Ideas on a survival rifle&pistol,for the Alaskan wilderness


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EnfieldEnthusiast
November 12, 2011, 02:18 PM
Hello there fellow shooters.I would like to know what types of rifles&pistols,would be best,as part of an emergency,survival kit,on board a light aircraft or boat,if the worst case scenario occurred,whereby the plane malfunctioned&crashed&I was say,still alive,with minor injuries,or if the boat I was on capsized&sank &I managed to get off of it alive,with my survival kit.This is purely asking for advice,from people in the know,on what to use to counter aggressive-bears in self-defense,etc.Also is pepperspray that effective on all bears?


I've seen light aircraft flying over snowy Alaska on documentaries&ive watched Ray Mears's shows on survival,but nothing really on firearms,as such.

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451 Detonics
November 12, 2011, 02:29 PM
Nothing works 100% of the time, that is why a multi layer approach to bear defense is advisable. I know you asked about a rifle but in truth I think a 12 bore loaded with slugs is pretty potent bear medicine. Backing it up with something like a S&W Mountain Gun in 44 mag is icing on the cake.

If you do want a rifle rather than a shotgun the Marlin Guide lever actions in 45/70 or 450 Marlin would work very well.

My personal set up for the back woods of bear country would include my Browning 71 in 450 Alaskan and S&W 625 that has had the cylinder chambers lengthened for the 460 Rowland.

AK Gun Man 88
November 12, 2011, 02:29 PM
For pure self defense...I would say either a 18" pump shotgun with slugs (carry bird and buckshot too for gathering game to eat) to stop the bear or a 375 h&h rifle to stop a bear. People will tell you that you can kill a bear with smaller calibers, however I would use these to up my chances of stopping the bear purely in a survival fashion. As for a handgun...44 Mag will penetrate...and again others will suggest the biggest caliber for this one...I howevere do not...pick the pistol you can shoot most effectively....Ive heard (no proof but it makes sense) that a majority of big pistol calibers are only about as good as having a 30-30.

As for bear spray...many manufacturers put bear attractant in the spray...the stuff works but remember any other bears in the area are likely to show up after you spray it...also most of the sprays are in a mist so be mindful of wind direction.

rcmodel
November 12, 2011, 02:30 PM
I think it would be very hard to beat a Marlin 45-70 Guide-Gun in bear country.
http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/bigbore/1895GS.asp

Unless it was a 12 ga 870 Remington pump shotgun with Brenneke rifled slugs.
http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/shotguns/model-870/model-870-marine-magnum.aspx

A pump shotgun would actually come apart in the middle and store in a slightly smaller package then the Marlin too.

Forget handguns.
Unless you practice & shoot constantly with big Magnum revolvers, they would be less then useless for survival.

If I just had to pick a handgun, it would be a .22 rim-fire for potting small game to eat.
But the shotgun would work as well for that if you took some bird-shot shells with you.

rc

AK Gun Man 88
November 12, 2011, 02:31 PM
Forgot the third long gun option...but 451 got it...45/70 Lever action...

Shadow 7D
November 12, 2011, 02:48 PM
As for bear spray...many manufacturers put bear attractant in the spray...the stuff works but remember any other bears in the area are likely to show up after you spray it...also most of the sprays are in a mist so be mindful of wind direction.

PURE AND UTTER BS

What happens is the pepper (at least the biologist think it's the pepper and not the propellent or solvent as those differ by manufacture)

AGES, it gets exposed to oxygen and for what ever reason, bears treat it like catnip.
that's why they say, on the LABEL to immediately LEAVE the area. It takes 12 or more hours for this to happen depending on the weather.

as for what gun, a shotgun, most pistols won't do it for 'self protection'
as for what SURVIVAL gun, hard to beat a .22, or a .22/20ga combo gun.

sayak
November 12, 2011, 03:30 PM
The do-all firearm useful for small game hunting and personal protection- even the killing of moose and caribou or (if you are in the southeast, deer) is the 12 gauge shotgun in pump action. Just carry various loads and you are good to go.

Shadow 7D
November 12, 2011, 03:52 PM
Actually in AK the plane is required per regulation to carry a survival pack, and I believe a firearm is part of it, but as far as I know, they don't mandate WHAT TYPE of gun.

R H Clark
November 12, 2011, 04:02 PM
I would agree with an .22/12ga combo. Keep a box of .22, some slugs and some #4 shot in the pack.Can't you also get 12ga flares?

stevekozak
November 12, 2011, 04:11 PM
I would think that a Marlin Guide rifle in 45/70 for the big stuff (read bear defense) and a good reliable .22 pistol for small game would be the way to go. Or you could do the 12gauge pump with various loads for the whole thing. Rifle would give you some range if needed.

rcmodel
November 12, 2011, 04:13 PM
Here ya go!
For the ultimate survival pack.
http://www.wildwestguns.com/copilot.html

rc

Float Pilot
November 12, 2011, 05:22 PM
The Alaska Regulations no longer mandate carrying a firearm in your aircraft as they once did. No doubt they were removed for political reasons.

The whole survival / bear protection firearm question is hotly debated up here and probably always will be. I have lived here in Alaska and spent much of my time in the bush ever since Eisenhower was the president. Plus I now fly for a living.

I have never been charged by a brown bear unless I did something stupid.
I believe they can read your thoughts within a short range. When they see an armed man who is thinking "Mess with me and I kill you, or just go about your business and you'll be fine." They tend to leave one alone...

There are various things to consider:

1. What time of year? In the deep winter there are NO bears. Wolves yes.. But your biggest concern will be freezing to death and oddly enough dehydration (water is frozen and you loose a lots of body hydration while working in deep cold). You have a better chance of seeing rabbits and ptarmigan than anything else. But more than likely you won't see anything.

2. What area are you traveling within. Some areas up area are open gravel banks, river deltas, totally open tundra or grass. In those areas any game will see you long before you get close. Other areas are full of little lakes and ponds which are prime duck and loon habitat. And then again we have areas of dense rain forest with trees well over 100 feet tall.

3. What type of aircraft and or boat you have. A DH-2 Beaver can carry lots of junk...You could eat freeze dried food until spring comes along...
But Super Cub's or Citabria's have limited space. After your food and other gear you may only have enough room for a pistol.

The way to build up your survival gear is start by thinking of what item you would need at the exclusion of all other items. Then add to that by thinking about how to build on each items strength or weakness.

Since I have limited room inside my Cub on floats I carry two survival gear boxes like this one, and a bunch of items in my survival vest.

A vest is a good item to have since there is a string possibility that your main box of survival gear could be lost in a crash or sinking.


I always though that a stainless or scandium 3 barreled (semi Drilling) break-down would be interesting.
A 12 gauge with a 22LR barrel and another barrel for a heavy rimmed cartridge. (45-70, 444 Marlin, 375 Win, 348 Win)
With ammo storage in the stock.

JFrame
November 12, 2011, 05:32 PM
The Alaska Regulations no longer mandate carrying a firearm in your aircraft as they once did. No doubt they were removed for political reasons.

The whole survival / bear protection firearm question is hotly debated up here and probably always will be. I have lived here in Alaska and spent much of my time in the bush ever since Eisenhower was the president. Plus I now fly for a living.

