View Full Version : which caliber for deer/black bear?
March 21, 2002, 10:17 AM
I will be doing some Deer hunting this fall on the East coast. I have been told the license will allow me to shoot a bear or deer if I so choose. I have three rifles to choose from, a 300win mag with 26in barrel, 270win with 22in barrel or a marlin 336 in 30/30. 300 and 270 are scoped 30/30 isn't. I have been told that all shots should be under 100 yards. Which gun should take? I want to get an early start practicing with the rifle I may take.
March 21, 2002, 11:36 AM
My vote goes to the .270
I like these rounds alot. I don't know how they would do on Black Bear. But the .300 seems overboard to me and I don't care for .30-.30 that much.
March 21, 2002, 03:51 PM
Since you'll be either sitting or sneaky-snaking, and with those close shots, the .300 is a waste of time--and that long barrel isn't handy in the brush or woods.
Good odds that you'll get shots in poor light at early morning or late evening, so a scope is a Very Good Thing. 3X or 4X or a low-powered variable would be my choice, FWIW.
So, I'd pick the .270 with either 130-grain or 150-grain...The 150s for bear, anyway, I guess.
March 21, 2002, 04:27 PM
.270 Win. I have a good friend in Maine and that's all he uses for both deer and Black bear and he puts meat in his freezer every Fall. I think his 'scope is a Burris 1.5 x 5??
March 21, 2002, 07:58 PM
The .270 will do just fine where you are going. Get it tuned up because hunting season will come back around before you know it. :)
March 21, 2002, 08:00 PM
What state and what region will you be hunting in? Here in the East it is mostly dense woods but the terrain can vary depending where you will be. For deer and black bear you can leave the 300 at home but the .270 and 30-30 are both viable options. Last September I saw a 504 lb. black bear taken in Sandwich, NH with a T/C Contender pistol in 30-30 so it is definitely adequate.
The .270 would be real nice if you will be near some clear-cuts or power lines. I'd bring both with me and leave my options open.
By the way, this past Winter has been real mild so the deer herd should be healthy and numerous. The bear hunting is always good if you know where to go.
March 21, 2002, 08:43 PM
Sounds to me like the real key may be the scopes. I would vote for low power and good glass for woods hunting.
What do you have on the two scoped rifles?
March 21, 2002, 08:46 PM
I will be in the Adirondacks of New York. I was told by my friend that lives there that most shots on deer or if a good bear wanders by will be short. I was leaning toward the .270. My 300win model 70, I shoot the most and it loves 200gr. partitions but I had pretty much ruled it out as to big and bulky for the short ranges I may encounter. I think I will start working up so loads for my new .270. I pretty much think, from looking through gun literature, that I should load the 150's as they are more versitile for the black bear if I should get a chance at one. Thanks for the input, it really helped me make a decision on which to use, which I am terrible at deciding, just to many guns to choose from. Probably a good problem!:D
March 21, 2002, 08:50 PM
oh, scopes, I have a Leupold vari x III on my 300 (3.5x10 power) and I just put a Redfield Golden Five star 3x9 on the Rem 700 in .270win. My 30/30 wears a peep sight.
March 21, 2002, 10:35 PM
.270 the GUN is better suited to the task.
I would go with 150 Grain Nosler Partitions out of it.
A FAST bullet up close can REALLY screw up a lot of meat!
Tame that by useing a sub 3000 FPS bullet.
March 23, 2002, 01:52 AM
YOU CAN'T GO WRONG WITH THE 30/30.
JUST FIND A HEAVY SOFT POINT YOUR RIFLE LIKES AND PRACTICE.
BTW, SOME OF THE NEW 150 GRAIN H.P. WORK TOO WELL ON LARGE DEAR. EXCESSIVE MEAT DAMAGE!!
'01 SEASON FIRST BUCK I RUINED A SHOULDER WITH THE EXIT WOUND ON A 190LB.'ER AT AROUND 120 YDS.
I WATCHED A FRIEND TAKE A 350LB. BEAR IN W.VA. A FEW YEARS AGO AT ABOUT 95YDS. WITH 1 SHOT, BEAR DIDN'T GO MORE THAN 15-20 YARDS!!!
March 23, 2002, 11:52 AM
Good to hear someone who mentioned some positives on the 30/30. I got my marlin 336 about a month ago, because of the beautiful stock on it(older rifle). Not a huge fan of the 30/30 although I am still thinking about packing it with me this fall. Seems everyone says not to use it, most explain why as if I had asked if a BB gun would be sufficient for deer. I think I need to see what the 30/30 is made of for myself.
March 23, 2002, 04:04 PM
The only drawback to iron sights is the very-early morning or the very-late evening shot. Scopes keep you from mistaking an aveage buck for Ol' Biggie, and occasionally turn what looks like a bear or deer into a real, live human being.
Outside of that, at 100 yards the .30-30 is probably as good as the .300.
March 23, 2002, 04:32 PM
The .30-30 has taken more deer and black bear than any other cartridge PERIOD.
The .270 and .300 WinMag are great for open country where shots will be long. But for brush country and forests you will be making shots at under 100 yards, many shots will be under 30 yards. Thus you need something that will not destroy so much meat when shooting game at such close range.
The .30-30, .32 Special, .303 Savage are the class of rifles you want for close to medium range.
March 23, 2002, 07:00 PM
......as long as you are in the woods. Also, iron sights are no particular disadvantage, in the woods.....only thing quicker is them red-dots. Oh and you had BETTER be sure of what you are looking at BEFORE you mount your gun.......can you imagine how YOU would feel if someone "scoped" you?
March 26, 2002, 10:59 AM
Why not take both the .270 and the .30-30?
The scoped .270 would be better for early morning on the stand.
Grab the .30-30 outta the truck for walking around during mid-day,
when the deer are bedded down (plus, those NY mts are pretty steep).
Then pick up the .270 again on the way out to your evening stand.
If you can only travel to NY with one rifle:
- the scoped .270 is the better rifle for filling your tag under most conditions
- the .30-30, if you want a bigger hunting challenge.
But, use heavy bullets no matter which rifle you take;
- Federal Premium 170 Nosler Partitions for the .30-30,
- a premium 140-150 grain bullet in the .270
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