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Ultralight Rifle
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Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: An option.... on 10/11/2009 08:42:50 MDT Print View

"Due to the oppressive nature of Canadian government, as we have yet to break free totally of the archaic "monarchist" tradtions of the Commonwealt; it is VERY difficult to legally carry a handgun while backpacking here and the ruthless suppression of freedoms now underway here makes it very foolish to chance doing so without the permit."

Sooo ... do you mean that it's the Queen that won't let you have a handgun when backpacking? That's a little surprising as I understood Her Majesty was rather keen on guns ... and this thread on shooting grouse might be of real interest to her as I'll bet she's shot more grouse than anyone here.

But in relation to the OP, of course Her Majesty would never use a rifle to shoot grouse because it would need to be sitting, which is unsporting.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Ultralight rifle - freedom on 10/11/2009 09:25:25 MDT Print View

I'm well aware that there are huge differences between the USA and Canada, having spent much time in both countries.
I've walked and camped all over the place in Canada too. Ths situation isn't the same in the USA where I don't think trespass is considered a minor issue. The only time I've had someone with a gun ask me to leave an area was actually in England. On my long walks in Canada and the USA I've never had a gun pointed at me (except once by a hunter looking for his friends who gave me a bit of a fright by sticking a rifle through the door of my tent - he was perfectly friendly, just not thinking) and I've never worried about being shot. I would agree that some Brits think of the USA as a place where you are likely to be shot. I don't think any think that about Canada.

Canada doesn't actually have a law giving a right of access to private land and right to camp wild like Scotland, Norway and Sweden though.

One difference between Britain and the USA is that most Brits can't understand the American desire to have guns. Here it is public pressure that has resulted in strict gun laws. The outcry after shooting massacres in the 1980s and 1990s caused the governments of the day to enact strict legislation - some of it undoubtedly poor kneejerk legislation as it so often is when governments are responding to popular pressure. The point is though that it's the vast majority of people who want strict gun laws rather than governments imposing them on people.

I live in the Scottish Highlands where hunting is a popular sport and local farmers all have guns. There are two gun shops in my local town and I meet people with guns in the woods and on the hills quite often. I don't have a gun myself, though I could easily get a licence and did do rifle training many years. The last time I had a licence and carried a rifle was on a ski tour in Spitsbergen, where it was a legal requirement in case we were attacked by a polar bear (we never even saw one).

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 10/11/2009 10:26:19 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 06/16/2015 21:49:17 MDT.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
With respect on 10/11/2009 10:57:09 MDT Print View

>please move this to Chaff.

Oy. Ditto the above.

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
Moderator on 10/11/2009 11:11:16 MDT Print View

Boy, this forum is getting hot...seems like a lot of angry
folks on this list.
Yes, I'm moving....not to chaff, but OFF...looking for a
more tranquil neighborhood.

JMT Reinhold

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Ultralight Rifle on 10/11/2009 11:32:42 MDT Print View

If REI carried the rifle I might consider purchasing one. I would like to be able to try one out for a few years before I committed.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Ultralight Rifle on 10/11/2009 11:36:03 MDT Print View

"I've walked and camped all over the place in Canada too. Ths situation isn't the same in the USA where I don't think trespass is considered a minor issue. "

I'm afraid we're a long way off of the original topic, perhaps someone wants to start a different thread on camping situations worldwide?

Trespass is considered a major issue here in the states, but you are most likely to be assulted or threatened by landowners who are currently using their lands for illegal means (most often growing or making illicit drugs). To date I've been threatened with guns three times because I was following what I thought was a permitable land boundry (they are not always well marked in national forests) and a schoolmate of mine was shot in the face with a shotgun for attempting to retrieve his dog that had treed a racoon near some old lady's meth shack. He survived but was blinded in one eye and only significant surgery saved the other.

While many lawabiding land owners will allow permission if you ask (something I've had to do when a deer jumps a fence after being shot), trespass is not a wise idea.

Even our waterway rights are being limited by law. Previously any fully navigable stream was permitted by watercraft to cross private property, however some states are tightening the waterflow requirements to exclude smaller creeks and rivers. Something I'm sure will concern packrafters.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Ultralight Rifle on 10/11/2009 11:39:46 MDT Print View

"If REI carried the rifle I might consider purchasing one. I would like to be able to try one out for a few years before I committed."

