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Great year 2017

21 Oct 2017
@ 03:43 pm (GMT)

Gerry Moriarty

I had what I'd consider a great year of hunting. But two situations keep playing over in my head. Both involved arctic grizzly bear.

Replies

22 Oct 2017
@ 04:24 am (GMT)

Gerry Moriarty

Re: Great year 2017
The first scenario involved a grilzzly bear on a river bank at 160yds. The designated shooter had a good rest and the bear was facing us with a slight quarter to the left. There where 3 of us. The primary shooter had a 30-06 with Barnes bullets. I was shooting a .300 win mag with 180 gr nosler accubond bullets and the other shooter was also shooting a .300 win mag. The primary guy took his shot but missed. I followed up with a shot of my own and hit the bear slightly high on the shoulder. The bear tumbled off the river bank and into the water. We all jumped up so we could see the bear. For a few seconds we watched it struggling in the water then it regain composure and climbed up the river bank. All three of us started shooting as the bear ran right to left threw the brush. I can not say if any of us hit it again. It then disappeared into the woods. We gave it 30 minutes and loaded up with 220gr nosler partitions. After tracking for 45 minutes the bear charged us. It came threw the bush and alls we had time for was a point shot. The shooting turned the bear and again we watched it disappear into the brush. I knew we had hit it again because now there where peaces of fat and meat on the blood trail. We tracted for a little longer but the sun was going down so we returned to camp without the bear but with our bodies in tact.

The second scenario was a bear walking down the river towards some caribou that two of us had put down. As the bear came closer it walked in and out of the river. At 200yds we shot it in the shoulder with a .300 win mag and the 180gr accubond. When the bullet hit it created a large vapor cloud of water. The second shot hit close to the first and created another large cloud of water vapor. The bear then spun around and ran into the brush.
In my estimation water soaked bear hides and accubond bullets are not a good combination.
22 Oct 2017
@ 09:16 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Great year 2017
Hi Gerry, very good observation on your part. This helps a great deal.

As much as you hear folk rave about the AB, I have found that the design is terribly wanting. You will often see me describe it as being neither fish nor fowl. Yet often I find myself alone in this. I shuddered as soon as I read the first lines of your post, before even reading the result.

The 180gr AB can work well on larger bodied deer but that really is its limits. Otherwise, this bullet is too soft for close range work on tough game but too stout for extended range shots.

Perhaps I need to take some blame here as I have tried to maintain an open mind towards those who have used this bullet successfully. When I am very hard in my attitude towards a bullet and put these statements within the KB, I get a lot of heckling mail and while such things should be ignored, I try to take the core of the person's points into consideration. But here is an example of where I simply need to be very firm about this in the same manner as the book series. And yes, I am sure that others would blame the several inches of water but what difference does this make. The load is either effective or ineffective.

When I put my .375 notes up (I know you are a .375 user), you will see that I am very harsh on the AB. There cannot be any illusions with regards to the bigger bores which are expected to deal with dangerous animals.

FYI, there is every chance that the first shooter made a hit. If he was running a 180gr Barnes and the impact velocity was below 2600fps (and I will guess both are true), there would be no sign of a hit if the bullet struck behind the shoulder which is where shots generally end up when folk do not understand the importance of this. So this is a possibility unless you saw the bullet strike elsewhere.

I guess the confusion for you Gerry, is that you have already tackled quite large animals using the .375 loaded with the fully frangible Gameking. The major differences here are that the velocity is lower (target resistance / water tension is therefore much lower) and you have a great deal more bullet weight. These are the key factors.

Over time, I have found that the strengths of the .300 are in its ability to launch very heavy bullets at moderate velocities which can be put to use over a wide velocity spectrum. But this approach has its limits and bullet construction must always be matched to the job at hand.

This may have gone differently if shot one (.30-06 Barnes load) had struck the point of the shoulder. Bone aids expansion and disproportionate to caliber wounding while the bullet rakes through the autonomic plexus. If the hunter only knew how narrow wounding these bullets can be on tough game at lower impact velocities, his entire approach (including practice beforehand) may have been different.

