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Old April 20, 2013, 09:58 PM   #1
azmark
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22 snake shot

Have any of you ever killed a rattlesnake with 22LR shot shells? I'm looking at .22s for an easier to carry option than my big .357 when I'm walking around on my property. We have more rattlers here than anyone else I know. Just wondering how effective the .22 would be at a maximum 10' distance.
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:06 PM   #2
2damnold4this
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I think a .22 shot shell fired from a handgun would be lucky to penetrate a paper plate at ten feet.
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:14 PM   #3
Super Sneaky Steve
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I've seen a guy shoot a 20oz plastic pop bottle with that load and it didn't penetrate.

It might kill a rollie pollie from 3 inches away.
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:52 PM   #4
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I shot a snake with some .410 six shot and it did not kill it cleanly at all. It was a small rattler about 12" long from a distance of about 10'. It took three shots. .22 would be near impossible.
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:57 PM   #5
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Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer .410 would be my minimum. (carry one when hiking in the desert trials).
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Old April 21, 2013, 12:19 AM   #6
azmark
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I have killed several with my GP 100 and CCI snake shot. It never took more than one shot. Killed one with a Taurus Judge using a 2 1/2 in .410 loaded with #6. Dead right there, no twitching. My 1911 with a CCI shot shell worked well, too. One shot kill at 20 ft. 9mm shot shell works well, too. All the above hang kinda heavy on the belt.

I have considered a small .38, but a man I know only uses his Bearcat to shoot snakes. I wanted to hear how the .22 worked for others who have used it. I've only used the .22 on mice.
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Old April 21, 2013, 01:45 AM   #7
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They're easy enough to kill with a stick or rock if you're inclined to kill them. I wouldn't waste my time with rat shot. I bought a box of the stuff about 25 years ago and still have most of it...

Take a pick handle with you to use as a walking stick and you're covered for just about anything unarmed that walks or crawls toward you.
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Old April 21, 2013, 05:35 AM   #8
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I killed a water moccasin with snake shot in a nickel Beretta model 21. Much closer than 10'. I got as close as I dared, leaned over the top and aimed for his head.
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Old April 21, 2013, 07:26 AM   #9
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I have once successfully used .22 snake shot on a 4' Copperhead. Fired from a 5.5" Heritage single action. I was about 6' to 8' away, approached from behind, and picked an aim point immediately behind his head. There was some muscle twitching, but he was dead. To be effective with .22 snake shot, you need to be as close as you dare.

OTH, if you live on a ranch, do you have neighbors close by? You could always just use standard .22 ammunition.
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Old April 21, 2013, 07:38 AM   #10
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I have annihilated scores of chipmunks with a .22 mag. using shot. And, yes, I have killed a rattler and many copperheads with the same medicine. But, that is .22 mag. I don't know how regular .22lr shot performs. You do have to be very close since there isn't much shot in that capsule.
On my farm I carried my .44 mag. with shot capsules I loaded myself and used that for mostly copperheads. I used #7 1/2 shot in it and that carried much further with killing effect.
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Old April 21, 2013, 07:41 AM   #11
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It works just fine for bumblebees and wasps. It used to cost no more than some of the more effective sprays.
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Old April 21, 2013, 07:55 AM   #12
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not sure about snakes, but .22 shot does the job on rats. On something that has the capability to hurt me, I'd stick with something more potent.
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Old April 21, 2013, 07:59 AM   #13
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Stick with your 357 and snake shot. Snake shot in a 22LR is anemic at best and only useful for shooting mice. I've had a hard time killing rats with a 22 unless you make a good hit.

A walking stick works a lot better if you have to dispatch a poisonous snake.

With a 22.... learn to shoot better and use regular ammunition.
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Old April 21, 2013, 08:37 AM   #14
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A large square-bladed shovel is ideal, but a machete is easier to carry.

Although my first shot with any gun killed a large garter snake instantly (Daisy #25 BB rifle, prone position, right into his eye, beginner's luck) I've also stood around with friends emptying our .22s into another snake who refused to die.
I gave up on shooting at snakes many years ago, if they actually need killing there are far more effective tools.
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Old April 21, 2013, 09:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
I gave up on shooting at snakes many years ago, if they actually need killing there are far more effective tools.
Good for you, the key words are "if they actually need killing". I haven't killed one in over fifty years, despite having spent huge amounts of time in the outdoors. I won't kill a snake unless it's him or me. It hasn't been him or me since that time decades ago, if in fact it was then. They're part of the Big Picture, with their own jobs to do--like keeping down the rat and mouse populations, for example.

