358 and 308 Bullets Question Bear Hunting

Alaska Luke

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My brother is coming up to Alaska and the plan is to ambush a bear from a blind. Could be a 200 pound black bear or a 400-800 pound grizzly.

My way question relates to HIS rifle. I will be backing him up with a 375 Ruger. I am totally happy with my rifle. My brothers choices are limited because I can't get the ammo and/or reloading components I might prefer. So here are his choices.

He could use my 358 Winchester. Load is a 225 grain Swiift A Frame going 2416 fps. Or a 220 Speer at the same velocity. My concern with these is I've never used an A frame for anything. If he takes a broadside shot through the ribs will the A Frame be too tough? The ribs of an average grizzly aren't that thick, typically black bears are whitetail sized here. Too tough could be a problem.

308 with a hot load pushing a 200 grain Partition at 2465 fps. Now I know the 308 is light but the shot will be close, probably 25 yards. So the actual impact velocity will be roughly were a 30-06 would be at 100 yards. And I know the Nosler Partition well.

There really are no other options. The 358 bullets available seem either too hard for a broadside (A Frame) or to soft for a shoulder bone (Speer) based on anecdotal repo. The 308 is a bit lighter but the bullet has better SD and should do serious damage on a broadside shot.

Thoughts? If someone tells me an A Frame will open fast and make a mess of the lungs in a small grizzly we'll do that. But I'd prefer a 308 that expands to a 358 that punches through like a solid.
 

wipartimer

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Being a close range shot, assuming from a blind where he has time to assess the target and shot, use the .308 he is comfortable with. I'll be using mine for my Wisconsin bear hunt this fall ( biggest we've taken on our land wad 490 pounds so far).
 

Alaska Luke

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Wipartimer my brother has shot both well if I recall. But I'm warming up to the 308 idea a bit. It can use a suppressor which is nice. No muzzle blast to distract me while I watch as back him up. Of course I want it to be his kill so I'm hoping he downs it without help.
 

curtism1234

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I have the same concerns with the swift and speer, though the speer is unlikely to separate and should push through.

I'd probably lean towards the 308. Its a heavy great bullet being pushed towards 30-06 velocity. Plenty of bear being killed with the 06 at 100-150 yards. I dont see why the 308 wouldn't work at 25 (or 150 yards for that matter)

The 358 with speer probably is 2nd for me
 

bruce moulds

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don't worry about expansion with the swift.
while they penetrate well, they also expand fast, and your close shots will not test them that way.
you will be prepared for either type of bear.
in general good cup and core bullets might well be better than the nosler due to the fact that when the nosler fails it fails bigtime.
if the nosler bullet hits a shoulder blade at an angle, the nose blows one way causing the rest to go another way, who knows where.
a bear can live a long time with no blood flow (as in a good heart shot) as there is enough oxygen in the blood in the brain to keep it going awhile.
then you have no choice but to break it down, and bullet reliability combined with performance at less than optimum angles is handy.
the 358 with the swift.
bruce.
 

1dirthawker

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use the 308. I'm surprised the 200 gr will go that fast, but at bait station ranges, it will do a fine job and that is a velocity window that the nosler will be perfect at.
 

MS 9x56

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Given those bullet types there really is no bad choice. My personal choice would be 1) 358 with swift A frame, 2) 308 with 200 grain partition, 3) 358 with Speer 220 grain. But they will all get the job done at 25-50 yards. Good luck with your hunt and keep us posted on your results.
 

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Given those bullet types there really is no bad choice. My personal choice would be 1) 358 with swift A frame, 2) 308 with 200 grain partition, 3) 358 with Speer 220 grain. But they will all get the job done at 25-50 yards. Good luck with your hunt and keep us posted on your results.
Yes, I agree. The only thing that would change the order of choice is if he prefers the fit or function of the .308 rifle. Then the .308 may be a better choice. I would not worry at all about a 200 gr. NP separating at .308 velocities. There is no doubt the .358 A frame or the .308 Partition are up to the task. Even "third choice" is a good one. I have killed moose with the Speer 220 gr. and my brother has killed several elk with them at medium - close range with his .358 and it has done the job perfectly.
 

lwaters

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I used a 358 with 225 gr. Partitions on black bear and they worked great. I think the a-frame would be a little better.
 

