View Full Version : black bear cartridge choice

March 7, 2005, 08:58 PM
I am planning a black bear hunt in B.C. Thought I might use a .308-I have a compact /Winchester post-64 claw action that would be easy to carry. I have a .300 Win Mag if I need to. Anyway, any thoughts on adequacy of the .308. Thought about a 165 grain Nosler Partition at 2700 fps.

March 7, 2005, 09:51 PM
What sized bear ? The biggest bear in PA top 800 lbs !! The .308 nosler ought to do well on most blacks. If you want a real gun , then get a 45-70 !!.

March 7, 2005, 09:56 PM
id opt for the .300 if its in your arsenal.

March 8, 2005, 11:52 AM
Just me, but I'd want a good 180-190 grainer definitely, from a .308, if the bears get to any good size where you're going.

Mike Irwin
March 8, 2005, 11:58 AM
Some years ago a guy in Pennsylvania took a 500 pound black bear in Potter County. I was a reporter working for the local paper at the time, so I went out to interview him.

IIRC he used a .308 with a 150-gr. soft point bullet.

Many, many black bear have been taken with rounds in the .30-30 power class over the years.

.308 will do just fine.

March 8, 2005, 07:19 PM
the .308 will do the trick, and I don't think you need 'premium' bullets. A good Core-Lokt Remington should do just fine. Bear are not shot at long distances, and are thin skinned.

March 12, 2005, 11:42 PM
I was just wondering were'bouts in bc are you planing on goin i live on vancouver island myself and i am planning on my first hunting trip this spring with my shooting coach to go after black bear and i'll probably be goin with my 30-30 as it is my only rifle right now but i might end up goin with a mosin if i can get the money together to buy it. anyways i would appreciate it if you would kep me informed on how you do and where you harvest you bear thnaks

March 13, 2005, 08:23 PM

If you have a .300, take it and bring premium 180-200 grain bullets. Although the .308 and other calibers have been used to kill bears, they're not what most would consider an optimal cartridge.

If you're going on a guided hunt, your guide's gonna be a lot happier seeing you bring a .300 than a .308. BC is pretty tough country and is quite thick in some areas I believe - you may not get an "optimal" broadside shot at your bear, you may be forced to take a less ideal shot, and you may only GET one shot - that's where the higher power and premium bullet with the .300 will show its mettle. I'd consider using Barnes X, Swift A Frame Safari Grade, or Trophy Bonded Bear Claw.

Good luck, and good hunting!


March 13, 2005, 09:45 PM
you see this as a dilemma--- which rifle do you use and is the .308 a good enough round.

i see a golden opportunity to visit your local gun shop. what you need my friend is a lever action marlin in .45-70

March 14, 2005, 08:56 AM
A very good friend of mine up north lives by his bolt 270. He has hunted Black Bear in Michigan and Canada for over 30 years now. He swears that the 270 he used 90% of his bears taken has been his best rifle. He is over 15 bears taken now in that time frame. He says a number of reasons attribute his pick to a 270 bolt. Velocity, energy, flat shooting, many choices of manufactures of ammunition and so on. He feels so sure of this rifle he said it is his pick for any North American animals. He did state he wouldn't tangle with any other bears larger than the Blackie though.

March 15, 2005, 01:38 PM
If it wasn't clear from my original post, what I was getting at is yes, .308 should be plenty o' medicine, but for big'uns, I'd go 180 or heavier - that's just me (and I've never hunted bear, so that's theoretical too).