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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In another thread, (bolt action rifles) we had a conversation about what guns are appropriate for Moose and Bears. I'm posting a link to a thread that my brother started about Grizzly Bears. If you read through the post and open the pictures you will see some nice bears and read some expert commentary from a man who has 2 Grizzlys entered in Boone and Crockett, 1 of which is top 50 all time. In the thread he talks about a guy who uses a 30-30 to hunt bears... and another who used a 45-90.

http://www.shootersforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4581&perpage=15&pagenumber=1
 

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In the 70's my barber was a man who had spent time in Africa in the military. He claimed that he had shot several lions and his favorite lion rifle was a mod 94 30-30 useing a 170gr bullet. I don't know how much of his stories were BS, but he did have some rugs and heads in his shop that he claimed he shot with the 30-30.

I have always liked the rifle and the round but I don't know how much comfort I could get from one while going after either a lion or a grizzley.

sixgun
 

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There is no doubt the 30-30 will kill any bear that has ever walked, it will, but... The problem is when things don't go exactly as planned. I'm not sure how many times that Jeremiah Johnson fella has been charged by a really big ticked off bear, but it ain't a pretty sight. About 10 years ago I was working with a crew doing some ground truthing on veg typing and we were charged by a bear that squared just over 9 feet (coastal brownie). He absorbed 2 slugs from a 12 gauge shotgun and 2 more from a 375 H&H before going down. All shots were from less than 20 yards. Yeah, the 30-30 will take out an undisturbed bear that rolling rocks looking for whistle pigs or rolling in the skunk cabbage, but when the tables turn and a large boar gets his dander up, he'll absorb a lot of punishment before going down for the count.

Bears are like anything else, if undisturbed and minding their own business, it's not that tough to put one down. But screw up and have to fight an adrenaline charged bear and you'll wish you didn't. Heck, jump a whitetail out of it's bed and shoot it with a 30-30 or 30-06 or whatever and it'll still cover quite a bit of ground, provided it's not a CNS shot. Now imagine that ground being covered coming toward you and that deer weighing nearly a thousand pounds, with teeth and claws and madder than ****.

You make a wise choice using your Weatherby and your brother using his artillery. I'm sure the guy that hunts with the 30-30 really knows how to hunt bears, but it's not something that is recommend for anyone who does not live in bear country and knows them better than his own family. Let's be careful out there, I've had friends that have been mauled severly. Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've used a 300 Weatherby on my last 2 but recently went to a 338 Win mag. The 338 doesn't seem to recoil as hard, so there's quicker back on target time, plus it shoots heavier bullets. Both work well, but I'm not sure I'd want to use a 30-30 :?
 

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Interesting post! Even though the .30 W.C.F. / .30-30 is my all time favorite cartridge, I would go with my heavily loaded .45-70 if I was hunting for a large animal that fights back.

That being said, the handiness of a slick '94 .30-30 saved Jack Turners life from one huge bruin back in May, 1965. In his story "Killer Grizzly at Six feet" he recounts that he had moved his family up on the Atnarko River above Lonesome Lake in British Columbia. There were bear in the area and not one to take any chances, he always carried his faithful '94 .30-30 with him when away from the homestead.

He said "You never know when a grizzly will decide to pick a fight, so I rarely venture beyond the cleared fields around our house without hanging the old .30-30 over my shoulder. That precaution has saved my skin, or my family's at least twice."

On that particular day he left his house on a 2 mile walk to repair a fence. It was a fine spring morning. He recalls, "I came to a place where the trail, winding through cedars and cottonwoods, opens into a sunny glade no bigger than a house. I rounded a bend, and there in the center of the glade stood the biggest grizzly I had ever laid eyes on (and I have seen more than 200, in just about every part of British Columbia, in the last 20 years.) He was staring straight at me, and he was just 40 feet away."

"Our eyes met and locked and he was on his way. I saw him in one instant and he was coming for me in a savage rush, running like a dog after his prey. He was drooling as he came, and a low growl was rumbling in his throat. I whipped the Winchester off my back and, since I carry the rifle loaded in the magazine but none in the chamber, I had to lever in a shell. The bear was almost on me when I slammed my shot into him, and I recall thinking, in that brief flash of time, that I'd only have time for one."

