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Discussion Starter #1
Now up front I understand that the following is just an exercise in dreaming what if. I once owned a Browning BLR (steel frame) in .358 Winchester it is one of those rifles in hindsight I wish I had never let go of. It handled so nice and being in .358 Winchester packed quite a wallop. That said being one of those people that tends to hunt in heavier cover than most since after the first shot is fired on opening morning I have found that the smartest and biggest trophy animals tend to head for the hills far from humans and into the deepest, and thickest cover they can find to avoid people. That is one of the reasons I hunted blowdown timber looking for "elk nests" where a big bull could hide out and recover after the rut while avoiding humans to lazy to do the work to find them in those "jungles." The odds were on the elk's side that they were going to see, hear, or smell you before you saw. them but man was it ever FUN! Some guys carried .45-70s, .450 Marlins and some .358 Winchesters for such close "jump shooting" since you most likely would only get one shot at a fleeing animal so you wanted heavy controlled expansion deep penetrating bullets. One combination that NEVER existed but I thought would have been an ultimate timber rifle combination for larger game and even for possibly Alaskan bears would have been a Browning BLR chambered in .376 Steyr. The .376 Steyr never took off but as a cartridge for heavy game (elk, bear, and even moose) in a first rate handy rifle like the Browning BLR that would allow the use of spitzer bullets with its box magazine and fast handling it sure could have helped its cause over what it was offered in. No it would not and should not replace the .375 H&H as a dedicated Brown Bear cartridge but it could serve the average person who wanted and need a fast handling camp rifle and personal defense rifle cartridge combo in a crisis I think it would fit a niche. It is just one of those things that passes through your mind sometimes late at night when you are toying with those what if scenarios. It sure would be a more practical modern functional version of the old .375-06 with even more power but with less recoil than the venerable .375 H&H (which I have also owned and loved) or the newer .375 Ruger. Not everyone needs a magnum but that bore diameter and bullet can sure come in handy sometimes. Happy hunting!
 

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I will never sell my Savage 99C in 358 Win. The 358 Win is one heck of a thumper round.
 
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I have entertained the 375/284 or the 9.3/284. I have a Savage 99 .358 and a Marlin 45-70 and both have dropped elk in the timber. The 358 225 Partition and the 200 grain Barnes X both will punch through both shoulders of a bull, as will the 300 gr Barnes lead and copper Original, usuall found under the hide, sometimes exiting, so I never got much further than mentally exercising possibilities. There is a point where recoil and bullet weight involved with LIGHT fast handling rifles becomes an issue. The barrel diameter needed also becomes a factor in developing a LIGHT fast handling rifle. The 358 also benefits from all those cheap lead pistol bullets for off season practice.. I have even been entertaining the thought of a 338- 284 or Federal to lighten the load when scrambling around the wind-downed beetle kill that has slowly eaten up much prime elk timber. My Savage 99 Featherweight 358 is still my first choice.
 

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Often thought to build a large caliber short 'timber' lever based on the BLR design. Actually have much of the resources to pull it off except the barrel I would think. Not my hands personally of course. Just not that smart, not even close. But lots of talent around me. Give them the drawing ........done. Fancied a 45-70 able to truly handle the #1 loads. Wouldn't be a 'feather' weight that's for sure. Who knows, maybe some day.

Have my 'steel' 81 in 358win which I love. Also had an original 358win 'BLR' with the extending magazine. .............Go right ahead and kick me, I do it all the time. .....Just don't like the new ones, just me though. Probably every bit as good.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Sometimes we just don't realize what we have until we let it go. I had a Ruger No.1V in .300 Win. Mag. with that heavy barrel that I sold to a man that had his stolen out of his truck rack. I felt for him and at the time I had so many other rifles I sold mine to him and he could not have been happier. That model is hard to find. I sold it to him for exactly what I paid for it. He was a gentleman and wanted to pay me more but I refused. I told him we hunters have to look out for each other and I could see how much that rifle meant to him.

Yes, I believe a .338-06 is an awe-inspiring cartridge especially due to the number of super premium controlled expansion bullets for the .338 caliber. The average hunter could handle the recoil of the .338-06 much better and not only shoot more accurately but actually practice regularly unlike most do that own a .338 Win. Mag. I have owned both a .338 Win Mag and a .375 H&H and personally much preferred the recoil of the .375 H&H as I found it not as sharp but everyone has their own preferences.

Both Randy Garrett and Buffalo Bore make some great stopping rounds for the .45-70 however again if you can shoot them out of your rifle accurately under high stress situations. Those "stopping loads" KICK and are not for the once a year go to the rifle range to check on the sight in of your rifle and go after any animal that can hunt you back in my opinion. You are asking for trouble and it just may find you. Some people do not respect Black Bears and it is true most are smaller and will run at the first sight, sound or whiff of man scent. However there are always exceptions to the rule and those exception in size and temperament can turn the tables on you if you do not take them serious enough. I lived in PA for a couple of years. See the Black Bear below as an exception to the rule of size. Of the top 20 black bear skulls entered in the Boone and Crocket record book at one point, 11 are from Pennsylvania! People in PA have been taking 700-800 pound balck bears see article below. So while the "average" black bear may only go under 150 pounds if you hunt where true giants roam you would be wise to arm yourself for them just in case.

Pennsylvania's Incredible Giant Black Bears - Pennsylvania's Incredible Giant Black Bears - Game & Fish

New Potential World Record Black Bear Shot in Pennsylvania - https://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/gallery/hunting/2012/06/new-potential-world-record-black-bear-shot-pennsylvania#page-4



bear2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Another .45-70 load I would likely try is the Buffalo-Barnes +P 350gr. Barnes TSX-FN at 2150FPS as it will penetrate about as deep as the typical premium 400gr. + lead core partition expanding bullet. It would definitely get the attention of any bear on frontal shots shown below.

2003_0512_bear2.jpg
 

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Have several boxes of 300gr TSX-FN I thought to load for these conditions. Trick for me is I want to stay reasonable on chamber pressure. After reading/studying more on the 1895 (336) and quite honestly most convincingly, an intelligent discussion here on the Forum with RPP, I decided to stay in and around SAAMI numbers as I like to pick a load for a rifle, leave it that way, staying current and move on to another specific rifle/load combination. I'm looking at with that 300gr and H4198 around 21-2150 fps which puts me -/+ of 28000 cup. Matter of fact, I believe those +P's you are talking about run at an actual 1900+fps for the 350gr TSX and 2200+ for the 300. ......Point, (I think) it's in the bullet for me, making the 45-70 the 'reliable' timber gun with adequate bear stopping capabilities, not the 'full' rpm loads. At this time, I hope to settle with these TSX's or a hard cast for the purpose we are talking of. ..........Just don't make sense beating up a rifle your life may depend on.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I have carried a Ruger ReadHawk 6" and then upgraded to a Ruger Super RedHawk loaded with Randy Garrett 330gr. Hammerheads as my backup because I lived in Grizzly country for ten years.

330-gr SuperHardCast Long-Hammerhead at 1400-fps from the 7.5” barrel of my Ruger Super RedHawk.
330hammerhead.jpg
http://www.garrettcartridges.com/44hammerheadplusp.html


I hear good things about Buffalo Bore's heavy loading for the .44 Magnum although I have not tried them myself.

Heavy .44 Magnum +P+,[FONT=Verdana,Arial,Tahoma,Calibri,Geneva,sans-serif] 340 gr. Hard Cast, L.F.N. - G.C. @ 1,425 fps/M.E. 1,533 ft lbs out of a 7.5 " Super RedHawk at less than half the price of the Garrett loads.

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