What snake load for a .410?


June 12, 2005, 07:12 PM
As I've mentioned before, we've bought some mountain land in WVa with a small cabin on it to use as a little get away spot.

Spot77 and I trucked down there last week to do some recon on the building as I've never been in it and it was not really considered part of the deal on the purchase.

Sure enough, a very large snake has taken up residence in the building and must obviously be removed. Hopefully, I'll be able to "persuade" him to move on since I'd rather not kill an otherwise peaceful creature.

That being said, I want to go prepared, defensively, since we couldn't tell what he was (he was up in the loft). Hopefully a black snake, but there are rattlers around.

I have some snake shot for my .22lr but it IS a pretty big snake and some folks have expressed that this might not be enough. So...I managed to pry my grandfather's Hi-Standard .410 out of dad's hands to use if need be. Figured the 12 gauge would be a bit over done :p

I don't know the first thing about .410 loads......what is a good light load that will take care of said snake without making additional holes in the building?

Just to be clear....I'm not going hunting for the snake, but want to clear trash out of the building bit by bit to encourage him to move on. I just want to be able to take him out if he turns out to be a rattler and gets aggressive.

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June 12, 2005, 07:13 PM
Buy the smallest birdshot load available (remember that the higher the number, the smaller the shot: i.e. No. 9 is smaller than No. 8). That should deal with your problem.

June 12, 2005, 07:22 PM

Thanks for the heads up.....I'm up to speed on shotgun jargon in general, but was unsure if there is a .410 shell with #12 shot or something like that.

The .22lr shells use the #12 shot and I can imagine that a .410 shell full of that would do the trick. Midway catalog didn't have anything like that, but I thought there might be a specialty manufacturer out there.

Guess I'll just zip over to the Bass Pro and see what they have on the shelf and buy the lightest load they have.

I'm anxious to just shoot one round through this gun as it hasn't been shot in probably 35 years.....I'm going to check it out tomorrow. It looks to be in good shape as it's been cased for that whole time.

Dave McCracken
June 12, 2005, 08:25 PM
A 410 skeet load of 9s will do the job. Agreed on letting leaving snakes leave.

I'd be quite surprised if there was only one snake. While unsocial when not hibernating, oft snakes clump together in good habitat.

Took down an old stone wall back when I worked construction. If I saw 1 snake leave I saw 20. Corn snakes, black snakes,indigo racers and one copperhead I ate. A house was going in there....

Joshua Hutchison
June 13, 2005, 12:30 AM
Im partial to #4's I used to deal with some large copper heads and such...I figure if im going to hit it, I better make sure it dies. (on an amusing note, I Love my .410, and as odd as it seems, my full choked gun and myself seem to doquite well with informal clays, so im confident in it, so your may or may not feel the same way as I do *shrug*)

ALSO, if i were you, Id just use a 12, a blast is a blast...may aswell make sure it kills it. a .410 is FINE if you dont have anything else but...better safe then sorry....right?

June 13, 2005, 12:40 AM
Use 2 1/2" .410 shells with #9 shot. If you can find any .410 shells with smaller shot(say, #'s 10, 11, or even 12), please let us know about it!

June 13, 2005, 05:49 AM
A 1/2oz of 9's in a light skeet load .410 still makes a big hole in a building, just half as big as a 1oz load from a 12 ga. :eek: Speaking from experience here folks. :cuss: Both loads are still going about 1200fps.

June 13, 2005, 06:10 AM
Kudu....sounds like there's a story there ;)

If I have to put a hole in the wall because Mr. Snake wants to get surly, then I will...it will just blend in with all of the other gaps.

Dave, your story about snake communes reminds me of something my mother-in-law said about her father, who helped put the train tunnel through the Blue Ridge Mountains between Waynesboro and Charlottesville. Apparently, they ended up disturbing the world's biggest community of rattlers in the process of digging. They ended up using dynamite on them :evil:

I wish you hadn't reminded me that they tend to run in groups :eek:

I'm going to light off another couple of bug bombs for the hornets while I'm clearing brush....maybe snakes don't like poisonous mists. I'm taking a very long rake and scoop shovel to work with the trash and put it in bags. At least if I do bother a snake I'll have some distance between us.

June 13, 2005, 09:35 AM
Just about any load in a .410 will do the job. I normally try to live and let live with snakes since they keep down rodents etc. DO NOT shoot a large snake with the little shot shells in a .22 pistol. Years ago one kept trying to get in my little boat. Raked and pushed him(?) out twice with a paddle then finally shot it twice with a K 22 loaded with shot and thought that the end of that. The thing resurfaced and tried to climb in again. Then shot it with the other 4 rds in the gun. Not venomous but a very large water snake that I just didn't feel like sharing the boat with.. No way would I shoot a rattler or something similar with those little .22s. I read one time that many people are bitten while trying to kill a snake.

June 18, 2005, 03:20 AM
i'm with bakert on this one .22 with snake shot may very well just p.o. a good size snake. i'm from beckley area, lived up near wheeling most of my life, on a good sized copperhead or eastern diamond go for the 410 atleast. For myself i would use the 12 with #8 i can patch holes but it is a long drive for med care from down there. if he's just a big ole black snake ,6 ft is not uncommon in those parts , just shoo him off with rake or blast him with co fire extingusher and toss him into trees. good luck be careful :eek:

remember 12ga, 16, 20, 410 a blast is a blast all are in 1100 -1250fps range and dead is a finite state it's not dead more dead most dead if your gonna go go big :cool:

June 18, 2005, 07:22 AM
I ended up taking the .410, mostly because it hadn't been shot in 35 years or so and wanted an excuse to run a couple of rounds through it.

No sign of snake this time around, but he had been up in the loft and rafters and we were downstairs making a lot of racket.

I picked up some .38spl snake shot at the shop near my in-laws in VA so at least I have that for putting on my hip if I can't grab the shotgun while I'm working.

I think that I'm going to have to wait until cold weather to venture up into the top of the building......until then, I'll spend time clearing downstairs, clearing brush and improving the road.

This week, we pushed the brush line back about 20 feet and got the overhanging trees trimmed back. I need to burn some brush so that i don't just make another snake condo outside of the building.

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