I have never been charged by a brown bear unless I did something stupid.
I believe they can read your thoughts within a short range. When they see an armed man who is thinking "Mess with me and I kill you, or just go about your business and you'll be fine." They tend to leave one alone...

There are various things to consider:

1. What time of year? In the deep winter there are NO bears. Wolves yes.. But your biggest concern will be freezing to death and oddly enough dehydration (water is frozen and you loose a lots of body hydration while working in deep cold). You have a better chance of seeing rabbits and ptarmigan than anything else. But more than likely you won't see anything.

2. What area are you traveling within. Some areas up area are open gravel banks, river deltas, totally open tundra or grass. In those areas any game will see you long before you get close. Other areas are full of little lakes and ponds which are prime duck and loon habitat. And then again we have areas of dense rain forest with trees well over 100 feet tall.

3. What type of aircraft and or boat you have. A DH-2 Beaver can carry lots of junk...You could eat freeze dried food until spring comes along...
But Super Cub's or Citabria's have limited space. After your food and other gear you may only have enough room for a pistol.

The way to build up your survival gear is start by thinking of what item you would need at the exclusion of all other items. Then add to that by thinking about how to build on each items strength or weakness.

Since I have limited room inside my Cub on floats I carry two survival gear boxes like this one, and a bunch of items in my survival vest.

A vest is a good item to have since there is a string possibility that your main box of survival gear could be lost in a crash or sinking.


I always though that a stainless or scandium 3 barreled (semi Drilling) break-down would be interesting.
A 12 gauge with a 22LR barrel and another barrel for a heavy rimmed cartridge. (45-70, 444 Marlin, 375 Win, 348 Win)
With ammo storage in the stock.


Float Pilot -- out of curiosity, is that a S&W 317 in your survival rig (first photo)?


.

stevekozak
November 12, 2011, 06:02 PM
The Alaska Regulations no longer mandate carrying a firearm in your aircraft as they once did. No doubt they were removed for political reasons.

The whole survival / bear protection firearm question is hotly debated up here and probably always will be. I have lived here in Alaska and spent much of my time in the bush ever since Eisenhower was the president. Plus I now fly for a living.

I have never been charged by a brown bear unless I did something stupid.
I believe they can read your thoughts within a short range. When they see an armed man who is thinking "Mess with me and I kill you, or just go about your business and you'll be fine." They tend to leave one alone...

There are various things to consider:

1. What time of year? In the deep winter there are NO bears. Wolves yes.. But your biggest concern will be freezing to death and oddly enough dehydration (water is frozen and you loose a lots of body hydration while working in deep cold). You have a better chance of seeing rabbits and ptarmigan than anything else. But more than likely you won't see anything.

2. What area are you traveling within. Some areas up area are open gravel banks, river deltas, totally open tundra or grass. In those areas any game will see you long before you get close. Other areas are full of little lakes and ponds which are prime duck and loon habitat. And then again we have areas of dense rain forest with trees well over 100 feet tall.

3. What type of aircraft and or boat you have. A DH-2 Beaver can carry lots of junk...You could eat freeze dried food until spring comes along...
But Super Cub's or Citabria's have limited space. After your food and other gear you may only have enough room for a pistol.

The way to build up your survival gear is start by thinking of what item you would need at the exclusion of all other items. Then add to that by thinking about how to build on each items strength or weakness.

Since I have limited room inside my Cub on floats I carry two survival gear boxes like this one, and a bunch of items in my survival vest.

A vest is a good item to have since there is a string possibility that your main box of survival gear could be lost in a crash or sinking.


I always though that a stainless or scandium 3 barreled (semi Drilling) break-down would be interesting.
A 12 gauge with a 22LR barrel and another barrel for a heavy rimmed cartridge. (45-70, 444 Marlin, 375 Win, 348 Win)
With ammo storage in the stock.
I like the idea of a survival vest, although I think your's is a little heavy on electronics and light on actual survival gear. I may have to work one up!!

Float Pilot
November 12, 2011, 06:04 PM
Yeap, one of the original Air Lites with a 3 inch barrel and real sights. It likes CCI- mini mag hollow points. Since it weighs almost nothing it is great in my floatation vest pocket. I often carry a modified Glock 10mm in a chest holster while flying as well. With 200 grain full jacketed hot loads.

Most likely I will be sitting on the side of a lake someplace looking at the oil slick coming up from my sunken float-plane. I can shoot pond ducks and other little critters with my 22 pistol until a Moose and Goose trooper jumps out of the bushes and takes me to a nice warm jail.


If I am going into to serious bear country or if it is moose season, I carry what ever bolt action rifle trips my trigger that day.
I have a couple lever guns in 45-70 but I have seen too many lever guns jam up, mis-feed or have other problems.
I like something simple that I can field strip without tools. Plus something that keeps out the sand, grit and mud.



PS: What you can't see in my survival / inflatable NOMEX stearns pilot vest is the folded orange tent in the lower lumbar area. I don't know if an aviation band radio, a spare battery pack and a GPS is exactly heavy on electronics. I now also carry a SPOT emergency locator in my vest. I can send a message telling my wife I am OK and it shows my exact location within 20 feet. Or I can hit the other button that tells her I am delayed due to weather or mechanical problems. And then the last button is the 911 button that tells everybody i am in deep trouble and here I am.
Being rescued within a few hours would no doubt cut down on how much food I consume out in the bush.

JFrame
November 12, 2011, 06:35 PM
Yeap, one of the original Air Lites with a 3 inch barrel and real sights. It likes CCI- mini mag hollow points. Since it weighs almost nothing it is great in my floatation vest pocket. I often carry a modified Glock 10mm in a chest holster while flying as well. With 200 grain full jacketed hot loads.

Most likely I will be sitting on the side of a lake someplace looking at the oil slick coming up from my sunken float-plane. I can shoot pond ducks and other little critters with my 22 pistol until a Moose and Goose trooper jumps out of the bushes and takes me to a nice warm jail.


If I am going into to serious bear country or if it is moose season, I carry what ever bolt action rifle trips my trigger that day.
I have a couple lever guns in 45-70 but I have seen too many lever guns jam up, mis-feed or have other problems.
I like something simple that I can field strip without tools. Plus something that keeps out the sand, grit and mud.



PS: What you can't see in my survival / inflatable NOMEX stearns pilot vest is the folded orange tent in the lower lumbar area. I don't know if an aviation band radio, a spare battery pack and a GPS is exactly heavy on electronics. I now also carry a SPOT emergency locator in my vest. I can send a message telling my wife I am OK and it shows my exact location within 20 feet. Or I can hit the other button that tells her I am delayed due to weather or mechanical problems. And then the last button is the 911 button that tells everybody i am in deep trouble and here I am.
Being rescued within a few hours would no doubt cut down on how much food I consume out in the bush.


Thank you, Sir -- I am taking notes for whenever I might be fortunate enough to make a trip up to the great state of Alaska... :)

I know what you mean about a "real" sight for the 317. I have a 3" version myself, with the Hi-Viz sight -- perhaps ideal for if one needs minute-of-COM shooting at 15 feet. For precision small game shooting, however, I have found it extremely wanting. I've been meaning to swap it out for a finer sight, either Patridge or ramp...


.

