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Max Caysey

Looking for good advice concerning all-round rifle

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59 minutes ago, Alsone said:

Have you shot bears with .308? Even if so, was it wise is a better question. Lets agree to disagree. There's always going to be a compromise with such a spread of species. 300wm would have been a good consideration as a compromise calibre if the deer were being shot at long range. .308 is not always the answer to everything. In the UK we tend to use a very limited range of set calibres and a lot of this is down to the comparatively few species we shoot compared to other continents.

Deker is right. The best answer for deer + boar + dangerous game is always going to be 2 rifles. Anything that's going to stop a bear dead in it's tracks is going to be too powerful for deer except at long range. Anything that kils deer without excessive meat damage close in is not going to guarantee a 1 shot kill against large dangerous game such as bear. Wild boar are cuddly kittens compared to bears. Take the time to read about a few bear attacks. 

One thing the OP could consider, if not actually hunting bears but just seeking protection, is stick with a dedicated deer calibre rifle but carry a lack calibre handgun such as .44 magnum or 500 magnum, local laws permitting. 

I'll take that as a no then.

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16 hours ago, Underdog said:

I'll take that as a no then.

Ditto as a .308 bear hunter.

There's a long thread over on gun and game about the suitability of using .308 for bears, consisting mostly of US and Canadian / Alaskan bear hunters. The general consensus is .308 is NOT suitable against even black bears and the min calibre should be .300 win mag or .45-70 : https://www.gunandgame.com/threads/308-big-enough-for-say-grizzly.116197/

There's even a story of a guy who shot a bear with a .270 WSM @ 100yds only to have it get up on him as he approached it's dead body. Luckily he also had a .338 Mag in his hand as he approached it and put it straight back down with a headshot (doesn't say why he didn't use .338 in the 1st place - sounds as if maybe trying out .270 WSM for suitability and brought the .338 wsm just in case. Guess he was lucky). 

Edited by Alsone

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53 minutes ago, Alsone said:

Ditto as a .308 bear hunter.

There's a long thread over on gun and game about the suitability of using .308 for bears, consisting mostly of US and Canadian / Alaskan bear hunters. The general consensus is .308 is NOT suitable against even black bears and the min calibre should be .300 win mag or .45-70 : https://www.gunandgame.com/threads/308-big-enough-for-say-grizzly.116197/

There's even a story of a guy who shot a bear with a .270 WSM @ 100yds only to have it get up on him as he approached it's dead body. Luckily he also had a .338 Mag in his hand as he approached it and put it straight back down with a headshot (doesn't say why he didn't use .338 in the 1st place - sounds as if maybe trying out .270 WSM for suitability and brought the .338 wsm just in case. Guess he was lucky). 

thats why everyone i know who hunts bears uses a bow

work that out!!!

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Alsone to pull out one example of a black bear getting up and blame it on the calibre is a little stupid, and if I am honest does make you sound a bit inexperienced. A misplaced shot can happen with any calibre, and even a perfectly placed shot with a bullet designed for the job can sometimes take longer than you would expect to finish the animal. I am in Canada (Alberta) and on a number of BC, Alberta, and Sask and USA hunting forums, and can assure you both the 308 and 30-06 are very well thought of as cartridges for black bear. So is the 300win mag, and a host of others as well, but black bear are not that tough, and almost always bolt away once shot. Griz and polar bear are different and will sometimes charge and attack you if they think it's you that has caused them pain. That is why you want the extra bone smashing power and penetration from the magnums to try and anchor them, as if that bear reaches you, with one swipe or bite it could kill you. I owned a 300 win mag and killed both mulies and white tail deer with it, but sold it as the recoil was to me, in the lightish rifle I had excessive. In our hunting group a number of guys use 300 win mags and get on well with them, but to say they are needed as a minimum for black bear is crazy. Elk and mule deer are harder to kill than black bear in my opinion (and from what I've read most people in the north american forums I frequent). I hunt black bear and have had them to around 350lb and just over 6ft. Here is a blackie i got this spring, droped on the spot with 30-06.

20180519_104507.jpg

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Gazon, thanks for your input. Always good to have input from someone who shoots the species concerned. You mention black bear but so far as I'm aware, black bears are native to North America and European bears are the tougher brown ones which are more genetically related to grisly. I stand to be corrected though. To that end, I've not seen many people recommend .308 but then again I wouldn't claim to be expert. I'm also unsure of the sizing of EU vs US browns.

However, more broadly, the way I look at calibres is that anything will kill anything. You can find videos online of people shooting wild boar with .22LR and killing them. Would I want to do that? Hell no!  That maybe a little bit of an extreme example, but to that end, I think you hit a key point above, when you mentioned being charged by a bear. The rifle I want in my hands when shooting dangerous animals is the one that's going to root it on the spot from a single shot. You're not going to get a second chance with a bolt action. In most accounts of attacks where people defended themselves using handguns, the person attacked rarely gets off more than 1 or 2 shots before being mauled. A revolver or semi-auto is far faster to cycle than a rifle bolt. To that end, I would not personally want or recommend something at the lower end. I think Deker made a very good point above, when he said the best solution when dealing with a range of species is a dedicated gun rather than a one size fits all gun. A gun suitable for most EU deer species, is unlikely to be an almost guaranteed 1 shot stop on charging dangerous game, and a gun that is capable of an almost certain on the spot stop on large dangerous game, is unlikely to be very deer meat or recoil friendly. I take your point that you can use .308 for black bear but against brown I wouldn't be sure, and personally I wouldn't want to. 

You seem to have good success with .30-06 against blacks, which is of course a small step up from .308. However, again I personally would have doubts against a charging animal. When shooting from cover, you can pick you placement. When faced with a charge, you have a frontal shot and a very small potentially lethal area, which at least on some species, most notably brown species can be heavily boned. 

