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Thread: Best weapon for predator protection....

  1. #1
    Member Waterlover's Avatar
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    Question Best weapon for predator protection....

    Hey all.

    I have been in a bit of a quandary regarding the appropriate weapon for my protection when I am out hiking any and everywhere, kayaking, camping, and fishing rivers and creeks. I’ve heard that weapons are not always successful in stopping a charging bear if they really want someone---however, it seems the wise thing to do to err on caution’s side rather than having nothing.

    I do NOT have a hunting background, although, ‘back in the day’ I target shot with my dad, and my son shot a few deer on my Washington farm. I gutted, skinned, and butchered his kill because he struggled with the blood afterward. Since I worked in the OR for many years I didn’t have any issues with blood so it was a team effort. BUT--- Gutting critters does NOT a protected woman make.

    I have been up here for two years and, even though I have extensive outdoor experience in Washington, I had never felt endangered without a weapon prior to coming ‘home’ to Alaska. Now here, it seems a wise thing to have protection. One problem in my wavering for two years is that I still have mixed emotions on firearms in general at times… Just bein’ honest!!! It’s the old…”no one gets shot if there is no weapon,” mom part of me I suppose.

    Last year I was looking into short barreled shotguns that would take plugs and shot, and I think it was a Remington that I almost got but I can’t recall the model. It held quite a number of plugs/shot(???) with one in the barrel----I remember that much.

    Does this gun ring a bell with anyone? If so does it seem like a good choice for a woman and for the territory? Or, can anyone recommend a good one???? I have allowed this ‘no gun’ issue to keep me from going to places I would otherwise love to go. I generally am with my dogs but not always others, and it just seems wise to carry something.

    Thanks for direction any would like to offer. It’s time I get roaming this wonderful state!

    FF
    "The Nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.
    In memory of our troops...defenders of our freedom."

  2. #2

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    They are not "Plugs" but "Slugs". Keep it simple. Consider a Glock 22 or a Glock 20. Most likely what you were looking at was a Remington model 870.

  3. #3

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    There are several good options available:
    Wasp Spray in the can has reportedly worked better than Pepper Spray, in several studies/incidents. I think it should be considered as being handy to have around...especially in a camping zone with other people nearby. Whereas you want to run a critter off, but not endanger others. But Pepper Spray/Bear Repellant WILL work...I know this!!! It is also handy to have holstered or tied to pack strap, in front of your torso...has to be easy to get to.
    The Remington 870 or the Mossberg 500(a mossberg mariner is highly recommended) shotguns with the convertable 18 1/2" barrel are excellent choices for camp guns or along fishing banks/rivers or short hikes. I have one that I load up with Slugs and Buckshot in alternating fashion...Five Rounds in the weapon.
    For extended, long range excursions, I carry at the ready a rifle, suited for the game being hunted...
    As AGL has suggested, the Glock's are totally adequate, but can be rather cumbersome/intimidating to a novice around handguns....Would require a bit of training/familiararity.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Member Rumbarr's Avatar
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    This is what I'll be buying for my camping excursions, http://www.basspro.com/Mossberg-500-...217918/-658857

    I think you might like this as well Farmgirl .

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumbarr View Post
    This is what I'll be buying for my camping excursions, http://www.basspro.com/Mossberg-500-...217918/-658857

    I think you might like this as well Farmgirl .
    Excellent Choice, but have you considered the Combo...long and short barrels...much more versatile and only a minute to change out the barrels.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  6. #6
    Member Waterlover's Avatar
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    Thanks akres.
    Funny you mentioned wasp and hornet spray. Last year in Fred Meyer a gentleman was buying a couple on sale and I talked with him in line. He said it makes great bear spray. I left the line and went and grabbed 3. When I fished the Russian and the Kasilof last summer I had one on my pack and one on a carabinir on my waders...and one in my camping gear. Guess he taught me well.

    See??? That's why I SUPPORT talking to strangers.

    I think it WAS the 870...and they said to load it every other one with the slug and then the shot??? I'll check out the Mossberg as well. Thanks.

    I started on handguns with my dad and moved to rifles but I was a kid back then. Its been a long time!

    FF
    "The Nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.
    In memory of our troops...defenders of our freedom."

  7. #7

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    You will most likely want a "Youth/Ladies" Model so you can reach the trigger.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishin Farmgirl View Post
    I started on handguns with my dad and moved to rifles but I was a kid back then. Its been a long time!

