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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to the big, heavy, slow bullet game. I'm going Grizzly Bear hunting in 3 weeks with my 45-70. Bought it just for this hunt. I've always been a .300 Weatherby guy. So I've got some 350 gr jacketed and some 420 gr cast. Both come from Buffalo Bore. What's the advantage of the cast, penetration? I should be able to keep my shot within 150 yards. Should have bought a 45-70 a long time ago. Also, is the RCBS Rockchucker kit a good way to get started handloading?
Thanks for the info, Joel.
 

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A good quality cast bullet will out penetrate a jacketed bullet of similar weight and for me cast bullets are usally more accurate.The RCBS Rockchucker kit is an excellent way to get started in handloading.The rockchucker kit has almost every thing that you will need to get started except components and dies.I also recommend buying an extra manual or two.The rockchucker is very tough,easy to use,will last a lifetime and if you ever have any problems RCBS has excellent customer service.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Joel,

Shoot an email to Buffalo Bore (they're on the web) and see which of their products they recommend.  I'd guess the heavier bullet for bear, but that's just a guess and they can tell you for sure.
 

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I wonder if they will recommend the Jacket for the "shot" and the cast for the second round. Also they will go with the cast for a short range encounter. Let us know what they say.
 

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Your 45-70 should do fine to 150 yards. It will kill at much greater distances, but the problem is trajectory. Beyond 150 you have to know the range almost exactly, and know how much to hold over to place the bullet where you want it.
 

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Joel,what rifle are you using?  Yes, as you have been assured, the rockchucker is an excellent loader. I've been using mine exclusively for a long time. I load ammo from 25-20 to 50-110 and have never had any problems with the RC. I am a fan of the 350 RNSP in the 45-70. My '86 Extra Light takes full power loads easily. Too bad my shoulder does not. What powder did you have in mind? 57 grs of AA2015 should give you what you need for Griz at 100 or so yds. Paco Kelly says that 58 grs 2015 pushes a 400 gr cast lead bullet at over 2100fps, with almost 4000 ft lbs. I think that this load is only recommended the 86 Winchester or Siamese Mauser bolt guns. I think that this one is a bit much for the Marlin guns,though. Whatever you choose, have a safe and wonderful hunt. That sort of experience will remain out of reach for me. I still have another one to put through college. Best regards, mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm able to do this because my brother lives up there. He lives in Nome and has a cabin down towards Council which is south of Nome about 80 miles. Over the last 4 years I have taken 2 Moose, 1 at 57", the other at 55". The 55" was a lot nicer. I've also taken a nice Boar Grizzly. I just bought the Marlin 1895 SS. I've mounted a 4x Burris on it, shoots great. The only loads I've run through it are factory 300gr Hollow Pts. I ordered some loads from Buffalo Bore, items 8A and 8C. This Tues I'm going to go see which shoot the best. Never having handloaded rifle cartridges, I'll wait until I get back from Alaska to start learning how. Loaded lots of shot shells. I'm curious how hard cast bullets do. I've never used them before. What got me interested in this rifle was my 44 mag. I bought some hard cast loads from Federal, 300 grains. I was really impressed with the penetration. They were penetrating at 30 yards as much as my .300 Weatherby was with Noslers. Later I was talking to a guy in a gun store about that and hunting in Alaska. He had a 45-70 Guide Gun and told me about Randy Garretts website, I looked, was hooked, and then next thing you know I was the owner of a new Marlin in 45-70. Ever since, I've been trying to learn as much as I can about these guns. The first gun I hunted with was a .300 Savage, then went to 7mm Rem Mag. Moved up to .300 Weatherby, .340 Weatherby. Now I'm back with the levers. Thinking about getting another Savage in .308
 
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