.340 Weatherby factory loads for Brown Bear



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  • .340 Weatherby factory loads for Brown Bear

    I need bullet/ammo advice for a fall brown bear hunt I am planning. I already know that some people do not think that caliber or bullet diferences are that great even when hunting brown bear. But, for those of you who think it does or can matter, I would love to have your comments and advice.

    I am planning on bringing my .340 Wby. I've bought a bunch of factory ammo for it and assumed that the 250gr Nosler Partition would be the ideal cartridge over any other available factory loads (I don't reload). However, the more I read reviews of the NP on large game, the more it seems to me that the monometal bullets are more reliable.

    I love the Barnes TSX bullets, but the .338 225gr TSX boat (the only one loaded in the facgtory) is not a tail bullet like the .338 210gr one or the 180gr .308 bullets I have used in my 300 Win Mag with such happy success. Thus, the 225gr TSX really trails off down range. (I wish someone loaded a 225gr TTSX). Because of that, out to 350 yards or so (I assume roughly the upper limit range for brown bear), it does not really outperform by much my 300 Win Mag out that far. That 225gr TSX Wby factory load is basically loaded 1/2 way between a .338 and a .340. Now, I know that's pretty good, but I wouldn't mind essentially bringing a full-bore .340 load for the big bears. The 250gr NP load does very well down range, but I'd rather use the TSX.

    Enter very recently a new Cor-Bon loading in .340 Wby with the relatively inneficient 225gr bullet, but pushing it much faster than the Wby facgtory loading.


    Which of the following loadings would you use if you were hunting brown bear with a .340 Wby?

    Would you use soem other factory load?

    Does Cor-Bon make good rifle ammo? (I've shot plenint of their handgun ammo without fail, but not any rifle ammo).

    Any other comments advice?

    This is the rifle I will be using:


    (The blue rings were an accident. I thought the seller said "blued" rings--meaning black in color).

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2

    Go ahead and use the 225 TSX bullets if they will shoot well in your rifle.
    The boattail may not do you much good on a Brown bear hunt. The BT addition to a bullet only increases down-range velocity of bullets once you start stretching your shots past the 250 yd marker.
    Unless your guide is hunting in the great sand dunes or just hunts beaches you'll probably not see a bear at this range (350 yds); an alder will get in your way.


    • #3
      use the Barnes

      I had a factory .340 fail, it just vaporized in the elk on afognak from 300yrds, dont recall the bullet type, but I reload with all barnes now.
      Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs


      • #4
        a tough bullet...

        That big .340 case just begs for a tough 250 grain bullet. The 250 gr. Nosler Partition or 225 gr. X bullet will work. I really don't see anything over 2800 fps mv being a big advantage on a brown bear hunt. You want a deep penetrating bullet and a big hole. That boat tail bullet stuff is a bunch of catch the shooter stuff as far as I am concerned. Shooting over 200 yards at an unwounded brown bear is a good way to gain experience at tracking a wounded bear in the alders, no matter what were shooting. Nosler Partition, Swift A Frame or Barnes X bullets, shoot the heaviest one you can find into your brown bear. You have velocity to spare.


        • #5
          Good advice

          I 2nd the comments made by .338 mag. I've been using the .340 as a guide gun and personal use in Alaska for many years, and I have yet to be disappointed by the performance of a 250gr Nosler.


          • #6
            Thanks to all for your replies.

            The guide told me they often get shot at 200-300yds where we are going. I added 50 yards for safe measure. Maybe I am misstating or missunderstanding what he said. I'll ask.

            I would rather have a 250gr bullet, but the only factory one I know of is a NP, and I would rather have the Barnes, even if it's only a 225gr.

            I didn't mean to get caught up on the BT concept, except that most TSX bullets have a much higher BC than the .338 TSX one. This means that it is going to slow down a lot faster. I'm sure I will be more than fine with a number of options in .340, but that cartridge was designed to hit hard far away, and it just seems like a waste to take away that advantage with a less-aerodynamic bullet.

            I suppose I am down to these two options. I assume that either would work, but what would you guys choose?:

            COR-BON 225 GRAIN BARNES TSX – BC-0.386
            Range * Vel. * Impact * Energy
            0.00 * 3100 * -1.75 * 4801
            100 * 2851 * 2.27 * 4061
            200 * 2621 * 2.0 * 3432
            300 * 2404 * -3.38 * 2887
            350 * 2299 * -8.27 * 2641

            WEATHERBY 225 GRAIN BARNES TSX – BC-0.386
            Range * Vel. * Impact * Energy
            0.00 * 2970 * -1.75 * 4407
            100 * 2719 * 2.61 * 3694
            200 * 2488* 2.24 * 3093
            300 * 2270 * -3.78 * 2575
            350 * 2165 * -9.26 * 2342

            It sounds like most of you think that the lower-velocity Wby factory round has no advantage over the hotter Cor-Bon one for BB. Is that right?
            Thanks again for the comments and advice.


            • #7

              I'm sure your guide is trying to get you to prepare for what may present itself, I've never hunted with him I'm sure. I just related my own experiences with bears. Alaska is a big state and covers many types of terrain and field conditions.
              While on paper the Corbon ammo has an advantage I don't believe your intended quarry will know the difference.The normal way to increase the power of a round like this is by increaseing chamber pressure, which can lead to some problems, like sticky extraction. I've not used the Corbon ammo and while it maybe high quality ammo I'ld use what I'm used to. At 300 yards your difference is 1/2" elevation with 2500 lbs of energy. With proper bullet placement you should have 2 holes; 1 in/ 1 out.
              Your guide will get you what he feels is your best possible shot, then it's all up to you. SO PRACTICE; and not from the bench, shoot from different postions and and at various ranges. Get in good shape and have fun.


