which gun should you use to kill a snake?


May 12, 2009, 10:45 PM
should you use a shotgun or a rifle to kill a snake? I got a 22 if its a small snake its going be hard to hit. But If I use a shotgun its goin make a big mess.. lol which is best to use?

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May 12, 2009, 10:47 PM
The kind with a 3 foot long wooden handle and a 10-12 inch wide flat blade at the end of it.

May 12, 2009, 10:48 PM
Seein' that snakes aren't bullet proof, any gun will do :D
Seriously -- most of the snakes I've killed have been w/ my mtn bike & w/ a 22 ;)

May 12, 2009, 10:50 PM
I recently asked the same question and it seems opinions vary greatly. I've been using a .22 pistol loaded with snake shot on copperheads and it works well.

May 12, 2009, 10:53 PM
.22 with snake shot or a .410--I've killed a few with a shovel though. Unless it is poisonous I generally leave it be. I may or may not have eliminated a rattler or two with a 12 Gauge when hunting.

May 12, 2009, 10:58 PM
I'm really not a fan of killing snakes as they're a handy part of the ecosystem (anything that eats insects/vermin is pretty dandy with me) I'm not a fan of having the poisonous ones around the house and have had to free them from this plane of existance with the lawnmower a few times. Though to be honest a .22 with ratshot/snakeshot should surfice unless you're facing something like an anaconda

May 12, 2009, 11:42 PM
most of the snakes I see are poisonous. No I will never use a shovel again, could get strike and bit :( thats why I got a gun to shoot.

May 13, 2009, 12:11 AM
Most of the snakes I've come across are pretty unintelligent. I use a garden hoe if I have to kill them, but why kill them? I can identify if it's poisonous or not. If it is a rattlesnake, copperhead, or moccasin you may need to kill it if it endangers you or yours, but just leave the other snakes alone. There are no coral snakes where I'm from.

May 13, 2009, 12:14 AM
Here in Arizona they sell "snake loads" for pistols. Work well for me.

Hostile Amish
May 13, 2009, 12:17 AM
I use snakeshot out of a Buckmark. Doesn't cycle, but works.

May 13, 2009, 12:31 AM
Most of the snakes I see in south Georgia are poisonous. Lots of diamondback rattlers, timber rattlers, ground rattlers(or pigmy), cottonmouth, copperhead, and water moccasins. I have only killed 2 coral snakes though. I use whatever is handy sticks, hoes, rakes, any number of guns.

There is a trick to killing snakes with pistols using regular ammo. They are much harder to hit from the side (if they are not coiled up), you want to be in front of or behind them. Unless you know exactly where your gun hits up and down at extremely close ranges you will be off just enough to miss. However your if your sights are on you will not be off left or right. If you are in front or behind you can line up left right (windage) with your sights and if you shoot a little low or high it will not matter you will still take his head off every time.

I know it sounds crazy but, trust me try it for yourself. My friends and neighbors are amazed and impressed that I never miss but, really it's all about that little trick.

May 13, 2009, 12:35 AM
Smith and Wesson 638 with shotshells. Snake killer from hell!!:evil:


May 13, 2009, 12:37 AM
Body shots on a snake with say a 22 pistol/rifle or a 9mm handgun do not stop them. It is much better to get a head shot. I'd personally rather use a shotgun with birdshot....they are just a little heavy to carry while hiking in the woods.

May 13, 2009, 12:37 AM
If you don't have a hoe (check the ghetto) and must use a firearm, I would go for a 12 gauge with bird shot. Yeah it would be messier than a 22, but it's a relatively sure thing.

May 13, 2009, 12:53 AM

None of the above are prone to ricochét

We just did a similar thread that was almost to the post a duplicate of this one. That's why we have a search feature

May 13, 2009, 01:07 AM
If you have to kill a snake use what you have at hand. But with few exceptions snakes will leave if you just wait a minute or so. The trick is to 1) try not to startle them, 2) stop as soon as you see it, and wait. If you come on them suddenly they coil in order to strike. So if they're not coiled, let them go.

The only exceptions that I know of are water moccasins and cottonmouths. Those are mean and will come after you if you mess with them. I'd kill them in a minute.

Concerning kids and loved ones, I agree with GojuBrian.

May 13, 2009, 01:16 AM
Garden hoe

Use the right tool for the job.

In general, you should leave snakes be.

If you have to kill em, don't bother with a gun (with the exception of shooting a snake that is swimming)

If these cops would have left the snake alone, or whacked at it with a hockey stick, garden rake, whatever, that kid would be alive.

Oklahoma Police Kill 5-Year Old Boy While Shooting at Snake


There is absolutely no reason to shoot a gun at most snakes.

May 13, 2009, 01:20 AM
Unless it's poisonous, or an immediate threat to you, a child, or significant other, why kill it? They are excellent resources to control rat and mice, not to mention other pests. Now, having said that, if you must kill it, then WHATEVER you have at the moment would be appropriate. I notice you mention something about a shotgun and a mess. Why the concern over the mess? If you're shooting it somewhere that a mess might be an issue, perhaps you shouldn't be shooting it at all anyway. Just a thought.

Captain Kyle
May 13, 2009, 02:44 AM
12GA with 8 shot shells :D

May 13, 2009, 03:34 AM
most of the snakes I see are poisonous. No I will never use a shovel again, could get strike and bit thats why I got a gun to shoot

Rattlesnakes are the most common snake in my area, and I've killed them using everything from rocks, chains, shotguns, etc. However, a common garden hoe works as well as anything. I've killed my fair share, and have never once felt as though I was gonna get bit doing so. I HAVE used various guns at one time or another, but strictly because thats what I happened to have in hand/on my belt. Truthfully, snakes are easy enough to kill without ever needing a firearm. Truthfully in most circumstances, a firearm is definite overkill when dealing with snakes.....My dad has probably killed as many with his lariet while riding horseback than most people will ever kill with any method...just utilize whatever you have handy.

