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Old March 3, 2013, 12:33 AM   #1
justplainpossum
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Snake shooter

Hi, what ammo would ya'll recommend for shooting snakes? I currently have a Ruger Security Six .357 magnum, and a little S & W .32. Can't use anything with a stock. Can I use one of those guns?

I was walking with my dog in the uplands area, passed by a pile of leaves, and a cottonmouth leaped out and struck at us! I screamed and ran home and called my neighbor (he has a shotgun), but I would like to handle this problem myself in the future.

Up until now I've killed the poisonous ones with a shovel, but that cottonmouth had a long reach!
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Old March 3, 2013, 12:35 AM   #2
sunaj
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I have found the 357 shot produces a very respectable pattern at about 7 yards, about right for a snake encounter,
22s will work but a much smaller pattern
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Old March 3, 2013, 12:37 AM   #3
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Even a .32 is a bit excessive for a snake. Try something in .22lr, only thing I'd use it for besides squirrel.
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Old March 3, 2013, 02:01 AM   #4
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I believe the shot shells for the 357 should work for you. The shot shells aren't very effectove below .38. If it were me, I'd load some shot shells and do some testing with some targets, jugs and so forth to see how they do. More than likely I would load a few regular 38spl's in the cylinder too.

The problem with snakes is you have to hit them. Many aren't adept at hitting such a small target. Snakes of this size aren't particularly hard to kill. I have found a good strong walking stick works just fine. I don't have any experience with Pythons and so forth.

The Taurus 45/10 or S&W Govenor were made for this purpose and they use a 410 shell.
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Old March 3, 2013, 03:35 AM   #5
justplainpossum
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Well, this is probably a dumb question, but... I just found some old 38/357 shotshell #9, made by CCI -- and on the back it's stamped EX 02. Does that mean expiration 2002? Does ammo have an expiration date?
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Old March 3, 2013, 04:03 AM   #6
publius
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no ammo doesn't expire.
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Old March 3, 2013, 08:17 AM   #7
kcub
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.410 derringer or revolver.

Best thing this side of a proper shotgun. Blow his whole head off.
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Old March 3, 2013, 08:22 AM   #8
Viper225
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I too have Cotton Mouths, Copper Heads, and Rattlers where I live. In the Summer my Concealed Carry 38/357 will normally have a couple shotshells up front for snakes, unless I am headed to town.

Seven yards is stretching it for a handgun shotshell. Seven feet is probably closer to good snake shot range.

I normally load my own shotshells, Speer sells pre loaded ones.

Last summer I only ran across a couple copper heads, the year before I bagged around 15 total, most cotton mouths. The creek back in the woods behind my place is getting loaded with them.


Good hunting.

Bob
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Old March 3, 2013, 09:13 AM   #9
kutz
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I use 410 in a Judge or Bond Arms or 357 shotshells in Ruger LCR depends on the day.
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Old March 3, 2013, 09:21 AM   #10
wyobohunter
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Snake shooter

Those CCI shells you found should be perfect. Take some sheets of paper and draw circles the size of a snakes head. See how your gun patterns at different ranges from 2 steps to 6 or 7 steps away. The goal is to put a large portion of the shot in the head.

This will show you your maximum effective range. If you run across a snake that is outside that range you can either choose to get closer and kill it or, walk away safely.
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Old March 3, 2013, 01:36 PM   #11
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Keep in mind that the majority of venomous snake bites result from attempt to kill the snake.
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Old March 3, 2013, 01:47 PM   #12
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CCI snakeshot from a 3" Chiefs Special works for me. Probably 8 feet.

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Old March 3, 2013, 02:55 PM   #13
BigD_in_FL
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Quote:
Seven yards is stretching it for a handgun shotshell. Seven feet is probably closer to good snake shot range.
+!. You have MAYBE 100 pellets going through a rifled bore, so a doughnut pattern is the results. Past 7-8 feet your odds of hitting the snake drop dramatically.

