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Bear Hunting Rifles & Shotguns

Bear hunting is considered to be one of the favorite outdoor activities in North America because it offers a lot of excitement and is quite difficult, making it a desirable sport. It is mainly an activity for men courageous enough to take down such a massive animal. Such creatures are hunted with many methods: baiting, using hounds, incidental hunting during other seasons and still hunting. Due to the increased difficulty, bear hunting is recommended only to experienced hunters.

Bear Hunting Guns

As far as the selection of bear hunting guns available and recommended for this large animal, there are a couple of options to choose from. First of all, hunters need to choose heavy calibers and heavy bullets because of the size of the animal. The choice of cartridges should be done by choosing one of the following: Savage 99, .350 Rem and the Browning SLR. The round-nosed type of bullet initiates expansion and will transfer energy a lot faster than spitzers do and at closer ranges the ballistic inferiority is not a real issue. A wise combination would have to be the .270 with a 150-grain round-nose bullet and for the 7mms we recommend using bullets from 160+ grains. For the .30 calibers we advise you to use 180 grains as this combination has proven its efficiency over the years. The best bear hunting guns are the ones that are capable of firing large bullets and have a big caliber, imperative for taking down such a large animal.

Bear Hunting Rifles

Big large bears have heavy muscle and bone, and penetration coupled with a well-placed shot is imperative. This leads the hunter to seriously take into consider larger calibers, generally beginning with the .30s and going up from there. Those rock solid standbys of .308 Winchester and .30-06 Govt. are reliable options when these are loaded with heavy, well-constructed bullets. Bullet weights in the 165- to 200-grain class will get the job done. If, on the other hand, the game is a grizzly or coastal brown, these rounds must be viewed as suspect. Yes, they will do the job, but they probably should not be the first choice of a bear hunting rifle. The nod in .30-caliber would go to the magnum rigs for this heavier work. The .300 Remington Ultra Mag or something similar fits the duty far better than the smaller .30s. Our users recommend the following bear rifles: Remington Model Seven, Winchester Model 1984, Beeman Air Rifle Silver Bear, Ruger Model M77 MKII Compact Rifle and the Remington Model 7 CDL.

Bear Hunting Shotguns

Although using a bear shotgun is illegal in many states, for those of us lucky enough to be able to use them, it is recommended to use slugs because a buckshot is only good for close range and smaller animals while the slug is good to go for any size and distance. Our users recommend using one of the following bear hunting shotguns: Marlin Model 1895GS or the Winchester Supreme Partition Gold Slug.

Bear Hunting Scopes

Using bear hunting scopes is a good way to improve your chances while hunting these large animals. When looking at a bear through a very high-powered scope when it is only thirty yards away, often all you will see is a big black blob which will make it hard to choose a spot to aim. While bear hunting, one rifle hunter missed a bear at point blank range because his scope had too much magnification and he had a hard time finding the bear in the scope. If hunting over bait, a low-powered scope or iron sights should get the job done very well. Choosing a scope should not be that difficult, a 3-9x40mm scope is a very wise decision, just as good as a smaller 2-7x33m scope. Our users recommend the following manufacturers of bear hunting scopes: Leupold, Bushnell, Burris, Nikon and Trijicon.

Although we cannot say that a certain rifle is the best rifle for bear hunting, in our opinion and in the reviews of many of our visitors, we consider the Winchester Model 1984 to be the best gun for bear hunting as it offers accuracy and it is a very solid rifle with a long history and tradition behind it. In fact, it was the first rifle that was sold in more than 1,000,000 units. The most expensive models are the ones produced before 1964.

This being said, bear hunting guns should be heavy-power handguns and big-bore. If you are going to take down such a large animal, you will need serious power. The more experienced guides and firearm experts affirm that they are usually even more efficient in comparison with long guns, particularly if there is any chance you might have to track on the ground because they are quicker and more maneuverable in tangled thickets and brush.

Mini-14 Distributor Exclusives
rifle review
This model is available only to selected distributors and packs a heavy, hammer-forged barrel for improved rigidity and accuracy. For reducing the felt recoil it comes fitted with a flat buttpad. It has a simple and rugged Garand-style action with a breechbolt locking system.
Centerfire RifleType: Centerfire Rifle 5.56mm NATOCaliber: 5.56mm NATO
SemiautomaticSubtype: Semiautomatic 8Weight: 8 lbs.
RugerBrand: Ruger 38Overall Length: 38 inch
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10/22 Sporter
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This unit comes with a flat buttplate with a rubber buttpad and sling swivels. It features blade, gold bead front sights with adjustable and folding rear sights. Its A380 aluminum alloy receiver has been precision-machined by the manufacturer and provides long-term reliability.
Rimfire RifleType: Rimfire Rifle .22 LRCaliber: .22 LR
SemiautomaticSubtype: Semiautomatic 5.75Weight: 5.75 lbs.
RugerBrand: Ruger 37Overall Length: 37 inch
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10/22 Compact
rifle review
The model has been fitted with a heat-stabilized, glass-filled polymer trigger housing assembly that was precision-machined out of high-tech materials for better manufacturing tolerances, abrasion and impact resistance, as well as unmatched ability to withstand the elements of nature.
Rimfire RifleType: Rimfire Rifle .22 LRCaliber: .22 LR
SemiautomaticSubtype: Semiautomatic 4.50Weight: 4.50 lbs.
RugerBrand: Ruger 34Overall Length: 34 inch
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  • Vicenze Torino says:
    Model 12 Low Profile Varminter
    The best rifle if you are short on $$$. Accustock is just great. I use it only for deer....
  • Robert S. Thompson says:
    597 FLX .22 LR Rimfire
    I purchase this gun to use it for hunting and target practice as well...
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