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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im new here (I am a member at other forums), I am getting ready for my Black Bear hunt and my guide has informed me that he has a nice big bear he has spotted (about 400lbs) his last few times out scouting.
I just dont know what to use. I know the shot will be 50 yards or less, so my choices are between my 3 Marlins, A 30-30, 35 Rem or a 44 mag. What do you think?
 

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My opinion would be flip a coin. You'd get braggin' rights with the 30-30, tho. People don't seem to think much of it these days and it's just as good as ever.
 

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I'm new on this list also, but FWIW tubbythetuba gave you your answer!

Whichever one you want to point to when you say, "Yessir, got him with this little beauty right here!"

All or any of the three will do just fine, you might need penetration so if using factory loads I'd use 170 gr. in the 30-30, 200 gr. in the .35 and 240 gr. in the .44, soft points only, no HP's. But a hardcast lead in similar or greater wetight would be a step up. In .44 mag. the 265 Hornadays have a real good record on bear.

You probably know that already!

400 pounds plus is a very, very good Black Bear!
Good Luck
 

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You know you need the latest hotest biggest magnum made, but hey you have back up, it may be your best chance at a nice bear, use what you want (hopefully the one you are most compfortable shooting and shoot the most). At that range any of the three will work if you do your part.
 

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My choice would be the 44Mag with either 240gr JSPs or 180grJHPs. But that is just me.
As mentioned more than once, toss a three sided coin, any one will do.
Ranger
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input, My main concern is for a fast kill. I know shot placement is the key here, but on a big bear I want to make sure im doing my part in the area of proper caliber.
 

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Ani't nuthin' wrong with the .35 shootin' 200 grain Remington Corelocks!

Got my first black bear over Labor Day weekend. Hit him at 75 honest yards. The bullet went through the right shoulder, got some bone, through the right lung, took the top of his heart off, blew the left lung to jelly, exited just behind the left shoulder and kept going!

That bear was dead before he hit the ground! (He just didn't know it as he jumped up and ran for 25 yards!)

He wasn't 400 lbs, but he was right at about 250 lbs. He hung at 149 without his hair, feet and head.

But I'd go along with Tubby on the 170 grain if you're gonna use the .30-30.

Just my $0.02

Be sure to post a story and pictures when you get back from your hunt.

Good Luck!
 

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30-30 if you are good with follow up shots
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I decided to take my 35 Rem on the bear hunt. I have taken game with both the 30-30 and the 44. I need to take out the 35 and let it flex its muscles alittle. I bought this Marlin about 1 year ago and installed a williams peep sight. Its the Davidsons exclusive with the ported barrel. I have only put 1 box of rounds through it so far but it shoots very nice. I will take it out with a couple of different types of ammo to see which shoots better and go with it. Thanks for the input.
 

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Yotehunter,

You go fella. 405 grainers are huge for sure from a 45/70 but a 170 grain pill from a 35 Rem. sure isn't anything to sneeze at. Especially if you do your part. Huge hole, smaller hole, they die in pretty close to the same amount of time.

Dave :D
 

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yotehunter:

As you already know shot placement and bullet performance are the key to a humane kill. And all three calibers you have access to are more than adequate to do the job if you do your part.

I'm partial to the .35 Remington and feel that would be your best choice... I know it would be mine. Make sure you can shoot it well and be real familiar with that rifle. With that being said, put yourself in the mind set that will help you to be able to exercise good fire discipline so that you do not take a shot that is not appropriate. You owe it to the animal, to yourself and your guide to make the shot count.

As suggested I would use a 200 grain bullet. Use the one that shoots the best from your rifle whether it be Remington Corelokts, Winchester Power Points or Federal High Shocks. My Marlin 336C .35 likes Federal factory loads and I took a nice 300 lb blackie last year using them. By the way, he got up and ran about 40 to 45 yards before going down for keeps and that was with three good hits through and behind the shoulders. He just didn't know he was dead. Shot one many years ago twice through the lungs and he ran over 80 yards before stopping. Hit him with a 30-06 shooting 180 grain corelokts. He dressed out 384 lbs which puts him at a live weight of 450 +. I had a hunting buddy from years ago who took at least 11 bears with his 30-30 and only had to use multiple follow-up shots once - and he'll tell you that was his fault. I'd use 170 grainers if I were going to use a 30-30 - and I would without reservation.

If the shot presents itself, try and break both front shoulders, especially if you're within 50 or 60 yards. This will help anchor him until he realizes that he's dead.

GOOD HUNTING! :D Range Finder
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Use Winchester 30 30 with 170 Power Points

My youngest son (10 years old) got his first bear this year on Vancouver Island. He shot from 20 yards going for a heart /lung shot. The shell entered the right side hit a rib and travelled the length of the bear almost exiting by the left rear (just under the hide). The shot knocked the bear right on his side. Almost 300 lbs. if you go for a lung shot the bear will evidentually drop. I 've used shoulder shots to drop a bear quickly but only with my 45 70.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'd opt for the 35 first with 200 gr REM Core-Lokt handloads ,2nd would be the 44 with Nosler 250gr Partition Gold handloads and my third choice would be the 30-30 with 170gr Nosler Partition handloads. But in reality under 75 yards over bait they should all do the job !!!!
 

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-- BEAR MEDICINE --

-- I know this is an old thread , and the decision has already been made , -- but had to throw this in .

If you sight in your .44 Mag. for Buffalo-Bore's heaviest LBT Loading , -- or Garrett's heavy cartridges ; --- Or load up a safe , but hot , handload with slow powder and Beartooth's 300 Gr. Thumper . ----- The decision is " NO - CONTEST " .

You may have to have a feeding job done , -- for slightly over SAAMI OAL cartridges , -- but it will be worth it .

Look up Paco's Gun notes , on the web and read on the .41 Mag . with Heavyweight Bullets subject . --- He tells of .41 Mag. with 265 Gr. LBT's -- Breaking both shoulders of 1300 to 1500 lb. feral range Cattle ( tough critters ) -- and exiting !
------ Massive damage . ----- And your .44 has even more power :!:

Nose To The Trail , ----- MMCOUGAR .
 

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Damn! How do you delete a double post anymomre??
 

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Speaking of the .41 Magnum, on the Beartooth Bullets site, there is a guy who related shooting a Musk Ox, through and through, with one round from his .41 Magnum, 265 grains SWC gas check bullet, from his TC 10" barrel handgun. I bet it'd work on a Black bear, too.

A number of years ago, I hunted Black bear with a couple of guys who were partners in a bear/mtn. lion guiding service. I asked them what rifle/caliber they would rather their clients show up with? Now these guys had been guiding many years, and had been in on the kill of over 300 Black bears, and they both said, "A lever action .30-30."

They also advised against scoped rifles as chasing dogs up and down mountains and canyons gave too good a chance for falls that might damage the scope.

FWIW. L.W.
 
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