I am going to be buying a new gone next week and I am unsure of what to purchase. This riffle will be used primarily for black bear. Also what grain should I be using in the riffle? Anybody have any ideas of what I should get?
There are a lot of question to ask. Such as are you going to be using it in a stand or open country? What do you perfer a bolt action, semi-automatic, or a lever action? Have you narrowed it down to any calibers?
For me if I was to buy a rifle strictly for hunting a black bear over bait in a stand I would look hard at the Marlins's in either the 444 Marlin or any of the rifles in .45-70's. For stand hunting you can't beat a slow big bullet for a black bear
Now if you are looking at hunting them in wide open country then any caliber from the .270 Whinchester up will work.
If you plan on hunting them in your neck of the woods, I would think anything in the .30 caliber range would be sufficient, plus it would be good for deer and other types of game. Maybe a 30-06, or a .308 could be good.
I too would think any of the .30 caliber choices would be just fine. If it was me I would go with the .300 WM as you could always use for any other big game North America has to offer. As far a bullet goes I would go with a bullet in the 150 grain range.
The .30-06 is a good choice and you can hunt a variety of game in North America with it. The range of bullet weight is good too from light to heavy.
I like the .270 and it is versitile too. You really should think about the future and what other game you might hunt. I just got a .300 win mag and like it a lot. More kick than the .270 but a bit more fire power. I hunt primarily with the .270 and pancaked my mountain goat from 250 yards away with a 130 grain bullet. It is a real accurate rifle that is a pleasure to shoot.
Lots of choices. Think about what game you MIGHT hunt and then look at ballistic charts to help decide what rifle will meet your present and future needs or heck just buy new rifles when you decide to hunt different game.
I think CVC's idea of thinking way out into the future is a really good idea. Why not kill two birds with one stone by getting a rifle that will fill more than one niche. If you think you might be coming out west to hunt sometime in your life than you should keep that in mind.
I love my .270 winchester and it has proven successful on black bear for me because I took my bear with it a couple years ago. I went with 130 grain winchester western silvertips (not ballistic silvertips). They are a controlled expansion bullet and did very well on my bear.
The 30-06 springfield is obviously a contender. It has proven its worth for more than a century in this country.
I like the .308 a lot too and think you should give it a look. It is a very efficient cartridge and it is great for the hand loader. I like the lighter bullets in this cartridge because of its short overall length.
The 7mm and 300 magnums are also great options if you really want to be able to reach out and touch them at long range or if you plan on ever hunting the bigger bears.
Keep us posted on what you get. Cough... cough... .270 ha ha
Hawkeye points out the challenge in buying a rifle...so many good choices out there. I will say that my .270 is my favorite rifle and you can hunt all north american game with it except the brown bear. Some will say it is too small of a caliber for elk but I think I'd rather have my .270 on an elk hunt than my .300 mag. I can put the .270 bullet where I want it and out to long distances.
Chances are you won't stop at one rifle so I'd cast a vote for the .270 and then later you can get one that is a bigger caliber if you have the need.
With a 140 grain bullet at 3000 feet per second (Hornady offering) and very tolerable recoil, this is a potent little rifle.
Largely regarded as a child or woman's rifle, I think this is a totally unfair characterization...
When you compare velocity, foot pounds of energy and recoil - this little "cartridge that could" seems to be a standout to me.
I shoot one and love it - and that Hornady round is tough on deer, no doubt.
Forget the rifle caliber and just know that a 140 grain well chosen projectile that can travel at 2800 and up to 3000 feet per seconds is a very capable offering... and you can get it without the recoil that induces so many hunters to flinch.
Percentage wise, the cartridge is not very far off of the 7 mm mag in performance...
I agree jim... the 7mm-08 is an awesome little round and deginitely work a look. I love the idea of necking a .308 winchester down to 7mm. Would you believe me if I said that I came up with that idea way before winchester did? ha Yeah right, that cartridge is older than me.
Let me just add my 2 cents here. As I said earlier, there are lots of great rifles and calibers to choose from, but one criteria I would add is, how available is the ammo? Can you buy a box of the ammo from the local hardware store or sporting good store in some remote areas? Sometimes people forget their ammo and drum roll as a plug for the .270 is coming......but everywhere usually has .270 ammo. Now some other cailbers may be a little better, but are they "exotic" and not readily available? Just my 2 cents.
As I sit and glass, which is common for hunters out west, I have sort of quickly discovered something I never learned when I was younger.
In my youth I had enthusiasm and spirit. In my middle to advancing years I have creaky knees, arthritis, and I tire more easily than I used to. Where I used to sit on the cold hard ground I now look for that soft spot to sooth my tired muscles. That leads me to my tip.
Carry your soft spot with you!
In my pack I carry an air filled, ultralight, camping pad....