View Full Version : 30-30 black bear load

August 3, 1999, 05:35 PM
Is 30-30 adequate for black bear? I'm not at all familiar with the caliber, but a friend asked, and I figure this is the best place to get the info. If the 30-30 is adequate, what load would be best?


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Art Eatman
August 5, 1999, 03:57 PM
Argle. This is one of those ambiguous replies, me not being a bear expert. It seems that bears' weights tend to range mostly from 200 to 400 pounds, from what I read in the huntin' mags. They are a heavier-boned animal than a deer.

So, I'd call a thutty-thutty marginal, at best. Obviously, if the range is inside of fifty yards and your friend is an excellent shot, he'd probably do okay. Some folks are happy with .44 Mag or .45 Colt, with heavy bullets, from what I've read...

I'd rather be over-gunned than under-gunned, since I hate trailing wounded game. I don't want something to get away and suffer. All that sort of stuff.

I'm not about to argue with anybody who's "been there", but my own 'druthers would include an '06 with heavy bullets, or one of the .35s of some sort...


August 6, 1999, 02:33 PM
What kind of bear hunting is your friend going to do? (1)Kill a bear over bait or with hounds at 20 yards or (2)hunt the edges of apple orchards and corn fields. If (1) is his method then the 170 grain bullets will be perfect. If (2) is his method then a 30-06 or 7 mm Mag should be the absolute smallest rounds used. Here in NC there are bears killed every year from 125 pounds all the way up to 700 pounds. (Yes they are documented)He has to ask himself is he willing to watch a big one walk away. My next door neighbor is a bear hunting fanatic and he will not use anything under a 300 Win. Mag.

[This message has been edited by CapeFear (edited August 06, 1999).]

August 6, 1999, 04:46 PM
I would say any shot at a bear would be under 50 yards. We are going to attempt to call a bear. I suppose the range could go to 100 yards, and if we saw one further away than that, we wouln't shoot, but would probably try to move closer. I will have my .308, and he his 30-30.

So, what about the .308 at ranges to 100 yards? Load suggestions? Right now it's zeroed at 100 yards with Winchester Silvertip 180 gr.

Art Eatman
August 6, 1999, 08:40 PM
For most non-magnum hunting rifles, 2" high at 100 yards will put you pretty close to "on" at 200 and around 6" low at 300. With a .308 and the 180-gr, you'd be a bit lower than that, but not enough to worry about.

This sort of sight-in means you can just "point it and pull", with no particular worry about hold-over, or "Is he 150? 200? Duh?"

Obviously, if you already know you'll be shooting at under 150 yards, you'll do just fine just as you are.

Go practice! And not with a benchrest! Milk jugs and soda cans at 50 to 75 yards, off-hand and sitting, for instance.

Have fun!


August 10, 1999, 11:01 AM
Well the 30-30 is a moot point now. He bought himself a Savage in 30.06. I'm sure that will work.