View Full Version : Shock and Awe ammo sequence to combat (real) pirates

September 1, 2009, 11:06 AM
Hi Guys,
This might be something a little different for you to think of, but I have a unique problem. We are planning a world circumnavigation on our sailboat starting next year. This cruise will take us near and through some relatively unsafe waters such as Honduras, Malaysia, and Somalia - all with risk of piracy and/or murder. In addition, many of the "pirates" are now very sophisticated in boats capable of 40mph, carrying everything from high cal rifles, automatics, and even RPGs.

Of course, the best defense is to travel in convoys - at times even possible with military escort/monitoring (through the Red Sea, for example). Unfortunately, sometimes you are just going to be vulnerable. In addition to a couple of handguns, our primary defense weapon is a Mossy 930 SPX auto loader, capable of 9 rounds.

What I am looking for is the best theoretical sequence of rounds to; 1) Create a major "shock and awe" experience (to appear even more threatening than we really are) for any threatening boats, and 2) Have maximum damage to occupants and vessel.

There are a couple of things to consider. First, the first shot needs to be a strong WARNING round only (often naive, well meaning fishing boats will charge toward you to welcome you to port, not paying attention to radio calls). Second, in my mind, the whole engagement would take place within 100 yards and be "over" within 10 seconds, transitioning to handguns if necessary.

In a perfect world, there would be a few mixed of rounds that could expand enough to incapacitate 4-6 aggressors, mixed with some magic round that could start a sizable fire on their vessel and/or create enough damage to their outboard engines at a distance to stop it. I have checked in to a number of the "exotic" rounds that are commercially available, just not sure how to mix the rounds to create the most ominous effect.

You have nine rounds to protect your vessel and save your family from a fast approaching boat. What would you do?


Also looking for any unique solutions for close-work in the event that we expel our ammo, and the boat comes along side. (Napalm? Gas? Pepper?)

Thanks for your help!

September 1, 2009, 11:17 AM
In addition to the question of 12ga rounds to use, what about the best strategy to survive this kind of attack at sea?

A) From a Distance:
I'd love to think that we could fire some sort of crazy warning shot that would scare the pirates to slow, followed by a rifled slug or two to kill their engine, followed by a couple of wide-dispersion loads to damage the occupants, followed by a series of incendiary rounds to start their boat on fire without them getting closer than 50 yards.

The problem? If enough damage isn't created quickly enough, they are close enough to use their own weapons on us and we are a sitting duck, either at anchor, or moving at a max of 7 knots.

B) Close Up:
The other option is to go below, acting as if you haven't noticed their approach, open a couple of portholes (6-10 inches), and wait for them to get close enough to unload a series of 9 close-range rounds within a couple of seconds, hoping it goes well, as they will quickly be able to hop aboard and overtake our vessel.

Crap, it's not a fun thought either way.

Nowhere Man
September 1, 2009, 12:16 PM
Think .50BMG. If you can convince them that your not such an easy target they might just turn and run.

If they are within the range of a 12 ga shotgun, they can return fire with AK's.

The trick is to hit them with everything you have before they can get close enough to shoot back.


September 1, 2009, 12:29 PM
Either way, long distance or short, you are at a disadvantage due to their weapons vs. yours. You have a shotgun and a few handguns, they have (depending) everything from assault rifles to RPG's.

Hopefully on your trip, this situation never occurs but if it did...I would probably make sure the other person in 'we' and of course myself got in enough practice at the range and also some tactical shooting courses, with the handguns and shotgun we would be carrying.

As for myself, I would probably wait for them to just about board. Now this might be a wrong answer, and I can totally understand why, but with the rather short-distance weapons you have, you have a much better chance defending yourself in a short-distance than firing off a few handgun rounds, or even your shotgun, at a long distance, especially with the boat rocking. At short distance, not only is your shotgun going to cause drastic damage, your handguns will also be able to provide a reasonable amount of damage.

'Shoot at them with everything youve got' theory is practical, but I dont know if I would do that in this situation. Anyone can go to the range and, maybe not hit bullseye every round, but empty a mag out of a 9mm handgun and at least hit a silhoutte target at 40yds with a few rounds. Now add in anxiety, nervousness, being on a boat thats getting rocked by waves and seeing a bunch of angry Somalian pirates cruising at 50mph towards your boat. Ehhh, if you said you had a few rifles (Ar, M4, even semi auti hunting rifles), you would have a much better chance of hitting your targets at a long distance rather than with a handgun or shotty.

I dunno. Id like to hear more experienced shooters' opinions on this situation though.

September 1, 2009, 12:35 PM
I am assuming your are never going to touch land, other wise check out the laws of each port you are going to enter. Some customs will confiscate firearms and fine you a large sum of money. In most European ports if you have any thing that resembles a military weapon you are in a world of hurt.

September 1, 2009, 12:41 PM
Volume of fire is your first problem and nine rounds from one gun is scarcely enough.
The pirates can be expected to be experienced so they will return a heavy volume of fire on you if they are fired upon first You must plan to supress everything they have with the first salvo
What I suggest is in essence an at-sea ambush. Each person on board must have a weapon and a shooting assignment - at the waterline for some with slugs, at the individuals in the boat for others with buckshot or ar-15/M-16 type weapons.

good luck!!

September 1, 2009, 01:48 PM
I really don't think a shotgun would deter pirates determined on seizing a boat and crew. What boat do you plan to use? Sailboat? You are not running away from anything, even in a trimaran or cat. Your only option is to be as heavily armed as the pirates themselves. Bolt action rifles are basically useless in a boat unless you are extremely experienced. Shotguns are great but have very limited range. Carbines, full auto rifles, grenade launchers. All this brings up two problems:where to get them and the different laws and regulations in the jurisdictions to be visited/traveled. I bet you will be braking a gazillion laws and expose yourself and others to possible prosecution where a Bill of Rights equals toilet paper.

I've heard that some people travel from Fla to the Caribbean in yachts, specially when a boat is new. I hear they get several AKs and plenty of ammo and when they are reaching their destination it's everything overboard for full auto weapons are prohibited in my jurisdiction. Your problem is you have plenty port o calls.

September 1, 2009, 02:08 PM
I agree that a shot gun is kind of a crappy weapon when it comes to anything beyond 30 yards (at which point it can get very ugly very fast). But, at the same time, engaging a target 100+ yards out with a rifle in rolling seas (target AND shooter). I consider myself a fairly good marksman at 250 yards with normal civilian/hunting rifles but have NO experience with more tactical/military weapons.

