View Full Version : Alligator defense and the 9x18 round-

Te Anau
August 30, 2004, 12:23 PM
Ill soon be moving down yonder into alligator territory and want to get an opinion.From a corrosion and weight standpoint ill initially be using a FEG-PA63 in 9x18.Without going into the merits of why I should use .357mag or the like,what would be most effective on alligator in a defensive situation,FMJ or HP's? I usually use Barnaul HP's and feel that they may grip and penetrate alligator hide where a FMJ might be deflected.What do ya think? Where would you want to aim for the best results?

Lee M.
August 30, 2004, 07:05 PM
Shoot it right between the eyes and pray. I would definately use fmj because I don't think the hollowpoint would do very well on this beast. The 9x18 is truly underpowered for this, but if that's what you have, it's better than nothing. The alligator has a small brain, so be sure to put it right between the eyes.

Double Naught Spy
August 30, 2004, 07:12 PM
Gators do have small brains and a shot between the eyes may be insufficient for the intended task because of the amount of bony armor present in the skull for the gator. Additionally, between the eyes can mean a complete brain miss depending on the angle of the shot, even if you get full penetration.

Apple a Day
August 31, 2004, 08:59 PM
I'd think a heavier 109 grain FMJ would penetrate better but I could be wrong.
I got a case of the newer Wolf ammo a while ago, the polymer-coated cased stuff. Those rounds were FMJ but the bullets were shaped more like cones than blunt-nosed ball, almost pointed. They are 100 grain, so they're heavier than Barnaul hollow points and the narrower nose may be better at punching through the hide than ball. Here's a pic.:http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=9750
I suppose someone could stuff wet phone books into an old leather satchel and shoot it with different ammo to find out. :eek:
Good luck

September 1, 2004, 10:48 PM
For what its worth the 22LR has probably taken more gators than any other caliber. Poachers are notoriously cheap and hate excess noise. Gator hides are tough but not at all hard. Their brain is indeed small but they really are not hard to kill in the same sense as say a brown bear or cougar might be. Believe it or not even a big gator doesn't want to attack something that is able to put up much of a fight if any. And unless a gator has been habituated by fools feeding them they tend to flee at the site of a human.
I am among them on a semi regular basis and have only had two encounters out of 100s that caused me any concern. Even in the swamps and or woods you are 1000 times more likely to be attacked by a dog. Fire ants kill more people than gators. Additionally here in Fla unless it has actually attacked you and you shoot it be prepared for a load of legal issues. Hopefully the season on gators will open up to more bodies of water and hunters soon. There is no shortage of them in this state.

September 6, 2004, 04:21 PM
Te Aneu sez:Without going into the merits of why I should use .357mag or the like,what would be most effective on alligator in a defensive situation,FMJ or HP's"
That kinda makes me laugh. Its like saying ya wanna hunt elephants with a .22, and aside from the fact that the 22 is grossly inadequate, whats the best bullet, HP Or solid.

The Mak round is not a hunting round. You would be better off with a stick, or a knife (both of which I have used to kill alligators)

Lone Star
September 8, 2004, 03:22 AM

I am very interested in your knifing alligators. Which knives did you use, and where did you stab them? How big were the 'gators?

Back in the 1980's, "South African Panorama" ran a feature on an angler attacked by a crocodile, the usual Nle species. For some obscure reason, these men (four) hadn't taken any guns on their bush fishing trip, and their knives couldn't penetrate the croc's tough hide. Rescue was effected by stabbing the reptile in the eye, after which it left its victim and departed. The angler who saved his friend won a lifesaving award.

I've heard that one can't stab sharks, but have found a number of cases where people did just that, often successfully. And I know of a lion and a cougar being killed by knife, also a man-eating bear in Canada.

Lone Star

September 8, 2004, 12:16 PM
I'd go with a HOT FMJ...but whichever you decide on, I'd forget the double tap and go straight to slide lock.
Also, a good pair of running shoes might not be a bad idea...a gator allegedly can beat a horse in a short sprint. :o

September 8, 2004, 08:20 PM
I remember when I was in elementary school in Orlando (before Disney owned EVERYTHING). We didn't have air raid drills. We didn't have tornado drills. We didn't have earthquake drills. We had gator drills. They would take us out to the yard and have us practice running away from an alligator. You had to run in a quick short zig zag. They are too dumb not to follow and faster then you are in a straight line. By running in zig zags, you would tire them out before you got winded. At least that's what I remember being told. :eek:

You could always practice that in case you miss. :D

We had a 8 footer in our backyard that we named George. He used to sun bath on the deck and would eat the dogs of the construction guys working in our neighborhood until someone got wise and the dogs didn't get to run free back by our little stream.

Long Path
September 8, 2004, 11:31 PM
I understand that the common way to put down alligators in SE TX (they're basically trapped) is to put a .22 L.R. bullet in their head.

Alligators are reptiles. Reptiles are darned closely related to birds. Their bones are pretty thin and light.

Cooper brings up the excellent point that likely a .22 bounced off the noggin of even a determined 'gator would deter it. The main problem most people have is not having a gun on them when the balloon goes up. Carry what you want, but carry! And mind your placement. :)

September 8, 2004, 11:44 PM
My uncle was an old gator hunter, I've watched him kill one by sticking the knife into his brain stem directly behind his head the blood was bright red and bubbled like it had air in it. The gator died instantly.
I have shot them with .22 but prefer a 12 ga.

No matter what you use it's gonna hurt pretty bad and unless you're molesting it or it's nest it's gonna break off. As a matter of fact unless you're molesting it or it's nest it's probably not even concerned with you.

All of the gator attacks I've ever heard of were either in the water or at the waters edge in spring.

Gator attacks are swift and vicious you probably are not going to have the time or presence of mind to be able to make a presise shot with a subcompact with a 50lb trigger so just aim at the biggest part of it and hope for the best.

The best thing to do is if you hear a strange sound that's a cross between a bulfrog and a big dog with gas stay away from the water. And if you hear a squeeky barking like a tiny seal be doubley aware

September 9, 2004, 07:13 AM
Grew up around the boogers and they are really (as mentioned already) NOT concerned with you. I have only had issues when near a nest. Others, with one that is indignant that his pet human quit feeding him or wasn't "on time" with his snack. We used to walk past or ride bikes past while they sunbathed on the bike paths I frequented.

Now to answer the hypothetical, you could always alternate rounds ;)
I think I'd take FMJ's.

Te Anau
September 14, 2004, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the opinions.As I initially said,this would be a defensive piece and would not be used to hunt alligators.Ive heard too many stories about people innocently standing next to a lake and wham theyre toast.Maybe its just smarter to stand back a few feet at all times when youre near water.

September 14, 2004, 08:31 PM
Maybe its just smarter to stand back a few feet at all times when youre near water. there you go
Also be aware of the water and what's in it. If you are in it stay away from weeds and hidy holes around the bank.

September 16, 2004, 07:29 AM
A S&W .44 Magnum Airlite, IMHO.

September 16, 2004, 04:15 PM
9x18 hollow point will work well for this purpose.
I have shot 95grn Barnal HP and 120grn Silver Bear HP through a bowling pin at it's widest part. If they will go through over four in. of hardwood at 35 ft., I'm sure this cartridge will do what you want it to,i.e. shoot gators.

September 24, 2004, 06:48 PM
9x18? Smear it in chicken blood and throw it in the gators path in the hope that he will stop to lick it, giving you time to get away.