May 13, 2009, 03:34 AM
Any .38 revolver with shot shells. And IMO, if there's any doubt about the snake being poisonous, take it out. There's LOTS of snakes out there to eat the rodents and insects, there's no shortage of snakes. If it's obviously harmless, let it go, but if you don't know for sure......

And as far as killing them with things other than guns, that's all find and dandy, IF you have a hoe/shovel/chain/whatever in your hand already, AND you see the snake in time. My .38 snubbie fits in my pocket quite well, and if I'm surprised by a coiled rattler 12 inches from my foot, I'd prefer to have Lil' Roscoe with me.

I'm rarely in snake country, but there ARE rattlers near the trail where I walk our dogs. I need to get some snake loads.

May 13, 2009, 05:59 AM
So after killing one with a shotgun or Pistol, how do you locte the fangs and Venuim sack to bury it, I hope we all understand a dead snake can still pose proplems for kids and pets, its always wise to bury the head as deep as possible after killing it.

Just so everyone knows I lived in Rattlesnake area for many years, Killed many, all with a good old fashion Square Point Shovel.
I would collect the heads burn them in the burn barrel then bury them out back, on a side note Snake is good Eaten

May 13, 2009, 06:55 AM
I don't generally kill snakes anymore, but back in the day I killed more than one with a Red Ryder BB gun.

People are funny 'bout snakes. My wife and I were riding our bicycles once, and came upon a fellow driving a dumpster truck. He had stopped in the middle of the road, with the door open, him half out of the truck, and was screaming SNAKE!! SNAKE!! I thought there was a snake in the cab. Turns out there was a snake on the road in front of him. Why he just couldn't drive on by I have no idea. He saw us and started yelling SNAKE!! at us. We rode on by and waved. He probably stayed there until the snake got bored and left on its own.

May 13, 2009, 07:45 AM
BB guns work extremely well and you wont kill the neighbors in the process.

May 13, 2009, 07:59 AM
I killed a copper head with a bag of kitty litter once... Yes, I looked as silly as you think I did.

D Boone
May 13, 2009, 08:32 AM
I've killed 2 snakes this year with a hoe. It's what was handy at the time. Last year I killed 4 or five, one was with a 9mm Hi-Point Carbine, one with a 12 gauge, and the rest with hoe/shovels. 12 gauge to the head finishes the job with minimal effort.

May 13, 2009, 08:50 AM
I don't kill animals that serve a useful purpose in nature. Snakes are beneficial in keeping rodents under control and unless it's in your house or yard you should just leave it alone. If it's inside then I throw a towel over it and take it off my property.

May 13, 2009, 09:31 AM
Maybe get a few king snakes in the area for the poisonous ones.

May 13, 2009, 09:41 AM
Take off and nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!:neener:

Daisy Red Ryder Carbine action BB gun! with an RIA Tactical matte nickel .45 acp for backup!

May 13, 2009, 09:47 AM
I'm with SaxonPig on this one. Snakes are not much danger to humans in the US. Most of the big scary ones here are not venomous anyway...big king snakes for example...big, scary, aggressive and completely harmless unless your are a rat.

Rattlesnakes rattle for a reason...to warn you away from them...they want nothing to do with you. Almost all rattlesnake bites are in enclosed areas when somebody reaches in somewhere and the snake sees what it perceives as a threat and perceives no time to issue a warning. Rattlesnakes and not very aggressive.

Now that situation is very different in Australia and Africa where there are many aggressive and venemous snakes...like cobras and mambas. Those things will chase you if you get in their territory and kill you if they catch you.

Do nature a favor, don't kill snakes. Save your hunting for deer and other game which you should hunt to your hearts' content.

May 13, 2009, 09:50 AM
I let the harmless ones go wherever I find them. The poisonous ones I will let go unless they are around my house. I do have a hard time passing up a cottonmouth though. That is one ornery snake and we see a lot of 'em in Florida.

May 13, 2009, 09:59 AM
I prefer that non-venomous snakes keep a healthy population to keep down the vermin.

But if I find a venomous creeper that needs killin', this seems to do just fine.


Recoil is manageable, and the report is safe without hearing protection.

May 13, 2009, 10:25 AM
Shotgun or rifle? Why not load you EDC with snakeshot? CCI makes this and you can buy it at Walmart. Good for about 20 feet and certain death on snakes.

May 13, 2009, 10:36 AM
If you're going to kill it, fire up the BBQ and eat the thing. No point wasting good meat . . . well, I've heard they're good . . . really, leave 'em alone as much as possible; they have a job to do, and you might miss them if they weren't there doing it.

May 13, 2009, 11:18 AM
A water pistol.
A little water on his head and he'll divulge where the others are.

May 13, 2009, 12:11 PM
if you don't know for sure......

If you don't know for sure, do a little research. Your state's Dept. of Conservation/Game and Fish/Dept. of Natural Resources should have a webpage devoted to identifying the poisonous snakes that reside in your area. One of the first things I did when I got to CO was hit up said page. Turns out this state is home to several varieties of snake, but only 2 are poisonous, and both of those have rattles. Neither of the poisonous breeds are known to hang out above 10,000 feet. It took me less than 5 minutes to develop the ability to know which hikes are likely to bring me in contact with one, and how to ID it as poisonous or not. Information very much worth having no matter where you reside.

May 13, 2009, 01:08 PM
If you actually find a poisonous snake, I like the riding lawn mower method.

May 13, 2009, 01:16 PM
A Colt Python?

