Idaho Spring Bear bullet choice

christian1

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 25, 2021
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176
Location
SE Wisconsin
Posted in reloading forum, but I am trying here as well. Need to come up with reloads for upcoming spring bear hunt. Taking my Christensen 300 Win Mag. Outfitter says he likes big holes because while black bears die fairly easily, they can slide down hill a long ways after shooting them. He says the fur tends to soak up a lot of blood which makes blood trailing more difficult. I am planning to limit shots to under 400 yards.

Given that, I don't think I am needing a really "tough" bullet. Probably looking for a 165 grain bullet that will leave a big exit hole. I have a box of Nosler Partitions left, but that's it. This would probably be the bullet I would go to if I could find them in stock. Any suggestions? Other bullet options?

chris
 

MillenialHunter

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Jul 24, 2021
Messages
34
A 300 win with any grain partition will kill them dead.

This spring my buddy shot his medium sized bear with a 300 grain Berger from his lapua and it still ran and ended up rolling down hill.

I shot my larger bear with a 145 lrx and it basically went straight down and didn’t run at all but still rolled a ways down hill.

Basically the same shot placement on both. You just never know how quickly they’ll go down. Some just don’t want to give up the ghost as easy.
 

CanyonHunter

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Jul 25, 2021
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37
Hammer hunters, have yet to find a rifle that doesn’t like them. I like them over Barnes because they break apart instead of mushroom.
 

LightFoot

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Feb 21, 2016
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1,144
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Texas
You want a mono-metal or partition-type bullet.

If you can find some Swift A-Frame bullets, that would be the best option for a tough bullet that is almost guaranteed to exit. The Federal Terminal Ascent is probably just as good and way more aerodynamic.

Barnes, Nosler, or Hornady mono-metal is probably second best.

Hammer bullets are worth a shot because they are designed to first, shed petals, and then drive the remaining core all the way through.

I would avoid cup and core bullets, since they are less likely to exit. That means no to the Hornady ELDs, Bergers, and such.

I would trust and hunting bullet 150 grains or bigger on Black Bears out of my 300 win. If it were me, demanding a big exit wound... 180 TTSX. (Which is all I could find right now)

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IowaNative

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Joined
Jan 1, 2022
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19
I load 175 LRX in my BAR 300 WM. I got it shooting .85 groups at 100 and 3.2 @300 which is probably me lol. Out of a gas autoloader I felt that's amazing, and bonus is I can use it on elk/deer
 

LWatts

Newbie
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Messages
3
Posted in reloading forum, but I am trying here as well. Need to come up with reloads for upcoming spring bear hunt. Taking my Christensen 300 Win Mag. Outfitter says he likes big holes because while black bears die fairly easily, they can slide down hill a long ways after shooting them. He says the fur tends to soak up a lot of blood which makes blood trailing more difficult. I am planning to limit shots to under 400 yards.

Given that, I don't think I am needing a really "tough" bullet. Probably looking for a 165 grain bullet that will leave a big exit hole. I have a box of Nosler Partitions left, but that's it. This would probably be the bullet I would go to if I could find them in stock. Any suggestions? Other bullet options?

chris
I shot a mature Boar Bear in Idaho last year with a 338 win mag and Barnes 210 TTSX. Shot when in the front inside the shoulder angling towards the rear and ended up against the hide in the groin. 30 inches of penetration and a properly mushroomed bullet with little or no loss of mass. Bear took two leaps and folded, dead in 5 seconds
 

amassi

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Joined
May 26, 2018
Messages
2,056
You guys are hunting black bears right and not grizzly? A bean bag with legs and big soft organs
Don't overthink bullet choice and for the love of God Don't shoot the shoulders to try and "break em down" that's why the myth of hard to kill black bears exists

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Bc7mm

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Jun 25, 2022
Messages
7
We shoot a lot of black bears in central British Columbia. 2 tags a year for as long as I can remember. Seen them taken with everything from a 6mm rem to a 375. We only use magnums because we happen to have them for elk and moose. Don‘t put It in through the shoulder and they are pretty easy to put down In my opinion. take out the lungs they fall down really quick. Only once have I had to track and shoot a wounded bear, the cause was bullet failed to expand. We have taken well over 30 bears in as many years. We don’t shoot them in the shoulder except if it is on exit. We’ve taken bears to 6’6” nose to tail. Any decent 165 - 180 bullet in a 300 mag will work just fine.

- 6mm rem 105 Gr speer
- 270 win 130 Winchester factory load
- 25-06 rem 120gr
- 30-06 150gr federal blue box
- 270 win 140gr
- 7x57 145gr speer
- 7MM mag 140tsx
- 7mm STW 162gr hornady
- 308 win 180gr federal blue box
- 300 win mag 165 tsx

these are some of the ones I’ve seen used, all through the boiler room, all done on approach. The 7 STW was the bullet failure. It required me putting it down in the thick stuff when I caught up with it at about 100 yards from the first shot.
 

Bc7mm

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Jun 25, 2022
Messages
7
Not a bad idea to checkout a picture of a bears vitals. a Bit different than a deer. i Usually aim slightly back on a bear. If you don’t generally hunt on more vertical ground might want to have a look at bullet drop charts up or downhill. Rarely is this an issue but understanding how it changes may help on steep angles with longer ranges. I shot a big black bear in a steep slide many years ago. Long shot but because of the angle I aimed where I wanted to hit and the bear tumbled when hit. Bullet hit exactly where I was aiming.
 

MHWASH

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Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
490
Location
S.E.WA
In my experience, the monos don't make big holes, but they do usually exit. On bears we've switched to Ballistic tips in our 270's. Since you're not shooting far you'll be fine with Partitions, Accubonds or even Bergers.
 

Honyock

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Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
393
Location
Edmond, OK
Nosler Partiions. They are not the sexiest choice, but I've never had one fail when it was put where it needs to go.
 
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