    FF
    The Mossberg Combo, comes with a pistol grip, whereas you take off the full length stock if so desired.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  9. #9

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    FFG, My lady wears a double barrel Stoeger 20 gauge on her back in an Alaskan Sportsmans shotgun pack. She tried lots of guns and chose this one because of ease of use. It's a simple break action design, it's compact with a short(20"?) barrel, and it packs a serious wallop. Here is a pic of her wearing it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

  10. #10
    Tink
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    ROFL!! People are really off their rockers round here.. You have a couple of options but controlling your weapon is everything.. Aim means a lot more with distance whereas knock down power is effective in short distance.. A charging bear will feel the heat from any 12 Gauge slug within 50 yards.. Buck shot?.. mmm.. I like to carry my heat on my hip and my shoulder for either or.. Take em both! Sometimes a semi-auto at the hip can pull more shots at close range than a bolt/lever/pump action in those emergency situations.. For long distance go flat, fast and accurate.. .243 or .270 perhaps the famed 30 ottt LOL!! The entire point is be comfortable and familiar with what you’re shooting… Never depend on “wasp” spray.. Serious.. who the hell came up with that??? –wink-



  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Consider a Glock 22 or a Glock 20.
    FishingFarmgirl, I agree with AGL4now, consider a Glock 22 just to have on your shoulder when hiking. With proper training, you will LOVE that gun. :-)

  12. #12

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    I would suggest you get a Good Man.........with a slight limp & asthmetic.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    I would suggest you get a Good Man.........with a slight limp & asthmetic.
    Genius...Pure Genius...Absolutely Perfect...once again, I was overthinking the problem!!! Best advice yet!
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  14. #14
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tink View Post
    Never depend on “wasp” spray.. Serious.. who the hell came up with that???
    That was started many many years ago by some professional self defense expert in Canada. He was recommending people use it in their homes and work areas to defend against intruders. I think there might be a few posts on here about it. I know I posted a response on it once or twice someplace on the internet. It usually comes up as a post from someone that recieved the advice in a chain email.

    When a person reviews the MSDS for Raid wasp spray they will learn that it is a petroleum distillate with a very small concentration of a poison that is enough to kill a wasp which weighs a gram or two at most. Consider the dose response factor of most poisons and you need a large dose to affect something large, like a human. The self defense expert stated in his published advise that anyone sprayed with wasp killer will have to go to the hospital to get an antidote. Ummm...there is not enough posion in the entire can to even give a human a skin rash let alone kill them. Just what is the antidote to petroluem distillate anyway? However getting sprayed in the eyes with 10 oz of petroleum will put a hurting on anyone for a short period of time.

    Wasp spray does spray far in a narrow stream, petroleum will hurt the eyes of mammals, so it is a plausible bear deterant. Its cheaper than bear spray, and will be less likely to impact the sprayer if the wind direction is wrong. I have been down wind of a pepper spray discharge and that was not fun. I have had gas and diesel spray on my face and skin and kept on wrenching without a concern.

    Standing in the Russian and letting loose a can of Raid wasp spary at a bear - I can't even imagine the EPA Clean Water Act fines that would pile up on your hind end.

  15. #15
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    FFG, bear defense tools are only useful if you can access them extremely fast. Review the post in the hunting forum about the bear mauling outside Nome. Lots of useful data in that thread about what a bear can do.

    Unless you have the wrists of a brick layer or axe swinging lumberjack do not select a pistol grip stock for a shotgun.
    In a firearms safety glass many years ago I got to watch as the instructor forced the mining geologists to use one of their pistol grip 870s with 3 inch slugs on a stationary bear target. Eight men with two shots each and only one shot hit the bear image on the target that was 15 feet away. Not a single one of the second shots even hit paper.

    We were also being timed. The third man was the smallest of their group and it took him 6 seconds to get the second shot off since he nearly dropped his gun on the first shot. His wrist was hurting so bad that he could not feel it and keep his grip on the gun. Every time he tried to shuck the shell the gun just moved back against his floppy numb hand and jammed.

    The instructor was saving me and my full stock iron sighted "deer slayer" 870 for last. Watching these guys had made me really nervous. I was also thinking that this gun was brand new and had only had 20 rounds through it that very morning. Two slugs 3 inches apart into the head of the bear target in 1.5 seconds. The setup was the gun was made ready with two rounds in the magazine and the chamber empty - you have to pull the trigger on an empty chamber which unlocks the bolt making ready for pumping another round THEN load the magazine. The gun was laid on a shooting table in front of you. When the timer beeped you had to pick the gun up, shuck the pump, and shoot the bear twice. The fastest time with the pistol grip was 3 seconds, and that shooter didn't hit the paper 15 feet in front of him.