May 13, 2009, 01:20 PM
I don't kill snakes. I has transplanted many over the years, both deady and not.
Broom handle, eye bolt in the end 3/16" cotton clothes line in a loop on the end. 5 gallon plastic bucket with a lid. Then off to the country.
Open lid tip bulket with the broom handle and they are on their way.

May 13, 2009, 01:58 PM
38 spl with bb shot.

May 13, 2009, 02:00 PM
The kind with a 3 foot long wooden handle and a 10-12 inch wide flat blade at the end of it.

So, a Mosin Nagant then?:D

May 13, 2009, 03:24 PM
I must have been 5 years old, we were playing at my dad's house near N. Cave Creek Rd and Cinnabar in the 85020 area. Looks way different now, but back then was just a few streets and The Mountain as we boys called it. My brother and his friend (both dead now) were three years older than me and we were climbing the Mountain one fine Sunday when as we got around a big rock my brother screams "Rattlesnake" and along with our pal jumps from the ledge and runs to safety. Lil ole me is petrified and froze from fear right next to a coiled Rattler. This is Phoenix of the early 60's and no one around, the Yuppies have yet to be invented never mind discover this poor white trash neighborhood. My brother and his pal keep encouraging me to jump yelling "The snake's gonna get ya". Not only am I petrfified but the jump looks like 10 feet easy and I was afraid I would break a leg. Well, Mr. Snake and I musta been eyeball to eyeball for quite a while before I got the nerve to jump. I was sure he was gonna bite my backside at the very least, but he didn't. Y'see, snakes don't like to waste energy and they like even less to waste precious venom on meatsacks that they cannot eat. You really have to piss a snake off before he will strike and even moreso before he will allow his venom to flow.
Been mentioned already, if I had a rattler problem I would get me some King snakes.
Been mentioned already too, this is a double thread of snakes.
Someone else said it in the other thread, when all you got is a hammer, everything appears to look like nails.

May 13, 2009, 04:24 PM
I shot snakes around my place when I lived in Arizona with whatever gun I had withe me at the time. I've shot them in the head with a .45 long colt, .45 auto, 30.06, .22 but the best was a twelve gauge shotgun. Within ten or twelve feet aim at the head and it takes it clean off destroying it. I never killed them out in the desert because I saw no need for it but around my place I killed plenty of them this way.

May 13, 2009, 04:48 PM
not that i would do it myself,that pygmy dude in "The Gods Must Be Crazy" ran around a mamba,longer than he was tall,picked him up by the tail and cracked him like a whip. deader than 4 o'clock.

i'll still go with the tomato stake in the meanwhile.

May 13, 2009, 04:59 PM
When I was younger and living on my parents' farm, we'd often find large rattle snakes in the yard or barn. I was always able to kill them with a 22 rifle by shooting into the main part of their bodies. This was usually done at close range, and having a semi-auto was a plus in case you missed or needed more than one hit to stop them.

I didn't have any snake-shot, just standard round nose 22 ammo.

May 13, 2009, 05:05 PM
After reading George29's childhood experience above, I thought of the time when I was helping my dad plow some ground on the farm as a teenager. We were taking a break and I walked over to a tree stump to sit down. As I was in the act of sitting down I glanced between my knees and saw that I was inches away from sitting on a large timber rattler coiled up on top of the stump!

It must have been asleep or something, because I got away without getting bit.

May 13, 2009, 05:50 PM
i have seen snakes bite when people were picking up fire wood,and on nature shows,they aggravated the snakes every way possible to get them to bite,and when they did,would not neccesarily pump venom,then.

just gotta watch,i guess.

with that said,birthday wishes to yogi berra,who famously noted you can observe a lot just by watching.

May 13, 2009, 05:54 PM
I would use on a venomous snake the same thing I use on starlings in my eaves: CCI .45ACP Shotshells out of my 1911. When I'm on the butte in rattler country I carry shot in the pistol, mags with bullets on my belt.

Owen Sparks
May 13, 2009, 06:08 PM
I don't advocate killing snakes unless it is necessary, but if you need to kill a large snake nothing works better than a shotgun loaded with bird shot. The trick is to sever the spinal column and paralyze the snake so that it can't strike. ANY firearm has ample power but it is difficult to hit with single projectiles. I live on a lake and have several dogs. Several times they have cornered large cotton mouths. Normally I would leave the snakes alone but they pose such a danger to the dogs that I simply dispatch them with a shotgun.

May 13, 2009, 06:14 PM
Spinning blades of DOOM!! :neener:

If I have it on me, I'd use my 20ga. That would do 'er up right quick. If not, then I'd just use .40 S&W pistol shot (terrible performance at any range, outrageously expensive) or a long handled shovel.

May 13, 2009, 08:56 PM
It's been several years, but the last one I killed was a large copperhead in a neighbors water meter box. A .177 pellet among his thoughts from my Feinwerkbau air rifle did the job handily.

Poisionous snakes are quickly killed around here. I work in a hospital pharmacy and if you knew the current cost of treating even a minor snakebite you would not want them around. The current therapy of choice is a fairly new type of antivenom called CroFab, and is really more of an immunological agent than antivenom, which was made from horse serum and often causes severe allergic problems.

A package of two vials of CroFab costs us about $3600, and treatment depending on size of patient and size of evenomation runs from 2 to 6 packages . Add hospital markup and other treatment costs and you are looking at $12,000 and up.

No snakes around the house for me.

Ky Larry
May 13, 2009, 09:03 PM
I used a 12ga for copperhead control when I was growing up on the farm. My old man just stomped them with his feet. I guess if all the Japs on Saipan and Okinawa couldn't kill him, what chance did a snake have?:what:

May 13, 2009, 09:14 PM
I got one with a skateboard recently. I swear it looked like a stick until I hit it.....

