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Old March 31, 2008, 04:04 PM   #1
Sportdog
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What Would Your Rifle Be?

OK, you've made the commitment to go on a Black Bear hunt on the coastal areas of British Columbia or Alaska. What would be your weapon of choice, considering style, material of rifle and stock, caliber/bullet combination, scope, and any other accessories you think the gun would need? Have fun with this. Thanks
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Old March 31, 2008, 04:15 PM   #2
Hawg
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For black bear my 98 Mauser in 30-06 with my handloads would be all I want.
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Old March 31, 2008, 04:24 PM   #3
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I think I'd call Ken up and see about getting one of those Master Guide's in 45-70, SS with the kelvar stock and prolly just a good peep sight.
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Old March 31, 2008, 04:24 PM   #4
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Yep a 30-06 is fine for Black Bears but if you are expecting to see any Brownies I would jump up to at least a .338 mag.
Just my $.02.
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Old March 31, 2008, 07:20 PM   #5
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Looks like my Ruger No. 1 in 45-70 gov't would fit the bill. I'd take some of the hotter, modern loads and be very confortable with it.

Might buy a .44 mag for my hip as a back up though since we are blue skying...
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Old March 31, 2008, 07:46 PM   #6
Hawg
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Quote:
Yep a 30-06 is fine for Black Bears but if you are expecting to see any Brownies I would jump up to at least a .338 mag.
Just my $.02.
My handloads out of a 26" barrel are right at a 300 mag. With heavy bullets they ought to work on browns too. Course I'm not the one goin bear huntin so I don't have it to worry about.
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Old March 31, 2008, 08:35 PM   #7
taylorce1
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OK, you've made the commitment to go on a Black Bear hunt on the coastal areas of British Columbia or Alaska.
Been there done that at least in Alaska and heading back in 09. Here is my limited experience since I've only killed one bear. Black Bears are not hard to kill, if you do your job with shot placement. I like the high shoulder shot on bears especially if hunting in or near thick timber, saves having to track a wounded animal that can and will bite or claw back.

Standard calibers work fine but would probably stay with a .270 class or larger rifle, might dip as low as a 6.5 on the low end. I chose the 06 using a 200 grain Nosler Partiton, 52 grains of H4350 and CCI large rifle primers. I chose 200 grain bullets because they were setting on the bench gathering dust. I do recommend a premium bullet though because if trying to break heavy bone like bear shoulders you want a bullet that will do it. I got a perfect golf ball size exit in the off side shoulder at 200 yards so the good ol Nosler performed perfectly.

I used a .30-06 M700 ADL for one reason only it was my only synthetic stocked rifle, would have liked to have used other rifles but these were extreme conditions I was hunting in. 200+ inches of rainfall in a year where I hunted, plus constantly riding in a metal boat and climbing rocks and thick forests will beat up a nice wood stock. Did I mention rain, it was very wet plus with all the salt water as I hunted coastal AK rust started very fast on my rifle. I recommend a Stainless and Synthetic rifle for this kind of hunt. This was a spot and stalk hunt if I'd been hunting over bait I might have brought one of my wood stocked rifles.

For a scope get a good one because there are no set hunting hours if you hunt AK. I used a 2.5-8X36 Leupold VXIII and was very pleased, I'm sure it took a beating on the plane ride and still held zero, not to mention the beating it took on the hunt. Plus it gathered in all the light I needed to make a good shot on my bear, it wasn't close to sunset but it was overcast that day. I'm not saying you have to use Leupold but don't be afraid to spend $3-400 on a good scope.

Good accessories to have for your rifle are lots and lots of Rem Oil wipes, bore snake, electrical tape for muzzle, sling, shooting sticks, and butler creek scope flip up scope caps. The rest of my recommendations will be for hunting coastal AK. Good things for you to have quality rain gear like Helle Hansen Impertech, ankle fit hip waders, good binoculars if spotting bears from off shore 10X at least, GPS w/spare batteries, maps and compass. Don't forget fire starter, lighters or water proof matches, rope or 550 cord, and a tarp. Good day pack with hydration bladder, and some easy to keep snack foods like pop tarts and granola bars. Dress in layers, wool is your friend cotton is bad, get good under ware for your base layer used some stuff called Wickers, way cheaper than Under Armor and it worked very well.

If you are going un-guided make sure you know how to properly skin the bear out. In AK you must have the head outside the hide to be sealed. You don't want to ruin your trophy by screwing up the skinning job. As soon as you get to town make arrangements to find some one to donate your meat to, as bringing it all home will be expensive if you are flying it. Most canneries in AK will freeze and box your hide and skull to fly back on the airline as an extra piece of luggage. They can send it back FedEx or UPS as well depending on the carrier that services that area.
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Old April 1, 2008, 12:36 AM   #8
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i'd take my bow.....and a sidearm but that would be it
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Old April 1, 2008, 12:39 AM   #9
hoytinak
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i'd take my bow.....and a sidearm but that would be it
When I reenlisted in the army I enlisted to go to AK, and I always wanted to go bear hunting with a bow in AK...hense my screen name "hoyt" in ak
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Old April 1, 2008, 01:03 AM   #10
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Look for the "12ga rifle from hell" in the "art of the rifle" forum
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Old April 1, 2008, 06:54 AM   #11
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I would go with my TC Encore in 45-70. I would probably pick up some synthetic stocks for it just for the fact that my wood ones are too nice to take out on that kind of trip. The barrel and frame are stainless so that is taken care of. I would probably keep my current setup of the KonusPro 1.5-5x32 scope on the rifle. It can always come off if I tear it up or something. Past that get some Buffalo Bore loads or work up some handloads if I had the time and take a bear.

