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Old July 18, 2013, 12:15 AM   #1
azmark
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Downsizing

I want a smaller, lighter weight handgun with rattlesnakes in mind. Elbow and tendon problems have me looking for a small, light handgun with a light trigger pull to eliminate problem rattlers and do a little fun shooting, too.

I like the idea of a Bond Arms derringer. The idea of a .410 is interesting both because effectiveness against pesky varmints and the practical matter of ammo availability. It's easy to find, there are some pretty light loads out there, and it's actually cheaper than almost all the handgun ammo I'm seeing these days. The recoil is not such an issue with my bum elbow as much as holding up front end weight and squeezing a trigger. They also come in .38 which is a good shot shell caliber that has worked for me.

The derringer is pretty short, fairly light for a solid stainless gun, and single action. A Smith 637 might work well but I've never fired one so I don't know the trigger; same with the Bond. I already have a little .38 ammo including some CCI snake shot.

I thought about rimfires, but shot shells are hard to find, a tad weak also in 22lr. 22mag would work well but I have no ammo and no way I'm paying the inflated prices if I can even find any. Hard to believe .410 is cheaper than 22, huh?

My 1911 works well with shot shells but is still a tad uncomfortable because it's a bit front heavy.

Those are my thoughts, brothers, what are yours?
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Old July 18, 2013, 06:51 AM   #2
kahrguy
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I use a 22 for small pest ,only if needed!! And when you look at the weight of a bond at 19oz + for a 410/45 its more than heavier than a whole pile of 5 to 7 shot 9mm,40 and 45 pistols that are quicker to cock and fire.

If you want one by all means buy one but to ask?? If it practical to you that's all that matters.

For troubling pest we use a .22lr revolver with ether rat shot or cb shorts. Rat shot is not hard to find for us and even at the inflated price its cheap compared to 50 rounds of 410 !!

Buy what YOU want. You will find guys on both sides of the issue.

My 9mm pocket pistol is lighter loaded with 6+1 than a loaded short barrel 410 bond.

For out and about and pest get in the way get a walking stick . Easier to whack a snake and draw no attention than shot one and walk away. If your so close you think you need to shoot it your to close already or you can allways walk around it .
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Old July 18, 2013, 08:08 AM   #3
thickice
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Both of my Bond derringers had very hard trigger pulls.
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Old July 18, 2013, 11:13 AM   #4
glenncal1
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I haven't shot a derringer in .410 but I have shot a Judge, it had a fair amount of recoil. 22 mag shotshells are good on snakes. A .32 revolver sounds like what you need recoil wise but I don't know about the availability of shotshells for it.
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Old July 18, 2013, 01:49 PM   #5
azmark
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Kahrguy,

A .22 would be great. Finding snake shot is nearly impossible right now. There are tons of 22 pistols to choose from, but no daggone shot shells that I've been able to locate. Then there's the insanely priced normal rimfire ammo. I started looking at smaller 9mm's and 45's That are SA or DA/SA.

glenncal1,

The .410 would kick a bit. We used to have a Judge also, so I'm familiar with that. The centerline of the bore is a lot lower on the bottom barrel of the Bond, so that wouldn't be so awful. But thickice says the Bond triggers are a bit stiff, so they're out.

I need to handle some smaller frame guns. Maybe a compact 1911 although they tend to be pricey. At least I know where I can get the shot shells and they will kill a rattler DRT.

I don't hunt for the snakes, for those of you that might be a tad sensitive, but my property is cursed or something. I have had to shoot more rattlers than anyone else I know has even SEEN much less having to deal with them. They come up close to the house and the dogs won't leave them alone. Not even the one that got bitten. I choose dead snake over dead dog every time. The hound was very lucky to have lived. She really beat the odds. It was rough watching her in so much pain for so long and then having that nasty weeping wound that you get from a rattlesnake bite.
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Old July 18, 2013, 05:26 PM   #6
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Being a genius, I laid in a supply of .22mag for my NAA Pug and now for my new LCR ... I generally carry the Pug when I walk my dog in the predawn hours around here, loaded with four shot shells and one Hornady Critical Defense round ... don't see many snakes around here, but there are skunks everywhere and in addition to stinking, we have had rabies in nearby communities ... getting Shiner skunked would be bad enough, but having him bitten would be horrible ... not to mention me ... haven't had to shoot yet, but neighbors tell me the shot shells work well on small pests like skunks ...
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Old July 18, 2013, 07:21 PM   #7
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You might want to consider a light weight J frame 38/357 S&W revolver with a 2 or 3 inch barrel.
Loaded with 38 shot shells it would be good on snakes, and target load 38's should be easy and fun to shoot.
I would certainly prefer it over one of the Bond Arms Derringers.