Are there any semi-auto mil-spec rifles that are good for marine use? (stainless?)

bentley998 makes a good point with shooting positions/assignments. for about 75% of our travels, it is just my wife and myself. Maybe one of us should start sniping with a rifle while the other is blowing wider holes with the shotty? But, what kind/type of rifle?

As far as the legality, it's actually pretty simple. In international waters you are pretty clear to have whatever you want on board. Coming to port can be problematic, as you have to declare your weapons when checking in with customs. The last time I sailed the Mediterranean, the only place I had any trouble was in Athens, but it was during the Olympics. At the same time, pirates don't usually hang out near busy/guarded customs ports. Once you are back at sea, it's kind of open season (so to speak).

September 1, 2009, 02:16 PM
Thats the good thing about an AK. When in full auto it has a feeling very similar to water hose. Fun and easy to spay lead around.:D

September 1, 2009, 02:27 PM
Tannernite in about a dozen gas cans(or other water tight container) thrown out of the boat in all directions. When they come close to the boat shoot one of the cans for shock and awe effect. Then open fire on them. If they are that determined and stick around you were boned anyway.:D

September 1, 2009, 03:08 PM
As already mentioned, you are at a severe disadvantage. They will hit at their convenience while you have to stay alert for days on end. They will likely use a boat capable of greater speed then your yacht/cruiser/sailboat. There will be several of them armed with AK47, fully automatic and lots of ammo.

I am not sure anything would warn them off. There is no magic bullet that scares an experienced assault short of massive firepower. The AK47 has an effective range of at least 200 yds, but I wouldn't want to be down range from one for 300-400 yds. Accuracy is not great past 200 yds, specially on a rolling sea, but still it is your life at stake.

I would want something with more range and accuracy than an AK47 to help make them stand off. From what I have read the pirates attack when you are mostly alone in areas not cluttered with possible friendlies. If a fast boat is approaching you you need good binoculars and a scoped rifle to identify them well beyond their firing range. Since this is critical have two sets of marine grade binocs.

Firing a blank or a live round in the air should be plenty of warning to friendlies. Anyone that ignores a gunshot is a foe. Anyone traveling in a fast boat with AK47 at the ready is a foe most likely.

I would chose a large caliber semi-auto rifle like an FAL (very common in many areas of the world, including Africa), or HK91/PTR91, or M1A in .308. Be sure to mount a quality scope. This is your stand off weapon. Hopefully if they approach and ignore your warning shot (shotgun blast would be good and loud, and buckshot won't be lethal much past 80 yds) then a few holes in their boat at 300 yds or beyond their AK range will convince them to find a weaker target.

If they continue to attack even after being fired on then you need to unload on them as accurately and fast as possible. Shoot for their leader and motor if possible, or whoever is most heavily armed. I'm not sure I would even take a shotgun if I'm expecting pirates. The .308 semi-auto will be better than the AK at least up to about 100 yds., maybe even in as close as 50 yds given the unstable boats. If they get within 50 yds you need rapid fire and a LOT of ammo. A shotgun might be OK if they are exposed. But if they are hiding behind the gunwales you will need slugs or a rifle like the AK or FAL.

If it were me, and I had room, I would want two .308 semi-auto rifles (two is one and one is none), two pistols, such as Glock G20 10mm (or if compact then the G23 or G27 in .40SW, or the G30 in .45ACP), and one shotgun. You should clean and oil the guns every day possible. Have spare parts kits for them, several mags (many more than you think each pirate will have on them), and lots of ammo.

If space or funds are really limited then I would go for at least a .308 rifle, an AK clone, and at least one pistol. But still have spare parts and tools, lots of mags, ammo and cleaning gear.

September 1, 2009, 03:30 PM
Just to reply on your "shock and awe" title ...

The tactic of shock and awe is to totally overwhelm your opponent, not to scare them. And to disable key capabilities of theirs near simultaneously before they have time to react or even process the situation.

Applied to fending off pirates I would interpret shock and awe to be applied as:

- Shoot from a distance before they are within range of their own AKs

- When you engage them, do not shoot a couple of rounds and see what happens. Rather, shoot for the motor, the leader, the most armed person, the waterline as quickly as possible. Give them so many things to worry about and respond to that they have no ability to carry on the attack. This is not spray and pray, this is fast paced, accurate fire at specific critical targets.

- If they continue the attack then keep up the firing on multiple critical targets.

- It would be nice to have an overwhelming weapon like a .50 machine gun. Barring that perhaps a magnum bolt action like a .338 Win Mag with a muzzle brake (much louder). Instead of a shotgun I would rather have a lever action .45-70, which Marlin makes in Stainless steel and a 20" barrel (Guide Gun). It can be shot and reloaded fairly rapidly and can even be scoped. It would be accurate at least to 150 yds with hot loads (Garret, Grizzly, etc.) and effective deterrent to 200 yds. If using a shotgun then I'd use brenneke slugs, or a rifled barrel with sabot slugs. A .45 - .70 chunk of lead punching holes in their boat and them will get their attention. If using a rifled barrel and sabot slugs then also get a low power scope to increase your advantage.

The problem, you probably do not want too expensive of guns as they could be confiscated.

September 1, 2009, 04:01 PM
besides a 12 gauge with slugs to penetrate their hull, I would look into a 308, with FMJ, AP, Tracer, or similar. Personally, I would also plan the trip to avoid the worst areas, (Somalia), etc........some things just aren't worth it, especially in a s l o w - m o v i n g sailboat that won't outrun anything except a rowboat

September 2, 2009, 02:09 PM
teeroux : Tannerite would not work in this situation very well... First it has to be hit with something high powered to make it explode. This wouldn't be a problem if both the target and the shooter were sitting still, but alas, they are not.
It would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) for a "good" civilian marksman to hit even a big amount of tannerite with a high powered rifle, at a safe distance, while the water is not only effecting his shot but also the target as well.
I like the idea but it just isn't practical in this scenario. He could potentially waste all of his ammo trying to hit the tannerite.

September 2, 2009, 02:21 PM

Never tried them, but they look like they can do the job.

September 2, 2009, 02:22 PM
If I were the OP, I would think about investing some money into a full-auto. I'm guessing if he owns boats and takes long trips like he does, a nice FA M16 or AK47 wouldn't put too big of a dent in his wallet.

September 2, 2009, 02:25 PM
I would use no less than a shotgun AND a rifle with higher capacity magazines for such a trip. With your gun, 5 00 buck first then 3 slugs fill the tube. Ammo cans painted 3 different colors with loose ammo neatly packed in for my 00 my slugs and the rifle ammo. This way you can ask for the "red" can for 00 etc...
No reaso to warn a pirate. Shoot for the occupants as they approach!
Slugs may or may not harm an outboard and will not likely stop and inboard.