I have some .38 Special shot shells I bought years ago, but only because an LGS owner tried to convince me they're devastating up-close SD rounds. I wanted to test them because I thought he was only trying to sell shot shells (still think so). I've never carried them, and won't unless we have an invasion of rats in my neighborhood.
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Old April 21, 2013, 09:33 AM   #16
therifleman556
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Are snakes that hard to kill? I've had good success knocking pigeons out of empty silos with LR shotshells. Kills em just as dead as the 12 gauge does.
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Old April 21, 2013, 09:57 AM   #17
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Good for you, the key words are "if they actually need killing". I haven't killed one in over fifty years, despite having spent huge amounts of time in the outdoors. I won't kill a snake unless it's him or me.
That is one perspective. Another point of view is that I don't want them around my house where my small children play.

Quote:
Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer .410 would be my minimum. (carry one when hiking in the desert trials).
That is the exact gun that required three hits to kill it. After that I switched to a sod cutter. One whack with the sod cutter dispatches them quick and clean.

The .410 out of that short barrel simply does not have enough energy on it.
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Old April 21, 2013, 10:09 AM   #18
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I shot a water moccasin six times with .22lr shot at 18 inches. Not one pellet penetrated its skin.

The 12ga coach gun with 7.5 shot, however, did.
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Old April 21, 2013, 10:19 AM   #19
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When I was much younger, it was not at all unusual to encounter a rattler when out in the sage/grass/pine country. It was not hard to pop them in the head with a .22LR 40 gr solid at 10 feet or so. I collected the rattles in a match box. I never saw a need, nor could I afford, for the expensive snake shot stuff.

I no longer shoot snakes as I find it easier to just walk around and away from them, than to kill them and dink around burying the head and all.
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Old April 21, 2013, 11:48 AM   #20
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You actually cut the head off and bury them? I had never heard that until I saw it on the survival shows. But it is all kind of mute for me anyway as I simply don't kill poisonous snakes anymore unless it is in my yard, bite me, or is a water mocasin. I dislike those aggressive snakes that the South is "blessed with" and would prefer they do not exist at all.
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Old April 21, 2013, 12:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
But it is all kind of mute for me...
The word you need there is "moot".


There aren't any poisonous snakes on the wet side of the cascades. Common prairie rattlers on the dry side and they're fairly shy.
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Old April 21, 2013, 12:06 PM   #22
DMZX
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There is a good possibility that hornets could consume the head if left unburied.

Such hornets, if disturbed, would be capable of giving someone a +P+ sting, which could be fatal to some.
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Old April 21, 2013, 12:54 PM   #23
shouldazagged
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That is one perspective. Another point of view is that I don't want them around my house where my small children play.
I understand your point. My kids are 48 and 46, and unfortunately or fortunately, however you look at it, grew up in city neighborhoods where even the common copperhead was very rarely seen. They were taught to watch where they stepped; but of course, little kids forget.

But some people just go irrational on seeing any snake and have to kill it. I understand it's a true phobia for many. I still recall many years ago when a friend of mine who held a job as a park naturalist for one of our state parks freaked while we were wading a stream, yelled, "Water moccasin!", and killed a beatiful, harmless banded water snake.

We don't have "water moccasins"--cottonmouths--east of far western Kentucky, or didn't then. They don't look anything like the banded snake. And I wondered if my friend was in the right job for him.
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Old April 21, 2013, 01:17 PM   #24
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22 snake shot

I've just recently heard it called "snake shot". I've always called it bird shot, though technically its just shot shells.
I do carry a revolver with 22mag shot shells sometimes in case of a copperhead sighting. They will be killed on sight even if I have to go out of my way to do it.
I wouldn't chance it with 22lr, walking stick might be better.
I'll be upgrading this spring/ summer to 38spl shot shells.
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Old April 21, 2013, 01:41 PM   #25
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I don't like to kill snakes because they keep the rodent population down. Up at the cabin in Williams ( AZ ) once in a while there will be a rattler too close to the house, so, out comes .22. CCI .22 LR snake shot is not a long range proposition, it is for short range work only ( Heck, if they are too far away to kill, why kill them? ), At five feet it will kill a snake deader than a door knob, at ten feet it will bounce off. CCI .22 snake shot is not a long range hunting load, it is for close and dirty rodent and snake control. CCI .22 mag shot shells are better and the CCI .38 shot shells are even better, but even those are short range tools. Not designed to shoot squirrels out of trees. ,but snakes at your feet.
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