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Thread: Brown Bear hunters, what cal.

  1. #1

    Default Brown Bear hunters, what cal.

    I dream of hunting brown bears in Alaska but it will allways be just a dream, too much money, but I was wondering what caliber is the most common for this type of hunt and what brand of gun seems to be the most popular. If I were going to got to Alaska to hunt these bears I would choose a left handed Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker in .375 H&H with some type of low power Leupold scope with QD rings. Maybe someday I will win the lottery and get to come up.



    Matt

    P.S. First time poster but I have been reading some posts.

  2. #2

    Default Browning lh SS rifles

    Great choice. I do have a left hand stainless stalker in .375 H&H, and it takes a back seat to nobody. I use Nosler Partition 300 grain bullets exclusively, but other premium bullets work just as well. I think the most common caliber up here is the .338 Winchester Magnum for most hunters, followed by the .375 and .300 Magnums.

    The lower-power scope is important, too, if you use one, as you can have an encounter quite close and there is no time to be fiddling with power settings.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  3. #3
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    brand dont' matter, thats like trucks, everyone has one they like and they all drive straight...

    caliber is about the same, its been touched on alot your 375 is classic and great bear round, plops some nice bullets down the pipe and your good to go. no need for questions on the setup youve got, it'd work great. placement, placement placement.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

  4. #4

    Default

    Your choice of the 375 is a perfect match with the recommendations of half a dozen bear guides I know, with some of them edging into the 416's. In their words everything else is a compromise, and all things being equal they recommend that anyone buying a gun for a bear hunt get the 375.

    Not a bear hunter myself, but I've hunted lots with the 375. Mine are both lefties, but come from a long ago era when you couldn't buy a LH 375 factory rifle. One is on the LH Mauser 3000 action and features a heavy 26" barrel. With a scope it's pushing 12 pounds. It's a delight to shoot, but a club to carry.

    The other is built on what was once a LH Remington in 7mm mag. It was rebarreled to 375 while keeping the original outside barrel dimensions to allow use of the orginal stock, and a recoil lug was added to the bottom of the barrel ala the old Model 70's. As a result of all that it's really light, barely topping 7 pounds with a scope. In contrast to the Mauser, this one's a delight to carry but a miserable thing to shoot from the bench.

    Guess which gets packed more?

    Every time I think of doing something to bring the Remington up to 9 pounds or the Mauser down to 9 pounds, I carry the Remington for a while. No, it doesn't get much shooting from the bench but I use it a bunch offhand, so recoil isn't as much of an issue.

    If the Browning with a scope comes in at that 9-10 pound range, I think you'll be very happy with it as an "all around" rifle for more than bear. Once you realize that the recoil isn't going to kill you and actually doesn't hurt all that bad, a 375 is a hoot to shoot and you'll be looking for excuses to use it.

  5. #5
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    Default bear guns

    apparently the 270, 308, and 17 mach II are considered by some to be adequate ;0)~ so your 375 H&H is more than enough but I would still suggest follow-up shots until he's down for good. As for the browning, I have the stainless stalker in 338 winmag and it's a good shooter and have yet to have a problem with it..........the 60 degree bolt throw is one feature I really love and I can rechamber a round much faster than I can with my model 70 classic. Sometimes you can find guides giving discounts due to people canceling their hunt close to the date and they want to fill the slot quickly and you can get a good discount but you have to be ready to roll at the last minute!! Git-R done man, you only have one life to live...................enjoy it!!

  6. #6
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    Default insecure hunters

    I have to laugh at the insecurities some ALASKAN hunters have utilizing a 270. to efficiently dispatch a bear. You don't have to have faith in the 270., shucks you don't have to have faith in yourself, You just have to have the ability to put the bullet in its proper place. One way to develop this ability is to Bear hunt by yourself.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Wondering if someone has or can remember the article published a couple years ago about calibers and the probability of one shot kills on brown bear in Alaska? Maybe it was in Outdoor Life.

    This is my recollection of it. They surveyed I believe well over 100 successful brown bear hunters and collected data regarding the calibers that resulted in a one shot kill. Again if memory serves me, the 300 mag took first place, with the 06 a close second. The 338 was a good bit down in percentage and all others were down from there. Basically, at least from my recollection of the data, using a big bore does not guarantee a quicker kill and that it may actually hinder it.

    This was not data on which calibers were used the most but rather a simple formula for the percentage of likelihood that you will kill the bear with a single shot.

    You can make your own assumptions as to why the 06 has a better probability of a 1 shot kill over a 338 but I believe it is because people on average shoot an 06 better than a 338. A heavier caliber is harder to shoot accurately and this needs to be factored in. If you can't shoot a 375 equally as well as an 06 then use the 06. For you, it will kill with better results.

    I and others have posted this link before regarding caliber recommendations by the AK F&G:

    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...laska.firearms

    I am sure data similar to the paragraph above drives these kind of recommendations. Certainly in our litigous society if these recommendations were not proven true even a single time the site would have been pulled because of some silly non-resident sueing the state. That link has been active for quite a few years. Apparently no one has ever been injured with the cause being attributed to using a 270 or similar caliber on a brown bear.

