View Poll Results: Please help me decide.

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  • 300 Win Mag is big enough.

    78 65.00%
  • 300 Win Mag not big enough get a 338 WM

    27 22.50%
  • No you have to have a 375!

    15 12.50%
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Thread: 300 Win Mag or bigger?

  1. #1

    Default 300 Win Mag or bigger?

    I have read alot of stuff on here about guns and bears and I HAVE used the search button but still get confused. I am planning to go on a Brown bear hunt within the next 5 years but I am going to start shooting alot and hunting with the gun now so I will be ready when the time comes. My question is this, is my Ruger M77 MkII in 300 Win Mag enough for the biggest Brown Bears or should I get something bigger?

  2. #2
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    A .300 will kill a brown bear, but personally, I would not hunt one with anything smaller than a .338. Just my opinion though, I imagine there are a lot of guys out there using .300 and 30-06 on browns.
    Alaskans for Alaska

  3. #3
    Member svehunter's Avatar
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    I agree an 300 win mag or 30-06 will kill a brown bear with a good shot but I would personally go bigger like a 338 win mag at least or even bigger if you can handle the recoil

    If you are going to use the 300 win mag use the biggest grain bullet you can find and a good bullet like Nosler partition,TSX or Swift A frame

    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    A .300 will kill a brown bear, but personally, I would not hunt one with anything smaller than a .338. Just my opinion though, I imagine there are a lot of guys out there using .300 and 30-06 on browns.

  4. #4
    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
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    Is it going to a guided or do it yourself hunt. Most guides require a larger cal.
    But if doing it yourself just ask Bighorse on here he' s killed with smaller cal's

  5. #5
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    I would make a distinction when saying "brown bear". If you are going to hunt the coastal brownies than .338WM or even a 375H&H.
    If you are going to hunt an interior brown bear, than a 300WM is perfectly adequate but which a premium bullet. That would be a 180gr TSX or a 200gr. Partition. This is not just "me" talking, but my guide buddy in AK who has been on dozens of bear kills. A premium bullet in the right place is the key.

  6. #6
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    encore4me short answer is stick with the 300. Phil Shoemaker had a great article on this very subject a couple of months ago in Rifle Mag. As you can see by some of the replies you have already received most hunters will try and go bigger for bear. The problem is as they go up in caliber their shooting suffers. Most are loath to admit this and will swear it aint so, but it is. A brown bear has lighter skin and bone than a moose. Outdoor writers are somewhat to blame, when writing about calibers they love to say "its a great caliber, good for everything except the great bears". Stranger had some great pictures of a big bear his wife killed with a mosin nagant, and throughout the north more bears have been killed in DLP situations by trappers and guides with the 30/30 and 303 than all calibers combined. Some very well known brown bear guides still use a 30/06 for back-up guns. Use Noslers and you will be set. And if your guide says you need something bigger, find another guide.

  7. #7
    Member svehunter's Avatar
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    Accuracy of course matters alot if you cant shoot well with a 338 or 375 you should use the 300 win mag that you can shoot straight with

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon254 View Post
    encore4me short answer is stick with the 300. Phil Shoemaker had a great article on this very subject a couple of months ago in Rifle Mag. As you can see by some of the replies you have already received most hunters will try and go bigger for bear. The problem is as they go up in caliber their shooting suffers. Most are loath to admit this and will swear it aint so, but it is. A brown bear has lighter skin and bone than a moose. Outdoor writers are somewhat to blame, when writing about calibers they love to say "its a great caliber, good for everything except the great bears". Stranger had some great pictures of a big bear his wife killed with a mosin nagant, and throughout the north more bears have been killed in DLP situations by trappers and guides with the 30/30 and 303 than all calibers combined. Some very well known brown bear guides still use a 30/06 for back-up guns. Use Noslers and you will be set. And if your guide says you need something bigger, find another guide.

  8. #8
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    I normaly refrain from posting alot on the hunting forum lots more people with ample good / sound advise and by no means am I any more an expert then most.

    Mind you this is an opinion and not 100% test driven fact. Yukon refers to an article about the subject concerning caliber (and this is not a dig by any means) in regards to shooters suffers and while I do or might agree if someone who has been shooting lets say a 270 for 15 years and jumps into a 375HH there is an adjustment but no means if the require pratice is accomplished on a regular basis and the individual becomes comfortable with the bullet and the gun there shooting should not suffer.

    That being said there is nothing wrong with a 300 Win Mag for killing a bear Brown and or Black. We could have a long 30 day debate on the best gun and round however if I were carrying a "Thunder Stick" I would carry my 338 WM versus my 300 WM if I were in fact hunting the coast for Brown Bear. But hey that's just me! I carry it for all Alaska Big Game Hunting. I have become comfortable with it over the past 10,000 years :-)

    I would like to point out it would be easy to contact most guide services and ask the simple question what type of rifle and caliber do your guides carry for such a type of hunt. I would assume base my choice for a gun on a those answers if I was truly on the buble for what I should bring.

    I hope and trust you all have a very good weekend! Go Pack.