May 13, 2009, 09:18 PM
It would depend on the snake. A snake with less than two legs that doesn't stand upright should be given every chance to escape and failing that a club would suffice.

The other kind would fall into my late uncle's advice to use anything that lets in a lot of air and lets out a lot of blood.

May 13, 2009, 09:49 PM
For a small snake- .22 rifle with ratshot.

May 13, 2009, 09:58 PM
I like the BB GUN :D from w l johnson

May 13, 2009, 09:59 PM
I'm with Mr. Johnson on this one. The 18" guns from the MISSOURI are about right, not only for "smithereen" power, but also for ability to fire at a snake 'way the heck downrange. As in, "next county."

Only problem is that with the MISSOURI, some compromises must be made. Concealability and portability are big issues, but then again, I figure at sea the chance of seeing a poisonous snake are slim-to-none, with slim ahead by a whisker.

Seriously, people say "what's the harm in a garden-variety non-poisonous snake?" How about "heart attack?" Doesn't matter whether its garden snake or gaboon viper, they all give me the sweaty palms, rubber knees, accellerated heart rate, and upset stomach. Even watching the PBS/Discovery channel special on snakes gives me the sweats.

My snake-o-phobia is so bad, one was crossing the road last night, in lane 4 of a 5 lane highway. I was in lane 5, and it was heading into my lane. I swerved into the grass median when my mind recognized it, yelled a 4-letter word of scatalogical nature, and then cheered when I saw in my rearview mirror a big 4x4 run over it.

I hate snakes. Which gun is "the biggest, baddest, loudest one I can get to pronto."


tasco 74
May 13, 2009, 10:09 PM
WOW!! how big are the snakes in your part of the country Q??????????????:what: neat pic of an 18 in broadside mr johnson... i've never seen one where a guy could see the shell before..........

i usually let snakes go because about all we have around here is garter snakes... if'n i had to take one out i suppose i'd use a .357 mag case loaded with a speer shot capsule full of #12 over about 4 grs. of bullseye...............

May 13, 2009, 10:33 PM

May 13, 2009, 10:56 PM
I've killed copperheads with a long-handle flat-blade shovel, but they're pretty tough. I wouldn't recommend "a stick". I've also killed them with the rear wheels of twelve-thousand-pound tractor, but it took a surprising amount of spinning over it on a gravel road to do the job. I chopped one up pretty bad with a 93" five-blade finish-mower once too. It was still flopping around after I had walked 200 yards and back from the house to get a a twelve-guage to blow him into three pieces with #4 high-brass bird.

I've seen one timber-rattler a few years back but didn't have anything handy to challenge him with, and I've let a few copperheads get away in the past because of the same shortcoming. I now carry one CCI 38 special shot round in each of the two speed strips that I carry for my 442, cause that's the kit that's now always on me.

Does anyone have an opinion if those CCI shotshells will do any permanent damage to the rifling in the bore of my 442?

I also have to say: know your snakes and don't kill the non-poisonous ones, they are your friend... but I'm all for killing copperheads and rattlers.


May 13, 2009, 11:28 PM
quoheleth, As I recall those guns were 16 inchers not 18 inches.

May 13, 2009, 11:29 PM
I only kill the dangerous snakes like this fer-de-lance pit viper in Colombia. A little kobudo longhandleshovel did the trick.


W L Johnson
May 13, 2009, 11:33 PM
The 18" guns from the MISSOURI
16" or to be more precise 16"/50 Mark 7 (40.6cm). We (USA) never put anything larger than 16" into service.

You may be thinking of the Japanese Yamato class which had 18.1" guns or to be more precise 18.1"/45 Type 94 (46cm). The UK also put the 18"/40 Mark 1 (45.7cm) on the Furious.

Oh, and the Iowa class Missouri was BB-63, thus the BB comment.

May 13, 2009, 11:56 PM
Shovel if you really, really have to do it. Big rock + gravity works almost as well.

May 14, 2009, 12:14 AM
After the head leaves the body there still seems to be plenty of wiggle left in them serpents. Of all the snakes I've killed the shovel really does the best job, edge then flat, works every time.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 14, 2009, 12:20 AM
Holy crap, geologist came across a real Fer De Lance, one of the deadliest snakes that live - glad you saw it before it got you! :eek:

May 14, 2009, 01:04 AM
Here in Tennessee it is illegal to kill or disturb ANY snake. Most wardens will look the other way if you kill a poisonous snake that poses a danger to you or livestock, however, they can write you a citation for it.

The biggest cottonmouth that I ever saw was killed with a 30 inch Biltmore stick(forester's instrument for measuring diameter of timber and number of logs high. The wielder of the stick was wading in water up above his waist when he encountered the snake in the water. The poor snake never had a chance. The cruiser with the stick hit the snake about 40 times in 2/10s of a second and then proceeded to walk(run) on water until he got to dry land.

Once on a timber cruising job in the Phillipines, I saw an aborigine kill a 2 meter king cobra with a stick about half a meter long with a nail in the end. The same 'instrument' that you used to see crews using to pick up trash on road right of ways.

May 14, 2009, 01:17 AM
i'm sorry everyone the mods will prob delete this but oh well.. i am a snake lover... the only ones that freak me out are the snakes that can eat me and the ones that can drop me dead in 10 minutes... and the black mamba which i'm pretty sure could outslither me... other than that i've caught a few timber rattlers with nothing but a stick and the non poisonous ones i just grab.... snakes really arent that bad just watch out for for the corals and the big diamondbacks in the U.S. coral venom is extremly toxic and the diamondbacks are huge and can pump alot of their venom in a short amount of time... if they are on youre property thats obviously your choice... but if they're in the wild its detrimental to kill snakes as they kill most of our nuisciances...