Rifles are typically non-returnable. However, they hold value exceptionally well. If you tried it and didn't like it you can often sell it over retail on the used market since the buyer can avoid Federal Firearm License transfer fees (usually $25-$75) and avoid shipping (which must be done as overnight express on a trackable private carrier as per firearm laws). This of course only applies to the US - here the used gun market is a much larger enterprise than one imagines.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 10/11/2009 11:41:03 MDT.

Dewey Riesterer
(Kutenay) - F
Interesting on 10/11/2009 11:46:58 MDT Print View

I find the comments here informative and interesting; I am not attempting to slag the Brits here as I am VERY pro-Brit and I do not see them doing so to me or to the Yanks. A good open discussion of various aspects of outdoor lifestyles is really worthwhile, IMHO, and nobody seems angry to me, so, I hope the gentleman reconsiders his decision to leave.

Joe, things are sure getting ugly with the "grow-op" situation, the R.C.M.P. here working with D.E.A. people from the US, stationed here by treaty, have been doing great things cleaning this up...and I applaud this.

BTW, if any of you Brits plan to make it over here to B.C.. let me know and I will gladly help you with planning and advice on the best parts of B.C. to explore. I can also legally take you shooting at my gun club and you can hunt Grouse here with me as an So, you can get to merrily blast away with my handguns, among others and enjoy what is a very relaxing pastime.

That's all for me, I have said my piece and now have wood to cut and split for the fast-approaching winter.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Interesting on 10/11/2009 12:00:45 MDT Print View

This has been a rather interesting topic to follow, I had no idea some of the trespass laws in other parts of the world.
In the interest of keeping things in perspective you're unlikely to have a gun pointed at you in the US. Its really a steriotype that we're a bunch of gunslingers ready to drop someone who puts a toe across our property line. The problem is drugs/crime moving out into the country.
Overall the problem is blown out of proportion just like bear attacks, mountain lion attacks, snakes etc. I bummed all over other people's property in rural Arkansas without being shot.

Edited by Cameron on 10/11/2009 12:03:12 MDT.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Ultralight Rifle on 10/11/2009 12:12:14 MDT Print View

I've enjoyed a lot of the info on this thread. You can learn a lot about things on this forum that you never would if they were all moderated out, as I never have enough interest to wander onto the massive number of hunting or gun forums.

Joe, I was j/k about the REI return policy and rifles. Everyone, including grandmas and little girls, seems to have a few guns in my neck of the woods, it's just part of the culture.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Ultralight rifle - freedom on 10/11/2009 12:19:33 MDT Print View

I guess we all react differently. I hadn't noticed lots of angry folks, just a few people who express their views forcefully, which is fine with me. I agree with last two posters.

Dewey, thanks for the offer. I didn't think you were slagging off the Brits. I wouldn't say our government was above criticism anyway! & it has restricted some freedoms. However in the outdoor area it has increased freedoms. I like knowing I have a right of access to land and a right to wild camp. I'd be more concerned if I lived in a city, where the "surveillance society" has got completely out of hand.

And back on topic the rifle I carried in Spitsbergen was very heavy. I'd have loved a lighter weight one. But I doubt a 22 would be much use against a polar bear.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Interesting on 10/11/2009 13:01:26 MDT Print View

Dewey, I was referring to a gentleman from the states not a Canuck, in response to your statement about the states as opposed to Canada.

In retrospect, the guy I spoke to was probably exaggerating to cover his embarassment at getting his map reading mixed up, and I apologise if anything I said inflamed the debate here. This has been IMO one of the better gun threads on BPL.

I have hunted with small bore rifles and shotguns, legally, as well as with an air rifle, semi legally, OK, at times, illegally.

Britain is *very* uptight about guns and their ownership, overly so IMO, but then, I was properly trained to be careful and responsible around firearms like you were.

As for lightweight methods to get protein supplements on the trail, I have snared rabbit and hooded pheasant (illegally). It's my fight for a little more freedom than the bureaucrats and gamekeepers understand my need for.

It's an overcrowded island, and everyone thinks they have more rights than everyone else. That's probably why we don't carry guns here. ;-)

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
So...You backpack alot, what do you carry? on 10/11/2009 13:05:32 MDT Print View

I was visiting my Mother and Brother in Colorado's most southwesterly town, and was having lunch with them and my brother's friend. She (the friend) turned to me and said "So I hear you backpack a lot, what do you carry?"

Me: "I carry a LuxuryLight Pack."

