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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mods and Admins, if you feel the need to lock this thread, then please do so, but at least allow folks to read this post.

I found the thread about Constantine's question dealing with shooting a bear (brown or black) with a 7.62 X 54mm Mosin-Nagant rifle. Well, I also saw the debate that it engendered, and I want to avoid such a pointless waste of a thread at all cost. However, I do have something to say that should be of benefit to everyone here on the forum.

As many of you know (and if you don't, just check out my profile information), I live in Alaska. I moved here with my dad and family in the Air Force at the young age of 2 1/2, and I was raised here. In that time, I've been to one end of the state and back and have seen and heard a lot of amazing things. I've also hunted, fished, hiked, camped, worked, and even done a little gold mining/panning with friends on their private property (but that's another story for another time...). It was during those early years, when I didn't get to go along with my dad on ALL of his excursions, that the relevant information is presented here concerning the 7.62 X 54mm round and a bear.

Back in 1991, when I was but four years old, my dad and his boss from his squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base went on a fly-in deer hunting trip to Afognak Island, just north of Kodiak Island off the coast of Alaska. They were hunting for deer and didn't have a brown bear tag. They were out for about ten days or so on the island. Towards the end of their hunt, they had several deer downed, cleaned, and hung to dry at their camp near the shore of a cove. My dad was hunting with his .30-06 Winchester bolt-action rifle, and he had brought along his .44 Magnum Ruger Blackhawk pistol (incidentally, this pistol he purchased from the same guy who came along on this hunt) as a camp gun to have at the ready in case a bear decided to get too nosy in their area. Towards the end of the hunt, these guys noticed that some of their deer meat had been tampered with by a large brown bear (you can tell bear apart by their tracks--blacks have less pronounced claw marks in their tracks then browns since the brown bear has claws that extend out over their foot pads, and blacks have claws that are recessed into their paws) He and his partner were back at camp in the morning on one of their last days out when this same bear decided that he wanted to barge into camp for the remainder of one of the deer that it had previously ransacked.

My dad noticed the bear coming at a trot straight for the camp when he was headed to a nearby stream for fresh water for breakfast. He turned back to camp as fast as he could and tossed the .44 Magnum revolver to his partner while he grabbed his .30-06 Winchester. They yelled at the bear to leave, and my dad banged a couple of pots around to make some noise, hoping that the bear would take the hint and stop approaching. Instead, he immediately zeroed in on their exact location and charged.

Bears are known to behave in an aggressive manner when they have found food or something else they want and are willing to fight to get or protect whatever it is that they are trying to obtain. This bear acted in kind, and he also behaved in a way similar to other bears that have little to no fear of humans. There are a lot of hunters that go to these islands, and the bears have, over the years, learned that whereever humans are hunting, there is bound to be some scraps lying around for the taking. There are even places in the Kodiak archipelago where bears have learned to home in on the sound of a gunshot to find a downed animal and take it from the very hunter who just killed it! The local name for such behavior up here is the "Brown Bear Dinner Bell Syndrome." Also, even though many bears will shy away at the sound of a human voice or a loud noise, some bears have learned to react to such stimuli by homing in on the sound of the object or person creating the noise and will aggressively attack or charge the person to eliminate what they perceive as a threat. Such was the case that happened with my dad and his partner.

Now, my dad's .30-06 Winchester is a bolt-action rifle, specifically a short-pull turnbolt action. It has a magazine capacity of five rounds of ammunition, and my dad normally keeps a round in the chamber with the safety on when he is hunting so that he has a total capacity of six instead of five rounds. On this particular trip, he was using a mixture of 180 grain and 200 grain ballistic-tipped Hornaday (reloaded) bullets in these .30-06 shells (I need to ask him again what exactly the grain weight of the bullet he used here was, I don't remember offhand...I'll post it here when I find out). This is what transpired...

...That fool bear decided to charge the two hunters at less than thirty yards. My dad already had his rifle on the bear when he started to move, and he was still yelling at him to leave. As soon as the bear spun around, my dad fired his first shot. As the bear took several lunges toward him, my dad fired repeatedly. His final shot dropped a nine-foot brown bear (a boar, if I remember right, I'll check on that, too) fifteen feet from him. He was getting ready to shoot again, even after the bear had dropped, when his partner told him to "save a bullet" in case the bear DID start to move again, but the other guy thought that "you've pretty much shot him to pieces." When my dad checked his rifle at that point, there was ONE round of ammunition left in that gun, and there were five spent cases on the ground. He literally fired a bolt-action weapon a total of five times in the space of about five seconds! My dad's partner, who is a close family friend, said that while he had the .44 Magnum on the bear, he felt he didn't even have to fire since that bolt-action sounded like a machine gun!

