Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Alaska and firearms  (Read 630 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Max Wedge

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: The thumb in Reg 4
  • Posts: 5827
  • Engineering Pathologist
  • Motorcycles: '10 R1200GS
Alaska and firearms
« on: May 08, 2020, 06:19:40 PM »
So I am heading to Alaska in July to do some hiking/exploring. Is it better to bring a firearm I own now, or buy a gun and ship it back here via dealers when I return? Looking at a S&W Alaskan Backpacker in 44 mag or 500. I can contact a dealer there and purchase it myself when I get there and have it shipped via an FFL near me rather than fly back with it.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 08:34:19 PM by Max Wedge »
You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrists' office.
Where am I?

Online zer0netgain

  • Member
  • Location: Bristol, VA
  • Posts: 283
  • Motorcycles: 2018 BMW R1200RS
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2020, 04:13:06 AM »
Are you flying directly between Alaska and the lower 48 or passing through Canada?
visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Offline Vulcanbill

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: it's a secret, WV
  • Posts: 3629
  • no thank you ... still
  • Motorcycles: XT250, Ninja 500R
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2020, 08:15:07 AM »
And how many bears do you plan on shooting with that cannon?
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Offline Vulcanbill

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: it's a secret, WV
  • Posts: 3629
  • no thank you ... still
  • Motorcycles: XT250, Ninja 500R
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2020, 08:25:19 AM »
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Online Bounce

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: USA
  • Posts: 3820
    • FJR-Tips
  • Motorcycles: Yes
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2020, 09:46:59 AM »
Take something you are familiar with (don't buy-and-use on site). Understand it's idiosyncrasies. Find out the laws for there and where you live (as long as it's legal at each end then transporting within the US is protected). I normally don't like to fly but this would be a case where doing so could avoid shipping concerns (check with your airline for their requirements for checking firearms).

Offline Max Wedge

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: The thumb in Reg 4
  • Posts: 5827
  • Engineering Pathologist
  • Motorcycles: '10 R1200GS
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2020, 08:44:03 PM »
One stop in the US both ways. I was thinking using FFL dealers would be an easy way to ship and its insured and less likely to get 'lost' as happens with airlines. The idea is not to shoot any bears, or feed them.
You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrists' office.
Where am I?

Online bedlamite

  • Member
  • Location: WI
  • Posts: 1082
  • Hold my beer and watch this!
  • Motorcycles: 03 SV1000s, 08 ZG1400
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2020, 08:48:01 PM »
While a hand cannon may seem like a good idea, statistically bear spray works much better on grizzlys. If you really want a gun, I'd use an AR15 in 458 SOCOM with the biggest magazine you can get working
A plan is just a list of things that doesn't happen.

Offline BMW-K

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: SoCAL! Represent!
  • Posts: 1117
  • The Original ER6i Pimp
  • Motorcycles: F800GS, 765 RS, WR250R
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2020, 12:33:49 AM »
Max, I’ve been to Alaska four times - On motorcycles once (Prudhoe Bay) and three times for hunting (Sitka Blacktail Deer, Goat and Grizzly/Black Bear).

I’m also good friends with a Master Hunter out there if you are interested in chatting...

Before I go further, what are you planning to do?  Fishing?  Hiking?  Exploring?  Stated differently, what are you going to do that might put you in harms way?

My experience hunting (aka, TRYING to put myself in Harms Way) was dozens of miles hiked, hundreds of hundreds of miles glassed, and ONE Black Bear at 400 yards heading away, fast.  For that matter, I’ve never carried a handgun for bear protection...

6,300 miles of motorcycling netted three grizzlies on the side of the road eating berries...another 10,000 combined miles in Kanada netted...ZERO more bears.  /sigh...

I’ve also spent close to 100 days in the Sierras and my closest encounter was at 10 yards with a Blackie - my dad and I were sleeping under the stars when I was about 12...that night when the bear decided to walk through camp.  Dad rolled over and said , “hey Bear.  Get the hell out of here.”  Bear shook his head and wandered off...

Am I painting a picture here? 

Here’s what I know about bears and in particular Brownies and Grizzlies:  their hearts beat less than 30 times per minute.  Shoot one in the chest and that bear still has 2+ minutes of O2 stored in those veins and muscles.  The ONLY thing that will stop a bear is a CNS hit.  Hit the Brain or the Spine, nothing else matters...except to delay the inevitable (that is, if the bear chooses you instead of running).  A mature Grizzly is pushing 800+ pounds...a top Brown Bear is 1200+ and 13 FEET long.

