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Old 04-13-2008, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
143 posts, read 499,027 times
Reputation: 73

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Wanted to get some opinions on this topic.

Would you say that when living in Alaska, a gun is a good thing to have? I'm not necessarily talking about hunting, but as a 'in case of emergencies' type of thing. And if you do, what type of gun would you prefer to have along with you?
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:11 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,437,255 times
Reputation: 47455
shotgun is a great disaster preparedness tool.
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:38 PM
 
3,774 posts, read 9,899,341 times
Reputation: 1834
I live in Anchorage, and am NOT a hunter (lack of opportunity when I was young, not a lack of desire or a matter of distaste). I fish and camp through summer. I haven't needed a gun, and feel that, in my case, it would be unnecessary. Precautions with food are a must when camping (suspending your cooler 20 feet up in a tree).

Just the way I am. But if anyone comes across some moose roast they are considering tossing because they're not backstrap ribs, toss it my way.
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Fairbanks Alaska
1,677 posts, read 5,755,176 times
Reputation: 667
If your not comfortable around guns then no don't bother with one.

Most Alaskans live in an urban area and really don't need one. If your activites do include guns or you feel the need for one for self defense and are prepared for the consiquences and are able to KILL someone or thing if the need arises for self preservation then yes get one. Just remember that most females that brandish a weapon only do so to scare the bejesus out of the perpetrator and tend to become a victim with their own gun. So if you pull one go ahead and squeeze the trigger several times. Only one side of a story in that situation should ever beable to be told.

Now what one to have. I prefer a short barreled shotgun with slugs. Works on all kinds of bears two and four legged. Easy to use and knocks whatever backwards! If your backpacking and wish not to carry a shotgun, or like me drive a boat and need something on me at all times. A revolver with a 4" barrel in a sholder holster works fine. The caliber depends on what your comfortable shooting. This is a close range weapon and one of last resort in my view. .357 is minimum I would recommend. Again your going to be sticking the thing in its nose per se becasuse you stumbled upon eachother. .44 is better but most don't like the recoil.

If I lived in a remote location there would be several guns available, those I mentioned plus a couple of rifles, .22, 30-06, and .300 winchester magnum. These are pretty common in the bush. Some will say .30-30 and .223. Yes they have killed lots of game, but I don't mind being able to reach out there a bit.
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 3,963,547 times
Reputation: 668
Default kinda slow

If things seem kinda slow on this thread, it's probably because this exact same subject was pretty much discussed to death a couple weeks ago. Look in the archive if you're interested. To sum things up:

No, not everyone in AK carries a gun, but they are very commonly used tools up here. While you can in fact encounter wild animals right in town even in Anchorage, you really don't need one on you all the time in the larger towns like you would in say...New Jersey. In the more rural areas firearms are virtually omnipresent, and despite that fact the rate of firearms-related violent crime in the state is hardly a blip compared to the average US city down south.

A 12 ga. pump action shotgun is probably the most cost effective bear gun you can buy, but there are of course many other good options. It depends on how much you want to spend and how much extra weight and bulk you care to carry around. Pistols are much less effective but much more convienent; you're more likely to actually have it on your person instead of leaning against a tree over there just past the bear.

Pepper spray is also a good thing to have in bear country, but if you use it wrong you can blind yourself as well as or instead of the bear. On the positive side if you accidentally fire off some pepper spray it's not gonna kill anyone unless you happen to be flying in an airplane at the time, in which case the pilot is gonna kill you if he doesn't crash first. You can also try the spray first before resorting to a firearm, which gives you more options to avoid an encounter. On the negative side moose don't seem affected much by pepper spray and if they're really p1ssed off they can be just as fast and as deadly as a bear, despite the fact that they're vegetarians.

People here don't go around killing every bear or moose they see out of reflex. There are strict laws regarding just when and where you can justifiably kill an animal in self defence, and the burden of proof is on you. If it's determined that you weren't acting in defense of life and property or that you did something stupid that resulted in an unjustified shooting, it means a citation, a court appearance, a large fine and probably the confiscation of the firearm involved as well as leaving you with a criminal record and restrictions and prohibitions on your hunting privileges in the future.

Most importantly, the application of small but regular doses of common sense into your daily routine is a far better tool for dealing with potentially dangerous animals than any firearm. This is definately one of those situations where even the slightest bit of prevention is worth way more than any amount of cure. If you ever have to shoot a bear in defence of your life it almost always means that you screwed up, badly, somewhere along the line. There are a whole host of good sources both online and on paper about how to behave in bear country, well worth looking into if you're planning on venturing out there yourself.
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:16 AM
 
20,428 posts, read 26,560,006 times
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I'd say a 30-30 for a female. Sarah, you're going to be living in Wasilla? No real need for a gun there. I think you mentioned in another thread about wanting to live in a different part of the state eventually...and that you've got some experience with guns. If you live out by yourself somewhere a gun isn't a bad idea. I've had them and not ever used them though.

