PDA

View Full Version : Bear rifle comparison test; my custom Remington KS 350 vs. my CRF O3'A3


WildBill45
May 13, 2012, 05:14 PM
Yesterday I put my costly Remington Custom KS, 350 Mag rifle to the test to see how it matched up with my very old 03’A3 that I have had for over 50 years! If you saw my first bear rifle training video you may be familiar with it. I am not a fan of Push-Feed for high stress shooting when my valuable and sensitive rear end is on the line.

Did my test shoot with my custom rifle change my mind???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7JJlXNOiwQ

jmr40
May 13, 2012, 07:53 PM
Here is a good read on tests of various chamberings conducted by the Alaska DNR and their recommendations. I know this is almost 30 years old, but at least 2 different gunwriters have duplicated this test with some more modern loadings and still came to almost exactly the same conclusions.

http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/gtr152

It takes several minutes to open, but is an interesing read. The 30-06 outperformed everything but the big bore magnums. Including 12 ga slugs, 350 mag, and the 45-70. In fact a 220 gr 30-06 out penetrated everything but the 458 mag. In a nutshell they recommend a 375 mag as their first choice if recoil can be managed. The 30-06 was highly regarded and they felt that with it's much less recoil and greater magazine capacity was a serious contender for bear defense and the top choice for those not wanting 375 recoil.

Under normal conditions very few will ever be able to take advantage of a CRF's better reliability. For most shooters it is simply not an advantage, but if you use your rifle in extreme conditions a CRF rifle will be more reliable. When hunting something that could kill me, and especially in Alaska's extreme weather conditions I'll place my bets on CRF every time over PF. The more likely you are to have to use your rifle when it is muddy, wet, after being dropped in a sandy river bottom, or covered in snow and ice the more comforting CRF is. All of those conditions very likely in the coastal areas of Alaska.

WildBill45
May 13, 2012, 08:06 PM
In fact a 220 gr 30-06 out penetrated everything but the 458 mag.

It has a high SD, this is why! Also I agree that the ease and speed of shooting my Ought-Six, it may be a good choice for places that has light bear traffic and bear trouble. So I may take it with me for my light carry around the cabin hiking, but for serious places I still will take my chances with my .458 Lott; I like them to go all gooey and loose if I have to defend myself.

The speed, and shooting with one hand, odd positions, makes it more difficult than the average tyro imagines it is. Then add stress up the YIN-YAN, and most folks will fall apart. It is not an easy task, warding off an angry large predator such as a Grizz! A black bear is nothing to disrespect either, they kill more people than the Grizz does!

It is a good thing they rarely attack people or Alaska would have a lot of dead people in the bush!

phil mcwilliam
May 13, 2012, 08:57 PM
Well I watched the video and can see why you much prefer CRF rifles after seeing your custom Remington in action. Only problem is that your custom Remington is not representative of the reliability of most push feed actions. While you may have paid a lot of money for "an expensive custom rifle, with your name on the side", any rifle that jams like that I'd either trade or get repaired.
You have done the correct thing in checking your rifle for reliability before venturing into dangerous game territory. Since your custom Remington is not even reliable at a range, it would not be a good choice as a dangerous game rifle.
If however you had owned a reliable push feed rifle that you had used extensively at home under varied field conditions, there is no reason to assume that the push feed rifle will become unreliable just because you decide to hunt dangerous game.
I've hunted with Sako rifles for nearly 30 years and they are not a Mauser type CRF action, yet I've never experienced jamming as shown in your video with your custom rifle. I've hunted from deserts to snow capped mountains & have on occasions dropped my rifle in mud when crossing rivers & have never had any issues with my Sako rifles. Matter of fact, the only rifle I ever had jamming issues with was an old military Brno CRF in .308, which was traded due to its unreliability.
I can see some benefits of a CRF mauser action, but to me its not even an issue cause I've never had jamming issues with my current rifles.

taylorce1
May 13, 2012, 09:04 PM
Plus the OP awhile back already posted that his Remington KS .350 Mag had feeding problems. So to me it was skewed from the beginning and holds no merits on the issue. The OP failed to prove anything other than his expensive KS is a POS, I don't have the issues he showed with my push feed .375 Ruger M70 Winchester, nor my .35 Whelen M700 Remington.

warbirdlover
May 14, 2012, 02:23 AM
My 700 SPS .270 push feed has never jammed. Something is wrong.

