Best Alligator Defense (not another hypothetical "best caliber for..." thread)


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Zen21Tao
May 17, 2006, 09:16 PM
(This isn’t just another hypothetical “best caliber for X” thread.)

Here in Florida gator (not football players) attacks have been quite frequent lately with three deaths occurring in one week.

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/05/17/Tampabay/Another_day__another_.shtml

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195851,00.html


In fact today a 75 year old woman was “held hostage” in her home by an alligator until a Sheriffs Deputy could get a professional gator trapper to arrive to capture the gator after the Deputy made it mad by shooting it in the head with a .223.
One .223-caliber round pierced the hide of the gator's head, but the showdown wasn't over.
"It didn't hurt him," said Mickey Fagan, a professional gator trapper who arrived a few minutes later. "It just made him mad."
One thing that p***** me off is that a citizen defending herself and/or her dog against a deadly gator a few days earlier was given a warning citation for hunting without a license. Imagine that, needing a license to defend one's life or the life of a loved one. (Just a minor side rant).
On Saturday, a woman near Bradenton got a warning citation for hunting without a license after she shot a gator that attacked her golden retriever.

Ok, so here it is:
What firearm (pistol or rifle caliber) would offer the best defense against an alligator attack?

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Vic303
May 17, 2006, 09:28 PM
12ga 3" mag slugs maybe?

Sinsaba
May 17, 2006, 09:30 PM
I don't think you could count on 1 round of almost anything. The brain is so small you could miss with just about anything.

I think repeated application of .357 magnum rounds to the cranium of the reptile would dispatch it.

loadedround
May 17, 2006, 09:30 PM
44Mag, 45Colt, 454 Casull, or 12 ga Shotgun with 00 Buck or slugs.

Cosmoline
May 17, 2006, 09:34 PM
I remember when I lived in the deep south as a child, nobody paid much attention to the gators. They were seen as lazy and more of a nuisance to cars than a real threat to life and limb. I went swimming in a swamp behind our house that had some gators, not to mention very lethal snakes. But for some reason known only to my childish mind, I was only really terrified of stepping on a snapping turtle!

Anyway, back on topic a long stick for non-lethal defense and a shotgun to the area behind the eyes for lethal. Doesn't have to be buckshot or even a 12 ga, but it does have to be in the brainpan. A shot anwhere else, even with a big boomer rifle, is just going to create a thrashing menace.

mikep99
May 17, 2006, 09:42 PM
I was wondering the same exact thing.

I am in MIA, so I have been wondering the same as you Zen21.

I have a .40 cal, do you think 12 rounds would do the trick?

jrou111
May 17, 2006, 10:09 PM
I regularly go canoeing on a creek that is well known to be the home of gators. I've yet to have any problems with them, and probably won't, but I keep a 4" Taurus Tracker 44magnum on my hip just in case. The Mobile, AL delta is loaded with gators as well, I once had one approach me when I was putting the boat on the trailer.

mrwiggins
May 17, 2006, 10:33 PM
i've seen fellas hunting them put ax's in the head

James T Thomas
May 17, 2006, 11:26 PM
Somewhere I recall that the brain of the Tyrannosaurus Rex was also walnut size.

Now, isn't that professional hunter with the double rifle in Jurassic Park lucky he didn't get his chance to stand up to one and take his shots?

Of course that man never had the benefit of military training or he never would have that gun leave his side for some dirt bag to tamper with.
Liberal movie with liberal "heroes." The saboteur never was confronted nor held responsible for the lives of the innocent people he killed due to his "compassionate and moral" act! I would have seen to it that he would have become a raptor meal for his act of portrayed "bravery."

John-Melb
May 18, 2006, 12:48 AM
I remember reading somewhere that AA crews at Cairns in Queensland during WW2 used to sometimes use the Saltwater Crocs in the harbour for target practice.

Ideal choice for large aquatic super-lizards, that's easy - 40mm Bofors!