Old Grump
September 2, 2009, 08:55 PM
Warning shot is a wasted shot, scope your shotgun and buy a few cases of slugs.

Then practice with them.

.45 COLT
September 2, 2009, 09:26 PM
I'd certainly want a full auto in the situation. A group of pirates armed with AKs isn't going to be outfought by a shotgun and a couple of pistols. M-60 would be my choice, along with a couple of M1As for aux fire. If you man the M-60 soon enough, they probably will never get within shotgun range. I love shotguns, but sometimes they just aren't the right tool for the job.


September 2, 2009, 09:31 PM
you need rifles. Two AK or sks with 30 round mags.
load the shotgun with buck shot and hope they never get that close.
I would only shoot at the boat if it was an inflatable.
Shoot at the pilot or the one with a gun.

September 2, 2009, 09:56 PM
Aside from medium machine guns like M60's or M2's, I would go with M1A's (M14's) with a combination of armor piercing and ballstic tipped anti-personell rounds. They will give you a lot more range than an AK and a reasonoble chance of damaging the small vessels pirates are likely to use. They can also be effective in close range rapid fire if need be. The US navy has used M14's for a long time.

September 2, 2009, 10:23 PM
--M1 grand in 30-06 it will handle your long and medium with armor piercing and ballistic tipped anti-personnel. It has a reasonable clip for a rifle (not over M14 but it's 30-06 not 308). You should choose between the M1 or M14
--12 Gauge Slug (auto or pump not side by side or over under)gun for short and medium (slugs will shoot thru a car trunk)
--50 S&W or 44 Mag Handgun caliber. Armor piercing or ballistic tip, show stopper for close to medium.

Those guns will allow you ability to punch into a ship let alone a boat. You could also fire buck shot/dragon breath thru your slug gun barrel in a shtf scenario and you wont mind dorking up your barrel. I live buy the: least amount of calibers and take a butt load more ammo system of beliefs and I think that is worth looking into.

B. Lahey
September 2, 2009, 10:34 PM
I studied a bunch of pirate attacks for my International Criminal Law class last semester, and I can say that when pirates are confronted with any force, they go and find an easier target. They are looking to get rich, not injured or killed.

Just about any arms you can handle well will do the job. They have been chased off with handguns on numerous occasions, and even fire hoses and thrown deck chairs a few times (although firearms seem to scare them off a lot better).

Take whatever will draw the least amount of attention from authorities. Shotguns would probably be a good bet. Slugs would probably be a good choice for ammo.

"Exotic" shotgun loads are something to stay away from in general. They don't work. If they did, they would be in common use and not exotic.

Although "bird bombs" and flares could work for signaling purposes.

Willie Lowman
September 2, 2009, 10:36 PM
While we are going away from the OP's question, I say look here. www.tnwfirearms.com/guns_m2hb.shtml
As stated in others posts, a shotgun loaded with novelty shells is not gonna cut it against real honest to god pirates. Get some AKs or M1As at least. Real rifles with a good capacity. Know how to shoot them. Hope you don't have to.

Lawyer Daggit
September 2, 2009, 11:25 PM
The problem will be what you need versus what you can lawfully carry. While you need to be able to protect yourself against pirates you also need to ensure that you are not going to get arrested when you dock.

some parts of asia are well known for this type of 'misunderstanding'.

I understand that an appropriately loaded flare pistol (magnesium burns very hot) at short range can be a very effective improvised weapon.....

September 2, 2009, 11:55 PM
In international maritime travel, I feel that is the one time I need "hidey holes" and to keep my mouth shut at port! You never know what port you may be forced into due to weather and sea conditioners or un expected repairs. You may be forced to port in a corrupt place where the guns alone are reason to hijack the vessel and feed yer tied up self to the fishes...
This isn't teotwawki... it is realistic "Semper Paratus" for any maritime operator, commercial or recreational...
Hey if you have not done so already I highly suggest you read "Survive the Savage Sea" by Dougal Robertson...
Check the various links... The "dougal" link has some info and pics out of the book.
This family spent like 43 days adrift. It contains a ton of tips of severe survival to include the improvised tools and methods as well as food options such as there is a drop or more of fresh water between every vertebrae of a saltwater fish. Raw meat handling, Sea turtles for the meat blood and eggs... This book is an ABSOLUTE MUST READ in my opinion for anyone who will overnight at sea for even one night...
feel free to ask me direct questions as I spent years building a mental survival guide for just such adventures.

September 3, 2009, 12:03 AM
The problem is that these days, with pirates getting their hands on the good stuff, they can reach out and touch you from a much longer range. An RPG has an "effective" ( depends on who you ask. I say about 100-150yds.) 300 yard striking distance. And a Browning M2 .50 BMG is effective to about 1000 yards. Same with the Russian DSHK. OTOH, You would have to wait for them to close to about 100yds to do anything with that Mossy. Hmmmm...... All I can say is...... Good Luck.:o

September 3, 2009, 12:33 AM
Skan, These pirates are not usually approaching with arms drawn. They are trying to look like commercial/recreational fisherman or beggars. You have, likely, many seconds to bring your arms to action before they can. The rifle in semi auto with 20-30 round mags is a heck of a deterrent. It can be brought to bear from 300 yards out. If your travel companion will bring a gun to bear... the more the merrier.... If they bring them to bear on you, at least you tried, The persons aboard a small recreational vessel usually have little monetary ransom value so expect to be executed anyway. Fight first, fight hard and die trying.. the only unfair fight is the one you lose!
In international waters you are the king, president, chief pot scrubber and the police force of a sovereign island...
All rules are for you to make, interpret, and execute.

September 3, 2009, 03:20 AM
Hey Brent, coulda sworn he said he had some hand cannons and that mossberg. Didn't mention rifles. You'd have a better chance with a few rifles, but if they have a Ma Deuce or RPG, (Terrible Pirate Voice) "Thar still goin' to be seein' Davy Jones' Locker. Arrrrrgh!"

September 3, 2009, 10:35 AM
Hi guys, thanks for all the insight.

Hogdog makes the good point that most of the time, pirates will approach looking like fishing vessels. (We even know of some who brought local "gifts", then proceeded on board to hold the captain at gunpoint while raping the wife and daughter). This was my reason for wanting a warning shot if we can't raise them on the local radio channels (which would be suspicious, but not uncommon) and thinking a shotgun might make sense for close work.

So, now I'm leaning toward a .308 or .338 semiauto good for both close work and/or decent mid-range sniping. The M1A Scout Squad seems like a decent choice, but I'd love to find something tried/tested in a marine environment. And, a full size M1 is just a little too long. As such, the SOCOM makes sense for tight quarters (shooting out of portholes), but concerned about the distance/accuracy.

