Bear and Elk cartridges?


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Old 03-24-2010, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Bear and Elk cartridges?

Ive been looking around and have decided that I need a hard hitting bear and elk rifle. This past year I used my 270 for elk, but I feel a little under gunned going into bear territory. So, I would like a rifle in a caliber that will handle both elk, and bear. The bears I will be hunting are black bear, and I want the rifle to be capable of taking a grizzly if I need it to. The ranges I will be hunting will be between 50-300 yards. I would prefer the rife to have a fairly moderate recoil, because I am only 14 and do not want to develop a flinch. I have been shooting my dads 30-06 a lot and im good with its recoil. I would just like another rifle . Any replys will be appreciated.



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Old 03-24-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 270 win View Post
Ive been looking around and have decided that I need a hard hitting bear and elk rifle. This past year I used my 270 for elk, but I feel a little under gunned going into bear territory. So, I would like a rifle in a caliber that will handle both elk, and bear. The bears I will be hunting are black bear, and I want the rifle to be capable of taking a grizzly if I need it to. The ranges I will be hunting will be between 50-300 yards. I would prefer the rife to have a fairly moderate recoil, because I am only 14 and do not want to develop a flinch. I have been shooting my dads 30-06 a lot and im good with its recoil. I would just like another rifle . Any replys will be appreciated.
Since you don't want to increase the recoil level much, consider a non-magnum cartridge, that fires a larger, heavier bullet such as 338-06, 338 RCM (a magnum, but really only in name) or 35 Whelen.

In the unlikely event you get charged by a bear, whether black or grizzly, you'll appreciate a variable scope with the low end at 1.75 power or so. Just remember to crank the power down when in areas of thick brush, just in case a bear gets alarmed at close quarters.


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Old 03-24-2010, 04:54 PM   #3
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I have looked at the 35 whelen, but thought that the recoil would be a fair bit more than the 30-06. Have you ever shot one?

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Old 03-24-2010, 05:24 PM   #4
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Grizzly! No! Just walk away before they see you. You can get more out of your .270 w/ a Barnes TSX or Swift a-frame. If you are staying in the lower 48, you will be fine. If you are that worried about Grizzly bear, a 9.3x62 would be the lowest I would go. A good 286gr bullet would be in order. My little 9.3x57 can almost match the .35 Whelen and I would not consider using it on big bear. The 9.3x57 is always underloaded in factory ammo, but is capable of being a very heavy hitter. The 9.3x62 takes it to a different level. In Africa, the 9.3x62 is a dangerous game cartridge, the .35 Whelen is not. Bear can be really quiet if they decide you are food. Always hunt w/ a partner in bear country and always have an appropriate load in the bottom of the mag. I use open sights for things that may bite back.

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Old 03-24-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
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I have looked at the 35 whelen, but thought that the recoil would be a fair bit more than the 30-06. Have you ever shot one?
I've never fired a 35 Whelen but I own a 338 RCM, which is the power equivalent to a 338-06. Each step up in bullet weight and power level will result in a corresponding increase in recoil. If you can handle the 30-06 with relative ease, you should also be able to handle the 338 RCM or 338-06. And therefore, you should be able to learn to handle the 35 Whelen.

I would suggest firing your father's 30-06 a lot with the heaviest bullets available, and if you feel you're fine with that level of recoil, then decide from there. When I say "a lot", I don't mean all on one day. Spread it out over a period of days or weeks. I've worked my recoil tolerance level up by doing this, to include 416's and 458's. You'll be able to increase your recoil tolerance level too.
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:56 PM   #6
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The only reason I included grizzly bear is for protection, here in Alberta we can not hunt grizzly's, but I want enough gun to handle one if I ever needed it to. We do all of our own reloading, so my dads 30-06 is shooting a fairly suped up 165gr bullet. 375, what have you shot with your 338RCM?

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:04 PM   #7
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35 whelen. In the light to mid range bullet weights (200-225gr) the recoil will be similar to the hot loaded 165's in the '06. These bullets (especially the 225gr partition) would be good for elk size game. The double tap loading of the 310gr Woodleigh weld core would me sufficient for bears, not ideal but sufficient.

The Whelen is fairly available and good rifles are on the market at reasonable prices.

If you handload for it, the options open up quite a bit. Existing '06 brass can be necked up as can any case in that family (.270, .280) if you aneal first. That way finding brass to reload will not be difficult.

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
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The only reason I included grizzly bear is for protection, here in Alberta we can not hunt grizzly's, but I want enough gun to handle one if I ever needed it to. We do all of our own reloading, so my dads 30-06 is shooting a fairly suped up 165gr bullet. 375, what have you shot with your 338RCM?
270:
I haven't had it very long so haven't had the privilege yet. I'm getting 2700 fps from it's 20 inch barrel with 225gr Barnes TTSX's. I expect it will be very effective for even grizzly, if the need arose. I wouldn't be afraid to roam around in grizzly country with it. That's based on my experience using 308 Win, 300 Win Mag and 375 H&H on big black bear and moose. Part of the reason though is the bullets. Premium bullets, like the Barnes TTSX, bring any cartridges effectiveness to a higher level.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:42 PM   #9
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I have found a nice rifle. It is the remington 700 cdl in 35 whelen, I like the look of the blued barrel and walnut stock. I think it would make a nice rifle for both bear and elk. It is a bit pricey but I don't want to cheap out. Do you guys have any other rifles that come in the 35 whelen? On another note, I was also looking at the 350 remington mag, does anyone have any experience with these?

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Old 03-24-2010, 11:32 PM   #10
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