Cartridges more powerful than these are unnecessary for even the largest black bears. One thing that seems evident is that they vary greatly in size. These are cartridges for average size bears of 300 pounds or less. Unfortunately, they can out run us and also climb trees, so it is wise to treat black bears with respect. by Philip Massaro - Black bears are usually not considered to be particularly dangerous game, but they have the potential to be. These include such stalwarts as the .264 Winchester Magnum, .270 Winchester, .270 Magnums, 7x64, .280 Remington, 7mm Magnums, .300 Savage, .308 Marlin Express, .308 Winchester, .30-06, .303 British and 8x57JS. Copyright 2006, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. The first category would be deer (CXP2 game) cartridges that are also adequate for incidental black bear shooting. Could You Catch a Fish with Your Bare Hands? Most hunters have noticed how relatively easy it is to kill a relaxed animal that is just standing around, and how difficult it can be to stop an animal fleeing for its life (or, heaven forbid, charging). Swift A-FrameI like the A-Frame as much as I like the Partition; though it is a bit stiffer. 1 is Not No. This is especially true of large bears. Some of these cartridges, in particular the .32 Special, .35 Remington and .375 Winchester, have long been considered excellent black bear cartridges at moderate range due to their bullets of larger than average diameter and weight. This means that shots between 50 and 150 yards should be the goal, even with flat shooting, long range rifles. Remington Core Lokt 150 gr. … With us for nearly 70 years, the Partition will make a good bear bullet another 70 years from now. Black bear are generally regarded as CXP2 category game, although examples weighing over about 350 pounds would presumably be CXP3 category animals. I definitely want good expansion, but require good penetration as well, to break the big, tough shoulder bones and reach the vitals with authority. Swift A-Frame. A fragile bullet ideal for shooting 100-150 pound antelope or deer at long range may not be tough enough to give adequate penetration on a larger, solidly built animal such as a black bear, particularly if a follow-up shot at an unfavorable angle is required. I like them in the ‘deer’ calibers, say from 6.5mm up to .30 caliber, but they do an equally good job in the bigger bore diameters associated with grizzlies. Jack Carter’s original design was a sound one, as is the Federal version loaded today. All rights reserved. Best .270 Bullet for Black Bear 02-20-2009, 11:43. They require expanding bullets that will not come apart against substantial resistance. These, of course, are entirely adequate black bear cartridges.

Let’s take a look at what I consider to be the top choices. In the central provinces/states of Canada and the U.S., as well as most of the Eastern United States, they are reported to average 150-200 pounds. Privacy Policy   •   Contact Us   •   Warnings   •   FAQs   •  © 2020 National Rifle Association of America, Remington Model 700 American Hunter Rifle Project, Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinics, Volunteer At The Great American Outdoor Show, Marion P. Hammer Women Of Distinction Award, Women's Wildlife Management / Conservation Scholarship, National Youth Shooting Sports Ambassadors, NRA Outstanding Achievement Youth Award Presented by Brownells, National Youth Shooting Sports Cooperative Program, a certain level of gear to get the job done right, 5 Reasons Round-Nose Bullets Are Still Cool, 5 Rifle Cartridges That Need to Make a Comeback, What Your Favorite Rifle Cartridge Says About You, What Your Favorite Rifle Cartridge Says About You, Part II, #SundayGunday: Henry H009 Lever Action .30-30, Head to Head: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 7mm-08 Remington, Behind the Bullet: .300 Winchester Short Magnum, Trump Administration Returns Management of Gray Wolves to States and Tribes, Trump Administration Grants Gold Star Families and Military Veterans Free Entrance to Public Lands, 2020 National Rifle Association of America. 7mm Remington Magnum. Ideally, you want to be close enough to be absolutely sure of a killing shot, yet not so close that the bear can get to you before you have a chance to shoot again should it be required. Bear hunting is wonderful sport, giving a different feeling than deer or elk hunting; knowing that the game animal you're pursuing has teeth and claws, and the horsepower to back them up, changes my outlook. That aside, … These are variables that are hard to account for in any list. It is would be hard to find more useful black bear cartridges than the .308 Win. Good calibers for large black bear in the 350-600 pound class, in addition to the previously mentioned .308 and .30-06, include the .338 Marlin Express, .338 Federal, .338-06, .348 Winchester, .356 Winchester, .358 Winchester, .35 … Copyright © 2020 Field & Stream. This is much smaller than the large black bears of coastal Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, which probably average 300 pounds and may go 500 pounds. or .30-06 loaded with 180 grain bullets, even for trophy size bears. According to the information compiled by Edward A. Matunas, an average mature male weighs about 300 pounds. My father-in-law refuses to shoot anything other than his trusted .270Win (which is fine), but we're heading to POW for bears this spring and he's wondering what bullet he should be shooting. I like the A-Frame as much as I like the Partition; though it is a bit stiffer. Any of them will easily make black bears into black bear rugs, as long as the proper bullets are used. Look for a cartridge with similar ballistics. Giant black bears weighing 600 pounds and more have been taken in diverse locations. While it may not be the most accurate bullet ever developed, the terminal performance of the Partition warrants its position here. You’ll see this bullet on many of these lists, with good reason.