Now, to those who might call "Bovinescat" to this story, I can only attest to the fact that both of these men are close and personal family/friends to me, and I have no reason to doubt their word. No, I wasn't there, and I can only relate the details as they were told to me. However, here is why I believe every word that they have ever told to me about what happened: due to the fact that they did not have a brown bear tag, they had basically shot a big game animal without the proper state-issued paperwork/harvest tag. This is illegal and can be punished with both fines and jail time. However, it is an admissible defense to such an action that one shot the given animal in self-defense. Since this is what happened in this case, my dad and his partner had to corroborate their story to the Alaska State Troopers and Fish and Game officers when they arrived back in Anchorage. To help facilitate this, they immediately went and grabbed a pencil and a torn piece of a paper bag they had along on their trip to write down the details of the event. When they got back to Anchorage, they were interrogated by state officials for over twelve hours about what had happened before they were finally released. Now, if twelve straight hours of interrogation by law enforcement officers isn't enough to make me believe that the details of the story are factual, then I don't know what would convince me otherwise.

In summary, based upon the fact that the 7.62 X 54mm Russian cartridge is ballistically similar to the .30-06 Springfield and the fact that this cartridge dropped a charging brown bear in a distance of about twenty yards with five shots that connected in the center-of-mass of the bear, I would have to say that the 7.62 X 54mm Russian cartridge is more than adequate for most big game in existence on earth, especially here in North America. Also, some posters suggested in the other thread that one should have a semi-automatic weapon for bear defense. To this, I can only say this: ever wonder why many big game hunters and safari guides in Africa opt to take a double-barrel break-action big bore rifle out for predators/protection? It's because semi-automatic actions or manual actions that have a lot of moving parts (like a lever-action) have a tendency to be more prone to jamming or malfunction. In the heat of an encounter with a dangerous animal, the last thing you need is a jammed weapon. This is why manually-operated firearms with the simplest mechanisms are perferred for this type of work, like bolt-actions, break-actions, and pumps for rifles and break-action, bolt-action, or revolvers for pistols.

Well, I hope this was helpful to some folks out there. Feel free to post comments and replies. Mods, watch this thread to make sure it doesn't get out of hand, and guys--keep it civil, unlike the last thread!

Thanks for reading!

Jag 8)
 

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Cool story, thanks for sharing. I'm glad your father and his friend escaped unharmed with a great yarn to spin.


But, you completely misunderstood the whole '7.62X54R for bear' thread. It had nothing to do with which calibers were adequate and everything to to do with proving who had the biggest piece dangling--it was nothing more than a p*****g match...






Edited toadd an R to caliber designation lest someone point out that there is, somewhere, an obscure 7.62X54 rimless cartridge and my omission caused needless confusion...
 

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Good story and not too surprising either. based on the fact that all of the magnum rounds have not been around that long and hunters have been taking big game for years prior .. even with bow and arrow and spears!
 

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I do not doubt your story one bit, I am sure it is true. I am happy it turned out the way it did, however one instance of shooting a brown bear 5 times in an emergency is hardly a proof that the 54R is acceptable for harvesting or sufficient SD in that situation. Just by reading the story I think everyone including those who pulled the trigger would call them lucky. They were certainly lucky that the bear dropped at 15 feet. Why? Would they have been lucky if they had a .338 Win Mag? Nope, that would have been wisdom.

The question in the other thread wasn't whether or not a 3006 or 54R can kill a brown bear. A knife, screwdriver, ice pick, or .22 can kill a brown bear. The whole point was that the 54R is not a sufficient caliber for SD or harvesting a brown bear. The answer is no. That is why those who have hunted, guides, rangers, and professionals all recommend a 300WM as the least and the 338WM as the preferred. Argue with the pros! The problem is that monday morning QBs who have never once hunted a brown bear, and in some cases never even fired a 54R to understand its capabilities, have all crowned themselves god. I dont care what they say. I will take real hunters, guides, and pros opinion over yahoos who have no clue but tell the world they do.

I am glad your story ended well, but they would even admit they got lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Digger44, I respect your opinion, but based upon my own personal experience in hunting big game with calibers no larger than the .30-06 Springfield or the 7.62 X 54mm Russian, I must say that I disagree with the statement that only the new whiz-bang magnum calibers are proper for the self-defense/harvesting kill of a brown bear.  Most people can't even shoot the dang magnums from a standing position with reliable accuracy due to the heavy recoil.  Personally, while I don't mind having someone along in a hunting party who actually has a "shoulder-cannon" for the extra bore diameter/kinetic energy (so long as that person is competent with said cannon), it is STILL shot placement that matters the most in taking big game.  And if you can't accurately fire one of these guns due to the recoil, what good would one of them do?  Well, maybe the muzzle blast might knock the bear over before he got to you...

