Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

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Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by quazi » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:37 am

My goal is to eventually move onto a homestead in small town in Alaska within a couple hours' drive of Anchorage.

I'm trying to choose between shotgun, semi-auto rifle in an intermediate cartridge and semi-auto rifle in a full-power cartridge for a defensive longarm. I'm also interested in various options within each category.

Likely threats to my life, livestock and/or property range from quite small (fox) to quite large (bear). Edit: This includes home defense against criminals.

Good corrals, doors, lights, fences, defensive landscaping, etc. are probably going to do more to protect me and my stuff than a firearm. However, I like guns and I'm going to buy more anyway so I figured I'd make a thread about it. :D

ETA: I ended up getting a Mossberg 930 SX.
Last edited by quazi on Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:08 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by quazi » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:38 am

Because I suck at brevity here's some expanded info and thoughts (feel free to skip).

Threats
More likely threats:
Canines: Fox, coyotes and stray dogs. These are primarily a threat to livestock. The wolves in the area have never taken anyone's livestock AFAIK, but they are around.

Bears: There are lots of bears in the area. Mostly black bears but there are grizzlies as well. Bears are a threat to property, livestock and people.

Moose: Moose are one of the most aggressive animals in the area, and often hang around houses during the winter. Moose can wipe out gardens and trees. Moose hate dogs. EDIT: On second thought moose aren't something I'd likely tackle with this firearm.

Humans: There are thieves and vandals in the area, who are a threat to our property but might also pose a threat to our safety if caught in the act. Violent crime happens too. Both the victims and the perpetrators of the violent crimes are usually crazy people and/or addicts. The best way to stay safe is to avoid them but every once in a while you might inadvertently set someone off.

Less likely threats:
Weasely critters: There are ermine, marten and wolverines in the area, but they haven't caused any problems for us.

Birds: Magpies and ravens have caused a little bit of trouble. Eagles and hawks are around but haven't caused us any trouble. I'm not all that worried about them.

Sodomy bikers: Okay, I'm not actually that worried about Lord Humongous coming to steal my potatoes after the 'pockyclypse. I am a little worried that during something prolonged like an economic collapse there might be an increase in home-invasion robberies and we would be in a vulnerable area.

Firearms
I already have most of my hunting stuff purchased. I finally got my defensive handgun figured out (for the time being). I'm primarily concerned with picking a go-to defensive long gun.

I have a decent amount of income at the moment (although most of it is earmarked for building savings and paying off my student loans quickly). In the future there is a very good chance that money will be tight.

I don't reload at the moment but I have relatives who do and who have said that they'll teach me and set me up with equipment.

I figure it will be most effective on a limited budget to focus my defensive training and practice on one handgun and one long gun.

I'm going to limit my ammo stockpile to a few calibers. I want at least two firearms chambered for any cartridge I have a significant stockpile of.

Shotguns
For a long time I figured a shotgun would be best for my situation, as there is a wide variety of ammunition for the wide variety of threats.

Another nice thing is the availability of LTL and pyrotechnic ammunition (for use on ANIMALS, not people). There is a saying up here that you get less time in prison for murdering your wife than for shooting a moose out of season. Being able to launch rubber slugs or bird bombs would be a nice alternative in non-life threatening situations.

Buckshot and slugs are very expensive compared to the most common rifle rounds. Birdshot is relatively inexpensive, so it can be used as “filler” for some practice. I'm not sure how much reloading would cut the cost of shotgun ammo.

Pump-action shotguns are very inexpensive, but they're also slow to reload and have the potential for short-stroking. I'm interested in seeing how the UTAS-15 ends up performing, and if the Keltec KSG will actually ever become available for a reasonable price.

A Saiga or Vepr shotgun would be faster to reload but more expensive. My understanding is that the magazines are pretty expensive.

Intermediate cartridge rifles
Lately I've been leaning towards a semi-auto rifle in an intermediate cartridge. It seems like the best option for human threats. I don't think it's ideal for bears but it would probably do the job.

