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Old 24-01-2018, 10:07   #151
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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I tell everyone that goes into the back country with me, that I will be carrying a .22 caliber revolver in case we come across something large like a bear. After some strange looks I usually get questions and statements that a 22 will only piss off a bear. At that point I explain that I only have to run faster than the slowest person and the 22 ensures that I can
Similar SCUBA joke, but substitute sharks and knives. 😆
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Old 24-01-2018, 10:15   #152
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Typos? I can't figure out what this means.
Brown trousers..
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Old 24-01-2018, 10:17   #153
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

One quick point about noise. At my last work site an employee was attacked by a black bear, there were several other (unarmed) workers who tried to stop the attack with shovels, hammers and air horns. None of these had any effect and unfortunately the young worker did not survive.

When using bear bangers care must be taken to not overshoot the bear and cause a confused bear to run towards you.

Odds are you won't have any trouble but it sounds like you're taking every precaution necessary.
Hope to see some photos of your adventure.

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Old 24-01-2018, 10:27   #154
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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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.
Yeah right, you go tazer the bear...Ill shoot the video for YouTube...all proceeds go to your heirs. 😆
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Old 24-01-2018, 10:32   #155
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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I've lived in bear country all my life, had good friends mauled and killed by bears, both black and grizzly, some things I noticed in these threads worth mentioning; bluff charges. Bears assert dominance by charging other bears, not running is the new bear's way of saying, "I'm moving in next door, get used to it". A lot of bears die this way. I've been bluff charged a few times. Brown pants, as someone mentioned earlier is a good choice.

Secondly I wouldn't sprinkle pepper flakes on the trail; after something is pepper sprayed, bears will literally chew that stuff up. Lost seats on a quad that way.

I've only shot one bear. It was with an arrow from a bow I made.

I have seen a black bear shot in the face with a .338 magnum at distance of 8". He was knocked off the tailgate of the truck we were sleeping in, and still managed to run 20 yards before succumbing.

My experience is with blacks and grizzles. A black bear will eat you if you don't fight back, grizzlies like their meat a little more rotten (like we do, you know, ageing meat before eating it.)

People I know who have been mauled are always worse after a black bear attack than a grizzly attack.

Polar bears are a whole new ballgame. Eat people like blacks, bigger than grizzlies.

Enough choices have been provided with gun suggestions, odds of being attacked are low enough that you probably won't have to use anything. Keep your head on a swivel and trust your sense of smell.

I'm going to see if I can attach a link to a family of bears I filmed in my (former) backyard for no reason whatsoever.

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https://youtu.be/BiDanbGHWaA
So what affect did the arrow have on the bear?
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Old 24-01-2018, 10:34   #156
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

If you do a google search on "Brenneke slugs" you will see a number of Youtube videos. Check out the one that shows the penetration of slugs into various types of walls. Very impressive. The Remington 870 Express Magnum pumps are very common and not expensive. Spray it down with rust preventative and keep an eye on it and you should be fine. They are easy to use and learn. You can get all kinds of accessories for it fairly cheap from just about anywhere. I would buy a magazine extension kit for it. That should get you 6 rounds with nothing in the chamber.
Then get to a gun range, load it up. Set it down and then practice picking it up, and firing off shots as quickly as possible at a target. You can use cheap birdshot ammo for practice. Do it several times until you can do it without "remembering". If you run into a bear unexpectedly and it comes at you, time is of the essence!
If I were you I would consider going to a gun club and learn how to shoot clay pigeons. How to start clay pigeon shooting - Shooting UK
Anyway, shooting clay pigeons would be great practice for actually being able to handle a gun with regard to bears. Hitting a moving target is a lot different than a stationary paper target. Plus its loads of fun and fairly inexpensive, at least in the US. Make sure you use exactly the same model shotgun that you will be using in Greenland. After you have run through a couple hundred shells or so a few times, shooting at clay pigeons, things will be entirely different. Reading about it and being taught safety routines is one thing, actually pulling the trigger and shooting at moving targets is something entirely different.
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Old 24-01-2018, 10:43   #157
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Typos? I can't figure out what this means.
It means to terrified to shoot. Or at least shoot accurately.
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Old 24-01-2018, 10:48   #158
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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It means to terrified to shoot. Or at least shoot accurately.
Oh, I see. I'm pretty cool in life and death situations. Of course, having more than one person armed mitigates this risk.
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Old 24-01-2018, 10:53   #159
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Lots of varying advice in this thread, but all very entertaining.

Iíll look forward to hearing what your NRA course teaches you. I think thatís a very good idea and it will be good to hear what the pros on this subject have to say.

I also like the idea of explosive noisemakers as a deterrent.

Most of the firearms suggested in this thread are capable of killing a very large animal but I wonder if any of them will stop a polar bear before he gets to you. In other words, IF you are lucky enough to hit a moving target in a vital spot during a time when your adrenaline will be at an all time high, it still will probably be able to get to you before expiring. So I like the idea of the non expanding, penetrating 12 gauge rounds alternating with buckshot and if you ever have to fire at a polar bear plan to empty it as fast as you can fire. Hopefully the noise will make him decide to go someplace thatís quieter but I think its unlikely anything you shoot at him will make him physically incapable of charging you during the time it will take him to cover the distance your shotgun has any hope of being effective at. Thatís not disparaging your marksmanship at all. Itís just that animals think differently from people (at least people who arenít on drugs) and even if you shoot him fatally and destroy his hip (for example) he wont immediately know heís been fatally shot and heíll seemingly regard it as a very minor inconvenience that he has to put more weight on his other legs as he continues to charge just about as fast as before you shot. So, I think that any firearm you choose for dealing with polar bears at relatively close range will hopefully have a deterrent effect rather than any real chance of actually knocking down a polar bear before he can get to you. Iíve never shot a dangerous predatory animal like a polar bear but I have shot a couple of 1000#+ moose with my 30-06 and unless you hit them in the heart or brain, I was surprised what little effect that a 180 grain hollow point through their chest had, at least until a few minutes later when blood loss becomes an issue. Of course with a polar bear I imagine youíd be about half eaten by then. So based on what Iíve seen it takes to knock down a moose, I wouldnít even dare to shoot a stationary polar bear inside about 50 yards because Iíd be pretty sure that no matter how good a shot I made (except for a lucky heart or brain shot) he could get to me before he died. So thatís why I think your firearm will have to be used more as a deterrent (or for something to keep you entertained before being eaten) than as something that might actually knock down a polar bear.