Also, FYI - as far as the port/legal aspect, we have pretty sweet (but expensive) hidey-hole built for our long guns. In port, we surrender a beat up old .38 special and a .22 Remi that satisfies authorities who are thankful you are forthcoming. If they bring dogs on board, we leave a couple spent shells in the area of the hiding place so we can say, "Good, dog. You found the shells we use in the guns we already gave to your masters..."

BTW - Full auto just doesn't make sense to me unless at anchor in a still bay - or at very close range. If you haven't done it, shooting from a boat (especially a rolly sailboat) is not a simple task.

Anybody have much experience with the SA SOCOM 16?

September 3, 2009, 10:58 AM
I agree to the use of the shells near the hidey hole. Also for a rifle, a mini 30 in 7.62 has a bit more punch than the .223 mini 14... Being a "wooden rifle" it does not come across as mean as a AR or AK... That is my personal choice. 7.62 on up to .30-06... nothing under it.
You are absolutely right about full auto but I didn't reply to that as I was feeling out your knowledge and attitude.
A captn. can nearly equal full auto cyclic rate if conditions allow or require but in semi you can back off the rate of fire to do more with less. No pirate wants to face the muzzle of a 7.62 being used with "frugal abandon" :D The shot gun is equally intimidating and lethal from 60 yards on in to gunnel distance!

September 4, 2009, 09:46 AM
Thanks is given to Capt Jeffery L. Kuhlman of Castle Security for his article in August 2009 edition of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News "The hardware of Vessel Defense' pg 21

While much of the article is pointed to merchant shipping he discusses the use of the shotgun, flares and other devices in vessel defense he makes strong mention of defensive sound devices.

This sort of equipment generates extremely powerful sound waves which most people find unbearable andd seek to go elsewhere in a hurry.

This type of device for a cruising pleasure craft jumps over many of the objections stated in earlier posts. -Effective, possession does not upset the governments of various ports which may be visited, non lethal, operable by one person as well as other considerations.

Having spent many years on the water beginning with small boats on the sailing team at the US Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point, in merchant shipping, long period in the US Navy including time with our former allies in the Republic of Vietnam. Owner and regular shooter of shotgun, (Browning, Remington, Beneilli over an equally lengthly period, I can see virtues in both lethal and non-lethal approaches.

I strongly suggest the OP look into defensive sound systems -not cheap by any means (think of a 50 cal with adequate ammunition) but well worth the cost if/when needed

pls call me at 757-651-1310 if I can be of assistance

September 5, 2009, 10:38 AM
bentley998 brings up a good point about using sound to deter pirates.

One problem is that LRAD units are pretty huge for a 40ft sailboat:

I should have mentioned more clearly that I'm all for using the VHF and Loud Hailer in tandem to warn off tailing craft. But, once they get inside a certain boundary (and they have proved that they won't be deterred),

There has always been a big debate about carrying arms at sea, whether is makes it more likely to survive (either by intimidation or an actual firefight), or more likely to escalate an attack. While I think this is a valid argument on merchant marine vessels where the pirates are most interested in taking valuables and cash/crew to be held for ransom (their life is worth something). It appears that the trend is different on small pleasure craft where there is no big shipping company (or insurance company) on the other end of the line, willing to fork over $100k-$250k per person. As a result, the crew of small pleasure craft are of little redeemable value to the pirates, therefore nothing but an extinguishable barrier to the ship's stores, electronics, women, etc... What happens to these boats? They (and their crew) just disappear. Period.

What is crazy to me is how brazen the pirates are, even attacking convoys to 5-10 yachts, betting on the fact that most Europeans won't have guns on board (only about 1-in-30 yachts in the Yemen and SE Asia are American) There are a couple of great stories online where the only weapon that the victims had was to turn their boats on the pirates to ram them (a 20 ton ketch can effective against a 1/2 ton fishing skiff).

If LRAD sound devices become more compact and cost effective, I'd be all for using it to replace my loud hailer. But, at the end of the day, an LRAD is no match to a Malaysian 50 yards out spraying the hull with fire from an AK47.

Thanks guys, I'm going to keep thinking through the Rifle/Shotty approach, with tactical plans well rehearsed (a lot of time on our hands in the South Pacific). If you think of any great ideas, let me know.

B. Lahey
September 5, 2009, 10:51 AM
What happens to these boats? They (and their crew) just disappear. Period.

Yep. It's particularly bad in SE Asia where they can easily sell stolen boats. The people on the boats are just an inconvenience to be gotten rid of at the soonest opportunity. Real bad news for the crew, armed resistance is the only real option.

The unarmed British marine security contractors have been using those LRADs for a while now with embarrassingly poor results. If you think that a painful noise is going to chase off pirates who regularly fire heavy machine guns with no ear protection, you may be in for a surprise. A lot of those guys are deaf as a post, and the rest seem very willing to tough it out.

But they will go look for an easier target when confronted with lethal force. It's a target-rich environment and they want to be wealthy, not dead or subjected to third-world medical care at sea.

September 5, 2009, 12:40 PM
While far from an expert on the subject, I've got my own ideas like everyone else. While the full auto crew has some valid points, I don't think buying and mounting an M-2 on your yacht will garner much sympathy from any nations coast guard you may happen to run afoul of. It's also probably illegal so your now asking for trouble from "legitmate" goverments who could care less that you have a Form 4 for it

I would lean to weapons that are multi purpose and effective but not necessarity military looking as there is no need to give the authorities more reason then they have to confiscate your stuff (which they may do anyway).

Were it me, everyone would have a sidearm, the same one in the same caliber to make logistics easier. I would probably stick to 9mm as that round is possibly easier to find in third world countries where .45 ammo may be hard to come by if you need to resupply. I don't suppose it really matters though as many countries forbid the possession of military calibers of any type for their populations so everything could be hard to find on the local economy.

Throw several mags in for each handgun along with some soft body armor. I'd probably also dump some money into a couple of the big surefire crew served weapons mounted lights and make mounting fixtures for them on the rails at various points around the boat.

Long guns would probably be a mix of pump shotguns (18 to 24 inch barrels)shooting a mix of slugs, 000 buck and maybe some Dragons Breath rounds if I could find them. I've never personally fired one but they look they would be intimidating as hell and, fired point blank into a small boat that was alongside (or close) trying to board may give the occupants something else to think about. You'd have to be careful with them as the wind would probably play the devil with them which could be dangerous to the good guys as well but, I'd probably try and have a few on hand just in case.

