6 Black Bear Hunting Rifles & Cartridges | Bear Gun Overview 2023


There is an ongoing debate about what is the best black bear rifle and best cartridge for hunting trips and that debate will most likely never cease.

The biggest reason for the debate is there are tons of options out there that will get the job done. It all comes down to things like, personal preference, distance of potential shot on a black bear, distance and intensity of the hike in and out of where you’ll hunt, if there are grizzly bears, and other predators also present where you’re black bear hunting, and probably a few other factors as well.

In this article the goal is to present 6 different rifles and black bear cartridges that will all “get the job done” it just depends on your exact hunting situation as to what the best black bear gun is for you. We’ll be covering rifles from Ruger, Henry, Browning, Savage, Remington, and Mossberg.

Ruger American Ranch Rifle

Ruger American Ranch Rifle 450 Bushmaster Rifle 6 Black Bear Hunting Rifles & Cartridges | Bear Gun Overview 2023


The Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 450 Bushmaster is a top-tier option for black bear hunting and more. Its 16.12″ cold hammer-forged barrel, adjustable Ruger Marksman trigger, and patented Power Bedding system ensure remarkable accuracy and consistent performance. The ergonomic Flat Dark Earth synthetic stock combines modern design with practical handling. This rifle offers affordable excellence, making it a great companion for bear hunters who value precision and reliability in the field.

Price Range: $429 – $569

Rifle Cartridge: 450 Bushmaster

Year Introduced: 2016

Why is the Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 450 Bushmaster a popular black bear gun?

The Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 450 Bushmaster has gained popularity among black bear hunters due to its unique combination of features that make it exceptionally well-suited for this type of hunting. The rifle’s 450 Bushmaster cartridge, optimized for short to medium ranges, delivers ample stopping power necessary for black bear hunting scenarios.

The 16.12″ cold hammer-forged barrel provides accuracy, while the adjustable Ruger Marksman trigger allows for precise shot control. Additionally, the ergonomic synthetic stock ensures quick and easy handling, which is crucial in situations where speed and accuracy matter.

The rifle’s compact size and manageable weight contribute to its ability to navigate through challenging terrain often encountered in bear hunting. Moreover, the included Ruger® Hybrid Muzzle Brake reduces recoil, making follow-up shots more comfortable and accurate. The Ruger American Ranch Rifle is great for hunting black bears. It has the right features for precision, power, and maneuverability.

Ruger American Ranch Rifle Specs:

Henry X Model

Henry X Model in 30 30 Win Rifle Image 6 Black Bear Hunting Rifles & Cartridges | Bear Gun Overview 2023


Henry’s Lever Action X Model .30-30 captures the essence of classic Americana, tailored for modern black bear hunters. The .30-30 caliber lever action design merges tradition and innovation, making it an excellent choice for pursuing black bears.

Crafted with durable synthetic furniture, the rifle remains lightweight while offering versatility with in-line sling swivel studs, M-Lok accessory slots, and a Picatinny rail. The blued steel barrel is equipped with fiber optic sights, ensuring swift target acquisition in challenging scenarios. For those considering suppressors or muzzle devices, the threaded barrel (5/8×24) is accompanied by a removable thread protector.

While honoring tradition with a 5-round removable tube magazine, the rifle also embraces convenience with a side loading gate for topping off rounds, ideal for bear hunting scenarios. This rifle captures the enduring spirit of the .30-30 cartridge, synonymous with black bear hunting.

Boasting a 21.375″ barrel, 1:12 twist rate, and 40.375″ overall length, the rifle weighs 8.07 lbs. It’s fully outfitted for accuracy with adjustable fiber optic sights and scope readiness, offering black bear hunters reliable precision.

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The Lever Action X Model .30-30 perfectly balances heritage and modernity, making it an exceptional tool for black bear hunting in varied terrains and conditions.

Price Range: $899 – $1198

Rifle Cartridge: 30-30 Win

Year Introduced: 2021

Why Is The Henry X Model .30-30 Rifle a Popular Black Bear gun?

The Lever Action X Model .30-30 by Henry is a popular choice among black bear hunters because of its balanced blend of classic design and modern features. The .30-30 caliber offers effective stopping power for black bears, while the lever action mechanism allows quick follow-up shots. Its synthetic furniture, equipped with sling swivel studs, M-Lok slots, and a Picatinny rail, caters to practical hunting needs.

The rifle’s fiber optic sights ensure swift target acquisition, and the option for optics attachment enhances accuracy. With a threaded barrel for muzzle devices, removable tube magazine, and side loading gate, this rifle streamlines the hunting experience.

