.38/.357 Snake shot -- patterns?


April 10, 2007, 04:41 PM
Anyone ever pattern a snake load?

What does the pattern look like?

Mine are 1/4 oz. #9 shot, and I have a 4 5/8" Uberti SAA clone in .357.

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April 10, 2007, 04:49 PM
done here with pics


April 11, 2007, 01:29 PM

If I'm going to have to shoot a snake, it'll be close to a person or dog, so I'm more than happy with something that doesn't have much energy left if it bounces back, etc.

I wasn't planning on using it in a life-or-death situation with a violent human attacker, but the page has interesting light to shed on that, too.

April 11, 2007, 01:38 PM
My observation is that the spread is about an inch per foot.

IOW, 6" pattern at six feet from target.

April 11, 2007, 03:22 PM
I use #12 shot insted of #9, it dosn't make a bigger pattern, just more dense. I've never had a problem killing a snake @ 6 to 8 feet, even big timber rattlers. TallPine is right, about 1 inch spred per foot out of my 4" 586.

April 11, 2007, 11:13 PM

You're very welcome.
That's a great site and I'm always happy to share it.

April 12, 2007, 12:01 AM
A long time ago I patterned the Speer in .357 and .44, both hand-loads and factory. About an inch a foot was what I got, with the patterns turning doughnut shaped with the center thinning out starting at about 10-12 feet. Short barrels seemed to pattern a bit better (more evenly and a little denser) than long barrels and lower velocity patterned better than higher velocity. .44 was a lot better than .357 due to the much larger payload. 7 1/2s penetrated better through a wet phone book than 9 1/2s, but the 9 1/2s had a denser pattern. I may be off in the recollection of the shot sizes, but not the relative performance.

April 15, 2007, 08:53 PM
ive tested the speer capsules & as maddock said the slower the shot the better the pattern, but if you slow down too much the capsules will not break upon exiting the muzzle , so i searched & found an article on home brewed shot shells & went to work cutting wad cards from cereal boxes & a bottle of water proof carpenters glue ,i was ready to begin. i loaded powder then a card tamped it tite filled it with #9 shot ,another card crimp slightly then seal with the glue. the loading i came up with will pattern better than the capsules 2 fold& always open to a pattern, not confined by a capsule.
talking of the capsule ,i fell behind in my reloading duties so mrs GP goes & purchases factory shotshells ,well i got home one evening & i recieved the most :cuss: &fussing i ever had ,well when we calmed down the capsule slide out upon firing the first shot tying up the cyl.stopping the revolver!!!
not good ,she broke every rake, shovel& hoe handle i owned to kill a chicken snake, i asked how far away were you ? she answered about 30 feet away!!
thats when i decided it was time to check into mini shotgun shells ,thats what my daughter calls em!!!
anyway thats my exp with shot shells


M2 Carbine
April 15, 2007, 11:34 PM
I've been loading 38 shot and shooting Rattlesnakes and Copperheads since the mid 60's. Loading a gas check over the powder and shot makes a better shot shell than the plastic capsules but the capsules are easier to load.

I patterned a couple shots yesterday. When I loaded these shells, years ago, all I had was #7.5 shot. I'd rather load #8 or #9.

These snake drawings are right small, about half the size of a large Copperhead.


Texas Rattlesnakes are much bigger.

April 15, 2007, 11:56 PM
Ah come on guys...Why ya gotta be killing them those innocent creatures of God. They never harmed you. All you need is a good stick to help catch em bare handed. You should only kill them pretty little creatures if you are gonna eat them.:D And yes just if you are wondering I have caught them several times with my hands....I figure I gotta do it that way if I am going to be a wildlife biologist. Plus its fun.

M2 Carbine
April 16, 2007, 11:49 AM
Well I've tried to tell the "good" Rattlesnakes and Copperheads from the "bad" ones but they all look the same.
They tell you that they won't come on your patio, in your yard, your barn or your flower bed, or bite your dogs, but they lie.:D

It is mostly true that they won't bother you if you don't bother them.
One night I was casting bullets in the barn. When I happen to turn around there was a good size Rattlesnake about five feet from me, heading away. I could see his track in the dirt where he has crawled by me just a couple feet away from my leg.

I'm the kind of person that won't kill anything I don't have to (even raised four baby skunks in the barn, now that was fun), but I have to draw the line at Rattlesnakes, Copperheads and Black Widows.:(

BTW, aren't they cute.:D

April 16, 2007, 12:35 PM
Why ya gotta be killing them those innocent creatures of God. They never harmed you.

Honestly, I wouldn't kill a snake unless it was a direct and immediate threat to me, my family or my $10,000 free dog.

Rattlesnakes ARE an important part of our ecosystem, and I respect that. However, I think I have a lot to add to the future of the human gene pool, and I don't want a rattlesnake to deprive the future of our species' evolution of the benefit of my genetic makeup.:D

April 17, 2007, 09:13 PM
im for leaving them alone if theyll leave me alone ,but there kind of like the irs,you know they exist& sooner or later youll meet up & it aint gonna be good!!!


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