I like the 45-70 idea also, that and a couple heavy caliber bolt actons with good optics for taking out motors, crew served weapons and command elements. I'm not necessarily a big fan of the Mini-14 but it does not scream military rifle and is available in stainless so I'd probably throw a few of those into the mix as well along with as many factory mags as I could get my hands on. If I could find an old semi-auto Browning BAR (The hunting rifle) in 30-06 I'd grab one or two as they would make a good intermediate range, heavy caliber rifle with rapid follow up shot capability.

On the more exoctic end, I may even consider a couple of the 37mm flare launchers, which, depending on what you get, can be passed off as a safety/rescue device. I'm not sure what ammo selection is like for them but star clusters burn pretty hot and I'd hate to have one dropped in my boat which was full of fuel and explosives.

Whatever you choose, I'd get my crew up to speed and do some live fire drills shooting and moving around on a moving boat in full gear. Thats not something you want to first experience on the two way range

Good route planning would be your best defense though and trying to keep a low profile. Most goverments are nervous about boatloads of armed persons cruising their waters. No sense in inviting trouble.

September 5, 2009, 05:12 PM
couple of things.
There is (or at least, should be) no such thing as a warning shot.
If threat is implied, threat needs to be eliminated. Once the shooting starts, it won't be over until one of the parties flees or is conquered. And in a sailboat, you ain't fleeing.

You should develop a healthy perspective of paranoia that needs to be backed up with a threat reaction plan. Then practice your plan until you can do it blindfolded.

In many (most) cases of pleasure boat piracy, the victims did not suspect a bad outcome until the malefactors were within lethal range. By then, unless you're willing to take them down with you, it's too late to react and even if you do, you're likely to be faced with overwhelming firepower. They, unlike you, don't care about port of call laws on firearms and will be armed to the teeth.

Odds are, if they take your boat, they will kill you. Odds are, if they have an RPG, they're going to take your boat. If so, you're going to die; you just have to decide if you're going to die fighting.

Much good advice given already, but some things you might want to consider:

A strong defensive position. 4" of fiberglass hull between you and the bad guys is not a strong defensive position.

Body armor. Speaks for itself.

Forget automatic weapons. If you get caught with one, you will be your own reality show (In Jail Abroad). Consider a pump Remington 7600p (.308) with synthetic stock. Good to 3-400 yards and pump action allows you to stay on target whilst sending lead down range. Plenty of .308 rounds that will get the job done in terms of hull and motor piercing, as well as HTE (human threat elimination). Back that up with 12 gauge Remington Marine Magnum with lots and lots of 00. I know some folfs aren't in favor of exotic rounds, but there's one or two you'd want to have handy.

1) Dragon's Breath. The worst thing that can happen on a boat, and the one thing that demands everyone's attention is fire. Even pirates have to stop what they're doing to fight a fire. A couple of magnesium rounds placed center hull above the water line would be an option you'd want to have.

2) Armor piercing rounds. Yes, they exist.

3) Shell crackers. Not particularly lethal, but scary.

4) Signal flares for 12 gauge. They burn in excess of 2000 degrees. i consider this a dual-purpose round.

B. Lahey
September 5, 2009, 08:20 PM
Dragon's Breath


Have you ever fired one of those things? They are a joke. About a 5 yard maximum range puff of little sparkler bits. Totally useless for setting anything on fire except dry grass or open buckets of flammable liquid.


September 5, 2009, 11:42 PM

Maybe so. Maybe not. I'm not talking the $5/round stuff you can from Atlas Ammo.

There are some zirconium/magnesium/beryllium based exothermic rounds that might change your opinion. Kinda pricey, hard to find, and you'd want it to be the last round you shot until you've cleaned the gun, but those molten "sparkler bits" burn white hot for about 15-30 seconds.

Like I said, nothing gets attention on a boat like a fire.

September 6, 2009, 02:43 AM
Have you fired a rifle from a moving deck at sea at a bouncing target? I have, not an easy hit under good sea conditions. Practice when you get out to sea.
Ditto to knowing the laws of whatever coastal waters you may find yourselves in. Third world prisons will not be kind.
Only exotic round for the 12 gauge I would work well with the flares is the screamer that oddball company Blamm Ammo made years ago, supposed to be a LOUD screaming noise when fired.
Shoot fast and don't give up, follow Josey Wales' advice, "Get mean, I mean plum mad dog mean!"
Molotov cocktails into a boat next to you might be interesting, but dangerous to the thrower as well. Lit magnesium flares thrown into an open boat can also cause the opponent some consternation. Long guns should have bayonets mounted, as ridiculous as it sounds, to help repel boarders.
Just some random thoughts, not to be taken as any expert opinion of any kind.

Lee Lapin
September 6, 2009, 09:10 AM
The best sort of shock and awe you can deliver in the event of a pirate attack is big ragged holes in both the pirates and their boats. Marine type pump shotguns with buckshot and slugs (Brennekes) are the least expensive way to accomplish that, if the gunners are disciplined enough to lay low till the BGs are in range before taking them under fire, and then are fast, accurate and ruthless when they do open up. But having weapons on board boats docking in many overseas ports is gonna be a problem. Pirates are a 'maybe', port calls are a certainty.

GI surplus rocket boxes or artillery ammo tubes might be a possible way of stashing the hardware in an out of the way spot before making port, and recovering it after leaving...




Best of luck with both,


September 6, 2009, 11:36 AM
Is the sky the limit within reason on water for typical folks? Like is a big 50 cal. okay?

September 6, 2009, 12:12 PM
Great discussion guys, very interesting thoughts all around.

I was thinking, why expect pirates to come guns blazing in broad daylight?

I dont know about long distance sailing: do you ever spend nights in the open sea? If a pirate group is following you at a distance they would probably wait till night to swoop in and take over. especially if they have night vision, is that a stretch?

Nowhere Man
September 6, 2009, 12:21 PM
MikeGoob wrote;
Great discussion guys, very interesting thoughts all around.

I was thinking, why expect pirates to come guns blazing in broad daylight?

I dont know about long distance sailing: do you ever spend nights in the open sea? If a pirate group is following you at a distance they would probably wait till night to swoop in and take over. especially if they have night vision, is that a stretch?

Nothing is a stretch when it comes to pirates. Hopefully your radar would warn you of the approaching vessel. And, I would expect you would see them before sunset.


September 6, 2009, 01:19 PM
Is the sky the limit within reason on water for typical folks? Like is a big 50 cal. okay?
A barret .50 semi-auto would be a great gun to deploy. However it will be one of the harder ones to bring to bear as it is heavier and needs the bipod support to really utilize it best. The negative to this, is you are 100% at the mercy of the sea conditions. With a shoulder mount off hand, you can learn, with a little practice, to compensate for the rocking of the vessel.
We have packed clay pigeons in menhaden oil in a 5 gal bucket... Then we would shoot them from hand slinger. The result was fantastic as the sprinkling on the surface along with the oil would generatea heck of a topwater feed and resulting bite. But it did take practice to hit them in 2-3 foot seas on a little 25 foot center console.
I was thinking, why expect pirates to come guns blazing in broad daylight?