If you choose a gun, pick one you own, shoot regularly and are absolutely comfortable with.  You will have at most 2, maybe 2.8 seconds to react to a charging bear from 50 yards out.  Odds are, distances will be much closer to 15 yards.  If you’re not ready...yeah, well, right.  First aid kit and lots of Bactine are your friends...

A 9mm will penetrate a Brown Bear skull.  Phil Shoemaker (Master PH in Alaska, a Legend, and just plain great guy - you can google his story) met one at 20 feet with a client fly fishing.  Phil’s sidearm on that trip was his 9mm.  That got me thinking...a 147 gr. +P+ load is a real thing. 

There was a time I thought I needed a .44 Mag for bear defense.  I bought a stainless S&W 69 - 5 shot 44 Mag.  Size and weight was ideal for a carry gun...and the recoil is beyond my ability.  It’s brutal.  I can’t shoot it and that doesn’t settle well with me.  I need to figure out a useful handload - even 240 grain factory stuff is beyond my pain threshold.

My choice today is a Ruger SP101 3” stoked with 180 grain hard cast bullets over 2400.  Oddly, that’s controllable.   So is my 1911 Colt Stainless.  Conceptually I like the SP101 in a chest holster but I have to admit I never went that far. 

A can of bear spray in a chest holster is an option to consider.  I don’t know if I agree that bear spray is more effective than a firearm - I’ve seen reports and studies and report language seems off to me.  As if true Scientific Method got dropped in favor or other politics. 

In Alaska, the weather is an issue and so is rust.  If you choose to bring a firearm, stainless is your friend. 

Sorry if I’m rambling.  I guess I’m saying this:

1. Be AWARE.
2. Bear Spray is a good option.
3. I’m not sure if you even can, as an out of state person, buy a guy legally in a non-resident state.

Above all else, BE AWARE.  That’s simply the best option. 
 






IBA #:  20880
Damn.  Was that really a good idea?

Offline BMW-K

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: SoCAL! Represent!
  • Posts: 1117
  • The Original ER6i Pimp
  • Motorcycles: F800GS, 765 RS, WR250R
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2020, 12:50:24 AM »
While a hand cannon may seem like a good idea, statistically bear spray works much better on grizzlys. If you really want a gun, I'd use an AR15 in 458 SOCOM with the biggest magazine you can get working

How about a 35 Whelen M1 Garand?  :)

 :firedevil:
IBA #:  20880
Damn.  Was that really a good idea?

Offline BMW-K

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: SoCAL! Represent!
  • Posts: 1117
  • The Original ER6i Pimp
  • Motorcycles: F800GS, 765 RS, WR250R
IBA #:  20880
Damn.  Was that really a good idea?

Online Leanintree

  • Member
  • Location: Loveland CO
  • Posts: 719
  • Yay Motorcycles!
  • Motorcycles: yes
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2020, 06:00:12 AM »
Don't be afraid to check a handgun with an airline either. I've never moved them, but I researched it a while back and it seems like the most reliable way to make sure your bag gets there is to put a firearm in it. Any case containing is accounted for at each move, signed for at handoff and treated with kid gloves. The airlines REALLY dont want your firearm to go missing in the process of moving your bag, based on fears of hijacking as well as concerns of liability (since any declared firearm is signed for at every change of hands).
LT
Great googly-moogly!

Offline Max Wedge

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: The thumb in Reg 4
  • Posts: 5827
  • Engineering Pathologist
  • Motorcycles: '10 R1200GS
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2020, 06:48:01 AM »
Thank you all for the replies. I will be hiking into some back country with a friend I am going to visit there. I will at a minimum get mace, and I will be aware, but i prefer to me be more prepared than less. Hoping I won't need a firearm, and to be honest, the trip is kind of a reason to buy a new gun as a souvenir of the experience. Carrying concealed is no big deal there, no permits are required. Purchasing is pretty easy too, if you are a resident. Non-resident purchases are harder to get info on.

I am a bit leery of taking it on an airline, I have heard horror stories about them getting lost, but all of that is anecdotal. Seems like LT has a good point. I was thinking shipping through a FFL dealer would be easier. Maybe not.
You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrists' office.
Where am I?