WildBill45
May 14, 2012, 08:01 AM
The OP failed to prove anything other than his expensive KS is a POS

Since you are using the term 'POS' you may be a cop in CS! That is a local term, hehehhe....

I was attempting to prove anything. I was testing the rifle under fast and hard conditions, which I have never done before with it. I have used it in Africa, took some nice game, and even shot a charging Ostrich, which we were NOT hunting, up close and personal with it from the hip.

I just made a video of my shooting session, nothing more, even though you seem to have some underlying agenda assuming I had one. I am a photographer, and have had images exhibited in Grand Station NYC, and folks sometimes do what you do, read stuff into the images that isn't there. It is a reflection of your attitude not mine.

I do prefer cheaper guns to be unreliable though! I won't sell it because it shoots one hole groups, and is a fine killing machine on non-dangerous game. I will try different ammo, these where Superior Ammo with Swift A-frames. Maybe a different bullet style will work better, maybe a spring, maybe a gunsmith...

WildBill45
May 14, 2012, 08:06 AM
I've hunted with Sako rifles for nearly 30 years and they are not a Mauser type CRF action

Back in my Colorado days I bought my ex an Sako in 25'06 and it worked well in the hunting field killing mule deer and elk. I never pushed it though, and I doubt you have your Sako. The next time you go to the range, step out of the sniper box of slow fire, and rapid fire it from the hip, shoulder, and work that bolt as hard and as fast as you can ... this is what you will be doing under stress, and looking at a charging predator. Let me know if it still works as good, just curious. You may be surprised!

Everything works well when the times are good, but guns and people, especially people, fall apart when things get tough, trust me! Everyone sitting in their warm home, typing on their warm computer gets a mental picture of something they have never done! Then they expound on this imaginary solution and say it like an expert who has really done it in the real world! (I am not talking about you personally here.) But, and there always is a but in life, if it was that easy everyone would survive wars, police confrontations, and disasters, as these theory experts will advise you from the comfy of their computer chairs!!! :D

If you add in the power of a real stopper, such as my .458 Lott, you have a whole new set of skills that you MUST master to control it and be able to get off a second shot and work that bolt during all the pushing, twisting, and recoil effects! That is that problem. Most guns that can handle the bear ... most people can't handle the gun!!! To make a man even with a bear takes skills that most never practice, know, or have any idea how to acquire. It is rather difficult you know...

phil mcwilliam
May 14, 2012, 09:37 AM
WildBill, I guess I won't be able to try your shooting techniques at a rifle range near me as the ones I know of don't allow shooting from the hip. I mainly practice open range, in that I own 3,566 acres over here in Australia.
As part of owning a rural property in Australia you have to by law control the feral animals on your property which include deer, pigs, goats, dingoes, foxes, hares & rabbits. There is also a tag system in place for kangaroos. Believe me, I have encountered many mobs of pigs & goats numbering larger than 30 that have been culled in quick succession, sometimes after riding in dusty conditions for hours on a motorcycle , so I think my Sako rifles have been given a fair test over nearly 30 years.
I have also hunted Africa several times having visited South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana & Mozambique. I'd say the dusty conditions in Zimbabwe were no worse than riding a dirtbike in outback Australia culling pigs.
If you prefer CRF mauser actioned rifles thats fine, but to me its not an important issue, since non of my current Sako bolt action rifles could ever be considered unreliable.

WildBill45
May 14, 2012, 05:13 PM
I own 3,566 acres over here in Australia.

Great!

I competed in Palma Rifle in Bacchus Marsh, near Melbourne Australia in 1995! I believe it is called "Grantville Rifle Club" now... I was shooting a Paramount Rifle at the time!

Lovely place! I miss the meat pies, bugs, and prawns!

I DO NOT MISS THE "VEGEMITE!"

taylorce1
May 15, 2012, 10:56 AM
Yes WildBill45 I called your rifle a POS, that is what I would call it myself if I owned it. I wouldn't own a rifle that wouldn't feed especially if it was a high dollar custom shop rifle. If I bought it used I would return it to whom I bought it form, if I got it cheap enough and new about the issue it would be a the gunsmith until it fed properly. If I bought it new it would be back at Remington getting the bugs worked out or I would get a refund. Pretty simple I wouldn't own a rifle that would miss feed like that.

I'd be happy to show you a 1903 rifle that jams as well. I own it, it is in .35 Whelen and if I try to load the magazine with five rounds it will jam, and fail to feed. So CRF isn't doing it any good at this time. Probably just needs a new magazine spring, but it feeds flawlessly with four rounds in the magazine so I don't worry about it.