Out of the calibres mentioned above, if you were to ask me which one I'd want in my hand against a charging bear, then it would go  300 win mag > .30-06 > .308, in that order. The big problem here for the OP as I see it, is he needs a do everything gun. However, in all honesty, if I were buying a dedicated bear rifle and something I was relying on to potentially save my life, then I wouldn't be buying something in the lower .30 calibre range at all. When something becomes potentially life threatening, I'd rather be over then under gunned.  However, maybe that's just me.

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Thank you all for your insightful comments.

Now, to be brutally honest, bear will be in the bottom of the list in terms of animals I expect to be hunting for. However they do have bears in Sweden, so one never knows. We also don't have Elk in Europe (as far as I know), which I understand is another quite tough animal. So, for all intents and purposes, I will be shooting: roe, fallow, red, sika, wild boar, moose, rein deer and lastly bear - in that order (With only a very small chance of ever getting the opportunity to hunt North American Elk, Bison or Greenlandic Musk Ox (which requires a min of 30.06, per Greenlandic law)). I expect that the maximum range I will ever shoot any of these game animals would be 300 yards (and more likely between 100-200 yards).

Of what I have gathered over the last weeks, I need a bullet to have an impact velocity of a minimum of 1800 ft./s for most projectiles to expand correctly, and for the larger deer 1500 ft. lbs. of impact energy. Those two requirements seem to fit very well within both the 20" .308 and 30.06, except that the .308 would limits my shooting range to about 220 yards where the 30.06 would give my about 100 yards more range to obtain those numbers...

When it comes to reloading, I have read that one can increase the muzzle velocity about 50-100 ft./s with proper bullet to powder optimization. Would you guys deem this correct in your experiences or is this unrealistic?

Thank you in advance

Cheers

Edited by Max Caysey
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On 15/01/2019 at 08:11, Alsone said:

Gazon, thanks for your input. Always good to have input from someone who shoots the species concerned. You mention black bear but so far as I'm aware, black bears are native to North America and European bears are the tougher brown ones which are more genetically related to grisly. I stand to be corrected though. To that end, I've not seen many people recommend .308 but then again I wouldn't claim to be expert. I'm also unsure of the sizing of EU vs US browns.

However, more broadly, the way I look at calibres is that anything will kill anything. You can find videos online of people shooting wild boar with .22LR and killing them. Would I want to do that? Hell no!  That maybe a little bit of an extreme example, but to that end, I think you hit a key point above, when you mentioned being charged by a bear. The rifle I want in my hands when shooting dangerous animals is the one that's going to root it on the spot from a single shot. You're not going to get a second chance with a bolt action. In most accounts of attacks where people defended themselves using handguns, the person attacked rarely gets off more than 1 or 2 shots before being mauled. A revolver or semi-auto is far faster to cycle than a rifle bolt. To that end, I would not personally want or recommend something at the lower end. I think Deker made a very good point above, when he said the best solution when dealing with a range of species is a dedicated gun rather than a one size fits all gun. A gun suitable for most EU deer species, is unlikely to be an almost guaranteed 1 shot stop on charging dangerous game, and a gun that is capable of an almost certain on the spot stop on large dangerous game, is unlikely to be very deer meat or recoil friendly. I take your point that you can use .308 for black bear but against brown I wouldn't be sure, and personally I wouldn't want to. 

You seem to have good success with .30-06 against blacks, which is of course a small step up from .308. However, again I personally would have doubts against a charging animal. When shooting from cover, you can pick you placement. When faced with a charge, you have a frontal shot and a very small potentially lethal area, which at least on some species, most notably brown species can be heavily boned. 

Out of the calibres mentioned above, if you were to ask me which one I'd want in my hand against a charging bear, then it would go  300 win mag > .30-06 > .308, in that order. The big problem here for the OP as I see it, is he needs a do everything gun. However, in all honesty, if I were buying a dedicated bear rifle and something I was relying on to potentially save my life, then I wouldn't be buying something in the lower .30 calibre range at all. When something becomes potentially life threatening, I'd rather be over then under gunned.  However, maybe that's just me.

Alsone I agree with a lot of what you say. When hunting in bear country I (like a lot of people here) carry bear spray. Its lightweight (size of deodorant can), fast to use and creates a wide cloud, so you dont need to try and hit a small target area (brain, spine etc) on a bear that can run 50 yards in under 3 seconds. That is in addition  to my rifle simply due to the speed I can deploy it and the larger spread. In a lot of studies done it also compares better than a firearm in an attack. Where I am handguns aren't allowed without a shit load of permits and f****n about so very few people carry them in the bush. So for protection (those who carry extra protection) carry either spray or a shorty shotgun loaded with slugs / buckshot or combination of both. If I was choosing a specific calibre for hunting griz or polar bears I would without a doubt be looking bigger than 300win mag, and would probably go 338. I have nothing against the 300win mag, it is an excellent round,  it is just I feel I dont need it for what I do, and I hunt black bear. As I stated above, to pull out a single example of a (very capable) calibre not doing a job is foolish. The 308 is plenty for black bear, and in my opinion as I stated earlier the OP should, if looking at shooting brown bear, borrow / rent / buy a bigger gun. To the OP good luck in your search and sorry for the detail, I will leave it at that.

As a side note the largest every grizzly shot here in Alberta (and at the time world record griz) was shot by a woman with a single shot 22.     https://www.ammoland.com/2017/06/bella-twin-the-22-used-to-take-the-1953-world-record-grizzly-and-more/#axzz5d1OsyB95

 

Edited by gazjon5
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