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Well, after 20 years in New Mexico, with a lot of it spent in reasonably snakey territory/activities, my count is 2 and 1. I've seen two rattlesnakes, and killed one.

We were leaving our house yesterday, and passed a snake in the road. My wife always asks "is that a rattlesnake?" when we witness the legless creatures on asphalt, and this time the answer was yes. Raised head, raised tail, and there was a rattle on that tail. I back the car up, got a good look to confirm, and backed up some more. Thought for sure I'd made road line linguini, but the little sucker was too quick. So I got out, got some big (say, 2-3 times the size of my fist) rocks and went biblical on his lack of behind. I sent him to Colorado. He got stoned.

Yes, the skin is drying and about to be tanned, and it will be incorporated into a snake shot revolver holster.

So I finally got off my behind and tested my standard pest load. I've been carrying my non-View as you can see here (sorry about the rotation issue):



Three snakeshot loads, and two FMJ just in case... coyotes, whatever. I like how light it is, I like the corrosion resistance, and it carries very comfortably in my pocket around the house.

So let's see how it actually patterns. Yes, I know, I should have done this the day before I ever carried it for pests the first time. I put some sharpie circles around the base of a soda can, and then set the cardboard on the ground about three paces away. That was my target.

Here's I am lined up for the first shot. Recoil wasn't bad at all. These improvised grips really, really help.



Here's the pattern from the first shot.


Consider me less than impressed.

Here's the result of the full cylinder, three shotshells and the two FMJ.



Much better, but if I had to do this in our neighborhood, I'm guessing I'd see one or more patrol cars shortly thereafter.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Interesting side note, the third round wouldn't fire. The recoil had pulled the shotshell far enough out of the case that it was hanging up on the side of the forcing cone.



I was able to push it down into the case again and fire it, but who wants to have to open the cylinder, pull that round, etc. etc. Not good.


Now, I was wondering if the tiny, short, abbreviation of a barrel on the non-View had much to do with the results, so having anticipated that I brought along my 4" model 66. Honestly, I don't see a hill of rattles worth of difference.



Here's the result of three shots with the model 66. I shot three to see if there'd be any shotshell pulling, like there was with the non-View. The problem did not recur with the model 66. I do notice that there's almost a gap in the very exact center of the pattern with the 4". The tiny non-View barrel put more close to the exact center. For a small rattlesnake, that could matter; if it's a real, reproducible effect. Which of course I don't have nearly enough data to conclude.



Interestingly, some of the plastic shotshell cases got stuck in the cardboard.



So the model 66 doesn't give tighter groups, but at least it functions for the third round. And you have seven instead of five. But I'm sure not putting a model 66 in my pocket.

Looking at all these, I think about the first rattlesnake I ever saw wild in New Mexico. He was four feet long or so. Would I shoot him with a .38 shotshell? No sir, I would not. So what to do? Go with .22, and aim for the head? I bet that's what Native Texan would suggest. Or do I go full gonzo, and get a Judge? I'm sure not pocket carrying that either. Maybe a snub .44 Special is the answer. Decisions, decisions.
 

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Very helpful to know about the snake shot and forcing cone issue. I'm considering getting some in 45 colt for the Pietta SAA. Just out of curiosity, what year is the 66 ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I wouldn't expect to have that problem with a full-size SAA. I thought about a SAA like that with .45 Colt shotshells, but I want a better sight picture. I may change my mind though. :cool:

I really don't know what year the Model 66 is, but I sure am fond of that thing! I looked it up on Taurus' web site, but that didn't tell me the year. It's the seven shot model 66, with good bluing.
 

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There are two CCI snake shot loads out there. One with #9 shot and a newer one with #4 shot. Here's the info on the #4 shot ammo. CCI Ammunition - Product Detail Not sure that this is the answer, but thought you should know about it.
 

