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Old 10-12-2001, 07:53 AM
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Question .300 win mag

I have a question for you rifle and bear experts. Would a .300 win mag be enough for the really big bears, i.e. grizzlies, etc., or would a hunter be better advised to use a .338 or even a .375? Thanks.
Old 10-12-2001, 09:04 AM
L. Cooper L. Cooper is offline
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Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 369
The .300 Win with a good 200 grain bullet is enough gun for any animal in North America.

Having said that, there are circumstances where no gun that can be fired from your shoulder will be enough if a predator with the potential for damage that a big grizzly could do actually gets close enough and is angry enough at the time. I don't believe there are many situations where a .338 will save your butt, that a .300 Win wouldn't have worked too. The secret will ALWAYS be to spot your game before it spots you, and place the first shot properly. If that happens, the .300 will always be enough.

Should you manage to wound one that decides to get even, and it gets within 40 yards before you see him coming, you are going to need a lot of luck no matter what you are shooting.
Old 10-12-2001, 10:37 AM
Muledeerguide Muledeerguide is offline
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 77
The 300 win is fine. Shot placement and a good bullet will take them down everytime. I have taken bears with a 300 win and a 300 weatherby. There are a lot a good bullets. Use the trophy bonded bear claws or swift a frames. Shoot a bullet that stayes together. Good luck
Old 10-12-2001, 12:01 PM
Pat Hurley
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I killed a Brown Bear with a .300 Win mag. I used a 200 gr. Nosler Partition bullet and got a one shot kill, shooting with the Bear standing looking at me. There were three back up people, my brother-in-law, another hunter and the guide, a personal friend. At the shot three more Bears reared their ugly huge heads to see what the the hell the noise was about. We were tagged for three bears, but didn't want them all at once, my backup shooters killed two more Bears, the fourth Bear left with gusto. After witnessing that ordeal and being up close (20 yards) and personal with the Big Bears,hearing the roars and feeling the ground shake, on my next trip I packed a .340 Wby. Two people would have been in trouble in that situation, which I realize does not happen often. It is my experience with the Bears to expect the unexpected, pack something that will stop them dead and shoot it expertly, or stay home with the deer and antelope. Good shooting.
Old 10-12-2001, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for the help guys.
Old 10-12-2001, 10:52 PM
rembo rembo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Sherwood Park,Alberta,Canada
Posts: 39
Heck of a story Pat. I have carried my 300 Win Mag with 200 gr Grand Slams in grizz country while elk hunting for 9 seasons now. I've seen a few tracks but I have never seen a grizz but the other two fellows have seen them.When I saw what a couple 30 cal. 200 Grand Slams will do to a big bull elk, I have doubts the combo will be fine for grizz. IMHO the 30 caliber magnums with premium 200 gr bullets are as good as a 338 with a 225.Fellow I know hunts "everything" with a 338 and it kills no quicker or deader than the 300's.
Old 10-12-2001, 10:56 PM
rembo rembo is offline
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Location: Sherwood Park,Alberta,Canada
Posts: 39
Seeing as I cannot edit this post I'll correct it here. Should read "I have NO doubts the combo will be fine for grizz".
Old 10-13-2001, 08:24 AM
Pat Hurley
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Rembo -- I had your exact same opinion going into my confrontation. I thought the .300 Win mag. was a gigantic chambering and would take down anything in one well placed shot. After my encounter, witnessing three Brown Bears, all probably much larger than a large Grizz, soak up shots from two .300's, a .375 H&H, and a 30-06, I changed my tune. I am going back in 2002 and will pack a .358 STA . Another point, suppose you and your guide are expert shots, but neither get a clear and open shot. Everyone states with a well placed shot a , with whatever chambering you pick, will do the job. What if you never get a chance to get that perfect angle for that well placed shot. Another buddy of mine shot a small Brown three times with a 7mm Rem mag, all three connected in the heart -lung area, it was still coming, he pulled his .44 mag and hit it three more times, it stopped at 7 steps, still dragging itself in it's attempt to get to my friend. Everyone says the .44 will handle a Bear with ease, well that first slug, penetrated only the hide and fat. These animals are fighting for their life, with all their power, which is considerable. I remember reading a story of two seasoned Elk hunters from Alberta that were killed by a Grizz a few years ago, one of them managed to get a picture of the bear as it charged him, just before he died. They were both experienced hunters and expert shooters. The Camera was recovered by the people who found the death scene later. All I am saying is respect them, be prepared and expert with a rifle that will overkill not underkkiill. They can kill you while they are dieing, if they get to you. Good shooting.
Old 10-13-2001, 08:40 AM
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The .300 Win. Mag. is capable of taking the largest bears IF you use 'premium' bullets, and IF place the shot in the 'kill zone.' BUT the larger calibers , .338 Win Mag. or .375 H&H give added insurance (such as more energy, and the capability to break strong bones and more tissue) IF you can shoot them well.

Cherokee Cowboy
Old 10-13-2001, 09:53 AM
L. Cooper L. Cooper is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 369
Mr. Hurley, with respect to your experience, my opinion is that if you don't have a chance for a well placed shot, you shouldn't shoot, whether it's a bear, a moose, a deer, or a coyote.

While it is true that a .358 STA would, perhaps, make more "angles" possible for you, your own story indicates that even a .375 H&H is not enough once the bear is adrenalized and angry. You can take your argument to the rediculous and suggest that a .50BMG is the only suitable round for big bears, but even it will be "marginal" in certain situations. My philosophy is to use enough gun, but no matter what you shoot, never deliberately do anything that is likely to create a "situation" for you. That means not shooting unless you do have the required proper shot placement.