SWAT1911
November 12, 2011, 06:40 PM
There's a few Alaskan survival derringers floating around chambered in 45/70 :) lol

Cosmoline
November 12, 2011, 06:49 PM
Hard to beat a 12 ga with some hardcast slugs and shot for small game, but the firearm is near the very bottom of issues in a bush plane accident. I've had occasion to study many of them in the context of law suits, and they can be classed into three categories. One, everyone dies. Two, everyone walks away. Three, some die some don't. In the first and third category you'll either be dead or so beaten up that a firearm will be all but impossible to use. Medical supplies and above all rescue are paramount. So you hope the ELT has gone off and the weather is clear enough for help to fly in. It's only in the second category that firearms figure into the equation at all, and only a very small percentage of those have ever involved a survivor having to live off the land for any length of time. Particularly not in modern times. It certainly can happen on some general aviation flight that's wandered off the flight plan route for some reason, but it's not typical.

With a boat you face the added problem of water that's usually cold enough to kill you in minutes. Lots of folk drown here every season on the rivers and lakes, not even including the ocean.

Shadow 7D
November 12, 2011, 08:12 PM
I like the idea of a survival vest, although I think your's is a little heavy on electronics and light on actual survival gear. I may have to work one up!!

Um, the commo/electronic ARE the survival gear
do you really thing a gun is going to keep you alive in -70* weather, or that you can walk from Washington DC to Atlanta in the dead of winter, or the height of summer (more likely but VERY difficult) as that's what you have to do. Alaska is the heights of the US and about as wide (actually that's with the Aleutian Islands and those alone are about as wide as the US)

David E
November 12, 2011, 08:25 PM
Those advocating a shotgun, how many rounds should one carry on their person ?

rcmodel
November 12, 2011, 08:32 PM
They say you can't have too much ammo, unless you are on fire or drowning.

On the otherhand, I'd expect no more then 1 Bear Attack per Stranding, at most.

So, maybe the 6+1 slugs in the gun and a few birdshot in your pocket would get you by?

rc

mac66
November 12, 2011, 09:03 PM
In deference to Float Pilot's experience, I would go with what he says.

BrocLuno
November 12, 2011, 10:03 PM
For boat work, we were issued 06 bolts by NOAA when were doing shoreline surveys (1903A3's). Four people to a boat. One was always a bear spotter, the other three did the survey work.

Bears can come up on you when you are not paying attention because you are preoccupied (like getting your gear out of a partly sunk plane or boat). The shore is their territory. You are invading. They will defend their territory. If you are injured and have limited mobility, you will be in the near-shore zone longer and that's likely where your rescue will come from. You are now living in bear habitat.

Me, I'd carry a small wheel gun because I like them - I have a stainless S&W 22. And I'd consider a Marlin 444. Keep it dry and clean as you can, but be ready to use it if you have to.

Most of all, don't get into the situation in the first place.

ArtP
November 12, 2011, 10:52 PM
Call me crazy, but I do not think 12 gauge slugs would make the best bear defense. Don't get me wrong, I think they rank high on the list, but not the best.

With a relatively slow velocity and really poor SD of the 12g slug, I think a .444 / .450 / 45-70 with premium bullets would make a better choice.

I'll take the Marlin lever rifle and even if it does malfunction, I'll have at least one shot as I'd be carrying chambered with the hammer down on half-cock.

20 years ago, before I became the gun nut I am today, I rented a houseboat and had a black bear board the boat in the middle of the night. It walked right up the plank and stole the ice chest, no more than 2 feet from where I slept. I had only a 9mm pistol with me.

After that, I went out and bought a pump defender style SG intent on using slugs as bear defense. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was the wrong choice for the job and that SG now sits in the closet, used as backup.

It's unfortunate I can't find it now, but a government agency did a study some years ago comparing slugs, buckshot and common high-power rifle cartridges, to determine the best close-range bear defense. The slugs and buckshot were poor penetrators as really should not be a surprise. The typical 375's & 450's won by a wide margin. Penetration wasn't the only criteria.

Float Pilot
November 12, 2011, 11:39 PM
Should you actually have to fire on a large bear. Shot placement and bullet construction are SUPER important.
IE. a bloke who knows how to shoot and hit with an Enfield loaded with 200 grain solids, is much more of a threat to a big bear than a guy with a 600 nitro express who can't hit anything...

A few days ago, one of my local friends had to put down a medium size brown (griz to the out of state folks and all the new Alaskans) with his 416 Ruger. A gal he was hunting with shot the bear (115 yards) just behind and above the shoulder with a stock 375 H&H Hornady 270 grain factory load.
Not only was the shot in a bad spot, but the Hornady 270 grain fragmented into little pieces. It would have taken out the opposite side shoulder IF it would have stayed in one piece.
So my friend had to put a 400 grain dangerous game bullet into the bear from just over 200 yards. (where the bear stopped to bit at his 375 H&H wound.)


When defending from a bear attack you need to figure that a brown bear can sprint to 30-40 mph (40-50 fps) for short periods of time. I do not worry about black bears. My wife chases them out of our chicken coop with a garden hose all the time.

So you need something that you can swing, point and shoot within a very short period of time. A bear 100 yards away is scenery, but a bear within 50 yards can be on you within 3-5 seconds.

But have fished in the same creek with browns on many occasions, Sure ,,, one might steal my caught and strung salmon every now and then, But I don't make a big deal about it and most go back to their own fishing while I go about mine. But I stay out of their danger zone...

They do not like being surprised and the sows do not want you anywhere near their cubs. Bears that live in areas that are constantly frequented by tourist will be much bolder since they have learned that humans are unarmed and possibly tasty camera clickers. Those bears will get themselves into trouble.

I took a guy out moose hunting a few years back and he had an ENTIRE backpack full of Teriyaki Jerky. Like 20 pounds of it.....
He did not tell me until I wondered why we were being followed and stalked by 3 bears all day long. Eventually this guy sat down his pack,,, and his rifle.... against a tree while he wandered 150 yards over to talk with another hunter in our party.

Those bears turned his pack into shreds and chewed up his rifle as well. I guess his hand prints smelled like jerky.. It that case we had to leave the area, Those bears were now programed to think of us as a source of yummy jerky.

Sergeant Sabre
November 12, 2011, 11:49 PM
For survival, think food and water. I think the odds of dehydrating or starving to death if stranded are much higher than being killed by a bear.

Get a .22.

For bear-defense specifically, I don't have a ton of experience. None, actually. However, the Alaska State Troopers to. I admit I only see them on the National Geographic Channel. What is there choice for bear-defense? An 870. Loaded with what, I do not know.

Shadow 7D
November 13, 2011, 12:01 AM
Generally Bernanke slugs for the first few
then alternating the last 4 slug 000buck slug 000buck

T Bran
November 13, 2011, 12:34 AM
Henry SR7 survival rifle and a good pump shotgun full of slugs. The Henry breaks down and stores in it's own watertight stock it also floats a very nice little game getter (I keep one on the boat).
T

jnoble87
November 13, 2011, 04:41 AM
If I was out in big bear country, I'd pack a Marlin 45-70 lever action, with some spare ammo in my pockets and the bear attack survival pack from S&W, in .500 of course. I figure if I can't hit the bear from a distance, or he pops out on me in a flash, I'll be able to make him pee down his leg. If the bullet don't get him, the muzzle blast will FOR SURE!

caribou
November 13, 2011, 06:55 AM
If your boat has capsized or your plane has crashed, defending yourself against Bears is the least of your problems.
Getting food , if you intend on getting out yerself, will be the main use of any gun you bring.

