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My wife and I will be hunting black bear in Ontario.  Shots should be from 30-80 yards.  I'll be taking my 45/70 Guide Gun loaded with 405 grain LFN bullets from Beartooth.  My wife will be shooting her BLR in 7mm-08.  Any suggestions on which bullet to use?  We're considering Speer 160 grain Speer Grand Slams or Nosler Partions loaded to aproximately 2700 fps.  Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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Either one should work just fine.  Try both and go with whichever her rifle likes better.  <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->
Mark
 

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I tend to be a partition man myself, but I agree with Mark. Either would be fine. I might even consider 154 gr Hornady's. (Besides Noslers I have a soft spot for Hornady bullets, mostly because they were the only bullets available in the town were I grew up and always worked well for me.)           IDShooter
 

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Thanks for the replies.  We've been leaning towards the partitions.  Fortunately, this is one of those rare rifles that seems to be willing to digest whatever you feed it.  Haven't found anything that won't group well yet.  Will probably stick with the 160 grain bullets, as this is my preference in my 7 Mag.   We still have plenty of time to play around before deciding on a load.
 

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Catahoula, take a looksee at hornady's new SST bullet line. They just came out with a 154 grain SST. I tried the 139 grain SST in my son's 7-08 browning a-bolt. After many failures with the ballistic tip. He hit a big whitetail doe at 150 yds on a dead run, she piled up instantly. The heart and lungs poured out! With complete penetration and an exit would.

The SST is a polymer tipped boattail interlock bullet with a 5% antimony lead core.

I would think the 154 would be plenty heavy for black bears. Seems I hear it don't take a lot to kil them.
 

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Big partition man myself, and have had great luck with them in everything that i have shot, but agree with the rest of the forum, anything along those lines will work fine.

Reckon the thing with a 7mm-08 is that placement has to be up to snuff.  I hunted in Maine in 2000, and what i failed to see was many through and throughs, regardless of what bullet or caliber was used.  The guides up that way  strongly cautioned against shoulder shots.  One fellow from Illinois shot his 130 pounder four or five times with a 160 grain 7 mag partition, and he  recovered all but one, and he had one spoiled by the shoulder.

This may just be Maine, as the woods were very dark and tracking was difficult, but if i was you, i would shoot around the shoulder, either behind it,  into the vitals, or forward, through the neck.  My Dad in law put a 150 grain Sierra 270 into a 200 pounder's neck, and killed it on the spot, but that old man is a shooter.  I try to shoot behind the shoulder, but i shoot allot more gun that he does, and don;t think the neck is such a good target.  

Good hunting, hope ya'll kill a great big one.

Steve
 

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Maine is certainly a black bear hunter's mecca and we still shoot some large ones in Washington County. We tagged 3 over 430 pounds last fall- the largest about 475. Few people realize that a bear's lungs are further back in the body than a deer's, so a well placed shot is well back of the tough- to- penetrate shoulder. 7MM-08 is a fine cartridge but I would certainly recommend a 160 or 175 grain Partition over the Ballistic Tip every time. The BTs tend to come apart and are very destructive, causing spectacular kills, but a lot of ruined meat. I also recommend you load your ammo DOWN to 2500 fps or so; they will give better penetration that the higher velocity loads.
 

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I'm not sure how they compare price wise in your neck of the woods, but I really like the Fail-Safe's.  I thought Winchester was making these, but Nosler has them on their website.  The Barnes X is also good.  Both give excellent penetration, especially with the heavy for caliber bullets.  Expansion is guaranteed and penetration is extremely good.
 

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With expected shooting distances ranging from a good spit to under 100 yards, my choice would be the Hornady 154-grain roundnose. I believe that at these shorter ranges RN and FP bullets may give slightly better performance than their pointed brethern. They also seem to be less finicky than some spitzers I've tested in the past.
 

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Good point Bill.  Those ranges are exactly why the round nose exists.  Also, check to see what the regs are too.  Seems like hollowpoint bullets were banned at one time.  I don't know if they still are, or if I just dreamed that, but it could make the failsafe illegal.
 

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I certainly don't want to sound argumentative here but would like to relate my experience with the 154 RN in the 7MM-08. I loaded up a lot of these for deer and bear hunting and they shot very well on paper however in the field, on 3 different occasions I recovered the bullet JACKET from game killed with this bullet. While it's true the bullet did its job in expanding and making a clean kill, still, I didn't like the fact that the lead core seperated from the jacket. This gave me the feeling that there may be situations where this could possibly cause a lost animal. I never saw this with the Rem Core-Lokt or the Nosler Partition, which always held together nicely and had excellent weight retention when recovered. The controversy surrounding bullet deflection and penetration in brushy terrain and how velocity and bullet shape influence this is age-old and has been the cause of many heated debates but after extensive testing on my own I have to agree with Francis Sell that bullet weights of at least 150 grains driven at speeds between 2200 and 2500 give less deflection and better penetration than other combinations, regardless of bullet SHAPE, provided that bullets are constructed to stay intact when they come in contact with intervening brush. I have not done any long range testing of these bullets due to the fact that where I hunt, range is almost always limited to shots under 100 yards but I have no reason to think that these figures would change at any range; given these ballistics are met at the point of impact. Of course this means that to produce 2300 fps at 300 yards would require a much higher muzzle velocity.
 

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Here's another .02 worth.

I shoot a 7-08 now, but it's a deer gun for me. In years past, I shot a couple of 7X57 very extensively. I had the good fortune to do a number of do it yourself goat and black bear hunts in AK in the late 70's - early 80's. The Speer mag tip in 160, loaded to about 2575 fps was very effective on both species plus on several muleys @ various ranges.

The mag-tip tends to expand more fully @ moderate velocities than the grand slam. My 7X57's never liked partitions, so I never used them on game in those rifles. If forced to generalize, I'd say that the Speers tend to expand to a greater diameter than the the partitions without shedding the core. I am no longer a huge fan of big cases and high velocities so my OPINIONS are related to smaller cases and moderate speeds.

jim
 

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First two deer I shot were mule deer in CO, cartridge was a .280 Rem, bullet was a 145gr. Speer boattail over a substantial charge of WWII surplus 4831 (father-in-law's guns and loads).  Don't know what the velocity was.

First deer was, shall we say, one he-- of a long way off.  Just his day to die, I guess.  Complete penetration through spine, instantly dead deer.

Second deer was just outside of rock-throwing range.  Complete penetration through heart and chest cavity after striking leg bone.  Ran about 30-40 yards and piled up.

Although I am a big Partition fan, those Speer bullets did the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all of the input.  We've decided to use the partitions, loaded to 2650 fps or so.  Plenty accurate, and should provide plenty of penetration.  Thanks again to all.
 
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