As for the .300 loads, the higher the impact velocity (and the larger the animal), the tougher the bullet needs to be. If a 180gr bullet is used, it must be very tough for impact velocities of around 2900-3000fps. Assuming you were wanting to shoot to 300 yards or more, the slower moving 200gr Partition (impact velocity would have been around 2560fps), while not as tough as others, may have been the compromise between close range needs but without core bonding for the sake of extended range work. But this is where it gets sticky as the non bonded 200gr also has limitations if game weights are larger than normal. Water is an additional problem. Still, decreasing the impact velocity by around 200fps would have helped. Your 220gr load (impact 400fps slower than the AB) would have been ideal for that first shot and it may have been possible to run this in conjunction with the 220gr ELDX or 225gr M for longer shots, again utilizing low velocity for penetration.

Example of how your 220gr load might be put to greater use.

220gr Partition, 2650fps.
100y 3" high
225y zero
265y -3
300y -7.5" Wind drift 10", watch for drift off shoulder.

Performance begins to wane at 2200fps or after 180 yards but still effective.

At 2000fps, dead run occurs with non shoulder shots (260-270 yards.
Cut off point 370 yards, must hit center shoulder at 270 to 370 yards.

Note however that this load may shoot lower than your longer range load (eg only 2" high at 100 yards) which would take precedent regarding rifle zero settings. The only way to know how such a dual load might be optimized is via experimentation.

In summary, this load would be most effective to 250 yards, a softer bullet of a similar weight useful thereafter.

Hope that helps shed more light on how the 220gr might be put to greater use if you feel inclined to do so.

So far I have talked about using a heavier bullet for two reasons, one simply for the sake of bullet mass and SD at the target along with less velocity for less resistance. But what if a guy wants 3000fps at the target. In this case, the best approach is to increase the bullet mass (diameter and weight) further as a means to counter bullet stress. He may however still need a very tough bullet for close range work depending on the size of the animal. The water issue compounds this.

Of late you will see that I have been trying to push the idea of upping power (such as in my podcasts). The current trend is towards less power with most focus on the 6.5 bore, zero focus on the medium bores. If or when a large amount of power is adopted, the gun maker gives us a piddly little rifle and then a muzzle brake to deal with recoil. High power is becoming alien to the new generation (though perhaps better this than high power without accuracy). Another trend is the use of sleds to help tame recoil. These have zero bearing on field accuracy, the very concept is a disgrace.

Situations like the one you have been through, will often cause us to make rather drastic changes to our rifles and ammo. But as always, simply upping the caliber alone will not make for an instant fix and we may go around in circles for some time before we arrive at a rifle design that works well (again referring to my podcast 2) and a bullet design that suits our situation. In some cases, we can do away with dual loading by simply having a great deal of bullet mass to begin with. But again there are limitations to this with regards to impact velocity and game weights. In any case, it is easy to see why the .358 Norma, .358 STA, .375 Ruger, .375 H&H and .375 RUM are popular in your neck of the woods (for others- Alaska). If we choose a poorly designed bullet for the .375 bore, chances are it will be much more forgiving than making the same mistake in a .30 cal bore.

Anyway, I am certainly willing to take some of the blame here for not being harsh enough on various bullet designs. I also glossed over this in the podcast 2 but again, was not harsh enough on the new guys in the bullet industry trying to make a name for themselves, chasing markets as opposed to good killing bullets.

Thanks for sharing your results Gerry, I really appreciate it.
22 Oct 2017
@ 12:09 pm (GMT)

Gerry Moriarty

Re: Great year 2017
I've used the accubond for years and have taken moose caribou and bear with it. But I started to see a pattern with their use. No exit wound. Not that an exit wound is a requirement. On one bear the wound channel was the size of a grapefruit but only six inches deep. The next year I started using the .375 and when a friend and I simultaneously shot a bear there was only one exit. My friend was shooting the .300 wsm with a 180 gr. accubond. That result lead me to start an online review of the accubond and I ended up at this sight. I still have 100s of the accubond but had stopped using them. On this hunt I had the .375 but being sentimental about rifles I opted for the .300 wm and the ammo I had handy. I also had some 178 Amax but have not taken an animal with it so I was hesitant about using it.

