I shoot snakes at ground level with 9mm often, I'm worried about ricochet.


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Ben86
February 24, 2010, 06:10 PM
I go running on my property with my glock 26 on my hip. There is at times a poisonous snake, usually a water moccasin, in my path. I use my glock 26 to eliminate them with impunity. Lately, I've been worried about the bullet coming back up after it gets done with mr. snake and smacking me. I am firing at either dirt or a dirt road with some gravel. What precautions should I take as far a ricochet and angle of shot? Should I lower the angle by using a crouching shot? I know it's an odd question, but I would appreciate any insight. (physics is not my strong point)

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Ragnar Danneskjold
February 24, 2010, 06:14 PM
Have you considered just not shooting them and slowly walking the other way? I know that's not an answer to your questions, but killing snakes just to kill them seems excessive.

Ben86
February 24, 2010, 06:23 PM
Yes I kill every snake I can identify as poisonous because I live 30 minutes from the nearest hospital, which could mean 60 minutes before any anti venom. I do like my internal organs after all.

Albatross
February 24, 2010, 06:30 PM
I think they make snake shot in 9mm.

If a man doesn't want snakes on his property it isn't any business of mine, but I hope your wearing hearing protection. The decibel level from handgun report definitely damages your hearing permanently.

Four Knives
February 24, 2010, 06:41 PM
They do make snake shot in 9mm

The shot will not cycle the slide on a G22, but as I recall, it will cycle the slide on a G26 and a Taurus 709, YMMV.

I'd suggest snake shot, since a hardened gravel road could not only endanger you or anyone you are walking with, but there is the potential (however slight) that in an errant moment, you could have a ricochet further down your path that could endanger someone else. **especially if you crouch down to shoot the snake, you could have a skip ricochet that travels a greater distance and end up well beyond your line of sight.

We each make our own choices. I'm not judging you, but if it's enough in your mind to post here about it, I'd say your gut is telling you the risk:reward calculation is higher than you'd like.

Deaf Smith
February 24, 2010, 06:52 PM
While I'm not a fan of the 'Judge', I'd think that .410/.45 LC would be the thing to use.

And if I did, I'd get that new snubber CCW Judge, I think it's called the 'Public Defender'.

http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=662&category=Revolver&toggle=tr&breadcrumbseries=41

I think that would take care of any snake.

ILikeLead
February 24, 2010, 07:01 PM
Ben, I am not here to determine whether you should kill snakes or not, but I personally would be a bit concerned about either dirt or rocks or a bit of lead flying back up toward my face, and eyes.

"Ratshot" is an option, but it's awful high priced. It could still bounce back at you as well.

What I might do would be to back up 10 feet or so if the surroundings allow, and expect the bullet to ricochet away from me or mine.

Obviously this would be only feasible in a rural area, which is what you describe...

mljdeckard
February 24, 2010, 07:02 PM
I use snakeshot. I don't feel bad about dispatching them, there certainly isn't a shortage of them, and they will make more.

maroast
February 24, 2010, 07:04 PM
Yes I kill every snake I can identify as poisonous because I live 30 minutes from the nearest hospital, which could mean 60 minutes before any anti venom. I do like my internal organs after all.

I've seen someone die from a snake bite before....not very common, but also not very pretty.

Hey, you could make a stew from the meat....then it would be a win-win situation!

rha600
February 24, 2010, 08:22 PM
Have you considered just not shooting them and slowly walking the other way? I know that's not an answer to your questions, but killing snakes just to kill them seems excessive.
that would be my choice.

Ben86
February 24, 2010, 08:29 PM
I might try some snake shot, I've seen a box at my local Gander Mountain. Pricey stuff though. I'm trying to get this straight, concerning the path of the ricochet, if the bullet is shot at an extreme downward angle it will bounce back higher (bad for me). However the less extreme the angle in relation to the ground, (done by standing further away, or couching) the lower the ricochet will travel. I'm sure a lot has to do with the way the ground is shaped and what it is composed of as well.

By the way it's nothing but thick woods 360 degrees around my property. No neighbors. So there's no real danger of others getting hit.

Nasty
February 24, 2010, 08:37 PM
You can't control the direction or distance (can be several hundred yards) of a ricochet...shooting in random directions without adequate backstop makes *you* more of a danger than the snakes.

It's a poor choice of actions considering that you *could* dispatch them with a stick and knife. I believe that if you were to hit someone, you could be successfully prosecuted.

Zerodefect
February 24, 2010, 09:02 PM
When I was in Florida we'd have a dozen Cottonmouths, which are known to be aggressive, and Rattlesnakes in the yard at any given time.

The Cottons will hold thier gorund if you walk up to them. The Rattles will tend to leave , if they can. the Rattlesnakes are allways kinda slow when I spot them.

Neither is really a significant threat. Also snake venom will only kill you quickly if your luck is very bad. Usually you have plenty of time to seek help. I knew a ranger that hiked 10 miles to get help after being bit on the upper leg. He sat on a rattler.

When I'm hiking people often make fun of me for stepping over the curled up pile of dog poo not knowing that the dog poo is actually a rattle. They don't rattle too well in the cold.

You leave them alone and they'll leave you alone, I promise.

