornady 160 grain boattails a year at the range in my .280's, but only fire a few Noslers to ensure the point of impact is the same. It is always VERY close, and just before heading afieild, I will shoot a dozen or so strictly Noslers to make 100% sure it is shooting where I have been practicing. Unless you are really wild in your handloading, it will be right there.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  15. #15

    Default 140 grain partition

    I've enjoyed the discussion here. I have a 7mm-08, I used it to kill my first black bear when I was a kid (15 yards). Since then I've only used it deer hunting. I've always used 140 grain partitions, never had any problems. Anything heavier than 140 drops like a rock. I'll tell you, the only time I was worried at all was walking up a salmon filled creek on Hitchinbrook deer hunting... as huge browny tracks filled with water just in front of you, I was wishing I had something bigger. Good luck.

  16. #16

    Default Hinchinbrook

    That is where I had my run-in with the brownie. It squared 9'3". It was up at the head of Port Etches. Good deer hunting, big bears......
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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