:D :tongue2: :rolleyes2: :laugh: :woow:

...just kidding...

In conclusion, I will say that any rifle that is of a 6.5 caliber or higher with a bullet weight of 124 grains or higher is an acceptable platform for anyone to take a big game animal, even a brown bear.  These platforms have all been used by either myself, my family, or friends to take both moose and bear, brown and black, with terminally quick and efficient results.  I have even known of one person who used a .243 Winchester bolt-action rifle to take a 1400 pound bull moose at 256 yards with a 100 grain bullet with just two shots.  I stand by my final analysis: unless you bring a howitzer or a friggin' RPG on a hunt (which would be illegal, anyway), you're going to need more than one shot to bring down a brown bear quickly.  Personally, I'll take my .30-06 or Mosin-Nagant rifle with a 180 grain bullet and its manageable recoil to allow me to put multiple shots on target as quickly as possible versus a super-cool, maximum velocity thunder cannon that I can't even hold on target for the first shot.  I have shot a .300 Win Mag, and I'm here to tell you: I cannot personally stand the recoil of that weapon for more than a few (meaning three-four) rounds...and that was shooting from a bench rest! If a person is comfortable shooting a large-caliber rifle in any of the thirty-caliber rounds or within a few calibers in the upper spectrum of the 6.5/7mm calibers, than I say go with what you are comfortable with and practice, practice, practice to ensure competence with said weapon!

To wrap up, I mean no offense toward you.  I can understand the mentality of having a big-bore weapon, and if I could personally shoot one of the heavy magnums with accuracy and efficiency, I might go with one.  However, I also know that any of the calibers I have already mentioned is more than adequate for this type of work, and I do not feel underarmed when I head into the woods with one of these guns.  I will not pointlessly argue this point with you, but I am open to further dialogue of a respectful, thoughtful, and factual nature.  Feel free to post replies that comply with these guidelines.  If I feel that any response steps out of those boundaries, I will cease the discussion and take further actions as I see fit.  For example, in the last post you made, did you intend to include me personally in with the people whom you see as "yahoos" who aren't real hunters?  I've been hunting up here in Alaska for nearly sixteen years, and I've learned a lot in that time.  While I am no "expert hunter who knows everything (as if there is such a thing)", I do believe I have learned enough to know what I am talking about in such matters.  I would reccomend that you take a look at how you word your responses to other people's posts so as to minimize any potential insinuation, intentional or not, that you are offending and/or "talking down" to others.  Just an observation, and again, no malice intended.

Thanks for replying.  I do look forward to a continuance of this topic, if you so wish.  Talk at you soon, again, if you want to...

Jag   8)
 

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if you can shoot a large bore magnum with skill, they are fine. the problem comes when ever tom dick and harry buys one, shoots half a box of shells through it and thinks they are an uber-magnum shooter. these are the idiots who couldnt hit the braod side of a barn and buy a cannon to compensate for poor shot placement.

30-06, x54R, or any other 30 caliber is large neough to take any game on the planet (with the possible exception of elephants/hippos) with proper shot placment and bullet selection. for animals like bear and moose you need a soild heavy bullet that doesnt expand alot and penetrates DEEP, that will also break bones in case you hit the shoulder blade or someting else. you can load a 30-06 to the same bullet design specs as a 300WM round and get the same effects with less recoil and a non magnum round.

magnum do have thier place in regular hunting as well. ive hunted deer with a .375 H&H magnum and ruined LESS meat that with a 243 or 25-06. it just made a neat hole behind the shoulder and the deer dropped after one step. ive shot them in the same place with a 243 and the deer ran 150 yards before falling.