Ben86
February 24, 2010, 09:12 PM
You just admited that cottonmouths (about the only kind I shoot) are aggressive snakes. I feel I would be a coward if I did not shoot them in protection of my family, pets and myself.

duns
February 24, 2010, 09:24 PM
I go running on my property with my glock 26 on my hip. There is at times a poisonous snake, usually a water moccasin, in my path. I use my glock 26 to eliminate them with impunity.
It's a beautiful creature leading its snaky little life. Don't kill it unless it makes an unprovoked assault on you and you cannot escape except by killing it.

Just curious, what did you mean by the phrase "with impunity"?

PT1911
February 24, 2010, 09:29 PM
snakes impart fear on alot of people.. justified or not.. Rare reactions aside, there is no snake in the US that will kill a person in less than several hours.... IMO, most cases of people being bitten are quite avoidable in that the person sees the snake, approach it, and attempt to kill it...then they get bitten.

2RCO
February 24, 2010, 09:32 PM
Am I on THR or the PETA online shooting forum? Seriously guys I don't believe in killing for the heck of it but Water Moccasin is still dangerous to humans therefore I'd eliminate them as well. Blacksnakes, Garters and the like I live be but Copperheads and Moccasins get sent to there Snakey Maker.

orionengnr
February 24, 2010, 09:36 PM
When I'm hiking people often make fun of me for stepping over the curled up pile of dog poo not knowing that the dog poo is actually a rattle. They don't rattle too well in the cold.

My point is.........your (sic) a coward, quit shooting snakes. You leave them alone and they'll leave you alone, I promise.

Wow, you are going to promise my safety? Thanks a bunch.
I didn't get to be this old taking advice from idiots. And I'm not going to start tomorrow.

I sure hope that others don't start today.
ZeroDefect my arse. You have one obvious and glaring defect that you have exposed to one and all.

duns
February 24, 2010, 09:42 PM
Am I on THR or the PETA online shooting forum? Seriously guys I don't believe in killing for the heck of it but Water Moccasin is still dangerous to humans therefore I'd eliminate them as well.
Humans are dangerous to humans so on that logic you would shoot every human you see!

jmortimer
February 24, 2010, 09:56 PM
Most of the dogs I have owned have been bitten by rattlesnakes so I kill every rattlesnake I find. Cheaper than vet bills and anti-venom. There are way too many here.

dmazur
February 24, 2010, 09:57 PM
I don't have a snake issue, but when they are in season, I like to try for grouse with a pistol.

CCI shotshells in .45ACP are loaded hot enough to cycle the slide.

While the package says "Pest Control", I believe they will work fine for grouse, based on some patterns I got on a cardboard box at 20 ft.

If you're really set on this, it could be an excuse to get a .45 :)

Zerodefect
February 24, 2010, 10:20 PM
Is there anything a Fudd won't find an excuse to shoot?

By aggressive I meant they'll just sit there and hold thier ground. I've woken up on the ground with these curled right up next to me. As soon as i unzip my bivy, there's old hissy white mouth staring at me. And their intimidating to. Way fatter and shorter, stocky looking.

I've never seen any of these snakes move quickly. Even when I have taunted them with my trekking pole. Usually they'll spin around slowly and attak my pole. It's allmost as if they know they're screwed allready.


If you have hundreds of these things in your yard i can see exterminating them, but a few snakes are no biggie. Unless you like rodent infestation.

duns
February 24, 2010, 10:25 PM
I..a few snakes are no biggie. Unless you like rodent infestation.
Great point!

dogtown tom
February 24, 2010, 10:57 PM
REAL MEN will get a big stick and beat it flatter than roadkill.:neener:
Big sticks are cheap, ammo is not.


Oh........just because someone suggests that you leave that snake alone, doesn't mean you should get your panties in a wad and accuse them of being a member of PETA.

A poisonous snake in my backyard, he's a dead man.:evil:
If I'm in HIS backyard, I go around.


.

GigaBuist
February 24, 2010, 10:58 PM
I'd probably pick up a Taurus Judge and some .410 shells loaded with #9 if I were in this situation. It's about the only practical use I can imagine for the Judge.

medalguy
February 24, 2010, 11:17 PM
"Big sticks are cheap, ammo is not"???? What???

My daughter was bitten by a copperhead a number of years ago, minding her own business walking across our property. I picked one up in a pile of leaves I was cleaning up. Another one was in my house gutters when I was cleaning them out. I nearly stepped on a diamondback rattlesnake going out to our birdfeeder.

Not all snakes give warning before they strike, and you can't always see a snake before you come in contact with it. My policy is to let a non-venomous snake go but a poisionous snake I will kill every chance I get. There are a lot of them around, and as someone said they will certainly make more, and I don't want a small child to step on one.

As far as weapons, I try to use a shotgun. I would suggest you try a Judge if you want to carry something when you run. Or there's shot made for a .45 as well.

mptrimshop
February 24, 2010, 11:29 PM
"When I'm hiking people often make fun of me for stepping over the curled up pile of dog poo not knowing that the dog poo is actually a rattle. They don't rattle too well in the cold."






do theses people walk threw the dog poo....... every time i see dog poo i walk over it or avoid it.....

Hatterasguy
February 24, 2010, 11:52 PM
This is probably the only good use for the Judge!

2RCO
February 25, 2010, 12:11 AM
Humans are dangerous to humans so on that logic you would shoot every human you see!

