Looking to Build a Bear Hunting Rifle from AR-15 Lower

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Hey Guys,
I have two Ar-15 lowers left over from the DM group buy. I want to build a rifle that I can use to take black bear hunting. I really want to go .308 win but of course that's to big of a round to fit into an ar-15 lower. My question to you is what should I go with? The laws for hunting a black bear in MA is you can use anything larger than a .23 caliber. I am thinking about going with a 6.5 grendel which of course ammo is hard to find and I would probably have to reload for it. I am looking for any advice you guys can give me.

****Mods if you need to move this go ahead. I am not sure if this belongs here or under the firearms thread.****
 

one-eyed Jack

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The 6.8 SPC ammo is easier to find, so I use that cal upper for NH and Maine deer hunting. I've never hunted bear, but son Mark in AK has shot a bunch of them over the years. Of course the bears are bigger up there, but the locals consider the .375 H&H and the .338 mag. to be the minimum to use. Jack.
 

edmorseiii

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What about that crazy SOCOM round or Beowulf .50?

I realize that ammo availability is probably an issue and it would limit your range but those rounds seem to have some huge power behind them, and I have been interested in something oddball like them.
 
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Thanks for the info guys. I would like to have one of those crazy wild cat rounds, but living in MA it might be hard to find the components to reload for them. The reason I like the 6.5 gerndel is the ballistic info that I have been able to find on it. I was also looking at the .243 wssm and 6.8 SPC cartridge, I haven't done to much research on the round. If I was going to do a build the .50 beowulf I think I'd rather have a 50BMG...[smile] I'm looking at something I can use to hunt whitetail, bear, and elk.
 
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edmorseiii

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6.5 is a pretty sweet round, I was looking at that possibility my self as a long range shooter, but the magazine issue kind of turned me off.

Those big bore calibers are supposed to use standard USGI mags, IIRC.
 
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6.5 is a pretty sweet round, I was looking at that possibility my self as a long range shooter, but the magazine issue kind of turned me off.

Those big bore calibers are supposed to use standard USGI mags, IIRC.

I know that the 6.5 fits into a standard .223 mag. IIRC you can fit 10 rounds of 6.5 into a 30rnd .223 mag but being in MA not sure how that would work out on a legal level unless the lower receiver was pre-ban[sad2] MA sucks. IANAL
 

edmorseiii

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It is not illegal to use pre-ban mags in a post-ban lower.

The length of the 6.5 and 6.8 will fit fine, it is the width of the cartridge that cause's the problem. I have read that people have trouble with the feeding reliability of 6.x ammo in the 5.56 mags. That was enough for me to lose interest.
 
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Remsport Mfg

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We can build you a 50 Beowulf upper for your lower or a complete gun. Two options available 16" or 18" built on a billot receiver or standard receiver. This would be quite the bear rifle. The 50 Beowulf ammo has just become available in good supply. Brass is available also so you can also reload.
Call us at Remsport.
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413 579 1994
 

1903Collector

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It is not illegal to use pre-ban mags in a post-ban lower.

The length of the 6.5 and 6.8 will fit fine, it is the width of the cartridge that cause's the problem. I have read that people have trouble with the feeding reliability of 6.x ammo in the 5.56 mags. That was enough for me to lose interest.

The ribs on the bodies of 5.56 mags are pressed deeper into the sheet metal, on 6.8 mags the ribs are shallower and I would imagine 6.5 mags are the same. Also the opening in the front of the 6.8 mags looks to be a little wider than the 5.56. You can stuff a few 6.8s in a 30 round 5.56 mag but only about six or seven. It sucks but if you go with 6.8 in MA your stuck with 10 round mags, I just bought a lot of them [laugh]
 
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PatMcD

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I'd be much happier with the Beuwolf or other big-bore round. With the 6.5, you have absolutely no room for error with a bear.
 
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We can build you a 50 Beowulf upper for your lower or a complete gun. Two options available 16" or 18" built on a billot receiver or standard receiver. This would be quite the bear rifle. The 50 Beowulf ammo has just become available in good supply. Brass is available also so you can also reload.
Call us at Remsport.
John
413 579 1994

This. I have seen the beast, (today actually) and it has black bear killer written all over it....

I'd be much happier with the Beuwolf or other big-bore round. With the 6.5, you have absolutely no room for error with a bear.

And this. The 6.8 is indeed a nice round, but you'd be hard-pressed to have a cartridge that's fully bear-capable. Shot placement would be hyper-critical and I would think your 115gr bullet would be great for dear - especially in the 100-200 yard range, but not so great for bear. Wounded bears that run too far away to be found and die slowly are bad. Wounded bears that head in the other direction, (like toward you) are more bad.... Go with Beowulf - at typical deer/bear ranges, it will smack em...
 

SKS Ray

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What about 9mm?

Oh c'mon... someone had to say it.[smile]

On a serious note... I'd go with the 50 Beowulf or maybe even 450 Bushmaster but I hear that the 50 is better suited for thick skinned animals. Theres also 458 SOCOM to consider.
 