Like Sayak said, The 12 gauge and various loads is the best way to go.(a .22lr is a close second)but the 12 gauge can be used with Slugs/Buck for Large animals, shot for small game, your most likely and easily available foods, Flares and Noise makers to get you found can be has in 12 gauge as well.
#2 ,3" magnum will secure alotta small game and as a self defense round, #2 at 5 feet is still fairly a slug, for your close in the willows protection. A friend of mine was jumped in his Goose Blind a couple springs ago by an 8 foot Brown Bear who lost his brains with one shot at 5 feet, with one big hole just infront of his ear......the Bear was dead before it hit the ground.

We have all three , Polar, Brown and Black walking about here, so were always putting thought into such.....The BEST defense against all three is a Dog, or even better, Dogs.......If you find yourself in any Bear country, like here, we live with them by using a tea pot......or coffee, plain water, whatevers there to drink...
We pee a "fence" around the camp, especially when I have hundreds of pounds of meat, and not one Bear has ever crossed it, ever. Its the way they communicate and they, indeed, know we humans are a problem. That way, there is no confrontation.


Good luck.

jakescott586
November 13, 2011, 07:23 AM
I've spent a good deal of time in the bush on the west side of Kodiak Island. In my experience, a shotgun has absolutely no place in the Alaskan bush. If I were stranded, I would want a large bore wheel gun, .44 caliber at a minimum, for the sole purpose of bear protection. For food gathering a mini 14. Two of those thirty round mags taped together takes up very little space in an emergency kit, and will last a long while if need be. The .223, while certainly not an ideal deer cartridge, will do the job nicely with proper shot placement, and is also sufficient for knocking over small game with minimal meat damage. The mini 14, while certainly not a tack driver, is accurate enough with the standard peep sight to provide killing shots at 100 plus yards, and they're tough as nails and function even under the ravages of mud, sand and saltwater.

jmr40
November 13, 2011, 12:45 PM
None of the lever guns are reliable enough to allow me to sleep well at night where there are animals that could eat me. I'd probably take a stainless synthetic Ruger in plain old 30-06 with good loads. Bulletproof gun that will work and if you learn how to shoot just as fast as a leveraction.

I'd actually prefer 338-06 or 35 Whelen, but would probably stick with 30-06 simply because of the ease of getting ammo in remote places.

rcmodel
November 13, 2011, 12:54 PM
None of the lever guns are reliable enoughSay What?
Have you ever actually owned a lever-gun?

I have several Winchesters, Marlins, and one Browning and have never ever had a malfunction with any of them in over 40 years.

I would trust any of them much further in a survival situation then many of todays plastic fantistic bolt-actions.

rc

kfgk14
November 13, 2011, 01:30 PM
I'd say a lightweight, pump-action shotgun is the best choice, given bear danger. Perhaps augmented with a Henry AR7 or a .22 LR revolver.
For bear, 12 gauge, 3" magnums, hard-cast Brenekes with a lot of powder behind them. Shoot for the shoulders, then, once it's down, the head to put it out of its misery.
Add bird-shot for hunting small game. The Brenekes should be adequate for defense against two-legged threats (in terms of making them disappear, anyway).

35 Whelen
November 13, 2011, 02:06 PM
I have no experience in Alaska or with bears, but I like the idea of a 45-70. One of the neat things about the 45-70 that is usually overlooked is the fact that when it's handloaded, it's extremely versatile.

Somewhere I have an article written by John Wooters in 1970 or '71 over handloads for the 45-70. It's an invaluable article for anyone who owns one. He put together and tested loads that range from shot loads (think it held 5/8 oz. of shot) and single round ball loads for small game, all the way up to 350 and 400 gr. bullets for animals that bite back.

Seems to me a Marlin with loads such as these would be very viable for a survival situation and the ammunition doens't take up nearly as space a 12 ga. ammo.

35W

sayak
November 13, 2011, 02:42 PM
I've spent a good deal of time in the bush on the west side of Kodiak Island. In my experience, a shotgun has absolutely no place in the Alaskan bush. If I were stranded, I would want a large bore wheel gun, .44 caliber at a minimum, for the sole purpose of bear protection. For food gathering a mini 14. Two of those thirty round mags taped together takes up very little space in an emergency kit, and will last a long while if need be. The .223, while certainly not an ideal deer cartridge, will do the job nicely with proper shot placement, and is also sufficient for knocking over small game with minimal meat damage. The mini 14, while certainly not a tack driver, is accurate enough with the standard peep sight to provide killing shots at 100 plus yards, and they're tough as nails and function even under the ravages of mud, sand and saltwater.
Thousands of native Alaskans who make their living from the land would smile at that statement. When I lived in the bush my most commonly used firearms were the 12 ga, .22 and .30.06, all of which I took on many years worth of hunting trips. If I had been limited to just one of them, it would have been the shotgun.

KodiakBeer
November 13, 2011, 03:04 PM
I've lived on Kodiak for most of 25 years and hiked, hunted and fished all over Alaska.

In a pure survival situation, I'd want a shotgun. Period. If prompted to take a 2nd weapon, I'd choose an accurate .22 handgun.

A shotgun will sort out a bear issue. Most of the suggestions for a heavy rifle probably envision a typical sporting scope which means you are largely helpless in a bear situation, considering that your are blind at close range.

But, bears aren't going to be your main problem. Your main problem is going to be stuffing enough calories into your face to survive sub-arctic conditions for an unknown length of time. A shotgun and .22 will get you rabbits, ptarmigan, grouse, or even songbirds and seagulls if that's all you can find.

People get lost here all the time. It's not like the lower 48 where you're going to run into a road or power line to lead you to safety eventually. Many of those people are never found, and most of them that are found are disoriented, starving and dehydrated, not mauled by a bear. Yet, those same people probably walked by tons of meat in the form of small game and birds, but couldn't convert them into protein because they didn't have a firearm, or didn't have the right firearm.

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 03:06 PM
Many of those people are never found, and most of them that are found are disoriented, starving and dehydrated, not mauled by a bear.

It's those that were never found that were eaten by bears.

KodiakBeer
November 13, 2011, 04:26 PM
It's those that were never found that were eaten by bears.

I doubt it. Without calories, you eventually curl up some place and die of exposure. It's a well known phenomena that rescuers can walk right past such people while calling their names and get no response. I don't know if that is some form of auditory exclusion or simple disorientation, but I do know that if you can stuff a few thousand calories in your face every day you can live for a long time in very adverse conditions and maintain both your physical strength and your mental acuity.

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 04:27 PM
I was kidding.

Shadow 7D
November 13, 2011, 04:33 PM
It's those that were never found that were eaten by bears.
After the died of EXPOSURE or starvation
bears are VERY opportunistic and remember, spring is like defrosting the freezer for them, anything the wolves haven't gotten is right there for the ravens and bears.

point is, a gun isn't going to do anything that smarts won't
every missing person I've heard of was recovered due to being 'over due' or having an emergency radio/ locator beacon.