Only if they have fangs and venom glands :evil:

Just out of curiosity according to the logic on this board-- If I were to find a Black Widow or Brown Recluse spider in my kid's room should I just leave it be???? Since it's just being a spider and all and they rarely attack unprovoked.:banghead:

If there is a venomous snake in my yard I'll dispatch it as I see fit most likely with a shovel since my town has laws about discharging a firearm. My child and pets aren't something I'm going to risk for the life of snake.

HB
February 25, 2010, 12:14 AM
If you can see them, you can get around them. If you want to kill them, just whack them with a stick, hoe, oar, paddle, chair, car....

2RCO
February 25, 2010, 12:17 AM
FWIW most of my snakicide has been accomplished using a John Deere Mower!

Erik M
February 25, 2010, 12:51 AM
Eastern Diamondback and Timber Rattlers are amasing creatures in thier own right. I would simply let them be and give them a wide bearth if I came across them on a trail.

At home is a different story, as I see them as a threat to the animals that I take care of. I have dispatched several with my break action .410.

I would reccomend CCI snake shot rounds for your 9mm.

mgmorden
February 25, 2010, 12:56 AM
FWIW most of my snakicide has been accomplished using a John Deere Mower!

The best thing mentioned in the thread so far. Whether you kill, or don't kill the snakes, everyone has admitted: THEY'LL MAKE MORE. Want to reduce your chance of getting bit by a snake in your yard? It's not about shooting the ones passing through - it's about making sure you're not creating an environment suitable to them. That means low cut grass, not hollowed tree stumps, and no big piles of leaves.

Dazen
February 25, 2010, 01:17 AM
This coward will be buying a Judge this year just for rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Coward.....LoL really? That's like having an Anti tell me I'm a coward cause i own a gun.

Sport45
February 25, 2010, 04:35 AM
By the way it's nothing but thick woods 360 degrees around my property.

There's your answer. Just pick up a stick!

You are not significantly impacting the water moccasin population around your place whether you dispatch it or not. For every one you see there were probably ten that noticed you. If it makes you feel better to kill it go ahead. I just don't think the big picture would change if you just kept running and left it be.

outerlimit
February 25, 2010, 06:33 AM
I'd also try the 9mm snake shot. I've not used it myself in that caliber, but it's worth a try. As mentioned, it may not cycle the slide, but that's probably not a big deal, it's not like you're going to double tap a rattler. I'd carry with one chambered and a mag of jhp for self defense along with a few rounds of snakeshot in the pocket. Can always drop the mag before shooting and insert shots individually if follow-up shots are necessary. If it does cycle, then chambering one and topping the mag off with a few might make a really convenient snake gun.

I think I've even seen 9mm and .45acp snake shot at Walmart in the past, but it's been awhile. I assume the .45acp snake shot will be a little more effective since there's more room in the case for pellets. They came in blue plastic casing if I remember correctly, might be CCI brand. I'm sure the local gunshop or sporting goods store will have some.

Bhamrichard
February 25, 2010, 06:40 AM
Are you running up on enough of these critters for maybe a nice pair of boots?? :)

I've actually had a pet ball python at one time, the non poisonous ones I'll happily let be but in my suburban neighborhood there are just too many kids around here to let the poisonous ones wander about. They get dispatched to snakey heaven fairly quickly, if not by me then my neighbors.

Nasty
February 25, 2010, 06:59 AM
Don't care about the snakes...but if you are going to shoot, you have a responsibility of having a safe backstop.

Sav .250
February 25, 2010, 07:13 AM
Like some one else said, unless your being attacked by said snake, I`m thinking you can avoid it by altering your route. Just a different view on snake killing.

Old Shooter
February 25, 2010, 07:38 AM
When I'm mowing the yard I carry either my P-11 with the CCI 1/8 oz # 12 shot or my Colt Commander with CCI 1/3 oz #9 shot for snakes. I have grandchildren that come over to visit and I don't need the complication of snake bites. A box of 10 rounds at my local shop costs $14.99 but I used to buy the components and load my own. Might get back into that again although I doubt I would shoot more than 10 rounds during a season anyway and the store-bought cycle my guns just fine.

geronimo509
February 25, 2010, 07:58 AM
I would kill the snake in a heartbeat. You said you only shoot the poisonous ones, good, shoot the twice. Then eat it or leave it for food for other animals.

Your on THR! If it isn't illegal and your not worried about hitting your neighbors, keep it up. I would think that if it doesnt hit a rock, it will not come back to get you. Just try the snakeshot, even if it's expensive it is probably worth it. Plus it will probably have a better chance of killing the snake.

Did I mention to shoot the poisonous snake twice, j/k. Don't try and use a stick or a knife, that is how you will get bitten. Good luck

Mp7
February 25, 2010, 08:16 AM
wow ... what a "split" thread!

First the less important animal issue:
If anyone chooses to not tolerate
a not-endangered species in his
and especially his familys vicinity ...
thatīs his/her choice. Free country n stuff.

I trust myself enough to avoid spiders, snakes,
sharks ... when in go into their habitats ...
But i saw an aussie farmer kill a taipan and two
other snakes on his farm in one day.
He just did it because he had less trust
in the abilities of his young farmhands
and his kids, who might stumble into one.

... i agree with that fully.
( Having almost picked up a Bluering Octopus
from a rockpool, BEFORE knowing what it was ...)


MORE IMPORTANT:
use something that does not endanger youself
or other living things from ricochet.
Be it snakeshot or a stick ....