  9. #9
    Member GAredneck's Avatar
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    300 WM is pleanty big enough. Like others have said, get a good bullet and go. I personally use a 7 Mag for interior bears and a 300 on the coast while the wife uses nothing but an 30-06 for all game animals here. We use a quality bullet and never take shots over 50-75 yrs, first shot is usually behind the ear and a little low if the angle is right. Never has faild us, alot of folks may not like this placement and will argue the "what if" factor. With all the bears we've seen killed with calibers =<300mag I've only seen two take more than one step before falling.

  10. #10

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    300 WM will get it done. And just because you are hunting for interior bears they can get big as well. My bro shot his B&C grizz with a 180 bullet from a 30-06 so a 300 WM will get it done no doubt. However if you are looking for an excuse to buy a gun, being as you already have a 300 WM I would skip the 338 WM and go up to the 375 just cause

    Good luck on your hunt.

  11. #11
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I have a .300 win mag. It is a great gun. If I ever decide to hunt big brown bears or bison, I may try a .325 wsm, .338 win mag, or a .375 H&H out.

  12. #12
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    I have both a 300 win-mage and a 338 win-mag ... I have never hunted with the 338 win-mag (waiting to get drawn for Kodiak). Just too many big bears on Kodiak to wonder around with anything smaller than 338 win-mag. I personally enjoy shooting the 300 win-mag over the 338 win-mag for obvious reasons.

  13. #13
    Member mekaniks's Avatar
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    A 300 in the vitals is better than a 375 in the guts on any animal on any day. If you are comfortable and confident shooting your 300, get some premimum bullets, practice some, and go hunting. IMO, if you are starting with a new rifle to go brown bear bear hunting, go 338 or larger and get comfortable and confident with it first. "horsepower" combined with accuracy equals dead critters.... H+A=DC

    Lots of people use lots of caliber smaller than a 300 for brown bear, but they are comfortable and confident (and sometimes just plain lucky) in their setup. And that usually only comes from years of hunting with a paticular rifle/cartridge. Caribou at 300 yards, black bears over bait, blacktail walking down the beach, are all examples of confidence builders. Punching holes in a taget at the range is all good, but there is no replacement for real experience....and good bullets

  14. #14
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    Default 300 win mag or biger

    First off I would like to say that I have hunted and killed 6 bears 4 coastal browns and 2 blacks. So I feel like I'm qualified to give my opinion.
    While the 300 win mag is a great round and will kill effectively even at long rainge it is first and foremost a lite rifel it will kill the lage game effectively. However I have had the experience of going into the thick stuff after a mortally wounded bear. I was using my 338 and it did its job but the bear absorbed an extraordinary amount of lead. I do not believe I would have ben as safe with a 300. In fact I have thought about moving up to a larger gun. The question is not will the gun kill but will it stop dead in its tracks a pissed off brown bear. If you think a 300 is suitable for this then use it. I don't think it is.

    As far as bullet design I only use barns x. I think nosler partition is one of the worst bullets ever maid they come apart when hitting heavy bone. I have even seen them fall apart on dall sheep shot at close rainge. But again its up to you and your experience but I WILL NEVER USE A NOSLER EVER AGAIN.

  15. #15
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    A .300 shooting a 200 grain bullet at 2900 fps is putting out 3668 ft lbs of energy. A .338 shooting a 225 grain bullet at 2800 fps is putting out 3845 ft lbs of energy. Both are great rounds flip a coin. As long as we are spending your money how bout a .375 Weatherby or a .358 sta or .340 Weatherby or a!?????
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

  16. #16

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    My thoughts are-- #1 shot placement and #2 a good bullet, in a rifle you feel comfortable with. For hunting I feel a .30mag works great as has my 30-338 over the years on numerous bear. As a back up guide, that may have to put down a wounded, amped-up brown bear, its really hard to beat my .458wm. Again SHOT PLACEMENT- the largest blackie I have taken was with a 22-250 hit in the base for the skull. instant death.
    for what its worth.
    Goo

  17. #17
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    I would say the .338 is better for brown bears than the .300. I believe some brown bear guides now even require a .338 or larger when brown bear hunting I would say that's a pretty good sign the .338 is more effective on brown bears. Will a .300 kill a brown bear, sure it will. With less knockdown power is there a better chance the bear makes it into the alders or thick cover? You better believe there is. If you can knock the bear down on the first shot, it allows you more time to put more shots into it if needed to prevent it from reaching thick cover. Going after a brown bear in thick cover is something no one who is sane desires. I think the .338 with a heavier bullet and more knockdown power is much more likely to knock the bear down on that first shot giving you more chances for follow up shots.

  18. #18
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Good, accurate shot placement and the right bullets is the key. Always has been and always will be. 300 Win. Mag. cartridge has plenty of power.

  19. #19
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    rutmaster Is it possible the Noslers you had trouble with were from a bad batch?? I have used them and seen them used in my guiding career for over 25 years and they are far and away the bullet most guides will recommend to their clients. Not that Barnes are bad, they are great just never heard that about noslers. My back-up caliber in thick stuff is the 45/70. And a very qualified African PH I know swears by the 9.3. They all work if you can hit what your shooting at.

  20. #20

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    I also have a 45-70 GG, would this be a better choice? The only reason I did not mention it is because of the limited yardage.

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