Quote:
Most importantly, the application of small but regular doses of common sense into your daily routine is a far better tool for dealing with potentially dangerous animals than any firearm. This is definately one of those situations where even the slightest bit of prevention is worth way more than any amount of cure. If you ever have to shoot a bear in defence of your life it almost always means that you screwed up, badly, somewhere along the line. There are a whole host of good sources both online and on paper about how to behave in bear country, well worth looking into if you're planning on venturing out there yourself.
Absolutely.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:37 AM
 
Location: France
27 posts, read 110,768 times
Reputation: 24
Talking Slugs

Hi,

I have never been to AK so who am I to speak. But I do live in an area of France where wild boar and deer are a problem. Just too many of them, lots of damage to the agriculture and road accidents by the dozen.

Shooting is popular here but most of the shooters are not very good at it so, from time to time, the Prefect organizes "administrative hunts" to thin the population.

Buckshot is totally prohibited because it usually only wounds the animal since most shooters fire at too long a range. Slugs like the Brenneke slug will be forbidden soon too, for the same reason.

One can expect to kill an adult boar with a slug fired from a 12-gauge shotgun at a distance of UNDER 40 YARDS. That is a from long-barreled gun and using "double-charge" shells.

No bears here, none at all left. But I once had to accompany a shooting party in Russia and one of the shooters who had a shotgun had to leave it in the truck and was given a rifle instead.

Now, what I want to say is that a SHORT-barreled shotgun, even a 10-gauge, would never deliver a slug with enough energy to stop a bear except at suicidally short ranges. Not the best of situations to have a misfire. The shorter the barrel, the less of the propellant will be burned to generate pressure behind the projectile, resulting in excessive muzzle flash and loss of gas and per definition, less muzzle velocity of the projectile. I.e. less range, lesser impact and damage on the target

I would like to suggest that, in case one risks to be confronted with bears, one carries a self-loading rifle, preferably in a caliber larger than .30 inch.

Takeo.

PS. I strongly oppose shooting/kiling animals for recreational purposes. I think that if it is someone's fun to kill animals for kicks, that person belongs in a specialized institution where nice young men in clean white coats take care of that same person. (Just a personal opinion).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcticthaw View Post
If your not comfortable around guns then no don't bother with one.

Most Alaskans live in an urban area and really don't need one. If your activites do include guns or you feel the need for one for self defense and are prepared for the consiquences and are able to KILL someone or thing if the need arises for self preservation then yes get one. Just remember that most females that brandish a weapon only do so to scare the bejesus out of the perpetrator and tend to become a victim with their own gun. So if you pull one go ahead and squeeze the trigger several times. Only one side of a story in that situation should ever beable to be told.

Now what one to have. I prefer a short barreled shotgun with slugs. Works on all kinds of bears two and four legged. Easy to use and knocks whatever backwards! If your backpacking and wish not to carry a shotgun, or like me drive a boat and need something on me at all times. A revolver with a 4" barrel in a sholder holster works fine. The caliber depends on what your comfortable shooting. This is a close range weapon and one of last resort in my view. .357 is minimum I would recommend. Again your going to be sticking the thing in its nose per se becasuse you stumbled upon eachother. .44 is better but most don't like the recoil.

If I lived in a remote location there would be several guns available, those I mentioned plus a couple of rifles, .22, 30-06, and .300 winchester magnum. These are pretty common in the bush. Some will say .30-30 and .223. Yes they have killed lots of game, but I don't mind being able to reach out there a bit.

Last edited by Takeo; 04-14-2008 at 03:38 AM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Palmer
2,518 posts, read 5,874,602 times
Reputation: 1365
Sarah, you probably won't need a gun. But if you want one, you can easily get one after you are here. Don't bother to try to bring one with you, it isn't worth the hassle.

Takeo, I must come to Arcticthaw's defense about short barreled 12 guage shotguns. A short barreled gun, (18 inches is the minimum by law), is an excellent weapon with brenneke slugs for bears. This is for what you might call suicidal ranges of say 6 inches out to 10 steps away. It will work farther than that, but you need to be sure that the bear is in fact charging and not false charging. For that you need to learn a LOT about bear behavior. Read Rotorhead.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,596 posts, read 34,564,634 times
Reputation: 14657
If I'm in Alders I want short barreled and punch. A sawed off punt gun comes to mind!
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:18 AM
 
11,836 posts, read 24,975,248 times
Reputation: 2773
Most of my guns are for reaching out & touching the two legged animals. We seem to have more problems with them down here in the lower 48 than we do with the 4 legged ones.
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