I'm not a bear guide nor do I have any claim to "The Truth"
But I do have an opinion.
Based on a long ago American Rifleman test article,a .308 is as good up close on a bear as a hi-vel 30 magnum.This may have changed a little as bullets have evolved,but,bullet for bullet in the tests the .308 delivered the most dependable,deepest wound channels at close range,in media.Bullets can perform in a more reliable manner at .308 velocities than a .300 ultra mag velocities at close range.
The message was the difference between a .308 and a .300 Win mag is range,not the class of beast you will effectively take.
I will assume you will have a guide.I suggest contacting the guide and discussing it.Experience counts.
Seat of my pants,no experience,by reputation,a .338 Win Mag might come in on the lower end.Proper bullets,guide says "Shoot him here"
Hard to argue with a .375 H+H or equiv.Shooting well is important.For a lot of folks,the .375 is as large of a rifle as can be shot well.The bullets/loads have been sorted out and proven.
IMO,I would not pursue the long range high vel versions of the larger cals.
Will you be shooting at 300 yds?I would guess not.No need for the recoil of 2900 fps.
Big bullets work well at 2000 to 2400 fps.
I have never even held a .404 Jeffries,it would be tough to find ammo,etc.I'm not suggesting a .404 Jeffries is the way to go.Probably not!Just from reading,I have the idea it is enough without being too much.
Once again..talk to the outfitters.I'm having fun,writing here...but like most ,I don't have any big bear experience.
Last edited by HiBC; June 8, 2012 at 03:02 AM.