I was attempting to prove anything. I was testing the rifle under fast and hard conditions, which I have never done before with it.\

Yeah you were. Like I stated in my first post this is the third thread you have brought out discussing the merits of the CRF. Don't get me wrong I like CRF, but I like as well my push feed rifles. Plus in the first post you started on the merits of CRF you mentioned your KS not feeding reliably, and then you go post a video of it head to head with your 1903 and posted this in your opening post:

Yesterday I put my costly Remington Custom KS, 350 Mag rifle to the test to see how it matched up with my very old 03’A3 that I have had for over 50 years! If you saw my first bear rifle training video you may be familiar with it. I am not a fan of Push-Feed for high stress shooting when my valuable and sensitive rear end is on the line.

Did my test shoot with my custom rifle change my mind???


I get that you are going to AK on a fishing trip and you want to be prepared. However as in the bear defense video when a guy mentioned a heavy caliber pistol you scoffed at him. I've been to AK fishing and hunting, and I've fished with a rifle and you know what happens you will wind up sitting it down because it is a PITA to fish with a rifle slung over your shoulder. It would be much easier to have a pistol accessible in a shoulder holster or on the hip than it will be to fish with a rifle slung over your shoulder as to where you could get it off and use it to defend yourself.

WildBill45
May 15, 2012, 11:16 AM
It would be much easier to have a pistol accessible in a shoulder holster or on the hip than it will be to fish with a rifle slung over your shoulder as to where you could get it off and use it to defend yourself.

I could tell you that I own a 500 S&W, and other means of carrying rifles, I have also fished in Alaska and hunted in the long grass of Africa, but that would only engage your negativity even more.

Enjoy what you do, and I will do the same...

taylorce1
May 15, 2012, 10:25 PM
WB45, I'm not being negative I'm just trying to figure out the reasons behind your recent posts. First one was the post on why you like CRF rifles, I got that one. Second was your bear defense video which was easy to get as well. Now you bring out this video and say you aren't trying to prove anything by it, but your actions on the video and your first post in this thread show otherwise.

You obviously are experienced with firearms and it still baffles me that you conducted a video comparing two different actions when you knew one to be defective? Like I stated you had admitted to the KS having feeding issues in previous posts. Plus it still amazes me that you would not have had the problem fixed with your experience with firearms.

BTW I'm headed back to Africa in 2014 for my first hunt, last time I was there Uncle Sam didn't give me any time off to hunt. Did get some cool pictures though.

WildBill45
May 16, 2012, 05:26 PM
Like I stated you had admitted to the KS having feeding issues in previous posts. Plus it still amazes me that you would not have had the problem fixed with your experience with firearms.

BTW I'm headed back to Africa in 2014 for my first hunt, last time I was there Uncle Sam didn't give me any time off to hunt. Did get some cool pictures though.

I wouldn't use the "admitted" as a cop that sounds like bad guy talk, I just said what happened, no agenda involved whatsoever.

I did the test because, no one, including me, puts a rifle under stress often, and most NEVER! My Rem jammed on slow fire events, but, and there always is a but in life, maybe under speed and force it would work ... who knows until you try. I was considering, IF IT DID INDEED WORK, taking off the scope, adding ghost ring sights, and using this delightful 5 1/2 lb. rifle, as a backpack scabbard, fishin' rifle! THAT IS WHY...

I would dare say that 99% of the folks who comment, here on this forum on this issue, have NEVER, put their rifle to the test at full speed, ramming the bolt, especially so with a REAL STOPPER. My definition would be 375 H&H and up. To shoot the stoppers, and be able to recover, work the bolt and shoot again, ON TARGET, is much harder than most couch experts realize! Even folks who hunt in Africa don't do it, they have PROs with them, and are not that serious of a rifleman. Most are hunters, but hunters are not always experts in the field of dangerous game and what it takes to achieve proficiency in the art of handling big boomers. So, their rifle that they THINK, is reliable may not be after all! This is what separates the plains game hunters from the dangerous game hunters, or, folks who must defend themselves or others from dangerous game ... they have to have the skills to handle a rifle that can stop, and I mean NOW, no tracking involved, if it is still alive to track, IT has already tracked YOU, and YOU are DEAD!

I would love to take out my Lott to my gun club and let some of the top rifle shooters try it while I film it; it would be gas!!! I may do it in Anchorage at that state range south of town, and see how regular Alaskan shooters can handle it; they if anybody should have those skills!

