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I was talking with my roommate a few days ago, and he told me that he plans to sail around the world someday in a 16th century-type ship, accompanied by a small crew. The trip would take a little over a year.

Anyway, we got to talking about how he would probably be sailing through some very unfriendly waters (pirates, terrorists, etc.), and he mentioned that he would definitely want to be armed. He said he'd bring some rifles, but I don't think he knows much about firearms, at least not as much as me.


So my question is: if you were to go sailing for an extended period of time, what type of firearms would you bring along with you? Keep in mind that you'll be stopping in various ports around the world to resupply your ship. Would the conditions of being at sea (saltwater, wind, etc.) affect your decision on what type of guns to carry?

Just thought that would be an interesting scenario. Any thoughts?

Off the top of my head, I'd say:

- A couple of ARs and AKs (they use ammo common around the world)
- A pump shotgun
- A 1911 in .45 ACP (of course
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- A .50 cal Berret 82A1 rifle (serious stopping power)
 

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Better also check the gun laws of the ports they may visit. Last thing they need is to be imprisoned in some third-world country because they were found with illegal weapons on board.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com
 

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If your in Mexican waters for example, the navy/coast guard may board your boat and seach it to see if you are smuggling anything illegal (especially firearms). Hide them if you can, dump them if you cannot. Over there you are guilty until proven innocent.

Same also applies for China/Hong Kong.

Other than that, I recomment a AK for its reliablity. HK USP for its durability.

Kenneth Lew
 

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Been a few years but if I remember correctly as far as international waters you don't have to worry about the USCG and firearms. When I did boardings if firearms were present we just checked the numbers and the person to see if they could possess a firearm. If it was an weapon possible of full auto that it wasn't (if it was then appropriate paperwork).

Problem is when you start getting into state waters (3 miles from land I believe) is really when you have to worry about gun laws.

Now back to the thread:

Ditto with Kenneth on the AK.

Carried a Beretta 92f for 5+ years on the ocean and never had a problem with it. So I would probably go with that as I have good experience with it on the ocean.
 

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Just to play devil's advocate for a moment ...

I doubt that modern-day pirates, and there surely are some, hoist the Jolly Roger and come roaring at you from 1000 yards out. If I were a professional pirate - or a terrorist who wanted your boat, undamaged - I would have a pretext for getting close, or at least I would look fairly harmless until I got close.

Which all means, of course, that what you need for repelling boarders on your boat is just about what you need for repelling boarders in your home, with the added problem of your shooting platform rolling in the waves.

Add in the problem of unfriendly governments, and it seems to me that a 12-gauge, stainless and with something like a 20-inch barrel, is the ideal weapon for a boat. Good firepower, some leeway when you need to shoot while the waves are running, one of the lesser-offensive weapons as far as foreign governments are concerned...

I suspect any pistol, especially in a "military caliber", is asking for trouble.

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If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
 

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The weapons you have listed are well thought out and should provide any needed protection. However, like the others said, you`d better check local laws before bringing them into port. I wouldn`t want to be in ANY jail, much less a foreign one ! One possible way around this would be to launch the "dingy" with any illegal weapons aboard in international waters outside the port then pick it back up when you leave.
 

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There is the matter of jurisdiction; there is no government, the United States included, that has any authority to enforce any firearms law or "regulations" in international waters in the case of a privately owned vessel. You would have to be within the territorial waters of a particular country. That is not to say "it hasn't been done" - just that there is no basis in law to do it.

As for Customs, and individual laws - just contact there embassies/consular offices in advance where possible, IN WRITING, file copies of all there replies and documents with a lawyer, and the U.S. government, specifying what you have onboard that may be of concern to them. Make sure you make a BEELINE for the appropriate Customs office at port if they don't intercept you first. Or better yet, contact them via radio/phone on your way in - specifying that you have "goods to declare". Most countries that prohibit firearms will simply inform you that they must stay onboard, or more likely they may take them on a receipt to be returned on your departure.

As an aside; in the U.K. it used to be that firearms were considered a piece of "safety equipment" on any registered vessel. Thus a "Firearms Certificate" issued under the Firearms Act was not required for legal possession. However, in order to "save face" the issuing authority (the regional Chief Constable) would issue one anyway


As for weapons; with the exception of AK-47, an FN FAL, Barrett .50 cal and Browning Hi-Powers - I would go for stainless guns. The Barrett being an exception for it's "effect", and the other three being exceptions for their indispensible qualities and ammunition availability. All Parkerized and matte gray or black epoxy topcoat - or perhaps hardchromed.

Stainless guns; Colt .45's, S&W revolvers of choice, any stainless or nickel/chrome plated 12-gauge shotguns. I'd throw in some .22 pistols and rifles for good measure (just for fun).

Oh, and LOTS of ammo.
 

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Mossberg M590 Marine Line Launcher. Keep a 18.5" ghost ring barrel handy.