If you try to make things safe
by violating the most important rule ...
= fail.

jackstinson
February 25, 2010, 09:43 AM
Am I on THR or the PETA online shooting forum? Seriously guys I don't believe in killing for the heck of it but Water Moccasin is still dangerous to humans therefore I'd eliminate them as well. Blacksnakes, Garters and the like I live be but Copperheads and Moccasins get sent to there Snakey Maker.
I've always used a long handle shovel blade myself, but only when it was absolutely unavoidable (which is RARE).
You are on THR.....where we are exhorted to abide by our federal, state, and local laws, right?
PETA or not, your location says "Missouri"....better recheck your state laws.

Excerpt from Missouri Dept of Conservation website:
"Few Missourians realize that all snakes native to our state are protected. The Wildlife Code of Missouri treats snakes, lizards and most turtles as nongame. This means that there is no open season on these animals, and it is technically unlawful to kill them. There is a realistic exception, however: If a venomous snake were in close association with people, which could result in someone being bitten." (There you go, that is a valid reason....notice it doesn't say "whack 'em whenever you see 'em".) Venomous snakes in MO are; Osage Copperhead, Western Cottonmouth, Timber Rattlesnake, Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Western Pygmy Rattlesnake.
http://mdc.mo.gov/nathis/herpetol/snake/index.htm

More excerpts from Missouri Dept of Conservation website:
[i]"There is no record of a human death caused by a copperhead bite in this state, but medical treatment for such bites is necessary."

"Few people in Missouri suffer venomous snakebites, despite the fact that there are five venomous species and at least one of them—the copperhead—is commonly encountered. Most bites occur when people are trying to kill or handle the snakes.
About 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year in the United States. Fewer than five die, which amounts to a fraction of one percent. By comparison, about 120 people die annually from bee stings and 150 die when struck by lightning."

I don't see a location mentioned for the OP, but he'd be wise to check his state wildlife laws also. Many venomous snakes are protected species.
.

Supertac45
February 25, 2010, 09:43 AM
I'd shoot them also.

jackstinson
February 25, 2010, 09:59 AM
I'd shoot them also.
Do you folks ever look at your state regs?

From the Michigan Dept Of Natural Resources website:
"Shooting of snakes and other reptiles is prohibited"
http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12201-61219--,00.html
.

NMGonzo
February 25, 2010, 12:15 PM
12 gauge with any bird shot.

Don't you have a 12 gauge laying around?

John Parker
February 25, 2010, 12:44 PM
A poisonous snake in my backyard, he's a dead man.
If I'm in HIS backyard, I go around.


Best advice so far.

Gouranga
February 25, 2010, 01:00 PM
Quote:
A poisonous snake in my backyard, he's a dead man.
If I'm in HIS backyard, I go around.
Best advice so far.

Ditto. But if he IS in my backyard he is a dead snake. I have kids walking around and while an adult may see and walk around the snake a 4 yr old will not always. Neither will my dog.

That being said, IF I had the means I would not use a gun for killing them, just a shovel, or a long stick will do. Course I CAN'T use a gun as we are in a city and it is illegal to discharge it in that manner. If I was not in a city and more rural, i would likely use a stick, or large rock, gun would be my last option due to the same issue you mentioned in your OP. All else failing though, go for snake shot. I will have to ask though, how many guns to you carry out on these trips and will all the other wildlife/threats you may encounter out there going to respond to snake shot if you do not have another weapon?

Gunfighter123
February 25, 2010, 01:13 PM
As to the OPs question ---- I DO NOT think there is much "danger" of you being hit by a 9mm ricochet ---- if you are more then 2 or 3 feet away from the snake , the angle should be safe enough --- if you are shooting a snake thats less then a foot away , Yes , there is MUCH more danger.

As to "live and let live" ----- ever wonder why there are so many 3 legged dogs south of the Mason/Dixon Line ???? I also personally know of two people that do not have all five fingers because of snakes. And as the Anti-Gun people like to say -- "What about the children " ??? When I visit my In-Laws who have 20 acres of riverfront in the boonies of Mo. , they encourage me to kill any Mocs or Copperheads that could/are a threat to the Grandkids/pets/livestock.

From the Michigan Dept Of Natural Resources website:
I really would like to see some stats on humans/animals bit by poisonous snakes in Michigan vs. Texas/Miss./Mo./ etc.

Easy to say " leave them alone and they will leave you alone" ---- just like inner city muggers !!!!

BlayGlock
February 25, 2010, 01:17 PM
It's a poor choice of actions considering that you *could* dispatch them with a stick and knife.

Have you ever tried getting that close to a p'oed cottonmouth?

I would get some snakeshot and make sure it cycles properly in the G26.

tank mechanic
February 25, 2010, 01:37 PM
Why don't you just get some frangible ammo if you are concerned with ricochets?

http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/catalog1/product_info.php/pName/50rds-9mm-fiocchi-100gr-nontoxic-lead-free-frangible-ammo/cName/9mm-frangible-ammo

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 25, 2010, 02:06 PM
I've always used a long handle shovel blade myself, but only when it was absolutely unavoidable (which is RARE).
You are on THR.....where we are exhorted to abide by our federal, state, and local laws, right?
PETA or not, your location says "Missouri"....better recheck your state laws.