“I was using 170 gr. Soft point factory loads. I hit him dead center between the eyes and that soft point bullet blew his whole brain out through a hole in the back of his skull. He was still running full tilt when I shot, but his head went down between his forelegs, and he fell almost straight down. I backed off a few steps, held the rifle on him, and waited until I was sure there wasn’t a spark of life left in him. He was a buster, by far the biggest grizzly we had ever seen.”

Jack goes on to say that if the skull would have been intact, it would have scored 27 in the Boone and Crockett Clubs book according to them. The largest score on record at the time was 26 10/16.

Thank goodness he had a very dependable, handy, .30-30 rifle and knew how to use it when the chips were down.

w30wcf
 

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That's a heck of a tale. I'm somewhat skeptical about one detail - assuming the story is true. It's the part about the 40 foot distance.

I know that a large grizzly can accelerate to about 32 mph in just under 40 yards from a dead stop. Even an average griz can reach 30mph in the same distance. At 32mph, in a clearing on level ground, this guy had about 3 to 4 seconds to unsling, chamber, aim and fire an accurate shot. All this, while exhibiting truly Olympian muscular control in order to prevent the inevitable sphinctal contractions. I would never have made it.

Even though I love the 30WCF second only to the .300 Savage, I would never step into Brown Man Country without a pump slug gun or a large bore lever of some kind - any kind.
 

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Eskimo

Hey Guys,
Check the local eskimo population and see what they use for the big-uns; .22hp, .30-30, .222-223, .250Sav, .303Brit, et-al!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
L-Roy,

Your right, it's interesting to see what people use, especially the ones that haven't read the magazines that you and I have read. The ones that say you need the latest and greatest. They use what they have, though most are much more familiar with their prey than you and I are. They'll hold off until they get their shot.
 

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Sometimes, you just don't get "your shot", though. Take that surveyor that was mauled on Hinchinbrook around Thanksgiving. He never did have a good shot on that smallish sow he had to deal with. Only after he knocked her down with a body shot was he able to put a brain shot into her. 30-30 is fine shooting an undisturbed bear, or one say, like Turner killed (if I remember correctly the bear charged him across his garden or horse pen - open ground), but is no way a fighting gun, especially when a good head shot isn't available until the bear has you. A 45/70? Yeah, that would do it. Most folks that use 30/30's or the like up here, live day in and day out around those bears. They know them and their habits very well and take care not to put themselves in a bad situation. If you don't have that option or aren't as learned in bear behavior, a 30/30 just might get you killed. You could probably do just fine on the open tundra bear hunting with a 30/30, but don't try it in the alder jungles of coastal Alaska, there's too many other cartridges that are better suited for it at the price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thers also a big size difference between your "typical" Arctic Tundra Bear, and the "typical" Coastal Bear. You wouldn't find me hunting Brown Bear with a 30-30. :?
 

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Thanks guys for the additional, interesting info. I reread the story just to be sure that it was 40 feet instead of 40 yards, which would make more sense. In print, it does say 40 feet, but that could have been a typo.

If it was 40 feet, it would seem that possibly when Jack had first sighted the bear, he considered it a threat and removed his rifle and was either in the process of levering a cartridge into the chamber or had already chambered a round when the grizzly decided to charge. That would make the most sense because based on the fact that the grizzly was moving when it died, its momentum would have carried another several feet to finally end up 6 feet from where the axe lay that Jack was carrying and dropped when he grabbed his rifle. (I left that part out.) This would mean that the bear only moved maybe 25 feet or so when Jack's bullet snuffed his candle.

Jack Turner had a number of other encounters with bears that ended peacefully except for one grizzly sow with cubs that charged him and he was forced to kill. One well placed .30-30 bullet did the job as well.

w30wcf
 

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Whalers

Jbab,
Knew Eskimo whalers who used the old .303 Brit. Kept cutting off the barrel due to expansion from water in the bore until the darn thing got to about 12". Then they would get another one and start over!

Are whales bigger than coastal Grizz?
 

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30-30 for Griz.....how about the 35 remington

I live in Texas and I use my 30-30 on everything and have killed many boar with it. I will hunt Alaska one day after I pawn off my wife and kids. Not knowing what I'm talking about, I agree with you about using enough gun especially for dangerous game. However, I ain't that big, and I know the 45/70 would put me on my a_ _ ! Also, I ain't got no use for a gun like that down here. So, could I possibly take a Griz or Brown Bear with a 35 remington lever or a 44 Magnum lever?
 

