The Best Ammo for Black Bear Hunting

By

Which One of These Gets Your Pick?

6.5 Creedmoor

Image 1 of 10

1 | 6.5 Creedmoor

This is the “new kid on the block.” Born in 2007, it isn’t an old ammo option. But it’s certainly climbed up the caliber ladder in short order. It has light recoil and significant long-range capabilities. Perfect for rifles with high twist-rate ratios, it’s shockingly accurate and very aerodynamic to say the least.

Typical Muzzle Velocity: 2,700 fps

Typical Weight: 140 grains

Image 1 of 10

.270 Win

Image 2 of 10

2 | .270 Win

The .270 has been around for 94 years. For 94 seasons, big game hunters have been heading afield with this trusty caliber in-hand. That’s what I call heritage. And it’s most certainly proven itself time after time. It’s a smaller-diameter bullet that scoots downrange in a hurry with truly impressive speeds and energy.

Typical Muzzle Velocity: 2,850 fps

Typical Weight: 150 grains

Image 2 of 10

.280 Rem

Image 3 of 10

3 | .280 Rem

This gun is nowhere near as popular as the .270. And I don’t know why. In my opinion, it actually outpaces the .270 in most categories and scenarios. If you look at pure performance, this is the gun to have between the two options.

Typical Muzzle Velocity: 2,900 fps

Typical Weight: 165 grains

Image 3 of 10

7mm-08 Rem

Image 4 of 10

4 | 7mm-08 Rem

This caliber was introduced approximately 40 years ago. It offers the light recoil of a .243 or .25-06 and the versatility of a .308. With an approximate .280-diameter bullet and lots of powder to burn behind it, it also has a very flat trajectory, especially out to several hundred yards. Another reason it’s so popular — it has much less recoil than that of a .308 Win or .300 Win Mag.

Typical Muzzle Velocity: 2,550 fps

Typical Weight: 140 grains

Image 4 of 10

.308 Win

Image 5 of 10

5 | .308 Win

If I had to guess, I’d say this one probably makes the top five or six most-used calibers by black bear hunters. It’s that common. It’s the best of all worlds. It offers knockdown power without the heavy recoil.  It’s easy to find on shelves — which is big with today’s ammo availability.

Typical Muzzle Velocity: 2,800 fps

Typical Weight: 150 grains

Image 5 of 10

.30-06 SPRG

Image 6 of 10

6 | .30-06 SPRG

Now over 100 years old, the .30-06 is a primo option for hunting black bears. It’s another favorite on this list that is among the most-sold calibers in the country. It’s a great all-around gun that can do just about whatever you ask it to (within reason).

Typical Muzzle Velocity: 2,900 fps

Typical Weight: 150 grains

Image 6 of 10

.300 Win Mag

Image 7 of 10

7 | .300 Win Mag

This thing kicks like a dadgum mule. But it’s a surefire bear rifle. You don’t always get a pass-through with this round, but the energy transfer inside the body cavity is astounding.

Typical Muzzle Velocity: 3,250 fps

Typical Weight: 150 grains

Image 7 of 10

.338 Win Mag

Image 8 of 10

8 | .338 Win Mag

This is a great long-range, rapidly expanding load. Plus, it offers incredible knockdown power and energy. Sure, it isn't easy on the shoulder. But you won't feel a thing when that big bruin steps out into the open. The best part? This ammo is available almost everywhere.

Typical Muzzle Velocity: 2,960 fps

Typical Weight: 200 grains

Image 8 of 10

.35 Whelen

Image 9 of 10

9 | .35 Whelen

This round might not get as much press. But it's a great option for bears. It hits hard. Really hard. And it's a flat-shooting gun. Awesome choice.

Typical Muzzle Velocity: 2,910 fps

Typical Weight: 200 grains

Image 9 of 10

.375 Ruger

Image 10 of 10

10 | .375 Ruger

Do you want a big gun? This is a big gun. It'll put down bears and other big game, too. It most certainly can handle whatever big-game challenge you put it up against.

Typical Muzzle Velocity: 2,660 fps

Typical Weight: 300 grains

Don't Miss: 9 New Compound Bows for 2019

Are you a big game hunter wanting to learn how to accomplish your goals? Check out our stories, videos and hard-hitting how-to's on big game hunting.

Follow us on Facebook.

Image 10 of 10

Black bears are popular big game animals. Thousands of hunters chase them every year. But what's the best bullets for these tough critters? We have the answers.