Firearms on the MFS (or any other long trip) - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 07-26-2010   #1
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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Firearms on the MFS (or any other long trip)

Is it necessary, or even a good idea, to bring a gun on an extended river trip?

I'm on a group launching this Saturday for my first MFS trip and it sounds like there is plenty of wild life along the river. I'm a big fan of sharing the hot springs with some deer or other critters, but want to be cautious about bears, woolly mammoths, big foot, etc.

My thought was to bring a .223 rifle just in case. It packs up pretty small and is fairly loud. It probably wouldn't stop a big animal in it's tracks but may scare them enough to leave us alone.

Does anyone else think about this crap?

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Old 07-26-2010   #2
 
kayakfreakus's Avatar
 
Steamboat, Colorado
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I am pretty sure we had a couple on our tip that ended two weeks ago, they never left the dry boxes on the rafts. Never any need for them as no bear issues or sightings on our float and the ranger said as of our put-in date on 7/7 there was no reported problems on any trips yet. My guess is with black bears you could get away with loud noise and bear spray, but that's just an opinion.

I guess the only trip I would says is firearm mandatory is when your in grizzly country.
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Old 07-26-2010   #3
 
Cheyenne, Wyoming
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A .223? What are you scared of, Coyotes? Thats a varmint round. Personally I would carry a 1911 .45. Easier to pack and carry. Also packs more knock down power. Would be easier to win the personal defense argument over a rifle also. Just my thoughts.
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Old 07-26-2010   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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I knew someone would say the .223 is too small. Unfortunately, the dual mounted .50 cal is a little too top heavy for the boat. Plus, those ammo cans are already allocated to the groover.

Joking aside, a gun is going in the dry box. It's the biggest gun in my limited arsenal so it will have to do.
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Old 07-26-2010   #5
 
Horserump, Colorado
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Nope bring lots of guns so everyone can have one or two consumpe mass quanties of ETOH and protect your food..... No a gun is not a good idea. I have been boating in Idaho on multiday trips for 20+ years and have never had any bear problems. Just be smart with your food. If you think you will stop a pissed off bear with a .223 or a .45 you're deaming. Just find someone who you can run faster than
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Old 07-26-2010   #6
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Guns are waste of weight and space on Idaho multi-day trips. Like yak1, I have been boating and guiding over there for 20+ years, never needed one. Saw tons of black bears and only one minor confrontation that was solved by having three people lock arms and run straight at the bear, problem over. Bear spray maybe, but you don't need any guns.
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Old 07-26-2010   #7
 
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Silt, Colorado
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A .45 has more "knock down power" than a rifle?????? dont know where you learned your ballistics my friend but a .45 is way down on the list of "stopping power". Having loaded ammunition commercially for 7 years and produced over 21 million rounds of ammunition I think I would take any (semi-auto) .223 over the 1911......

Lets see... a standard .45 230 gr. FMJ is going 800 fps (feet per second) and hits with about 400 lbs of force at the muzzle. A standard .223 .55 gr. FMJ is going 3300 fps and hits with about 1300 lbs of force at the muzzle. Lets not even talk about hollow point ammo, because you need at least 1000 fps for them to expand and the .45 cant make that velocity in a standard load. Lets talk magazine capacity, 7 rounds for the .45 vs. 30 rounds for the rifle, hmmmm thats a no-brainer. You are correct in thinking it packs more easier though. (tuff to go on a hike with a rifle slung on your back)

So Leery, why not take your rifle along. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.. Just my opinion, have a great float!!
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Old 07-26-2010   #8
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon View Post
A .45 has more "knock down power" than a rifle?????? dont know where you learned your ballistics my friend but a .45 is way down on the list of "stopping power". Having loaded ammunition commercially for 7 years and produced over 21 million rounds of ammunition I think I would take any (semi-auto) .223 over the 1911......

Lets see... a standard .45 230 gr. FMJ is going 800 fps (feet per second) and hits with about 400 lbs of force at the muzzle. A standard .223 .55 gr. FMJ is going 3300 fps and hits with about 1300 lbs of force at the muzzle. Lets not even talk about hollow point ammo, because you need at least 1000 fps for them to expand and the .45 cant make that velocity in a standard load. Lets talk magazine capacity, 7 rounds for the .45 vs. 30 rounds for the rifle, hmmmm thats a no-brainer. You are correct in thinking it packs more easier though. (tuff to go on a hike with a rifle slung on your back)

So Leery, why not take your rifle along. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.. Just my opinion, have a great float!!
Finally, someone who points out the truth about the lousy ballistics of the overly revered .45 auto. Good job. Why does everyone think it's some kind of magic 'hand-cannon'???? I have a Glock 10mm that I hand-load for that makes the .45 seem like a pop-gun. A short-barrel .44mag or .454Casull would be a much better use of space and weight, if you're really going to pack iron.
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Old 07-26-2010   #9
 
timbuktu, Colorado
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Originally Posted by yak1 View Post
Nope bring lots of guns so everyone can have one or two consumpe mass quanties of ETOH and protect your food..... No a gun is not a good idea. I have been boating in Idaho on multiday trips for 20+ years and have never had any bear problems. Just be smart with your food. If you think you will stop a pissed off bear with a .223 or a .45 you're deaming. Just find someone who you can run faster than
Yeah but you never know when Kevin Bacon and John C Reilly are going to show up and threaten to kill you and your family or force you to run a forbidden section of the river! Law enforcement will tell you they are not here to protect you, they are there to investigate after the fact. Buy a pistol. I've never had a bad experience on the river but about the time you start thinking nothing will ever happen is the time you will wish you had protected yourself.

I just read story about a lady that conceal carried for 15 years without incident. The very week she decided to take the pistol out of her purse because she felt like she was being paranoid, she and her father walked into their bank to apply for a loan. They were sitting at the loan officers desk when a bank robber walked in a shot the security guard, shot one of the tellers and a few moments later put a bullet in her fathers head as he tried to tackle the guy. Not the river, but I know of similar real life story's in the back country. It would be great if it were but truth is that's it's not always peaches and cream out there. Cheers!
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Old 07-26-2010   #10
 
most weekends up on the payettes, Idaho
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No you don't need a gun

Although just about everybody in idaho has one or two at any given time.

I never bring one unless I'm hunting. Some of my buddies always bring a handgun, but I have never seen them take it out of the dry box.

Also you'll probably need a hunting license if you are in the field and have an uncased rifle.

I'd leave it at home unless you are hunting.

Ps

223 is a fine round. Maybe not the first choice for black bear but I can shoot a 223 accurately, cant' hit a basketball at 30 feet with a 1911, but that's just me.

Also a 223 varient has been used to hunt much more dangerous game than a black bear---think M16 (5.56mm)
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