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Effectiveness of 45 Colt Shotshells versus 410 gauge birdshot on poisonous snakes at 20 feet or less

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Balrog, May 4, 2019.

  1. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I am not someone who wants to shoot every snake he sees, but when I am in the woods in the summer, i generally will kill rattlesnakes and water mocassins that I come across.

    For killing snakes at less than 20 feet, how does 45 Colt shotshells from CCI out a Ruger Vaquero compare to a 410 gauge shotshell with bird shot out of a S&W Governor for killing snakes?
     
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  2. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Well a 45 Colt shot shell typical has 1/3 oz of #9 shot; that is ~195 pellets. A 2.5 inch 410 shell has 1/2 oz of shot. With #9 that is ~292 pellets. If we step up to #7.5 we still get ~175 pellets and #7 shot carries its velocity significantly better than #9 shot. A 3-inch 410 shell typically is loaded with 11/16 oz of shot.

    Both guns are going to sling that shot in the 750-900 fps depending on barrel length. Both guns are going to pattern pretty poorly due to the short barrels and rifling.

    IMHO a Judge or Governor is probably one of the best snake guns going but then again I have never had much issue hitting them with 38 special bullets so I keep carrying that.
     
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  3. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    For killing venomous snakes at close range even my 380 shot shells work great. I get better patterns out of my 45 ACP shot shells using cut down .410 wads than my 45 LC ones using the Speer capsules.
     
  4. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    20' is 6 or 7 steps away. Well beyond their striking distance. That is too far to be a real threat to you so why not live or let live?

    But since you want to kill something neither one is a good choice. Birdshot is too small and lacks penetration. My personal choice is a small 22 such as the Ruger SR22 with a solid bullet. I think the new Ruger Wrangler will be idea for this role also.

    I deal with rattlesnakes occasionally here on the farm when they get to close around the buildings. My most effective weapon is a sharp hoe.
     
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  5. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    To take care of a snake, I don't think a .410 handgun is necessary, not when .44 and .45 revolvers are quite capable. .410 is better, but to me feels like overkill.

    If you really want a .410 handgun for snakes, Judges and Governors aren't necessary for that, a derringer would be just fine. Bond Arms is pricey, but the Cobray/Leinad derringers are cheap. Here's a double barrel for $180.

    https://www.centerfiresystems.com/p-10490-cobray-double-barrel-derringer-45-lc410.aspx

    The triggers are terrible, but these do work and for birdshot against snakes or other small, but dangerous critters, that's right in these derringers wheelhouse.
     
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  6. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    When it comes to venomous snakes on my property I dont mess around. 7.5 12g field loads are dirt cheap and get the job done and then some.

    The average handle on a shovel or hoe is 3-4ft. I personally dont want to have to get that close to a poisonous snake.


    YMMV...
     
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  7. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Heck if you're good enough you can bark them with a .45 acp 230 gr JHP.
    yTMZOez.jpg
     
  8. Labguy47

    Labguy47 Member

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    I use a gripper and a pig pen. Snakes are a pigs chew toy
     
  9. leo96150

    leo96150 Member

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    I just killed a rattlesnake on my back patio yesterday. The closest gun I had was a .410 Citori with skeet chokes. It took an hour to scrub the pavers, outside wall, and overhang ceiling clean. It was definitely too much gun, wish I'd had something smaller handy.
     
  10. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    Using .38 SPL Speer shot capsules I have harvested a few rattle snakes and even Blue Grouse. The snakes at 4-5ft and the grouse at maybe 15 ft.

    I don't hunt them with my pistols but I keep a few 30 YO handloaded capsules handy for when the (very) occasional opportunity arises.

    Actually, I carry a Ruger Bearcat in the woods these days that satisfies the need for taking either at typical ranges which is why I still have 30 YO .38 SPL capsules laying around.
     
  11. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    Try a garden hose with either an adjustable brass nozzle or a multi-spray head and spray the snake with the high pressure stream, forcing it to move away. It's less messy too.
     
