Opinions...H&R SnakeTamer or YBE's Snake Charmer


April 2, 2008, 09:43 AM
I want (don't need) a small 410 bore shotgun to carry around with me in the truck, atv, boat etc...for snakes rodents and other undesireables. I have narrowed it down to two choices (unless y'all can change my mind) to either the Snake Tamer by H&R or the Snake Charmer by YBE. What are your opinions. And please feel free to suggest other options I may have overlooked. Oh .. and it must be in the $200 or less price range.:scrutiny:

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Dave McCracken
April 2, 2008, 09:56 AM
Dunno about the YBE. H&R has a near mythic status for value and reliability. I'd go with that....

April 2, 2008, 10:16 AM
I have tried them both. The Snake Charmer is my choice, though they both are great, handy, little guns. Actually, I wouldn't turn around for the difference but a friend wanted one of them. I kept the Snake Charmer.

April 2, 2008, 10:26 AM
I'd go H&R.
They're simple and durable but if one does break, they're also very common.
I'd bet about any gunsmith could get parts and fix one.

I also would have suggested one of their sweet little rifles in .357 magnum, but I see that on their site they don't list them with open sights anymore.


Red Tornado
April 2, 2008, 03:01 PM
I can't really tell a difference from the pictures. I've handled one in a store, I think the H&R and the quality seemed good. I don't get the stock, though. It's too short to use as stocks were intended. Is it basically just a shell storage and you shoot the thing like a pistol?

Anyway, I doubt you'll wear out either one of them...or any single shot .410.:D

I'm sure you considered it in the process, but was water resistance a factor? Is that why the plastic stocks? If not, for $200 you can get 3 or 4 pawn shop .410 singles. I've never picked up one that wasn't handy.

What ever happened to the old double barrel pistol with about 10" barrels that used to be called a snake charmer? That would be cool if you could locate one, plus you could get a holster for it. Or a Taurus Judge, but I don't know what they cost.

April 2, 2008, 05:25 PM
The Tamer is 34" long with a 13.5 in. length of pull and the Charmer is 29" long with 11" length of pull. I think the Tamer would be more comfortable to shoot. It also comes in a little cheaper, at $129 vs $145 both have to be ordered, so I cant hold either of them in my hand first for comparison. The synthetic stock and stainless finish is somewhat a consideration simply because it requires less TLC to stay looking good. I'm still leaning toward the Tamer.:scrutiny:

April 4, 2008, 10:15 AM
I have a Charmer and did have a H&R Survivor .410/.45 LC. I gave the H&R to my stepson for pest control when he got his own place. The Survivor isn't much different from the Tamer except for the storage stock. The Snake Charmers manufacturers always seem to change, where as H&R has been around forever. If I were to do it all over again (and I still might), I think I'd get the 20 gauge Tamer. Twenty gauge is cheaper and the kick isn't as bad as a twelve. I also had the 12 gauge Survivor at one point. No fun to shoot till I put a regular stock and recoil pad on. 5.5 lb 12ga plus synthetic stock with no recoil pad equals one painfully bruised shoulder! Gave that one to him also after I got my coach gun. BTW, the finish on those guns is nickel, not stainless. If you get one, be sure to clean accordingly. Not all gun cleaners are good for nickel finishes.

April 4, 2008, 02:56 PM
Personally I've fired both. I liked the tamer better. It's a bit heavier, so it soaks up the recoil some. Construction seemed more durable too.

April 9, 2008, 01:32 PM
I opted for the Tamer in 410 bore. It arrived last Friday. Killed a snake with it Saturday. What a sweet, little, well made gun. Anyone know of a small gun case made by any manufacturer out there that will fit it well? I've not found any thing on the internet that really appeals to me. Preferably a soft case that doesn't cost more than the gun.:)

April 26, 2008, 09:33 AM
I've held both at the gun shop, and I liked the way the Tamer felt better than the Charmer. Both stocks were small for my taste, but the Tamer stock felt like it was of a better quality than the Charmer's. I also prefer the location of the little lever you press to break the barrel open. On the Tamer, it's nice and large and easy to reach with your thumb. On the Charmer (at least the one I saw), it was located on the front of the trigger guard, and it felt cheaper and harder to operate.

I ended up buying the Tamer based just on feeling both of them in person. It just felt much more solid, and the control placement was better for me.

April 26, 2008, 11:13 AM
I just carry my TC Contender 10" in .45 Colt/.410. :D

There is a similar gun to the for under 200 bucks my son-in-law has. Damn, I forgot the name of it, but it's not nearly as well made or strong as a Contender, is adequate as a snake gun, though, if that's your intent. It has a choke that unscrews like the contender and can be used effectively with LIGHT .45 Colt. I wouldn't fire my Contender loads in it, though.

The contender is useful for shooting small game, even birds on the wing out to 25 yards max. It's a fun gun, more than just a snake gun in the field. I can shoot snakes with any old .22 kit gun, but the Contender is fun and useful for running and flying game. I tote it when I'm working on my place, tending my hog trap, or such. I switch to my scoped .30-30 barrel for deer/hog hunting or my .22LR barrel for squirrel hunting. It's more than just a snake gun.

April 26, 2008, 01:26 PM
I don't know about the H&R snake tamer.
I have shot a Snake Charmer many years ago.
These were made in stainless steel, a good thing, but the guns have very short, really useless, stock assemblies.
I bought this:
H&R advertises them as a survival shotgun and it came with a fairly short stock that one could keep four spare shells in.
I replaced the stock and forend with a set from Choate because I have large,long arms and the factory stock simply did not fit me.
The gun has a 22" barrel, 3" .410 bore, full choke, and a rather thin electroless nickle finish.
I have since added swivels, a Uncle Mikes universal nylon sling, and a Bob Allen elastic rifle size buttstock shell holder that holds nine spare shells.
Even better than the gizmo stock supplied by H&R and the extra weight of the ammo, plus the recoil pad, means perceived recoil is non-exsistent.
It has proven more than adequate for killing squirrels, rabbits and the springtime glut of cottonmouth snakes that show up down at the waterline.

April 26, 2008, 03:47 PM
OH YEAH. I just remembered, it's called a "super comanche". It's under 200 bucks and effective, has the choke like the Contender, and more compact than a snake charmer. I mean, I ain't tradin' my Contender for one, but if I needed something to leave in a tractor cab or truck, sure as heck wouldn't be my rather expensive Contender, either.



April 29, 2008, 01:07 PM
12 and became a dead shot with it in stock config.. It has proven to be durable and reliable over the years with minimal maintenance required. For my money the most fun you could have with a .410 would be that Winchester lever gun they released a couple of years back.

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