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Old 23-01-2018, 05:18   #1
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I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

I never in a million years expected to be starting a thread like this, but it appears that we will be OBLIGATED to carry a rifle of minimum calibre of 30.06 when we visit Greenland in the summer.

We will depart Cowes probably 1 June and visit the Orkneys, Faroes, and Iceland on the way, and will return directly to Northern Ireland, according to the present version of the plan.

So how to fulfill this requirement? I have never been near a gun in the decades I've lived in Europe and have no idea how to go about buying (or renting) one, or what rules there are in UK, Faroes, and Icelandic waters about declaring them, sealing them, or whatever. I will be very grateful for any tips, especially if there is someone who has done a cruise like this.
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:23   #2
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Also, recommendations on what specific gun would be best for this purpose -- i.e., defense against a polar bear attack.

I don't plan on bothering any polar bears, and plan "A will be to run away in case I see one. But if it comes down to shooting one, God forbid, I want to stop it. So do I want a big game rifle like a .444 Marlin, or a 12 gauge or 10 gauge with slugs?

I have a feeling that it will be MUCH easier to buy a shotgun in the UK, than a big game rifle.
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:35   #3
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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we will be OBLIGATED to carry a rifle of minimum calibre of 30.06 when we visit Greenland in the summer.
?

I have been to Greenland 3 times and never carried a rifle and certainly no one ever indicated it was 'required'.

The authorities in Greenland are about the most relaxed and 'unauthoritative' possible.

If you do want one, you can buy (and rent) good rifles in greenland, in any of the major towns. And either resell at the end of your cruiser there, or just drop overboard.

Among the crowd that did carry such a 'polar bear gun', generally a bolt action stainless 30-06 was the preferred choice - like https://www.remington.com/rifles/bol...-sps-stainless, stored in a locked gun safe (usually installed under a bunk).

Do you hang with the RCC crowd at all? They tend to be the UK 'experts' on greenland, willy kerr (now retired) and Bob sheption and others having writen both the public guide and a somewhat more interesting 'private rcc' guide.

ps, I thought you were not going as far as greenland . . . . but if you are the #1 thing I would suggest is start learning the ice charts - how to read them, where to get them, what actual 'ok conditions' and 'no go conditions' look like.
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:42   #4
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Hi Dockhead.. suggest you contact these guys.. they can guide and advise you in most of what you want to know..
Fareham Rifle and Pistol Club
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:48   #5
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Gun thread by a Brit almost too funny. If you do decide to pack a gun you better train your self how to use it, safely. I traveled by personal floatplane all thru the high Acrtic, right up to the Artic Ocean, all the interior lakes etc. Saw absolutely tons of wild animals. Never bothered with a gun and I'm a gun owner.
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:50   #6
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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
?

I have been to Greenland 3 times and never carried a rifle and certainly no one ever indicated it was 'required'.

The authorities in Greenland are about the most relaxed and 'unauthoritative' possible.

If you do want one, you can buy (and rent) good rifles in greenland, in any of the major towns. And either resell at the end of your cruiser there, or just drop overboard.

Among the crowd that did carry such a 'polar bear gun', generally a bolt action stainless 30-06 was the preferred choice - like https://www.remington.com/rifles/bol...-sps-stainless, stored in a locked gun safe (usually installed under a bunk).

ps, I thought you were not going as far as greenland . . . . but if you are the #1 thing I would suggest is start learning the ice charts - how to read them, where to get them, what actual 'ok conditions' and 'no go conditions' look like.
Yes, the plan has evolved as I read more and more about Greenland and got more and more excited.

The requirement to carry a rifle is a condition to getting an expedition permit, which is not required for Southern or Western Greenland, but is required for the national parks and for the remote areas we plan to visit including Scoresby Sund.

If I can buy or rent a gun in Ittoqqortoormiit, then that would solve a bunch of problems, because the Greenland authorities issue their own gun permits and I won't have to worry about trying to get a UK one, which could be impossible since I'm not a resident.


As to ice charts -- yes, I'm already working on that. A whole nother universe and skill set. I would sure rather be in a metal boat, I'll tell you that.
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:51   #7
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Hi Dockhead.. suggest you contact these guys.. they can guide and advise you in most of what you want to know..
Fareham Rifle and Pistol Club
Thanks! :beer:
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:54   #8
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Gun thread by a Brit almost too funny.
No.. He's a reluctant Yankee..

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As to ice charts -- yes, I'm already working on that. A whole nother universe and skill set. I would sure rather be in a metal boat, I'll tell you that.
Watch 'Titanic'..
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:57   #9
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Actually it looks like a UK shotgun permit might not be a problem for a U.S. (i.e. non-European) citizen:

https://nra.org.uk/wp-content/upload...UN-PERMITS.pdf

Shotguns are apparently less strictly regulated than other firearms. So perhaps I could buy some kind of 12 gauge shotgun, or even borrow it from one of my friends here. Slugs seem to be restricted, but I could just buy the ammo in Greenland.
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:57   #10
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Guess you've never seen 'Titanic'..
Ha, ha. Yes, I'm aware that a metal hull is not proof against icebergs
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:58   #11
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

As far as carrying on board you are generally bound by the laws of your home port. On arrival you will have to claim the firearms and any ammunition with Customs, every country is different in how they will deal with this as some will temporarily confiscate the firearms until you leave, some will "seal" the weapon and inventory ammunition but allow you to leave on board, some will simply say the firearm needs to remain on the vessel. I'm guessing as a UK resident you will have to jump through some hoops, if I recall correctly you have to store your guns at sportsman's clubs when not traveling but a local gunsmith should be able to tell you more about the requirements.

While not required many hikers in Alaska carry rifles to defend against grizzly bears. I would not recommend a shotgun with a slug, they simply don't have the power to take down a large bear. A 30.06 is not a great choice either, perfectly useable for elk and other large game but not powerful enough to put an attacking bear down quickly. Something more like the .358 Winchester Magnum or the .450 Marlin would be a much better bore.

Obviously you hope to not have to use it and just observe the bears but if you carry a firearm go with enough power to put the animal down quickly without requiring a followup shot.
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:58   #12
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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No.. He's a reluctant Yankee..
That's funny, but I actually have more friends in the UK who play with guns than I ever had in the U.S.
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Old 23-01-2018, 06:04   #13
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pirate Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

I think the only real problem you'll face will be installing an officially acceptable permanent gun safe on the boat.
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Old 23-01-2018, 06:13   #14
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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No.. He's a reluctant Yankee..



Watch 'Titanic'..
A Yank, eh...It's all making sense now.
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Old 23-01-2018, 06:45   #15
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

If it helps any I know a few climate researchers who work in the Artic. They are all unskilled with firearms and were issued shotguns with big game slugs due to the Polar bear threat. Simple manual of arms ( working the gun) reliable and tolerant of unskilled maintenance. Less expensive to buy than adequate rifle as well. You can get a Remington 870 for a bit over $300 US. A common and well regarded gun. I am somewhat skilled in firearms but by no means an instructor. I was able to train these guys to shoulder a weapon and hit the target in an afternoon. Don't forget to learn how to clear a jam quickly.

FYI, from what i understand running away from an aggressive polar bear is just making it more fun for the bear. You will have no chance of outrunning it.

Hope this helps
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