If no body knows to look for you, and you don't have a beacon, well, somebody like Caribou will find you some day, as a scattering of bones for the state ME to try to figure out.

d2wing
November 13, 2011, 04:36 PM
I wonder why you would choose a 45-70 over a .44 mag pistol The pistol makes more sense to me with birdshot as well as normal rounds. Can be carried in a holster and same power. I would avoid bears and carry a .22lr pistol on my person. If you crash a float plane or tip a boat it's going to be in cold water. I think more guys have died from the weight of shotgun ammo as in duck hunting than have been saved from bear attacks with a shotgun. At least that I know of. 19th century hunters went with the 30-30 over the 45-70 in lever guns for a good reason. A good rifle would be a 7600 Carbine in 30-06 open sights or red dot. But being prudent enough to have any firearm is good. I think hunting bear would be a real low priority if you are in a crash in Alaska. They aren't likely to hunt you unless you carry raw meat around.

d2wing
November 13, 2011, 04:41 PM
In addition I agree that panic and depair and illogical thinking would be bigger dangers.

rcmodel
November 13, 2011, 04:42 PM
Can be carried in a holster and same power.There is no comparison in power or penetration between the .44 Mag handgun and a 45-70 rifle.

It's not even close.

I also have to question how good a shot the average handgunner would be when being charged by a bear?

I'd guess they would stand a much better chance of hitting something vital or breaking down some running gear with a big bore rifle or shotgun slugs!

rc

35 Whelen
November 13, 2011, 04:44 PM
I think the main reason to avoid a pistol, other than they don't have the power of your typical rifle, is the fact that most people can't hit with them as well as they think they can. I consider myself a fair pistol shot, but cringe at the thought of trying to maintain my nerve well enough to keep 3 lbs. of short-barreled steel trained on a charging bear.

35W

d2wing
November 13, 2011, 05:02 PM
Between a pistol and rifle you are correct, I looked at the wrong chart. They are closer in rifles. Sorry. I also agree with both of you 35 and RC about the point of hitting with a long arm over a pistol in that situation.

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 05:04 PM
Between a pistol and rifle you are correct, I looked at the wrong chart. They are closer in rifles. Sorry. I also agree with both of you 35 and RC about the point of hitting with a long arm over a pistol in that situation.
Even that's not true.

I own a rifle and revolver in 44 mag for woods protection. In reality they're fine for where I live, but there are plenty of other times I wish I had chosen the Marlin in .444, 45-70 or .450. They are significantly more powerful than a rifle fired 44 mag.

I get 1700fps out of my marlin firing a .270g bullet. In a modern 45-70 rifle, you can achieve 2150 fps with a 350g projectile.

dprice3844444
November 13, 2011, 05:04 PM
magnum research bfr 45/70 pistol

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 07:37 PM
Parks lists a 12 ga. as a top choice. Plus a high SD is the main reason slugs are a good choice.

Most 12g slugs have a SD of .150 or less, which is extremely poor. Several posts up, I mentioned this as to why I'd rather have a large bore, high-powered rifle.

Edited to add:

Which one do you think will penetrate better:

12 gauge -- (.729 diameter) 1oz (437 grain) slug at 1500fps, .150 SD
45-70 -- .456 diameter 405 grains at 1800fps, .276 SD (lever gun load)
45-70 -- .456 diameter 500 grains at 1880fps, .341 SD (Ruger #1 load)

sayak
November 13, 2011, 08:09 PM
12 gauge -- (.729 diameter) 1oz (437 grain) slug at 1500fps, .150 SD
45-70 -- .456 diameter 405 grains at 1800fps, .276 SD (lever gun load)
45-70 -- .456 diameter 500 grains at 1880fps, .341 SD (Ruger #1 load)
Which of those will take birds, small game, beaver, fox, wolf, deer and even big game to an acceptable degree?

In Alaska you may run into bear 6-7 months out of the year. There is no area exclusive of them, and you have to come to terms with that if you end up stranded. Yet there is not a bear behind every tree, and the bigger concern is feeding yourself. People from the lower 48 have a very limited understanding of how big this country is and what the conditions are like. Do not use reality TV as your educational instrument.

If you crash or get washed up between point A and B and are in a survivable condition, you may have a long walk or wait and you'd better be able to put away some calories or you WILL be bear food. Anyone who has a gun capable of taking a variety of animals and defending themselves to boot has a real ace in the hole. Yes, it would be nice to have several weapons, and as float pilot said, in a Beaver or larger airplane you might, but that is probably not the case for most people.

rcmodel
November 13, 2011, 08:15 PM
. It penetrates more precisely because it has that "poor" SD.That just isn't the case.

The higher the SD, the longer the bullet, the better the penetration, all things, like bullet construction, being equal.

Poor SD = less, not more penetration.
It's a fact.

rc

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 08:16 PM
With a bear? The 12 ga.. It's common knowledge. It penetrates more precisely because it has that "poor" SD. Pointy doesn't mean better penetration all the time. Pointy and fast means ricochet if you hit something at an angle.

Sectional density is a number which equates the relationship between mass and diameter and has nothing at all to do with shape. An exaggerated example is a spear (even with a blunt tip) compared to a ball of the same weight.

Bullets with higher SD will certainly be longer, but the shape of the tip has nothing to do with it.

It's possible you're thinking of ballistic coefficiency. BC uses SD and the actual shape and measures how well a given bullet resists velocity loss due to air resistance.

d2wing
November 13, 2011, 08:19 PM
Are those handloads for the 45-70? I'm looking at a Winchester chart that lists 375 gr at 1500 fps for a 45-70 and 375 gr 12 guage sabot slug at 1850 fps.

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 08:21 PM
my quotes were handloads, but they're specifically for modern Marlins or Ruger #1's. Factory 45-70 ammo has to be watered down to be safe in the first BP 45-70's released late in the 19th century.

If you compare a factory made Marlin .450 round you will get numbers about the same as the handloads I referenced. The .450 was made specifically to offer the best of 45-70 performance that can't be offered in factory ammo in fear of someone chambering it in a very old rifle. .450's are only offered in modern arms.

My slug velocity number came from Federal using a 1oz slug, it was their best number with the different varieties they offer in 1oz.

stevekozak
November 13, 2011, 08:25 PM
California is argumentative today. Probably woke up grouchy from all those grizzlys he had to deal with yesterday. Thank God he had all he SD that he needed to deal with them!!! :)

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 08:28 PM
California is argumentative today. Probably woke up grouchy from all those grizzlys he had to deal with yesterday. Thank God he had all he SD that he needed to deal with them!!! :)

:neener: Perhaps!

I'm all for opinion and ideas. I get a little grumpy when things are posted that are simply false!

It was originally the mention that a 12g has a great SD that got me going.

If I'm grouchy, someone else needs to hit the books again.

rcmodel
November 13, 2011, 08:29 PM
45-70 factory Marlin safe bear loads:

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=35

405 gr. J.F.N. = 2,000fps/M.E. 3,597 ft.lbs.
430 gr. L.B.T.-L.F.N. = 1,925fps/M.E. 3,537 ft.lbs.
350 gr. J.F.N. = 2,100fps/M.E. 3,427 ft.lbs.
500 gr. FMJ-FN = 1,625fps/M.E. 2,931 ft.lbs.

rc

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 08:30 PM
Thank you RC. Had I been a little smarter I would have used factory numbers, which can't really be disputed, vs. the lazy grab for a load book.

stevekozak
November 13, 2011, 08:31 PM
:neener: Perhaps!