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Old July 18, 2013, 11:57 PM   #8
azmark
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Bikerbill, you are definitely wiser than I. I actually thought this shortage wouldn't be any different than the last one; boy, was I wrong. I kept thinking of getting a 22 mag but never did. I didn't even get a stock of 22lr shot shells to go with my few hundred rounds of regular 22 ammo. I didn't have a .22 at the time but if I had gotten ammo at least I could find a gun now.

Bob, a J Frame is on my list but they're a tad hard to find now. A 637 was actually the first gun I thought of. A 642 would be nice if the trigger pull wouldn't irritate my bad tendons. I'm really trying to baby them this time. I thought this injury was pretty much healed up after all those months, but chopped down just one durn tree and it's worse than when it started all those months ago. Who said we get smarter as we get older?

You know what? I have a buddy with a 442. I should just try and see how bad it would be. If it hurts too much I can always just stop squeezing, huh? There may be some J frames still to be had if I look hard. I had just about settled on a compact 1911.

Guess I have more looking around and researching to do. Boy, I really hate shopping for handguns, don't you?
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Old July 19, 2013, 12:11 AM   #9
engineglue
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I imagine the PMR-30 would kill rattle snakes. The WMR cartridge is about 1.5 to 2 times as powerful as a 22lr. The PMR-30 has an excellent trigger, it's a very light pistol and it holds 30 rounds.
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Old July 19, 2013, 04:54 PM   #10
idek
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In your situation, I'd probably opt for a revolver that could shoot .38 special snake shot. Shooting single action would mean light trigger pulls.

The pellets in .22 snake shot are so small (#12 shot, I believe) I'd wonder if they'd even penetrate a bigger snake. I think the pellets in .38 special loads are #9 shot.
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Old July 19, 2013, 06:07 PM   #11
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A 4 inch .38 Special does not weight that awful much. I would go with one over a snub for the purpouse that you stated. I know a guy that is in his 70's that has bad tendonitis in his elbow that uses a 4 inch revolver. He said he tried the snub, and the 4 inch, and it picked it. He said the main reason was becasue he could see the sights, and shoot it better.
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Old July 19, 2013, 06:08 PM   #12
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azmark, I realize everything is kind of hard to find right now, you might try putting a wanted ad in the handgun for sale section of this forum.

I was thinking of something like the 360PD Airlite or the Chiefs Special Airweight.
They both have a hammer that you could thumb cock making the trigger pull easier for you to manage.

I really don't mind shopping for guns, but is a pain when you can't find what you want.

I'll do some checking with my distributors to see if anything is available.

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Old July 19, 2013, 06:41 PM   #13
azmark
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My wife's gun is a 4 inch Rossi .38. She likes it; I don't. A J frame or K frame S&W would be much better. A 637 airweight would be great, and they're not prohibitively expensive. A model 10 would be cool. Someone suggested a Security Six or Speed Six which would be okay too depending on how they balance.

38 spl snake shot works just fine. I've used it a couple of times. It's not as good as the 45 ACP, but it kills 'em nevertheless. The shotshells cycle in my Rock Island 1911 so it works out well except it kinda hurts to support it out there.

That would be great if you could keep an eye out, Hunter. Very cool of you, man.
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Old July 20, 2013, 05:12 AM   #14
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I use a Charter Arms 44 for that. Lightweight and more shot in the cartridge.
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Old July 20, 2013, 01:08 PM   #15
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I think a 22/32 kit gun (model 34) would do fine. They are J frame. They were made in an airweight, model 43, and an airweight 22 mag, model 51. However, the shot shell issue presents as a detractor to a 22.

I think the model 15 or 67 (in SS) would work great here if wanting a 38. Great triggers most often, K frame, adj sight, 4in 38 special. Can be carried open easily (I'm guessing you won't carry concealed against rattlesnakes), and can fill other needs.
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Old July 20, 2013, 05:39 PM   #16
orionengnr
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Have you given any thought to loading your own shot shells?
Really don't even need a press.
This guy did it with .44 Mag, but all of the same principles apply. Some empty brass, some powder, an egg crate, some Elmer's glue. Yeah, you will need 1/2 lb of shot, but that will last you two lifetimes and is easily found.
http://www.castbullet.com/reload/44shot.htm
I have put together a few in .45LC and they look to have some potential (have not tried them on varmints yet, but others have).
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Old July 21, 2013, 01:58 PM   #17
BigJimP
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A "J" or even a "K" frame S&W revolver ( something smaller like a model 10 or even a model 19...in a 2 1/2" or maybe a 4".....and then just shoot it single action....( cock the hammer with 2 hands if you had to ) ....and then the trigger pull should not be a big deal.

