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Thread: Black Bear ML loads and how to get powder / primers

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    Default Black Bear ML loads and how to get powder / primers

    I'm taking my son on a SE coastal black bear hunt this may. We are planning on hunting with ML's with a .338 as a back up. We have considerable experience hunting large whitetails with ML's, but zip on black bears. Two questions...

    1.) We were planning on using our standard load of 2x50 777 pellets and 250gr T/C shockwave sabots in a T/C Triumph 50 cal. This has been a great load for accuracy. I could go to 3x50 pellets, but have not seen much improvement in energy and have had accuracy drop off. Interested in your comments.

    2.) We're flying into Petersburg and I want to order pellets / primers to be shipped there ahead of time since we can't fly with them. I've got a place that will receive the shipment, but am interested in what companies you can order from. I don't think Cabela's ships there. Anyone use someone else? Sportsmans Warehouse? Gander Mtn?

    Appreciate any advice.

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    I'd be inclined to check with Great Northern Guns in Anchorage. They've got what you need, and they're accustomed to overcoming shipping challenges in Alaska. I don't know the stores closer to Petersburg, such as in Juneau. But I'd be real surprised if they don't have your supplies on hand, or at least know how to get them to Petersburg if they had to order them for you.

    As for your load? No sweat, even with 2 pellets. Black bear die easy with reasonable hits.

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    What Brownbear said. YOu've got plenty of gun for a blackie. Also, maybe you could buy local when you get there. There are numerous gun shops / dealers / sources in Petersburg. Check these out, or google it for your self and call ahead.

    http://www.thegunnetwork.com/prgs/gb...aycategory.cgi

    http://www.manta.com/c/mmycnsl/roy-s-gun-shop

    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=...ed6da7faad07f1

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    Call ahead early and most dealer can get what you need. I am sure the gun shop in petersburg could hook you up.

    Anything that will take down a big whitetail will work on bears.

    Good luck on your hunt and pictures are required!

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    I am wanting to hunt Kodiaks with a caplock T/C Hawken .50 cal w/ 370 gr Maxi ball on top of 90 gr Pyrodex. Does that sound like a good load? Off thread how about 45-70 handloads- 405 hard cast @ 1800 fps- from Marlin 1895G?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grunt475 View Post
    I am wanting to hunt Kodiaks with a caplock T/C Hawken .50 cal w/ 370 gr Maxi ball on top of 90 gr Pyrodex. Does that sound like a good load? Off thread how about 45-70 handloads- 405 hard cast @ 1800 fps- from Marlin 1895G?
    Uh, if you mean "kodiaks" as in bears, i don't think a .50 is anywhere near enough. Good for blacktails though.
    As for the 45-70 load I couldn't say....
    BrownBear would know, though.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    I know two greatly experienced muzzleloading hunters-as in lifetimes of it and game all over the world, with both of them now in their 60's- who are planning to take brown bears with muzzleloaders. One is shooting a 72 caliber and the other a 75 caliber. Another friend is a 30-year brown bear guide and lifetime muzzleloader. I asked him if he's taken a brown bear or would do so. He said he wouldn't do it himself, and he wouldn't guide anyone shooting anything less than 70 caliber. And he'd have to see him shoot the gun lots before he'd take the job.

    That's all good enough for me.

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    Thanks for the info. I'm a southern boy with no northern hunting experience, but a lot of shooting under my belt. That Hawken is real straight shooting, but I wasn't sure about the terminal ballistics on big stuff. Just starting to plan a good hunt, so I guess I'll stick w/ the 45-70. Those handloads punch through railroad ties at 200. How about the .50 on Black Bears?
    Last edited by grunt475; 01-29-2011 at 21:34. Reason: incomplete

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by grunt475 View Post
    How about the .50 on Black Bears?
    The 50 will be excellent, whether round ball or conical. Black bears die easy with a good hit.

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    I personally know of a hunter who took a browny on Kodiak with flintlock 50 cal patched round ball. One shot, one kill. I think it all depends on shot placement.
    If you can kill it with a stick, you can kill it with a smoke pole.

    I would not have any doubt about its capability but would still have a back-up hunter with rifle behind me.

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    I have no experience with a .50 but I wouldn't hesitate to take a brownie with my .54. I shoot maxiballs only. I've put down LOTS of game with it and it is the most deadly gun I've ever used. That said, picking the shot and being proficient are VERY important parts of the equation

    JMHO, ;-)

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    I'd look no farther than a .50 cal 285gr. Barnes Spitfire MZ...absolutely killer on all animals big and small.

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    I live in Petersburg and I'm sure Trading Union has what you need. Give the a call at 907 772-3881. My hunting partner has killed everything except a brown bear with his. He just killed a nice bison and muskox this year with one. He has killed several black bears on POW with his muzzle loaders. Yours should work just fine for you. Jim

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    Thought I'd close the loop on this. Ended up having ML primers and 777 pellets ordered by Rayco in Juneau and picked up by the guide and brought to Petersburg.... I didn't ask how they got there. Rayco was very fast and helpful and I'd recommend them highly. I used 2x50gr 777 pellets with a 250gr shockwave sabot in a T/C Triumph. Harvested a 7' blackie at about 75yds. Broadside shot. Bear went about 25 yds or less. Found the bullet in the far side hair. The lead core was still in the copper cup, but didn't give me a lot of confidence. It was lungs only with no shoulder hit and I can't remember now if it hit a rib straight on or not. This was the yellow tip shock wave. It expanded great, did a lot of damage, was accurate, but if I was doing it again I'd use the blue tip bonded version in case you hit bone. I'm not confident the yellow tip would hold together. I've shot lots of deer with it and have never been able to recover a bullet in the past. I'll probably keep using the same bullet on deer. Accuracy was great as I'm under 3" groups at 100yds consistently. ML was definitely the way to go on this hunt... much more interesting trying to get up close. I was within 20yds for a while in the woods, but couldn't get an opening. Worked the bear for over 1/2 hour until a good broadside was available. If I had the .338 it would have been done in about 30 seconds instead of 30 minutes... much more interesting.

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    Excellent report, and thanks for the followup! Glad it worked out for you to be able get the supplies. And a 7' black bear is a dandy anywhere.

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