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#3467922 - 11/10/09 Has anyone used the 243 for black bear?  
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Scorpion Offline
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I'm just curious if anyone has used the 243, with good or bad results, for black bear. I know that there may be better choices, but with a good bullet like a TSX, I don't see it having any issues with a black bear. The main reason I'm asking is I had a guy claim that 6mm and .257 caliber cartridges are good for only "stinging" bears. It's obvious he is clueless on the .25 cal stuff, as I've seen plenty here prove otherwise. I don't have a dog in this fight, just would like some feedback from those much more experienced than myself.

So, anyone who has used the 243 on blackies, your input would be greatly appreciated.

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#3467935 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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Mule Deer Offline
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I haven't used the .243 myself on a black bear, but know several people that have, or used similar cartridges. One New York friend killed a nice black bear in the Adirondacks with a .250 Savage and the 100-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, which a lot of people wouldn't consider a bear bullet. One shot in the heart-lung area put it down pronto though.


John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015
#3467939 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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Big Sky Offline
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The problem is not that it won't kill a bear, it will. The biggest problem is that bears don't always go down on the spot and are difficult to track without a good blood trail. Their soft feet really don't stir things up much so unless there is snow it's hard to follow foot prints. They have very long hair and a lot of fat which clogs up the bullet wound quickly. In short: big diameter bullet equals good blood trail, small diameter bullet equals difficult if not impossible tracking situation. Make sense?


You only live once. If you do it right once is enough.
#3467947 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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Boise Offline
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I've shot two Idaho black bears with a .243 using the Barnes 85 gr. X bullet. Both were one shot kills, both bullets passed through the front shoulders on relatively close shots. Neither bear traveled very far but the one rolled a fair number of feet down a steep grade.

One bear was fairly young, I'm not very good at judging bears. The second was aged as a 13 year old dry sow.

I believe a .243 is too light for bear hunting. I was carrying the .243 while hunting varmints and stumbled upon the blackies, waited for a perfect broadside and too the shot from a rest.

#3468020 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Boise]  
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bigsqueeze Offline
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The 243 will kill black bears and sting the big dangerous bears.

Maybe this guy got his bears mixed up??

The 243 with a good bullet, is a very capable black bear killer. The 25s even more so.

Next time you see this guy, make a gentlemenly wager to him that your 243 (if you have one), or your 25 cal, will kill black bears with one well placed shot everytime. Say a grand or two per black bear?

If I were using a 243 on a wager for the black bears and someone were betting against me, I`d load me up some "classified super secret" 115 gr Berger hunting VLDs and then double the bet!!!

I`d really like to see the blackies walk away from those with that kind of,,,,,, "stinging only?",,,,, wound channel.



300WSM,,,,338-378 Wby,,,,375 Ruger


#3468043 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: bigsqueeze]  
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Scorpion Offline
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bigsqueeze,

If I were a betting man, and had a 243 I might make such a wager. Like I said, I've really no dog in this fight, as I normally hunt a 260, 7mm-08, or 280. Was just curious if some of the guys here had used it on black bears.

Thanks everyone for the responses.

#3468084 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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bigsqueeze Offline
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Oh! I forgot to mention that I do have a friend who owns a 243, whom on more than one occasion has used it on the blackies with very good results.

However, I have never personally used a 243 for B/Bears.


300WSM,,,,338-378 Wby,,,,375 Ruger


#3468093 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: bigsqueeze]  
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cdhunt Offline
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are you nuts?

#3468228 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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MagMarc Offline
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My cousin killed one that was about 250# with a 100 gr Sierra. It worked very well on that sample of 1.

#3468280 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: cdhunt]  
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bigsqueeze Offline
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Originally Posted by cdhunt
are you nuts?
.......You bet! I`m really nuts!........Don`t have a 243, so I just put up with a 300 WSM for my black bear use.


300WSM,,,,338-378 Wby,,,,375 Ruger


#3468477 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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Mark R Dobrenski Offline
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I've seen some taken with the various 6's from 243 to 6/06. And I've seen some taken with the 22/250 and Swifto.

All will work just fine as long as the nutt behind the butt does his/her job.

As far as blood trails goes, I've seen bruins taken with the 22's to the 375's and to date the bestest blood trail I've ever seen was from a 22/250 and a 55 NSB.

Dober


"True respect starts with the way you treat others, and it is earned over a lifetime of demonstrating kindness, honor and dignity"....Tony Dungy
#3468708 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]  
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Scorpion Offline
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Thanks Dober, I figured you'd chime in. If you recall offhand, what bullets were the various 6mm's using?

#3469141 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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selmer Offline
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I've never done it, but I'd have no qualms about putting a 100 gr. Partition in a black bear with a .243 Win.


Selmer

"Daddy, can you sometime maybe please go shoot a water buffalo so we can have that for supper? Please? And can I come along? Does it taste like deer?"
- my 3-year old daughter smile
#3469159 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: selmer]  
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No 243 experience (except when my friends cousin shot a decoy with one), but I've seen the .257 in action on black bear and elk. Worked just fine.