SW
 

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Here is the problem with your analysis. Just from what you said, it is clear you have never harvested a brown bear, or could be on the verge of being eaten by one if you have. Harvesting a brown bear has nothing to do with "vital shot placement". Such a term assumes that your shot is a perfect hit into the vitals of a brown bear. Sorry, but that is not how you harvest a brown bear. The reason every pro, Alaska Fish and Game, guide, and avid hunter recommend a 300+magnum is because the first shot does not hit the vitals. The first shot is used to break the front shoulders to incapacitate the bear. Even a 3006 has a hard time breaking both shoulders. The first shot does not go into the vitals because the 1.) vital area is so difficult to reach with the first shot, 2.) A vital shot will not drop a brown bear immediately, 3.) a slight miss gives you a raging fury freight train that you have to go find. Any shot not breaking the shoulders puts the hunter at risk because that hunter now has to enter an angry animals domain where he is at a serious disadvantage. If you have hunted brown bear, you know that the hunter never wants to track the bear into its bedroom. That is why if you break the shoulders, a vital shot can then be made after the bear is down and not a threat at chasing you. This is how a brown bear is harvested. It doesn't matter if you disagree. This what pros, state officials, guides, and avid hunters do. I documented that multiple times in the other thread. You dont just take one shot and then pray the second shot hits. Are you claiming that you get close enough to a brown bear so you can take multiple rapid shots with a mosin? lol Sorry, but again your lack of brown bear hunting shows through.

I have choice words for your friend who used a 100 grain bullet on a moose. I removed these words from this post. Your theory of 124 grains is dead wrong. Your 3006 or 54R is fine for any animal you hunt in Alaska except the brown bear because of the above info. A 124 grain bullet is NOT acceptable nor sufficient to hunt any big game animal. That is unethical and not fair to the animal. Just because it "can" be done does not mean it should be done.

Now here is the funny part that shows you are talking out your wazoo. What 54R bullet are you going to use to harvest a brown bear? You claim that 180 grain is sufficient, but what kind? A FMJ mil surp? HA, or a soft point that would make the bear laugh? A FMJ is illegal to hunt with in most states and the soft point is fine for the deer family, but it has very bad ballistics for a brown bear based upon its capability. The soft point would instantly be rendered ineffective if it hit a bone (shoulder or rib) because it would collapse into the bone. They don't really expand, but fold. This totally undermines your theory of taking a vital shot. The bullet does not expand into the vitals causing mass trauma for a bear. It doesnt use the latest in ballistics to fragment or expand into a a "claw" that tears the vitals. I do not know why most people assume that a bullet acts the same in a bear as the deer family. Deer are solid mass. They have a very low fat content that goes into trauma very easily. Bear are just the opposite. They have a very high fat content. This is important to know because of the way you harvest a bear. The fat fills a wound so quickly that is stops the bleeding rapidly. That is why a deer can bleed out and a bear typically does not. Tracking any wounded bear can be so aggravating because the trail just disappears, not to mention dangerous because he could be waiting for you. Been there, done that, and don't want to do it again. You may have a better argument with a 3006 (still not recommended but better than a 54R) because of all the effective bullet types, but not the 54R. You will only find FMJ, soft points, and maybe Wolf HP which I can never find for sale but wouldnt hunt with anyway. While some do reload the 54R themselves, that is really the minority and based upon the .308 because the 54R is really a .311.

The "yahoo" comment was actually towards the yahoos who call themselves pro hunters but have never actually set foot looking for a brown bear. Hence the yahoo that recommended using an AK-47. There are many people on this board that feel because they have had guns for years, served in the military 50 years ago (yes I am grateful for their service), or have read a magazine that they are gun experts. They have never hunted, shot a 54R, or even picked up a Mosin but they are experts. No, they are yahoos.

Here is my favorite line you wrote, "I will cease the discussion and take further actions as I see fit." I had to laugh out loud at this line because I really want to see what further action you are going to take. Please, make me an example of your great power lol. Dude, this is an internet forum. You are wrong in your analysis of the 54R and brown bear hunting. The pros, state officials, guides, and avid hunter all disagree with you. I really don't care what "further action" you threaten for being proven wrong on a message board because you disagree with the majority of real brown bear hunters. Take whatever action you have to. lol Anyone claiming a 124 grain bullet is sufficient for big game animals should be talked down to and laughed off the board. That is a ridiculous statement. Never did I say a 300+ Mag is needed for every big game animal. I said brown bear. Argue with the pros.

Just for the mods sake, I will not post further. Anything I have posted agrees with the pros and is very factual. I did not base it in some elaborate emotional story. I based it on facts. Now excuse me while I go hunting for polar bear with my sling shot. I hear eskimos claim it can be done if using granite for ammo.
 

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if you can shoot a large bore magnum with skill, they are fine. the problem comes when ever tom dick and harry buys one, shoots half a box of shells through it and thinks they are an uber-magnum shooter. these are the idiots who couldnt hit the braod side of a barn and buy a cannon to compensate for poor shot placement.

