8 replies [Last post]
Joined: 11/12/2012
Posts: 1
What Cal. is best to use

I am going black bear hunting for the first time this weekend and I dont know what would be better for hunting black bear in Arizona. I have a DPMS AR-10 style .308 semi auto and Remmington model 700 .300 ultra mag. I am better with the .308 that is why I am asking if it would be enough to take the bear down.

ADKBEAR's picture
Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 821

The 308 is plunty of gun for a black bear. Use a bullet weight anywhere from 150 to 180, put it in the vitals solid and the bear wont go more than 50 yards. If you take that 300 ultra with 220s and hit the bear to far back and you will never find it.
With Blackies it is all about accuracy not energy.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
I wouold disagree it's all

I wouold disagree it's all about accuracy. For me it's about bullet selection. The bullet get's to light and it may not perform properly. I shot my first bear in Montana years ago with a 7mm Rem Mag. I used a 140 gr Seirra and shot it facing me head on and a bit under 100 yds. The shot hit the bear just under the chin and the bear went down and back up so fast I couldn't believe it. I did get it, it went a ways and laid down when a shot to the back of the head killed it. I checked the wound channel and the bullet only penetrated a few inches and there was jacket metal all over, no core to be found. The bullet at the velocity I was driving it got torn apart befor it could do the job. Now the shot behind the head was close but the vital wasn't that far under the skin. So while a well placed shot behind the head is deadly, a well placed shot into the chest meerly wounded. I lated went to a 160 gr speer Hot Core and never experienced the problem again.

Chose your bullet carefully. If you don't then accuracy will trump energy. That should never happen. My preference in the 308 would be a 165 gr or 180 gr bullet. In the 300 Ultra Mag i suspect the 180 gr would work but I would lean toward the 200 gr bullet. The beauty of the magnum, for me, is that they handle the heavy for cal bullet's much better than standard cartridges. The extra weight will lose less weight and penetrate better because of it. 

buffybr's picture
Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 358
Bear cartridges

I killed my first black bear with a .45 acp, my second black bear with a .44 magnum.  Both were DIY, spot and stalk hunts, shot offhand at under 50 yds, and both were one shot kills with hard lead bullets that I cast.  Both shots were broadside, tight behing their shoulders, into their lungs

A 165 gr bullet from your .308 Win has almost twice the energy at 100 yds that my .44 magnum has at the muzzle. 

Pick the 165-180 gr hunting bullet that is most accurate in your rifle, and shoot one through his heart/lungs, and you'll have your bear. 


groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539

308 is just fine

SGM's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 1147
Both are great guns so using

Both are great guns so using your 308 with 180 grain bullets will be just fine. As stated above, bullet placement as with any shot or big game animal is very important. I shot 2 this spring and neither went more than 50 feet. 

expatriate's picture
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3206
What cal is best to use

I've taken black bear with a .308 shooting 165 grain accubonds...both lungs had a hole in them the size of a 50 cent piece and it ran less than 20 yards.

bigbob's picture
Joined: 02/21/2013
Posts: 12

The .308 with 180gr should do the trick. Like said above, lungs / heart and that sucker is going down

Joined: 03/31/2009
Posts: 219
What Caliber is best ??

Ask 100 people what caliber is best to use and you will get a lot of different answers. I don't know if your hunt is spot and stalk or over bait.

 If it is over bait at a pre determined distance (usually under 100 yds) a 243win is plenty, with the proper bullet selction. Accuracy is key, bullet selection is next and the rest will be history. Black bears are not hard to kill at all. Vitals; is what you focus on period. I have shot a couple bears up here over the years.

 You can use a 300RUM or 308 they will work just fine, if you shoot the 308 better go with it

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