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Old 05-03-2016, 14:47   #181
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Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

The one thing that I see over and over in these threads is the supposition that if you have a gun, you need to shoot someone for it to be a deterrent.
I'd say that if you heard someone boarding you in the middle of the night, first shout. In the unlikely event that doesn't work, then discharge your firearm in a safe direction, like straight up through the hatch.
It would be a very rare person that would continue trying to board or break in after hearing a firearm discharge.

Killing someone is a very horrible thing, and of course must be avoided at all possible cost.

My plan such as it is is to try to avoid dangerous places, try not to look wealthy and do not flaunt it, be respectable to the locals.
Have a boat that is hard to board, and not in a vulnerable position, have a 10W LED IR activated flood that if a boarder sticks their head up over the transom, a bright light shines in their face, and have the companionway secured with a grate.

I bet I won't have need of a firearm.


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Old 05-03-2016, 15:09   #182
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

KgThere relatively new defensive tool. A flash/strobe light that is very effective. Incredibly bright and causes disorentation that is debilitating. I have experienced it (in daylight) and it forced me to stand still for many minutes to overcome the effect. Was unable to see anything except two large bright spots for some time. Two spots because I was seeing double.
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Old 05-03-2016, 15:44   #183
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

Into the water is safe. Into the air iis not.

Every bullet will come down somewhere.
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Old 05-03-2016, 15:58   #184
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

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Into the water is safe. Into the air iis not.

Every bullet will come down somewhere.

I don't think the terminal velocity of your typical shot would be high enough to do any permanent damage unless it landed in your eye


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Old 05-03-2016, 16:05   #185
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

Bullets don't reach terminal velocity unless fired exactly up. Most bullets will still be moving ballistically, and will still have lethal energy when they come down, miles away.
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Old 05-03-2016, 17:08   #186
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Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

A bullet fired nearly directly up won't hurt you any more than a penny thrown from the Empire Stare building will either.
But truthfully I was not thinking of a solid projectile, but either a shotgun, of if a pistol a frangible projectile like a Glaser safety slug, or one of the Air Marshall type of bullets.
I would not have a round that had a lot of penetration on a boat, or in my house for that matter, as you never know for sure what is on the other side of that wall, it may be someone whom your trying to protect.

Point though is a firearm is the last resort, only after all else fails, and of course if your prudent, it will never be used, and that is the point.
I can't imagine the amount of trouble that you would be in, if you used one to injure, or God forbid, kill someone.

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Old 05-03-2016, 17:24   #187
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebratory_gunfire
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A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 80% of celebratory gunfire-related injuries are to the head, feet, and shoulders.[4] In Puerto Rico, about two people die and about 25 more are injured each year from celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve, the CDC says.[5] Between the years 1985 and 1992, doctors at the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, treated some 118 people for random falling-bullet injuries. Thirty-eight of them died.[6]
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Old 05-03-2016, 18:10   #188
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

Well there's the problem. The folks in Florida and Puerto Rico who get killed by "falling" bullets would be perfectly unharmed then, if the drunken revelers had only taken the time to fire their guns directly UP and not at a drunken angle.


So glad we cleared that up.


Memo, wear hearing protection before discharging a 12-gauge belowdecks.
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Old 05-03-2016, 18:26   #189
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

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Then again I think much of our problems could be solved if they started making gun safety mandatory in school every year, it would help break the Hollywood myth that a gun makes you powerful because more people would look at them as a tool, not a magic device that gives you power.
Good idea. Maybe we could also get those same dudes to start teaching civics again, too.
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Old 05-03-2016, 18:55   #190
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

Funny thing, up until JFK's assassination and the demonization of guns, every high school in the US pretty much had a shooting team. And for decades, the NRA has had a free "Eddie Eagle" program for grade school kids, teaching them to leave and find an adult, if someone says they have a gun. (Like, they found one at home and brought it in for kicks.)


Very few people "go postal" at a rifle range. They know better than to do that in an armed community.
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Old 05-03-2016, 21:15   #191
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

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Funny thing, up until JFK's assassination and the demonization of guns, every high school in the US pretty much had a shooting team. And for decades, the NRA has had a free "Eddie Eagle" program for grade school kids, teaching them to leave and find an adult, if someone says they have a gun. (Like, they found one at home and brought it in for kicks.)


