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Old May 25, 2010, 08:53 AM   #1
DanThaMan1776
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Going Camping...Ammo question

hey fellas... I'm going camping with a buddy in about a week (6 days) and I have a safety related question. I'm bringing a few guns because I called the park and the troopers and they all said it is okay for my buddy and I to shoot as long as we follow some guidelines. This is in bear country, so I will also leave a rifle loaded while we sleep just in case. That rifle is my RRA AR 15. I bought a ton of wolf 55gr for plinking and target shooting during the day. I also bought a box of Hornady 75 Gr TAP which I can leave in the gun overnights.

Now on to my question. I have heard that after firing wolf or other dirty steel cased ammo through AR 15s and then transitioning to brass means imminent jam. I don't have time to get to the range and test this in my gun before we leave so I figured some of you might know.

The idea is that since the wolf cases don't expand much, that allows for the dirty gases to clog up the chamber. This isn't a problem if you keep using wolf since it doesn't expand much. But if you transition to brass without cleaning, it will inevitably jam.

Is that true? I don't want to shoot wolf all day, then load up the TAP and actually need it only to have it jam after one discharge...

Anyone have any experience with this?
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:01 AM   #2
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It depends on what type of chamber you have. Is it a 5.56 or .223 chamber? If you have a 5.56 chamber and are shooting .223 ammo, you should be fine. I have never seen my AR jam with wolf ammo. I sometimes load a ton of different bullets in one magazine including wolf and the gun functions flawlessly. If you are still worried about a jam, just clean you chamber after you're done shooting.
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:03 AM   #3
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A 223 is not exactly the best thing to use against bear, but if that is all that you have, then it is better than nothing. Best advice I can give you at this point is to make sure you keep your food and garbage away from camp. The scent will attract them.
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:14 AM   #4
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If you're worried about bears, why are you taking a varmint rifle?
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:17 AM   #5
thesheepdog
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Quote:
If you're worried about bears, why are you taking a varmint rifle?
Yeah, you might want a 12 guage loaded with slugs or a .44 mag.
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:24 AM   #6
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Take a chamber brush and give it a quick cleaning after your wolf session.
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
A 223 is not exactly the best thing to use against bear, but if that is all that you have, then it is better than nothing.
Last summer traveling to Alaska it seemed to me I saw more locals with ARs in case or Grizzly than any other firearm. Seems the locals would know more that those traveling through.

An AR with 20 or 30 in the mag will stop any bear. I would think all shots would be close range or it wouldn't be an emergency. Maximum velocity, bullet penetration and wound cavitation would be expected at such close distances.
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:56 AM   #8
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Clean it, just for peace of mind.

Keep food away from camp hoisted in tree.

I don't know of many parks that allow target shooting. But between Fed's, state and local guess anythings possible.
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Old May 25, 2010, 10:40 AM   #9
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Last fall I was in Alaska and discussed this very issue with some local hunters. They said that is was not uncommon to see ARs in the bush, but the 12 guage slug shotgun was the best overall choice against bear. The caveat was to use brenneke slugs... not forsters because they are too soft.
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Old May 25, 2010, 10:56 AM   #10
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BTW TRguy: Do you seriously think you could even put 20-30 well placed rounds into a charging grizzly or any other bear that can close distance in seconds and often coming from behind or your blind side?? The whole point is that you MAY get just one or two shots off and they damned well better put the bear down fast or else you're gonna have a really bad day. My hunting guide in Alaska was pretty clear about the subject.
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:03 AM   #11
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I hope I am never in that situation, but if it is a stare down and the bear decides to charge I think I could get plenty of well placed shots

223 at close distance, is max velocity, penetration, and wound cavatation.

If you are jumped, blindsided, having no situational awareness, or just dumb luck I think ANYone would have trouble on the spur of the second to bring arms to bear (pun unintended) and get off successive shots and have them well placed.

But that goes for anything in life; Dark alley, parking lot, in the bush, or at your own home.
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:08 AM   #12
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[REDACTED]

Don't take it from me......directly from Alaskan Game and Fish...

