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#26058 - 03/20/04 10:52 AM Something instead of firearm...

Hello, everybody,
Not all of us on the forum live in countries where it is permitted to own a handgun. Of course, there is an option to carry a shotgun or rifle, however, they are quite heavy and bulky to carry them "just in case" when you are not hunting. Plus, too much headache to bring with yourself if you travel abroad. Therefore I have a question for you: what would you suggest to have instead of handgun for wilderness survival?
I have a few options of weapons but all have some disadvantages:
1. Crossbow- I own Barnett Delta Storm folding crossbow. It is quite heavy and pretty bulky, but might be useful even for selfdefence.
2. Slingshot- I do not know how good they are except my memories from childhood. Anyway, I am not a good shooter from them, therefore I doubt my abilities to hit a sparrow from 5 yards.
3. Air pistol- easy to aim, and, if non-CO2 model, very cheap to shoot. Of course drawback- small pistols are weak, powerful are bulky and heavy.
Of course, weapons are not limited to these only. What do you think might be the best weapon to hit a prey on distance for a survival situation if you are not permitted to own a handgun?

#26059 - 03/20/04 02:45 PM Re: Something instead of firearm...

Best weapon for game-getting that will fit in PSK / EDC type usage is, without a doubt, the ancient sling. If you carry twine and ranger-bands you have one already. Only trouble with this weapon is the required practice to become proficient with it. With practice it is possible to take game up to deer with them from quite a distance. The ammo is lying at your feet everywhere.

Required practice time to learn and become proficient is around 2 hours a day for two months or so. If you have a natural talent for these sort of things it may go quicker.

The next easily carried EDC weapon for hunting would be the improvised elastic slingshot. If you are carrying twine and some ranger bands or some latex tubing you can improvise one from any stout Y shaped branch you could pick up.

You could also carry the flat hunting arrow heads and fab a spear or atl-atl. Of the two of these the atl-atl is the more deadly / longer range tool but requires better training and practice to become skillful.

#26060 - 03/20/04 05:04 PM Re: Something instead of firearm...
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I hope my comments don't bring Charlton Heston, or for that matter Michael Moore knocking at my door. I don't always want to lug some cannon with me <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />. Were I in Alaska, a adequate firearm is prudent and a social given. There are some nieghborhoods in California where anything less than an assault rifle is courting trouble. But then some of Old Bald Guy's peers would pull me over and ask my business there in the first place. Wilderness survival weaponry is more of a food gathering exercise than defense against large animals. Fishing, snaring,netting and plant material gathering will be the norm in most environs. O.K. We all have romantic notions of bringing down some wild pig with a spear, stringing the tusks into a necklace and getting tobasco sauce all over our survival vest. But big animals can push back. The Neanderthals had multiple injuries from close contact spear hunting. Later peoples show a dramatic drop in such wounds. Why? A remarkable invention called the spear thrower. The projectile is actually a dart, heavier than an arrow, lighter than thrusting spears. People had distanced themselves from harm with increased killing power. Smaller game uncooperative with passive traps can be taken with throwing sticks. These implements have the added advantage of anonymity. I went on a Sierra Club Hike where even my Fallkniven recieved judgemental looks of approbation. An adequate handgun was out of the question. I had this really funny looking hiking staff ( club leader to Chris," thats a really funny looking hiking staff <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />") It was my spearthrower with the darts secured with ranger bands and the points hidden. Had we been assaulted by Sahara Club 4WD goons, I was equipped to put 3 darts into tire,radiator and windshield. I didn't have to, to my relief. I'd rather wear pig tusks than hood ornaments <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />.

#26061 - 03/20/04 08:07 PM Re: Something instead of firearm...
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
A 90 mph fastball with a fist-sized rock will probably do some damage <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

There's supposedly some fairly strong evidence that hand-thrown rocks were used for warfare by some South Sea island tribes, so probably they also hunted in this fashion. I daresay few of us could manage a 90 mph toss but even half that speed might be enough to bring down (or at least stun) a medium sized animal. And while throwing rocks will likely earn you the disapproval of your neighbours, throwing a baseball will garner, at most, ridicule. <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

