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Old 23-01-2018, 08:46   #46
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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
...A load of 00 buckshot or a 3" slug actually has MORE impact energy than than many big game rounds.
Now, all of a sudden, you're an expert on ballistics and big game?

It is not "impact energy" that stops a charging beast, but penetration to the vital organs.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:48   #47
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

I have a military training as do a lot of others here.

If I had the choice of a familiar weapon like a shotgun or a 308... Id take the 308.

Why? To effectively use a shotgun you are too close. If the bear is in hunting mode, you are too far.

Imagine 2 bears rushing you at 40km an hour. You need to STOP the one bear and then train your weapon on the other. You have about 5 seconds.

Ive never shot a Polar bear, but I have shot mountain lions when they wanted my dog...

From that day on I always wear dark trousers...
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:50   #48
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by bstruebing View Post
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.
My buddy who was in Alaska was told a joke about bear spray and bells to ward off polar bears. How do you tell the difference between the scat of a brown bear and polar bear? The polar bear scat smells like pepper and has bells in it.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:53   #49
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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[gun safe] I guess I will be needing tips on that, too

Seems like complications and expense at every turn

Hi Dockhead.

* Regarding a safe, you may not need one unless it is for technical compliance with UK law. Keeping the weapon unloaded and in a padded fabric case should be more than sufficient. You can lock the zipper on the case with a small luggage padlock if you feel it is appropriate (or necessary for compliance).

* Another alternative to consider is a hard case with interior padding that holds the disassembled parts. This will be shorter and easier to store. I have one somewhere that I've used for air travel.

* In general there is very little difference in effectiveness at short range, between 2.75" and 3" slug loads and buckshot loads. You may find that a 2.75" chambered setup is more readily available, more reliable, and/or cheaper. For pumps they may hold an extra round.

* The advice you have received to get a 12 gauge pump is good advice as they are inexpensive, readily available, and (as you note) pose a lesser compliance burden. In the U.S. typically they are set up with a "plug" that limits magazine capacity to 3 rounds, for compliance with waterfowl hunting regulations. You would want to remove this if present so that the full capacity of the magazine can be used (usually 6-10 rounds).

For your live-fire drill, use hearing protection. If you will conduct it over water, consider using environmentally friendly steel shot, rather than lead slugs or buckshot, as the experience will be the same but no dispersion of lead pellets will occur.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:58   #50
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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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
I was thinking the same thing,run & your done. No way you can out run a bear,& running will trigger the attack just like a dog....stand tall ,look BIG! Make noise....do NOT run!
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:59   #51
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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I was thinking the same thing,run & your done. No way you can out run a bear,& running will trigger the attack just like a dog....stand tall ,look BIG! Make noise....do NOT run!
I dont think making a noise will be a problem....
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:00   #52
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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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.
A pair of them is a great idea
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:02   #53
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

I was a Medical Officer on a Canadian Naval vessel that patrolled the Eastern Arctic from Resolution Island north to Grise Fiord and Alert.

We were frequently required to go ashore at small Inuit communities and camps to render medical assistance or transport sick and injured by helicopter to Frobisher Bay.

As the Eastern Arctic Patrol occurs from May and October, we were issued Remington 358 rifles as a precaution against roaming, potentially hungry Polar bears.

We did patrol southern Greenland.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:03   #54
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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
Now, all of a sudden, you're an expert on ballistics and big game?

It is not "impact energy" that stops a charging beast, but penetration to the vital organs.
Certainly no expert on anything having to do with guns, rather a rank beginner. I'm here to learn.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:04   #55
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Hi Dockhead.

* Regarding a safe, you may not need one unless it is for technical compliance with UK law. Keeping the weapon unloaded and in a padded fabric case should be more than sufficient. You can lock the zipper on the case with a small luggage padlock if you feel it is appropriate (or necessary for compliance).

* Another alternative to consider is a hard case with interior padding that holds the disassembled parts. This will be shorter and easier to store. I have one somewhere that I've used for air travel.

* In general there is very little difference in effectiveness at short range, between 2.75" and 3" slug loads and buckshot loads. You may find that a 2.75" chambered setup is more readily available, more reliable, and/or cheaper. For pumps they may hold an extra round.

* The advice you have received to get a 12 gauge pump is good advice as they are inexpensive, readily available, and (as you note) pose a lesser compliance burden. In the U.S. typically they are set up with a "plug" that limits magazine capacity to 3 rounds, for compliance with waterfowl hunting regulations. You would want to remove this if present so that the full capacity of the magazine can be used (usually 6-10 rounds).

For your live-fire drill, use hearing protection. If you will conduct it over water, consider using environmentally friendly steel shot, rather than lead slugs or buckshot, as the experience will be the same but no dispersion of lead pellets will occur.
Thanks!
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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, 09:05   #56
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Those requirements are directed at overland expeditions, not boat travel. However it would be a good idea to have some protection if traveling inland away from the boat. Rifles and and ammunition are readily available at most fuel docks and some grocery stores. I always carried bear spray when hiking, but be aware that it has an effective range of 5 meters. One needs to be very vigilant of your surroundings and of course do not go ashore if you see a bear. I did not carry a gun because I didn't want to deal with the rules entering other countries. Svalbard is the only place I know of that requires a gun to go ashore. I don't have experience on the east coast, but on the west side up to 70 N I didn't see any bears although they are around. The locals all have stories of them wandering into town. They only bear tracks I actually spotted was hiking alongside the south side of the Jakobshavn Isfjord. They hunt seals off the ice, when there's ice and seals around that's the cue to be extra vigilant. The people in the south say they ride the storis around on the current from the East coast.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:05   #57
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Well, Greenland is officially off my bucket list. I don't like being told I must have a gun.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:05   #58
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by weavis View Post
I have a military training as do a lot of others here.

If I had the choice of a familiar weapon like a shotgun or a 308... Id take the 308.

Why? To effectively use a shotgun you are too close. If the bear is in hunting mode, you are too far.

Imagine 2 bears rushing you at 40km an hour. You need to STOP the one bear and then train your weapon on the other. You have about 5 seconds.

Ive never shot a Polar bear, but I have shot mountain lions when they wanted my dog...

From that day on I always wear dark trousers...
It was one of my crew -- with combat experience -- who first suggested that a shotgun would be the weapon of choice.

But anyway, I think I will simply go to the NRA polar defense training ASAP and simply get trained, rather than trying to speculate.
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I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
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, 09:07   #59
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by sagablu View Post
My buddy who was in Alaska was told a joke about bear spray and bells to ward off polar bears. How do you tell the difference between the scat of a brown bear and polar bear? The polar bear scat smells like pepper and has bells in it.
LOL...
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:08   #60
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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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.
Are you sure you aren't thinking Svalbard? I believe you can rent one there for the duration of your visit. Those declining are frequently eaten.
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