              • #8
                For BB hunting (as with all hunting), #1 is accurate placement, followed by a premium bullet (esp. for bear hunting). Take what you and your rifle shoot most accurately. The difference between a 225 TSX and a 250 NP is prob negligible if they both are equally accurate, but as much as I love the TSX's I would opt for the 250 NP as it is considered by many to be the gold standard for a mag 33 cal. For bear hunting forget that BT's exist.
                "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"


                • #9
                  Thanks brav01 and shphtr.

                  I will try all three and see which one I shoot more accurately, and go from there.


                  • #10
                    Nosler Partitions have one of the best reputations in bullet manufacturing and performance not mention lengthy history to back it up. Be careful what you read, many "hunting" magazines are vehicles for the manufacturers and their products.

                    I regularly shoot a .338WM with handloaded 225gr Partitions 2800fps MV, ( I have used the 250grn ) I have never recovered one. Last moose season I shot the biggest bull I have ever seen, estimated live weight 1600-1800 lbs. I caught this bull traveling during the afternoon across a meadow, got him to stop with a cow call. He turned to face me at a slight quartering angle, range 80ish yards. I put the bullet through the humerus about 2 1/2" below the joint connecting it to the scapula ( bone destroyed ) through 2 ribs, the heart, the stomach and into the intestines. I could have recovered that bullet but sifting through digestive matter isnt on my favorite things to do list. So, after traveling through very dense bone that partition still went approx 3 feet into the moose.

                    I would bet my life on bullet performance like that.

                    Another moose killed by my wife with a 30-06, handloaded 180 partitons,2650fps MV, range near 400yards. The bullet passed through scapula, ribs, ribs, offside scapula and onto the Alaskan landscape somewhere.

                    Partitions work and work well. There are better and more costly bullets to be had. If I ever get to Africa I will load those better and more costly bullets then.


                    • #11
                      Thanks 338 WM. I would rather use the 250gr based on your comments. More than necessary, I know, but it really carries well down range compared to the TSX:

                      WEATHERBY 250 GRAIN NOSLER PARTITION BC-0.473
                      Range * Vel. * Impact * Energy
                      0.0 * 2941 * -1.75 * 4802
                      100 * 2737 * 2.53 * 4159
                      200 * 2547 * 2.16 * 3601
                      300 * 2366 * -3.61 * 3108
                      350 * 2278 * -8.77 * 2881

                      If I'm going to have all of that recoil, I might as well take advantage of it down range. At 350 yards, it has the power of a 30-06 at the muzzle.


                      • #12
                        Despite your previous guide's comments, I think most Alaskan Brown Bear Guides would frown on shots in excess of 200 yds, and pretty much favor shots in the 50 to 150 (closer to 50 the better)yard range. There are multiple guides who read and occasional post on this forum - perhaps one or two will post their thoughts. Good luck on your hunt.
                        "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"


                        • #13
                          Thanks shphtr. My first question was why, if one had the perfect, supported prone shot with a sufficient rifle. So, I looked it up--skipped ahead to that part of Russ's book. The reason is the difficulty of the follow-up shot(s), right?

                          If so, I suppose either of the three loads I mentioned would all work fine. But I guess anything in the 250gr makes more sense than a lighter-faster bullet out to 200 yds.


                          • #14
                            Yup, yup. That first perfect shot needs to be followed by a second and third, etc. There are numerous accounts of bears running a 100 yds after having their heart bivalved by a bullet. After being shoot a bear will almost always head for the nearest alder patch. It is always a good thing when you DON'T have to follow a wounded bear into an alder thicket!
                            "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"


                            • #15
                              Wow! I just show the .340 Wby, and I love it. The most powerful shoulder-fired weapon I had ever fired was my 300 Win Mag (not counting the AT4 and the like), and I was getting a little worried about the stories of things like the .338 having too much recoil. Granted, my Mark V Accumark with the big scope (which I may need to swap out due to the windage knob--see other thread) and bipod, weighs about 11.5 lbs, and I put one of those $28 Cabela's shoulder pads (like a Past one I suppose) on, but the recoil didn't bother me at all. All my life, I wanted to fire one of the big magnums, but never had one, and figured it was too much to be reasonably comfortable.

                              At first, I shot the 200gr loads, and I realized it wasn't going to be a problem. I started shooting the 250gr NP 2,940 fps/4,800ft-lb loads, and they moved me a little more post-discharge, but with the pad, it didn't hurt the slightest.

                              I think the pad really made a difference. this alows me to practice and sight in without tremendous recoil knowing that, wihtout the pad in the field, I wouldn't feel the recoil of a 20mm cannon with a brown bear in my sights.

                              I had been second-guessing myself a little, wondering after I bought the rifle or if I had gotten in over my head. Only last December I hunted with some 12ga mag sabot slugs. When sighting in my rifled shotgun, I was like "wow, this sucks!" Maybe it's because the sabot plastic adds to the momentum (and thus recoil) and I was wearing a t-shirt (no pad) and the shotgun is lighter, but shooting 12ga sabot slugs, to me suck much more than shooting my 300 Win Mag or 340 Wby Mag. What a relief! I could only shoot at 50 yds because I was at the NRA range, but I was regulalry getting 3-shot groups that were either touching or within 1/2 inch at 50 yds. With how comfortable that gun was to shoot, and knowing that I won't anticipate or feel ANY recoil in the field, it's 250 gr heavy mag loads all the way. I know a ".17 will kill anything on the continent," but I just got a lot more comfortable with my rifle choice for brownies. 250 gr, almost 2,400 fps, and more-than 3,100 ft-lbs at 300 yds. Zero-inch groups at 50 yds (I will be practicing at longer ranges soon; probably have to go to WV). Anyway, I'm happy with my choice and no longer concerned about avoiding high-recoil loads.


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