May 14, 2009, 01:27 AM
the non poisonous ones i just grab....


I mean... what with you being a snake-lover-"don't-molest-them" ..uh, dare I say: self-proclaimed snake advocate...

Don't mean to harass you... but "grab" them? ***??


May 14, 2009, 01:28 AM
Does anyody know what kind of snake we have here in the US that LOOKS like a coral snake, but isn't? I swear that I saw one in my back yard here in Colorado one day, a few years ago. We had a crappy wooden planter in the back yard, and this thing darted under it when I got close. I only got a glimpse, but it was damn sure ringed with bright multi-colored rings. Freaked me right out!

May 14, 2009, 01:38 AM
Many snakes look like the Coral Snake. The Scarlet King would be the most commonly mistaken for it in the US.

A rhyme about the order of the colored stripes helps you tell them apart:

Red and yellow kills a fellow... Red and black is safe for Jack.

Coral snakes (venomous) have red and yellow touching; Scarlet King snakes (non-venomous) have red and black touching.


May 14, 2009, 01:54 AM
They're just snakes venomous or not... why not grab a non venomous snake? whats it gonna do bite you? thats why we have hydrogen peroxide. everyone knows that nursery rhyme just most cant remember it... but killing a coral and killing a king has different effects... kings eat all other snakes equal or smaller...

May 14, 2009, 01:59 AM
rondog... anythings possible... they migrate i've caught diamondbacks in northern missouri...

May 14, 2009, 01:59 AM
They're just snakes venomous or not... why not grab a non venomous snake? whats it gonna do bite you? thats why we have hydrogen peroxide.

I'll take that as some version of flippant humor... I get it... sorta.

Best to you,

May 14, 2009, 02:02 AM
I said non-venomous... i'm not advocating grabbing venomous snakes....

May 14, 2009, 02:05 AM
Why harass non-venomous snakes? ...was my question... I'm not a snake lover, but you claimed to be... It seemed incongruent.


May 14, 2009, 02:20 PM
quoheleth, As I recall those guns were 16 inchers not 18 inches.


So much for my "concealed carry battleship."

My search continues for something with more firepower.

The M1A1 Abrams, although lacking sheer size and mass of its round (the MISSOURI & IOWA threw 2500+lb shells), offers the ability to shoot & scoot, plus has excellent armor to repel the snake's one offensive weapon. Wonder if CDNN has any???

It's not the size of the snake. It's the size of the fear the snake generates.

(By the way... I knew we only had 16 inchers. I don't know why I wrote 18. The Japs sailed two monsters w/18" guns, I believe, both sunk without being able to contribute anything signficant to the war besides fear-factor. One got torpedoed before even making it into a single sea battle. Didn't know the Brits had 'em, too.)


May 14, 2009, 03:16 PM
Gun? You don't use a gun to kill a snake! I use the same thing I use on wild hogs--a sharpened popsicle stick. I'll admit to carrying a back up betwixt me teeth for hogs, but there's no need for that sort of extravagance for snakes.


May 14, 2009, 03:26 PM
the BIGGEST gun at your disposal

W L Johnson
May 14, 2009, 04:07 PM
The Japs sailed two monsters w/18" guns, I believe, both sunk
That would be Yamato and Musashi both armed with 9 x 18.1"/45 Type 94 firing a 3,219 lbs projectile up to 45,960 yards at 46 degrees. Each gun weight 363,000 lbs set in a 3 gun turret which weight 2,730 tons, 3 turrets per ship. Each turret weight as much as a destroyer.

One got torpedoed before even making it into a single sea battle
That would be Shinano which was started as the 3rd ship of the Yamato class but after Midway the incomplete Shinano was finished as a carrier. So there was suppose to be three Yamato class ships build but before Shinano could be completed as such the aircraft carrier proved itself.

May 14, 2009, 04:12 PM
Perhaps a Colt Diamondback with shotshells?

May 14, 2009, 05:48 PM
Thank you, Mr. Johnson, for the WWII naval history lesson. Seriously. I appreciate that.


May 14, 2009, 05:51 PM
a 1911 with 45 shotshells

May 14, 2009, 05:54 PM
I hike with no less than a S&W 442/642 with 2 rounds of snake shot and 3 hollowpoints.

May 14, 2009, 08:15 PM
I have a TC 45/410 that I use 2 1/2" 1/2 oz #9 in for the Water Mocs here at the farm here in south La. It is good out to 25 yds- no problem! Have taken out 3 in the last 5 days. The hunt is on!!! After losing a dog and a close miss with the wife in the last two yrs it has become a personal thing with me. I hope you understand-if you don't-Oh well!!!

May 14, 2009, 08:27 PM
I saw a snake while back it got away :( looked like a baby rattler :banghead:

W L Johnson
May 14, 2009, 10:07 PM
Sorry for getting so far off topic, but naval history is sort of my passion despite living so far inland.

Brian Dale
May 15, 2009, 05:42 AM
Well, I've posted this elsewhere but I can't resist:

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/2652/motivator901579xj1.jpg (http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?image=motivator901579xj1.jpg)


May 15, 2009, 08:51 AM
No gun is necessary unless it is a really big snake like in the tropics. A walking stick is plenty should it be necessary to dispatch a snake and it usually in not necessary. I don't kil poisonous snakes anymore unless they bite me or they are in my yard and likely to get stepped on by the unawares.

Mr. Bojangles
May 15, 2009, 08:54 AM
I would use my beloved Mosin Nagant 91/30 with it's 18" rusty screwdriver/bayonet. :D It's nearly 6 feet long with the bayonet attached so even if you miss with the first five rounds you can use the bayonet.