Now for a reality check - Something BIG! which shoots FAST!

Aim for head/brain area and empty the bloody magazine!

LOST SOUL
May 18, 2006, 12:56 AM
Shotgun is all you need. :D

Lone_Gunman
May 18, 2006, 01:20 AM
I used a 22 magnum. You don't need all that much gun, just good bullet placement.

Dave R
May 18, 2006, 01:56 AM
What's good placement on a gator?

razorburn
May 18, 2006, 02:47 AM
Yeah, I've read of them being dispatched by cops with their sidearms. I think pretty much anything heavy enough to penetrate that bone could do it. A hard cast .357 would be my minimum. Did they say "hunting iwithout license"? If it's legal to hunt gators, maybe ask a gator hunter.

pat86323
May 18, 2006, 05:09 AM
+1 lone gunman
however i would probably feel better armed with a shotgun then my 10/22. And i would imagine that if you were a pretty good shot taking out a gator would be no problem. The little scaly ridges run on both sides of the critters spine. A well placed shotgun slug or high power pistol/rifle cardridge could pretty easily sever the spine.......and i doubt even a critter as tough as a gator bounces back from that.

Cosmoline
May 18, 2006, 06:25 AM
What's good placement on a gator?

Behind the eyes. And you really don't need a magnum or a high-penetration bullet. They're not bear. The Cajuns have been killing them for centuries with primitive scatterguns or less.

mikep99
May 18, 2006, 09:02 AM
ok, you see this: http://www.floridanature.org/photos/Alligator_mississippiensis_&_Pseudemys_concinna_suwanniensis_1b,_Wakulla_Springs,_20011220.jpg where do you shoot?

This is how you do it: http://www.marshland-adventures.com/alliga1.jpg


Can anyone tell what this guy has in his hand?

http://www.geocities.com/israelhunting/Img_0050web.jpg

Tory
May 18, 2006, 09:07 AM
"Liberal movie with liberal "heroes." The saboteur never was confronted nor held responsible for the lives of the innocent people he killed due to his "compassionate and moral" act! I would have seen to it that he would have become a raptor meal for his act of portrayed 'bravery.'"

He did. I don't know what YOU saw, but the saboteur in JP I ran off the road, tried to hoof his fat butt down to the ferry and got "slimed" by a couple of the smaller carnivores, for whom he became a buffet. :uhoh:

noresttill
May 18, 2006, 09:36 AM
If I recall correctly, the only legal way to hunt gator in the glades is to use a boom stick. I stick with a procussion trigger on the end.

This is what ive heard, I could be wrong though.

BigFatKen
May 18, 2006, 10:32 AM
Now, isn't that professional hunter with the double rifle in Jurassic Park lucky he didn't get his chance to stand up to one and take his shots?

Of course that man never had the benefit of military training or he never would have that gun leave his side for some dirt bag to tamper with.
Liberal movie with liberal "heroes." The saboteur never was confronted nor held responsible for the lives of the innocent people he killed due to his "compassionate and moral" act! I would have seen to it that he would have become a raptor meal for his act of portrayed "bravery."



In the book, the old man gets eaten.

Cromlech
May 18, 2006, 10:51 AM
I went to Australia Zoo while I was on holiday in Queensland. They had several saltwater crocs and a couple of American Alligators. Shot placement would be very important, and you may even be able to kill with a .22MAG if you can hit the eyes/head several times. I'd still rather have something bigger though, in case it's one of the 6-7 metre (20-23ft), 1000Kg (2200lb) (Yes they do exist!) 'supercrocs' that Steve Irwin was talking about! :what:

ball3006
May 18, 2006, 11:43 AM
criminal defense...........BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.......chris3

texascarl
May 18, 2006, 02:11 PM
When I lived on the Gulf coast in gator country I asked where to shoot a gator to kill it quickly. My Acadian in-laws said 'imagine a line between the gators eyes. Find the center, then shoot about 2 inches, 3 inches behind that spot, depending on how big the gator is'. I never shot one, just passing along the info for what it's worth.