I dont know about long distance sailing: do you ever spend nights in the open sea? If a pirate group is following you at a distance they would probably wait till night to swoop in and take over. especially if they have night vision, is that a stretch?
A daylight attack is highly likely as the pirates rarely can keep the radar operational if they even know how to operate it. Night time attacks are more likely the closer to shore you are as the "beachcombers" can see your lighting.
As for following you, if they know or suspect you have a radar unit, they also can suspect you have either a sat phone or "addressable" gps alert system like "SPOT". so they have to fear you have "made them" and hailed the authority.
I would want no less than a 64 mile unit.

As for spending nights at sea... Many folks will be 15-45 days, easily, without making any port. You will be underway the whole time... This is a benny of the blow boat, snail boat.

September 6, 2009, 05:26 PM
I doubt a night time attack. From what I have read and seen in the news articles, the pirates operate off a mother ship. This probably has radar and comms, etc. But the attacks appear to be made from large open launches/fishing boats. These have nothing except a motor: no lights of any size, no deck, no comms, no radar, nada. So I doubt they would operate at night unless the mother ship was within sight.

Most of the pirates are dirt poor Somalis that jump on the boat to go get a quick grab and make a little money. Most of the ransom or booty probably goes to the warlord who owns the mother ship. I highly doubt they have night vision, optics, or any sophisticated weapons. More likely just rusty AKs.

That would be great for you to have night vision just in case.

September 7, 2009, 11:37 AM
Most of the pirates are dirt poor Somalis that jump on the boat to go get a quick grab and make a little money. Most of the ransom or booty probably goes to the warlord who owns the mother ship.
In that region the somalis do rule the underworld but I will address other regions in just a bit...
In the somali area, you are correct. The warlords get the cash and own the vessels... But remember these are millionaires who can afford to equip there vessels and crew with state of the art gear.

As for other regions, in the caribe, the pirates are generally dope smugglers in need of changing out vessels often. Just because you bought off the Port Master in Jamaica don't insure he won't call ahead to put other PM's aware of you coming in. So if you are in a 50 foot sport fish, you can jack a 40 foot sail boat once at sea so your approach is not noticed.
Not to mention the CG is conducting investigations hundreds and thousands of miles away from the USA.

More likely just rusty AKs.

it is proven that the somalis also routinely use RPG's... the warlord can buy any gear he wishes.

In the caribe, I think the majority of hi-jackings are the "good samaritan sucker" rouse. The pirate sees you on high tech radar and cuts the motors. A smoke canister set off in a metal bucket in the cockpit would force all but the most hardened of sailors to approach to render assistance (required nearly every where if not just the unwritten rule of sailors world wide). Once along side the pirate vessel, they are invited to board your vessel where you immediately have a semi-auto pistol shoved in your throat.

Sid Gault
September 7, 2009, 09:52 PM
From the beginning, I was against shot gun in this scenario. If it doesn't fall into 30 to 75 yards, a shotgun is wrong...a fast moving boat will cover that "moment" quickly.

I agree with a large caliber semi auto with a good scope to reach out there and get clean aimed shots before you come into their range. What I'm aiming at is a "sporting" rifle most used for hunting rhinos or elephants. Can you get one in semi auto? Would authorities notice larger magazines or stripper clip guides over the action? If it's got fancy furniture and a nice case, it might just pass. You might have two...or even one for each member of the party + one. But keep it sporting.

If you had more then couple signal guns and everyone had one, I suppose you might defend a boarding party.

Now you just need to make it all "yours" by practicing with it and experimenting with ammo.

September 7, 2009, 10:45 PM
I would say first of all that a warning shot gives away your element of surprise. Secondly, the Germans with the 88 cannons decimated the American tank crews with the 75s in large part because they had a larger effective stand off distance. You could be shread to pieces at longer ranges than your weapons are effective. I think an M14 would be a great choice, but legal restrictions may make a shotgun with slugs a better option. A BAR in 3006 or 7mm remingto mag might extend your range considerably and still be "sporting type" weapons. Whatever you decide, traveling alone around the world is dangerous no matter what you do. Tread softly and carry a big stick.

September 8, 2009, 12:05 AM
Speaking strictly of the shock and awe aspect and not going the FA route, I immediately thought of the hundreds of Youtubes showing some fellow bump firing any number of semi auto rifles. Some are actually quite impressive in the firepower sense. Not particularly accurate from what I've seen but would definitely get somebody's attention walking the bursts up to a boat size target. It might be a good enough bluff to make a pirate think he was up against FA weaponry.
Even before the bump firing you might look into the old shoestring FA conversion or possibly a Hellfire ammo waster just for the effect.

But as mentioned, sooner or later you've got to get to the nut cutting. If they don't buy the charade you can expect FA return fire at least. You'll have to make your stand and deliver. Time to get small and fire for effect with something with which you can hit what you aim at. I wouldn't automatically endow a pirate with legendary marksmanship skills from a moving boat either. I'd expect a whole lot of spraying going on.

If I were a younger man, it sounds like a hoot. Hell, it still kinda does.

Good Luck to you.

Big J
September 8, 2009, 06:32 PM
If the risk is this great I don't think I'd be able to take my family on this type of outing.... I agree it'd be one of the coolest life experiences ever but just not worth the risking of myself or family. I'd simply steer clear of those suspect areas. My first thought was the Barret .50 semi auto too. I'd even have places in the deck to mount it, lol...

September 9, 2009, 06:42 PM
You guys are cracking me up with this Barrett .50 talk I'd need a much bigger boat! (seriously, this would be very difficult to maneuver, even on deck - let alone down below.)

I just spoke with a maritime lawyer, who simplified the laws pretty well for me. In short, in international waters, you are responsible to the laws of your flag country (in terms of caliber, capacity, FA, rules of engagement, etc...) I have also been speaking with a couple of builders about adding layers of kevlar and steel inside the hull, beneath portholes on each side (that we'd be firing from, if possible.) Not cheap, but...

The whole problem here is the Gulf of Aden. I don't mind staying 500 miles from Malaysia, even if it means adding 3-5 extra days to a passage. But, I'd much rather head up the Red Sea to get to the Med than go all the way around Africa (pretty much staying is hostile territory the whole time).

Just traded my shotty in for a Winchester 1300 Marine pump (less maintenance worry). Looking for a decent marine-friendly SA in .308 or .338. Have plenty of handguns if it comes to that.