An AK in 7.62x39 can be had relatively inexpensively, and higher-end ones still aren't too expensive. The ammunition is relatively cheap as well. Most of the cheap ammunition isn't reloadable. (Also, I already have an SKS and ~1400 rounds of 7.62x39.)

An AR in .300 Blackout would do some things better than an AK, but would be more expensive.

Full-power rifles
A semi-auto rifle in a full-power cartridge seems like it would be pretty good all-around. It would be powerful enough for even large predators and they still have decent capacity.

One downside is they're pretty heavy. Of course this isn't as big of a deal for HD, but I do seem to shoot lighter guns better.

I don't know as much about the options for this type of rifle, but it seems like the guns and/or the magazines are expensive. The ammunition is also expensive, but hopefully reloading would make up for that.
Last edited by quazi on Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:49 am

Moose?

.50BMG. Belt fed.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by MacAttack » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:55 am

For an Alaskan homestead?

A pump shotgun.
A Mosin Nagant in 7.62x54.
A good .22lr rifle or pistol.
If a revolver something in a HUGE caliber. There is no reason to have a revolver in a small caliber.
Semi auto. Something with a polymer frame and a large caliber. 9mm or better.


That should cover everything I can think off.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:02 am

MacAttack wrote:For an Alaskan homestead?

A pump shotgun. Why a shotgun, and moreso why a pump?
A Mosin Nagant in 7.62x54.This makes no sense at all
A good .22lr rifle or pistol. okay, though that's not really a defensive item
If a revolver something in a HUGE caliber. There is no reason to have a revolver in a small caliber. There's actually no reason to ahve a revolver unless you're hunting with it, or possibly disabled
Semi auto. Something with a polymer frame and a large caliber. 9mm or better. Okay, sure.


That should cover everything I can think off.
What?

In all seriousness OP, I'd say a reliable semi-auto .308 and a decent semi-auto pistol. 10mm in the pistol if you think you need big bore.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Brock Meatstone » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:05 am

Hm. For doube duty defensive use, you may want to look into an AR in a heavier caliber such as .458 SOCOM.
From my understanding, its a better bullet design than .50 Beo, and you have the additional modularity as well as increased combat effectiveness of the AR platform. However, cost may be a limiting factor with this choice, unless you build it up piece by piece, as more of a complement to your long term plan.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by williaty » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:15 am

Doc Torr wrote:Moose?

.50BMG. Belt fed.
Ya rly.

I was reading his list thinking "ok, most of that's not to baaa.... oh. moose."

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:13 am

williaty wrote:
Doc Torr wrote:Moose?

.50BMG. Belt fed.
Ya rly.

I was reading his list thinking "ok, most of that's not to baaa.... oh. moose."
I'm of the opinion that ifa moose wants you dead, you suckstart a 9mm and save some time. Even so, .308 should git er done just fine. No need to upsize to a ridiculous overpriced caliber like .50 beowuld of .458 just becauseOMG MOOSE
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by williaty » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:16 am

.338 Lapua Magnum? It'd handle the moose and be quite effective against the weasels and marten

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by the_alias » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:24 am

Moose hide around the corner and stand there so you almost walk into them and if you're really unlucky it's a momma moose with calves.

Goddam Moose!

Why not a lever action?
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Gingerbread Man » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:27 am

the_alias wrote: Why not a lever action?
The English man wins this thread, IMO. I was thinking a Marlin 45/70 with a 26" barrel. Throw a variable power illuminated scout scope on there and have the area ranged. Know your holdovers.
You could keep it loaded with 300gr leverevolution for general work. Throw in lighter loads for small game or just get a .22LR. Now, since there are lots of bear, get some double tap or buffalo bore.
This will give you a 5 rd capacity, thunderous power, and the ability to back up shots pretty rapidly. There isn't an animal on the planet that hasn't been taken by the 45/70. I really wish my shoulders could take the recoil. :(
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by TDW586 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:35 am

