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#1004694 - 06/26/08 04:43 AM .243 win for black bear
billygoat Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 06/15/08
Posts: 58
Loc: northern california
I have killed most of my bear and deer with archery, Ive shot 4 blacktailed deer and 2 bears with a 30-06 and a 7mm rem mag. Both calibers were extreemely way way way way too much gun for black bear and blacktailed deer. Completly destroys bear with a six inch hole and almost blows deer in half. lol Im tired of cleaning up a mess and throwing out a quarter of a blood shot animal that looks like he got hit with a 120mm tank round. and thats with the little 140-150 gr. factory loads.

I recently purchased a remington model 700 VLS rifle in a .243, I have fallen in love with it. Most accurate rifle I have ever owned. I put a leoupold mark 4 scope on it and I get half a minute angle groups out to 500 yards. yes thats right 2.5 inch groups at 500 yards. awsome!!!!

I hand load my ammo, I use 42 grains of varget powder with 85gr. sierra match king bullets, I chronoed my rounds at 3430 fps average, Ive yet to shoot a bambie with it but ive killed four yotes, all of them over 400 yards. with the furthest being 750 yards. The 750 yard shot had a full pass through shot on the 38 pound yote. I want to know if I can use my loads to take say a 200-300 pound black bear with in very close range, say a baby shot like 300 yards. any one had a experience with .243s and yoggies.
Im going to use it for deer for sure, but limit my shots to 500 yards on deer for lack of energy at long range reasons.

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#1004695 - 06/26/08 10:06 AM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: billygoat]
Ras53 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/19/06
Posts: 312
Loc: Top of UT
My brother used an iron-sighted .243 w/100gr bullet on a small/average black bear many years ago. Range was under 100 yards, bear went 50 yards into the brush. Given the right placement it should work, but is it optimum?

Its probably not what I'd choose.


Edited by Ras53 (06/26/08 10:12 AM)
_________________________
"Don't know where we're goin', but there's no sense bein' late!" Matthew Quigley — Down Under http://users.sisna.com/ericl.rasmussen/

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#1004696 - 06/26/08 10:35 AM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: Ras53]
outlaw from Idaho Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 98
Loc: Wa. Id.Or.Mt.


Some years back I was deer hunting .I was setting on a hill over looking a valley.

I started blowing a fawn call and after a few min I seen a Coyote coming from the right side and a Black Bear coming from the left side. Too make a long story short I took the Coyote with the first shot and then turned to the left and took out the Bear.

I was useing a 105 gr Speer SP. hand loaded bullet in a Ruger MK II in 243 Win.

Two shots two Kills. Outlaw

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#1004697 - 06/27/08 02:10 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: outlaw from Idaho]
Rubenator Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4377
Loc: Oakland,Il.
I dont know a thing about bear hunting but I dont think a .243 would be my choice for bear! What if you came across a real trophy, shot it, then lost it? Bet that gun would not be your favorite after that incident!

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#1004698 - 06/27/08 04:55 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: Rubenator]
CalCoyote Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 430
Loc: NW Oregon
Shooting a 300 pound black bear with an 85 grain bullet at 300 yards concerns me. IMO at that range you could run the possibility of the bullet not penetrating if it hit a shoulder. It sounds like you know what you are doing and have the load pretty well tuned for your rifle, but IMHO if I were hunting with a 243 for bear, I would be using 100g bullets and keeping the range under 200 yards. If you have taken bear and deer with archery as you state in your post, then you are well able to stalk within range.

If bear can be killed with a bow (which many of them are) then I see no reason why a well placed shot with a 243 using the right cartridge would not succeed as well.

Just my opinion.


Calcoyote
_________________________
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose"

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#1004699 - 06/27/08 05:05 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: billygoat]
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 19088
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
Quote:

I have killed most of my bear and deer with archery, Ive shot 4 blacktailed deer and 2 bears with a 30-06 and a 7mm rem mag. Both calibers were extreemely way way way way too much gun for black bear and blacktailed deer. Completly destroys bear with a six inch hole and almost blows deer in half. lol Im tired of cleaning up a mess and throwing out a quarter of a blood shot animal that looks like he got hit with a 120mm tank round. and thats with the little 140-150 gr. factory loads.






Move to a heavier constructed bullet and stay away from the poly tipped bullets.

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#1004700 - 06/27/08 05:13 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: crapshoot]
Lonny Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 1598
Loc: Lewiston, Idaho USA
The 85 grain SMK would be one of my last choices for a black bear... There is a huge amount of difference between killing a 38 pound coyote and a black bear ten times heavier. I don't see any problem with using a .243 on bear, just use a stout bullet constructed for big game and not a target or varmint bullet.

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#1004701 - 07/01/08 02:11 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: Lonny]
Okanagan Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 714
Quote:

The 85 grain SMK would be one of my last choices for a black bear...




I'll ditto Lonny on that.

Sounds like you have a dream rifle to shoot. I love the 6mm's and have both a .243 and a 6mm (same bullet, slightly more powder in the 6mm), and have killed and seen killed a fair number of black bears with them.

And for that reason, I'd never pick the .243 deliberately to shoot a black bear if I have anything bigger.

However, you want to kill a bear with your new rifle. I've been there with new equipment and know the feeling. Do it. Carefully, once, and get that out of your system

If the goal is to kill a bear, use plenty of gun with margin for any scenario. If the goal is to kill a bear with a particular rifle, arrange for the conditions to give you the margin I.e. closer range, good bullet, well placed. You'll do fine with it.

FWIW I've seen them killed with old style Bear Razorheads from a stick bow, and from .22 rimfire up to .375 H&H, and one with a tire iron. 80% of the time you don't need more than a .243 on a black bear. But unless I really wanted to use this rifle, I'd carry for the 20% and especially for the 5% of really bad situations.

