View Full Version : Good appalachain black bear caliber

December 13, 2011, 07:22 PM
I WAS looking into a 45-70 but I was told that it would make a lot of good meat rendered useless. So noe i am thinking either a 30-30 or .35 remington. I am dead set on a lever action rifle, I was told that bolt action is almost always better because you can keep your line of sight... BUT I seem to keep my sights on target better with a lever action. Any caliber suggestions? I would also like to be able to hunt deer and hogs with the same rifle.

December 13, 2011, 07:40 PM
I would think that a .35 Remington would be plenty of gun for Black bear.

December 13, 2011, 07:47 PM
to me it would depend on where you is hunting and how far you plan on shootin...You can't beat a 12ga. shot gun with a good slug barrel...

And just to add i have gotten 2 bear with my 45-70 marlin and there was very little meat damage.i used a 416 grain cast bullet though...my son hunts bear in jersey and has used nothing but his 12 ga....he gets one almost every time they go down there....so think it over...and good luck..john

December 13, 2011, 07:52 PM
I think you can minimize the bullet damage from thr 45-70 by using a different load. 35 Remington should be great. I'd think a levergun in 44 mag or 45 Colt would also do nicely. Good luck!

December 13, 2011, 08:09 PM
.444 Marlin would also be a good bear gun. So far pretty much all mentioned would work. I don't know if I would drop all the way down to .30-30.

Deja vu
December 13, 2011, 09:32 PM
The 45/70 will ruin very little meat unless you use hollow points, even then it will ruin less than a 30-06. I would use a cast flat nose bullet.

I may be wrong here but I think what ruins meat is speed. The 45/70 does not ruin meat. I have killed many deer with the 45/70 and most of the time you can eat right up to the bullet unless you break a bone but any caliber will do that.

December 13, 2011, 10:11 PM
As was said, the 45-70 is a very effective cartridge, and despite what you have heard, it is NOT a meat destroyer. Anyone who claims that a 45-70 wastes excessive meat must have little or no real life experience with one on game. I have used mine on black bear, and even with hot handloads pushing a 400 grain Speer to over 2,000 FPS, it does not destroy undue amounts of meat. That being said, the .35 Remington is also an excellent choice for black bear.

December 14, 2011, 03:01 AM
Any standard deer cartridge will do.
The .45-70 will do less damage than some of the screaming fast rounds.

December 14, 2011, 03:05 AM
Anything from 30/30 on up. I've shot bear with the 45/70 and with the wrong bullet yea it will ruin a lot, a soft hollow point just about wrecked the front half of one. But a harder bullet will cause minimal damage. And even the 44 mag works well enough on black bears.

December 14, 2011, 08:29 AM
Any of the standard lever action calibers, 30-30, 35, 44 mag, 444, 45-70 will work equally well on black bear.

The 30-30 is the cheapest, most versatile, has the least recoil and kills bear just as dead. I wouldn't complicate my life with the others.

Jack O'Conner
December 14, 2011, 09:13 AM
This bear was toppled with a 30-30 and it didn't get away!

Most of the Pennsylvania bear hunters I know hunt with 30-06 Remington pump action rifles. This is a common rifle within Pennsylvania and for good reasons:
- accurate
- fast handling
- powerful
- affordable



December 14, 2011, 09:13 AM
.348 winchester. Kinda pricey unless you reload but, it is a lever action.

December 14, 2011, 03:35 PM
.45-70 would be a great bear/deer round. What someone told you was bad advice. Some good advice here...hard cast flat nose bullets, stay away from the HP's.

December 14, 2011, 05:02 PM
I didn't really care for the advice saying that the 45-70 destroys "WAAAY too much good meat" either. But then again the same person said he had a friend that hunts bear with a .22LR, and that you can legally hunt with any centerfire round... I thought that the round had to be over a certain size, is this true? And thank you all for supporting my thought that the 45-70 (with the right bullet) isn't a flesh destroying caliber. :D And to answer savagelover's question about how far will I need to shoot, well I havent come across a place where an over 130yard shot is possible where I hunt. And 130 is a stretch in my neck of the woods

December 14, 2011, 06:14 PM
one shot from a 35 remington ended the 600+ black bear,s career. eastbank.

December 14, 2011, 07:40 PM
I gave up on standard 300 gr 45-70 loads as they were too soft! I went to the Win 300 Nosler Partition and that works fine .The 300 Barnes all-copper should be about the same.

Deja vu
December 14, 2011, 09:15 PM
I love the 45/70 if you are looking for big game bullets for the lower 48 states I would go with Hornady 350 grain flat nose bullets. I prefer bullets a bit heavier 400+ grains. But that is just me.

If you don't reload the 45/70 may be an expensive gun to shoot (if you are use to rounds like 223 and 30-06). While I really love my 45/70s I would not recommend them to people who do not reload. Reloading the 45/70 really unlocks a lot in the 45/70

December 14, 2011, 09:31 PM
A 45-70 would be a great bear gun. Moderate loadings will not destroy a lot of meat. I use mine to hunt deer with it and punches a nice hole in and a nice hole out.

I don't consider it an expensive gun to shoot and both Winchester and Remington offer 300gr standard hunting rounds that won't break the bank. However, as Deja Vu pointed out, handloaders can really unlock some great rounds for the 45-70 that become pretty costly if you buy over the counter.

December 15, 2011, 12:56 AM
If your're ridge running and hunting w/ dogs, as is pretty common on the Blue Ridge, nothing carries like a M94 .30-30.

The Marlin always seems a bit heavier to me, but toting your rifle up and down the mtns is a big part of bear/hog/deer hunts and the ol' levers look/feel pretty good real quick.

December 15, 2011, 01:15 AM
Marlin in .375 winchester and Savage Model 99 in .300 savage



December 15, 2011, 01:22 AM
Used a .35 Remington for many years on black bear with good success.

December 15, 2011, 01:27 AM
I second the .444 for black bear. Most of that hunting will be from a tree stand and not great long shots with all of the underbrush and trees in that area. The .444 is a great combination of enough brawn to do the job without over kill.

December 15, 2011, 01:25 PM
I live in IN and hunting with a center fire (rifle cartridge) is not allowed, but I have taken more than a few Deer and a couple of Black Bear (small) with my Winchester .30-30 in other states. There are better rounds out there, but so far, my .30-30 has done all I've asked of it. I have no reason to think that it wouldn't do for your puposes as well.

December 15, 2011, 01:32 PM

Here's how they do it in NJ !! :D
Call the cable guy [no dogs necessary]
Call game officials and let them shoot with tranquilizers! :rolleyes:

December 18, 2011, 08:19 AM
Got a marlin 30-30, but getting a "to Austin fromAustin" 45-70 single shot for christmas