I'm all for opinion and ideas. I get a little grumpy when things are posted that are simply false!

It was originally the mention that a 12g has a great SD that got me going.

If I'm grouchy, someone else needs to hit the books again.
:) just trying to inject some levity into the discussion. Everyone was getting worked up. Personally, if confronted with an enraged Kodiak, I will most likely just pee myself and die dishonorably!! :)

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 08:33 PM
I understand, which is why I didn't get offended.

Re. your comment on grizzly bears in CA, you might have a look several posts up where I describe my rented houseboat being boarded by a black bear. It's post #24.

Maverick223
November 13, 2011, 08:48 PM
I would choose a 12Ga. loaded with Brenneke magnum slugs (the shotshell that I would trust to get the job done right the first time). Save the space and weight dedicated to the pistol for more important items like extra cartridges (a couple flares, a few birdshot, and perhaps even a couple buckshot), a fire starting utensil (magnesium fire steel would be my choice, but a simple Bic would work almost as well), and a bit of tender. You might even have room for a few MREs.

Most 12g slugs have a SD of .150 or less, which is extremely poor. Several posts up, I mentioned this as to why I'd rather have a large bore, high-powered rifle.

Edited to add:

Which one do you think will penetrate better:

12 gauge -- (.729 diameter) 1oz (437 grain) slug at 1500fps, .150 SD
45-70 -- .456 diameter 405 grains at 1800fps, .276 SD (lever gun load)
45-70 -- .456 diameter 500 grains at 1880fps, .341 SD (Ruger #1 load)You are comparing a .45-70Govt. with a 12Ga. load that is completely unsuitable for large bear. The Brenneke "Black Magic" Magnum affords a 1-3/8oz. (600gr.) slug moving 1500fps for 3k ft/lbs of muzzle energy and a still rather weak .161 value for sectional density. Nevertheless, the 12Ga. has the ability to get the job done, because what it lacks in SD is more than made up for with proper bullet construction (consider it pre-expanded) and momentum. The .45-70Govt. will work well too, but isn't nearly as versatile of a cartridge for survival.

:)

rcmodel
November 13, 2011, 08:53 PM
Almost as well?
A simple BIC or better yet, a couple, will work a lot better then a magnesium sparker, especially if it happens to be raining sheets or blowing wet snow on your tender.

Which I understand happens a lot in Alaska.

rc

David E
November 13, 2011, 09:02 PM
The problem I have with 12 gauge shotguns (always suggested first as a survival/defense gun) is the ammo.

It's:

A) Heavy. 25 rds weighs 2.5 lbs

B) Bulky. For storage, fine. For carry, not so much.

C) Fragile. Get dunked or caught in a heavy storm, there's a greater risk of duds.

D) Short range. Most shotguns touted as a "do-all" gun have bead sights. Useable long range slug accuracy is 100 yds or so, which actually should be enough for the purposes discussed here, but found wanting in other scenarios.

E) Inefficient. You can bag a bird or rabbit with it, but the ammo/game ratio isn't very high.

The bulk and weight may not be as big of an issue if you have a cabin, etc, to store it. But as soon as space becomes limited or you go on foot, it becomes a major issue if you're relying on it for true survival purposes. And if you are stuck carrying it, how will you divvy up the ammo selection?

A shotgun is a very handy, versatile tool, but it's not always the right answer.

Maverick223
November 13, 2011, 09:07 PM
Almost as well?Sure it's easier to operate, but the firesteel has much better reliability and longevity. I have seen a few Bics fail or break, that would be a difficult accomplishment with a hunk-o-magnesium bonded to an alloy striker. BTW, need to add an emergency blanket (which can be used for a makeshift shelter and help to keep your tender dry while you start a fire), as it is lightweight small and versatile (cheap too).

:)

d2wing
November 13, 2011, 09:07 PM
Am I in the wrong place? Isn't this where cranky gun nuts vent? Some times I get worked up over stuff and post when I should just back off. I think of it as sitting around a campfire and discussing guns with friends. Sometimes those discussions get a little out of hand and we just have to call it when someone gets out too far. But you do find out good stuff and interesting situations.

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 09:08 PM
The problem I have with 12 gauge shotguns (always suggested first as a survival/defense gun) is the ammo.

It's:

A) Heavy. 25 rds weighs 2.5 lbs

I think you raise some really good points.

I actually think the ability to "trap" game would be extremely valuable in territory where game is scarce -- more valuable than any firearm when it comes to offense. It was mentioned somewhere that game is extremely sparse during certain periods in AK. I think trapping would be more effective during sparse winters than dynamically hunting.

If you think about it, most or all of all the survival stories we may be familiar with, most of them involve scrounging for food in ways other than hunting with a firearm. The Donner Party had plenty of guns but no game to hunt. (let's not get way off topic here)

kfgk14
November 13, 2011, 09:14 PM
Upon further consideration, it may be more weight-efficient to select a Ruger 10-22 with a lightweight, folding stock for small game and a large-caliber revolver in .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .357 Magnum, or .44 Magnum for bear defense. I do consider bear defense part of Alaskan survival. If you don't , just bring a Ruger 10/22 and lubricate it with Machine Gunner's lube from LaRue Tactical.

Of course, learning to run trot lines and set wire snares is the most calorie-efficient mode of survival.

If you're surviving from a vehicle, keep the requisite emergency gear (HEAVY sleeping bag for living out of the vehicle, light sleeping bag in your vehicle's Escape Bag/Bug Out Bag/Get Home Bag), MRE's/mountain house meals, an alcohol stove, an axe and saw, lots of warm clothing, and you also have the option of keeping multiple firearms in the plane/boat/truck/snowmobile (say, .45-70, .22 LR, 12 gauge shotgun, and I'd throw in a 9mm or .45 ACP defensive handgun for two-legged threats, wolves, mountain lions, etc.).

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 10:21 PM
I do hear your point. However, ricochet is not an issue with defense, and I'm not sure I buy that theory anyway.

The point (tip) of the bullet has mainly to do with how well it flies. A "blunt" nosed bullet may offer more exterior tissue wounding, but when it comes to whether it penetrates, it's all moot because the tip deforms upon impact.

It's not the shape of the tip that causes penetration, it's the mass behind the caliber size.

Maverick223
November 13, 2011, 10:29 PM
CJ_74, at the risk of coming off as condescending (a trait I detest), I want to clear up a few details...cylindrical projectiles actually have a favorable SD, though their BC suffers (not pertinent for the use described). Also the larger the caliber the greater the ease (for lack of a better term) of making bullets with a high SD, as their section increases at a slower rate than the mass gained as the caliber is increased. That said, you are absolutely correct in that a projectile with a wide meplat also serves to decrease deflection, which can be a valuable attribute on large species. A wide meplat also will create more cavitation, crushing more tissue and widening the area of trauma, thus affording better terminal ballistics (another reason that semi wadcutters/wide meplats are starting to become more popular with solids designed for DG).