I hope your trip is a good one. Shooting photos is also fun! I have published many images in different rags, and newspapers. I have been more scared shooting photos than shooting guns in Africa! Some of the local animals are NOT photo fans, and take the intrusion personally, and with only a gun, that is not fun sometimes, let me tell you!

jgcoastie
May 18, 2012, 12:24 AM
It takes several minutes to open, but is an interesing read. The 30-06 outperformed everything but the big bore magnums. Including 12 ga slugs, 350 mag, and the 45-70. In fact a 220 gr 30-06 out penetrated everything but the 458 mag. In a nutshell they recommend a 375 mag as their first choice if recoil can be managed. The 30-06 was highly regarded and they felt that with it's much less recoil and greater magazine capacity was a serious contender for bear defense and the top choice for those not wanting 375 recoil.

jmr40 For the last time: Alaska's Department of Natural Resources had absolutely zero, zilch, nada, nothing to do with that paper. The U.S. Department of Agriculture put it together 30 years ago. Their seal is plainly written on the very first page. Stop misrepresenting things to be something they are not.

Secondly, Alaska's Department of Natural Resources has little, if anything, to do with bears in AK. The management and population is left to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.

Ah, yes... The mighty .30/06... Better than anything else around... 30 years ago...

:rolleyes:

BTDT... The .30/06 is not the end-all be-all of bear defense cartridges. It's not even in the top 5 of cartridges most people would consider for bear defense. Yet every time someone talks about a bear gun, some yahoo from the south always points out what everyone else knows they're going to say: "Use a thutty ought six!!! Use a thutty ought six!!! Use a thutty ought six!!!"

People that live up there carry guns bigger than the .30/06, regardless of what anyone saw on some documentery or heard from a buddy who's cousin is a guide.

I have already debunked your 30 year old paper on multiple levels in previous threads using modern loads. You need to stop spreading it around as the Gospel of bear defense, it is 30 years old, and no longer relevent given the advancements in modern bullet/powder technology made in the last 30 years.

samsmix
May 18, 2012, 01:02 AM
The '06 with the right bullet is an okay round to HUNT Grizzlies with, but hunting rarely involves stopping a charge. Note that I said "okay" and not "great" or "optimum". I have seen a charging 25lb badger shrug off multiple hits from 9mm hollowpoints designed to stop a 200lb human...and keep coming (at me!) until his spine was severed by the 3rd bullet. Most guides in AK carry big medicine for stopping big bears intent on hurting people. .338, .375, .416, .45-70 & .458 all make their boast. If these men who hunt Alaska for a living, year after year make a choice to carry a bigger gun, then a smart man is he who heeds their wisdom & experience.

As to CRF rifles versus Push feed, I own the following:
Mosin-Nagant M91/30 push feed...................... Reliable
Rem. M721 push-feed.................................... Reliable
Rem. M722 push-feed.................................... Reliable
Weatherby Vanguard push-feed....................... Reliable
Ruger M77 MKII Controlled Round Lack of Feed... The most disappointingly unreliable SOB I have ever had the displeasure of owning; couldn't successfully bottle feed a starving infant, let alone a magazine full of shells. I have seen last ditch wartime Axis guns that worked better. Hell my $65 Mosin-Nagant is more reliable! Pisses me off more every time I think about it! CRF my butt!

jgcoastie
May 18, 2012, 01:26 AM
Ruger M77 MKII Controlled Round Lack of Feed... The most disappointingly unreliable SOB I have ever had the displeasure of owning; couldn't successfully bottle feed a starving infant, let alone a magazine full of shells.
Well there's your problem; the baby's hand isn't big enough to work the bolt!
:D:p:D

samsmix
May 18, 2012, 01:41 AM
LOL I guess I left myself open for that. Actually, it's a .257 Roberts that will feel fairly well if you put 3 in the mag. Load it to it's full four round capacity, and the bolt will fail to pick up the top round every time. I'm sure Ruger could fix it, but since it isn't for dangerous game just prarie animals, I figure what's the use in sending it in. It'd just cost money.

jgcoastie
May 18, 2012, 12:04 PM
You might try polishing the underside of the feed lips. I had to do that to a Kimber .260 of mine once. Loaded full, it wouldn't strip the top round easily and would jam up.

