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Location: SW Oregon
Joined: 12/13/2008
Posts: 28
Which Rifle For Bear

Hey Fellas! New to the site and Oregon. What rifle do you guys think I should use for Spring Bear in SW Oregon? Marlin30-30 w/Bushnell 1.5x7 scope, Marlin 45-70 with same set-up as 30-30 (still debating on purchasing the 45-70), or my Savage 30-06 w/Nikon 3-9x40 Buckmaster? I'm open to all suggestions. I want to shoot a bigun if I can find him. Will the 30-30 have enough juice to do it and what ammo? Another factor is, should I just get a decent backup pistol to carry and forget the 45-70. I may be hunting alone sometimes and I can work the 30-30 faster for followup shots while the 30-06 has more power. According to what everyone tells me, most shots on game around here are under 100yds and I have seen the 30-30 with federal Hi-shoks or Powerpoints do some dramatic damage on game??? Not to mention when I was i kid, I saw my ole savage 30-30 blow a pine tree about 7-10inches in diameter to smitherines at about 70yds. (Federal Hi-shoks) I like to still-hunt and can this be productive for bears? Why are so many people prejudice against the humble 30-30. Would like to hear some real accounts or bear experiences please.

Don Fischer's picture
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Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3183
Which Rifle For Bear

Welcome to BGH.

Every cartridge you mention is more than adaquate for black bears. I'd probably take the 30-06 just because it sounds like a bolt action and that'swhat I like. Forget the pistol. Anyone you decide to take will probably be far less potent than even the 30-30.

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Location: SW Oregon
Joined: 12/13/2008
Posts: 28
Thanks

Thanks for the welcome,
I like the 30-06, the only gripe I have is that when I was shopping for a scope, it seems that most moderately priced scopes are manufactured for the new short action magnums and that forced me into buying the Nikon 3-9x making the rifle a little heavy for brush work. I also worry about the minimum power being to high in some situations. I do really hate to spend the extra money on the 45-70, but I also don't like the idea of trailing a wounded bear by myself. What would be a good cartridge for the 30-30. The Savage 111 -06 is brand new and I have been practicing feeding blank catridges with the zoom blanks so that if I decide to make it my main weapon for bear I can get second round off fast. It has feed-jammed on me a couple of times. Am I cycling it too fast perhaps or is it just because it is new? Oh! thanks again for the welcome. Thought I was being shunned there for a moment

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Location: Montana
Joined: 10/24/2006
Posts: 448
Which Rifle For Bear

30-06 w/Nikon 3-9x40 Buckmaster

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Location: SW Oregon
Joined: 12/13/2008
Posts: 28
Which Rifle For Bear

Here's some food for thought? I'll take the 30-30 loaded with Winchester 170gr silvertips or Hornadys leverevolution when I hunt alone and not calling. Only because it's fast handling rifle, but what do you fellas think about that ammo selection? I'll use the -06 when I'm calling with one of my hunting partners who are scared to death of Bears, but have agreed to go anyway. I want hear your thoughts please.

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
Which Rifle For Bear

if you wanna use winchester ammo use the xp3's. the silvertips wont hold up on a bear. i agree with romey on the 30-06, thats what i use with a nikon 3x9-40 prostaff. and winchester xp3 ammo in 180gr.

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Location: SW Oregon
Joined: 12/13/2008
Posts: 28
Which Rifle For Bear

Thanks Fellas!

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
Which Rifle For Bear
Bama76 wrote:
Here's some food for thought? I'll take the 30-30 loaded with Winchester 170gr silvertips or Hornadys leverevolution when I hunt alone and not calling. Only because it's fast handling rifle, but what do you fellas think about that ammo selection? I'll use the -06 when I'm calling with one of my hunting partners who are scared to death of Bears, but have agreed to go anyway. I want hear your thoughts please.

My wife has killed two bears with her 30/30 but I would suggest using the .06 with 180 grn.

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Location: South Coast, Oregon
Joined: 12/25/2008
Posts: 2
You mentioned purchasing a 45-70 Marlin

Just a little info... I went onto http://www.chuckhawks.com/index2.guns.htm and read the recoil energy/velocity tables that they have listed for virtually every rifle caliber. You would be quite surprised to find out that your 180 grain 30-06 is pushing more recoil energy and velocity then a 405 grain 45-70 cartridge. Just imagine if you shot a 300 grain 45-70 round, you would be pushing even less recoil. So, if you're basically pushing the same recoil out of a more powerful caliber, then the answer is easy. The only drawback I see here is that 45-70 ammo is considerably more expensive.

I would say if you're in the market for a 45-70 Marlin then get one. I'm highly considering one myself.

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Location: SW Oregon
Joined: 12/13/2008
Posts: 28
Which Rifle For Bear

Again, thanks for the info. I lean towards the 30-30 for a particular type of hunting which back home we called stillhunting. (Creeping slowly, almost like an archery hunter would and relying on chance and listening. Can't beat a levergun for fast action shooting) These shots might be up close and personal. I posted stillhunting as a topic in the black bear forum, but didn't get many responses. I like the idea of using the 30-06 for a calling scenario where a bear might hang out to 250yds. Here's a question for BTKR. You say that you use a 270win, have you ever had to trail one for a ways? Reason I ask is because I like the 165grains in my 06, but if 180grains will put him to sleep faster, than thats what I will go with, especially since I will be hunting alone sometimes. Merry X-Mas everyone!!

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
Which Rifle For Bear
Bama76 wrote:
Again, thanks for the info. I lean towards the 30-30 for a particular type of hunting which back home we called stillhunting. (Creeping slowly, almost like an archery hunter would and relying on chance and listening. Can't beat a levergun for fast action shooting) These shots might be up close and personal. I posted stillhunting as a topic in the black bear forum, but didn't get many responses. I like the idea of using the 30-06 for a calling scenario where a bear might hang out to 250yds. Here's a question for BTKR. You say that you use a 270win, have you ever had to trail one for a ways? Reason I ask is because I like the 165grains in my 06, but if 180grains will put him to sleep faster, than thats what I will go with, especially since I will be hunting alone sometimes. Merry X-Mas everyone!!

I would suggest the 180's in .06.

Most of my hunting has been done with a .270 and in nearly 30 years of hunting I have lost 2 bears. In hindsight they were due to a poor shot and one to poor tracking in the thick coastal jungle. I have killed 16 bears with a .270 (my wife and my brother have also killed bears with my .270) and only a couple have been shot twice and none needed the second shot. I just didn't want them falling down hill any farther then needed. I don't think any have gone farther then 50 yards. The bears have been between 20 yards and 400 yards.

Shot placement is key.

I have seen more trailing jobs and loses on the bigger guns (300, 338, super mag, etc) probably due to poor shot placemnet or the hunter being afraid more then anything.

If you can shoot your .06 well enough +/- 1 inch at 200 yards and you don't get nervous around black bears you will be fine.

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