:)

ArtP
November 13, 2011, 10:35 PM
CJ_74, at the risk of coming off as condescending (a trait I detest), I want to clear up a few details...cylindrical projectiles actually have a favorable SD, though their BC suffers (not pertinent for the use described). Also the larger the caliber the greater the ease (for lack of a better term) of making bullets with a high SD, as their section increases at a slower rate than the mass gained as the caliber is increased. That said, you are absolutely correct in that a projectile with a wide meplat also serves to decrease deflection, which can be a valuable attribute on large species.

:)

i think you're mostly right. But that can't explain why a 12g has the worst SD of the bunch, yet has the largest caliber size - .730.

Well, I think you're right about the larger the rifle caliber the more SD you get. But a 12g is not a rifle.

To anyone who has read all or most of the posts in this thread... At first glance, a 12g slug does appear to offer the most brute force, and I won't argue that too much. But if all of the factors that equate to killing power are examined, the 12g --to me -- is not the best.

Give me a large bore rifle cartridge.

Maverick223
November 13, 2011, 10:46 PM
The point (tip) of the bullet has mainly to do with how well it flies. A "blunt" nosed bullet may offer more exterior tissue wounding, but when it comes to whether it penetrates, it's all moot because the tip deforms upon impact.Not necessarily. If the tip deforms too much you'll shed mass and loose penetrating capability (loss of momentum). If it doesn't, then it isn't as efficient at cavitating soft tissue (it operates differently with solid materials like concrete and steel). A wide meplat, or alternatively a RN, in a well constructed solid or controlled expansion projectile (A-frame or Partition) is going to perform much better.

i think you're mostly right. But that can't explain why a 12g has the worst SD of the bunch, yet has the largest caliber size - .730. [...] Well, I think you're right about the larger the rifle caliber the more SD you get. But a 12g is not a rifle.It's way too short/light-for-caliber to have a favorable SD, which is another factor (as is density of the materials used for bullet construction). It matters not whether it is a rifle bullet, a shotgun slug, or a cannon shell.

the 12g --to me -- is not the best.It's absolutely not, something like a .375H&H, .416Rigby, .458WM, et al, afford much better performance on large predators, but the versatility to use it for survival and defense (it positively WILL get the job done if properly loaded and used) makes it a better choice than most other options. Additionally, the aforementioned are generally chambered for relatively slow-firing, heavy, large rifles, thus making the choice even more impractical.

:)

Cluster Bomb
November 13, 2011, 11:12 PM
go out with a .22lr pistol and rifle. You will be fine.......

caribou
November 14, 2011, 12:33 AM
I think "Bear defence" is getting mixed up with "survival" here.

about 1/2 of folks in plane crashes are broken or already dead. The other 1/2 are either picked up, go missing or walk to safety.

Bears hunt from up high, and stalk in brush till they can rush something in a sprint. Most deadly Bear attacks from behind or from a Sow with Cubs. All are up close and personal....you cannot call a 100yard shot on a Bear "Self Defence", and unless your actually looking for a Bear, you will encounter them at close range in trees, willows along river banks and in cover, they do not like to stay out in the open.A 12 gauge slug or Buck will Kill 'em dead, no problemo.
Ptarmigan, rabbits are in willows as well, and a shotgun will get them everytime, usually about 20 -30 yards. A .22lr or any other rifle will easily be deflected (i know this as I hunt small game quite alot) and getting to within 50 yards of a Moose or Caribou is not that difficult, and a 75 yard shot against a Moose broadside with a slug is pretty easy.
As well, flying Birds , swimming muskrats, Beaver and such are much more easily shot with a shotgun.
A 12 gauge single shot can be broken down and stowed, is cheap and shoots a wide variety of loads. My Mossberg Maveric weighs less than My M-39 MosinNagant.

If your among the broken, awaiting help, setting snares for small game might be productive and so would fishing.

If you do die, theres a huge chance that it will be Ravens that clean clean your bones, they miss NOTHING.

sayak
November 14, 2011, 12:38 AM
I think "Bear defence" is getting mixed up with "survival" here.


Exactly. The conversation has devolved into a lot of grandstanding and bravado over what will kill a bear best. The OP's original question was in regards to survival, not bear defense.

Cosmoline
November 14, 2011, 01:09 AM
No modern spitzer bullet from a smokeless rifle is going to hit square then deflect and "glance off" bone because of the tip. Those bullets turn steel to liquid on impact, so bone is no barrier. That story arises because brown bear in particular have a hump of muscles on top of their actual skull. Someone will shoot at it thinking its' the brain and the bullet just shoots through muscle and possibly nicking the top of the skull. Even a .223 will zip right into the brain if you truly hit the skull. And if you are just shooting muscle even a .50 BMG won't be much help.

The 12 ga is limited due to ammo weight, but the gun itself can be made more compact with a steel frame folding stock. I had a Mossberg rigged up that way for years as my main fishing gun. Worked great and proved to be indestructible. For a survival gun you wouldn't be toting more than a few rounds anyway. I would expect a mag full plus some spares, that's it. It's very unlikely you'll need it. A good quality first aid kit with plenty of equipment for stopping large bleeding wounds is much more important. Ordinary first aid kits are a total joke in that respect. Having seen some of the wounds in very close up graphic detail, I pack a lot of 4x4's and even some tourniquets. Also pick my feet UP and tuck my head DOWN if we have a rough landing. Those seats are like guillotines when it's crunch time.

ArtP
November 14, 2011, 01:12 AM
No modern spitzer bullet from a smokeless rifle is going to hit square then deflect and "glance off" bone because of the tip.

The first "+1" I have ever posted. +1

Don't get the wrong idea here, but I have shot 3/8th's inch hardened steel with an 100 grain 243 to have that bullet "appear" to burn right through that steel. Further, that was done at an angle. The back side of the steel appeared to be melted, I'd think instead it was pulled back.

Cryogaijin
November 14, 2011, 03:45 AM
http://www.wildwestguns.com/images/bigcopilotred1.jpg ?

Float Pilot
November 14, 2011, 12:43 PM
I think "Bear defence" is getting mixed up with "survival" here.

It sure is...

If you have;
1. heat. (fire source)
2.Shelter. (some darn thing)
3. Water.

You can live for three days

First aid items are a big hit when stuck in the boonies. Everyone is pretty macho about their boo-boos for the first 10 minutes after a crash or accident. But little cuts, splinters, burns, eye problems can turn the biggest he-man into an un-welcomed camp partner in a very short period of time.

Below are some photos from my float-plane training manual.

The spruce and grass shelter I made using only a big Leatherman tool and some fishing line.

The sleeping bag is made in the field by using my aircraft engine cover and one wing cover. Both carried in the plane during the winter.

Shadow 7D
November 14, 2011, 01:08 PM
Current temp in town is 5*F
it's getting below 0

Fairbanks, been outside playing in -65
people like Caribou are on the move, and WORKING in this weather, me I was out against my will, but with proper gear I was comfortable.

NOW, take you average commuter, all you lower 48 folks who want to debate sectional density. What did you wear to the airport last time you flew, now you are on the ground with a broken arm, large gashes and a decent blood loss, the Aircraft has either SUNK (and you are soaking wet with ice beginning to form) or on fire, with you decently singed (and this means you have NO fule, so there goes easy heating)

NOW WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO
debate whether a 45-70 is better at front on shots at a bruin or weather a shotgun is better over all?

ME I'm trying to get to the ELP beacon or radio, cause more than 2 days and I'm toast, no actually well preserved for the ME to defrost.