Other than being prepared from an arms/tactics point of view, we will plan out trip very carefully, avoiding as many hostile areas as possible, while traveling in caravans and/or under escort when possible.

Thanks for your help! If you have any more ideas. Let me know.

September 10, 2009, 07:29 AM
I like the shotgun idea but you need more than one. If a 50 rifle is out the question then get 1 or better yet 5 M1A rifles.

September 10, 2009, 12:31 PM
Shock and awe only works if you have more of it than the other side. As per your plans at the moment, you don't.
About the Barrett - which I think is the best idea by far (and the priciest) - how big do you think a Barrett semi-auto is anyway? A Remington 870 is spec'd at 46-48" long. A Barrett with the 20" barrel is the same length as the 870. The longer barrel for the Barrett adds nine inches. How is that too big? I've spent a lot of time on sailing vessels (my son lived on one for years) and don't see the length as a big issue. The $9K price tag is something else, however.

September 10, 2009, 02:07 PM
or you can get a 308 in a bull pup design for compact purposes


Lee Lapin
September 10, 2009, 07:04 PM
I doubt any potential attackers are going to give you enough warning or indication of their intent ahead of time to make the standoff ability inherent in a powerful CF rifle any advantage to you as they close for their assault. Once contact is made and the attackers find themselves unable to press the attack home without resistance from you, however, they may fall back and attempt retaliation from a distance.

So you have two choices, essentially, as far as I can tell. Clear their decks promptly and completely upon first contact, or be prepared to stand them off after they open range and continue their fire once the initial assault fails. Neither one of those are attractive alternatives, but getting tossed over your own transom with your throat cut has a pretty high suckage quotient as well.

Were I planning this, every adult capable of handling one safely and effectively would have a sidearm available. In the only times I've had to carry a sidearm in a marine environment, I found a Glock quite satisfactory. It came off a lot better exposed to salt spray than the Beretta M9s the coasties we encountered a couple of times were carrying. I bought my first Glock in 1990 with the specific purpose of carrying it in a marine environment, and had ocasion to carry it several more times subsequently. It never gave me any problems.

I think you did really well finding a Winchester 1300 marine version- those are nice guns, and sadly out of production now. Learn to run it really well, and lay in a good stock of heavy loads for it- 00 or 000 buck, Brenneke rifled slugs (I like Brenneke KOs- not the sabot stuff though), maybe even some Dixie Tri-Ball ( http://www.dixieslugs.com/products.html ).

You can pretty well select your pattern size by picking different brands/loads of buckshot. A CYL or cylinder bore barrel is no drawback here. For wide open patterns, the cheap stuff (Rio, S&B etc) with unprotected soft lead pellets will get you there as a rule. The run-of-the-mill buckshot from leading manufacturers will get you mid sized patterns most of the time. And the expensive premium stuff- Federal with FliteControl wads, or Hornady TAP FPD, likewise with FliteControl, will get you amazingly tight patterns out of many barrels at pretty surprising distances. For this application, I personally would stay away from any of the reduced recoil loads. Reduced recoil means either reduced velocity or reduced payload or both, and I don't want either when it's for serious.

I don't really see any use for anything other than serious lead projectiles, personally. The "blammo ammo" stuff is a mere novelty, IMHO. If I'm going to unlimber a shotgun for serious, I want to blow big honking holes in stuff, period. YMMV of course. It's your neck after all.

This stuff will be painful to shoot in a gun that doesn't weigh about eight pounds or so, adding some weight to the gun by filling some of the stock voids with lead shot might be a help.

When I was experimenting with the then-new FN Police Pump (a 1300 clone) a couple of years ago (see http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=170316 ), I found recoil with heavy loads unpleasant in the relatively light weight shotgun. I added a 2-shot magazine extension for more weight up front, and filled the void under the pistol grip cap in the synthetic stock with lead shot as well. If you wanted an extended magazine on your 1300, you could always get the extension plated to match. A better recoil pad might help too.

I'd get as many 12 gauge marine type shotguns on board as there were people capable of using them safely and effectvely in the crew. Remington's 870 Marine Magnum is a bit heavier from the factory, with its all steel receiver, and they are still being made. The Mossberg 590 is made in a marine finish as well, and they are good guns. I don't have any experience with the new Charles Daly in the chrome finish, or otherwise, so I can't offer an endorsement for it yet.

I'd make sure at least one person on the crew had a full blown shotgun class, if you do decide to depend on scatterguns as primary armament. Louis Awerbuck or Randy Cain come immediately to mind as the instructors I would look for. Then that person could work with everyone else on the crew to hone their fighting shotgun skills.



September 10, 2009, 07:18 PM
I doubt any potential attackers are going to give you enough warning or indication of their intent ahead of time to make the standoff ability inherent in a powerful CF rifle any advantage to you as they close for their assault.
That is where a 64 or 96 mile radar in the hands of a well versed operator paying close attention to the screen comes in handy as heck. when an operator is entering dangerous waters, the gain knob gets cranked a little tighter so you could basically see the fin of a porpoise approaching;)

September 10, 2009, 08:48 PM
Radar is a great idea - you'll know what's going on around you - including the weather. We use it to avoid weather here in FL (and to find flocks of seagulls where the tuna are).

As for shotguns - the 870 is a better gun than Charles Daily or Mossberg. I've been hunting ducks iun salt water for 30 years and have had my 870 for 20 of them - same gun, not 1 failure. Can't say the same for the Mossbergs.

If a load of buckshot can kill deer to 70+ yards, why can't it do the work on a person? Think 00 or 000 for distance and #4 for close work (inside 50 yards). I have no idea what a buckshot pellet does to a wrist or ankle but I bet it hurts.

I would look more for the AK/Mini-30 route with 30+ round magazines and high capacity handguns - 9mm with 18 round clips for side arms. The ARs are expensive and the bullets aren't much different.

What I wanted to say was that you now have to practice shooting at moving targets while you are moving! LOL!

Nothing worse than shooting some trap or skeet a couple of times before you go - you need to lead and not stop your swing. It will also give you an excuse to get use to the 12 ga and pumping it....and loading it as you shoot.

Teach the wife the AK/Mini-30 and handguns. You can handle the shotgun work.

Kevlar to the hull won't stop bullets - 150 gr rifle bullets will go all the way thru the boat - side to side.

Lee Lapin
September 11, 2009, 08:23 AM
Radar will let you know someone is there, or if they are coming closer. It won't tell you who they are or what their intentions are though...

Just saying...


