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Old 23-01-2018, 14:00   #106
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
This is just LOL - a mod starting a gun thread

If it were me and I was trying to comply with the regulation, I would just organize to get in greenland the easiest and least expensive thing available that meets the regulation, and get rid of it (one way or the other) as you leave.

If you are 'serious' about this, I would get the stainless rem 700 30-06 with a red dot sight, sighted in at perhaps 30m, with a locked steel gun safe installed under your bunk. That has been the consensus solution for the couple superyachts I have been involved with doing greenland/NPW with a gun.

I really doubt anyone in greenland is going to check on this, and I really doubt you will ever need it; so quite honestly I think I personally would skip the whole thing and if some official is having a bad day and wants you to have the gun you just go buy one.

Regarding ice - Dock, do you know when those east coast harbors typically open (enough for a fiberglass yacht)? I do not know . . . . but I know the NPW choke point opens typically late august (3rd week in august), and I know when we were in Iceland and getting ready to head toward Uruguay at the 'end of the season' there were several yachts sitting around ReykjavŪk still waiting for the east coast to open. It is an exciting plan, but it would be worth knowing the typical ice timing because I suspect it will be later than you are thinking for the return timing. Does not mean it is not doable, but does mean much higher chance of hard weather on the return (I seem to remember the gale frequency doubles something like about every 3 weeks from the end of august).
I've been studying the ice situation and history for the last couple of weeks already, and I already figured out it's going to be a big question. They seem to get the first port call in Ittoqqortoormiit by the first week of July and I'm hoping I can get in there myself by the middle of July. I don't know yet if that's realistic or not, and if it's not, then the plan may get modified, as I really really don't fancy doing the long passage to Ireland in gale season.

Not just the late August gales, but the light - below the Arctic Circle but still in icy waters there will start to be some darkness - no good in a plastic boat!
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Old 23-01-2018, 14:08   #107
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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nw-
A .308 is about 10% less powerful than a 30-06, although that can vary. There's a lot of variation possible in each.

Dockhead-
As noted, if Greenland requires a *rifle*, a shotgun will not be acceptable. In theory you can get a shotgun with a rifled choke and make it comply with "rifle" definitions, but it will be cheaper to find a WW2 surplus 30-06 from a number of sources in good working order. As you're not going to be in regular practice, a highly accurate weapon is of limited use, accuracy usually requiring practice and a certain calmness that local polar bears tend to dispell.

If you keep the rifle in a "sock" when you are not out and about with it, those are sold inexpensively with rust-repellant impregnating them, basically they are oiled cloth like you would wrap any iron tools with to discourage rust. Cheap and effective. There are also vinyl "bags" used as waterproof gun cases for that purpose, very good to keep moisture off on a boat.

Instead of dropping it overboard when you are done, consider donating it to one of the rental programs, your cost is the same and it is less pollution in the sea.

The suggestion to contact a gun club is a very good one. No matter how simple the gun is, no matter how sharp you are, nothing will replace spending a couple of boring hours on a range (do take good hearing protection) getting familiar with the exact rifle you will be using. There are "bigger game" rounds, and something like a polar bear is literally so big that unless you take out the brain stem, the body can move for a surprising distance after it was supposed to be dead. You don't want to shoot it, you want to shoot it repeatedly until you are real damned sure it stops moving.