Excerpt from Missouri Dept of Conservation website:
[I]"Few Missourians realize that all snakes native to our state are protected. The Wildlife Code of Missouri treats snakes, lizards and most turtles as nongame. This means that there is no open season on these animals, and it is technically unlawful to kill them. There is a realistic exception, however: If a venomous snake were in close association with people, which could result in someone being bitten." (There you go, that is a valid reason....notice it doesn't say "whack 'em whenever you see 'em".) Venomous snakes in MO are; Osage Copperhead, Western Cottonmouth, Timber Rattlesnake, Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Western Pygmy Rattlesnake.
http://mdc.mo.gov/nathis/herpetol/snake/index.htm

More excerpts from Missouri Dept of Conservation website:
"There is no record of a human death caused by a copperhead bite in this state, but medical treatment for such bites is necessary."

"Few people in Missouri suffer venomous snakebites, despite the fact that there are five venomous species and at least one of them—the copperhead—is commonly encountered. Most bites occur when people are trying to kill or handle the snakes.
About 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year in the United States. Fewer than five die, which amounts to a fraction of one percent. By comparison, about 120 people die annually from bee stings and 150 die when struck by lightning."

I don't see a location mentioned for the OP, but he'd be wise to check his state wildlife laws also. Many venomous snakes are protected species.

Just quoting that since a few people seem to have missed it. We don't advocate breaking the law on THR.


And I gotta ask...what are some you so angry about? I mention the possibility of not engaging in indiscriminate killing, and some of you just seem to be furious over it. Is the name calling really necessary? You really think that's how someone on THR should act? Some of you really need to take 10 deep breaths and then just look at yourself. The internet is not really serious business. You don't need to be frothing with anger and calling people PETA members for suggesting a solution to a problem that doesn't involve killing. I'm simply amazed.

joe_security
February 25, 2010, 02:33 PM
Ben, Do you own a revolver ? It might be time to consider one.

aHFo3
February 25, 2010, 03:53 PM
I think that some THR members need to learn comprehensive reading skills. The OP isn't asking if he should wear snake boots and carry garden equipment while running on his property. He's asking how to reduce the risk of dangerous ricochet when he shoots a poisonous snake while exercising on his property.

My experience with ricochets is that they are hard to predict. I doesn't take much to send the bullet back toward you. Therefore, I would echo what other members with comprehensive reading skills have advised: check out pest control loads.

It could be a good excuse to find a little airweight and use .38 special shot loads.

Ben86
February 25, 2010, 09:04 PM
Wow, I really should have started a thread on just ricochet, and not included my nefarious reason.

I'm going to try out the snake shot, or maybe some frangible if I can get my hands on some. I have a revolver, a .22 Taurus Tracker, but it has a 6.5" barrel, so it's not a gun I could run with. Plus .22 shotshells are quite anemic. I save them for hornet hunting. O crap, now I've done it.:)

BCRider
February 25, 2010, 09:34 PM
I've shot at matches at my range where misses glance off the ground and hit the backstop WAY up high. We've got an 80 foot steep cliff as our backstop. Those reflected bullets cause quite a kick in the gravel when they hit up there. From such occuraces I'd say that ground reflections that leave the area are far more an issue than some may think. That bullet has just left the area with better than half of its muzzle energy. That means it could definetly hurt some other person at what? A quarter mile away? Similarly I've been walking up the side of that same range pit with a wall of dirt to protect me to get to the other pits and heard bullets singing through the overhead trees above my head. Again reflections or richochets that zipped off with a goodly amount of energy at almost a 45 degree angle to the original path.

Oddly enough you're likely not in any big danger from the bullets if it hits a rock directly. Under such a case the lead will deform and the bullet just disintegrate into a spray of lead and copper fragments to the sides. Anything that comes back would be a smaller bit and due to a secondary refection off something else. It may sting and draw blood but it's not like the whole bullet is going to come back and wound you.... unless by some really oddball circumstance it happesn to hit a cup shaped hollow in just the right way.

But overall given what you're shooting, where and how I'd have to agree with the others about using shot of some sort either out of your Glock or from some other sort of gun. Or just whack 'em to death with a walking stick.

And if shooting from your glock does it really matter all that much if it doesn't cycle the action? It's a snake after all. It won't be shooting back if you only wound it. You'll have time to rack the slide and take a second shot in safety.

kgpcr
February 25, 2010, 10:41 PM
Who gives a rip how many snakes you kill. There is NO shortage of them.

easyg
February 25, 2010, 11:49 PM
Who gives a rip how many snakes you kill. There is NO shortage of them.
Not true of everywhere.

When I was a kid (in the 60's) we had lots of snakes around where I live.
These days, not so much.

As for the original poster's question....

You're not in too much danger of a ricochet yourself, but not having an effective backstop is certainly an example of poor shooting.

A stick or a rock would be a better choice IMO.

M&PVolk
February 26, 2010, 12:24 AM
Choose suitable ammo to negate your ricochet risk, and always be sure of your backstop. As to whether or not killing these snakes is a bad thing, that is up to you. I do find it ironic that snakes seem to be the one animal species that draws out the "needless killing" crowd. I never see this kind of response when someone is taking coyotes, prairie dogs or hogs. It's kind of funny really.

As for me, I don't play the odds. If a venomous snake is in the immediate vicinity of my home, it isn't going to survive its discovery. I will not allow my children or animals to be exposed to unnecessary risk. If you choose to, that's up to you, but your chiding of others that don't share your view is very similar to those who harass gun owners with CCW permits for being paranoid.

Gouranga
February 26, 2010, 07:35 AM
I never see this kind of response when someone is taking coyotes, prairie dogs or hogs. It's kind of funny really.