Online Black Hills

  • Member
  • Location: Rapid CIty, SD
  • Posts: 3539
  • Motorcycles: KTM 1290 Adventure R, KTM300xcw, 1290 SuperDuke
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2020, 07:53:10 AM »
get some bear spray and make noise when hiking. these two things should keep you from needing to use a handgun. Inmost attacks there is little or no time to react so letting them know you are in the area is the most important thing. and have fun, sounds like a great time!
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Offline mr.awesome

  • Member
  • Location: Metamora, MI
  • Posts: 1549
  • Motorcycles: 04 Triumph Sprint ST, 03 Kawazuki KLX400SR-SM, 99 Yamaha TW200
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2020, 08:47:45 AM »
Carrying concealed is no big deal there, no permits are required.

If I'm walking through bear country, I'm open carrying, not concealed. No sense wasting what limited time you have getting it out from under your shirt or jacket. Have it out where you can get to it now.

Offline CLAY

  • Super Moderator
  • Member
  • Location: Grand Rapids, MI
  • Posts: 6913
  • Help me Mr. Wizard!!!
  • Motorcycles: '03 Bandit 1200S, '97 XR650L, '79 XS650 Tracker, '75 XS650 Standard
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2020, 10:58:39 AM »
I have a G40- 10mm.  I know a lot of guys like those, but the semi-auto can be an issue for some in a close-encounter situation.  On the other hand you have like 15 tries...   :bigsmile:

I can tell you it drops deer very well.
"Most accidents happen when the meek meet the douchebags."  -Viffergyrl
"The wider the road, the worse the food." -Coho
Let's do some science.

Online Bounce

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: USA
  • Posts: 3820
    • FJR-Tips
  • Motorcycles: Yes
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2020, 11:02:49 AM »
One stop in the US both ways. I was thinking using FFL dealers would be an easy way to ship and its insured and less likely to get 'lost' as happens with airlines. The idea is not to shoot any bears, or feed them.

Firearms are hand-carried to and from the plane. The real issue with shipping is a blown hunting trip if the worst happens.

get some bear spray and make noise when hiking. these two things should keep you from needing to use a handgun. Inmost attacks there is little or no time to react so letting them know you are in the area is the most important thing. and have fun, sounds like a great time!

Online Bounce

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: USA
  • Posts: 3820
    • FJR-Tips
  • Motorcycles: Yes
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2020, 11:05:41 AM »
delete - dupe

Online Black Hills

  • Member
  • Location: Rapid CIty, SD
  • Posts: 3539
  • Motorcycles: KTM 1290 Adventure R, KTM300xcw, 1290 SuperDuke
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2020, 11:07:08 AM »
 :thumbsup:
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Offline Max Wedge

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: The thumb in Reg 4
  • Posts: 5827
  • Engineering Pathologist
  • Motorcycles: '10 R1200GS
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2020, 12:47:32 PM »
I have a G40- 10mm.  I know a lot of guys like those, but the semi-auto can be an issue for some in a close-encounter situation.  On the other hand you have like 15 tries...   :bigsmile:

I can tell you it drops deer very well.

Yes the 10mm was on the top ten list, and few friend recommended it as well. My friend in Anchorage has one for bear. I've carried/shot semi autos for a long time, so i would not feel uncomfortable with a 10.

I would not carry it concealed-wasted time and chances for error are the exact reasons why.
You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrists' office.
Where am I?

Offline ChrisFZ1

  • Member
  • Location: Tyrone, PA
  • Posts: 361
  • This space for sale.
  • Motorcycles: '19 Tracer 900
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2020, 05:33:40 PM »
12 gauge pump action with a big heavy slug.  Er, as many slugs as the gun will hold.

Offline ChrisFZ1

  • Member
  • Location: Tyrone, PA
  • Posts: 361
  • This space for sale.
  • Motorcycles: '19 Tracer 900
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2020, 05:36:54 PM »
I've read where Alaskan guides advise the tenderfoots to file down the front sight on a handgun.  The reason being so that it doesn't hurt so much when the bear shoves it up your ass.

Offline ChrisFZ1

  • Member
  • Location: Tyrone, PA
  • Posts: 361
  • This space for sale.
  • Motorcycles: '19 Tracer 900
Re: Alaska and firearms
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2020, 06:00:59 PM »
Yes. Noise, bear spray, and 12 gauge with slugs.