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Old 23-01-2018, 08:06   #31
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
I'm no expert in Polar bear defense, but I would think that the 12ga with a mix of buck and slugs would actually be a better choice. More than likely, you'll not resort to using the weapon until the animal's quite close, and a shotgun's a good bed for the shorter ranges.

Mossberg used to make one with a line thrower option. I thought that was pretty cool.
Thanks -- I'm thinking the same thing more and more. Plus 12 gauge is cheap and generic and easiest gun in existence to permit in the UK. Easy to use at close range. Lots of "broadside weight of metal", so to speak. Not accurate -- not important.

Line thrower, eh? That's actually extremely cool and actually could be very useful. I'll look into that.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:10   #32
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Now that would be a heck of a useful thing to have on board:

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Compared to something like the Ikarus line thrower which is single use only and costs hundreds.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:11   #33
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

I have a lot of experience with 12 bore. (shotguns to non brits).

Given that you probably will be stopping off along the way, I think it makes more sense to rent the weapon in Polar bear country. You will have the best advice and best equipment for the job with lots of experience behind their words.

Putting the weapon into bond for the duration of a stay is a pain...

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Old 23-01-2018, 08:20   #34
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Shotgun would be my last choice against polar bear. How many hunters or guides have you heard of going after large bears with a shotgun?

I would choose a bolt action rifle in a proven big game cartridge, such as 375 H&H, with appropriate bullets for the job.

If you want serious and realistic answers post this question on 24hourcampfire.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:25   #35
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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That's funny, but I actually have more friends in the UK who play with guns than I ever had in the U.S.
Obviously you weren't hanging out with the right crowd in the US (pun intended).
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:25   #36
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

YOu will only get one chance with a Polar Bear. Incredibly fast and can get quite bad tempered when shot at.

THat is why i recommended renting the weapon in the land where the advice is free and they point you toward something that will stop the bear in its tracks.

Ive worked on men shot with .45 and it didnt stop them at all.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:27   #37
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Shotgun would be my last choice against polar bear. How many hunters or guides have you heard of going after large bears with a shotgun?

I would choose a bolt action rifle in a proven big game cartridge, such as 375 H&H, with appropriate bullets for the job.

If you want serious and realistic answers post this question on 24hourcampfire.
I think I understand the reasoning behind this, but I will not be hunting polar bears -- I just need to be able to defend my group in case we are attacked, which is a rather different use.
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Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:30   #38
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Unbelievable -- I received a reply within almost minutes from the UK NRA when I wrote to them about a shotgun permit.

They said the permit would be NO PROBLEM, and that they even have a polar bear defense TRAINING COURSE (!) at their center! Amazing. I guess I'm not the first person to face this question.

So I guess it just means I'll have to install a safe somewhere (there are vehicle safes which should work ok), and be sure about the rules in the Faroes and in Iceland, but this is looking like the hot ticket.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:30   #39
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:31   #40
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Shotgun would be my last choice against polar bear. How many hunters or guides have you heard of going after large bears with a shotgun?

I would choose a bolt action rifle in a proven big game cartridge, such as 375 H&H, with appropriate bullets for the job.

If you want serious and realistic answers post this question on 24hourcampfire.
Good point, and if I were going hunting for Polar bears, I'd probably opt for a .50 caliber depleted uranium high explosive round. Or a cruise missile. A joke, of course, but hunting and personal defense do sort of call for a different weapon, I'd reckon.

I think that for defensive purposes, the shotgun would be fine. Nobody's likely to make a long range shot at one of these things, the goal being to avoid them in the first place. But, at 10-20 yards, I reckon a magnum slug from a 12 gauge has as much stopping power as a rifle shot, no?


Dock, the line throwers are great. We used a couple of the rocket ones in a rescue last year (disabled factory trawler drifting toward shore in a gale), and I don't think our odds of making up the tow were very good without the line thrower. It would be great to incorporate the two together if you can find one.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:31   #41
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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I think I understand the reasoning behind this, but I will not be hunting polar bears -- I just need to be able to defend my group in case we are attacked, which is a rather different use.
LOL.. How do you defend a group if the weapon wont take the Bear down?
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:33   #42
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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YOu will only get one chance with a Polar Bear. Incredibly fast and can get quite bad tempered when shot at.

THat is why i recommended renting the weapon in the land where the advice is free and they point you toward something that will stop the bear in its tracks.

Ive worked on men shot with .45 and it didnt stop them at all.
Well, they carry 30.06's mostly up there, and I presume that they are rarely used. I rather doubt that a 30.06 is going to be very effective. You'd have to shoot him through the eye or through the heart, and that's not going to happen in the commotion of a sudden attack.

I'm also almost sure I'll never shoot a polar bear, but if I'm going to be prepared to do it, I want to be prepared properly.

I have now read accounts of grizzleys shot in the face with 00 buckshot, and that at least made them stop attacking. That sounds pretty good. I'm not hunting them.
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We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:36   #43
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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LOL.. How do you defend a group if the weapon wont take the Bear down?
Hunting at long range and defending at short range are two very different things. A shotgun is useless at long range, and a hunter doesn't want to get that close. But a defender will be by definition working at close range. That's the difference. A load of 00 buckshot or a 3" slug actually has MORE impact energy than than many big game rounds.


Edit:

To check and put numbers to that --

12 gauge 00 Buck Magnum -- 2500 ft/pounds
12 gauge saboted slug -- 2300 ft/pounds
45-70 JHP -- 2852 ft/pounds

OK, so maybe not MORE, but similar. 00 buckshot is 9 pellets similar in size to 9mm pistol rounds, 2.25 ounces per load. That's a lot of metal. I think a big polar bear would feel that.


I've played around with 00 magnum shells in a 12 gauge -- at short range it's like firing a cannon.
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We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:41   #44
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Well, they carry 30.06's mostly up there, and I presume that they are rarely used. I rather doubt that a 30.06 is going to be very effective. You'd have to shoot him through the eye or through the heart, and that's not going to happen in the commotion of a sudden attack.

I'm also almost sure I'll never shoot a polar bear, but if I'm going to be prepared to do it, I want to be prepared properly.

I have now read accounts of grizzleys shot in the face with 00 buckshot, and that at least made them stop attacking. That sounds pretty good. I'm not hunting them.
Im not sure you understand. Grizzlies are Pussy cats compared to Polar bears.. shoot a Polar bear in the face and it will seriously tick him off. They tend to not back away.

If you cant stop him so he doesnt get up or come back for you.... you have the wrong weapon...

One chance only DH, and if you have a PB with a headache, your in trouble..

Different country, same aggressiveness...

Norway polar bear attack: hikers need to be 'armed to the teeth' - Telegraph
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:45   #45
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

My vote would be a pair of 870 Remington. In the "Mariner" stainless version. Once you commit to a gun doubt any more trouble adding another.
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