One technique that I have never seen discussed, even in Peter Goodchild's "Survival Secrets of the North American Indians", is one that my brother accidentally discovered when he was a teenager (and a keen birdwatcher). We were camping in Nova Scotia (around the Cape Blomidon area on the Bay of Fundy, IIRC) and there was a long beach, fairly deserted except for a large colony of sandpipers. As we walked along the beach, the sandpipers hopped ahead of us, maintaining their "fight or flight" distance. Naturally, the farther we walked, the more closely packed the birds became. Eventually, wanting to see them fly, my brother picked up a small stone and threw it at them. (He was probably in his early teens, not an athlete, and didn't throw it very hard.) The birds took to the air, except there was one which was unable to fly. We caught it and put it in a box, intending to nurse it back to health. Continued walking, the birds (which had returned and alighted further down the beach) continued hopping away from us, and my brother repeated the rock-tossing. Again, one of the birds was unable to fly and we picked it up and put it in the same box, rather puzzled as to what would cause two birds to have broken wings. Suddenly the penny dropped; while the odds against hitting a bird on the wing with a casually tossed stone were astronomical, the chance of hitting one when there were a couple of hundred of them taking off simultaneously was pretty much 100 percent.

Had we been hunting, we could easily have bagged enough to feed a large family without breaking sweat; especially with two of us, we could have started at opposite ends of the beach, walked toward each other, and then flung a handfull of stones into the midst. I'm sure we would have bagged at least a dozen on our first try, with minimal effort. I simply can't believe the Micmac didn't do this routinely, unless there's something about shorebird meat that makes it unpalateable.

Btw, we did nurse the two injured birds back to health - with the grudging assistance of a renowned local birdwatcher, who pretty clearly thought we were a pair of unprincipled savages and had no scruples about telling us so - and released them a week later. <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

#26062 - 03/21/04 02:57 AM Re: Something instead of firearm...
ScottRezaLogan Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/07/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Pttsbg SWestern Pa USA N-Amer....
As to the Principles and Means of Catching Wildland Game, I am speaking Far More Ideally than Practically or Feasably here. I'm also speaking Generally to Anyone or Everyone.

Rather than Addressing it Specifically to your Question, on Good Ways to Do such in the Abscence of Handguns / Heavier Guns. So Refer to Other Posts in this Thread, for Far More Specific and More Enlightening Answers, to your Particular Question.

I'm also Speaking here of some of the Best Means and Principles Towards such Getting of Wild Animals! -Even if a Lot of That yet remains in the World of the Impracticably Ideal. I'm also Touching of some Practically Feasable Means here as well. But it Mostly Revolves around What is Yet Ideal.

This Ideal, however, would be Great to be Able to Someday Turn into a Practical Reality!, for Animal Acquisition Purposes, if we Someday Can!

On This Area of Survival Needs that your Question Poses, -The Practical and Feasable Part would certainly include Shotguns as already Exist. Of course you've already mentioned their Drawback of Weight and Bulk.

The More Ideal Involves Utilizing the Spread Out Principle of the Shotgun.

In that we'd Ultimately Want Projectiles / Netting / or Types of Cageing, -Which either (1) Already are in Place as a Concealed Trap, or (2) Caging or Netting which can so Quickly Fall Down On and Around your Quarry, or (3) Caging, Netting, or Projectiles which can be Fired Towards and Into / Around your Quarry.

On Cageing / Traps, -It's also Occurred to me, that *Transparent* Plastic (or Other Materials) Bars, can be Used on such Cages / Traps. For Maximum Invisibility to the Game.

Of course if these Plastic or "Other Materialed" Bars, Cage Sides, Etc, -They would Have to be Strong Enuff, -So that an Entrapped Animal Cannot just Gnaw it's Way Thru!

This could be a Nice Addition to Caging / Trapping!

Heck!, -Similarly Transparent Snares!

Though Much of these may Not Actually Exist, -This is the Means and Principle of the Matter, -of What would Ideally be the Best Solution Towards this Purpose!

The Corral and Cattle Roundup very Much Revolves around this Same Principle. Coupled with Deception, and Using an Animal's / Herd's Instinct and Reaction regarding One Thing!, -To Unwittingly Direct it to Another! To Where you Want it to Go! To Such an Encageing, Surrounding Corral or Pen!

Unless you are a Quite Good, and Undetected Shot!, -the Best Means and Principle for Getting Wild Animals, Aside from Lureing and Trapping, -Is to "Surround it on All Sides!", and in Time! A Quick Time! This is the General Principle I'm speaking of here.

Again, I'm speaking Mostly Ideally here. Beyond our Well Known and Familiar Shotguns, Cages, Nets, Traps, and Pens, -Most of What's entailed in this Principle remains in the World of the Ideal.

Real Devices along these Lines have often Not been Invented. And for their Good, Impractical Reason. Or Else Otherwise they would have Already been Long Since Invented!