September 11, 2009, 08:50 AM
Lee, I agree... But once you are in well open seas, any vessel making direct headway to your position is reason to give concern... Ready the vessel and crew for anything. In less than secure waters, all firepower should be accessible in rapid order with at least your first line of defense nearly fire ready.

One more thing for prepping the arms and ammo... I said color coding the ammo to make it easier for others to assist... Why not put a like color of electrical tape wrap on stock and barrel. Red paint on the 12 gauge ammo cans red tape on the shotgun, green tape on the rifle green paint... (well they are already green:D)

September 11, 2009, 01:00 PM
Dude, when zombie pirates attack, you need at least a battle rifle in .308 with lotsa magazines. a 50 BMG on your deck would be the best you could do imho. i'd also have any glock in the flavor you like and a few mags as well. Hell, I have 50 lbs of ammo just in my truck!!!!!!!!:D

September 11, 2009, 01:04 PM
Zombie pirates are not the risk of reality... heck they won't show up on radar no how...
It is the real life pirates that a sailing family must be prepared for...;)
Zombie talk is actually not allowed here...
PM en route.

September 11, 2009, 01:06 PM
well, real pirates are still not going to wana be shot at with 308win. damn

September 11, 2009, 01:09 PM
Real pirates don't want to be shot at with a .22lr. It is their hopes that the target won't even pull an Olin orange flare gun out.

September 11, 2009, 01:18 PM
You are talking about engaging a paramilitary force with a high likelihood that they have combat experience. All you will do by being armed is get yourself and your passengers and crew killed and wounded, and increase the number and types of weapons that the pirates have. Your most effective defense would be to make yourself appear to be of little to no value to them. Don't travel the dangerous parts of your trip with the boat decked to the nines, and everybody on board dressed like they have a bank account. Unless you've go armor, don't engage, an RPG is no joke (been shot at with more than a few), and anyone who thinks they can take on a well armed pack of third world killers with commercially available weapons is both foolish, and suicidal. Unarmed, you will almost certainly make it through alive, if a bit behind schedule, and lighter in the wallet. Your first shot would be about all you'd get, and it would be promptly answered by automatic rifle fire, rockets, and whatever else they have to throw at you. Forget sniping in open water, too, unless you've done it before (and allot), you won't hit anything but sky and ocean.

September 11, 2009, 01:31 PM
Green, You are 100% incorrect in this... You are very unlikely to survive! YOU AS A LIFE HAVE NO VALUE ALREADY!!! They want the vessel and stores and will not toss you over in a raft to identify them or your missing vessel to the authority. you will be shark turds in short order. It is the commercial merchant marine employees that have a "life value". This "para military force" will be 3-8 individuals in one boarding vessel of the private stolen variety... These "goons" are not trained to fight force with force... They are trained to board and terrorize the occupants into submission and kill them or take them hostage if ransom expectations are high. They are more likely to back off at the first sign of resistance and fight from a distance (reason or a .30-06) or return later (not as likely as you will likely have hailed attention from authority and naval forces)...
If they do return with a back up vessel... shoot at both equally.:D

September 12, 2009, 07:57 PM
Manonash,May God be with you.But,if you are determined to do this with the wife in tow and no escort.IMO,Use Glocks(10mm,.45,.40)full size.Tough,rust resistant,proven.Marine grade Shotguns with .00 for boarders only.HK91,FAL,M14,AR10,HK93 or M4 rifles.(at Least 2).There are cheaper versions out there.But,I stress reliability.Reliability or death.Know your weapons.Practice often.Keep them clean.Have plenty of ammo.You can get food and water .Ammo will be at a premium.And most of all mindset.This is where people live or die.If they board you will at the least be tortured and abused.Remember this.You most likely will die.Fire to kill from a distance with your rifle.If they keep coming fire at will until the assault is repelled or they board.If boarded,Use shotguns and handguns as needed from a fortified prearranged position.Remember,they are there to do you harm.You harm first without hesitation or remorse.Then vacate the premises as fast as the wind will take you.


September 12, 2009, 08:11 PM
Manonash,May God be with you.But,if you are determined to do this with the wife in tow and no escort.IMO,Use Glocks(10mm,.45,.40)full size.Tough,rust resistant,proven.Marine grade Shotguns with .00 for boarders only.HK91,FAL,M14,AR10,HK93 or M4 rifles.(at Least 2).There are cheaper versions out there.But,I stress reliability.Reliability or death.Know your weapons.Practice often.Keep them clean.Have plenty of ammo.You can get food and water .Ammo will be at a premium.And most of all mindset.This is where people live or die.If they board you will at the least be tortured and abused.Remember this.You most likely will die.Fire to kill from a distance with your rifle.If they keep coming fire at will until the assault is repelled or they board.If boarded,Use shotguns and handguns as needed from a fortified prearranged position.Remember,they are there to do you harm.You harm first without hesitation or remorse.Then vacate the premises as fast as the wind will take you.


September 12, 2009, 09:18 PM
I've some sailing experience though not a lot on open water - but a couple of friends who have and one of those has a master's ticket and ferries yachts for a living. I asked him about this and he had two comments. The first was basically, be lucky. The second was that after a couple of weeks at sea he can shoot well offhand. He uses a FAL, and having a couple myself, I concur that the reliability of military arms is important. His brother was SAS and says a bullpup is the better way to go - keeping the movement of the barrel down - but we both pointed out to him that he was forced to go with the bullpup...;) This guy is still at sea.
The other guy sailed the Caribbean a lot and he said the waters there are perhaps worse because the likelihood of other boats is so much higher than in Malaysian waters and he worries more about the proximity of land masses. He is less concerned with Malaysia because he feels he can afford to be less laissez-fair about the traffic and immediately retrieve a rifle if something pops up. He has also had several run-ins in the leewards that were not too pleasant, ending up in hospital on one occasion. He simply said to never tell someone what your next port of call is at the club, and leave early in the morning when heading out. Other than that he bowed to the Brit (he's Rhodesian - not Zimbabwean - as he would say) on the matter of what to take along - we all attended the same boarding school in the dark continent way back.
My mate's brother does have a good point though about the bullpup, and you may find that a PS90 or such, though its rounds might be small are both loaded to the gills at fifty rounds, easy to hold on target, and easier to conceal and ammo takes up less room loaded into those long mags. Again, we grew up with FALs but I have to listen to a guy with a lot of experience in a more lethal kind of existence.
Good luck to you, and go for it! A night under the Southern Cross is worth a little worry.

September 12, 2009, 09:28 PM
I should add that the guy with the master's ticket is a dead ringer for a blond-haired 6'6" 250 pound rugby player, so keep in mind that a FAL gets heavier by the second offhand, distance shooting, without the usual jacket and glove of a hi-power shooter - and its not like you can lean on the mast..