Empirical results rule!
#3469432 - 11/10/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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Ranch13 Offline
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I had a highschool science teacher/basketball coach that came from southern Oregon said he used the 243 for bears. Then a few years later (1973 or4) my Dad killed a bear while elk hunting with his 243. Also have a logger friend that made two trips to Wisconsin for bear first time he took his 30-30 and ended up with a shot bear that wasn't found, next trip took his 243, later on his exwife laid claim to the bearrug.....


the most expensive bullet there is isn't worth a plug nickel if it don't go where its supposed to.
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#3469798 - 11/11/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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Scorpion,
I know of two guys who tried it and next year went to a much bigger rifle.
Another guy says if you are in a stand shooting down into the spine it works well.
Another guy used a 204 Ruger. The bear went 100 yds. gut shot.
Lots of guys use bow and arrow.
Flip a coin.
whelennut


I like to do my hunting BEFORE I pull the trigger!
There is only one kind of dead, but there are many different kinds of wounded.
#3469988 - 11/11/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]  
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ingwe Offline
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Shot one with the .243...100 gr. Hornady...in the ear...worked great....boolit didn't exit!!
Ingwe


He spoke in tears of 15 years his dog and him traveled about. The dog up and died. She up and died....After 20 years he still grieves.
#3470013 - 11/11/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: ingwe]  
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My buddy shot a 200lb boar 2 years ago 3 times with his. The bear died but it wasn't quick and there was very little blood. He now uses a 300wsm or a 12ga.


"Jerry is dead, Phish suck time to get a job "
#3470605 - 11/11/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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UKdave Offline
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NO but...I shot a couple with a 6.5 which is only half a mill bigger!!!


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#3471125 - 11/11/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: UKdave]  
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When I was younger I did almost all my big game hunting with a .220 swift. And I've used .243s on and off over the years as well....hunt with the rifle you have the most confidence in. I've always believed accuracy trumps power. Black bears are no harder to kill than a deer IMO. The above bear was killed with one well placed shot from a .220 swift.


Luck....is the residue of design...
[Linked Image]
#3471141 - 11/11/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: scenarshooter]  
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I took my very first black bear in 1972 near Stevenson, Wa. with a
6mm Remington.....close enough to the good old .243. It was about a 60 yard shot to the back of the neck as he was running away.
I have also got a couple with my .243 and my .25-06.


"It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues." Ten Bears
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#3471250 - 11/11/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Big Sky]  
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Okanagan Offline
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Originally Posted by Big Sky
The problem is not that it won't kill a bear, it will. The biggest problem is that bears don't always go down on the spot and are difficult to track without a good blood trail. Their soft feet really don't stir things up much so unless there is snow it's hard to follow foot prints. They have very long hair and a lot of fat which clogs up the bullet wound quickly. In short: big diameter bullet equals good blood trail, small diameter bullet equals difficult if not impossible tracking situation. Make sense?


Makes too much sense for anyone who wants to hunt bear with a .243 to pay any attention to. grin

I've shot or been in on at least half a dozen black bears shot with .243 or 6mm, probably more like a dozen if I think awhile. We lost one of them that was hit at the back edge of the shoulder broadside. I was watching the bear through binos when the shooter hit it at about 90 yards, and I am sure the bear died, hit through shoulder into lungs with a 95 grain Nosler Partition. It was in heavy rain and rain forest and there was no blood trail past ten feet from the hit. I've posted on this earlier.

As anecdotal evidence favoring .243 for black bear, later the same day the same hunter with the same rifle and bullet killed a gorgeous dark chocolate black bear that dropped instantly on the spot. I've also seen bears killed with .22-250 (not to mention .22 rimfire, several bow/arrow combos and a tire iron) so .243 killing power is a given.

I'd not pick a .243 with any boolit as my first choice for hunting black bear, based on a fair amount of experience/observation. Our mileages does vary. Yet if that's all I had in hand I would hunt them with it and not feel much handicapped. I would limit my shot selection a little more than with say a .30 with heftier bullets. Go forth and ballistapply. smile

Scenar: agreed that black bears, like deer, are one of the easier animals to kill.





Last edited by Okanagan; 11/11/09.
#3471929 - 11/11/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Okanagan]  
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Scorpion Offline
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Thanks again for all the input guys. Like I said, I don't really have much of a dog in this fight, as I don't even own a 243 (I know, I know), just figured I'd ask the brain trust here at the 'Fire. smile

#3472176 - 11/11/09 Re: Has anyone used the 243 for black bear? [Re: Scorpion]  
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65BR Offline
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Scenar great point, but you look like you killed him bare handed....your shoulders look stronger than the bears!

Seriously, I'd not hesitate using an 85 TSX or perhaps a 90 Scirocco. Partitions will do, bu I'd bet the TSX weighs more when the job is done, if that counts for anything.

Right on...shot placement, would not be my choice, but it will do.

My brother shot a bear when bowhunting and the range was not close enough for sticks, the guide loaned him a Mohawk in 6mm, in that carbine bbl, you have 243 speeds no doubt. Bear went a little ways, but I think just cup/core 100 factory and not sure of placement, I think shoulder/chest, will ask for more details when I see talk to him next.

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