There was no indication the the bear was hit with the Barnes but I didn't see an impact indicating a miss. That is curious now that I really think about it. I hit the bear on the left side and while tracking there was blood in the brush on the left and right. Pasted examples tell me that my accubond didn't create an exit wound. So maybe the Barnes hit after all.
Thanks Nathan
Truely the most informative shooting/hunting sight on the web
24 Oct 2017
@ 07:10 am (GMT)

mark korte

Re: Great year 2017
Hi Gerry -
So were you able to catch up to either bear the next day?
24 Oct 2017
@ 04:05 pm (GMT)

Gerry Moriarty

Re: Great year 2017
We lost both bears. Constant rain made tracking very difficult. We also spent time flying over both areas looking for clues. It was very disappointing.
24 Oct 2017
@ 08:20 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Great year 2017
For the Bears or the Hunters? A powerful accurate proportional to Game weight calibre rifle in the hands of a competent Hunter with a projectile Suited to the task!!! Is the lesson of this sorry tail. Them Bears wouldn't have done a half hearted job of mauling you if the rolls where reversed!!!!! A bit of an insult to them don't you think? I hope you find a solution to this outcome so that you never repeat it? I learnt a lesson like that on a goat when I was 14.
DONE!
Someone had to say it!!!! We have all of Nathan's Years of hard won knowledge available to us. Best we use it....
Animals don't ask to be shot. The responsibility for clean fast dispatch is ours.........

24 Oct 2017
@ 11:18 pm (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: Great year 2017
Crikey Warwick! So you never made a mistake in life since? Thanks for sharing Gerry so that others of us may learn from your mistakes.
24 Oct 2017
@ 11:38 pm (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: Great year 2017
Hey Warwick, apologies if you're post was taken the wrong way? The humbleness in which Gerry posted his failures and the informative nature of Nathans reply is what draws my curious nature back here time and time again. Just saying.
25 Oct 2017
@ 04:24 am (GMT)

Gerry Moriarty

Re: Great year 2017
I am always willing to accept criticism. I am not thin skinned. I have replayed in my head what could have been done differently or better for the last 30 days. I am at peace knowing the effort that was made to bring about a different conclusion in the field once thing didn't go as planned.Using ammunition that was suspecte is on me. I regret that one decision. I am not willing to tell another man what rifle/caliber/bullet he should be using. Unless he shows up with a.22 Hornet for moose. The gentleman using the Barnes had taken several animal with it and the same with the other using Federal factory ammo with the accubond bullet. They where confident in what they where using. As I had said I regret that one decision on my part to use the ammo combination that I did.
25 Oct 2017
@ 08:05 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Great year 2017
The trouble is Warwick, its one of those things where you don't know until you you know. Folk rave about both of the bullet designs used. Each certainly have strengths but they also have quite severe limitations. Quite often when things go wrong, folk just clam up and won't talk about it. Gerry is a good friend of mine. In this case, rather than email me, he posted here so that all could learn from this. The depth of my reply is proportional to the depth of his concern.

The latest for me comes from 6.5 low power users- My 6.5 _____ did not kill the large ____. I used X amount of shots (and / or) I never found the animal. Do you think this will stop anytime soon when gun writers are joyfully advertising that the 6.5 has more poke than a .300 at extended ranges?

Please be kind to Gerry, He is a dear friend just as you are to me.
25 Oct 2017
@ 09:30 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Great year 2017
Slight variations in a situation make very different outcomes hey, say the bear wasn't wet, a bit skinny or at a slightly different angle?
Hard to imagine a charging, wounded grizzly........mmmmmm.

Looking safely from here in OZ!!
My thoughts in our 30 cals or 9.3mm go straight to heavy projectiles regardless of situation, say the biggest ELD-X or M in 30 or a Woodleigh PP/RN. I wouldn't want to be swapping loads to suit the changing situation as the bear hunting footage l have seen things can & do happen pretty quick. I'd nominate a max range for the heavy cartridge combo and work within that.

It's never a nice feeling to loose an animal, l sat by the fire nearly all night one trip because a Sambar deer had run on me late in the afternoon using my young sons, very proven 308w/150 combo. Couldn't wait until first light to get back in and search for the animal (which had only gone 50 yards or so in thick stuff). A small rise in PIO to the neck junction would have anchored it to the spot.

