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#1674654 - 09/15/10 11:27 PM Best snakeshot caliber.
tripod3 Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 4269
Loc: WA
Have a friend thinking about a pistol for his wife that will fire snake shot. First he mentioned the Judge. I think it is a little radical for her. She has small hands. Not sure what is available in bird shot calibers but maybe .38 would be better.
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#1674669 - 09/15/10 11:43 PM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: tripod3]
crowpopper Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upstate NewYork( Adirondacks)
i think a 357 with snake shot will work ok
or even a 22lr with subsonic bullets
just need to aim a bit better
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#1674672 - 09/15/10 11:44 PM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: tripod3]
OldTurtle Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 17820
Loc: East Central MO
I have a supply of it in .22lr, 9mm, .38/357, and .44...A revolver in 9mm or .38 would work, I think you just have to use the half moon clips with the 9mm... personally, I'd go with the .38....
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#1674686 - 09/16/10 12:09 AM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: OldTurtle]
Evil_Lurker Offline
PM senior

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 6721
Loc: Oregon
If you reload, get these:

Speer .38 shot capsules

I ended up loading mine with #7 lead shot. That ends up being able to kill grouse at a reasonable distance, and disintigrate snakes at close range.

Read the Midway reviews.

Since the guy there says they don't include the load data on the box anymore, here it is (straight off the Speer box):

38 Special / .357 Magnum
6" barrel, .38 Special case, Small Pistol Primers
Powder Charge Muzzle Velocity
SR 7625 5.0 Gr. 1128 fps
Unique 5.5 Gr. 1058 fps

I use Unique. Adjust the crimp to just take the bell out of the case mouth, don't try and crimp into the shot capsule. They're brittle and will (probably) split at the crimp.

I've loaded them in .357 Mag. cases, too. No difference.

They make them for .44 Mag and 45 Long Colt, too, but I doubt your wife would want to pack that kind of hog leg around for snake defense.


Edited by Evil_Lurker (09/16/10 02:26 AM)
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#1674718 - 09/16/10 01:44 AM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: Evil_Lurker]
youngdon Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 2031
Loc: Seligman,AZ
I use the .38 loads at our cabin but also carry a ruger mkII with snake shot at times, they both work well.
I think your friend just wants the judge for himself.lol


Edited by youngdon (09/16/10 01:45 AM)
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#1674804 - 09/16/10 10:38 AM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: youngdon]
MGYSGT Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 2000
Loc: Arizona
A small .38 (snubby) with snake shot has little recoil and that might be attractive to her.
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#1674837 - 09/16/10 11:38 AM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: MGYSGT]
Evil_Lurker Offline
PM senior

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 6721
Loc: Oregon
Yes, the recoil and sound out of those loads I listed aren't much. Less than the lightest .38 Special load I ever shot.
I'm not sure how well they work out of a short barrel, I always shot them out of a 6" Python.
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#1674840 - 09/16/10 11:48 AM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: Evil_Lurker]
6mm06 Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 4425
Loc: USA
Yea, a small 38 snub would probably be just right for a lady. I've used a snub in the past and only got marginal killing power with it on several snakes, probably due to barrel length. It works, just not very well in my experience, unless you're right on top of them.

But, if you want a serious snake load, and depending on the lady, a .45 ACP with CCI snake shot is awesome.
The loads cycle and chamber just like an ordinary round, at least in my Kimber.







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#1674841 - 09/16/10 11:51 AM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: 6mm06]
Curlywoods Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Texas
I carry a .45 so that would be what I would get, but the .38 would be better for a lady I would think.
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#1674859 - 09/16/10 12:25 PM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: Curlywoods]
VaHowler Online
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Sussex,Va USA
For .357 I take a .380 or 9mm case and drill out the primer pocket to about 1/8". Then chamfer the case mouth to a sharp edge and use it to punch out little cardboard discs to use as over-powder and over-shot wads. I load mine with 5 grs. Titegroup, press the first disc down tight on the powder charge with the back end of a punch and fill the case almost to the top with #8 shot. Press the over-shot wad in the same way just below the case mouth and lightly roll crimp. Top off with a couple drops of melted candle wax and your done. Works great and patterns well up to about 25' in my 6" barreled Ruger GP-100. Have used the same charge with #6 shot on 'possums. BTW the drilled out primer pocket is so you can push out the discs with a punch. Much cheaper than factory loads.
Kevin

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#1674865 - 09/16/10 12:30 PM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: VaHowler]
Super White Hunter Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 1238
Loc: Colorado
The judge is not as big as everyone thinks and I was very suprised how little kick that it had,
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#1675010 - 09/16/10 05:21 PM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: tripod3]
DonD Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 07/15/04
Posts: 637
Loc: Central TX
I've shot the CCI pistol shotshells in .40 S&W and .45ACP (Glocks) and .45 Colt in a Ruger revolver. All worked well but the .45ACP was better than the .40 and the Colt best of all. No surprise there.

I've tried to get CCI to make shotshells for the .500 Mag but they're not interested. THAT cartridge could be VERY effective, at least as good as a .410. I made some of my own but their performance was spotty.

In any event, they're fun, recoil is negligible and all three that I tried would do real damage to a snake outside of striking range. Don

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#1675026 - 09/16/10 05:50 PM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: DonD]
Omnivore Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 412
Loc: Oregon
.410 My Bond Arms is fantastic (That said there arent any snakes I would shoot in Wetstern Oregon) My 100lb daughter can shoot it fine...and hit the entire broadside of the barn at 20 yards with one shot heh.. (its really a 10-15ft away weapon)

Inside 10ft .22 with birdshot will do the job fine and the ricochet wont blow through anything. Your usually not going to see a snake more than 10ft away anyway. When your talking "shot" it really doesnt matter what its coming out of (to a point anyway)

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#1675174 - 09/16/10 10:01 PM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: Omnivore]
tripod3 Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 4269
Loc: WA
yeah I think the judge was appealing to him also. Good to see so much experience with this. Sounds like the .38/.357 is a fair choice and maybe the .22. No doubt the .45 would be better but her hands are small.
I have heard the .22 crimped bird shot are better than the capsule type.
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#1675325 - 09/17/10 07:06 AM Re: Best snakeshot caliber. [Re: tripod3]
mark shubert Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 2122
Loc: Las Vegas NM
Al Miller wrote an article for Handloader Magazine several years ago, specifically about snake shot loads. His conclusion, which fits with my experiences, was that the 22 LR CCI shot loads performed better than anything else, due to using #12 shot, rather than the #9 shot used in every other caliber. Snakes don't need large shot & the smaller shot made better patterns (smaller holes in the patterns). He also found that shot patterns were tighter out of shorter barrels.
I have personally noted that rattlers generally were DRT with 22 loads, but still move a bit after being hit with 38, 44, or 45 shot loads.
Mark
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