The authorities are serious about this (not just in Greenland) because folks just don't realize that something like a polar bear really redefines "terminal predator".
I think we are on the sane page. A sporterized M1 Garrand might be the ticket. It's not on my bucket list. I don't shoot Bamby.
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Old 23-01-2018, 14:19   #108
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Just some common sense things to do when in bear country. Don't carry food, if you do let someone you don't care for do that and keep your distance!! Don't wear clothing you've just worn while cooking, though you may not be able to smell the aroma, a bear certainly can. Make plenty of noise, it lets the critters know your there. Pepper spray or some similar bear deterrent. And like anywhere you go, be aware of your surroundings, if you don't like what you see get out of there.
I've been playing around with ground up hot peppers, may want to take some with and just sprinkle a little here and there while on your treks, on nose full of some hot stuff may discourage the critter from tracking you.
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Old 23-01-2018, 14:35   #109
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by P3sailor View Post
Just some common sense things to do when in bear country. Don't carry food, if you do let someone you don't care for do that and keep your distance!! Don't wear clothing you've just worn while cooking, though you may not be able to smell the aroma, a bear certainly can. Make plenty of noise, it lets the critters know your there. Pepper spray or some similar bear deterrent. And like anywhere you go, be aware of your surroundings, if you don't like what you see get out of there.
I've been playing around with ground up hot peppers, may want to take some with and just sprinkle a little here and there while on your treks, on nose full of some hot stuff may discourage the critter from tracking you.
Take an enemy and put some seal blubber in his pocket and run in the other direction.
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Old 23-01-2018, 14:40   #110
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Here is my take after reading the whole thread.

1. As far as calibers go, i personally wouldnt feel confident with a 12G shotgun, but thats me. As noted before, the .358 caliber has been long known to be effective against a bear. I would feel better with a .50 BMG, or the ultimate, the .700 Nitro Express (or anything in the Nitro Express family) as this will drop a charging elephant. But the average shooter will never in their life be able to acquire a weapon that fires any of these calibers and therein lies the first problem.

2. As noted in the Greenland guidelines, the min is a .30-06 but that doesnt mean it is so effective. I shoot 7.62X54R which is very similar and even then I have my doubts about it if/when against a bear, and doubts in my ability when surprised and panicked by a bear and i've got three seconds.

That said, and for this thread.........
3. Dont use any weapon you are not trained and practiced with, period.
4. Get an experienced Greenland guide instead.
5. Stay away from bears or any large game, but this goes to the advice of a good guide.

I advocate boat guns but this is a different world and since the stay is very short and is without bear or gun experience, rely on a guide and hopefully buy nothing at all. If he wants everyone in the group to be armed, then he'll guide you about it.

This is from the luxury of being cozy at home. If I had direct bear-Greenland experience maybe i'd write a different post.
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Old 23-01-2018, 14:43   #111
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

The M1 Garand is a good choice being large caliber (30-06 is generally the smallest "big game" cartridge, 308 pretty much stops with Bambi on steroids) and semiautomatic, easier for the average shooter to repeat fire quickly and still quite accurate enough. Also, available cheaply because of the masses made.

If you shoot a hungry bear (and one that is stalking you likely is hungry) and don't kill it--you're only likely to piss it off. Applies especially to polar bears.

But the best "polar bear rifle" might just be a grenade wrapped in fresh steak.(G)
Not an RPG since that can miss. The Inuit used to hunt polar bears an a similar way, wrapping pointed cartilage in fresh meat or blubber, rolling it up and letting it freeze. The bears will wolf it down, and as it thaws it the stomache, it opens up and literally cuts them apart from the inside. Without requiring a confrontation. No doubt PETA would protest strongly.

Of course all you really need is a crew who can't run quite as fast as you can.
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Old 23-01-2018, 15:08   #112
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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icy waters there will start to be some darkness - no good
Yea, I did that in Hawk, solo. Probably not the brightest thing I ever did. But it did stretch my limits.

As another aside here . . . . some icebergs make decent radar targets but others (even quite big ones - like 4 stories tall) are invisible (to a 24kw furuno). I was never quite sure what made the difference - shape or age/density of ice, or something else.

In Newfoundland we were in medium fog one day and beth was on the radar, and I called down to ask her if she saw anything - she said no, and I asked her to tune it close in and sea clutter off and she still said no, and I asked her to come up and there was a 4 story berg passing just at the edge of visible distance in the fog.

The growlers you mostly will not see in any case if there are any whitecaps.

