View Full Version : Black Bears and the .243 Win

February 7, 2008, 05:03 PM
Anyone using the .243 Win on Black Bears? Seems to me to be a bit on the light side but over bait using 100 grain bullets....should get the job done....what do you think?

February 7, 2008, 05:31 PM
i know from my on experience the 243 will kill black bear. the problem i have with the round even with corelock bullets is that you don't always get an exit wound. even a heart shot bear can run 50 yards. in the woods that could be enough for you not to be able to find him. i don't like head shots on bear since it tends to mess up the skull. and finally i like the big bore, short barrel, lever guns. these just say, "go bear hunting."

Art Eatman
February 7, 2008, 11:00 PM
thicker hides and bones; thicker body than deer. Were I to use a .243, I think I'd use a 100-grain Nosler or Barnes bullet for better penetration or bone-break or exit wound...


February 8, 2008, 01:14 AM
The .243 will take down a bear and I agree about the Nosler :D

February 8, 2008, 06:33 AM
While I agree that the .243 will kill a bear the issue, as already mentioned, of a exit wound seems important.

Something with a heavier bullet that will go through sounds better. Doesn't have to be some sort of magnum just something with a heavier well constructed bullet that will go through. It's the same thought process we use with hogs here. The woods are thick and we don't want to lose them.

February 8, 2008, 01:30 PM
Whenever I go after game that has the propensity to scratch and bite or at least come over and personally discuss the fact that I poked a hole in it's hide I prefer bigger bullets and heavy construction. The 243 will kill a black bear, but the opportunity for the bear to escape and/or come back to bite you with a less than perfect shot is a definite possibility. My springoff wants to go bear hunting but not until I get him a bigger rifle than the 243. He shoots the smallbore like a sniper, but the bullet hole is little bigger than a 22, and nobody goes after bruins with a 22. Even with premium bullets you are handicapping yourself, and making a clean one shot kill on game is the goal of ANY ethical hunter. Pick a bigger, better caliber and save the 243 for deer and coyotes.

February 8, 2008, 01:43 PM
i killed a 300 pounder with a 105 round nose corelokt 243. worked fine but would'nt be my first choice

Jack O'Conner
February 19, 2008, 06:06 PM
I've only taken three black bears which does not make me an expert. First one was approx 350 lbs taken with Glenfield 30-30 in the foothills of Bighorn Mts. One broadside shot through both lungs at about 125 yards or so ended it.

Second bear was approx 275 lbs taken on a moose hunt in Saskatchewan, Canada. One .308 shot through both lungs ended it.

Last bear was approx 300 lbs and taken in Hoover Wilderness of California. One .308 bullet shot through both lungs at approx 75 yards toppled the bruin.

My impression is that a double lung hit with Remington core-lockt ammo is quite effective indeed.