Henry X Model .30-30 Rifle Specs:

Browning 1885

Browning 1885 in 45 70 Govt rifle image 6 Black Bear Hunting Rifles & Cartridges | Bear Gun Overview 2023


The Browning 1885 in .45-70 Govt is a sought-after option for black bear hunters, because it merges classic elegance with modern functionality. The robust .45-70

Govt caliber provides the necessary stopping power for black bear encounters, making it a reliable choice. The single-shot design encourages deliberate and accurate shots, crucial in bear hunting scenarios. Its timeless walnut stock showcases traditional craftsmanship, while the barrel’s matte blued finish ensures durability.

The rifle’s 28″ barrel, complete with adjustable sights, facilitates precise target acquisition, especially in diverse hunting environments. The single-shot action simplifies operation, reducing the risk of follow-up shots and enabling shooters to focus on accuracy. This rifle upholds the legacy of the .45-70 Govt cartridge that’s renowned for its effectiveness in bear hunting.

With its combination of classic aesthetics and dependable performance, the Browning 1885 in .45-70 Govt embodies the spirit of traditional hunting while catering to the demands of modern black bear hunters.

Price Range: $595 – $3299

Rifle Cartridge: .45-70 Govt

Year Introduced: 1985

Why Is The Browning 1885 in .45-70 Govt a Popular Black Bear Gun?

The Browning 1885 rifle in .45-70 Govt is a favored choice among black bear hunters for its classic design and powerful performance.

The .45-70 Govt caliber offers substantial stopping power, essential for black bear takedowns. The single-shot action emphasizes accuracy, while the walnut stock and matte blued barrel provide a timeless look and durability.

Browning 1885 in .45-70 Govt Rifle Specs:

Savage 110 Bear Hunter

Savage Arms 110 Bear Hunter 338 Win Mag 2 6 Black Bear Hunting Rifles & Cartridges | Bear Gun Overview 2023


The Savage 110 Bear Hunter in .338 Win Mag is a prime choice for black bear hunters seeking both robust performance and durability. This rifle is equipped with the AccuFit™ system, allowing shooters to easily personalize the length-of-pull and comb height for a comfortable fit. The user-adjustable AccuTrigger™ enhances safety and accuracy by delivering a clean pull and preventing accidental discharges from jarring or dropping.

Complemented by the AccuStock™ rail system that securely cradles the action three-dimensionally, the 110 Bear Hunter offers a customized and precise shooting experience straight out of the box. The rifle features a 23-inch stainless steel fluted barrel with an adjustable muzzle brake, housed in a synthetic stock.

In terms of specifications, the rifle operates with a bolt action and accommodates the potent .338 Win Mag cartridge. The barrel boasts a length of 23 inches and features a straight fluting design, all finished in a matte treatment.

The rifle’s stock is crafted from synthetic material and the overall length of the rifle is 44.125 inches, with a rate of twist of 1 in 10.

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The receiver, barrel, and other critical parts are constructed from stainless steel, ensuring durability and resistance to the elements. The rifle’s weight is 8.39 pounds, providing a balanced feel for shooters. All these features come together to make the Savage 110 Bear Hunter a reliable and effective option for black bear hunting, offering both precision and adaptability in challenging conditions.

Price Range: $899 – $1029

Rifle Cartridge: .338 Win Mag

Year Introduced: 1963

Why Is The Savage 110 Bear Hunter in .338 Win Mag a Popular Black Bear Gun?

The Savage 110 Bear Hunter in .338 Win Mag has gained popularity among black bear hunters for several reasons.

Its rugged design and powerful .338 Win Mag caliber offer the necessary stopping power for taking down black bears effectively. The AccuFit™ system, allowing customization of length-of-pull and comb height, ensures a comfortable fit for a variety of hunters, enhancing accuracy and overall shooting experience.

The user-adjustable AccuTrigger™ is a safety feature appreciated by hunters, providing a crisp and clean pull while minimizing the risk of accidental discharges, even if the firearm is dropped or bumped. The AccuStock™ system, cradling the action securely, enhances accuracy by minimizing movement during firing.

The rifle’s 23-inch stainless steel fluted barrel, coupled with the adjustable muzzle brake, contributes to accuracy by reducing recoil and muzzle rise, allowing for quicker follow-up shots.

With its combination of features, power, and adaptability, the Savage 110 Bear Hunter is well-suited for the challenges of black bear hunting. Its ability to be tailored to individual preferences, the assurance of the AccuTrigger™ system, and the precision-enhancing AccuStock™ make it a reliable choice for hunters seeking success in the unpredictable and demanding conditions of black bear hunting.

Savage 110 Bear Hunter Rifle in .338 Win Mag Specs:

Remington 700 SPS

remington 700 sps bolt action rifle 30 06 springfield 2 6 Black Bear Hunting Rifles & Cartridges | Bear Gun Overview 2023


The Remington 700 SPS in .30-06 Springfield stands out as an excellent choice for black bear hunters seeking a potent and affordable firearm. This rifle inherits the renowned quality of the Model 700 series while being accessible in price. The Model 700 SPS, or Special Purpose Synthetic, embodies accuracy and performance, qualities vital in black bear hunting.