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I have hunted in northern Maine for a few yrs with my .50Beowulf and dropped a couple deer. It totally has BLACK BEAR written all over it though! Some day. Going with a 50BMG is a whole 'nuther step. Actually, that is a whole nuther FLOOR! Way heavy, not portable, etc. I carry my 50Beo all over the woods here and in Jackman. It weighs just over 7# fully loaded.
 

ochmude

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If the lower is preban, get a regular 5.56 upper with the lug and use one of these.
800pxbayonetokc3sontariu.jpg


Or you can go with .50 Beowulf...if you wanna be a pansy [wink].
 

one-eyed Jack

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Jack, is it a stopping power or legal issue?
Fish and Game up there want the animal, bear or moose, dead. They don't want to spend time looking for you or dragging your mangled or dead ass out of the bush. The locals want the power and reliability of a bolt action. I'll check with Mark, but there may not even be a mag capacity limit. They hunt in camo and don't chamber a round till they are ready to shoot. Too much falling down and climbing over things in the rough country. Jack.
 

ochmude

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Remember that those who hunt bear a lot, like son Mark in AK use ONLY hi-powered BOLT ACTION fifles. Semi auto is a no-no. Jack.

Wouldn't the situation be a little different for the black bear found in this area? Grizzly's and Kodiak's are a whole different animal (literally and figuratively).
 

one-eyed Jack

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Wouldn't the situation be a little different for the black bear found in this area? Grizzly's and Kodiak's are a whole different animal (literally and figuratively).

I suppose. No bear shooting experience myself, but I'm paranoid from listening to the tales from AK for the last 20 yrs. Looks like you actually have to bust up the bears big time up there. One time Mark nailed a brown bear who was trying to get into his house for the sled dog food. He hit it five times at close range with the .300 win mag and his wife hit it 5 times with the '06. The last shot (head shot) dropped the bear literally at their feet. They were shooting from their doorway and the bear wanted in. Next day the rifles were both traded in for the .375 and the .338. Another time son Lance was hunting with Mark and and hit a large black bear with the .338. The bear rolled down the hill into the alders and altho the first shot almost gutted the bear, they had to go in and finish it off. That's why I have only gone up there to fish. Jack.
 
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Hey guys thanks for all the advice/tips. I think I've made up my mind....I'm looking at either a rem 700 or a savage in .308 win, my reason behind this is because the variety of ammo that is available, and if I decide to go hunt out of the country I don't think I'll be able to find ammo for a wildcat and living in MA I can't legally ship ammo. I may build a 6.5 or 50 to play with. I could also take the sks and use the bayonet when I run out of ammo.

Jack with your last post, now you got me thinking that maybe a .308 isn't what I want to go with.
 
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What about 9mm?

Oh c'mon... someone had to say it.[smile]

On a serious note... I'd go with the 50 Beowulf or maybe even 450 Bushmaster but I hear that the 50 is better suited for thick skinned animals. Theres also 458 SOCOM to consider.

Hey in MA you can hunt bear with a .40 S&W.....I'm sure EC will be by and leave a comment for this one haha
 

Remsport Mfg

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50 Beowulf mags are available in 7 and 10 round for around $25.00 and they feed without a hitch. I have been shooting these guns for years nad they are reliable.
 
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I wouldn't hesitate to use a .50Beowulf AR for bear if that's what I wanted to do. If I had the money to burn, and bears that needed to be shot for some reason, it would be my choice. It's about the same energy as a heavy and hot .45/70 (a classic big-game cartridge) but in a semi-auto.

You may have to get clever in order to find good ammo for it, but probably not too clever.
 
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Hey guys thanks for all the advice/tips. I think I've made up my mind....I'm looking at either a rem 700 or a savage in .308 win, my reason behind this is because the variety of ammo that is available, and if I decide to go hunt out of the country I don't think I'll be able to find ammo for a wildcat and living in MA I can't legally ship ammo. I may build a 6.5 or 50 to play with. I could also take the sks and use the bayonet when I run out of ammo.

Jack with your last post, now you got me thinking that maybe a .308 isn't what I want to go with.

Did you even see post #15?
 
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Sorry Coyote I missed your 1st post the 1st time I was reading up on the posts. The .444 Marlin from what I've researched looks like a great round for what I'm looking to do with it; heck I don't think I'd ever buy another hunting gun if I were to use that round. I have always wanted a lever action gun too. I was also thinking something in 7mm ultra mag but I ended up picking up a Remington 700 in 30-06 price was to good to pass up. There's always room for more guns...
 
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I shot a black bear last year 2x with an M1A in .308... First shot dead in chest which knocked it down and out for more than 20 seconds. As I began to walk over to it (I was on ground about 100 yards) it suddenly got up and stumbled around. I took a knee and hit it again in the side, right at what I thought would be sweet spot behind leg. It rolled into woods... Next day after 4 hours of tracking strong blood trail into a swamp, we lost it. Never recovered.

Don't go smaller than .308. I'm getting heavier grain and thicker jackets for next year...
 
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