Mannlicher
May 18, 2006, 02:14 PM
this whole thing is out of control. Were it not for the media hype, it would only be important to those that were eaten. :uhoh:

That Bradenton woman spraying lead around like that was more of a threat to her neighbors than the 3 foot 'gator ever was.

I believe deer have killed more folks in Florida than Alligators. If you feel you just have to arm yourself though, the standard litnany of guns will surfice.

Sheldon J
May 18, 2006, 02:28 PM
a few year's back about a guy in Africa that hunted croc's that were killing villagers. Claimed that they had such a small brain and primitive nervous system that once shot in the head they like a shark could take up to 30 minutes to become totaly harmless.:what:

brickeyee
May 18, 2006, 09:39 PM
"12 ga Shotgun with 00 Buck or slug"

Use shot on the damn thing. It is not that tough, just a small target. #4 or so works well.

Zen21Tao
May 18, 2006, 11:09 PM
How about some good handgun caliber suggestions that can used as a daily carry weapon? We can't always walk around with a 12 gauge shotgun.

I have a S&W 500 that would probably do the trick but even with a 4" barrel it is way too big for daily CCW carry. Right now I use either a 7+1 .40S&W (Sig P139) or a 10+1 10mm (Glock 29) as my daily carry gun.

Cosmoline
May 18, 2006, 11:20 PM
A boomer handgun is totally pointless. Penetration is not the problem with large reptiles, in spite of all the BS you see on "Jurassic Park" and other stupid movies. You can kill the largest one with a .410 shotgun, and conversely you could shoot it over and over again with a .500 S&W and just make it angry. Placement is critical, like with a large snake or other large reptile. They're primitive, simple creatures. A .40 S&W is more than enough, provided you can bullseye the brain pan area behind the eyes.

Srigs
May 19, 2006, 01:49 AM
12 gauge slug would do the trick or a MBR in 308 or 30-06. We use them on Muskies here in Minnesota! :D

publius
May 19, 2006, 07:43 AM
Best Alligator Defense = PAY ATTENTION when in gator country, and don't let them get close. Also, if you're paying attention to one, don't forget that he is probably not the only one. I've gotten focused on a gator which was approaching my dogs, only to turn and see one very close to me.

Sam Adams
May 19, 2006, 06:20 PM
If I recall correctly, the only legal way to hunt gator in the glades is to use a boom stick.

What, does that mean that only Hillary can...

Oh, boomstick. My bad! :D

GreyMauser
May 20, 2006, 05:41 PM
As I understand it, there are two ways to do it here legally. First is to be a contract hunter called on to do the deed once the gator is declared a nuisance. Those guys usually work in daylight, bind the gator,pull it ashore and do the job at point blank with whatever is at hand. Generally, this takes place with people around, so the slug, bullet, or whatever must stop in the gator.

Second way is to win the lottery for a gator tag. These hunts take place at night, usually usually in isolated areas, by boat, and the tag holder must be accompanied by a licensed guide. My choice in that hunt would be something like a 376 Steyr, short barrel, compo stock, 2x scope with illuminated reticle. That, or whatever the guide says.

lacoochee
May 20, 2006, 11:18 PM
I have been told that 2 inches dead center behind the eyes will stop a gator dead in it's tracks. I am a fifth generation Floridian and that's what I have been told by family, evidence should also be buried in the nearest pile of red ants, also hypothetical.

scout26
May 21, 2006, 02:43 AM
"Take off and nuke the sight from orbit.....It's the only way to be sure."

Meplat
May 21, 2006, 03:26 AM
Dunno about the 'glades, but with Lousiana's recently reinstituted 'gator season, they bait a huge hook on heavy line, tie it off to a tether pole, the gator hooks himself and winds himself up and out of the water and just kind of hangs around, and they ride up in a boat and dispatch the poor creature with just about any means they care to. It isn't going anywhere.