Well hogs...are DELICIOUS! lol. Course I hear the same about snake...never had it. Not sure if I would eat a coyote...

You are probably fine with shot like you said. It is good you are thinking about ricochet just keep in mind as some here have said, it can be very unpredictable and zoom out farther than you'd think. Had someone shoot my grandfathers car on a city road twice recently, we have never been able to find them but the only real area they could shoot without notice is nearly a mile away. They probably think they are in no danger of hitting anything from that area but they have twice come within 2 ft of hitting a person which is probably not something anyone on this board wants to deal with.

Mitch from LA
February 26, 2010, 06:40 PM
There is in fact a shortage of many snakes. The Louisiana Pine Snake is a prime example. Also many snakes that inhabit specific eco-regions such as long-leaf pine savannah (ie. Eastern Diamondbacked Rattlesnakes and Southern Hog-nosed Snakes) are declining as a consequence in the reduction of habitat.

There seems to be a common misconception that certain species of North American snakes are aggressive (Cottonmouths). Cottonmouths are not aggressive, they merely stand their ground and display their white mouth as their first line of defense. They do this becase aside from humans critters that are not immune to their venom know to give them a wide berth. This misconception about aggressive behaviors in addition to the average persons poor snake ID skills leads to much indiscriminate and pointless killing.

As a biologist (also a hunter and a fisherman) I believe that indiscriminate killing is inherently bad and in many cases illegal. Snakes play a valuable role in the ecosystem. I'm not telling you to let a bunch of cottonmouths hang around in your front yard, but why kill them for no reason.

FYI if you are bitten by a venomous North American snake remain calm. You have time to get to the hospital and receive treatment if you use your head. Most venomous snake bites are not fatal.

Ben86
February 26, 2010, 08:30 PM
Do you think that someone could drive themselves to the hospital (30 mins in my case) with a bite from a cottonmouth, or is the risk of unconciousness to great to risk and I should just call an ambulance? (not being sarcastic)

Sport45
February 26, 2010, 08:47 PM
From the folks I know that have been bitten, I'd say for moccasin or copperhead you could drive yourself. Unless you drive a stick shift and the bite is on your ankle. For a rattlesnake bite I'd call an ambulance or have someone drive me to the ER.

But that second-hand experience is mostly for copperheads. I only knew one guy who was bitten by a moccasin and who knows if he got a full dose of venom. He's deceased now, but that had nothing to do with the bite.

Mitch from LA
February 26, 2010, 10:22 PM
You would probably be okay if you drove yourself, but staying calm and waiting for the ambulance would definately be the safer bet.

The main thing is to stay calm and relatively still. Also, never put ice on the would as can increase the potency of some snake venoms.

I'm glad this forum can have a civil (mostly) conservation on the subject, as that is not often the case when discussing snakes.

m2steven
February 26, 2010, 11:30 PM
I admire all of you who would let the snake live to see another day. Respect for life is a great attribute.

I live in Alabama and do know how fast a cottonmouth can move. It would be difficult to shoot one of them with a 9mm if it were attacking you. As far as the ricochet is concerned, you probably cannot tell with certainty where debris will wind up. Especially when you can hit something underground you don't see and can't judge it's shape and other characteristics.

I do understand the impulse to view snakes and certain other animal species as "targets", but remember that they probably don't view you as a target of entertainment and getting snakebit generally means you scared the thing or intruded into it's family 'home'.

For every snake you shoot, a thousand rats and mice breathe a sigh of relief.

M&PVolk
February 27, 2010, 12:07 PM
In my area, an ambulance is a minimum 30-45 minute wait, followed by a 35-60 minute drive to the hospital, most likely followed by a flight for life, or a minimum 90 minute (likely 2.5 hour) drive to a hospital with antivenom. I MIGHT survive that. A 32 pound at risk child with other medical complications including severe allergies is NOT going to.

Sorry, but venomous snake = dead where I live. I will leave them alone outside of my living space, but inside it, they are going to be killed. If you are worried about rats, get a cat. I have three and haven't seen a mouse or rat on my land in at least two years.

PowerG
February 27, 2010, 02:19 PM
Apologies for making my first post in such a contentious thread...I have a good deal of experience dealing with snakes. I agree that they shouldn't be killed indicriminately, but allowing poisonous snakes to hang around in areas where there are children would probably not be a great idea. Some non-poisonous snakes mimic their more dangerous relatives and are threatened or endangered and could cause considerable fines if killed even in states that don't protect all snakes (and you're caught heh heh).

Keep in mind that the toxicity of the venom of the pit vipers varies a great deal, the copperhead's venom is the least, followed by the cottonmouth, then the rattlesnakes. A copperhead bite on an extremity isn't extremely dangerous to a healthy adult, while an eastern diamondback bite to the torso can be life-threatening, and rapidly fatal to the sick, the elderly, or children. The wide variance in effects of bites by the same species is due to the fact that pit vipers have control of the amount of venom delivered in a bite; a warning bite may contain no venom, while a snake that has been poked at may envenomate massively. Their venom load may be also depleted by recent feeding episodes.