    Again, would anybody still have this article to report the actual percentages?

    Quote from the above link "As long as the caliber is reasonable and a quality bullet is used, hunters kill game quickly and humanely with precise bullet placement.

  8. #8

    Default Caliber choice

    Shooting a brown bear in the right spot with any caliber can kill it under perfect conditions. A .30-06 is an outstanding round for nearly all game, as is the .270.

    The kicker comes in when the same hunter has to face down a charging angry bear. In this case I would not want a .30-06 when I could and should have a .338 or .375 in my hands.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  9. #9

    Default Bear Gun

    I am planning on using a .50 cal Beowulf for my hunt this fall. It is basically an ar-15 spitting out a a round equal to a hotloaded 375. And Ive got a 10 round clip. I have fired it enough to be totally trusting of it. I figure better safe than sorry if a grizzly or semi truck is charging me. Its only good out to about 200 yards but that is perfect. They are using a few of them in Iraq at checkpoints for vehicle stopping power. I should have just bought a nice stainless 300 win mag, I would have a grand left over but I am happy with what I got. If anyone has a small leopold scope for sale let me know. This Burris 4.5x14x42 is way to big for this gun.

  10. #10

    Thumbs up

    Encore4me,
    Excellent choice for here in southeast Alaska.Rains a lot so it will fit in and is enough gun. You will always hear from the minimalist when you ask this question. and Yes you can kill a brown bear with a 30-30 shot in the right place and with the right conditions. It's when things don't go perfect that you will learn to appreciate the caliber you chose.
    goldbelt

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    Default Caliber

    The biggest one you can shoot. When i was at rabbit creek shooting range they collected my target to prove you could shot less than a .5 inch group with a big bore rifle. I only shot a 338 WM, and I shoot it good. But with luck and a good shot my brown bear did not take a step. If it did my p had a 375 as back up, since i only shot it a 80 yards. I love my new tikka 7 mm, but would not take it bear hunting. I have shot a brown bear, 2 black bears, 2 moose, 7 caribou and only the moose have taken a step. Take what you shoot the best but as my wife says size does matter.

    Terry

  12. #12
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Instead of starting a new thread, because this is pretty much the same subject, if you could pick ONE caliber of rifle to hunt all the big game in all of Alaska, what would it be?? I would pick the 300 win. Mag, I am comfortable shooting it, it's flatter shooting (in my opinion)than the bigger calibers, and I can use heavy loads for brownies. However it seems like the majority of you like the 338. ......K

  13. #13

    Default Magazine Article

    Ed M,

    I do remeber the article you are talking about. I can't remember which magazine but it was probably American Hunter, Outdoor Life or Field & Stream. I remember being surprised that the 300 magnum was actually more effective than larger calibers. If I recall correctly the percentage of one-shot kills with the 300 was significantly higher than the next best round.

  14. #14

    Default 50 Beowolf

    Alaskan907,

    Post some pics of that bad boy! What grain bullet are you using and what is the velocity. Have you thumped anything with it yet?

  15. #15
    Member svehunter's Avatar
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    Default

    The 375 is the most common caliber for brown bear,no doubt
    A stainless rifle is the best for Alaskas wet weather...

  16. #16
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Layne Simpson did a piece called "Lessons From 85 Dead Brown Bears" in the April 2002 American Hunter magazine.

    One shot kills were 25% of the time for .30 magnums, 17% .338/.340 magnums, and 25% .375 H&H.

    Backup was needed 35% of the time with the .30's, 66% with .338/.340, and 38% with the .375 H&H.

    Average shots: 3.75-.30's, 3.44-.338/.340's, and 3.44-.375 H&H

    His conclusions were that the data did not take into account experienced hunters taking lots of "insurance" shots (including backup shots by the guide), but that there is sufficient evidence that the .30 magnums may not be so bad.

    "Contrary to what some would have us believe, Johnson's data indicate that hunters armed with rifles chambered for .30-caliber magnums from Weatherby, Winchester, Norma, and Holland & Holland enjoyed records just as good on brown bear as those who used larger calibers."

    "I find it especially interesting that the two bears taken with the .270 Win. succumbed to one shot each."

  17. #17
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    I like what I hear!...300 Win. Mag all the way, you just can't go wrong with this caliber....great caliber down south too for Elk,and muleys...K

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    Wink

    Rain Gull, interesting. A well placed shot with a good bullet will do the trick. As a matter of fact it has long before many of us were walking this earth. Maybe a dicussion on bullet SD would be more appropriate for these creatures? Some folks base their opinions on false data. Example a hunter has to shoot an amped up bear with a 338, or 375 a few times and comes to the conclusion that he is underguned! When the rusults may be the same shooting any high cal. rifle? Because the same bear can"t be tested with other cals , at the same time, and place.
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

  19. #19
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    Default 35 Whelen

    For years, the only rifle I hunted with was an '06, and I'm still completely comfortable hunting bears with it. However, I now have a 35 Whelen, and now when I'm intentionally going out after grizz that is my rifle of choice.

  20. #20
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    This video might help explain why carrying a larger bore rifle is REALLY worth considering. It has been around here before but worth it for those that have not yet seen it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZnsL7-UdGc

    Doug

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