Personally, I find this "sport" abhorrant.

Find nothing wrong with the old time Cajun method of the good ol' thutty-thutty in the brain. One just has to know where it's at. Not a large target. Heck, many of them old swamp rats would just rap them in the head with a club.

Myself, as long as they stay out of my yard and off my porch, I have no problems with them. Spent too many days in a john boat perch jerkin' or catfishing with them floating close by to let them get me too worked up.

Should one find himself on my porch trying to eat my dog (as was referred to earlier) then I imagine that .375 H&H I bought just in case I ever found a Cape Buff eating my tomato plants would find a new use. Overkill, I'm sure...but I LIKE Ol' Boomer. Guess I'll just have to hope that Rover didn't run under the porch to hide from the 'gator, 'cause I'm pretty sure that Grand Slam is gonna pass through.

For any of those wondering what happens when the brain is missed, I once read a really interesting story in Field and Stream years ago about a feller who "bagged" himself a world class croc. They were coming back across Lake Victoria in a huge storm that had blown up, and the "dead" croc suddenly appeared not so much "dead" as stunned. And yeah, it was a .375 that stunned him. Made for a fascinating tale of how the hapless mariners managed to get the (quickly coming un) tied beast over the side in the middle of a storm on a huge lake in a small boat before someone got et.

Sam
May 21, 2006, 02:15 PM
A 14' crock has a brain about the size of an apricot. Hard to locate and hard to hit, likewise with the spine. They are not hard to kill just hard to hit correctly. A charge of #6's actually 6-7 of them from about 10 feet works well. You literally have to saw the head off.
In the meantime the water will become a frothing mess that is hard to shoot into and you will be sure that your banca is going to capsize and that you will die:D.
Not for the squeamish or nervous.

Sam

>SHOCK<^>WAVE<
May 21, 2006, 02:59 PM
We usually just take one of those rotisserie chickens and put a water balloon full of anti freeze inside it and feed it to the gator. :eek:

Offwhite
May 21, 2006, 07:42 PM
Best caliber for killing an alligator?...I'd say a small stick of dynamite would do just nicely...look Mommy its like the fourth of July. :evil:

Meplat
May 21, 2006, 09:58 PM
Best caliber for killing an alligator?...I'd say a small stick of dynamite would do just nicely...look Mommy its like the fourth of July.

LOL. Just make sure you put the stick in the end with teeth. All the good eating's at the other end.

'Sides that, I just dunno too many 'gators who are gonna be happy about a dynamite enema.

fish2xs
May 22, 2006, 04:56 PM
let's say:

1. you are not hunting it for food or as part of anything planned
2. you have no clue where the alligator's brain is
3. for whatever reason, you are in a compromising position where life/limb are at risk
4. you have whatever gun is available at the time

would shooting the eyes work? that would be my first instinct (after soiling myself)...

Cosmoline
May 22, 2006, 05:39 PM
The brain is a ways behind the eyes, so that's why you're supposed to shoot behind the eyes. Depending on the angle shooting at the eyes may not hit anything particuarly vital.

rugerman
May 23, 2006, 01:17 AM
If you look behind the eyes there is a spot (ear spot) a couple of inches back hit it and your problems are over (side shot). Straight on (hopefully with some elevation) shoot a couple of inches behing the eyes. If the angle is too low you'll get a glancing hit and just make it mad. rugerman

10MMGary
May 23, 2006, 02:12 AM
The absolute best defense against a gator attack is your brain and the bigger the better. Educate yourself in regards to gator behavior. Your much more likely to get hit by lightning or killed by a drunk driver than attacked by a gator. I would be willing to bet a 1000 toothpicks that if you ask any old school or long term wildlife officer they would tell you that 22 rimfires have by far killed the most gators. Also there is no legal hunting allowed in the everglades. The everglades are a national park. Plenty of other places and actually much easier places to hunt gators.

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