    Another thing I learned from that class was the use of sights on a weapon. Most short barrel defensive shotguns come with a bird hunting front bead and no rear sight. Watching the guys shoot in that class taught me (or reaffirmed) the value of a sight picture. They had a mariner shotgun that had a stock and no sights in addition to the several pistol grip 870s. They were lucky to hit the bear image even at close range. Most of them shot high over the bear image since they did not know how to sight the gun with only the bead way out at the tip of the barrel. Granted none of these guys were hunters/shooters other than the occassional deer hunt back in Utah. One of them was a former US Army Captain, but he ran a tank and could not hit anything with a handgun or shotgun. The best shooter of the group was a Nigerian PhD geologist. He had never shot any gun before and was nearly as good with the .44 SW 29 as the instructer (former US Army pistol team)

    Now with a pistol grip you have to hold this long heavy object up and try to control both ends of it to get any kind of sight picture. If your grip is not firm enough the back of your hand will be smashing you in the face once you touch off a round. The real value of a pistol grip shotgun is its use in close quarter fighting where you are using shot to spray a room full of bad guys. It is best used for muzzle contact work that does not require you to aim like door breaching. Not what you want for a bear defense weapon. However, you will see so many of them on the streams of this state. It makes me giggle.

    The best sights I have used on a shotgun are the Scattergun Technologies rear ghost ring sights. They are only for 870 receivers and mount close to your eye making for extremely fast sight acquisition. You will have to have a high quality front bead or post sight installed as well.

    Pistols are an effective choice when properly carried, loaded, and used through lots of training and practice. However, without the practice and some training they might not help all that much. However, the practice and training are a lot of fun so why not.

    The biggest issue with long arms is that they require two hands to use and you will always have one hand on the weapon. You will end up leaving it behind often, or leaning it against a tree or your backpack. When you need it, its not where you can get to it. A pistol is attached to your body making it easier to use and carry.

    The SxS shown above is a sweet option. Light, easy and deadly are always good things. Stoeger makes a defensive double these days. Mountview Sports has (had) one on its shotgun rack a month ago. Plastic on a double is wrong on many levels, but its just a tool right?

  16. #16
    Member Waterlover's Avatar
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    OUCH...hadn't considered the EPA. Have a friend in the lower 48 who works for them. They take that stuff seriously.

    I was thinkin' that the wasp spray would mess up a bear's sense of scent.

    Thanks.

    FF
    "The Nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.
    In memory of our troops...defenders of our freedom."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tailwind View Post
    Here is a pic of her wearing it.

    That's the kind of setup I was thinking might be good. Wear it on my back and swing it down if/when needed.

    THX.
    "The Nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.
    In memory of our troops...defenders of our freedom."

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    Curious, I have a question. I'll pick a random scenario . Ok armed with a 12 guage, charging bear at a 100ft and closing on leveled clear ground . What is the maximum and minimum range to fire to effectively hit target , given the very few seconds he will be in your face ?

    This does not include seasoned shooters/hunters etc .... just someone comfortable with the weapon .

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumbarr View Post
    What is the maximum and minimum range to fire to effectively hit target
    Minimum range 0 inches. set its hair on fire.

    Maximum range would be the 100 feet with a shotgun with sights. 100 feet is not very far - 33 yards or 40 paces if your short. A teenage football player can cover that distance in less than 5 seconds. A bear even faster. You will have one or two shots to hit the bear. If you can't shoot well enough fast enough you will have to wait for the muzzle contact shot.

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    The vast majority of bear charges are bluffs. If you shoot at 100 yards, or even 20 yards, you're probably just looking to needlessly dress out another animal, then pack its hide out just so the state can have it. Seems that calls for shooting fast & accurate at close range only.

    Unless you are willing to get proficient, and keep proficient with a gun, any gun, you are probably better off with bear spray. The statistics in AK are pretty overwhelmingly NOT in favor of toting a gun for bear defense. Last thing I read showed that people with guns were about twice as likely to get mauled by a mad bear than people without guns. This was a study about actual aggressive bear encounters, and still the sprayers came out ahead. I'd guess that lack of proficiency with their own gun was a leading cause in a lot of those maulings.

    Since I'm not particularly good with guns in general, I'll stick with the spray. I think my odds are better.

    BTW, I'm of the persuasion that one of the best things that bear spray does is give you the courage to stand your ground and not run. Even if that was all it did, it would still save lives.

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