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Old 23-01-2018, 09:10   #61
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Keep in mind a gun is like a parachute when you need it it better be there.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:10   #62
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Originally Posted by Sailormantx View Post
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.
Yes, on land, of course. But I don't intend to just peer at Greenland from my cockpit -- I want to go ashore and wander around. Hence the expedition permit, and the requirement to carry sat phones, PLB's, handheld VHF's, and guns.

"they ride the storis around on the current from the East coast" . . . I guess where we are going, is where the polar bears come from, then.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:11   #63
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

With all sincerity, I think everyone is trying to say the same thing.

You only get one chance. Better to get the right weapon at this stage than to be stood there thinking..."oops".
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:12   #64
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Keep in mind a gun is like a parachute when you need it it better be there.
Exactly. Or a life raft. That's the whole point of all of this.

I do not want to die being mauled by a polar bear. Although -- I can certainly think of worse ways to die. Just not yet
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:14   #65
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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With all sincerity, I think everyone is trying to say the same thing.

You only get one chance. Better to get the right weapon at this stage than to be stood there thinking..."oops".
Yes, of course. I'm going to the NRA to get training from the experts.

And I believe that the right weapon is not the only important thing -- knowing exactly what to do is probably even more important.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:14   #66
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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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.
All jokes aside, i am seeing multiple studies that put the effectiveness of bear spray well above that of firearms during a polar bear attack. If your intent is to stop a bear attack, i would at least arm the first mate with the stuff.

https://polarbearsinternational.org/...-bear-attacks/
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:15   #67
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Well, Greenland is officially off my bucket list. I don't like being told I must have a gun.
It's my experience that very few of the best things in life, and the best experiences in life, are risk free.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:24   #68
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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A pair of them is a great idea
Particularly with a group of mixed ability, you don't need someone freezing if they are caught by surprise so a pair of shotguns. A drone ought to accompany the team too.

There is a great sequence I think on the BC Blue Planet series of a Polar Bear sneaking up on a seal. The seal was just feet from being eaten before he saw the danger.

David Scott Cowper's first book he talks of an 135lb Avon dinghy being thrown high in the air for fun by a Polar Bear. Perhaps carrying a large smoked leg of ham might buy you some time. I am just reading his second book btw which you are welcome to, not as good as the first though because it was written by his gf Jane Maufe so doesn't have the technical detail in hisfirst book. Think DSC used a flare to get rid of one bear, bit close for comfort.

Then you have people feeding bears

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Old 23-01-2018, 09:27   #69
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

Inland travel is something else, I never got more than a few miles away from the water, almost always in the back of fjords. Nothing back there in the summer months. I would like to get on the ice cap but I lack the equipment and skills to do so. The knowledge to stay out of trouble in the wilderness is vital as you are very much on your own up there, especially if single-handed.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:28   #70
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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Old 23-01-2018, 09:34   #71
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

As fast as I read another page is added.
I shoot 12-bore shotguns in clay shooting and unless you hold it correctly you get a real hard recoil that hurts and bruises and its worse with solid or LG shot. Get plenty of training and practice first. I did an arctic survival course many years ago and the only thing I remember really well is dont eat polar bears liver. As if! I dont even know how they would cook it for me!
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:44   #72
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

As estarzinger indicated, If you elect to carry a rifle for Polar Bear a 30cal. carbine is woefully inadequate. It's likely to just piss the bear off. A 30/06 would be better. Since your intention is protection not hunting I'd prefer a semiautomatic to a bolt action. Unload the clip and run like hell.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:47   #73
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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...a 30cal. carbine is woefully inadequate...A 30/06 would be better...
.30-06 IS .30 caliber.
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:06   #74
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

If you're lacking in self-confidence regarding the use of a firearm, don't purchase one. Firearms should only be used by those who are proficient in using one! There are so many factors when faced with a "threatening" situation with any animal, the main one, in my estimation, is panic, which may cause you to shoot wildly and inaccurately. Not a good thing!
First, you must be comfortable with the firearm, which requires a fair amount of practice, at a range. You must be able to know how the firearm shoots by sighting in at a fixed target, not just a few rounds but work to get a tight group to build your confidence. This also gets you familiar with the firearms action whether a bolt-action, pump, or semi-automatic. The last thing you want is to be fumbling around trying to eject and chamber a round when seconds count. Renting a firearm may give you some peace of mind but it's not going to save your ass if you're not familiar with its operating characteristics.
Second, do you opt for iron sights or a scope. Again, both require some practice to retain accuracy and competence!
Third, bullet types. There are many calibers/guage to choose from and everyone has their own recommendation. Just remember the big bore guys have quite a recoil, which some find a bit unnerving, causing "flinching" which can and does affect accuracy.
I hate to say this but you don't appear to be comfortable with firearms, might just be better off hiring a professional to tag along while there. It may be a better investment!
Best thing you can do is leave the area if a bear is seen, chances are it has sensed your presence long before you've seen it. If the bear has a cub don't even linger to take photos, etc. Bears are very protective of their young and may view you as a threat!
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:07   #75
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Re: I Can't Believe I'm Starting a Gun Thread

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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
You don't have to outrun the bear. You just have to outrun the people you are with!!
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