And I would know because I have successfully bayonetted two full cans of diet soda with one stroke! :neener: It was, however, in self-defense. Because diet soda tastes like crap.

Mike J
May 15, 2009, 09:44 PM
A few years back my neighbor called me over to show me the snake he had killed. He said he wasn't sure what it was but it was huge. He also pointed out the striations(sp.) on the scales. It was sure enough big-about a six foot long black racer. That was the worst year ever here for snakes. We had a water mocassin get in the garage. I got the same neighbor to kill it. You can call me a coward but he was in a corner & I just didn't want to go into a corner after a snake. I also didn't want to use the 20 gauge on concrete. I try to leave the black racers (constrictors) alone as they hold the others back.

May 15, 2009, 10:19 PM
I was going to tell you to use a bow but I cant figure out how to post the picture of the rattlesnake I nailed.

May 15, 2009, 10:29 PM
I figured it out now use a bow for snake.

May 16, 2009, 05:26 AM
The rear driver side tire of a Tahoe works just fine.

May 16, 2009, 05:43 AM
It depends on the snake.

Hoes work work well on some.

A reasonable stand-off distance for others, so guns work better than a bow and arrow (unless you're a good archer).

There are probably some snakes (not around my place thankfully) for which I'd want to use the previously suggested 16" gun broadside. I'll gladly sit back about 5000 yards and call in fire missions. Mambas come to mind. From what I've heard, they are fast, aggressive and deadly and they will actual chase you. That's what Naval Gunfire is for. :D

May 16, 2009, 09:50 AM
The only snake worth killing on sight in the US is a Water Mocassin. (This is contrary to my last statement (#90).) Those things give me the bigeebies. Can't think of a better application for the Taurus 45/10.

May 16, 2009, 12:15 PM
Hey Brian Dale, is that you or Geraldo?

May 16, 2009, 12:47 PM
According to this site, 5 of the world's 10 deadliest snakes are found in Australia.


#2 The Eastern Brown Snake is common where I live.

I don't hesitate to use a 12g shotgun with birdshot (7 1/2) on any snake near the house - especially since we have young children. I found one in the bathroom once that I killed with a shovel since I didn't want to shoot the toilet but I prefer a shotgun.

May 16, 2009, 12:50 PM
best to just avoid them, but if it is necessary to kill them, a shotgun is the easiest way to get the job done.

May 16, 2009, 12:56 PM
Maybe we can create laws/legislation that makes the snakes to go away? lol

May 16, 2009, 01:01 PM
Legislation, that is a great idea. Make it illegal to bite a human with malice. Prison time will fix this problem!

If I only had a brain.....

May 16, 2009, 01:02 PM
Seriously another thing to consider if these snakes are close to the home is:

What are they feeding on and or hunting for?
I'm my situation, it was field mice getting into my shop.
Hey a snake's gotta eat right?

Well, I bought two Riddex plug in things and low and behold...
It drove the mice away and I haven't seen a snake since.
Now out of the normal perimeter of the dwelling, all bets are off.
Snakes will feed on the young small game anywhere they can find them.
This holds especially true in spring as those babes are being born.

Brian Dale
May 16, 2009, 01:48 PM
Yeah, Cannonball888, I needed a haircut. :p

That's (Burmese) Louise (ten and a half feet long), at the lower edge of the picture, which was taken while I was editing some math stuff over at a co-worker's place. She does share some personality traits with Geraldo, now that you mention it. I didn't mind snakes until I took care of her for a week once (the owner to me: "just don't let her get a coil around your neck"). Snakes still don't give me the creeps, but I don't find them very charming at all.

There turn out to be two scary things in that picture, then: a big snake, and Algebra Story Problems. :eek:

The only Pythons I like are made by Colt. :)

June 20, 2010, 10:14 PM
Holy crap, geologist came across a real Fer De Lance, one of the deadliest snakes that live - glad you saw it before it got you!

I decided to just hire my own personal bodyguard snake to kill the fer-de-lance. Here's a Zopilota snake killing an adult fer-de-lance (that pit viper is big enough to bite you on the thigh, above your boots!) at one of our projects in Nicaragua.


June 20, 2010, 10:23 PM
If someone on this forum asks what the best gun is to kill a person with in self defense, they get a straight answer (or at least a discussion about guns).

If someone on this forum asks what is the best gun to kill a snake with, they get a moral discussion on why they should not kill snakes.

That has always struck me as a little bit odd.

June 20, 2010, 10:29 PM
I see no reason to ever kill a Snake.

I grew up walking around them, sitting among them as they sunned themselves, and always finding them to be entirely sensible Creatures...Copperheads, Watermoccasins, Rattle Snakes, later Sidewinders also.

They are all very easy to get along with, are a benifit to Humanity for eating Mice and Rats and so on.

For Pete's sake...

Leave 'em be, and just walk around them...and respect them with no need of interfering.

If you want to remove a Snake from an inconvenient location, just gently use a Stick and lift them up, do things slowly and talk soothingly about your intentions, and set them into a Pillow Case or Bag or something, and drive them to a better spot and let them go.

No bid deal to do, just hold the Bag away from your Body if it is a Pit Viper.

It always worked fine for me.

June 20, 2010, 10:30 PM
That would be an example of what I was talking about.

Col. Plink
June 20, 2010, 10:35 PM
.45 w/ shotshells...

June 20, 2010, 10:35 PM
I see no reason to ever kill a Snake.
I have a 4 year old grand daughter and two 2 year old grand daughters. The 4 year old and one 2 year old live with me. The other 2 year old visits regularly. That is 3 dammm good reasons to kill every venomous snake anywhere on or near my place!

June 20, 2010, 10:41 PM
I grew up walking around them, sitting among them as they sunned themselves, and always finding them to be entirely sensible Creatures

Yes, just like one of the family.