YEAH, you're stuck in a stupid argument.

ArtP
November 14, 2011, 01:24 PM
I'd like to think the discussion is still polite. I'd like not to continue to beat a dead horse, but I will say I haven't been convinced that a shotgun slug is the ultimate and best defense. I'll still have the rifle. But as has been pointed out, it's not that big of a difference and the other factors relating to survival are more important than splitting hairs about which projectile is best.

David E
November 14, 2011, 02:00 PM
For Alaska survival, what would be wrong with an accurate .22 pistol and a .308 or .300 Win mag?

The .22 can bag the small game, the rifle can bag larger game at distance.

500 rds of .22 isn't unreasonably heavy or bulky, and 40-60 rds of rifle ammo aren't, either. You could probably cut those amounts in 1/2 and still be fine for a few weeks.

Obviously other survival items are needed, but the thread asked specifically about firearms.

lloveless
November 14, 2011, 03:22 PM
Too many people hung up on SD. I'll take what the NPS issues and what the Eskimo use. If you go down in winter, God help you, cause a gun probably won't. You'll die inside of 30 minutes from hypothermia especially if you are wet.
ll

KodiakBeer
November 14, 2011, 04:16 PM
Alaska is a big place. In January it might be +45 degrees in SE and -60 in the interior on the same day. In summer it's just the opposite, it's not unthinkable that you could die of sunstroke hiking at +90 in the interior, and get hypothermic in a 50 degree rain in SE or Western Alaska.

It's the same with game animals you might harvest. Most of the islands in the Aleutians and western Alaska have nothing larger than a fox on them, while in the interior you might spend weeks not seeing a caribou then see 10,000 on one day. Bears? SW Alaska has one per square mile, while parts of the interior might have one per 100 square miles.

Alaska is a region of the world more than just a state. With that in mind and with the idea that rescue might be a matter of weeks rather than hours or days, your priorities are basic: shelter, water and food.

Manny
November 14, 2011, 06:43 PM
The famed Alaska Rangers of WWII, sometimes called "Castner's Cutthroats" carried .22 target pistols and mostly .30-06 rifles from my understanding and lived off the land for the most part. Of course they were all experianced outdoorsman, I'm sure that helped a lot. Regardless, it seems a place to start.

sayak
November 14, 2011, 06:52 PM
The famed Alaska Rangers of WWII, sometimes called "Castner's Cutthroats" carried .22 target pistols and mostly .30-06 rifles from my understanding and lived off the land for the most part. Of course they were all experianced outdoorsman, I'm sure that helped a lot. Regardless, it seems a place to start.
Castner's Cutthroats and other Alaska Scouts had more to worry about from Japanese soldiers than bears, thus the service issued .30.06. Had they been able to carry a long gun of choice it might have been a Krag, or perhaps a lever action 30.30 or similar, which were the most commonly used rifles in pre-war Alaska. And yes, they did favor the Colt Woodsman .22 because many of them had carried it on the trap line to dispatch animals.

KodiakBeer
November 15, 2011, 04:10 AM
There are no bears in the Aleutians, so Castners cutthroats had only to worry about taking small game and fighting the Japanese. They were issued 1903 rifles because that was still the standard army rifle in 1942/3.

Float Pilot
November 15, 2011, 04:38 AM
Before he died back around 1972 or so, I had the chance to talk with George Bishop here in Homer, who was a member of the Cut-throats. 1st Alaskan Combat Intelligence Platoon (Provisional),

He said that their biggest challenge was trying not to drown during insertions or freezing to death once they got to where they were told to go.
In short, fighting the weather.

They were mostly tasked with surveillance, like a LRSU det. so they avoided contact with the enemy and let their radios do the fighting.

They also had the tendency to wear whatever they needed since Army Issue stuff as not so great. They were told to make an effort to look uniform if somebody official showed up or a camera man was standing around.
Bishop told me the they were not required to carry M-1 Garands unless they wanted one. He said he carried a Model 70 Winchester in 30-06.
He also said that seagulls are not very good eating.

caribou
November 15, 2011, 05:42 AM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g71/edwardhailstone/berg_scout.jpg

This is a picture of Reiny Berg, an Alaskan Scout of Castners, whom I worked for 'Berg -Whettleson co."in the early 90's mining Gold. He owned and ran the patents and claims in and around Candle AK. He had some interesting storys too.

He was sent ashore by raft from a submarine to Kiska I belive and called in weather and intelligence,so bombers and ships could effectivly operate against the Japanese. He was ina two man team, and the guy who took his picture did not survive the day.
He too took his Lymen 'Alaskan' topped M70 Winchester 30-06 with him, as they were as familiar with their own rifles and the war was young. He told me they set snares for everything, he was a trapper and wasnt up to making noise or a fire if they could avoid it. When the weather was at its worst, they were creeping as close as possible taking photos and counting stuff, when it was nice, they hid and rested, dryed out and called in reports, as the Japanese were activly searching for them and the others on the islands.
They lived off Navy rations, also tinned meat and stew, dry bread and birds from the cliffs and shore, and the occasonal fish.
His rifle and that picture hung in his house in Candle till he passed away in '98 and one of his decendants inherited them.

There alotta cables on an aircraft, theres a lotta snares.
Snares hunt while you do other things.

EnfieldEnthusiast
December 4, 2011, 01:37 PM
Wow,thanks for the information guys,as reading your posts was most helpful.A good reference point this thread,will be.

Float Pilot
December 4, 2011, 04:47 PM
Unfortunately it was easily sidetracked.
We here in Alaska tend to talk debate over our firearms the way that many Europeans argue about football. (real football) And then there are folks who have never been here, who have opinions as well.

I have been pondering a marketable small aircraft type survival firearm and a CNC machinist friend of mine has been helping me with some metal work.
I recently started a thread here about the 22LR to see if any new ideas popped up, but it simply turned into an interesting debate. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=628797

Basically, if you can find a over/under Model 24 Savage in 22, 22 mag or 22 Hornet over a 20 or 12 gauge. You will be just fine for just about anything.
CZ now makes a over under rifle shotgun combo-gun in 30-06 (or 308) over a 12 gauge. But they are rather expensive.

AK_Maine_iac
December 4, 2011, 08:42 PM
Rem 870 12ga pump or Mossberg 500 or a 45/70 Marlin lever action. for a revolver for survival my choice would be anything in 22LR or 22mag along with anyone of the said long guns.

AKMtnRunner
December 5, 2011, 03:16 AM
A 12 ga with high quality slugs for defense and shot for food will work fine. ArtP is right, but picky, that the high powered rifle is superior in stopping a large bear. But so is a .50 cal... What matters is that you'll have something of the right order of magnitude and that you are comfortable with it.

Stay away from handguns unless you go at least in the 454 range or larger. If you are recoil sensitive, get over it! I never understood the argument that you can get by with a moderate handgun for bear defense if you're sensitive to recoil. This is not grade school where teachers would be nice to the slow kids, this is reality and we must rise to the challenge. The only solution, if using a handgun, is to get used to the heavy recoil. Anything adequate for bear defense is going to push.

Option 1) Shotgun with slugs and shot
Option 2) .22 lr and high powered rifle
Option 3) .22 lr and 454 or larger handgun with lots of practice

You can sleep well with any option.

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