Friend: "No, I mean what kind of gun."

Me: "I don't carry a gun."

Friend: "You're crazy not to go armed."

Me: "I guess I'm just not a victim."

That was the end of our conversation for the rest of the meal. (A delicious Elk Burger)

. Callahan

Locale: Stoke Newington, London, UK.
.22 Calibre - The Shock Factor! on 10/11/2009 13:17:37 MDT Print View

"But I doubt a 22 would be much use against a polar bear."

Sure it would!

As soon as the bear noticed that you've got a single shot .22 calibre rifle, in bear country, the utter shock and disbelief would cause it would fall to the ground, harmlessly incapacitated by the bear equivalent of hysterical laughter, during which the people can make their escape! (o:

Edited by AeroNautiCal on 10/11/2009 14:11:39 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Just to clarify on 10/11/2009 14:02:15 MDT Print View

This has been a fun thread, I hope you international posters don't go away your perspectives are most interesting. I wouldn't worry about stumbling on some pot growing, gun toting locals except in a few specific areas. If you're doing the normal camping thing in National Forests etc. you should be fine (I believe some areas in southern California are a problem).

Joe just to clarify, I wouldn't want to trivialize your friends aweful experience or you getting threatened. I just meant to add the perspective for or non-US friends that that sort of thing is not really the norm.

Chirs, I had no idea you were required to carry a gun for polar bears. If you do again, there are (relatively) light rifles that can drop a large bear. I don't know what your selection is like over there but I found a .375 magnum that only weighed 7 1/2 pounds (nine or so is more common).

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Polar bears on 10/11/2009 15:20:54 MDT Print View

Luke, thanks for the info. I rented the rifle in Longyearbyen on arrival. At the time it was a requirement for ski touring groups to carry one - this was in 1996, I don't know the current regulations. If I ever go again I will certainly want a lighter weight gun.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Polar Bears on 10/11/2009 17:02:15 MDT Print View

Chris, are polar bears really that bad up there? I'm surprised they actually required you to bring a gun.
A popular thing in Alaska is a short barreled 12 gauge shotgun firing slugs. That would proably be your lightest option. Another trick if you did go again would be go to a hunting supply website and order a nice thick should strap so you can carry the thing more comfortably.
Good hiking.

Bob Kiley
(Wuleebear) - F

Locale: Mtn's of Western North Carolina
MODERATOR on 10/11/2009 19:16:24 MDT Print View

Please move this to Chaff... Please

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Ultralight Rifle on 10/11/2009 19:17:17 MDT Print View

"Chris, are polar bears really that bad up there? I'm surprised they actually required you to bring a gun. "

I cannot say for 100%, but I believe that this is an outfitters requirement for safety rather than a law of any sort.

For grizzly bear or polar bear encounters, I'd suggest something along the lines of a 300 Winchester Super Magnum. There are lots of guns to choose from, personally the lightest in that caliber I've handled was a titanium version of a Model 700 Remington. Never shot it, just handled it in the store while window shopping for a new Elk rifle. Granted, that's overkill for all other species of animal, baring some african wild game.

With a 220 grain or larger 300WSM bullet it should be a quite capable weapon. That said, guns like that bite on both ends and if necessary to ever be used, the additional weight of standard models reduces recoil significantly. An exceptionally light gun of that caliber would produce in excess of 80 ft pounds of recoil or potentially much more - I'd have to fire up my ballistics program to know the specifics. The same gun in standard weight would essentially half the recoil to a still shoulder bruising level.

For someone new to shooting, a lightweight model in a large magnum could easily dislocate a shoulder or break a collar bone making you much less able to take a second shot if necessary. As such, I don't think that an untrained hiker has any buisiness learning to shoot with such a weapon until they have worked their way up with more moderate calibers. It's easy to develop a massive flinch while shooting punishing recoiling firearms, which could easily cause a miss.

For lightweight backpacking, sometimes it's just worthwhile to ensure that the rest of your gear is as light as possible to ensure that you can carry what you need to do the job. This compromise is very common when lightweight backpackers do photography work. The best photo gear is quite heavy (much heavier than a rifle), so you've gotta figure out what you can safely leave behind without sacrificing quality.

So, this thread has seen a lot of posts asking it to be moved. We currently have Fishing and Photography BPL forums. Would there actually be interest in a Hunting BPL forum?

Edited by slacklinejoe on 10/11/2009 19:26:55 MDT.