Just have to adapt your speed to the visibility conditions.
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Old 23-01-2018, 15:27   #113
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by Smart555 View Post
...
https://www.sigsauer.com/store/p226-mk25-full-size.html
Itís expensive but very good use aboard in wet and salt condition!
This handgun basically used by coastguard and military marinas.
With good 9mm +P ammo itís nice choice for self defense !
You've got to be kidding! Go check the cartridge charts and compare energy of that pistol round to high-powered rifle rounds like the 30.06 or the 338 Winchester Magnum.
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Old 23-01-2018, 15:41   #114
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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You've got to be kidding! Go check the cartridge charts and compare energy of that pistol round to high-powered rifle rounds like the 30.06 or the 338 Winchester Magnum.
With a 9MM+P. Throw the gun at a polar bear. You might chase him off.
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Old 23-01-2018, 16:04   #115
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

22 Hornet (rifle): designed for up to dog-size varmints: 800 foot pounds of energy at muzzle. Eskimos known to kill seals with accurate bullet placement.

7X57 Mauser (rifle): military round designed for man-sized targets: 2400 ft. lbs., known to kill elephants with precise bullet placement.

30.06 (rifle): military round designed for man-sized targets: 2900 ft. lbs, considered adequate for most all but not dangerous game.

338 Winchester Magnum (rifle): 3900 ft. lbs, adequate for all game but many desire more power for dangerous game

458 Winchester Magnum: up to 5400 ft. lbs: designed for dangerous game.

9MM+P (pistol): 455 ft. lbs, designed for self-defense from humans

45 ACP (pistol): 1100 ft. lbs., designed for self-defense from crazed humans
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Old 23-01-2018, 16:04   #116
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

We have similar needs in our normal cruising grounds in Alaska for the past 30 years or so. [Alaska Gulf Coast- including Kodiak.]

We are also in the middle of planning a stay in Greenland after traversing the NW Passage...

We have in the past attended the 'bear amelioration' training [2 full days] required annually of University of Alaska field researchers.

For some of the same reasons already stated in other posts in this thread, that training focuses on using a 12Ga shotgun with slugs as a final defensive weapon. This in addition to studying bear behavior on video... [it is important to recognize when you are being stalked... the 3 bear species we contend with are slightly different in that regard... (black, grizzly, and polar)]

The brief defensive takeaways from that course are: [Tilting toward what is available in the US...]
  • Scents attracts bears, and their olfactory capabilities are estimated to be about 200 times better than a bloodhound's... [It that a chapstick in your pocket, or ...]
  • Bear spray can be effective. Consider staging some cans outside the sleeping area [tent, etc. 20+ meters away.] Bears are curious and will bite them- puncturing the can and discharging the contents- typically sending them packing...
  • Once Bear Spray is discharged, leave the area as the overspray is now an attractant. [unique scent]
  • Use Brenneke slugs in rifled or unrifled shotgun barrel. Best all around choice.
  • Only use Sabot slugs in a rifled barrel.
  • On Edit: Forget about buckshot of any size. Ineffective against all that fur and tough hide.
  • Do not allow any bear coming your direction to cross that imaginary 20 meter radius around you. 30m is better. [i.e., When do I use the firearm?...] This does not necessarily apply if you encroach on a bear that is unaware of you.
  • Bears charging from 20-30 meters only allow enough time for an experienced person to prepare, aim, and fire once; possibly twice, and maybe three times depending upon the circumstances.
  • Bears making a 'bluff charge' [running toward you then stopping suddenly and making pouncing movenemts with their fore legs] will usually not cross that 20 meter boundary unless provoked. It is up to you to create distance between you in such cases- and never running or taking your eyes off the bear(s)... [Is there only 1 bear? Cubs can be very curious...]
  • Always shoot for center of mass... [There are documented cases of .45 caliber rounds deflecting off of the center of a bear skulls.]
  • Always shoot to kill. You don't have time for much else.
    [Chances are a charging bear has been shot at or heard loud noises initiated by humans before, and has learned the sound isn't something to fear...]