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  12. jstert

    jstert Member

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    i would go out of my way to avoid killing a snake even where humans tread, unless it is venomous. the one time i had cause to shoot one, after almost stepping on it at a shooting spot, was with a ruger sr22, and i instantly wished that i had more oomph, say with my bond arms derringer using federal 410 handgun #4 shot.

    8EFC803B-E75C-41AF-AE68-B86A5341D899.jpeg
     
  13. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    Yes I am talking about venomous snakes. It is illegal to kill non venomous snakes in GA.
     
  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Once I killed a 6' rattlesnake with 38 special shotshells. It took 3 to make it dead, from about 10 feet. Better to just use a real shotgun and decapitate it, or just carry normal ammo in your sidearm. When I turkey hunt I carry a couple of #8's in my vest so I don't need to waste an expensive shell or needlessly hurt my shoulder for a stupid snake.
     
  15. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    A .45 Colt or a .45 ACP will do anything you need to do. But frankly, I've shot many a rattler, copperhead or moccasin with a solid bullet, from .22LR on up, and never had any problems.
     
  16. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    I only kill venomous snakes. That being said, I usually kill them with whatever is handy. Rocks, shovels...my ace copperhead slayer is a sharpshooter. Takes their heads right off. Don't overthink the serpent slaying thing. They're snakes, not dragons. :D
     
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  17. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    I would bet that rifling would be the bigger issue.
     
  18. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    If I see a snake, venomous or not, out in the wild, I leave it alone.

    However, when the neighbors left a brush pile in their side yard for WAY too long and I had the occasional copperhead in my backyard... well, I have dogs and kids, so that's not okay.

    I kept a single-shot 410 loaded with some birdshot by the backdoor. That worked fine. I would have left my Judge, but my wife is more comfortable with a long gun.
     
  19. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    A spade is cheaper, or if you're on a horse out on the prairie, rocks work if they're handy, a rope (lariat) is quite effective.:evil:
     
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  20. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    Alternative: 22 LR and 22 Mag shot shells are pretty effective on snakes as well. Those H&R single action 22 revolvers are cheap.
     
  21. jdavis123

    jdavis123 Member

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    My experience with shot shells from a .22LR is just the opposite. I emptied my .22 revolver into a cotton mouth at about 6 feet and although it seemed wounded it was far from dead. It took a couple of stones to finish it off.
    Now days, I carry a .38 with 3 CCI shot shells and 3 wadcutters.
     
  22. unclenunzie

    unclenunzie Member

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    Polymer judge rides along while mowing the lawn with #7 or #8 hard shot 410 shells. They pattern fine to 10 feet, and punched through both sides of heavy cardboard boxes at that distance. I feel it will work if required. It's why I bought it and all I use it for.
     
  23. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    I have had issues with copperheads around the house here. I have used everything from a string trimmer (it popped its head up while I was edging the yard), shotgun, shovel, hoe to the heel of my boot (ground the head of a baby copperhead into the concrete. I was more apprehensive when they first started showing up. I prefer a hoe to a shovel as once you commit to you swing with a shovel it is hard to change direction. A hoe is much easier to manipulate & maneuver.

    FWIW I don't bother constrictors (non poisonous snakes) but I can't leave the poisonous ones with the kids around.
     
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  24. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    To answer first question, I don't want him to bite me later.

    I have killed a lot of snakes with birdshot. I would rather have birdshot than a 22 all day long.

    I have killed snakes with a hoe too, but I would rather not get that close to a rattlesnake if I can help it.
     
  25. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    That makes sense. Nothing wrong with having another option. I remember once we were at Cloudland Canyon State Park. My mom & sister went hiking without me. My sister didn't see a rattlesnake until she had already stepped over it. She stopped my mom from coming closer. She had to jump back across the snake to get back on the same side of it mom was. It was probably a good thing it was a cool morning.
     
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