.45-70 levergun (as described by RG above) plus a .22 rifle for small game would be my vote. Ideally a good duty grade pistol as well.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Brotherbadger » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:01 am

Regular Guy wrote:
the_alias wrote: Why not a lever action?
The English man wins this thread, IMO. I was thinking a Marlin 45/70 with a 26" barrel. Throw a variable power illuminated scout scope on there and have the area ranged. Know your holdovers.
You could keep it loaded with 300gr leverevolution for general work. Throw in lighter loads for small game or just get a .22LR. Now, since there are lots of bear, get some double tap or buffalo bore.
This will give you a 5 rd capacity, thunderous power, and the ability to back up shots pretty rapidly. There isn't an animal on the planet that hasn't been taken by the 45/70. I really wish my shoulders could take the recoil. :(
Even with Limbsavers, they are a beast. I just can't justify the shoulder pain, as i have yet to shoot anything larger than a large feral boar.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Gingerbread Man » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:11 am

Brotherbadger wrote:
Regular Guy wrote:
the_alias wrote: Why not a lever action?
This will give you a 5 rd capacity, thunderous power, and the ability to back up shots pretty rapidly. There isn't an animal on the planet that hasn't been taken by the 45/70. I really wish my shoulders could take the recoil. :(
Even with Limbsavers, they are a beast. I just can't justify the shoulder pain, as i have yet to shoot anything larger than a large feral boar.
I owned one for 5 years. I've had 3 shoulder surguries. That is the only reason I don't own one now. After my last surgury on my left arm my loads became unbearable. There is no reason why a normal healthy person should not be able to handle the 4570 at all. Mine is a particular case in the sense that if I fuck up my shoulders any worse than they are I will lose more function, have increased daily pain and risk more surguries. On a pros/cons spread sheet it make no sense for me to continue to own one. Regular folks who do not have these problems should be fine with this firearm, IMO. I miss my 45/70.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by iron_angel » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:12 am

My vote would be in line with Doc Torr's - a good .308 semi-auto (FAL, HK91, M1A, SCAR-H, etc) and a good solid pistol. Given the possibility of bear, either a Tanfoglio Witness or a Glock 20SF in 10mm would be good. Maybe add an inexpensive Mossberg 500 to go with those, but it's decidedly tertiary. I'd normally prefer a semi-automatic shotgun, too, but if you have the rifle and pistol, the shotgun is mostly for backup, and the Mossy is cheap and reliable.

If you need something with a bit more pep for knocking down grizzlies or moose without breaking the bank or your shoulder, I wonder how well a Rossi 92 in .454 Casull would perform? I know that both the .357 Mag and the .44 Mag produce quite a bit more velocity (and thus kinetic energy) out of a rifle barrel than they do from a pistol; I'm pretty sure that's true of the .454 as well. Whether or not that'd outperform a hot .308 in terms of rapid stopping, I'm not sure.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Charra » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:43 am

I'd probably get an AR10 with a 16" or 18" barrel, I'd also get a cheap 12 gauge and a Glock 20 in 10mm or a revolver in .454.

I've hunted Moose and Bear, Moose are not that hard to bring down with a well placed shot from a standard hunting or military type cartridge with soft points (7mm, 8mm, .30-06, .308, 7.5 French, 7.62x54r, .303 British and etc).

Bear, on the other hand, are an entirely different story. You definitely want to bring them down with one well placed shot between the eyes or into the heart or pepper their face and hope for the best.

Just be glad you have no Cape Buffalo up there, I'd rather tangle with a Moose before taking on a Cape Buffalo with anything less than a .375 H&H.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Browning 35 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:08 pm

quazi wrote:My goal is to eventually move onto a homestead in small town in Alaska within a couple hours' drive of Anchorage.

I'm trying to choose between shotgun, semi-auto rifle in an intermediate cartridge and semi-auto rifle in a full-power cartridge for a defensive longarm. I'm also interested in various options within each category.