I wonder if the man in this article ever had the need to kill a snake:


Mitch from LA
June 20, 2010, 11:42 PM
Sadly, most folks show a very poor understanding of the degree to which snakes (even the venomous ones) offer a threat.

June 20, 2010, 11:54 PM
Yes, just like the man in the article I cited. I am sure he would think snakes are great, if only he were still living.

The question asked was "what is the best gun for killing snakes?"


"Will I end up with bad karma if I kill a snake?"

June 21, 2010, 12:00 AM
Mitch if a venomous snake is in the same area as my grandbabies that is MORE than enough of a threat for me to eliminate it. I personally know two people who were bitten by rattlesnakes as children. Both almost died from the bites. I visited one while he was in the hospital and saw the wound area. The entire top of his foot nearly rotted away. THAT is NOT going to happen to my grandbabies if I can prevent it.

Mitch from LA
June 21, 2010, 12:02 AM
I made no reference to karma, I merely stated that snakes are unjustly feared and poorly understood. I am truly sorry for the gentleman in the article, but incidents like that one are few and far between. I don't see any harm in offering alternative solutions to shooting snakes.

June 21, 2010, 12:07 AM
But If I use a shotgun its goin make a big mess..

Get messy!

June 21, 2010, 03:22 AM
ENIGMA, Ga. — Police say an 82-year-old Berrien County man is dead after a rattlesnake bit him several times while he was fixing his lawnmower Wednesday.

Investigators believe Eddie Lee Dorminey was changing the lawnmower belt and didn’t notice the snake was there.

Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Larry Tabor says authorities first thought the man had died of a heart attack. But Tabor says when he looked under the lawnmower, he noticed a rattlesnake wrapped around a pulley.

He says authorities checked the body again, and saw puncture wounds on Dorminey’s wrist.

The venomous snake has been killed.

The poor old guy screwed up and was not being 'situationally aware'.

If he'd stuck his Hand into the running, rotating Blade of the Lawn Mower, instead, would people 'kill' the Lawnmower, and, be saying "Bad Lawnmower! BAD BAD Lawnmower!!" as they stomp it into the Ground?

Probably they would!!!

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, whatchagunnado...

June 21, 2010, 03:52 AM
Lets take a guess, based on what the Article says.

Old Guy mowing his Lawn in some Area of the Country where Rattle Snakes are known to exist.

Belt Breaks, he shuts the Mower down, and, goes off to get a new Belt.

Early evening now, and cooler out, or was a coolish day anyway...Lawnmower has a thermal mass, retaining the Heat of running earlier.

Rattle Snake comes by, senses the thermal source, homes in, smells it and so on, and, decides it looks like a nice place to hang out and enjoy the warmth.

Snakes are not endothermic, if ambient temps are coolish, they really like to find a "warm" something or other to curl up under or on or against.

So, Snake, being discrete and wishing to have some comfort and privacy, curls up under the warm Mower, and, we may presume, is quite content, relaxed, and serene.

Old guy gets back, crouches down, lifts up the Mower to get on with changing the Belt, and, the Snake thinks the old guy is attacking HIM...so, the Snake counter-attacks, fights "back", and, bites the old guy a few times.

Who is to blame?

No one.

Snakes do not understand people orders of symbol literacy...they do not recognise abstractions such as someone's "yard".

People, lack literacy in Snake sensibility issues, and, forget that in coolish days or times of day, a Snake will seek out "warm" places to feel comfortable.

Person 'attacks' Snake by accident or amentia...Snake responds to the 'attack' with it's own wiles or means.

My advice?

Be situationally aware, and know your 'territory' with respect to the Creatures who may innocently happen to wander onto it, and be understanding for your own sake and theirs.

As it was, everyone was a loser in that deal, when, no one had to lose or 'win' at all.

A sad tale...

June 21, 2010, 04:30 AM
For snakes? Definitely .30-06!

June 21, 2010, 07:23 AM
I don't see any harm in offering alternative solutions to shooting snakes.

Nothing wrong with it, its just that you answered a question that was not asked.

The OP asked what gun to use to kill snakes. Not should snakes be killed.

The poor old guy screwed up and was not being 'situationally aware'.

Right. But why when someone asks what gun to use for ccw, they get an answer about guns. When they ask about what to kill a snake with, they get told to be situationally aware and you won't have to kill a snake. It seems as if some people are more concerned with the morality of killing a snake as opposed to the morality of killing a person.

Mitch from LA
June 21, 2010, 09:43 AM
Jimmyray, we'll probably never agree on this subject but I respect and understand where you're coming from.

Balrog, I would be doing a disservice to the OP by not giving the best answer I can. That said, a firearm is a poor choice to kill a snake to begin with and the OP may not need to kill said snakes.

June 21, 2010, 10:19 AM
410 with #6 works all the time.

June 21, 2010, 10:21 AM
Venomous snakes,wasps and hornets,black widow and brown recluse spiders,scorpions and pack saddles ALL are treated equally on my property. I have a large grey rat snake living under my house and an even larger king snake under my front step. They are safe and we even let the girls get close to them while playing. Photo is of the king snake moving from my house to the rocky outcroppings just beyond my grand daughter's swing set. As for the original question,I use which ever gun I have with me at the time. It often is a Taurus M44 or S&W M29 .44 with speer shot shells. I have killed more copperheads with my Ruger P90 than any other.

Carl N. Brown
June 21, 2010, 11:58 AM
Outdoors, I try to practice snake avoidance. Just in case that fails, the first round to index in my .38 or .455 revolvers is a shotshell. Snake encounters are close range, and shot is less likely to ricochet or fragment than solid bullets.

three encounters of the close snake kind

I removed a black snake from my MIL's kitchen using a broom to immobilise its head so I could grab it behind the head. I carried it a quarter mile into the woods and released it live. The field mice that it would eat would not try to shelter in her house that winter.

