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A 300 yard shot if you live in a wooded area is going to be rare. The heavier 7.62x39 round is going to go through greenery better. I am not afraid of black bears but if you encountered an angry or very hungry black bear, which would you want, an AR or an AK?
Either. You might need to dump a ton of 5.56 rounds into it but with standard 30 round magazine and being both low recoil and semiautomatic, I wouldn't doubt an AR can bring down even a brown bear. Bone will shatter, internal organs will be ripped to shreds. The bear would feel excruciating pain and quickly. The lungs will be penetrated, the heart perforated. 5.56 rounds can penetrate bear skull as well, just need to be aware of where the brain is.

Carved Polar Bear Skull Shows Where to Aim when Attacked

Edit- Then again, there's a reason I don't live in brown bear territory.
 

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Either. You might need to dump a ton of 5.56 rounds into it but with standard 30 round magazine and being both low recoil and semiautomatic, I wouldn't doubt an AR can bring down even a brown bear. Bone will shatter, internal organs will be ripped to shreds. The bear would feel excruciating pain and quickly. The lungs will be penetrated, the heart perforated. 5.56 rounds can penetrate bear skull as well, just need to be aware of where the brain is.

Carved Polar Bear Skull Shows Where to Aim when Attacked

Edit- Then again, there's a reason I don't live in brown bear territory.
Bears are very fast. You are going to be very scared if one moves on you. Sure, you are going to aim at the head but think about that. The way a bear is oriented, a low shot might go through the heart and would be lucky and great. But a bear's body is incredibly bony compared to almost anything else. Hitting the head with a kill shot in the dark with limited time is going to be hard. If you hit the bear at all you want to make sure he goes down. Wounding a bear is probably the worse possible situation. For me, the larger the caliber the better since I can really only rely on one shot.
 

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Bears are very fast. You are going to be very scared if one moves on you. Sure, you are going to aim at the head but think about that. The way a bear is oriented, a low shot might go through the heart and would be lucky and great. But a bear's body is incredibly bony compared to almost anything else. Hitting the head with a kill shot in the dark with limited time is going to be hard. If you hit the bear at all you want to make sure he goes down. Wounding a bear is probably the worse possible situation. For me, the larger the caliber the better since I can really only rely on one shot.
No, I would aim center mass and dump my entire magazine into it. Bears are fast but I have seen countless videos to see what happens when they get pain from a gunshot or even an arrow. It causes a serious reaction in every single one. Even this dude shot a charging brown bear with bird shot from a shotgun, which at least dropped the bear before it got back up to continue chasing him. The bear reacted from the pain unlike it had ever experienced. That was just bird shot.

Shooting multiple 5.56 rounds into a charging bear will get it to stop quickly due to the pain. As bones and organs continue to shatter with follow up shots, that bear won't last long. I am not implying a single shot or even a few. I am saying you would shoot until that bear stops moving or runs away.

 

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Here you can see a lot of bear reactions after being shot. Some are excellent head shots, many are high caliber rifle shots but lots of single arrow shots as well. You can see how bears react to pain that they aren't used to. They stop what they are doing and run away quickly.

5.56 does penetrate, obliterate thick bone. I have seen countless wound videos and even war related videos to know what 5.56 is capable of. Bear bone is thick but it will shatter from 5.56. Bear bone is not steel.

Warning: Lots of hunting shots and dead bears in this video.

 

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Good luck with this.
I wouldn't even put myself in bear territory to begin with. Same reason I don't swim in the ocean with sharks. But just saying. I'm not talking about a single shot but multiple shots and 5.56 does obliterate soft tissue and bone.

Google "5.56 wounds" and check out the pictures. The round is quite capable of severe devastation and wound cavities. Are you denying that?

This article covers the damage quite well: A former special-operations doctor explains why he would rather be shot with an AK-47 than an M4
 

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Having bear hunted myself (black bear not brown), my experience is bears are easier to kill and definitely not as resilient when shot as any other animal I have hunted. Brown bears are tougher I am sure, but I think a lot lies in the physiology.
 

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Once, I was driving at night to my home in the mountains of California at about 50 mph uphill. A black bear ran out in front of me before I could react. I hit the bear and watched it spin on its back down the street and into the opposing lane. I got out thinking the bear was certainly dead. No bear. The bear had got up and walked away. My Toyota pickup, on the other hand, had the imprint of the bear in its bumper and grill. The radiator was totally destroyed and the fan and air conditioner pulleys were all bent up. We can talk about bear skeletal anatomy but I can assure you from personal experience black bears or tough and strong and hard to kill.
 

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We have some bears and plenty of cats/cougars(not the fun female human kind) in my AO.

Never seen a bear up close but plenty of cats and moose. I've had run ins with cats and moose while hiking and shooting or hunting in my neck of the Rockies, not fun. A pissed off cat or moose makes my thirty rounds in my AK, AR or even less in my bolt gun laughable.

Even having my very protective Weimaraner dog with me it seems like nature still has an edge on us. I never have been in a position that shooting them was the option, thankfully. I'd hate to have to do it. I'm in their world and I know it. Nature is beautiful and scary.

On a lighter note you could just yell at a bear in a shrill high pitched voice, after about a minute of this I would find something to do elsewhere if I was a bear,

 

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We have some bears and plenty of cats/cougars(not the fun female human kind) in my AO.

Never seen a bear up close but plenty of cats and moose. I've had run ins with cats and moose while hiking and shooting or hunting in my neck of the Rockies, not fun. A pissed off cat or moose makes my thirty rounds in my AK, AR or even less in my bolt gun laughable.

Even having my very protective Weimaraner dog with me it seems like nature still has an edge on us. I never have been in a position that shooting them was the option, thankfully. I'd hate to have to do it. I'm in their world and I know it. Nature is beautiful and scary.

On a lighter note you could just yell at a bear in a shrill high pitched voice, after about a minute of this I would find something to do elsewhere if I was a bear,

Na man, she should have misgendered it and it would have ran off to HR
 

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We do not have moose this far south. I understand moose are a bigger danger than other forest animals and certainly do not want to run into one. Brown bears scare the crap out of me. I never want to run into one of those---I would die of fright. I have had many encounters with black bears. I am not really afraid of them. A cabin I recently bought was broken into by a black bear once. You could probably scare a black bear away with a shot in the air. They will run when two pans are banged together so the gunshot should do it.
 

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I have taken deer and coyote with an older Colt SP1 and a WASR 10/63.
Both did the job but it was good shot placement that made the difference.
The 7.62X39 hit harder but the 5.56 did more physical damage possibly because of the 1 in 12 twist rate of the SP1.
I hit a coyote on the run and the 5.56 entered just shy of the right shoulder and exited the left shoulder with a pink mist while leaving a 10 inch hole
 
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