Likely threats to my life, livestock and/or property range from quite small (fox) to quite large (bear).
For bear threats the only one I can think of in a larger semi is the Browning BAR in .338 Win Mag.

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Browning BAR .338 Win Mag

To me since the game are larger in Alaska than here I'd actually consider the .308 Win an 'Intermediate Cartridge'. So for that niche I'd just go with the FAL or one of the various .308 AR's.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Turtlewolf » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:14 pm

the_alias wrote:Moose hide around the corner and stand there so you almost walk into them and if you're really unlucky it's a momma moose with calves.

Goddam Moose!

Why not a lever action?
Okay seriosuly, where is the blue text guys?
Moose aren't that dangerous or that tough at all, growing up I can think of three white tail deer that required shooting in self defence (actual legitimate charging and stomping for no reason) one went after one of my sisters when she went out in the morning to check on the animals.
She managed to get back into the house and wake up the cavalry and thinking that the deer would be long gone we went to check only to have to shoot the doe at less than ten feet with buckshot, there was no doubt that she was full on the attack.
More recently a friend of mine was attacked by a deer that actualy knocked him face down in the snow and tryed to stomp him, damn thing ambushed him from some shrubs and he managed to get his rifle up and shot it point blank in the chest.
White tail deer are dangerous in my experience, moose are not so I realy want to know where you fellows are getting your information or why you aren't using blue!
Beaver are actualy more dangerous than moose, I once knew a trapper (long gone now I suppose) who showed me a nasty scar than ran from the top to the bottom of his chest that a beaver he thought was dead had given him.
Fellow walked over a quarter mile back to his snow machine holding his guts in with one hand, luckily his partner was further up the trail and helped him get to the hospital a few hours away. This fellow was one of those who didn't tell stories, didn't drink and didn't smoke so I have no reason not to give full credit to him.
Since that day i have read or heard of at least ten confirmed beaver attacks.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Browning 35 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:19 pm

I don't think Moose or Deer are particularly dangerous, just figured a heavier rifle was warranted so that if shot they don't get into the brush only to be seen the next day several hundred yards away having their eyes and asshole pecked out by birds.
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Evan the Diplomat wrote:Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?
It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by offcamber » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:27 pm

I see folks already recommended a lever action in .45-70. That would be my suggestion as well.

Here is my favorite, the Marlin 1895GBL:

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The short 18.5" barrel is also a plus for defense and in the brush.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Banshee3e » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:35 pm

M1 garand or M1A. Not too much those calibers count handle if you do your part and provide quick follow up shots with good accuracy. The M1A gives the option of quick bullet change (types of ammo) and high capacity for self defense or 5 rounders for hunting. And the M1A can be had with in different barrel lengths from 16" to 24" depending on your wants (18 to 22 probably your best options).

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Jeriah » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:43 pm

quazi wrote:Good corrals, doors, lights, fences, defensive landscaping, etc. are probably going to do more to protect me and my stuff than a firearm. However, I like guns and I'm going to buy more anyway so I figured I'd make a thread about it. :D
Since fun and enjoyment are a big factor in this, why not use the possibility of a large threat as an excuse to purchase a really absurd range toy (that could easily put down a moose or bear if you really had to)? I'm thinking M82 CQB:

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by TacAir » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:01 pm

Blue text and Moose?

How about this recent headline?
"Moose Attacks In Alaska Prompt Officials To Urge Caution: 'Assume Every Moose Is A Serial Killer'"

Living on an isolated homestead just makes you an easier target. As for weapons, a 12 GA shotgun would likely cover everything you need. For Brownies, I could see upgunning to a SMAW or a LAW.

Good luck on your move, is suspect the kind of wildlife you will really need to worry about are the meth heads, crackheads and the lab operators. I assume you are heading to the Deska Landing AO?
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Brock Meatstone » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:06 pm

Normally I would agree on the choice of a 45-70 Guide Gun, but if I read into it correctly, he wants a semi auto for what I'm assuming would be for quick follow up shots against quick critters (foxes) and lumbering animal tanks (bears).
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