Quote:
1.What is the best rifle to use for brown bear hunting?
Most experienced hunters consider a .30-06 rifle with a 180 grain soft-nosed bullet to be the smallest effective caliber for Kodiak brown bears. The .300 mag, .338 mag., and .375 mag. are popular and well-suited calibers. A waterproof rifle stock is also beneficial during a Kodiak hunt.

Don't wait until you get to camp to sight in your rifle. Sight in at the range and practice shooting from several positions. Knowing your own capabilities is as important as knowing how your rifle's ballistics.
http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index...diakfaqs#rifle

Last edited by Johnny Guest; May 25, 2010 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Silliness and personal insults removed but a bit of value remains
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:14 AM   #13
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Common sense can't be taught ! It's like trying to get a ducks skin wet , ain't gonna happen . A Ka Bar would serve one better than a .224 cal. anything against an enraged Grizzly .
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:20 AM   #14
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OP:

I've yet to see an AR, shooting Wolf or other steel cased ammo, make it through a 500 round 2-day shooting clinic without a failure that takes it off the line.

Hornady TAP is designed for people-level penetration. Not bear-level. .223 is supposed to fragment and expand when used for urban combat.

.223 is not meant to penetrate to the depths necessary to stop a 300+ pound bear, whether it is a black or brown bear.

I'd suggest looking for some sort of Nosler Partition or Hornady Interlock ammunition in .223, 60gr or heavier. Something at least marketed for deer hunting in states where .223 is legal for deer. Most .223 will fragment and explode in a deer's vitals, but the above two bullet designs might give mushrooming penetration instead of fragmentation. That's what you want with a bear. Penetration.

I'd suggest a magnum revolver, shotgun with slugs, or .30 caliber or larger rifle instead, though. If you don't have any of the above, then your AR loaded with situationally appropriate ammunition will have to make do.
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:20 AM   #15
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I tried real hard to think of anything constuctive to add..............my brain failed again......

what has worked best for me.......stay out of states with bears
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:20 AM   #16
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To bring the thread back to the OPs question, you sort of nailed it on the head TRguy. There is a reason why people wear bells, hang keys from their packs, and clap their hands when in bear country, myself included. Situational awareness only goes as far as you are able to be aware. Bears are often ambush attackers and are better at concealment than you think due to the environment they live in. I have personally been closer to bears than I ever cared to be and didn't know they were even there- and I was looking out for them since I was in their backyard with a pack full of food. So... back to the OP... carry an AR if you want, but do so at your own risk.
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Old May 25, 2010, 12:01 PM   #17
Tangentabacus
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If an AR is all you have for protection, bring it. Anything to get a bear to hesitate is good. I personally have made a charging bear turn tail and run by simply firing a round into the air. An AR is loud, and makes a good fuss when shot. It's enough to make the bear hesitate so you can try and convince it to not eat you.

At the same time, please carry a bigger gun with you. Another tip... I never go into the woods with only one gun. If you have another gun have someone else carry it just in case a bear decides to make a snack out of you. Unfortunately your gun will be part of the feast, maybe used as a tooth pick or fork of sorts by the bear. It's a good idea to have some sort of back up plan, even if it's your girl/boyfriend with a gun too.

I have only ever fired federal 5.56 75 grain out of my AR, so I can't really speak on experience with that subject.

Good luck! And, have a safe and fun camping trip(s) with your AR!!
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Old May 25, 2010, 12:21 PM   #18
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TR - What makes you think those AR's were .223, and not something along the lines of 6.5, 6.8, or 308?