Very few people "go postal" at a rifle range. They know better than to do that in an armed community.
Firing a shotgun or handgun anywhere NEAR straight up or even a rifle for that matter will not send shot or bullet "miles" away. Work the ballistics. At a 5 degree angle from vertical, you would have to have some absolutely incredible ballistics to reach out a quarter mile. And velocity of the falling round would be enough to scare the crap out of you, maybe put a lump on your noggin, thats about it. Fire at 45 degrees and things are different. Fire at around 30 degrees and with some firearms you could get a couple of miles range, and probably injure someone if it hits a person, and who knows... stuff happens and it could kill. Most injuries from celebratory fire are at low angles of fire or are ricochets off hard objects at close range. Celebratory and Gunfire are two things that REALLY dont belong together!

Under optimum conditions, a 7.62x51 cartridge fired from an M-14 or one of its many clones can sent the bullet about 2 miles downrange. Elevation optimized for maximum range, not effective range. Effective range is much less. A .50BMG round or .338 Lapua or .330 Magnum, a bit over 2 miles extreme range, just to put it all into perspective. Velocity after a flight of almost 10 seconds is of course much diminished and so too the chances of a fatality. I am not aware of any common handgun cartridge that has an extreme range of even one mile. Shotgun? People are hit by birdshot all the time in the field, with no ill result, at extreme range. Three hundred yards I imagine, definitely puts most any shot load well out of the lethal or injurious range. Birdshot, far less.

I wish someone would also debunk once and for all the urban legend that a ricochet off the water somehow gives a bullet greater range than it would have fired at optimum elevation angle. You cant add energy to a projectile by hitting something with it. Just sayin.

In an urbanized area I would still rather fire into something than into the air, but a vertical shot is far less dangerous to innocent parties than firing just over an intruder's head. Your life is at stake, too. Why not fire into your companionway hatch or something? Of course it will pass right through, but it first of all absorbs a lot of the bullet's energy, and second deforms the bullet and reduces its ballistic efficiency. HINT... dont fire through the hull below the waterline.

I do agree it is better to not have to kill the party in question if he can be discouraged by the sound or sight of a firearm being fired or a round chambered. Just remember, in some jurisdictions a "warning shot" is not justified and is considered reckless discharge of a firearm, the rationale being that it should only be fired when deadly force is authorized and indicated, in which case one should be firing into center of mass to incapacitate the threatening person, and not randomly into the air. Note that the actual goal must be to end the threat, not necessarily to kill the person doing the threatening. A fatality must be incidental to incapacitating the attacker, and not the goal of the shooter. This is pretty much universal where the law recognizes the right of self defense.

In the U.S., a quick rule of thumb is that even if all your T's are dotted and I's are crossed, you have perfect justification and even witnesses, the attacker has a long history of violent crime and you are a picture of helplessness who was born to be a victim and who elicits sympathy from the hardest hearted judge, it is gonna cost a minimum of $10k to defend yourself in court. Generally, any shooting has to be reviewed by a grand jury, who may choose to indict or may choose to no bill. There will be the actual hours billed by your lawyers. Expert witnesses. Investigation. Lots of other expenses. So you really want to be able to tell yourself that it was worth it, that your life or someone else;s was actually in danger and shooting the perpetrator was the only practical course of action. But kiss a bunch of money goodbye. Just sayin.
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Old 06-03-2016, 04:45   #192
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

and yet another US centric view. Once again, if you shoot somebody in the islands because they are boarding your boat it is YOU who will be in jail, not them. All the fine sounding words that might mean something in a US court mean absolutely nothing in those countries. Especially if the person you shoot has relatives ashore which they very well might. There are examples of what I say. There are sailors in jail (very unpleasant ones) for "defending" themselves. My best advice is to do what I did and leave your guns at home. If you DO shoot somebody then your best bet is to up anchor and get the hell out of there.
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Old 06-03-2016, 05:10   #193
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

No court system should simply require you to die when attacked by criminals. Growley Monster and everyone else with any sense.
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Old 06-03-2016, 05:14   #194
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Re: Taking a Shotgun to Bahamas from US and Back

a foreigner's opinion of what they "should" do isnt going to swing much weight in their courts. The very fact that you, an American , are telling them what they "should" do will just reinforce their existing opinion that many Americans are arrogant gun nuts.
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Old 06-03-2016, 05:18   #195
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a foreigner's opinion of what they "should" do isnt going to swing much weight in their courts. The very fact that you, an American , are telling them what they "should" do will just reinforce their existing opinion that many Americans are arrogant gun nuts.

Yep. The gods must be crazy.
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