Velo Dog

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Alaska Luke

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A Partition would have been my first choice in the 358 at least for a lung shot. But they have not been available for a while.
I did some reading on the 220 grain Speer and they sound pretty good actually. Sounds like they work on moose and Elk. I'm wondering if we use the 358 leaded with a 220 Speer for the first shot. Then have a mag full of A Frames for follow up shots. My theory is the Speer bullet should make it to the lungs just fine and it should theoretically make a broader wound channel then the 308.
 

meigsbucks

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In my order of preference:
.358- 225 Swift (it will expand and penetrate)
.308- 200 Nosler (at that low of velocity they should work well)
.358- 220 Speer (should work OK but IMO the others are better options)
 

Alaska Luke

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What's wrong with the Speer? Obviously it might not be ideal to smash a shoulder. But at 25 yards you freeze if the bear is facing you, you shoot when the bear isn't looking (i.e. broadside).
 

MS 9x56

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I have been using 35 calibers (358 win ,35 rem, 35 Whelen, 9x56 MS) for over 20 years and I can tell you any bear hit in the lungs at less than 300 yards will die very quickly. Doesn’t much matter what bullet you use. 35’s are hammers that tend to let the wind out of critters sails in short order. I have a BLR that is my go to bear gun. I would not hesitate to use it on a grizzly. Now a coastal brown bear I would probably use my 9.3x62 with 286 grain bullets. Use the 358 and enjoy your hunt. Good hunting.
 

Tundra Tiger

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My tiny framed teen daughter killed her first bear (8.5' coastal brown bear) with a 150 grain Partition from a .308 at about 100 yards. I had zero qualms about her taking that shot. She put a couple of anchoring shots in but he was dead at the first shot. A good bullet and shot placement... either option you mention sounds viable to me.
 

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I killed a 450 lb B&C (20 14/16) Black Bear two years ago with a 150 gr Win PowerPoint from a .308. Through and through heart/lungs at 75 yards. Humped up and dove into a pond 10 feet away. I've dropped several mule deer and large elk within 150 yards with the same round. As previously stated, shot placement and bullet construction for velocity/range matter most.
 

Alaska Luke

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Sounds like it will come down to which he likes better. We'll try both at the range and see what he likes.
If he doesn't like the 358 I'll have to try it myself sometime. All my big bears have been 375 Ruger kills.
 
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My brother is coming up to Alaska and the plan is to ambush a bear from a blind. Could be a 200 pound black bear or a 400-800 pound grizzly.

My way question relates to HIS rifle. I will be backing him up with a 375 Ruger. I am totally happy with my rifle. My brothers choices are limited because I can't get the ammo and/or reloading components I might prefer. So here are his choices.

He could use my 358 Winchester. Load is a 225 grain Swiift A Frame going 2416 fps. Or a 220 Speer at the same velocity. My concern with these is I've never used an A frame for anything. If he takes a broadside shot through the ribs will the A Frame be too tough? The ribs of an average grizzly aren't that thick, typically black bears are whitetail sized here. Too tough could be a problem.

308 with a hot load pushing a 200 grain Partition at 2465 fps. Now I know the 308 is light but the shot will be close, probably 25 yards. So the actual impact velocity will be roughly were a 30-06 would be at 100 yards. And I know the Nosler Partition well.

There really are no other options. The 358 bullets available seem either too hard for a broadside (A Frame) or to soft for a shoulder bone (Speer) based on anecdotal repo. The 308 is a bit lighter but the bullet has better SD and should do serious damage on a broadside shot.

Thoughts? If someone tells me an A Frame will open fast and make a mess of the lungs in a small grizzly we'll do that. But I'd prefer a 308 that expands to a 358 that punches through like a solid.
@Alaska Luke
The 358 with either bullet will work well on the smaller bear. The 220grain Speer is a bonded bullet being a hot core where molten lead is poured into the cup to form the bonding.
If you have the chance at a grizzly up to 800# I would go the swift Aframe and a few helpers to bring the bear home. the swift will also expand on the smaller game.
If they bot shoot to the same point I would load the Speer on top followed by the swift. That way if you need the swift it is only a stroke away.
Bob
 

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