But This is the Principle! And This would be the Best Means!, or One of the Best Means, for this Purpose!

That would be a Direction to Keep in Mind, and to Go Towards!, in any such Invention Efforts toward this Purpose!

I Know there's the Added Complication, in a Wooded or Scrubby Environment, of Intervening and Nearby Vegetation, -Interfereing with whatever one Fires Forth! This may Prove to be an Insuperable Obstacle!

Such Equipment, Assuming it can even be Designed and Created at All, -Would be Far Better on say a Grasslands, Desert / Semi-Arid / or Plains Environment! Though there you are often Far More Visible to the Game! With an Unobstructed View, and Being Out there in the Open Like that!

So I Hope that Someday Someone can Come Up with Such Stuff!

Surrounding an Animal or a Herd to Block Off Any and All Escape!, -is Surely One of the Best Means and Principles toward Doing so!!!

But there are of course Many Remaining Practical Obstacles. Beyond Traps, Nets, Shotguns, and Etc. as we Already Have!, I'm Afraid that a Lot of This, at least for a Good Woul to Come, -Will Have to Remain in the Realm of the Ideal! -Unfortunately!

Again, for Answers and More Enlightenment on your particular Question, -See Other Posts within this Thread.

[color:"black"] [/color] [email]Ebakeev[/email]

Edited by ScottRezaLogan (03/21/04 08:40 PM)
"No Substitute for Victory!"and"You Can't be a Beacon if your Light Don't Shine!"-Gen. Douglass MacArthur and Donna Fargo.

#26063 - 03/21/04 04:25 AM Re: Something instead of firearm...
bountyhunter Offline

Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 1224
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA
Slingshots I carry with extra bands (Commercial folding wrist-braced steel ones), because ammunition is everywhere, plus I carry a small tube of BB's, a few 1/8" & 1/4" diameter steel balls.

Throwing sticks are everywhere in the woods and a rock attached to the end of a stick makes for more force wheather thrown or used for clubbing.

I would like to make a bola, but consider it rather impractical in the Wisconsin woods, except possibly for the Eskimo version used for bringing down birds.

A thrusting spear that has a flame hardened point may not be as good as a metal point, but will work better than poking the game in the eyes with your fingers.

An atala would be nice, but my joints are not very cooperative for that kind of activity.

Range Rick had a great suggestion on his website about using fiberglass tent supports to make an expedient bow, albiet not very powerful, but still very useful.

Now if only someone made a snap-together fiberglas bow that was simple and broke down into maybe four 15" pieces.


#26064 - 03/21/04 08:09 AM Re: Something instead of firearm...

Is the slingshot really practical? As I mentioned before, I do not think I can hit a sparrow from 5 yeards. Rabbit or pheazant, yes, but it seems a stone should not cause much damage to it. I have seen on internet some slingshots with sights etc, but can you actually get good precision from them?

#26065 - 03/21/04 08:19 AM Re: Something instead of firearm...

Field Expedient Weapons at Rocky Mountain Survival Group has plenty to choose from. <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

#26066 - 03/21/04 02:59 PM Re: Something instead of firearm...

with practice you can become quite accurate with a sling-shot. The Elastic sling-shot or catapult is accurate over shorter ranges but takes less practice to become usably proficient. The ancient sling is better over longer range and fires at higher velocity but takes considerably more practice. The shot used also influences accuracy. The more perfectly round the shot the less it will curve in flight. With the ancient sling you can impart a spin to the projectile and if you have the talent you can make use of this to attain greater length of shot. Using an elliptical stone or shot you can get a "frisbee" effect from the spin and get considerably longer trajectory.

The practice required is significant. The ability to feed yourself with a piece of string and torn clothing is also significant.

#26067 - 03/21/04 07:51 PM Re: Something instead of firearm...
ScottRezaLogan Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/07/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Pttsbg SWestern Pa USA N-Amer....
How about Boomerangs? Is Anybody here on our Site / Forums Reasonably Knowledgeable or Experienced with Boomerangs?

Also, What Applications can Possibly be Made from Rock Skipping?, Across Water. One Really Knowledgeable and Skilled just Might be Able to Get Waterfowl, that Way, while it's on the Water. This can be Done from Shore, a Boat or other Watercraft, or Causeways, Piers, and Bridges, Etc. [color:"black"] [/color] [email]miniMe[/email]
"No Substitute for Victory!"and"You Can't be a Beacon if your Light Don't Shine!"-Gen. Douglass MacArthur and Donna Fargo.

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