RC20
May 18, 2012, 12:52 PM
I would love to take out my Lott to my gun club and let some of the top rifle shooters try it while I film it; it would be gas!!! I may do it in Anchorage at that state range south of town, and see how regular Alaskan shooters can handle it; they if anybody should have those skills!

PM me when you are going to be there, I want to see it.

What astonish me WB45 is that you continue to ignore the real world data.

You want to shoot a charging bear.

99 out of 100 the bear smacks you and leaves.

Real world data says use pepper spray or play dead.

We have had tow recent encounters up here.

First was a hunter who got charged (dropped his gun fortunately as did his son). He got beat up a bit and that was the end of it (sow left as the threat was gone. Otherwise a wounded ****** off bear.

THERE ARE NO SURE STOPS WITH ANY CALIBER NO MATTER HOW MANY ROUNDS YOU HIT IT WITH.

The other was a guy walking in the wood a few miles from the Anchorage Gun range. Ditto, bear charge, beat up and the bear left. Best possible outcome, no wounded ****** off bear (he was not armed WD45 and he lived just fine)

So, quit being macho, quit obsessing, quit being Rambo, bring a decent sized pistol and bear spray and enjoy your damned fishing trip for gods sake.

amended: I just can't stand this. WB45, are you coming up to fish or kill a bear? You are totally obsessed with the bear thing.

Of all the things that can happen, a bear is the least likely by huge magnitudes. Why go nuts over it?

You can die in a car crash up here, you can die in a plane crash (very high probability), you can get mugged, you can get shot in a drive by. All of those are far higher chance than a bear attacking you, let alone actually trying to kill you.

You are not preparing for any of those (videos please!)

If its got you that wigged out stay home and chill

globemaster3
May 18, 2012, 01:16 PM
I'll second Taylor's interpretation of the OPs original presentation of the comparison.

An operational firearm was compared against one where the OP admitted, mentioned, acknowledged (whatever, quit devolving to irrelevancies, you are the one who said it didn't work) that it had a feed problem.

The defense of the comparison because your KS had a feed problems at slow speed didn't equate a problem if you cycled it faster is a bit flawed. Common sense would bet that it would fail at high speed as well.

This is clearly sampling bias. OK, so you weren't conducting an official scientific study. I get it. But heck, lets take a rifle with a shot out barrel and compare accuracy to a factory new one. Let's take an AR assembled without gas rings on the bolt and compare it to one with gas rings.
Your comparing a malfunctioning push feed firearm to a functioning CRF one to advocate the merits of CRF is laughable.

Bottom line, you think CRF has merit. That's great. I won't argue that point, even though all my bolts are push feed. I have respect for it as an action.

Realize there are also people, some with considerable African experience (eg, Craig Boddington), who also use push feed in Africa and have no issue tackling dangerous game with it.

WildBill45
May 18, 2012, 05:04 PM
You are not preparing for any of those (videos please!)

I have made many of such videos, and have lived that life and trained everyday for the streets. You are misinformed.

Those who train, and most importantly, HAVE THE SKILLS, will kill less often because of the confidence of being good. This goes on the streets as well, cops who can tangle on super-high levels have very few resisters.

I will pass on your let the bear get me advice ... no thank you.

I have killed 5 bears already, hunting, one record book, 600 pound, Alberta Black Bear, but I have also let at least 6 bears, trouble bears, on duty, and at home in the Colorado Mountains ... go in peace although they were a threat at the time. Preparing does not mean you want to kill things. Does training with your gun make you a hired hit man ... that thinking is silly, PLEASE!

I do not care about stats. This is the problem with civilians, they read stats, but don't live the circumstances the stats represent. When you are a cop, in a dark alley by yourself, the stats mean NOTHING. only the threat before you.

Thanks for the tips though.

You are not preparing for any of those (videos please!)

Do you have any videos of you doing anything??? If so, post please!

WildBill45
May 18, 2012, 05:09 PM
You might try polishing the underside of the feed lips.

I am NOT a gunsmith, but will inquire about that ... thanks!:)

samsmix
May 18, 2012, 10:11 PM
Wait a minute: Why exactly ARE we leaving the spray out of it? I know, I know...Guns are for real men and spray is for hippies & tree huggers. But seriously, why leave the single most proven form of defense at home? It's lighter than my Kel-Tec .380 (11oz vs. 10.5oz), and more effective at stopping a charge without injury (as a matter of statistical fact) than any rifle. The only thing if fails to do is kill bears and stroke my ego. So why would I leave it out?