When she had what appeared to be a copperhead curled up under her clothes hamper in the bathroom, I used a Ruger Mark II with CCI .22 Shotshell #12 dustshot. Left an outline of the snakes head on the floor (which would be covered by the clothes hamper anyway). I was not going to try to live capture a copperhead.

I did shoot a copperhead at my uncle Ed's farm with a .22 rifle and hollowpoint bullets at about six feet. I began to believe afterwards that bullet fragments or rock fragments might have been a bigger danger than the snake.

Carl N. Brown
June 21, 2010, 12:07 PM
Maybe we can create laws/legislation that makes the snakes to go away?

Anyone wanna do an Assault Snake Ban parody with detailed definitions ("No more than two of the following creature features shall be allowed....")

June 21, 2010, 02:13 PM
I really dislike killing anything that I'm not going to eat, however, I have heard from my elders that once they get to close to the house, you really don't have a choice. Especially when you live out in the sticks and animal control will not respond.

Buck Snort
June 21, 2010, 08:36 PM
I'm not going to wade through all the posts before responding to this nonsense. About 99.9% of the time it is absolutely NOT NECESSARY to kill a snake. If its a poisonous snake just step back and walk around. WHY KILL IT? What is this OBSESSION some people have with snakes? They are living creatures that have a place in the natural order of things. Now, there are, of course, exceptions to the rule. We have a bad situation in the Florida Everglades where an INVASIVE SPECIE of snake has taken hold and will upset the natural order there. Evidently some bozo let loose some Burmese pythons and their population has exploded exponentially. They should be wiped out, they are NOT a natural part of that environment. But when I'm walking in the Sierra Nevada mountains and I hear a rattlesnake sound off my first thought is for my own safety and THEN I find a way to get by the snake and on my way without doing one of nature's creatures any harm. Those ballyhood Texas rattlesnake hunts are, IMHO, the outgrowth of testosterone poisoning and amount to just so much macho BS. A rattlesnake resembles a game animal like a Big Mac resembles gourmet cooking! Men respond to snakes like women respond to mice, EEEEEEEK!! C'mon guys, give a snake a break!

Buck Snort
June 21, 2010, 08:39 PM
Mitch if a venomous snake is in the same area as my grandbabies that is MORE than enough of a threat for me to eliminate it. I personally know two people who were bitten by rattlesnakes as children. Both almost died from the bites. I visited one while he was in the hospital and saw the wound area. The entire top of his foot nearly rotted away. THAT is NOT going to happen to my grandbabies if I can prevent it.
Point well taken, we have to protect our little ones from ANY dangerous animal.

Buck Snort
June 21, 2010, 08:42 PM
Maybe we can create laws/legislation that makes the snakes to go away? lol
YEAH!! Lets start setting up "NO SNAKES" zones!!

Buck Snort
June 21, 2010, 08:50 PM
According to this site, 5 of the world's 10 deadliest snakes are found in Australia.


#2 The Eastern Brown Snake is common where I live.

I don't hesitate to use a 12g shotgun with birdshot (7 1/2) on any snake near the house - especially since we have young children. I found one in the bathroom once that I killed with a shovel since I didn't want to shoot the toilet but I prefer a shotgun.
You folks have a special situation down there on the underside of things and I'd favor killing OR removing any poisonous snakes found near civilization. I can't believe you Aussies have not developed a good "capture and relocate" program, giving the numbers of highly poisonous snakes you have there.

June 21, 2010, 09:47 PM
What is this OBSESSION some people have with snakes?

Snakes have had a bad reputation since the time one was reported to have convinced Eve to eat the apple. That reputation isn't likely to go away any time soon.

I've dispatched quite a few snakes. Many in my youth when I didn't know better. None were killed with a firearm. They are really pretty fragile and can be dispatched with pretty much anything that's handy, be it a shovel, hoe, pipe wrench, or just a stick or rock.

June 21, 2010, 09:53 PM
a daisy bb gun works fine if you know how to shoot just shoot them in the head works most of the time, if you want a definite no miss kill use a shotgun of any sort

June 21, 2010, 10:32 PM
Just this afternoon at dusk I was finihing up mowing the grass in the area where my grandbabies gun,tumble and play freely. As I'm dumping the wheelbarrow load of clipping down the bank a 2 foot copperhead come squirming out of the clipping very quickly. I was without a firearm and the only weapon was the rake about 20 feet behind me. There was no chance to dispatch it but I will be on patrol whenever my babies are out there for sure. I won't be caught unprepared again!

Dr T
June 21, 2010, 10:43 PM
For rattlesnakes on the Western Edge of the Edwards Plateau in Texas (and cotton mouths and copperheads):

If it is in a Juniper bush, I would prefer a 12 ga (or 20 ga. or 28 ga.) with #6 shot (I have found the .410 to be a bit light). If it is on a caliche road, on limestone caprock, or in the open I use a 22 lr or 22 wrm handgun. I DO NOT use 22 rat shot: it bounces back (and stings like heck when it hits you on the forehead).

I leave the rest of the snakes alone, especially bull snakes: They eat rattlers.

June 21, 2010, 11:17 PM
the area where my grandbabies gun,tumble and play freely.

Sounds like the grandbabies should be able to take care of themselves. ;)

June 21, 2010, 11:31 PM

Even if a snake has to be eliminated, most snakes have a very thin midsection and have no projectiles. This means a stick or firearm loaded with shot is the best choice if a snake is to be dispatched.

Take any desired discussion of the ethics or necessity of killing snakes to the hunting forum.

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