We all learn from these things hey!
25 Oct 2017
@ 01:51 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Great year 2017
Should probably say something wise and comforting, but that's not what I have in mind. What I will say is that it is pretty impressive that a man can publicly air his errors and open himself to all manners of attitudes for the sake that others will learn from it.
25 Oct 2017
@ 06:56 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Great year 2017
Thank you for sharing this Gerry
this is one of the things i like about this forum you learn so much.
i like reading and learning then going out and shooting game, and comparing my results to what have been talked about here to really understand things better.

i have results shoot 208gr amax at opposite ends of the scale i hit a fallow in the neck connecting with the spine causes massive trauma and i have also hit a young goat behind the shoulder missing any resistance and having pinhole wounding, luckily it didn't run off but it was very much still alive.
what do you think gets talked about more the success or the failure?
i hear it to often "this projectile works well as long as you hit bone" well what happens if i miss?


i'm sure nothing makes you learn quicker then trying to track a wounded bear.
once again thank you Gerry for sharing and thank you Nathan for taking time to explain the results etc

25 Oct 2017
@ 10:38 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Great year 2017
No worries Hamish. Mistakes oh mate many and some more than once....including 7 failed relationships. Putting a screwdriver thru my thumb and possibly another miss take posting my opinion and thought's here. Freedom of speech is a twisted swords blade.......
Courageous conversations for the betterment of ourselves and others on here is one of the great things about this forum. I harbour no ill feeling for you Gerry. I wasn't there and only have your report on how things played out. Sorry if I've offended any others. I know that well all learn from it.
I just think that our quarry deserve respect and honour. They die so that we can live . The circle of life. Yes it's good that he's posted what happened . ... I realise that when we make mistakes we have to live with them. We've got a great bunch of people on here. Our different options and experience shared together without judgement or criticism is good for all. A problem shared is a problem halved. Thanks to everyone who has commented. Again sorry if I offended you. I am all for learning from others.
26 Oct 2017
@ 07:23 am (GMT)

Gerry Moriarty

Re: Great year 2017
All the replies are truely appreciated for one aspect or another. I may have felt a little defensive at first but it also forced a deeper self analysis of what could have been done better. I have never enjoyed watching an animal die or suffer. I am not a "trophy" hunter, I primarily hunt for meat. Bears are different in that regard, we are not required to salvage meat. Regardless I don't enjoy watching an animal needlessly suffer. Extra rounds into an animal at the cost of meat or more holes in the hide is fine by me. If we hadn't respected the bear we wouldn't have gone into the bush knowing there was a possibility of an unfavorable outcome.
I am glad to give more detail on any of this if wanted.
Again thanks of all replies.
20 Aug 2018
@ 11:05 am (GMT)

[email protected]

Re: Great year 2017
I am ramping up for the 2018 hunting season here in Alaska. I’ve just returned home from a successful first hunt. I had promised a young man of 14 years of age that if he succeeded in getting g his hunter education certification I’d take him out caribou hunting.He spent the early part of summer studying and ended up getting his certification. That left me on the hook to get him out hunting. I loaned him a .243 Win loaded with 85gr SGKs and we limited out range to 250yds. He and my son where able to get with in 110yds of a nice young bull. One round in the rear of the lungs that also clipped the liver was all that was needed.
20 Aug 2018
@ 01:54 pm (GMT)

Lane Salvato

Re: Great year 2017
Gerry,

I was on a hunt for Nilgai Antelope with 3 other guys. All three made perfect shots on these tough antelope at distances of less than 200 yards with monolithic copper bullets. All of them hit the ground hard, got up and ran off, never to be seen again. The place we hunted was not conducive to good tracking and though they tried hard none of these fellows recovered their animals.

First we thought that all of us needed larger caliber rifles and proceeded to get rid of our 300 Win. Mags. in favor of 338 Win. Mags. Sometime during that process I stumbled across Nathan's website and dug in reading. I ended up getting all of his books. It took me awhile but I ended up going 180 degrees different on bullet selection for 90% of my hunting situations, opting for soft bullets except on really tough hided game like Nilgai.

We went back down last February and used Swift A-Frames. We got two shots. One was at 283 yards and the other was at about 75 yards. Both animals dropped hard. One was grazing and never raise his head. One ran about 30 yards and fell over. In both cases the bullets mushroomed out but kept driving through the tough tissue.

I'll never use solid copper again for anything. Losing those Nilgai was a bad experience for us. We felt guilty and cruel. As Nathan said, sometimes you don't know until you know.
 

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