Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I signed up for a black bear hunt over bait this Sept. Thought I'd take my old Guide Gun. I've got some reloads (300 gr. Hornady hp, 48 gr Re 7) that I hunt deer with. Would these be ok for bear at 50 or so yards? That is about all the recoil I want. I have a box of Speer 400 gr flat nose i can load up if I need to. I need opinions on what a good 400 gr load to use. I have Varget, Re7, Imr 3031, Inr 4198 powders that I can use. Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,735 Posts
My preferred powders for my 45-70s are Rel 7, imr4198, and 2400 with 405g Rem JSP bullets. I don't shoot bears even though I have a lot of them on my place during the season, but I let my friends shoot them if they want to. A few have. I can tell you that every single deer I've shot with even mild 45-70 loads have been complete pass throughs at every angle and distance to date...and it's more than a few deer. The bear we typically shoot are not all that big. I think the biggest so far has been just over 300lbs. Every one of them dropped in its tracks or only ran fifty yards or so. I wouldn't have any hesitation shooting even a large black bear with a "light" 400 grain load. We've had a few shot with bows also and they were all pass throughs and none were lost. I don't think a bear is all that difficult to kill and any 45-70 load should do the trick. Good luck on your hunt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,166 Posts
Hungry, as Sask said, any 45-70 load will be fine for black bear.

Two thoughts:

1) place a measure at the bait pile, a yardstick stick in the ground or similar standard will let you differentiate small bear and cubs. You would like a bear to be 40 inches or more at the shoulder.

2) WAIT. You will have time, the small bears often come in first. Avoid shooting cubs with or without mommy. The bait will hold a bear for 15 minutes. So pick the best bear and take nothing but a perfect heart shot. Bears hit well will seldom run more that 10 yards, snarling and screaming all the way...add in crashing trees and brush.

A big black can go 5-600 pounds, but most will average 250#. Meat is good, and skull makes a nice trophy mount.

Where are you hunting?
 

·
The Shadow (Super Mod)
Joined
·
7,330 Posts
Because it's a HP, my only caution comes from the Barnes line, because they have a higher velocity requirement.
Just be sure your velocity is within the mfgr window, or opening may not be what you expect.

Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mommicked

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
hungry hollow,

The Hodgdon START load for 45-70 lever rifles with a 400 gr and IMR 4198 will be a great Bear load to start with and stay with:


Case: Winchester
Twist: 1:20"
Primer: CCI 200, Large Rifle
Barrel Length: 24"
Trim Length: 2.100"
Bullet Weight400 GR. SPR JFP
Starting Loads
Maximum Loads
Manufacturer
Powder
Bullet Diam.
C.O.L.
Grs.
Vel. (ft/s)
Pressure
Grs.
Vel. (ft/s)
Pressure
IMR
IMR 4198
.458"
2.540"
43.0 START
1,868 fps
31,600 CUP
46.0 MAXIMUM
1,960 fps
37,600 CUP

That Start load is hotter than my Black Bear load with a 350 gr FNGC cast in #2 alloy @ 1700 fps with H4895 in a .458 Win Mag. I hunt Bear in the high hardwoods of Western New York's Southern Tier where we have very large Black Bear with 500 lb mature males. I hunt over scents and my shots would never be over 100 yards but I consider my load powerful and accurate enough to 150 yards for big Black Bear.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hungry, as Sask said, any 45-70 load will be fine for black bear.

Two thoughts:

1) place a measure at the bait pile, a yardstick stick in the ground or similar standard will let you differentiate small bear and cubs. You would like a bear to be 40 inches or more at the shoulder.

2) WAIT. You will have time, the small bears often come in first. Avoid shooting cubs with or without mommy. The bait will hold a bear for 15 minutes. So pick the best bear and take nothing but a perfect heart shot. Bears hit well will seldom run more that 10 yards, snarling and screaming all the way...add in crashing trees and brush.

A big black can go 5-600 pounds, but most will average 250#. Meat is good, and skull makes a nice trophy mount.

Where are you hunting?
About an hours dive west of Timmons Ontario,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,166 Posts
good luck Hungry. In the late 60s I fished and hunted that area south of Matheson. lots of small lakes and bogs. Double should with a piece of lung is a good shot.

let us all know how it works out for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Would recommend 405-420gr cast lead .459 dia. with RL-7, H4198, 5744 or equivalent to give you ~1300-1500fps. Spinal column if possible.

305gr solid "Penetrator" from Lehigh ~1800fps...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
776 Posts
I followed Onondaga's advice (43 grs 4198, 400gr speer bullet) . I shot a black bear sow (175 to 200 lbs). She was facing me so I shot her in the chest. Bullet hit the heart and kept going. No exit hole and she never moved. That load is about all the recoil I can take.
One load I tried that did very good was a CastPerfomance 420 grain WFN, WLR primer, Starline case, and 40 grains H4198. 1650 fps.

Penetration was not an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
I followed Onondaga's advice (43 grs 4198, 400gr speer bullet) . I shot a black bear sow (175 to 200 lbs). She was facing me so I shot her in the chest. Bullet hit the heart and kept going. No exit hole and she never moved. That load is about all the recoil I can take.
Your comment on the recoil of the load is NOT surprising! The 43 gr is the lowest RECOMMENDED charge with IMR4198 for your bullet weight. However you don't need to take a very big poll to see that anywhere over 1500 fps with a 400 gr in a 45-70 is usually where shooters have had enough recoil.

It is shooting good for you and you got a Bear, but that load is way too hot to be shooting 50 rounds at the range like I do with a 10.5 lb rifle and my lighter H 4895 load with a 350 FNGC at 1700 fps. I can shoot those all day and I enjoy them.

H4895 can be safely loaded in 45-70 down to 1/2 of available volume with a ~400 gr and that is way lower than you want to go for Bear. If you work to a verified 1500 fps load with H4895, you could shoot that all day and kill Bear too. You will find that light loads with H4895 leave a harmless trail down the bore of partially burned particles but it is within recommendations of Hodgdon's PDF rule for H4895 reduced loads and very consistent. A heavy crimp is recommended with any H4895 load in 45-70. it is important to ignition and resists bullet setback in the magazine.

If you are going to try a new powder looking for less recoil try H4895 chrono worked to 1500 fps with your rifle and your 400 gr. it is a safe and recommended load level with H4895 in 45-70 lever rifles.

If you had listed that you have H4895, that would have been my first recommendation.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thank you. I have enough loaded up to last me my bear hunting career. I can shoot them for sighting in and hunting but to shoot that load (43 gr 4198 405 gr Speer) alot I think I would develop an unwanted flinch. It sure dropped the bear though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
Bear spit

That dropping confidence is important hunting Bear. I have been charged after hitting my first Bear as a kid of 18. I thought a 30-30 was the most powerful rifle in the world. It isn't. My first shot hit the heart, he charged, second shot hit the heart, he kept charging, third shot hit center neck and put him down but he was on me cocking to swat my head off when I shot. I got Bear spit all over my face and started saving for a .458 WM. Dressed weight 402, was 1968.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,510 Posts
Congrats on your bear hunt.

I've tried lots and lots of different loads in my Guide Gun. I settled on 4895 as the powder of choice. I cast my own bullets these days. My youngest daughter loves the Guide Gun and claims it as her hunting rifle. She surprised me how well she stayed with it shooting some pretty stout loads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
onondaga
Hind site is 20/20! I think I would have went to break bones after fist shot! High shoulder/neck not another heart shot. What bullet did you use?:D
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top