30-06, x54R, or any other 30 caliber is large neough to take any game on the planet (with the possible exception of elephants/hippos) with proper shot placment and bullet selection. for animals like bear and moose you need a soild heavy bullet that doesnt expand alot and penetrates DEEP, that will also break bones in case you hit the shoulder blade or someting else. you can load a 30-06 to the same bullet design specs as a 300WM round and get the same effects with less recoil and a non magnum round.

magnum do have thier place in regular hunting as well. ive hunted deer with a .375 H&H magnum and ruined LESS meat that with a 243 or 25-06. it just made a neat hole behind the shoulder and the deer dropped after one step. ive shot them in the same place with a 243 and the deer ran 150 yards before falling.

SW
Sorry SW, these statements are not even close to being accurate. I respect you, but are totally wrong.
 

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How much gun is enough? As one big game hunter puts it:

The .30-06 Springfield also began life as a military chambering in 1906. Without peer for versatility, this caliber can be used on everything from varmits to the largest of North American big game.... Projectiles in the 150- and 165- grain weights are just about right for deer, antelope, black bear, caribou, and mountain game. The heavier 180-, 200-, and 220-grain factory loads are best suited for use on boar, brown bear, and elk.... Personally, I consider a .30-06 Spfd, firing 180-grain solidly constructed bullets about the minimum for musk ox hunting.... Furthermore, it does it all without the punishing recoil of many so-called "Magnum" chamberings. Enough said!
On hunting brown bear and grizzly:

...[C]ontrary to popular belief, you don't need a cannon to safely hunt grizzlies. Most hunters take their animals with rifles with cartridges in the .30-06 Spfd. class.
Quotes taken from D. Hollis, Hunting North American Big Game, (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002) ISBN:0-87349-383-4.

Durwood Hollis is the author of five books on hunting, firearms, and knives, and a former regular columnist for Peterson's Hunting Magazine. He has taken big game from North and South America, Africa, and Europe.
 

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I didn't know a 54R was the same as a 3006. Wait, it isn't. It is smaller. It is in between a 3006 and a 308. Even if you claim that the 54R is sufficient according to Hollis (which he does not say), he claimed "solidly constructed bullet." I did say above there is a better argument for a properly loaded 3006 but the 54R IS NOT A 3006. Hollis didn't say 54R FMJ milsurp or soft point with no expansion. The two are not the same. 54R is closer to a .308 (it is a 311). Enough said.

It is easy to provide sources from the pros. http://www.huntingmag.com/big_game/bear_busting/index.html

"I can assure you that I will never again hunt a big bear with a caliber as light as .30. Good choices start with the 8mm Rem. Mag. and work their way through the magnum spectrum to about .416.

I think cartridges such as the .338 Win. Mag., .340 Wby. Mag. and .338 Rem. Ultra Mag are perfect for grizzly bears. Interior grizzlies are smaller than coastal bears, and the terrain often results in longer shots. Further, inland bears are far more thinly distributed than coastal bears, so while long-range shooting is not recommended, you want to be able to take any sensible shot. My last grizzly was killed on the final evening of the hunt, cross-canyon at about 250 yards; a 250-grain Nosler from my .340 Wby. Mag. flattened him."
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Digger 44, please elaborate on your comment about "having been there and done that" with a wounded bear. I have personally been 12 yards away from a wounded 5' 2" sow black bear. I have also been at only six yards away from a young four-year old brown bear weighing about five hundred pounds with nothing but a Hi-Point JCP .40 S&W pistol in my hand. Thankfully, that encounter ended with a fired warning shot and a bear that turned and retreated. However, the first encounter I mentioned with the black bear was my first bear I took over a bait station (if you find that unethical or what not, feel free to fire away with your rhetoric) when I was 14 years old.

I was using a .357 Magnum carbine made by Amadeo Rossi out of Brazil (a nice lever-action carbine with a 12 shot capacity). I was also using reloaded Hornaday 158 grain XTP hollow-points with a muzzle velocity of 2100 feet per second. My first shot was not, unfortunately, a clean one, and the bullet only succeeded in clipping one lung and obliterating the front right leg bone (technically, the femur). The sow actually did bleed quite a bit at the original spot where the first shot connected, but not enough to stop her. She ran one thousand yards on three legs, and then finally laid down. She tucked herself under a hollow cavity in a rock face. By this point, she was losing a lot of blood, and while I hate having wounded animals running that long while still suffering from a wound that I inflicted, sometimes circumstances dictate having to chase a game animal in such a manner. I found her under that cavity as I stepped over a log while I was tracking her blood trail.
She was about twelve yards away, and she had her eyes closed. When I cocked my hammer on my rifle to fire, she heard the noise and woke up. Upon seeing me, she stood up on three legs and rushed. I had two other people with me: my dad's cousin, armed with a pump-action .30-06, and another friend, who just happened to have a bolt-action rifle chambered in the much vaunted .300 Winchester Magnum. They had flanked to my right on top of a boulder slide to be able to have a vantage point for easier shooting if the bear came up out of the hollow.

