View Full Version : The best .308 black bear round?

January 16, 2000, 01:45 PM
I was thinking about taking up black bear hunting this year in Pa. I want to make sure I kill it humanly and without time to attack.

I was looking at winchester's failsafe round. I don't reload so it will have to be a factory round. Thanks a lot.

January 17, 2000, 08:36 AM
I used to live in Alaska and can tell you that the Remington CoreLok 180grain bullet in factory ammo will work on BLACK bear just fine. Not sure what rifle you will be using, but suggest a bolt gun or lever type and not one of those semi's. Black bear can be very unpredictable and it would be nice if the rifle performs properly EVERY time.
With a well placed shot, and they should all be well placed on game, the black bear will go down for the count w/ the 308 and a good energy imparting bullet.

Long Path
January 17, 2000, 09:26 AM
My father had good results with the Sierra 165 GameKing HP in a down-loaded .30-06 load (say about 2750 fps) on a large CO black bear. One shot behind the shoulder brought down the bruin. This is pretty duplicable in .308. Oops! I see that you don't reload...

Winchester FailSafe .308 has a wonderful reputation among everyone I've ever met who used it. Unfortunately, it's so very expensive, it's hard to make yourself practice with it enough. Pick up a couple of boxes of lesser-priced ammo of the same bullet weight and aprox. velocity and put in some good practice before using the FailSafe to find out where your exact point of impact is. I know you knew that, but sometimes we think "I can't afford to buy any more ammo-- I just spent $60 on 40 rounds of the good stuff!" [grin]

The Hornady Light Magnum gives good results to some people, but some rifles don't like it as much as others. What rifle are you looking at using?

Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?


[This message has been edited by Long Path (edited January 17, 2000).]

January 17, 2000, 11:14 AM
Long Path,

I plan on using my Winchester M70 heavy varmint. I know it's heavy to use for stalking bear (about 12.5 w/scope & fully loaded) but i'm only 23 so it doesn't bother me too much. Thanks for the info guys.

Long Path
January 18, 2000, 08:48 AM
You'll do fine. Practice field positions!

I take my Sendero up and down the mountains of Colorado looking for Elk, and it's about the same weight, scoped, slung, and buttcuffed. Joy of being young and over-sized.

January 19, 2000, 03:05 PM
I'd go with a heavier bullet like a remmington factory core-lokt 180. Penetration is key with large game and you are likely to be "brush shooting" in PA. Remember PA is NOTHING like colorado you will be looking at thickets and vines and all kinds of undergrowth very UNLIKE Colorado. That 12.5 Pound "Goat-Sniper" rifle might NOT be the rifle you want for PA bears.

I know if i go Bear hunting in WVa I'm taking my 870 and a slug barrel and 2 3/4 1 ounce winchesters.

For Colorado I use a 30-06 with those 165 grain sierra game king bullets for deer, antelope, elk, bear, prarie dogs, badgers, and just about anything else. Ok if I was gonna hunt moose here I'd get 220 garin bullets or a .375.


Long Path
January 19, 2000, 05:28 PM
Ah, but Dr. Rob, I believe the young man is implying that he's using what he's got, and he's spent his pennies on a heavy .308, so that's what he's got. I understand-- I've done it a lot, too. But I've got to agree with Rob that you could do a lot worse than an 870 with slug barrel for brush hunting, if you know all of your shots would be under 100 yds. Used 870s are thick on the ground for under $200, and slug barrels are only about $100, new. So, for around $300, you've effectively increased your armory by the equivilant of 2 guns! Always a worthy investment! If your shots will be under 75 yards, you could shop for a vent-rib 870 and pick up some screw-on open sights like I did from Brownell's for about $35, and you can get reasonable accuracy with those and your original barrel.

Not trying to dissuade you from blooding your Winchester .308, just pointing out that there are options, very reasonably priced. As for effectiveness, all of these options are just fine.