The cottonmouth really doesn't deserve the fearsome reputation, they are very hesitant to bite unless provoked. I have inadvertantly been within easy range of large ones that were content to scare me half to death and then turn and slither away as soon as they felt they had room. The threat display goes through three stages, rattling the tail in the leaves or water, the mouth display that gives them their name, and if cornered they will sometimes charge right at the threat with the head held very high. The charging behavior is mostly bluff, they will usually veer off right at the last second, but it is very unnerving to be ran at by large poisonous snakes, so most animals/people will give ground at this point. If they are coiled in a defensive posture, they will most definitely strike if harrassed, but given sufficient room they will try to escape. Attempting to kill one with a stick or similar will invite a defensive counter-attack, and this is where most bites happen.

Even though they are the least venomous, the copperheads are the most likely biters. They have a behavioral tendency to get still and hide if approached, and rely on their camo color pattern to blend in-if you're not looking close it's pretty easy to step on one, or put a hand on it. I was bitten on the finger by one of these some years ago, very painful, not recomended.

Snakes are deaf, but very sensitive to ground vibrations. If you're in snake country make your footfalls heavy, even stomping the ground occasionally, and they'll usually get out of your way. If you have time to draw and aim, you've got time to back up a few feet and go around, but I also wouldn't tolerate poisonous snakes in my yard. A .38/.357 revolver with rat shot is very efficient and little trouble to carry, with small ricochet/downrange problems.

Carne Frio
February 27, 2010, 03:13 PM
These work fine and cycle the actions in my Browning
Hi-power and various Glocks:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=709816

jojo200517
February 27, 2010, 10:45 PM
I think that some THR members need to learn comprehensive reading skills. The OP isn't asking if he should wear snake boots and carry garden equipment while running on his property. He's asking how to reduce the risk of dangerous ricochet when he shoots a poisonous snake while exercising on his property.

I want to take a moment to second this.

For the love of all things holy he didn't ask if he should kill the snakes or not. Someone smashes in your house you might could crawl out your bedroom window too and not kill the poor burglar. Some states would rather you do this. My house they going to catch buckshot or hollow points.

I would be concerned about FMJ or HP's ricochet back as well as bouncing and continuing forward for a long distance, in addition to pieces of rock and other crap being knocked up. If you go for shot shells loads make sure they function reliably in your weapon. The CCI ones wouldn't work in my pt145 but I have a friend that can load some hot enough to get it done. I just carry it with HP tho in the outdoors, i'm more concerned about coyotes, wild dogs and other things that I think might require a bit more oomph.

I may be a coward for shooting snakes but I have yet to die from a poison snake bite, or even be bit by one. FYI being bit by a black snake is not that big of a deal since its non poison but it still hurts like hell. So an alive and well coward I guess I am. I declare open season on anything that might cause me harm in the outdoors, poison or not.

Saying its illegal to shoot snakes because they are protected might be so but I put this right on the same level with not using a firearm in self defense just because its illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 27, 2010, 10:53 PM
Who here would support me going through the woods and shooting deer, and just leaving the corpses there on the ground?

oasis618
February 27, 2010, 11:00 PM
delete

oasis618
February 27, 2010, 11:01 PM
Who gives a rip how many snakes you kill. There is NO shortage of them.
With that kind of logic, there is no shortage of humans either and humans are a much bigger threat than any snake.

jojo200517
February 27, 2010, 11:10 PM
Who here would support me going through the woods and shooting deer, and just leaving the corpses there on the ground?

Who said he was just going to leave them laying and not give them a proper burial? Whats the stats on death or injury due to deer bites? Convince me they are dangerous to me as a snake and I'm going to have to buy a freaking backhoe to bury them and a lot more ammo.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 27, 2010, 11:18 PM
Killing something just because it posses some vague danger is the whole point. This isn't a question about a snake in your kids bedroom, or in their sandbox in the backyard. We're talking about snakes that are just living in the wild, and people killing them just to kill them, while breaking the law in the process.

oasis618
February 27, 2010, 11:26 PM
Killing something just because it posses some vague danger is the whole point. This isn't a question about a snake in your kids bedroom, or in their sandbox in the backyard. We're talking about snakes that are just living in the wild, and people killing them just to kill them, while breaking the law in the process.
There it is. And no I'm not a PETA member either.

Sunray
February 27, 2010, 11:37 PM
"...snake shot..." Shot fired out of a rifled barrel flies in a spiral and usually has large holes in the pattern. If you're going to kill out of an irrational fear of snakes(just like mine), use a long stick or a shotgun.
"...in my backyard..." Different thing if Kaa is in the yard. Friend of mine was living in rural CA, long ago. Found a rattler behind her toilet when she was cleaning the bathroom. Could have sworn I heard the scream from Toronto.
"...I've woken up on the ground with..." Kaa was just trying to keep warm. Snuggled up to you for that reason. Mind you, if you didn't sleep where you fall down, the issue wouldn't happen. snicker.

jojo200517
February 28, 2010, 12:31 AM
Killing something just because it posses some vague danger is the whole point. This isn't a question about a snake in your kids bedroom, or in their sandbox in the backyard. We're talking about snakes that are just living in the wild, and people killing them just to kill them, while breaking the law in the process.

So it'd be ok for him to shoot it if it was in his house? I mean if your so against killing it call animal control, in fact that would probably be easier than blasting a hole in something in your house.

How far out in the wild are we talking, he said on gravel roads and stuff, usually don't find those in the real wild.

Its not like anyone is saying "humm i'm going to go hiking and kill every single snake I can find and maybe a few other critters for ****s and giggles too." If anyone can't see that snakes pose a danger, no matter how vague or perceived that it is a danger that needs to be dealt with, they deserve to get bit by a few snakes and see if this changes the opinions they have.

