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Black Bear Loads

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Dan in Alaska, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Dan in Alaska

    Dan in Alaska

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    I am going on a black bear hunt this spring. The hunt will be a week-long guided adventure via boat in Prince William Sound, Alaska. I have never hunted black bears before, so I am pretty excited about it.

    I have a Remington 700 that was rebarreled in .338-06 several years ago, and I have worked up several loads for this rifle using 200gr Balistic Tips and 250gr Grand Slams. Both loads will group under an inch at 200 yards. I am also planning to work up a load using Nosler's 225 grain Accubond bullet. Of the three .338 caliber bullets I've chosen, I think the the two heavier bullets would be a better choice for black bear.

    But I am curious, does anyone have experience using the .338cal. 200 BT's on large game? Do they hold together well, or are they rather explosive like many of the smaller caliber Balistic Tips?


    Second Question:
    I have a 30-06 that I am planning to take along as a back-up gun. In the past, my 30-06 has been used for deer hunting with 165gr bullets, so I would like to work up some bear loads using 180-200gr bullets. I am thinking about trying the Barnes 180gr X-Bullet and the Nosler 200gr Accubond. Does anyone have any good 30-06 loads using these bullets? Any other .30 caliber bullets/loads you'd recommend for black bear?

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    I loaded up some of the 225gr Accubonds for my old man's .338-06. Shoots very well, but neither he nor I put it on game.

    I use the 180gr Accubond in my .30-06. I'd suspect the .338 cal works just the same. Meaning it works well. It's a tough bullet and holds up very well. I don't mess around with many bullets so I can't say about the others. I use Nosler Partitions or Accubonds in a bunch of different rifles. The Partitions especially were recommended to me by older friends who have been sticking them in big game for a long time. Not that I'm stuck on the brand or there aren't other good bullets, they just work well so I stick with them.

    I've had good success with IMR4064, Rel 19 and Rel 15 in .30, .338 and .35 whelen varieties of the '06 case. 4064 spans all 3 pretty darn well.

    Not sure how big Alaskan black bears grow. Ours are probably smaller (250-350lb. 400lb being a big one). I can't imagine them being so big that those loads and bullets wouldn't work though. It'd have to be one hell of a big bear to shrug them off. I know that .30-06 load can take down a 1,000lb animal just fine. If yall have 1,000lb black bears, I'm booking a trip. ;f
     

  3. Dan in Alaska

    Dan in Alaska

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    The most accurate loads I have found for .338-06 use IMR 4064. This seems to be really good stuff. I haven't tried the 225gr Accubonds yet, but I look forward to seeing how they shoot.

    I used to use IMR 4350 in the .30-06, but I haven't done much with this caliber in long time. I will try some 4064 and try the 180gr Accubonds.

    From what I have been told, the spring black bears up here are in the 250-350 pound range. The fall bears are bigger, of course. A friend of mine shot a six foot black bear a couple of years ago, and the taxidermist told him it was pretty average.
     
  4. bustedknee

    bustedknee The Snowflakes have invaded GT

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    Anything that works on deer will work on Black Bear.

    Many, however, seem to have a tendency to hang onto life after being shot.
     
  5. tjpet

    tjpet

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    The .338 200grn. Nosler BT's are proportionaly thicker due to their expected use in higher velocity calibers (.338 Win. mag, etc.) They'll work fine in your gun.

    When I hunted with a .338/06 years ago I settled on the Nosler 210grn. Partition @2700fps for all-around use. Killed deer, antelope, elk, bear and anything else that had the misfortune to run into one with equal aplomb. Nothing dramatic, just good, solid, workman-like pileups.