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Old February 12, 2013, 10:44 PM   #1
Join Date: January 5, 2013
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44 magnum vrs Black Bear

I'm going on my first bear hunt this September and I'm very excited. Part of my whole ritual is preparing in every way. I'll be using a 44 magnum revolver and we'll be hunting with dogs in North Eastern Tennessee, so I don't expect to take a bear larger than 250-300 lbs. I also expect to be shooting from ground to tree.

From now till then I want to use the same ammo at my range that I'm going to use on my hunt so that I can completely familiarize myself with the round. But I need some advice from you guys as to what that round should be.

I'm almost sold that I should be using a heavy JSP.

If people with experience could offer advice on brand names of bullets, casings, primers, Grain count and what ever else I need, I would be very grateful.
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Old February 13, 2013, 08:45 AM   #2
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this bullet maker is THE company that buffalo bore uses .....
that satisified me.... i order all my bullets from these folks...
just add primer and powder of choice.... that particular bullet should be excellent for your bear weight and any other tennessee hunting you do ...
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Old February 13, 2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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240gr XTP, 23.5gr of H110/296, CCI350 primer.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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Keith style SWC in hard cast 245 gr. with near max load will do the job fine.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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I agree with Rifleman, a 240-250 cast keith style SWC will do quite nicely for a treed bear. With a bear you want penetration first and foremost, especially for a larger animal.

My brother has killed two blackies with a .45LC, 255gr cast RNFP at maybe 850 fps. Both times he grabbed the box of plinking ammo rather than the heavier hunting loads I made for his Ruger. Put em in the right spot and they did the trick.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:15 PM   #6
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Speer's 300gr. flat point & Sierra's 300gr. flat point will give you all the penetration you'll need. I'd use either H110 or 296 powder 22grs.
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Old February 13, 2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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If your going to reload and since your ranges will be relative short go with a heavy garbage can.
I haven’t taken bear but wild boar hate this bullet.
320 GR SSK.
My problem with jacketed is fragmentation. You hit a major bone and you might have that problem.
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Old February 14, 2013, 01:47 PM   #8
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Any quality 240gr JSP(Speer, Remington, Nosler, etc.) over 23.5 gr of H110/W296 will do all you need it to do on Black Bears at treed range. Black bears are not hard to kill, you just need to be able to hit them in the right spot. This would be the same regardless of what bullet/load you use. I'd be more concerned with my accuracy than I would be with the brand of bullet I used.
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Old February 14, 2013, 02:15 PM   #9
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240gr XTP, 23.5gr of H110/296, CCI350 primer. - totaldla
That is the load. Very accurate in my M-29.
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Old February 14, 2013, 08:24 PM   #10
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I'm with Buck460. I really like the 240RemSP over 23.0gr of H-110, WW Cases, CCI350, in my Ruger SBH. At the ranges you're talking, recoil recovery from heavier bullets could be an issue.
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Old February 15, 2013, 09:56 AM   #11
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Recoil was mentioned as a possible issue. I agree.
I'm not very big but have shot tens of thousands of rounds from my Redhawk .44 maggie. I handloaded all but about 50 of them.
The 245 gr. bullets at max. charges were no problem for me to handle.
But, using 300 gr. bullets at max-max (carefully tested) charges was very uncomfortable and tiring. I would rather place properly and be able to follow-up just as accurately with a 245 that I know will do the job well.
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Old February 15, 2013, 01:24 PM   #12
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If I were gonna shoot some bear I would use my Ranch Dog 265 gr. RNFP bullets over a good load of 2400. But since you wanna purchase bullets I'll go along with the fellers above and say a 240-250 gr. Keith SWC over a hefty load of 2400 (I don't care for W297/H110). Beartooth Bullets makes a good 250 gr. Wide Flat Nose bullet available in .429" to .432" diameters (wide meplat for good tissue destruction and good weight for penetration).

Your idea of practicing with what you're gonna hunt with is the perfect answer 'cause a miss or poorly placed shot with the very best bullet ain't worth much...
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Old February 15, 2013, 02:20 PM   #13
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Since you said your trip & hunt takes place in September. Any bear taken is going to have a far amount of additional summers fat to get thru. I wouldn't use a HP but the heaviest jacketed SP available like Hornady's 265 gr Interlock SP should be sufficient for the purpose. Powder that's a matter of what's available these days. Although Win 296 & Hodgdon's H-110 are the same. But, H-110 is indeed coated with graphite and requires a LP Mag primer to fire it up. I personally would use Win 296 as its powder is much easier to ignite and it isn't coated with graphite. Win 296 normally requires just a Standard LP primer for its ignition.
Which ever way you decide to go in regards to powder is fine. Keep in mind Black bear especially large ones are indeed tough animals to kill. This type of hunt is all about first shot placement. Raised in Northern MN where Black boars sometimes get to be well over 400. I do have some experience with Black bear. Good luck and enjoy your bear hunt Sir.
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