Plenty of OK and even a few cuddly critters out there are endangered or illegal to kill however if you are confronted by one you will have to make a decision in how to deal with it. My decision still stands on snakes and it is to shoot the creepy slithery things, to me there no different than any other rodent.

This has went WAAAY off topic, but Sunray is right shot does funny stuff in rifled barrels, if anyone is considering shot shells they should see how they pattern at a given distance

oasis618
February 28, 2010, 01:33 AM
Killing something in your bathroom is waaay different than killing something out while you are running. Whether it be a snake in your path or a deer in your field...I have a Safeway down the street and they have plenty of food and snakes don't enter my house. Hunting is of the past and killing snakes for family protection means you are living in their territory so either way, you are the dangerous one, not them. Lets arm wild animals with firearms and then I'll start "hunting". A fair fight is always fun and you know for a fact that hand to hand combat with wild animal of your stature will result in your loss. I'm just saying.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 28, 2010, 01:51 AM
Well I'm not going to go as far as to crticize hunting. That at least serve some form of purpose, as most hunters eat what they shoot, and are barred from killing more than they will actually use. I don't view killing snakes in the wild just because you want them dead in the same way.

2RCO
February 28, 2010, 02:10 AM
Killing something in your bathroom is waaay different than killing something out while you are running. Whether it be a snake in your path or a deer in your field...I have a Safeway down the street and they have plenty of food and snakes don't enter my house. Hunting is of the past and killing snakes for family protection means you are living in their territory so either way, you are the dangerous one, not them. Lets arm wild animals with firearms and then I'll start "hunting". A fair fight is always fun and you know for a fact that hand to hand combat with wild animal of your stature will result in your loss. I'm just saying.

If you eat meat someone killed it at some point so I don't really see how you can be anti hunting since it is likely more humane than some aspects of factory farming. In honesty I'm not a huge hunter and when I do hunt I eat what I shoot and have issues with folks killing game for the heck of it. But seriously unless you are a Vegan you really have no ground to condemn hunting.

M&PVolk
February 28, 2010, 02:45 AM
Oasis618...by your logic, if someone comes after me with a knife, I shouldn't defend myself with a gun, as a gun against a knife isn't a fair fight, right? How about if you accidentally take the wrong exit off the interstate and wander into a bad area? Would you have the right to defend yourself, or are you the dangerous one for wandering into someone else's territory and deserving anything you get?

The problem is, you lump dangerous animals into some kind of protected status thinking they have no desire to hurt you. How do you know that? Newspapers are rife with stories of animal attacks of all kinds that were not only unprovoked, but initiated by the animal. Some animals have been known to hunt humans. There is no such thing as established behavior of animals, they are all individuals and unpredictable.

A venomous snake within striking distance of me may or may not strike, but the poison on hand could be every bit as deadly as a hoodlum with a knife approaching me. I take action accordingly. If you can't understand that, too bad.

As to living rurally and hunting being a bad thing, I couldn't disagree more. To me, it is people gathered together in huge urban areas that is unnatural and dangerous, breeding crime and danger from the human predator. It's great that you have a Safeway near your house for food, but I dare say that the urban environment has drained people of the common sense acquired when one has to be self reliant. A good hunt might teach you some lessons about the nature of things and how things actually work in the wild. I bet it would be a far sight different than what you've always heard from your environmentalist friends.

SweetKnuckles
February 28, 2010, 03:32 AM
Effects of Western DiamondBack on 65 lb. German Shorthair Pointer



http://i568.photobucket.com/albums/ss123/S3337/Lago/ec64257a.jpg




Slideshow of the event:
SnakeBit (http://w568.photobucket.com/pbwidget.swf?pbwurl=http://w568.photobucket.com/albums/ss123/S3337/Lago/5b2f5655.pbw)




:what:


The hound says tally us up as a vote for snakeshot

Sport45
February 28, 2010, 08:29 AM
How about if you accidentally take the wrong exit off the interstate and wander into a bad area?

I guess you're supposed to shoot every bad guy you identify. ;)

Would you have the right to defend yourself, or are you the dangerous one for wandering into someone else's territory and deserving anything you get?


Is the OP "defending himself" against the snakes or just exterminating them?

I think this one is about ready to be locked down

M&PVolk
February 28, 2010, 09:06 AM
I haven't run with the man so I don't know. All I know is he is on his property, which reasonably alters the equation of threat level.

Ben86
February 28, 2010, 09:12 AM
Who here would support me going through the woods and shooting deer, and just leaving the corpses there on the ground?

Seriously you are equating shooting deer to shooting snakes? Good lord.

Sweetknuckles, did that dog live? Poor thing.

JShirley
February 28, 2010, 11:07 AM
I am VERY disappointed in some of you.

IF you disagree with someone, debate their point or faulty logic. DO NOT attack them. Please review the THR Code of Conduct (http://www.thehighroad.org/announcement.php?a=20)if you are unclear about this.

If someone violates the Code, please just hit "report post" and let us know.

As far as what works against snakes, if you can handle running with a light stick, they tend to work better against snakes, and have reduced risk downrange. :eek: A single round of rat shot, followed by your typical defensive load, might also be a reasonable compromise.

Thanks to those of you who kept your head and manners here. For everyone else, please do better in the future.

John

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