"Plausible deniability"
Honest sir, it's just a line thrower




[This message has been edited by BB (edited 11-19-2001).]
 

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Having guns on board is probably a pretty good idea for safety. But, whatever you do, you must declare the guns when you make port. If you don't, and they find them (which they will) you will be jailed, fined, and the boat can be confiscated. No kidding.
 

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As far as what the pirates use is something I can comment on. We flew to South America and picked up a teenager that was attacked by pirates while sailing around the world with his family a year or so ago.

Their weapon of choice was an AK-47, he was paralyzed when a round hit him in the spine. They were fairly close when they opened fire and I think a shotgun would have been a great asset to them at that moment (probably more effective than a rifle from their description of the incident). Food for thought.


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When confronted by a difficult problem, you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, " How would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
 

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Reminton 870 Marine Magnum, and a stainless 45 auto (keep on your person). I have a friend that was cruising across the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas. Somewhere in the middle of the Gulf in the wee hours of morning, he was standing watch and he looked up and there was a guy standing on the deck. He pulled his .357 and pointed it at the guys chest and told him to get off the boat. The guy jumped into a rubber boat, fired up the outboard, and hauled ass. He said it was an interesting experience to say the least!!!

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"We will either find a way, or make one" -Hannibal
 

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Years ago during a Coast Guard inspection on board a friend's Sailboat, the Chief Guardsman advised my friend to carry shotguns with him if he went into international waters. Told him to keep them in a locked cabinet in port and he would have no trouble with the CG or foreign countries.

He recommended the Remington Marine magnum as the gun to carry.

Seeems like good advice to me.

Pump Shotguns are legal in most places (Except Britain and Australia) and would not cause foreign authorities to think you were smuggling guns like an AK might.

Anybody remember the movie Dead Calm, and the SXS they carried disassembled in a compartment next to the Wheel. Movie was filmed in Australia where Pump guns are illegal!
 

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I second the Mossberg Marine grade and gun locker on board the vessel. The ghost ring is a nice touch for shooting from one rocking boat to another.
Foreign laws notwithstanding, a 1911 would sure be nice for up close and personal, like a boarder below decks.
 

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I am a sailor and have sailed san diego into mexico and many british isles and places around the world. First of all the maximum number of guns I would have on board is two. It can be a real hassle in customs or when the local officials great you at the dock . In mexico the local typically greet you with 3 soldiers carrying full auto military stuff. The shotgun or 2 shotguns in a marine grade is a good idea. Handguns in military calibers especially 9mm that seem such a good idea are illegal in many places and are considered military only weapons. Keep the guns locked and unloaded in a cabinet and hide nothing. I would not take an AK clone as that is by far the easiest way to look like a drug smuggler or be questioned for an extended time.
I carried a remington 870 with a 18 inch barrel and ghost ring sites. I did not have extra money to buy the marine stainless, although that would be my first choice. When sailing from the usa and not flying to a boat in another country I carried a colt 1911 in 45acp. The 45 is not considered military in most places.
Note that the shotgun had a box of slugs and a box of # 4's along . I carried 50 federal hydra-shocks for the 45. I also would recommend not having too much ammo as it also looks suspicious to be armed to the teeth.
The shotgun looked kind of beatup and I kept it well lubed . I made sure the guns did not look too appealing as I might lose them thru legal action or some customs guy just taking them from me because he wanted them. The justice system in granada or the british virgin islands is not the same as it is here. If some local cop wants your guns he will just take them.... be forewarned. Having two guns that look well used served me well and kept anyone from really wanting to keep them.
I was boarded in Mexican waters by some offical once. I was anchored off an island and was not going ashore. He asked about guns and I showed him the 2 guns. He said the handgun was not permitted and just put it back in the cabinet. The guy was polite and since it was just my girlfriend and myself out for a pleasure cruise he was very cool about it.
For sailing around the world I would take 1 or 2 shotguns and not risk the handgun problems. I would like to think the guns would be helpful, but modern day prirates are carrying MP-5's and AK-47's and have the element of suprise and a gasoline powered faster boat. You can use the guns to keep your boat from being stolen by locals in parts of the world however.
 

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If SKSs were priced where they once were, I would say about a score of them. GLV
 

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I'm not a big fan of Glocks or 9mm, But Glocks are very corrosion proof out of the box and the model 17 was designed to be safely fired underwater. It could possibly be a plus in a marine situation.

Rob
 

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sasops thanks for the web site, I think the advise there is excellent and actually they echo the exact same advice as I had. Multiple rifles and handguns are going to draw undue problems. A stainless shotgun or 2 is the way to go. Slugs for distance and #4's or #6's for closer on board defense would be my advise.Keep them locked in a cabinet and if asked show them during an inspection.

[This message has been edited by quantico (edited 11-24-2001).]
 
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