View Full Version : Which of These Two Rifles for Black Bear in PA?

October 21, 2001, 07:23 PM
If you wanted to take a black bear this year, which of these two rifles would you choose for the job. A Remington 700 LSS in 7mm Ultra Mag or Marlin 1895M in 450 Marlin. I will be using factory ammo with both rifles. The Ultra Mag would either be a 140gr. Nosler Partition or a 160gr. Nosler Partition. I have chronoed the 140gr. NP at about 3500fps/3800+ft/lbs. I haven't tested the 160gr. yet. The Marlin pushes a 350gr. Hornady JSP to just under 2000fps/3050ft/lbs. I would be hunting in PA.

What do you think?

Molon Labe!
October 21, 2001, 08:54 PM
I have never hunted black bear, but I would think that the 7mm Mag would be enough, correct me if im wrong.

October 21, 2001, 08:58 PM
The 7 mm.

The safest way to shoot a bear is from where he will not see you after the shot.

The 7mm allows you to shoot him cleanly at 200 yards if the opportunity arises, while still having tons of power for up close shots.

Make sure you get a very good bullet though.


October 21, 2001, 09:04 PM
If I went the Ultra Mag route, I think I would opt for the 160gr. Partition and have a 20gr. advantage over the 140gr. A little more weight couldn't hurt when going for bear.

The 450 I'm sure has plenty of oomph to do the job and it is also extremely accurate. The only thing that limits it is it's trajectory. It still packs quite a punch 200 yards out, but bullet drop is excessive. Of course, if I choose to take the 450, I could try to get within 150 yards or so before taking a shot. I just really like the Ultra Mag for it's ability to shoot so damn flat.

Decisions, decisions...

October 21, 2001, 09:42 PM
both will do the job and do it well if you remember "shot placement" The ultra will do it farther. I have taken two black bears, the first with a 44 mag carbine and the second with a 264 win mag. Both were shots under 100 yards. The 264 took one shot and the 44 took 4 because I kept hitting the darn thing in the front shoulder. the last shot took out the heart.

October 22, 2001, 08:35 AM
Depends where you are hunting. Most of the bears around here stay in the mountain lural. You would be lucky, for lack of a better word, to see one at 100 yards. I'd opt for the Marlin, it whould have more energy at close range, but that is based on my situation. If a 200 yard shot will be normal, than go with the 7mm.

October 23, 2001, 01:56 AM
I agree with scouter27, it depends on where you are going to be setup. If you are going to be in some thick stuff, go with the Marlin. If your shot is gonna be open, go with the 7mm. But then again, do what you want.

Johnny Guest
October 23, 2001, 10:17 AM
presuming shots would be <150 yards. Anything over that, probably the 7mm, not because you need all that horsepower, but to flatten out the trajectory.

My one and only black bear, in Western Colorado, fell nicely to a single 165 Sierra BTHP, .30-06.


October 23, 2001, 10:27 AM
where i hunt in PA, the mountain only affords a couple of 50 yard avenues

most of the time, if its 25 yards away its behind some laurel

Bear are not like deer,
it's not likely that you are going to predicatably see a bear at 200 yards along a field margin

i usually see them trundling along, at 7 mph, back in the woods on a still hunt

if you squeak at them they sometimes circle around & come find you


i was watching a bear research film last month...

the bears communicate territory boundries via scratch & sniff trees
find one and the bears will be visiting that location

spray a shot of citronella on the tree and watch the dancing bears


Long Path
October 24, 2001, 12:27 PM
Terrain features? Rare is the eastern bear hunting in which a man has a shot over 100 yds, as I understand it. Thus my vote would be for the .450 .


November 7, 2001, 04:50 PM
In Pa. i would definately go with the 450Marlin.Besides the fact that most shots are within 100yds in the east,that slick 336 action can really fly when motivated properly.Another bonus is the frontal diameter and energy of the 450M,close to two tons at the muzzle,not too shabby.The 7mm Ultra is an awsome round but probably better served in the west where shots can be on the longish side. Good Huntin'

November 8, 2001, 01:31 AM
450 Marlin.

The Ultra Mag is a Mountains and Plains Cartridge, expect close range bullet blow ups under 125 yards of range.

The .450 Marlin is designed SPECIFICALY for shooting bears.


November 8, 2001, 07:54 AM
The 450 it is!