As it was, we knew she was close due to the amount of blood on the ground in front of the shallow "cave." I tried to stalk around the front of the windfalls that were in front of the entrance without disturbing her, but seeing as how bears have very good senses of smell and hearing, she heard me coming. When she rushed, I fired almost pointblank into her neck. The force of the bullet knocked her off her feet and back to the ground. I jacked a fresh shell into the chamber as I backed up to open the distance between her and me. She got up again and started to come toward me, but my two hunting partners opened up on her from their position. She shied away from that fusillade and turned away from me with her front left shoulder providing a good target through the alders that were now between her and me. I fired two rapid shots that both connected in the left shoulder and chest, and she finally dropped. When we skinned and gutted her out, we found a total of eleven bullet holes in her. She had been shot with three .357 Magnums, six .30-06 Springfields, and two .300 Win Mag rounds...and she was still moving on three legs at a rapid clip away from me when I finally administered the coup de grace shot. In other words, a highly heralded magnum cartridge failed to "break her shoulder and put her down." The bullets did punch through both shoulder blades and crack a large portion of the bone, but it still didn't stop the sow. And that was a black bear much smaller then a full-size brown or grizzly.

Digger, I have seen moose and bear shot with a whole variety of cartridges, and each time different results occurred. I have seen a black bear drop from a single shot from a .44 Magnum that connected with the spine, and I've seen similar sized black black bears shot in the chest and shoulders with the same bullet from a .44 Mag multiple times with the exact opposite result--the dang thing ran another 400 yards before it died! I've seen a bull moose with 62" antlers and a body size that topped 1600 pounds be brought down within a fifty-yard trot with two rounds from a .30-06 and a single round from a .300 Win Mag, and I've also seen 1100 pound bull moose drop right where it stood with a single shot from a 6.5 X 55mm Swedish Mauser! However, in most of these encounters over the years (save for only a couple of instances), one commonality runs throughout these experiences: multiple rounds were fired into most of these animals before they died. They were not even immobilized by shoulder hits that are supposed to "break the front shoulders to incapacitate" said animal, in our case a brown bear.

I have admittedly only been present at only one brown bear kill (and that was actually made with one round from a .44 Magnum at forty yards), but I've had enumerable encounters with them. There's more to hunting them then just having a giant magnum-caliber rifle and a clear shot. Sometimes you have to follow them into their "bedrooms" in order to make a clean kill, and while it is a harrowing situation, it is simply something that must be done in order to retrieve the animal sometimes. The greater threat in such a case isn't the bear; its a person's own fear that can cause him or her to panic and make snap judgements that put both that person and others in a hunting party at risk. Bears are not the unstoppable monsters that they have often been made out to be, though my own experience has shown that they can be quite formidable and resilient. They are living animals that deserve a lot of respect, but they also have biological systems that can be interrupted. In other words, so long as I can put a bullet into the critter and it'll bleed, I can harvest the animal. And when I personally take an animal's life, I do so for one of only three reasons: for food, for the hide/bones, etc., to make implements (my family uses the bear hides we get to make rugs, blankets, and even liners for jackets, and we have a couple of Native Alaskan friends who like to use the leftover sinew and bone to make carvings and bow strings), or for self-defense. I do not hunt animals simply for the "joy" of killing them. I will admit that there is a certain thrill to stalking through the brush after a dangerous predator, but this thrill is only a byproduct of being in a potentially dangerous situation from the adrenaline and other physiological effects of such a case. It is not the overriding reason I hunt bears. I do not hunt ANY animal simply for sport, and while I know that there are folks that do take moose simply for the antlers and bears for the skulls (etc.), I cannot personally condone such conduct. Hunting is NOT a shooting gallery where you just grab a big gun and blaze away at anything that moves. I understand that a bigger caliber weapon might be appropriate in some applications, but there are plenty of people up here who shoot big game animals of all types, including both brown and polar bears, with weapons that are chambered in common thirty-caliber military cartridges. The Natives even use .303 British Lee-Enfields to take polar bears!

You say I must "argue with the pros." So, just because I don't get paid high amounts of money to write articles in fancy trade publications about hunting/shooting means that I am an incompetent hack wandering aimlessly in the wilderness with a .22 LR rifle looking to tick off the first predator I see (although there actually have been people who HAVE taken bear with a .22 LR rifle...but I won't go there because that will just engender more arguments--which seems to be what you are looking for)? Are you actually looking for a straightforward conversation or just a meaningless debate?

