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What caliber for alligators/crocodiles (Florida)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Highland Ranger, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Well-Known Member

    Have a friend who fishes in Florida on a regular basis - just got his Florida concealed carry permit and wants to carry something for self defense that will also be useful for any alligators or crocs he runs up against. (Believe alligators are more common)

    So the question, what caliber for big reptiles?

    (refreshing to get away from bears eh?)

    Leaning toward recommending a 4" S&W 629 in stainless (44mag) . . . . big enough?
  2. HI express

    HI express Well-Known Member

    user name Fud

    There was a guy that posted under the user name..Alan Fud. He related an incident about a few years back where he had just moved to Florida, bought a place near the water and his daughter was just kind of wandering towards the water when he noticed a big log that started moving towards her. :what:

    Realizing that it was a Florida 'gator, he started running towards it shooting his .40 caliber handgun....to no effect in his estimate. :uhoh: I believe he ran dry but it was enough for him to get to his little girl, scoop her up, and run away.

    That's what I recall and I'm sticking to it. :confused:
  3. Firethorn

    Firethorn Well-Known Member

    Crocs are nasty.

    I'd tend towards shotgun/rifle. Not only do they have a thick skull and smaller brain, they have the reptilian resistance to damage, it takes more damage to drop them immediatly.
  4. Evil_Ed

    Evil_Ed Well-Known Member

    12 gauge shotgun...close range. Maybe a higher caliber handgun (45 colt, 44, etc).
  5. Bear Gulch

    Bear Gulch Well-Known Member

    I'd get a cheap 8mm mauser for a boat gun. Steel core 8mm will sttle gators hash. Intersting point raise by your post. I think that there are some croc in Florida and that they are endangered. Shooting one would not doubt bring on the wrath of the fish cops.
  6. Preacherman

    Preacherman Well-Known Member

    The problem with alligators (and crocodiles) is that they really have only one point that will "switch them off" instantly - a brain shot. Their brains are high up on the head, and one usually needs a shot from a position above them to shoot down into the brain pan. I've seen crocs in Africa taken with a .243, but the shooter had to get a direct hit on the brain to stop them in their tracks.

    So, I don't think a heavy caliber is going to make that much of a difference (I don't know if alligator nervous systems are well-developed enough to take much notice of a solid body shot). Shot placement is going to be the most important thing.
  7. Waitone

    Waitone Well-Known Member

    An ongoing problem for golfers on Hilton Head. Seems every year a golfer or two loses a hunk of meat after pursuing an errant ball. I guess you could put a rifle in your bag. Yea, that's the ticket. A rifle with some kind of butt cover to sorta conceal it. Then again a 4" 686 with some seriously souped of ball ammo would give you a fighting chance.
  8. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    Use alligator spray instead

  9. 115grfmj

    115grfmj Well-Known Member

    think m203.....

    seriously a good solid hit by one of those will pretty much stop
    all but the nastiest gators. Just think its another cool attachment
    for your M-4. :evil:
  10. .357 magnum!

    Don't ask me how I know...
  11. firesafety3

    firesafety3 Well-Known Member

    A well placed shot (as previously pointed out) from any decent handgun cartidge will put down a gator. But you are asking specifically about a defensive round, I think a shotgun is your best bet.

    Gators don't present much of a target due to their build and bulk, but a shot to the eye(s) will spin them around and start them rolling. Most gator hunters use a lever action rifle or .38, .357 to dispatch the animal but these shots are from above the animals head. A defensive shot will be difficult at best but a load of #6 to the eye area should allow you time to get out of the immediate area.
  12. thorn726

    thorn726 Well-Known Member

    wow, this is interesting- you probably could hit a gator several times in the body, and all it would do is make it more angry.

    what about hitting it in the back? spine damage wouldnt slow it down?

    do they really attack that often? my Gma had one in her yard (has a place n a canal), it never did anything, but when it got really big, fish and game came over and just shot it.

    there was one in the bushes at the swimming spring, all it did was croak a lot, i thought they pretty much stay away from people??

    do they actually come at you in a boat sometimes??

    ps- if there are any crocs left, they are protected, you should check on that.

    wow check out this site=

    "man beats gator with nose punch!"

    also- "The crocodile, whose range extends to Peru, is listed as endangered by U.S. and international wildlife agencies. Thirty years ago, because of hunting and habitat loss, the crocodile population in South Florida had dwindled to less than 400.

    Now, though, the number is up to 1,000—enough to prompt the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider down-listing the crocodile's status to "threatened," according to Britta Muiznieks, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife recovery biologist who specializes in endangered South Florida wildlife. "

    this art. goes on to say american crocs are not agressive, and are pretty much only in the southern swamps, so you probably wont see any crocs, just gators
  13. Bear Gulch

    Bear Gulch Well-Known Member

    See if it's endangered I might get lost on the way back drop my rifle into and not be able to navigate back to where it all happened. The harrowing experience of getting lots might cause me to repress any memory of the event before I could even contact Fish and Game. :D
  14. arizona

    arizona Well-Known Member

    357 magnum!

    Don't ask me how I know...
    TheFederalistWeasel, Special Agent-Bureau of Missing Socks

    Okay Federalist come clean. :scrutiny:

    How do you know?
  15. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Well-Known Member

    Main problem I'd see with shooting one of those varmits is that you've done been bit before you get a chance to unholster your weapon. Those things are amazing at the ambush.

    I don't like to get bit by a dog, let alone a mini-dinosaur.
  16. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Well-Known Member

    Didn't realize they were that tough.

    Re endangered: yes there are Crocs, believe they are endangered, fewer of them than gators and only in the Everglades I believe.

    Heard that they were more aggressive than alligators and that they are controlling the gator shooting because folks were mistaking crocs for gators.

    Not an issue for him, he's fishing further north and even if it was, me being endangered trumps any list, anytime.

    (I'm all for saving animals when they aren't trying to eat me, then I need to reassert my top of the food chain status.)
  17. ceetee

    ceetee Well-Known Member

    Yep. As has already been said, them critters are hard to put down with body shots. Since he's asking about something he can carry concealed, I'd recommend a good quality, hi-capacity 9mm. Gators and crocs don't have a lot of thickness to them, so you don't really need so much penetration, but you would probably want as many shots as you can carry.

    Some fairly hot hollowpoints (and lots of them) would be easiest to conceal.
  18. ceetee

    ceetee Well-Known Member


    The only way you can shoot a croc or gator and NOT go to jail is if you can show the bite marks and running blood. This definitely falls into the "shoot, shovel, shut up" category.
  19. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Running + shooting a handgun = missing. At least for most folks.
  20. Bear Gulch

    Bear Gulch Well-Known Member

    Or the trauma induced amnesia method described earlier. I though that they were opening up some gator seasons. I was watching people actually using a bow with a fiberglass bowfishing like arrow and a line with a float. They were working it much like bowfishing for gar at night with lights.

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