I would NOT use .22 shotshells, they are filled with #12 shot - good for shooting moths and wasps - not snakes

Also agree about carrying a long walking stick- works for snakes and other dogs
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Old March 3, 2013, 03:21 PM   #14
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Yeah you're right-7 feet is about right for a 357 ss
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Old March 3, 2013, 05:34 PM   #15
justplainpossum
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Redlevel, are you sure that thing is dead?!! Ohmygosh!!! (pulling my feet up as I sit on the couch)
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Old March 5, 2013, 11:24 AM   #16
lcpiper
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Justplainpossum weren't you asking about hog killin the other day?

I forget but I think all you need tyo do is load the first two rounds with snakeshot and the rest hard cast bullets, .357 is a pretty respectable handgun. There were many suggestions but changing the grips for some Pachmyers or other good rubber grips that will take up some more of the recoil should do well for an inexpensive start.
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Old March 5, 2013, 07:56 PM   #17
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Another +1 for .38/.357 shotshell and agree on the 7-10 feet comments--usually DRT especially at the 7' or so. Longest for me - about 13-15' and I may have been lucky with a direct head shot. It disabled it but I did follow up with a closer second. The nasty no-leggeds can never be too dead! I load two CCI in my 3" S&W 65 and it's been very effective on our diamondbacks and Mohaves in Arizona. I wish CCI would come out with a .32H&R/.327 shotshell as it'd be perfect out of my 431 Smith snubbie for extra light carry for quick day hikes etc or Single Six as a fun camper.
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Old March 5, 2013, 11:02 PM   #18
ArkieVol
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Handloads

I load my own for 38 spl, 357 and 44 spl revolvers using #7 shot (left over from filling my boat anchor) and carry with two shot shells up front with the rest regular ammo. Only carry them when walking the dog at night and, so far, have never had to use them. Practice shots showed a good pattern up close but they scatter badly over 10'.

Easy to load and load data is included in each box of capsules.

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Old March 5, 2013, 11:14 PM   #19
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My buddy lives in weatherford tx and has lots of snakes. I even stepped on a 42" long rattler out there but didn't get bit.

I loaded a 50 round box of 32 mags with gas checks and #12 shot and in about 9 months he killed 30 + snakes. He shot a couple more than once but most died instantly with the first shot.

Shooting a snake with a solid bullet is almost a luck shot. This suckers won't hold still and let you kill them. And if you hit them in the body most times that is not a kill shot.
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:30 AM   #20
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Your .357 with shotshells sounds like a good bet. If it fits your hand well it's perfect.
If this is a question that has to do with justification for a new pistol that's different.
My single six has dispatched it's share of prairie rattlers with head shots from closer than I like to think about, so I know it works in my neck of the woods, but you live in a completely different type of place if you have cottonmouths.
Does a single six work on snakes? You bet. Done it.
The reason it worked so well was because the gun at that point was almost a natural part of my hand. It's still my favorite gun because it points so incredibly well.
Find a gun that the holes in the target seem to naturally appear where you want them and caliber isn't nearly as big a deal.
I've been where you're at in terms of snake strikes. When split seconds matter I want what I know I can hit the snake with, and that means what points the most naturally for me.
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Old March 6, 2013, 01:55 AM   #21
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I reload 38 & 44 ammo with Speer Shot Capsuls filled with #11 shot. I can't find #12 anymore.
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Old March 6, 2013, 02:36 AM   #22
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the 45acp snakeshot from cci patterned unusually well at 10 yards from my 5'' 1911 and it cycled every time . i havent had a chance to try it on a snake but it seems promising. mabey ill try to hit some clays with it.
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Old March 6, 2013, 05:51 AM   #23
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I handload 38 special shot shells. The loading manual doesn't doesn't provide data for 357. I have a picture at 5 yards (I would get closer) http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=440624
I would follow the 7 foot effective range advice. The only way you will be sure of effective distance is to pattern your 357 with shot shells.
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Old March 6, 2013, 11:20 AM   #24
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I have started carrying a NAA .22 mag mini-revolver loaded with snake shot in my pocket during snake season. I haven't used it yet, but I have tested it on various targets at 2 yards, and I am confident it will do the job. That way, I don't have to keep my carry piece loaded with the snake shot. I carry j-frames, and one chamber loaded with snake shot means only four rounds of my self defense ammo.
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Old March 6, 2013, 02:21 PM   #25
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Don't worry Red, even SS will work for defense. Think of them as tracers.
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