Well, maybe I should say this: I surrender...you're right and I'm wrong; I'm just a stupid moron who should be shoved into a corner, drooling and shaking, while you, the mighty professional hunter who carries an antitank rifle to obliterate a brown bear and who knows everything there is to know about the task, ventures forth gallantly into the wilderness to conquer the elusive ursus arctos? Is that what you're looking to hear? For everyone else to just own up that you are completely right and only "professional" hunters sporting the latest equipment given to them by corporate sponsors know what they are doing? I tell you what: I invite you to come to Alaska. I will personally ensure that you have vehicles, equipment, and any other supplies you may need for a hunt. Then, you can bring any magnum-caliber rifle of .300 Win Mag or better and pit it against my "puny, inadequate" Mosin-Nagant M-91/30, and we will go grizz hunting. I'll let you fire your weapon at a legal brown bear unassisted (no fair me giving the bear a second gun to receive multiple wound tracks from). We can time how long the bear takes to actually die. Then, I'll take my Mosin and do the same thing on another legal brown bear. After that, we can both share the work to haul all of that meat and hide out of the field for processing and use. Would that offer any insight into what I am talking about?

I mean no insult to you in any way, Digger. I simply want to have an ADULT discussion about this topic, not an argument!!! I am tired of people who do a little research or have one or two experiences and then think that there is nothing else to be discovered about a theme, subject, or event, academically and otherwise. I want to have a conversation where mutual experiences and insights are shared without malice or threats. I want an honest dialogue that actually leads to effective learning instead of a mud-slinging argument. Quoting documents and "professional experts" is all well and good, but there is more to the story than just what these folks have to say. Are you willing to engage in such a discussion, or are you dead set on simply exchanging hollow banter and calling it good? I am willing if you are...but it's your choice...

To show that I am sincere, I will give you a concession: if given a choice between ready access to a .300 Win Mag or a higher caliber (or a twelve-guage with slugs) and a thirty-caliber weapon in any of the calibers mentioned previously, I will say that I would choose the magnum big-bore weapon for only ONE application--extreme close-range encounters where the theory behind the magnum round is supposed to be applied. In theory, you have the largest practical caliber weapon that shoots the heaviest bullet you can handle that is capable of penetrating as fast and as deep as possible to bring down a brown bear. However, shot placement is still important; if I don't hit the bear in the right place, my big gun STILL isn't going to do me much good. And, even after I have hit the bear in the right spot with this large caliber, prudence dictates that I keep firing until that bear's chest has stopped heaving up and down from his breathing. In other words, multiple effective hits should be obtained to facilitate the quickest possible expiration of the predator.

Alright, I've given a postulation. What are your thoughts? Are you willing to have an open dialogue, or is it pointless to continue? Your choice...

With all due respect,

Jag 8)
 

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My post was made in response to the following statements:

The reason every pro, Alaska Fish and Game, guide, and avid hunter recommend a 300+magnum is because the first shot does not hit the vitals....

Your 3006 or 54R is fine for any animal you hunt in Alaska except the brown bear because of the above info.
You see, I was a bit confused by your statement that "every pro" recommends a "300+magnum," or that "your 3006" is "fine for any animal... except brown bear," when there are contrary statements published by a "pro" who states that a .30-06 class weapon is sufficient.

Again, you do state that a "better" case may be made for a .30-06, but that it is "still not recommended," thus my confusion when a "pro" clearly states that "you don't need a cannon" and that the majority of brown bear and grizzly are taken with .30-06 - class weapons.

Not that it matters, but according to an episode of "Quest for the One" in which the hosts were hunting the Kamchatka Brown Bear (Ursus arctos beringianus), a lot of big game in Russia and the former soviet republics, including the brown bear, are taken using sporterized 91/30s. I guess someone should tell all of those poor misinformed Russian hunters that their rifles are not sufficient for the game they are hunting...

Would I want to hunt a big @$$ bear with a mosin... no. I would probably choose at least a .35 Whelen or .416 Remington Magnum. But that doesn't mean that the 7.62 x 54R isn't capable of taking a brown bear.
 

