View Full Version : Would a .243WSSM do the job

September 26, 2007, 06:28 PM
I have a Winchster bolt action chambered in .243WSSM, my question is would you iuse this for black bear in Pa? if so what bullet do you sugest? if not what what would u hunt with that caliber???????

September 26, 2007, 08:37 PM
If you do your job the .243 WSSM will kill a black bear. I've only shot one and I chose a .30-06 for the job loaded with 200 grain Nosler Partitions. Bullet selection will be the key here I'd go with the heaviest grain bullet available in Nosler Partition/Accubond, Swift Scirocco, Barnes TSX, or Speer TBBC. I'm guessing you will be shooting from a stand and the range will be close so you will want a bullet that will hold together at your velocity.

I really don't have too much experience with premium bullets other than Partitions and all I can say is that they work. Try and knock your bear down with the first shot, I aimed for a high shoulder on mine and dropped him in his tracks. This means you will need to break bone so a premium bullet is a must.

The only problem I see with the .243 caliber on bears is that they don't leave a very big exit wound. I found that my bear wasn't hard to kill but, I really don't want to have to track anything that is wounded with large teeth and claws through the forest. If you have another caliber that is larger or could afford to purchase one, you might consider it.

September 26, 2007, 09:21 PM
It will do the job, but a slightly larger caliber would be better. If you use it, think shot placement. I'd go with good old 100 gr bullets.

September 26, 2007, 09:44 PM
yeah well slightly largr caliber i have a 45/70 lever maybe i'll use that one

September 27, 2007, 07:15 AM
Perfect!! A 45-70 isn't as flashy as the .243 WSSM but it would be the better choice here. There will not be any doubt when you hit a black bear with that in the vitals, he will be going home with you. Good luck on the hunt and post pics of your bear!

September 27, 2007, 08:08 AM
45/70 is a MUCH better choice, its just about made for closer range black bear hunting. It'll shoot a hard cast bullet from snout to tail and leave a big hole. I love my 6mm for deer with 95gr Nosler partitions. I believe it would do the job on a bear, but I would definitely go with the bigger caliber.

Art Eatman
September 27, 2007, 09:29 AM
I'd go with a premium 100-grain bullet. My reasoning is that deep penetration through a thicker hide and in heavier bones is more likely to be needed than is the case with whitetail deer. So, a bullet that doesn't quickly come all apart seems the way to go.