It won't be as nose heavy as a 1911...and with .38 spl shotshells....it'll do what you need.

Every derringer I've seen chambered in .45 Colt or .410 shotshell...has had a horrible trigger on them ( maybe 10 lb breaks ) ...not that they can't be worked on ...but many of them are hard to get a comfortable grip on ...and difficult to shoot - except as a "belly" gun. ...and I don't think they're fun to shoot ...so that kills that goal.

a " J or a K frame" are at least fun to shoot.../ and remember, the lighter the gun, the more recoil you're going to get...so maybe the weight of the gun is a plus with your tendon issues.

I have elbow, hand, wrist ...and shoulder issues too.../ and a derringer is not a good answer for me ! I have some trouble with a K frame in .357 mag...so I go to an L or N frame in .357 mag to make it easier on my hands ( more weight in the gun )...especially like a model 27 in a 4" - is a very good all around revolver in my opinion. Good luck in your search.
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Old July 21, 2013, 09:23 PM   #18
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I sympathize with azmark. I got tired of humping my big bore long barreled revolvers when wandering in the desert and mountains, and bought a S&W 386Sc/S. It's a lightweight .357Magnum, revolver, 2 1/2" with a 7 chambers. Scandium frame, titanium cylinder, stainless steel barrel liner, adjustable sights. Despite being a full sized L frame gun, it weighs a delightful 20 ounces or so. Having 7 chambers to fill gives a lot of versatility. It can handle anything from snake shot to bear loads and everything in between. I load it with a mix of cartridges appropriate to my destination.
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Old July 22, 2013, 08:00 AM   #19
Hunter Customs
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azmark, I must have misunderstood you, I thought the weight of the pistol was an issue.
That's why I suggested airweight S&W pistols.

If the weight of the pistol is not a big issue but you still want to stay with a smaller size pistol, I can tell you from personal experience that a 3 inch barrel model 36 S&W is hard to beat.

I have one that's went a lot of miles with me, walking or horse back.
As a matter of fact every time I saddle up it's along for the ride, I have a holster rigged up on my saddle for it.

The little model 36 is not my most favorite revolver when it comes to looks but it's certainly my most used revolver.

I'm still checking with some of my distributors, however right now they are about as scarce as hen's teeth.

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Old July 22, 2013, 11:55 AM   #20
azmark
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Nah, weight is not an issue, just balance.

I've wanted a Charter Bulldog for a while now. 44 shot shells are rare, and reloading requires components which are like hen's teeth. I would probably have to beg powder and primers from buddies who had better foresight than I did. Primers, especially, are nowhere to be found.
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Old July 22, 2013, 12:11 PM   #21
BigJimP
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components in the Northwest ...have been pretty easy to find in the last 30 days....primers, and shot especially....and small and large pistol primers and bullets as well...

Gun Shows, local Trap and Skeet clubs for shotshell components, some retailers or ranges...have reloading supplies coming in - at least in this area ( Portland and Seattle )...

But to load .410's you need a press...the bases need to be re-sized.../ and most of us that shoot a lot of Skeet have .410 presses...that will turn out 20 or 30 boxes an hour with no sweat....so hitting up your buddies, to use their press for a few boxes isn't that big a deal.../ especially if you want a .410 with shot sizes of 9's, 8's, or 7 1/2's....( buy them a bag of shot for their trouble - about $ 42 a bag up here)...
------------
and I don't know what shot size you want for snakes...( probably 7 1/2's ) I would guess...or maybe bigger ../ but if you want bigger shot, your buddies won't have that anyway ...so just buy some commercial shells.

I have loaded some " OO " buckshot in .410's ....and you can buy a 5 lb box at Cabelas for about $ 27 ---- and I think its 6 pieces of shot make up 1/2 oz which is typical in a .410 shell.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shoot...3Bcat104568480
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Old July 22, 2013, 03:51 PM   #22
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A model 10 rev. or even a steel model 36 would be good. Both have excellent single action triggers and aren't very heavy. Not much to a .22 with shot loads.
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