From my knowledge of when I was in Kodiak it rained about 60% of the time I was up there. So given that much I would opt for a stainless/synthetic gun just to buck the weather...even though I hate the looks of them.

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Old April 1, 2008, 07:24 AM   #12
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I am thinking a Armalite AR-50 and a mule to carry it. Must be why I am not going
.
Sounds like a great time though. Watch them on the hunting shows. All I can say is you folks have bigguns. Good luck.
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Old April 1, 2008, 01:49 PM   #13
UniversalFrost
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lever action guide rifle in 45/70 with iron sights and a scope as well with see through mounts. SCope i would get would be a zeiss conquest (have several) or at the least a elite 3200. I would leave the scope at a simple 3-9x40 or around that range.
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Old April 1, 2008, 03:35 PM   #14
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Ruger M77 - .338 Win. Mag. w/elite 3200 3-9X40 is what I use. 225gr bullets.
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Old April 1, 2008, 03:36 PM   #15
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Marlin 336 in 30-30 using a 170 gr bullet is good medicine for black bear.
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Old April 3, 2008, 12:06 PM   #16
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In that scenario, my rifle of choice would be a Blaser R-93 Professional in 9.3x62 scoped with a Leupold VXIII 1.5-5 Illuminated reticle. My load of choice would be 55 grs Varget, Fed GM215M primer, under a 285 gr PRVI bullet in Lapua brass, and my secondary load would be 53 grs Varget, Fed GM215M primer, under a 250 gr Accubond in Lapua brass.
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Old April 3, 2008, 12:56 PM   #17
MaineColt
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I agree with HOYTINAK, 45-70 Guide rifle, peep or any other open sight. In that rifle, the reloads can be very stout.

Kev
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Old April 3, 2008, 01:15 PM   #18
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Smith and Wesson 460 XVR....
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Old April 6, 2008, 09:18 AM   #19
lt dan
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sportdog, can you help me. i have never seen a black bear or any bear.i thought of them to be massive. however if i see the feedback(i thought at least 375h&h, 416 rigby or bigger) on your qeustion i asume the blackbear is smaler than i thought and not as big as the grizly i see on tv. will a black bear atack? what does it weigh? what is the size of their teeth? is it mating season when you go hunting? will you hunt male or female? what is the normal distance for a kill and is this in the open or thick bush?
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Old April 6, 2008, 11:28 AM   #20
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Black bear are considerably smaller than grizzlies. On the east coast, bears weighing 300-500 pounds are the norm, But they do get bigger.

On the west cost they can get larger than that, but the black bears are still smaller than grizzlies.
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Old April 6, 2008, 02:56 PM   #21
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I would ask first, what do you presently have? Perhaps you already have what it takes. Bears are mostly hair. When you skin one, they are not that big, and are considered a thin skinned game. If you get a particularly large one in the fall, it just has more fat, and you need something that will penetrate that fat layer to get to the boiler room.

A .50 muzzle loader will send a patched round ball completely though one, so you dont need a cannon.

Again, what do you have available, or are you wanting to purchase something just for the trip?
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Old April 6, 2008, 05:40 PM   #22
bestbod85
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Thats easy I'd take my savage 111 30-06 with the leupold 3-9 scope and 220 grain nosler bullet ..... whooo that sounds fun
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Old April 6, 2008, 08:09 PM   #23
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?

I guess my Red Ryder would be out of the question?
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Old April 6, 2008, 08:54 PM   #24
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I use my ruger m77 in 338 win mag with a buris fullfield 2 3x9 250 gr nosler partition
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Old April 6, 2008, 09:47 PM   #25
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Just to answer some questions that some of the posters to this thread have asked I'll try to address them. First off, I have made up my mind that if there is one hunt that I want to make, this type of bear hunt is it! I'm in the pre-planning stages such as asking these types of questions, going over web sites of outfitters that offer this type of hunt, trying to create a network of people with first hand experience that are willing to share information, getting a solid idea of the cost so that I can make adjustments in my lifestyle if need be to up my "personal mad money" funds. What prompted this question is a result of a couple of web site outfitter pages that recommended rifle calibers. These outfitters recommended 338WinMag. As others on this thread have stated, even large black bears are taken with firearms with much less power than the 338WinMag. I'm not trying to get people on here to side against the outfitter recommendations, just trying to hear from folks on what they would consider ample firepower for this hunt. My personal arsenal right now consists of three 30-06's (two bolt, one semi-auto), a custom 8mm mauser, a bolt 7mmWSM, and a bolt 243. Myself, I think that with suitable ammo, all of these rifles would be up to the task with the exception of the 243. The 30-06 semi-auto is out for me if the range wasn't within 100 yards because the thing is just not very accurate. Of the four rifles left, the slight edge in accuracy goes to the 7mmWSM. Tied for second are the 8x57 mauser and the 22inch barrel 30-06. My 24" barrel 30-06 I just haven't shot enough to determine its ability to perform. Obviously if the outfitter that I end up choosing wants me to get a bigger rifle then I will reluctantly go along with it but I'm not really keen on spending the money or shooting a rifle with more recoil. I got rid of a 300WinMag because of recoil when I was a young buck but had little experience with high power rifles back then. None of my present rifles bother me but I don't care for my 3" 2oz turkey shotgun loads! This is not a life or death decision at this point. I was just throwing it out there for some information and see if anything would strike home to me. Information is valuable and important so that's why I'm putting this out there in cyber space. Thanks for the input so far. It is appreciated.
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