Prisma by Dukas Presseagentur GmbH / Alamy, How to Hunt Whitetail Buck Rubs During the Rut, How to Hunt Whitetail Deer During the Rut’s Chasing Phase. This isn't a matter of power, since even a relatively small .300 Magnum, such as the .300 WSM, has plenty of power to take a 600 pound bear from the muzzle to around 370 yards. For that reason very quick opening, plastic tipped bullets such as the Nosler Ballistic Tip and Hornady SST might not be the best possible choice, particularly at high impact velocities and light weight for caliber. In extreme cases black bear can weigh over 650 pounds. A reader wrote to ask which of his bullets would be appropriate for a Rocky Mountain black bear hunt. Hornady InterLockAmong the standard cup-and-core bullets, I have always had a soft spot for the InterLock. Therefore, the cartridges mentioned below are just examples of typical satisfactory black bear cartridges. That is an enormous variation in weight for a single species of predator.

Nosler PartitionThere’s an issue with the Partition: it works for just about anything, including bears. If I had one complaint—and perhaps Federal will remedy this soon—it’s that they’re not currently available in component form, so it’s factory ammo or nothing. Mag., 9.3x62, .444 Marlin and .45-70. In all cases and for all of the black bear calibers listed below I am assuming that the hunter uses a properly constructed bullet of adequate diameter (.264 caliber minimum), sectional density (around .220 minimum for the small and medium bore calibers), and energy (1000 ft. lbs. If you are considering a new rifle for a trophy black bear hunt in, say, Alaska or British Columbia it is this third group of cartridges that you might particularly ponder. Black bear and CXP3 game cartridges. minimum at impact). Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. All will knock a black bear over effectively, but the effective range should be kept to fewer than 100 yards. Black bear have strong bones and heavy muscles, as befits a large predator. A Bonnier Corporation Company. Of course, individual animals vary in weight no matter where they live. He said he’d be shooting a .30-06 Springfield and this was the ammunition on hand: Remington Core Lokt 180 gr. Being a monometal design, which will retain upward of 90 percent of its original weight, bear hunters can rely on the TSX to get the job done. No one wants to track a wounded bear into dense cover and the reality is that a wounded black bear almost always escapes, as they move fast, far and are very difficult to track. Good calibers for large black bear in the 350-600 pound class, in addition to the previously mentioned .308 and .30-06, include the .338 Marlin Express, .338 Federal, .338-06, .348 Winchester, .356 Winchester, .358 Winchester, .35 Whelen, .350 Rem. The 100% wt retention statistic (i.e. Field & Stream may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. Want to read more from Philip Massaro? bonded) isn't what kills game, tissue destruction @ vitals depth does. 180gr is near-perfect for 30-06 (the chambering I spent most of my life hunting with), so 165's for.308 IMO. Here are the top choices.

If I were hunting in trophy black bear country where animals often weigh in exceeded 300 pounds live weight, I'd probaby favor premium bullets such as the various Barnes TSX, Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, Hornady InterBond, Nosler Partition and AccuBond, Remington Core-Lokt Ultra, Speer Grand Slam and Swift A-frame, but the standard bullets will still do the job if you put them in the right place. Trophy Bonded Bear ClawNo brainer here, it’s in the name, right?

.375 Ruger. All rights reserved. They’re even available for many of the handgun calibers if that tickles your fancy. All-around (CXP2/CXP3) big game cartridges. or .30-06 loaded with 180 grain bullets, even for trophy size bears. The black bear hunter must always work within his or her one shot, sure kill range. Bears, both black and grizzly, require a certain level of gear to get the job done right. The second category would be the all-around, medium and long range cartridges suitable for hunting both CXP2 and CXP3 class game.

It is far better to pass up a shot than to take a chance on wounding a bear with a rifle inadequate for following-up a potentially dangerous predator. Examples of such cartridges include the 6.5x55, .260 Remington, .30-30, .32 Winchester Special, .35 Remington, .375 Winchester and .38-55. The A-Frame is accurate, gives consistent expansion and absolutely will not come apart, even on the biggest, meanest bear God ever made. I think that it might be wise to divide black bear cartridges into three categories.

It doesn't have to be a perfect shot that slips between two ribs and blows up the heart, but the caliber recommendations that follow assume a solid hit in the heart/lung area with an adequate bullet. Thursday, September 8, 2016. Head to the bear woods with the proper tool for the job, and you’ll be a satisfied hunter. All the best camouflage, riflescopes and accoutrement pale in comparison to a bullet that will settle the score between you and a mammal equipped with claws, jaws and brawn. The 10 Best Black Bear Cartridges.

Federal Premium offers this bullet in many bear-worthy calibers, and I’d feel very comfortable heading into the thick woods with them in my rifle.

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