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Tex
:) 44 and 35 rem
I hope you are kidding about that
first being a noresident ya have to hire a guide and none
of them would even consider letting ya use either of those rounds.
Your best bet is get a 30-06 if a 300 is to much and learn to shoot it.
Most Alaskan guides will be very helpful in your choosing the correct
Equipment.I understand that you probably dont have a use for
large caliber rifles in Texas and hunting areas and game animals there are limited.
The small calibers here in Alaska are used by Alaskan natives
that usually use them because thats what they have at the time
of the hunt.I know this because I was born and Raised in one of the Villages.
The 30/30 for grizz is best left to those that live this lifestyle.
Brown bear are a a differnt storie all together.


L-roy I have a lot of friends in Barrow and they use cheap old military surplus guns to shoot a whale through the lungs to help the killing process.The Browers boys have been known to
drop a rifle now and then when there boat gets caught up in the harpoon lines and one dropped in the sea is gone.

dabigmoose
 

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30-30 for Dangerous Things ???

I think it would be OK to hunt a bear with a 30-30, but if a bear was hunting me I dammed sure would want something bigger. :p
 

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When grizzlies Roamed the west

Plenty were killed with a 30-30. It is in our MINDS that a 30-30 is not a hunting round. inside of 100 yards a 30-30 will kill most anything we have in north america about as DEAD as DEAD can be.
A 30-30 help Iradicate the grizzly from the west.
tom
 

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Not much of an expert in killing grizz, but I would think there's more to defending oneself than simply launching a big bullet.

There may be a difference between the gun you want when you travel through grizzly country, vs. a gun you want when you actually hunt 'em.

There's other factors beyond ballistics, such as gun handling. When ambushed, a .338 will be useless if you can't shoulder it and find the bear in the scope fast enough. With a .30-30 it may even be realistic to practice your snap-shooting and become proficient from off-the-hip. Too much recoil and you'll bend your fingers all to heck.

ALTHOUGH, the woodsman of the 1800s was quite different than today's sportsman. On average, they were in better shape than most fat-gutted people visiting Alaska. When all heck broke loose they could run, climb, and dodge, buying themselves time for the bullet to take effect and/or buy time for a second shot. Today's pot-gutted sportsmen might not have that ability.

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Someone sent me a private message inquiring how I could even discuss the ludicrous idea of "hunting" grizz with a .30-30. I thought I'd post my response to him so all could see.

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Because under certain circumstances, a .30-30 has advantages that bigger guns don't have. I'm not advocating the .30-30, I'm merely suggesting other factors that might tip the scales in favor of a smaller gun.

Please take note: I'm not just referring to hunting grizzlies, part of the topic is simply traveling through bear country.

When you're hunting grizzlies, the circumstances are different. There's a possibility that you can take a broadside shot at 50 yards, make a fatal shot, but still end up mauled by the bear ESPECIALLY IF YOUR CARTRIDGE IS WEAK. For that I wouldn't recommend a .30-30.

However, if you are merely berry picking, you likely won't encounter the above situation. Instead, the likely encounter scenario will be more of an ambush or suprise where quick reflexes will save your life. You round the corner, and there you are face to face with Ol' Ephraim. You may barely have time to shoulder your weapon, and your chances are worse if your gun weighs 10 lbs, with a scope, and is so heavy you need a sling.

In such a situation a .30-30 might be more appropriate. I'm not saying it would be ideal, but it has advantages over other bigger guns.

If you are proficient with a hip-shot all the better. But there's only one way to get that proficiency - practice. I don't know if I want to try hip-shooting with a .458 Win Mag.
 

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Hmmmmm......I been away fer a spell an lookie see what happens :wink:

In most cases, threads like this one SNAP me! But I must be gettin old or mellowin out. For the what it's worth dept, I would NOT go on a grizz hunt deliberate with a 30-30 in hand.

Howsomever, if I was playin in the woods and chanced accross a grizz with a 30-30 in hand I MIGHT do it, dependin.

If the grizz was unaware that I was there.....and if I was certain of dropping a pill in the right spot, say a 170 grainer as a minimum, why ****'s bells, I'd lite the sucker up......and then commence to empty the rifle just for good measure :lol:

Man only goes this way once, holdin out for the right time, on the right animal, with the right gun, and the right bullet, and the right load....

Lite the SOB up :D

This is sure to get the boys riled up, the Coug sez spark up grizz with a 30-30!
 
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