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.308 big enough for say....Grizzly???

Discussion in 'General Rifle' started by Gunfighter, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Gunfighter

    Gunfighter G&G Newbie

    I am digging my .308 bolt action rifle. This is the first one i have owned. I have done some research and some of my friends have give me their positive opinions on this caliber. Here is my question.....If I were to take a trip to Alaska or say Canada to hunt Grizzly Bear, will the .308 be sufficient to take it down in one good shot? I know it is a powerful cartridge as it has done nasty damage on a couple of deer. I also know that from reading some of the websites for "Grizzly Guided Hunts", theyrecommend .300 WINMAG and 7mm MAG. Any expert advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. Jim Rau

    Jim Rau G&G Enthusiast

    I would not take a 308 as a primary gun in griz country. When I lived in AK I carried a 45-70 for bear 'protection'. But when I was moose, boo, and bear hunting I carried my 'Alaskan 06' my 338 WM.
  3. cooker300

    cooker300 G&G Evangelist

    id say the 308win would be on the low end for grizzly with factory ammo. now if you reloaded and had good bullets,nosler,barnes,sierra. you might be in better shape
    personally if i were going north for the grizzle id take a bigger gun and have the 300winmag as my gun of chioce or bigger. i know there are a few guys on here that live in Alaska and they sware by the 300winmag for them.

    there used to be a thread on here that debated whats the best caliber for grizzlys and if i remember right the 308 was not even in the running.

    see if a guy named moosemen answers he's the guy to ask.
  4. FortyXDM

    FortyXDM Super Moderator Staff Member

    I would tend to think that for Grizzly, a person would be better served above .30 cal. Say .338 Win Mag, 9.3 X 62, or even .375 H&H. If I was only going on a brown bear trip once, I would use this three part plan.
    1) Get above gun and learn to use.
    2) Bag bear on hunt if possible.
    3) Go home alive and sell gun

  5. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

    a .308win is not a great choice for an animal as big as a large bear (griz/brown).
  6. Range Rat

    Range Rat G&G Newbie

    Simple answer-- yes, it is big enough.

    The man recommending the 45-70 as a bear stopper may not be aware that it has considerably less energy than a 308.

    Persons carrying big sidearms as protection against grizzly -- such as .44 Magnums -- may or may not be aware that the handgun's power is nowhere near that of a .308.

    Some who wrote in are recommending big rifles in the cannon class in bear country, such as 338 magnums.

    While in "the best of all possible worlds," these would be ideal to stop a fierce bear, that's a little unrealistic. We are talking here about a back-up.

    Compare a back up gun to a life-boat. Is the lifeboat supposed to have all the power and size and stability of the mother vessel where it is stored? Likewise -- Is a backup or "emergency" firearm supposed to be in the elephant gun category, "just in case?"

    Seems a little unrealistic to me.
  7. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    Personally, I think the right gun for grizzly bear is mounted on an Abrams tank. Mister Grizz won't ignore a 120mm cannon shell!

    But seriously. Everything I have seen about grizzlies indicates you want a large bore magnum shooting a bullet that delivers a whole lot of kinetic energy on target to make sure Mister Grizz goes down and stays down. And you want a gun that will do it from sufficiently far away that Mister Grizz won't take exception to being killed and live long enough to close in and kill the shooter before he finally admits he's dead. I will happily defer to the opinions of our Alaskan members as to which calibers qualifiy for that mission.
  8. mouser868

    mouser868 G&G Evangelist

    I think a 35 Whelen would be a decent choice.
  9. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

    It never ceases to amaze me how the arguments over rifle calibers for hunting big critters always go to the "more power is better" when taking a controlled aimed shot. Yet, the argument over self defense pistol caliber always goes to the end of "shot placement trumps caliber" in an uncontrolled, panic shooting mode.

    Somehow, the logic escapes me.

    Aside from that, I have maximum confidence in modern .45-70 rifles with modern loads for big bears.