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oh boy it's on now!! :cantlook:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Autosurgeon, thanks for the reply, but there is nothing "on now." I will simply not tolerate any more "arguing for the sake of the argument" in any of the topics I post here on the HPFF (and now, because I have said this, somebody out there is going to think that I am some sort of stuck-up know-it-all who's trying to hard to be nice, and they're going to try to post something here just to try and start a conflict...all I can say is, post away in such a case, cause I'm not participating in an obviously antagonistic conversation just so someone can get some sort of enjoyment out of frustrating other people; I'm done with that kind of behavior). I want to have a REAL conversation with folks, is that so much to ask?

Thanks for your interest and replies!

Jag 8)
 

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The only comment I have for this thread is going to be directed straight at Digger 44.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.


Digger, I am officially warning you to watch your step. I see your points, but I also see that you are doing nothing but causing strife in a thread that was meant by the OP to ease tension and relieve stress on the original thread. If your interest is to cause more strife just to have your opinion out there, keep it to yourself. Right now all you're doing is pulling a "GlockMan". You're offering what some might say is an expert opinion, without any proof. Until you can incontrovertibly PROVE that a 7.62x54R chambered rifle CANNOT safely dispatch a bear, keep your mouth shut.

The thing that gets me here is this. Experts say this, Experts say that. Experts tell you that the Thompson Center Arms muzzleloader is the "Best" there is, there is nothing else that'll kill a deer. I can PROVE to you that I have killed whitetail deer with my $89.00 CVA Bobcat muzzleloader, so where is that Expert now? Don't buy into the hype that the only rifle that'll kill a Bear is a .338 Win. Mag., .340 Wby. Mag. and .338 Rem. Personally, I don't know many people that can handle the recoil of such rifles, especially in the magnum charged rounds. As a hunter I can tell you from experience that part of being an ethical hunter is learning to make hard shots count, especially when you're at long range and all you have is your Grandfathers hand me down Marlin 336 .30-30.

What I am trying to ask is this: Who the hell are you to pass judgement on what can or cannot kill a bear? Have you ever shot a Bear personally? Do you have some wealth of knowledge that surpasses Jag's own personal experience with bears? Have you ever even seen a bear in real life, or are you just going by pictures you've seen in magazines and basing your information off articles in high dollar hunting magazines? All these "Experts" are after is your money, and personally I take pride in proving them wrong.

The key here is you use what you can afford, what can get the job done, and, most importantly, what you are most comfortable with and will effectively drop that animal with minimal suffering. Even though a larger caliber may be preferred, you do what you have to do to make the kill, and what it boils down to is this: SHOT PLACEMENT!!! Have you ever thought about that? Shoot any animal in the heart and it's dead. Doing that at long distances so it won't ride the adrenaline and still start chewing on your head, priceless.

You said yourself that a .22 CAN kill a bear. Read your previous posts if you don't believe me or have suddenly been stricken by amnesia. (I'd recommend seeing a doctor if you are so suddenly diagnosed with amnesia. It DID work for Jason Bourne.... Just a thought, trying to help....)

So, if a .22 can do it, who are you to say that a 54R can't? If you shoot a deer, don't you shoot for the vitals? Hell, you have to place shots so that the animal dies quickly, or you'll lose it when it runs off and hides.

This is a point that I can prove and with this I will settle this debate, as I am really getting bored with it.





Wait for it......










If a carbon fiber arrow with a 125 grain Muzzy fixed blade broad head can bring down a Black, Brown AND a Kodiak *Grizzly, whatever you wanna call it* I have no doubt that a 7.62x54R round can do the same thing. Think about it ballistically. The afore mentioned arrow is going to be moving at roughly 300+ feet per second, penetrating the vitals causing massive internal bleeding and rapid death. You may want to start with the effective range debate being inside of 50 yards, but I wouldn't suggest it without you looking like a total fool. I don't even wanna be 100 yards from a hacked off bear much less inside 50. Bears can climb trees, I don't know if you knew that but climbing a tree won't save your arse. Guys that bow hunt bears are IMHO total friggin' idiots, but hey, what's life without a few risks?

Anywho, I got sidetracked, but back on topic. If an arrow can kill, and has killed many MANY times, a bear moving at only 300 FPS, I have no doubt as to the capability of a 54R round that's moving exponentially faster than that. Also, you can keep more distance between you and the bear, and that's always good for personal safety. If you need to see the proof that I offer, just tune into the Outdoor Channel, they run a weekly show on bear bowhunts. It's extremely informational, motivational, exciting and down right awesome. You'll learn alot, maybe even some manners. Here's to keeping my fingers crossed.

If you have anything more to add to this conversation, direct your replies, comments or concerns directly to my Private messages in box and I'll take it from there. As Thumper said, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Now, this thread is getting locked out of sheer aggravation. Jag, nothing personal bro, just doing it to keep the peace.
 
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