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greenn17h 03-08-2009 04:36 AM

survival kit in small aircraft
Hello all, please bear with me as I'm somewhat of a novice when it Comes to guns. I'm a pilot, and may be required to fly a small airplane to and from Alaska in a couple of months (this might become a regular trip, although I'm not too sure). There are plenty of lists online of things required (by alaskan / canadian law) and recommended to be onboard in case of an emergency situation. Most of these include a gun of some kind. A few people I've talked to said a 12 Ga shotgun is probably my best bet, as there is a variety of shot I could use (birdshot for small game, buckshot / slugs for defense). Does this make sense? What exactly should I get? From my limited research, it seem like a remmington 870 is a decent choice, as they're abundant, reliable, and inexpensive. I see there are probably 20 different versions listed on the website, what are the differences between all of these?

Should I look into a rifle (if so, which one?) instead? A handgun is out of the question (I believe) because I'll obviously have to go through Canada to get there.

Would all of you say a gun is necessary, period? As I said before, I'm a novice. I've shot several different thing, mostly handguns, but really don't know much about it. I'd plan on practicing with anything I bought, but maybe it's one of those things that if you're not pretty skilled it's more trouble than it's worth?

Any other (constructive) advice I gan get is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

hunter Joe 03-08-2009 06:35 PM

In my opinion, a 12 ga. with 00 buckshot should slow down anything you might encounter and you also have the option of using rifled slugs. Chamber the buckshot and throw the slug in behind it in case you need or get a second shot.

Most importantly, stay alert in survival situations.

The Godfather 03-08-2009 10:21 PM

id say a 12ga. 870s are reliable and pretty cheap. id stock up on some buckshot for bigger animals and rifled slugs like hunter joe said just in case you need to use a second shot.

for smaller game id get a .22LR rifle for hunting dinner...

orangello 03-08-2009 11:24 PM

Well, if you are out of practice, the big dispersal pattern of the shotgun might save some missed shots. IIRC, they sell some special "cracker" shells designed to scare bears away, but i think they would run from some buckshot too. Something about a pump gun is very comforting. Also, if you get one with a plastic stock that is hollow, you can put some first aid stuff in there & a bandolier of shells might not be a bad idea.

Question for the smarter peeps, could you fire a 12 guage flare from a regular pump 12 guage? I've wanted to try before, but didn't.

biff44 03-08-2009 11:33 PM

I would get one of those over/under shotgun/rifle combos. That way, anything that walks by can become supper. I would have a small tent, a thick sleeping bag with waterproof (not down) insulation. Some really good rain gear. About 5 different methods of starting a fire. A good small axe, a couple of knifes. Compass, maps, flashlight, high energy bars of some sort, water canteen. Some sort of splints/ace banadages, in case you have a broken leg after the landing. Signal mirror, flare/smoke. Anti biotics, pain pills, etc. Fishing gear. Probably would bring a handheld VHF radio and spare batteries to talk to search crews, and of course be filing a flight plan. I would also invest in one of these: SPOT SATELLITE MESSENGER :: HOME PAGE

Also, survival book and field medicine book. Good backpack. Good insulated boots. Snowshoes/poles if there is any snow around.

A plane carrying 4 execs from a company my brother worked at went down up there around 30 years ago--not a trace was ever found.

I would also probably become a student of magnetic declination oddities in the area I was flying over.

Some natives have little fold up metal stoves to heat their tents with when it is 30 below. Might find me one of those too.

c3shooter 03-09-2009 01:05 AM

For stowage on the aircraft, take at look at Mossberg JIC shotguns: O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. - Firearms, Shotguns, Rifles, Accessories, and Precision Machining. However, the pistol grip and no stock (1) makes them MUCH harder to shoot, and (2) MAY give you problems with Canadian LEO when not in a survival mode.

Would definitely go for a 12 g pump shotgun- have spent time in Alaska, and the critters are big and not tame. You might also look up wolverine. :D

Yes, you can shoot birdshot, buckshot, slugs, flares, etc, etc, etc. And a scattergun should be only PART of a good survival kit.

Re: comment on magnetic declination- when I was there in late 60s, a magnetic compass reading would be off by 28 degrees in our area- more in others- and much of the interior was in process of being mapped.

janikphoto 03-09-2009 04:29 AM

I think there are a few people on this board from Alaska. They would be able to give some great pointers. Maybe if you also post a question in the "survival" section of this forum? They can discuss general needs/wants in that sort of situation.

But, regarding the shotgun issue. An 870 is a fine choice. It will shoot a variety of shells, giving you more options. There have been some models of shotgun made that can break down, making it half as long (easier to store and carry).

The Godfather 03-10-2009 12:27 AM


Originally Posted by biff44 (Post 79811)
A plane carrying 4 execs from a company my brother worked at went down up there around 30 years ago--not a trace was ever found.


espeically before a flight...


Spanz 03-10-2009 02:20 AM

There is just a lot that can go wrong. Equipment failure in a single engine. Bad fuel. Flying into IFR and then a mountain. Crashing into a lake. Having some problem in your nav gear and getting lost (all lakes look the same out there, no distinctive landmarks). Woods just gobbling up the plane crash.

The only things you can do are being prepared to survive, knowing your plane, and really knowing how to do an engine out landing. Most pilots really suck at engine outs! Get a stunt pilot to give you 15 hours of training someday.

matt g 03-10-2009 02:26 AM


Originally Posted by The Godfather (Post 80189)

espeically before a flight...


It happens at least a few times per year.

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