Good luck and now that you have all our opinions, please do report back on what the course has to say on this subject so we can all learn.
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Old 24-01-2018, 10:53   #160
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by Dave9111 View Post
If you do a google search on "Brenneke slugs" you will see a number of Youtube videos. Check out the one that shows the penetration of slugs into various types of walls. Very impressive. The Remington 870 Express Magnum pumps are very common and not expensive. Spray it down with rust preventative and keep an eye on it and you should be fine. They are easy to use and learn. You can get all kinds of accessories for it fairly cheap from just about anywhere. I would buy a magazine extension kit for it. That should get you 6 rounds with nothing in the chamber.
Then get to a gun range, load it up. Set it down and then practice picking it up, and firing off shots as quickly as possible at a target. You can use cheap birdshot ammo for practice. Do it several times until you can do it without "remembering". If you run into a bear unexpectedly and it comes at you, time is of the essence!
If I were you I would consider going to a gun club and learn how to shoot clay pigeons. How to start clay pigeon shooting - Shooting UK
Anyway, shooting clay pigeons would be great practice for actually being able to handle a gun with regard to bears. Hitting a moving target is a lot different than a stationary paper target. Plus its loads of fun and fairly inexpensive, at least in the US. Make sure you use exactly the same model shotgun that you will be using in Greenland. After you have run through a couple hundred shells or so a few times, shooting at clay pigeons, things will be entirely different. Reading about it and being taught safety routines is one thing, actually pulling the trigger and shooting at moving targets is something entirely different.
My primary experience with guns, actually, is shooting skeet and sporting clays. Mostly with a 20 gauge, but occasionally with a 12. I was quite good at it at one time. It's been a long time, but I think I could get back up to speed.
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Old 24-01-2018, 11:05   #161
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

The military and police "sonic" repellers tend to be rather LARGE DEVICES that are powered by similarly large generators. They put out a painfully loud ultrasonic noise. You won't be installing one of those on a sailboat.

Bear bangers are common in the Adirondacks, for black bears. Mixed results, wouldn't want to bet they'd discourage a hungry polar bear from coming back for seconds on the buffet line. And of course, they won't satisfy a "must carry rifle" law.
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Old 24-01-2018, 11:48   #162
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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So what affect did the arrow have on the bear?
Killed it, didn't stop it in it's tracks though. Took about 5 minutes to expire. It was the one and only time I shot a bear with any weapon.

Bears are like humans; they can survive with one lung, unlike deer and moose. This wasn't the case here but it's something to keep in mind.

I was once faced with a charging black bear, picked a spot just below his chin and held. He stopped about 15 feet away and slowly walked into the bush, leaving me at full draw and wondering what would have happened if he'd kept coming. It could have turned into a bad day for both of us.

And yes, a bear running at you at full speed huffing like a giant pitbull can really get your attention, but like most people who have the personality to sail a boat, you do what you have to do and worry about being scared later.

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Old 24-01-2018, 12:38   #163
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

If I were buying for the NW passage, as noted above the Marlin lever 45-70 in stainless with a synthetic stock would be the best bet, I would get the full size not the little trapper, that round hurts to use so a heavier rifle would be better........practice would be limited to what my shoulder can take, the round was developed "back in the days when men were MEN"
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Old 24-01-2018, 13:41   #164
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Yes, that's bear bangers.

I have read that they are very effective when used correctly. It sounds to me like scaring them off with bear bangers would be Plan A in any case, and very likely to succeed, it seems like. Blowing the bear away by shooting it through the brain with a 45-70 or Brenneke slug would be a last resort.

There are a variety of bear bangers available, and it sounds like the 12 ga ones would be particularly good since you could aim them better. Or maybe it would be possible to buy an actual flash/bang grenade -- that would surely be the ultimate bear banger.

In any case, this will take study and training to be sure of being able to do it right.
I checked the bear bangers. They seem quite useful to me. Here are some other small scale alternatives (horn+bang+flare) and one slightly too large (while waiting for smaller scale versions to emerge on the market). Pistol variants might be easy to aim, when the polar bear is still far away. Some of these work also as safety tools for sailing.

Animal Deterrents
Pyrotechnic Signal Marine Kits
https://youtu.be/QSMyY3_dmrM
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Old 24-01-2018, 14:12   #165
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

I understand the rules require a 30-06 or larger, but I am surprised no one has suggested the S&W 500. S&W actually made a 2" model for bear guides. I bought one for self defense while on a bear hunt. The rifle I carried was a 338 Win Mag.

I have owned or still own almost every gun listed from the .22 to the 45-70, I also have both a 12g and 10g shotgun. If it was me, 12g with 3" buck and ball shell. Get the benefit of the slug and the buck, if not go with the slugs.

If it must be a rifle, 338 Win Mag or the 45-70. The energy that comes from the bigger rounds (375H&H or .450 Nitro) also comes with hard to control recoil. If the first round does not scare it away or kill it, you will need to be able to recover and bring the sights back on to target fast.

Just my two cents, and that is about what its worth.
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