By all means learn to make fast instinctive shots with whatever firearm you carry. I did, and I do. But don't handicap yourself before the fight for your life ever begins, however unlikely said fight may be.

samsmix
May 18, 2012, 10:18 PM
As to the feeding problem with your KS .350, is the bolt failing to engage the cartridge head, thus plowing into the sided of the cartridge, denting it? Or is it popping the forward end of the cartridge up into the top of the barrel extension? Perhaps you could remove the scope and show a video of the feed system in action. Thus informed, someone may be able to tell you the exact remedy for what ails this otherwise nice rifle.

RC20
May 18, 2012, 10:24 PM
WB45 does not live in the real world. Some kind of fantasy existence.

Cold hard facts are that I have lived in Alaska 56 of my 60 years. Early childhood to the age of 12 in the bush. Years working in the bush, camping, hunting, fishing. And as noted, bears in and around Anchorage.

I have had ONE bear encounter. It was my own fault (garbage under my trailer when I should have had it carried out of the site by the crew, I was the only crew member staying on site).

There are a lot of words to describe someone that is not interested in facts. Lunatic fringe is maybe the nicest.

Those people scare the beweelies out of me (I would rather be around a ****** off bear)

WB45 is hell bent on having himself a bear encounter so he can shoot it from the hip, standing on his head or........

Makes me glad my hunting and fishing days are over. I stand a good chance of not being around the train wreck.

WildBill45
May 21, 2012, 08:43 PM
The '06 with the right bullet is an okay round to HUNT Grizzlies with, but hunting rarely involves stopping a charge.

This is exactly right! Hunting and making a stop are two different worlds!

Most folks, and I don't care where they live, have ever trained or lived under extreme stress to test their skills under such conditions, and I do not want to hear from those who have not, with their theories, or where they live. If I put those who falsely claim differently through speed and stress testing with a small rifle, such as a .375 H&H most would fold like a lawn chair in a hurricane! The ones who have the skills work as pros in Africa and Alaska, but not everyone qualifies no matter where they live ... it is the skill sets, NOT the addresses that matter...

Do all New Yorkers walk the runway or act on broadway, or everyone in Pittsburgh know how to make steel, or everyone in Houston know how to launch a spacecraft ... NO ... and it silly to think so. Nor do most folks who live in Alaska know a damn thing about stopping a bear charge just because they are a resident there ... although there are more than you would find in NYC, Houston ETC. or the other way around. How many from Alaska actually say they have faced a charge ... not many ... so they are just as inexperienced as the guy from Jersey City, Jersey in this regard.

Cops who have never been in a gunfight MUST TRAIN for the possibility of doing so, and so I train for lions and bears in the same train of thought. I have faced a lion, and bears, but only Blacks so far ... I killed a few, but let twice as many go in peace. Training is how you get skill sets at a high level ... do you think Shooting competitors, such as I, train to kill people, or to get the skill sets that if confronted may make the difference between going home or being an article for the couch potato experts to read over a morning cup of coffee!

My O3-A3 is my favorite fighting gun, and I used it exclusively in Colorado when I checked my bear baits for years although I Had a .460 and a .378 Weatherby at hand if needed, as I trusted my life with my 03-A3, but, and there always is a but in life ... it is not a stopper for lions or big bears ... PERIOD! As a hunting rifle it can take anything that bleeds, breathes, and walks ... AND HAS!!!;)

samsmix
May 24, 2012, 01:37 AM
So try this idea: Make Remington fix their mistake. You will then have the best of both worlds, power & reliability.

I DO shoot my Rem 721 in high-stress drills. I do not own black guns, and it would be my go-to SHTF rifle. Actually, your M7 or M700 based rifle has an edge over my 721 for fast work: the M-721 & M-722 bolt is notorious for binding if you put any side pressure on it at all. With training & repetition though, I learned to keep the bolt lug raceways hounds tooth clean, and pull straight back.

So, since this WAS a comparison test, I would say both rifles failed equally in your search for a bear stopper. Forced to choose, I would go with the more reliable over the more powerful. Or buy a (relatively) cheap, light, powerful gun to take along. Guide Gun in .450 Marlin or .45-70 comes to mind, as does a 3" Mossberg pump (less than $200) full of Brenneke slugs. I suggest these because you seem to lack a suitable gun, yet have enough money that buying one of these won't set back your trip.


Just to keep things in perspective, the .30-30/170 has more power & penetration than the .454Casull/300gr. This according to the Hornady Handbook of reloading. Not really relevant to this thread, but...