The 10 Best Grizzly Bear Hunting Cartridges

The 10 Best Grizzly Bear Hunting Cartridges

The 10 Best Grizzly Bear Hunting Cartridges

For many hunters, harvesting a grizzly bear is a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list trip. In that case, you want to make sure that you do everything possible before the hunt to ensure that it is successful once you arrive in your grizzly bear hunt camp.

One of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for success is to choose the right grizzly bear hunting cartridge.

The 10 Best Grizzly Bear Hunting Cartridges

If you ask ten people for their opinion on the best grizzly bear hunting cartridge, you’ll get ten different answers – or maybe more. That is to say, there’s no one best cartridge for a grizzly bear hunt. There are a variety of variables that you have to take into consideration and make a personal decision for you and you alone.

With that in mind, here are ten grizzly bear hunting cartridges for you to consider.

.35 Whelen

Two of the most respected old-school names in cartrides are Colonel Townsend Whelen and Elmer Keith. For the .35 Whelen, it was the former’s brainchild and one of the latter’s favorite cartridges – so that’s saying something. Essentially a necked-up .30-06 cartridge, the .35 Whelen spent most of its life as a wildcat and, with the exception of Remington’s production line, it remains as one. Still, it’s a solid choice for grizzly bear.

.338 Winchester Magnum

The .338 Win Mag cartridge was made for the challenges of big, tough game, and it is capable of taking on that challenge and defeating it. With the right heavy-grain bullet, you can be confident that your projectile is traveling faster than most comparable loads on the market and will deliver the devastating punch needed for a quick and ethical harvest on your grizzly bear of a lifetime.

.45-70 Government

If you’re looking to add some American heritage to your hunt, then this is your caliber. With today’s modern advancements in bullet technology not available more than 100 years ago, the .45-70 is more of a no-brainer grizzly bear caliber than ever before.

.454 CasulL

If you want to venture into the realm of handgun hunting for a grizzly bear, then you should seriously consider the .454 Casull. It has proven on more than one occasion to have saved the life of a backcountry hunter who had an unplanned encounter with a bear. If it can do that as, essentially, a backup gun in a moment’s notice, then it can certainly do it on a well-planned handgun hunt.

.338 Lapua Magnum

Some people operate under the mentality that big, bad animals require big, bad calibers. The .338 Lapua Magnum certainly falls within that caliber category, and it’ll definitely get the job done. That said, you’ll want to consider the weight of your rifle here, too. Sometimes, there is such a thing as too much gun, but if you’re undeterred, then there’s no reason you can’t hunt a grizzly bear with the .338 Lapua Magnum.

.30-06 Springfield

It has been said that there’s not a single big game animal in North America that cannot be felled by a .30-06 bullet, and that’s no exaggeration. The .30-06 was the caliber of choice for hunters of all kinds for most of the 20th century. Even though newer calibers have come on the market, the .30-06 has remained a faithful standby that is certainly more than capable of harvesting a grizzly bear.

.375 Ruger

If you’re looking to pack an equitable punch to that of the .375 H&H in a more manageable package, look no further than the .375 Ruger. It’s an absolute powerhouse of a cartridge that is more than capable of taking down the grizzly bear of a lifetime.

.338 Remington Ultra Magnum

The .338 Remington Ultra Magnum truly lives up to the “ultra” in its name. When loaded with a heavy bullet, the .338 RUM can send that beefy projectile a very long way at speeds of 2,800+ fps and still deliver a knock-out blow to a grizzly bear that won’t punish the shooter with recoil if you’ve got a well-built rifle that can handle the .338 RUM.

.340 Weatherby Magnum

The .340 Weatherby Magnum is similar to the .338 Remington Ultra Magnum above. It will push a 250-grain bullet at speeds of 2,800+ fps and slam that heavy projectile into a grizzly bear and drop it. Of course, you’ll also want a well-built, heavy gun that can handle the recoil from the .340 Weatherby Magnum.

.416 Remington

If you’ve got your heart set on sending a gigantic bullet downrange and you don’t care about the recoil, then the .416 Remington is the cartridge for you. Propelling a 400-grain bullet at more than 2,400 fps will get the job done and then some. You’ll want a lot of ice – both to keep the bear meat fresh and to tend to your shoulder.


What to Look for When Choosing a Hunting Caliber

There are a lot of different things to consider when choosing a hunting caliber, but let’s take a look at three of the most important once.


You can do all the research in the world and settle on a specific caliber for your grizzly bear hunt, but if you can’t find the ammo that you need, then it’s all been for nothing. That becomes even more important if you fail to bring enough ammo with you on the hunt. Your grizzly bear camp may be remote and the likelihood of finding some calibers may be slim if you need to restock.


Perhaps the most important part of choosing a hunting caliber is evaluating its performance. You’ve got to be sure that the load you choose is going to be capable of taking down the type of game you’re hunting in a quick and ethical manner. This is especially true when it comes to large animals like grizzly bears.


That ammo prices have risen exponentially in recent years is an unpleasant yet cold, hard fact. Similar to our point on availability, you’ve got to be able to afford the ammo when you find it. Some calibers are less expensive than others, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be any less effective at bringing down a grizzly bear.

Suppressed Hunting

Once you experience your first hunt with a suppressor, you won’t ever want to hunt without one again. If you’ve never done it before, that may sound like an exaggeration, but trust us, it’s not. Here’s why.

Benefits of Hunting With a Suppressor

Even when they were first commercially introduced in 1909, suppressors were actively marketed to hunters, and for good reason – they make hunting safer and quieter, eliminate the need for bulky hearing protection, and improve accuracy when shooting.

Here are just a few of the reasons why suppressed hunting is better hunting:

It makes the outdoors quiet again
Suppressors, when paired with the right firearm and ammo, reduce the sound of a gunshot to hearing safe levels, and “dull the edge” of the sound of a gunshot.

A suppressed rifle doesn’t disturb the game that you are after
Animals have great hearing, and that’s to their benefit – not yours. The hearing of coyotes, squirrels, wild pigs, mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, moose, caribou, and plenty of other game animals all have incredible hearing. The sound of a gunshot can keep them out of their known territory for weeks at a time.

Hunting with a suppressor is safer
While in recent years electronic ear muffs that allow you to hear ambient noise while blocking the sound of gunfire have hit the market, the simple fact is most hunters still choose between no ear protection or wearing something that makes it hard to hear what is going on around them. Using a suppressor on your hunting rifle allows you to hear everything that is going on around you, and not damage your hearing when taking a shot.

Accuracy is improved when shooting with a suppressor
This benefit has also been touted since the early 20th century. This is because the physics of a silencer reduces felt recoil and muzzle climb. With both of these factors greatly reduced, shooters find their rifles easier to shoot. So it isn’t that silencers make the gun more accurate per se, but they make it easier for YOU to shoot your gun more accurately.


Starting Hunting Suppressed Today

If you’re ready to go on a grizzly bear hunt and you want to add a suppressor to your setup, then get ahold of us here at Silencer Central today, and let’s make it a reality.

Silencer Central is licensed to sell suppressors in all 42 states where they are legal. We’ve been doing this all day, every day for more than 15 years, and have sold countless thousands of suppressors in that time.

Let us handle the entire purchase process for you and even deliver your suppressor right to your front door once it’s been approved. It really doesn’t get any better than that, so what are you waiting for? Call us now!