A friend of mine once said, "The size of the gun is directly proportional to the size of the doubts in the hunter." While that is obviously a generalization, and should not be used as an argument for using small cartridges on big game, it makes a valid point. Many hunters mistakenly try to use the power of their cartridge to make up for all sorts of "doubts" they have about things. If a hunter is suggesting large caliber rifles for those reasons, it is unlikely they will keep him out of trouble in the long run, because his doubts and fears will cause judgement errors. If he is using enough gun, understands what is required to use that gun humanely on the game he is hunting, and is self contained enough to refuse "iffy" shots, we would see far fewer monster cartridges sold, and hear far fewer horror stories from guides. If it is used within those guidelines, a .300 Winchester is enough gun to humanely take any animal in North America.
Old 10-13-2001, 10:23 AM
Pat Hurley
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L Cooper -- I agree with you completely, the .300 is adequate, if you can hit the Bear at the perfect angle, just as I did when I killed my Bear. After that with Bears running everywhere, swatting the air and roaring with malice at anything near, being shot at, a guide shouting G.D. shoot Bears, me dodging Bears and bullets, trying to keep an eye on my supposedly dead Bear, the cheese got binding in a hurry. I am simply saying in a close confrontation with a Big Brown Bear, the .300 Win mag is not a stopper that the large chamberings are, regardless of where the Bear is hit, good or bad hit he can kill you while he is dieing. Let me finish the story. My brother-in-law said, you don't need that .300 Win mag my old 30-06 will kill them just as dead, man you are overgunned. After that encounter and having shot a charging Bear twice in the head at 25 yards in a later encounter, he said I want something bigger the next time I hunt Bears, that thing felt like a pee shooter. It is also easy to write about a response from the comfort of home, or in front of a computor, have a close encounter then write the rest of the story. Tell most of the guides in Alaska they can't take their .338 Win and up and they will laugh at you, and will not let you hunt with anything smaller. I am not trying to scare anyone, I am telling you about my personal experience, and how it changed my outlook, for what it is worth. Good shooting.
Old 10-22-2001, 12:44 AM
Beeman Beeman is offline
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Location: Eielson AFB, Alaska
Posts: 28
I know for sure that folks have used the old 30'06 to stop charging grizzlies, as well as the old 300 win mag. I live, and hunt in Alaska, I carry a 300 win mag, I could carry a 375 H&H, or a 338, but I prefer the 300, with 200gr, or 220gr bullets, I have no worries. Being able to shoot, and shoot well is the key to hunting anything, being smart enough to avoid trouble is another. The big bears demand respect, as do all of the animals we hunt. I guess I have refused to buy into the hype presented by the gun rags. I know old Hemmingway used a 30'06 sprinfield for his African safaris, killed everything but elephant with 220gr solids and soft points. If you want a 300, get one, you can't beat the versatility, if you want a 470NE for Alaska or Africa, get one, it all boils down to personal preference. Whatever you buy, shoot it, shoot it alot, then shoot it some more, until you can hit whatever you want whenever you want, at your chosen maximum hunting range.
Old 10-22-2001, 06:46 PM
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I have always wondered why bolt actions have been the predominate favorite when hunting large bears, when the need for a fast follow up shot or two is a real possibility. I know any and all game should be taken with one well placed shot,but that is not always the case. Thoughts? Classic
Old 10-22-2001, 07:38 PM
Mannlicher Mannlicher is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 120
I have killed several bear. Two in virginia, and a two in Florida All were black bear, and though dangerous, do not represent anything like the threat of their larger brethern out west. That having been said, I respect the hell out of black bears.

I have read Pat Hurley's post(s) several times. I keep seeing him saying the .300 WinMag is fine for large bear if you have all the time you need to choose your shot, and place the bullet where it needs to go. I understand his wanting to change to a 'bigger stick' the next time, due to his experience with bears.

I have also read the replys stating that a 'bigger stick' is not necessary. My feeling is that if Mr Hurley thinks he needs more umph, all well and good. Having had his experience, I am very certain I would be in his camp. Without a doubt, the proverbial .22 short would kill a grizz with proper bullet placement, but I would NOT want to try it.
Earth First, We Can Hunt The Other Planets Later.


Mannlicher-Schoenauer Carbine
Model of 1908 8x56MS
Old 10-23-2001, 01:28 PM
gafrycanada gafrycanada is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 213

I'm definately not an expert but I think two small reasons might explain it a bit. Don't you lose something in power with the loss of gas from a semi? Maybe some other of the posters can give me a more exact idea as to how much? Also, aren't the semis, while vastly improved these days, still more prone to a jam? If you get one or two shots off at a charging grizzly then the rifle jams on you I'm thinking you are in serious doo-doo.

After practicing with my Browning Medallion 300 Win Mag, I'm fairly sure I can chamber another shell almost as fast as a semi can do it for me. Granted the action on my rifle is smooth and the bolt angle is made for ease of re-load, I'm just as comfortable with it for a quick follow-up shot as I would be with a semi. I took a whitetail buck last month with a follow-up shot. Actually I took him with the first shot but after I nailed him, he took off for parts unknown. The first shot would have killed him eventually but I didn't want to guess on how far he was going to go. He went off at full speed and I had another round chambered and on its way in no time. He dropped, from a full run, no more than 20 yards from where my first shot hit him. With the speed of a running whitetail I'm only hazarding a guess that I had my second round chambered and fired within two seconds of my first shot. It happened so fast I can't remember my thought process even, just a reflex I guess. A semi would maybe only have taken 1 second but the point is that the difference is really minimal if you are well practiced.

I'll take a reliable bolt action any day.

My two cents.

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