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I personally prefer 180 grainers for black bears, but I think the 150's would be ok with careful shot placement.
I would stay away from BT's for black bear. I've had one fail on me on whitetail, and so has my brother. It's true that a wounded blackie is not the same as a wounded grizzly, but I still wouldn't want to be messing with one that had a big chunk of hide blown off, but no real damage internally.
Just my opinion, I'm sure you'll get some responses saying they work great.
I use 180 grain Nosler partitions in my 30-06 for elk and bear. I have shot 3 black bears with this combo and 2 out of the three were one shot kills. The one that wasn't was poor bullet placement on the 1st shot. I like the heavier bullet because on blackies I like to anchor a shot thru the shoulders and I'm a little concerned about 150 grain bullets at high velocity on heavy bone.
Hopefully Danr55 will see this cause he knows his stuff on bullets and loads and could give a better answer than I. My .02 is I like a heavier bullet.
I personally like the 180 gr. noseler myself,But have seen bear shot with about every cal.and bullet size going.Placment of your shot is the most important thing to keep in mind.The kill zone is small on a bear.I have one woman that has killed 4 bear with a 25/06 one shot each time and each bear fell within 25 yards of where it was hit.
Were it me, I would definately stay away from shoulder shots on bear with ballistic tips. They are designe for lighter skinned (and lighter boned) animals. The 30 caliber 150 partition would probably be OK, but it would not be my first choice. If I am in a position to become lunch, I would just as soon take the extra effort to use a heavier bullet, like a 165 or 180 partition.
Now, that being said, the best bear hunter I know lives in Globe Arizona and uses a 257 Weatherby with 120 grain partitions exclusively for bear. He has taken 16 bears in the 10 years that I have known him and every one but 1 was a one shot kill.
So if you put that experience together with my opinion and a dollar, you can probably get a cup of coffee.
You are always better off with tough, heavy critters, using tough heavy bullets. Give them the edge.
I was surprised a month or two ago to get the newsletter from Sierra and they said that their "tough" bullets are their Gameking HOLLOW POINTS! They stated that their hollowpoints for rifles are just the opposite of their pistol bullets, in that the HP's are tougher than the SP's whereas in pistol bullets, the opposite is the case. Note, though, that they are talking about the Gameking bullets and NOT the Matchking bullets. My experience with Sierra bullets has been limited to the softpoints, and while good for deer, they seemed a little "soft" for the tougher game. A 150 gr Sierra SP at 3200 fps would seem to be asking for jacket separation, since they are designed more for a muzzle velocity of 2900 fps from a .30-06 or .308. But that opinion may be worth just what you paid for it.
Guys,this is interesting. I have also only used the boattail spitzers but I mailed Sierra and asked them what they recommended for elk in 7mag. They said 160gr.hp's. So maybe like you say,the rifle hp's are different. I would think that the hp's would explode when they hit and there wouldn't be any penetration. What do you think?
While I'll be the first one to admit that my experiance with Sierra Gamekings is about 13 years old. However, with that said, I'll not use any Sierra for hunting purposes. I had 300grn. Sierra BT, come apart on everything I shot out to approx. 200yrds. And this was with a muzzle vel. of approx 2550fps.from a .375H&H. I once shot a mule deer, broadside at about 30yrds., the 300 gr. bullet,came completely apart and failed to exit.I see this as totally unacceptable for a rifle/bullet combo. which may be used for dangerous game. No flames to Sierra, JMHO!-memtb