Brown Bear

Rifle For Brown Bear


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Q: I am thinking of buying a new Model 70 Winchester rifle for the hunting of Alaskan brown bear. I do handload so which calibre should I select that would utilize a premium grade bullet? I have considered the .30-06, .35 Whelan and .375 H&H, but the latter may be a bit too much for me to handle. What calibre and loads would you recommend bearing in mind that I will likely be going for moose and caribou as well?

John Kellerman

A: I’d certainly recommend a more powerful calibre than the .30- 06 for the hunting of brown bear, and would rule out the .375 H&H in favour of the .338 Win. Mag. with a good handload. In my own .338 I use just one bullet and load for everything from deer to bear and moose. That is the 225gn Barnes TSX, but the loads in my long-throated rifle would be excessive in a rifle with a standard chamber. Try to work up to 67gn of AR2209 for about 2750 fps. That load generates 3779 ft/lbs of muzzle energy which is enough to discourage even the most rambunctious bruin at close range. I took five head of Alaskan big game with that bullet in my own .338 so I can recommend it without reservation.

 


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Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey is one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He has been writing about firearms and hunting for more than 65 years, has published many books and uncounted articles, and has travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject is unmatched. He has been Sporting Shooter's Gun Editor for longer than anyone can remember. Nick lives in rural NSW, Australia.

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