    I love the .308, but I would not intentionally go hunting bears with it. The worst error a hunter can commit is to not "bring enough gun."
    rockman7 and Purdy like this.
  10. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

    "While in "the best of all possible worlds," these would be ideal to stop a fierce bear, that's a little unrealistic. We are talking here about a back-up."

    I do not see where he is asking about 308 as a back-up, rather as his primary rifle of choice. NO Guide in Alaska would let you hunt for Grizz or Brownies with a 308, period. And seeing as how that's the ONLY way you will hunt one, the answer is an automatic NO !! As far as being able to take one ballistically, well maybe. If you can take him a long way off and he bleeds out before he sees you !! Up close and personal, no chance in Hades !!
    rockman7 likes this.
  11. Don357

    Don357 G&G Addict

    The standard load for .308Win (150gr SP or 150gr ballistic tip of some sort @ 2600 to 2800 fps) would be on the low end as someone already stated, but if you were to find or hand load some with, say, 168gr to 180gr ballistic tip, with a comparable MV, and stay within reasonable range limitations, you should not have any problems.
  12. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Evangelist

    I just got a 416 Rigby that way there is no debate...
  13. Big Cholla

    Big Cholla G&G Regular

    Before you finalize on your Griz rifle, contact a few Professional Guides in Alaska and/or Canada and ask IF they would even let you hunt with them using only the 308 Win. My educated guess having lived and hunted Alaska for 5 years, their uniform answer will be 'NO'. Most of the guides I knew had a 'loaner' rifle that was adequate and that rifle was very seldom smaller than a .338 Win.Mag. or a .375 H&H.

    One week before Griz season opened easing thru the Alaska woods, I faced down a large male Griz (about 40 or 50 ft. away) while holding my .300 Win. Mag. in my shaking hands. When I bought that rifle for Moose hunting, the LGS clerk opined, "That's not a big enough rifle." I replied, "Of course it is. I can kill any Moose alive with the .300 Win. Mag." The clerk came back with, "It's not the Moose you have to worry about." At the moment that Grizzly came up out of his bed and woofed at me, I realized full well the LGS clerk knew what he was talking about. .......... Big Cholla
  14. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    There is only one real advantage to hunting Grizzlies with a .308...The barrel is smaller in Diameter so it wont hurt so bad when the Bear Shoves it Up your A$$ when You **** him off with it !!!

    Big Dangerous Game Requires Large Magnum Calibers to put enough wound shock to stop a charging monster in his tracks. You can shoot the Heart out of a charging grizzly...he will not be dead for as much as 5 minutes, and he can take your head off in less than 1...Guides will not allow anything less than Magnum caliber guns and some require 30 Cal or Bigger Magnums.
    rockman7 likes this.
  15. waterdog

    waterdog G&G Enthusiast

    Don't know about the .308 but to my understanding the Russian don't seem to have a problem with their (larger) brown bears with 7.62x54 however I think they hunt from a stand over bait.
  16. Jim Rau

    Jim Rau G&G Enthusiast

    Define what you mean by 'problem'!!!
  17. Gunfighter

    Gunfighter G&G Newbie

    LOL! I have written those 3 parts down brother!
  18. Gunfighter

    Gunfighter G&G Newbie

    Mooseman I get it brother. Your writing skills convinced me to get a cannon. Thanks brothers. I appreciate all of your answers and opinions. Looks like I will just have to buy a bigger gun when income tax season comes in! The wife got a kick out of reading these answers as well so it'll be a lil easier to convince her to come off the cash now! (Dont act like yall dont know what the h*#% I'm talking about neither. LOL)
    Ten Man likes this.
  19. jason1965

    jason1965 mil-surp collector Forum Contributor

    I'm surprised that no one brought up the wonderful 8mm Mauser with a 198 grain round.
    Seems to me that that would do just fine.
  20. waterdog

    waterdog G&G Enthusiast

    Hunting/harvesting you know Killing, the Russian don't seem think the 7.62 is a "problem".
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