This goes right along with the birdshot versus buckshot for HD arguments. You won't have time to fire 20-30 shots - you'll be lucky to get off one or two. If an AR is all you have - better than nothing; but I would prefer something more potent for close range work
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Old May 25, 2010, 12:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
oneonceload typed - TR - What makes you think those AR's were .223, and not something along the lines of 6.5, 6.8, or 308?
as to the 308, they look totally different and receivers are larger

as to if they were 6.5 or 6.8;

The folks i saw with AR were Inuits, and I bet they struggled to get enough money to pay for their ARs. Let alone spending extra on Grendel Upper or paying extra for SPC ammo. But if you really want to know I am sure they would welcome you to Alaska to take a survey as to what percentage are 5.56, 6.5, and 6.8 seeing it is a burning questions in your mind.
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Old May 25, 2010, 12:46 PM   #20
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I'm not much of a hunter,once or twice a year and i refuse to use anything less than a shotgun with a rifled slug barrel.I bought a mossberg 500 12 pump with a rifled slug barrel already attached for 169.00 at walmart and haven't looked back.It's reliable and served me well even when camping in black bear country,though i have never had to shoot a bear,i'm sure it would be successful at close ranges especially with 400 grain winchester platnuim tips.I have a reddot sight that will put my shots within 3 inches at 125 yards every time.

When i get home from such camping trips i clean it and change the barrel to a 18 1/2 open bore,add my tactical shotgun light and i have a scatter gun for h/d.you will never get this kind of versatilty from a rifle or handgun.

So with all thats been said,if you have a good handgun(.357 4 inch,.44 mag,10mm,.500 S&W)and a rifled slug shotgun you would be a whole lot better off.
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Old May 25, 2010, 01:16 PM   #21
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Oneoldsap makes an important point....hunting a bear is totally different than stopping a motivated bear.
IN re OP...good luck.
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Old May 25, 2010, 01:29 PM   #22
oneoldsap
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Well thank you ? Are there more Grizzlies in N.C than there are in Alabama ?
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Old May 25, 2010, 01:44 PM   #23
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I can't help reading these bear threads, but it's like driving past a car accident where you can't stop yourself from rubbernecking. Instead of blood and gore, you see... a lot of silliness.

The odds of shooting yourself in the foot while sleeping with your AR is much higher than the odds of a black bear attacking you in your tent. Have fun shooting your AR, but relax about the bears.


Last edited by kodiakbeer; May 25, 2010 at 01:50 PM.
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Old May 25, 2010, 01:48 PM   #24
DanThaMan1776
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Enough with the ad hominem arguments... I would like an answer and that won't happen if the thread gets shut down.

To answer the many questions I have missed: I do have a break barrel single shot 12 gauge that I am bringing, however I figured that If I were to need a gun for bear defense, follow up shots will be critical and a single shot won't suffice. The next best gun is the AR, because besides that all I have is a 22 lr and a 9mm.

A bear's skin ain't thick enough to stop a 75gr bullet going 2800 fps. A bear isn't a mystical creature. I am an excellent shot (not to brag), and I have been in stressful situations and kept calm. I can confidently say that if a bear charged me I would be able of putting several (maybe even a dozen depnding on how far the bear was) well-aimed in it. I have never been charged by a bear, but I can hit a moving silhouette the size of a grape fruit at 50 yards with my AR.

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_De...nch_barrel.jpg

We are talking about the top-line ammo for 5.56 on a lethal basis.
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Old May 25, 2010, 01:50 PM   #25
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Wow.....

Guy just asks a question about Wolf ammo and it veers off into Kodiak brown bears and Inuits in Alaska......

Did the guy say he was camping in Alaska? Did he say he was camping west of the Mississippi?

I've been in bear country a few times....avid hiker and Flyfisher. Ran into a few bear along the way to. You want to know the scariest encounter.

Along the Russian river in AK. As I'm fishing I keep seeing people with sidearms and long guns on their backs. Which is perfectly fine to each his own. So I'm fishing a hole with salmon in it and out comes a bear looking at the same hole I'm fishing about 20 feet away. I about crap my pants. The only thing I can think of is all these people with weapons opening fire up the valley with such narrow walls and rocky stream bottom think of all the ricochets. Quickly look around and no one is in site, thank goodness. That bear was the least of my worries.


Every time I read all these " YOU MUST HAVE A CANNON" so when you run in to a "KODIAK" bear you'll be prepared. I think of that fishing trip and get a chuckle.

How about just being smart.

For the people in AK I realize you're in a different environment and need to take precaution but for most of the people on this thread, goodgrief.
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