I've seen quick kills with .243 but also lost bears. The quickest was a 95 grain Nosler Partition that hit the back of a bear's withers at 40 foot range, went down the center of the spine and into the skull from the back and the bear dropped with an audible thud. Same day, different bear, same rifle and load, the same shooter hit a large/average black bear in the shoulder as it stood broadside at 90 yards, and we lost the bear. The bear bit at the wound and ran off with no blood trail, except 40 feet into the timber where it stopped and pulled out some bone shards and went on. Rain forest in heavy rain. A brief jam cost the shooter a second shot.

Two weeks ago I blood trailed a bow hit bear in brush so thick that at times ten feet was max visibility. Have done that more than once on wounded bears and don't like the experience. I used binoculars to pick out the blood trail ahead to make sure that if the bear turned aside, I would know it before I got there. Visibility finally opened to 40 feet and I glassed the blood trail ahead to a small patch of black fur 35-40 feet away.

In dry ground northern California with more open brush, a blood trail will be easier to follow most of the time, but not always. Bear wounds tend to plug with fat anyway and not bleed externally. I like a big hole.

I think the bear deserves better than a .243. If you do use it, a stouter bullet would be better, and I'd limit shots to carefully placed ones, whatever that means to you in range, but likely under 150 yards with a good rest.

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#1004702 - 07/01/08 02:44 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: billygoat]
Okanagan Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 02/17/02
Posts: 714
Quote:

Ive shot 4 blacktailed deer and 2 bears with a 30-06 and a 7mm rem mag. Both calibers were extreemely way way way way too much gun for black bear and blacktailed deer. Completly destroys bear with a six inch hole and almost blows deer in half. lol Im tired of cleaning up a mess and throwing out a quarter of a blood shot animal that looks like he got hit with a 120mm tank round. and thats with the little 140-150 gr. factory loads.






Your problem with big holes and meat damage is not with caliber but with bullet choice. I have shot both deer and black bear with 30-06 and 7mm with minimal meat damage. The most meat damage I've had on a deer was with a .243 that hit bone at close range. Lost a nearly a quarter of meat.

Bullets are constructed for different purposes, and range from full jacketed ones that will leave a pencil hole to soft frangible bullets that virtually explode and leave a huge ragged wound. Pick the bullet for the job. That's more important than caliber.

For most big game, be it little coastal blacktails or big mule deer or black bear, the most consistent performing bullets are mid weight for caliber and constructed to expand at the nose but hold together. The old Remington Core-lokt is an excellent bullet, one of the best before bonded bullets came out, and plenty plenty for deer and black bear. Ditto for Hornady interlocks.

For a step up to bullets that hold together even better while expanding, Nosler Partition is the classic. Swift A-frame, Barnes etc. are excellent, and more than needed for deer.

140-150 grain factory bullets in 7mm are usually soft bullets that expand violently at the high velocity such light bullets travel. Faster is not always better, at least if you want a kill without massive meat damage.

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#1004703 - 07/01/08 03:11 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: Okanagan]
outlaw from Idaho Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 98
Loc: Wa. Id.Or.Mt.


I have never asked anyone if I should use this caliber or that caliber.The 243 win or 6mm rem are both on the light side for full grown 300-400Ib black bear, If you have to shoot with the 243 win use 100 gr. bullets or hand load the 105 gr speer its only 5gr heavier but a lot tuffer bullet. Use your 30-06 or 7 Mag with a 165gr or 180gr and just do it If you are worried..

My best friend in Montana was grouse hunting with his 12ga.but was also carrying a 44mag Ruger Black Hawk. anyway as he was working his way in the timber a very large Black Bear walked out in front of him, and as he had a bear tag with him was going to take a shot at about 20yds with the 44mag.My friend is a great shot with a hand gun and a very savvy hunter. He took the shot behind the left shoulder broadside with a 240gr load the bear went crazy he ended up putting 6 shots into the bear in good placement. Than found a slug in his shotgun vest and finished the bear off. He then checked his shorts!!!!!!

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#1004704 - 07/01/08 04:57 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: outlaw from Idaho]
ADCcoyote Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 766
Loc: Somewhere out west,east of the...
nosler accu bond but 26 caliber min for big bear or other big game above deer and goats

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#1004705 - 07/01/08 05:44 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: ADCcoyote]
Lex Online
Die Hard Member

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 607
Loc: arizona
I would use a 243 with no problem just shoot a 100 barnes or partition and it will work fine.

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#1004706 - 07/01/08 07:46 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: Okanagan]
Lonny Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 1598
Loc: Lewiston, Idaho USA






Your problem with big holes and meat damage is not with caliber but with bullet choice.




Amen to that statement. Many people will blame the cartridge or the caliber for excessive or not enough damage, when actually the blame needs to lie with selecting a poor bullet for the task.

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#1004707 - 07/01/08 09:50 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: Lonny]
Predburner Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 512
Loc: Oklahoma
I have never blown a deer almost in half with my 30 06...As matter of fact if had an exit larger than a half inch I would be suprised....

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#1004708 - 07/02/08 02:14 PM Re: .243 win for black bear [Re: Predburner]
ADCcoyote Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 766
Loc: Somewhere out west,east of the...
100 grain bullet on black bear is not enough weight or retention IMO to anchor a bear solid. A bullet needs energy transfer to do the job, 100 grain on that mass not enough, an arrow is far different, it is the head that causes all the trama at a much slower speed, less than ideal hits with an arrow much different than a less than ideal hit with a bullet that has much higher energy transfer.

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