What do we own and carry? [Note: We are often wandering in brush, so shorter barrels are preferred; 18" being the shortest legal rifle barrel length in the US, so short barrels are typically 18.5". All our rifles are also either stainless steel, or coated as to be very impervious to rust and corrosion when properly maintained...]

We spend a lot of time in remote bear country in Alaska and Canada. Firearms are not compulsory [unless flying in small planes in Alaska...] but are recommended. [Long guns only in Canada.]

The Admiral cannot handle larger bore firearms [a past fractured wrist- complete with lifetime hardware- contributes to those limitations.] And I'm left handed and she is right handed, [and we both sight with those respective strong eyes...] Therefore we choose firearms that are pretty much ambidextrous. [e.g., lever or pump action rifles vs. bolt action.] We have identical models for various calibers so the muscle memory from practice is not unique to any one caliber... [This includes pistols, rifles, and shotguns.] I mention this as these considerations are often overlooked; and don't always need to be considered...

That said, we keep a Mossburg 500 Marine shotgun onboard and also carry it in the field.

Why? It has an ambidextrous safety and pump action, and is treated to be pretty corrosion proof. We added an adjustable stock [we have different lengths-of-pull] that also absorbs some recoil.

Our rifle of choice is a lever action [remember we are going for ambidextrous hardware...] Marlin 1895; 45-70 caliber used with Buffalo Bore brand ammunition. [All stainless steel; 18.5" 'brush length' barrel; oversized lever to accommodate gloves.] This caliber is often used for buffalo, rhino and elephant hunting- but not by us...

We have 2 Marlin 1895 rifles; one has been modified by a gunsmith to shoot both 45-70 and .457 magnum rounds. This is the ultimate big game defense weapon in the low budget category.

I know you didn't ask about pistols, but to close this topic: In Alaska, we also carry in the field the same 10mm pistols issued to Canadian law enforcement and researchers who work in polar bear country. [Cartridges are 230grain HCFNGC +p measured at 750 ft-lbs at 50 meters from a 4.25" barrel.]

Of course we also carry Bear spray on our belts... After all, Bears like condiments too...

When carrying firearms, we always repeatedly remind ourselves that one cannot miss fast enough to win a gun fight...

In case any of this is useful to you.

Best wishes finding what best suits your needs, and may you never need to use any of it in anger...

Cheers! Bill
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Old 23-01-2018, 16:33   #117
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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If you are uncomfortable with guns, bearspray is more effective at ensuring the safety of you and the wildlife. Super strong mace that shoots 50' and empties a 14 oz can in 10 seconds. If u nearly miss with a gun, you are dead. If you nearly miss with the bear spray, the bear still can't see. I know it is effective at stopping a charging grizzly, don't know about polar bears.

Good luck.
Unless it's like humans and it just leaves, washes it out of its eyes and comes back for you. Extra ticked off, now.
At the very least, you're better off with something that works in real life like a taser.
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Old 23-01-2018, 16:35   #118
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Need to consider the desired bullet type, ranging from maximum energy transfer ("softer" bullets as in hollow-point)) to maximum penetration ("harder" bullets). Against larger game, penetration is important.
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Old 23-01-2018, 19:57   #119
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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I did an arctic survival course many years ago and the only thing I remember really well is dont eat polar bears liver.
Since the liver is a detoxification organ, so you'd primarily be consuming bear spray and its users?
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Old 23-01-2018, 20:54   #120
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

If such a rifle or gun is actually required, I am unaware of any sister requirement that you use it. You cannot outrun a bear on land, so if a physical encounter is unavoidable and imminent, you might want to use bear spray as a deterrent -but that would mean acquiring it in advance. I've not heard of swimming polar bears boarding boats. Perhaps you will opt to be accompanied by an armed local guide, or a trained counter-insurgency bear.
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