With its ergonomic synthetic stock and carbon steel barrel and receiver, the rifle ensures comfort and durability, crucial in demanding hunting scenarios. The matte blued finish adds a sleek touch to its appearance. Hunters are drawn to the Remington 700 SPS for its reliable performance, backed by favorable reviews and trusted recommendations from peers.

The rifle’s specifications include a 4+1 capacity and a 24-inch barrel. The matte black synthetic stock is designed for scope base attachment, catering to optical needs for precise shots. Weighing 7.37 pounds, this bolt action rifle is chambered in .30-06 Springfield, a versatile cartridge ideal for black bear hunting.

Appearing in matte black with gray panels, the Remington 700 SPS is tailored for right-handed hunters, with an overall length of 44.5 inches. The synthetic stock and 1:10 inch twist rate of the barrel contribute to accuracy, ensuring your shots count in bear country. The Remington 700 SPS in .30-06 Springfield embodies both Remington’s legacy and commitment to providing hunters with an effective tool that stands up to the challenges posed by black bear hunting environments.

Price Range: $630 – $810

Rifle Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield

Year Introduced: 1962

Why Is The Remington 700 SPS in .30-06 Springfield a Popular Black Bear Gun?

The Remington 700 SPS in .30-06 Springfield is a favored choice among black bear hunters for its winning combination of accuracy, power, and affordability. Renowned as a reliable rifle series, the Model 700 SPS maintains this reputation with the Special Purpose Synthetic version, offering hunters a cost-effective yet high-performance option.

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Its ergonomic synthetic stock and durable carbon steel barrel and receiver ensure comfort and resilience in bear hunting conditions. Positive reviews and recommendations emphasize the rifle’s accuracy, crucial for precise shots required in black bear encounters.

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge’s versatility enhances its popularity, balanced by the rifle’s maneuverable 44.5-inch length and 24-inch barrel. Overall, the Remington 700 SPS in .30-06 Springfield stands as a trusted and accessible choice, meeting the demands of black bear hunting with dependable accuracy and effectiveness.

Remington 700 SPS in .30-06 Springfield Specs:

Mossberg Patriot

Mossberg Patriot in 308 Win image 6 Black Bear Hunting Rifles & Cartridges | Bear Gun Overview 2023


The Mossberg Patriot in .308 Win has established itself as a preferred option among black bear hunters, seamlessly blending modern innovations with a touch of classic design. This value-rich bolt-action rifle resonates with those who value both tradition and progress. From its sharp appearance to its impressive accuracy, the Mossberg Patriot captures attention for its ability to deliver in the field.

Designed to cater to a variety of hunting scenarios, the Patriot accommodates short- and long-action calibers, ensuring versatility when facing the challenges of black bear hunting. The inclusion of a drop box magazine adds convenience to the hunting experience, while the fluted and threaded barrels, spanning 20″ to 24″, seamlessly combine style and function. Additional enhancements, such as the spiral fluted bolt and recessed match barrel crown, contribute to the rifle’s overall performance and appeal.

A notable feature that resonates with black bear hunters is the patented LBA® user-adjustable trigger, which provides the flexibility to fine-tune the pull weight between 2 to 7 lbs according to personal preferences. The barrel threading specifics further demonstrate Mossberg’s attention to detail, catering to various calibers and ensuring compatibility with different muzzle devices.

In the world of black bear hunting, the Mossberg Patriot in .308 Win has earned its place as a reliable and capable companion, encapsulating Mossberg’s commitment to providing hunters with a firearm that combines quality, versatility, and affordability.

Price Range: $255 – $829

Rifle Cartridge: 308 Win

Year Introduced: 2015

Why Is The Mossberg Patriot in 308 Win a Popular Black Bear Gun?

The Mossberg Patriot in .308 Win has gained popularity among black bear hunters for its versatile features tailored for effective hunting. Adaptable to different calibers, it accommodates various hunting conditions.

The drop box magazine allows quick reloads, while fluted and threaded barrels offer a balance of aesthetics and functionality. The patented LBA® user-adjustable trigger and meticulous barrel threading enhance accuracy and customization. Overall, this rifle’s adaptability, ergonomic design, and precision make it a reliable choice for successful black bear hunting.

Mossberg Patriot in 308 Win Specs:

Good luck out there on your black bear hunting trip! Hopefully this article has narrowed down your search if nothing else.

Gunbroker.com is an awesome place to find great deals on black bear hunting rifles and the best black bear cartridges you’ll need. One of the coolest parts about GunBroker.com is you can get your hands on the best bear rifles that aren’t even in production anymore. You could potentially bear hunt with a piece of history if you wanted to! Thanks for taking the time to read this article.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>