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I keep saying becareful of what you post. Most states protect most animals and reptiles now. Even if you can kill them you can just blast away at them. You have to humanely dispatch them aka trap and freeze. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/f...g-invasive-iguanas/ar-AAEYEsl?ocid=spartanntp
Now that that's out of the way... I have some nice shot shells for my Beretta PX4 .40. it's for cardboard. I shoot cardboard and get the shovel quick. Although the south Texas Mexican moccasin makes for a good looking belt or boots.
 

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If you are going to go the bigger caliber revolver way Gunbroker.com has a large number of Taurus 431s and 441s for sale. Then again, a Judge Defender can do the job.


I stay with the Taurus medium frame revolvers because the Judge's extra cylinder length for me was a problem. Maybe not a problem for others.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you are going to go the bigger caliber revolver way Gunbroker.com has a large number of Taurus 431s and 441s for sale. Then again, a Judge Defender can do the job.


I stay with the Taurus medium frame revolvers because the Judge's extra cylinder length for me was a problem. Maybe not a problem for others.
I agree; the Judge is great, but just SO bulky.

I was shooting rounds of 100 grains of #9. The 44 version is 140 grains of #9.
The red load (thanks for showing me that) is 84 grains of #4. The 44 red load is 110 grains of #4.

And then there's .45 Colt; 150 grains of #9, and 140 grains of #4. I like the sound of that. .410 gives you 219 grains of #4, if my research and conversions are right.
 

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I settled on the 38 #4 shot shotshell ammo. It patterns a bit better than what you experienced. When I compared CCI #4 with a public defender using #4 buck and standard 410 birdshot, the 38 #4 was a bit more on target. The Judge with #4 buck always put at lease one or twp holes on my snake target, but not much more at 15 feet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Silverstring, have you shot many snakes with the .38 #4? How big?

Given that the primary concern is the safety of the dogs, I want to go from live, dangerous snake to shredded snake cranium as quickly as possible.

And yes, with the exception of a couple of rare species, this is legal in Santa Fe county, NM.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
For reference, here's the other poisonous snake I've seen in 20 years in New Mexico. I let him go, but if I had to I want to be able to make a very clean kill very fast on a snake this size.



DSC06210.JPG

So I'm thinking .38 with #4 the absolute minimum. The only question is, do I go with that, or .44, .45, or .410.
 

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If I know I’m gonna run up on snakes, I’ll load my S&W Governor with SIX rounds of 410 #7 shot.

Otherwise, I’ve got CCI shotshells in 357/38, 9mm, 40, and 45ACP. And, contrary to conventional wisdom all auto calibers cycle and shoot fine in my autopistols.
 

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I have had a Judge for many years now, and this time of year it stays loaded with #8, #8.5, or #9 birdshot. I think you are wasting your money with #4, #6 and #7 shot for snakes. Usually any .410 shotgun round that is rated for clays will do the job on snakes, but I always look for hardened shot as that patterns better in the Judge. Soft shot deforms and sails. I have shot so many snakes that I lost count, most were copperheads. The small birdshot has always been a one shot kill for me. My longest shot was 20-25 feet overhead, most are from 5 feet or less. Since young copperheads and young black snakes look a lot alike, I give them the poke'em test. I poke them with a stick and if they run away they are blacksnakes, it they want to argue, they are copperheads.

I have a friend who has used .38 snake shot for many years when fishing, usually against water moccasins. His shot are always close range as the snake tries to get on board. It works for him, but I like my Judge, and many of my neighbors who have seen me use it, go out and buy their own Judge. If the weight and size bother you, I would suggest one of the poly Defenders. They carry pretty much like your .38.
 
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I’ve used my share of 38 Special varmint loads on snakes in Texas.

They Em did the job and the snakes all had a very bad day.

i have found the round to be reliable and useful.

That said, I used a 357 Magnum size revolver.
 

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I've loaded my own shotshells for years using Speer shot capsules. I load 38/357 & 45 Colt and have loaded 44 but no longer own a 44 cal gun. I found that #6 shot works well in the big bores and #8 or 7.5 in the 38/357 on both rat size game and snakes. Ranges depend on the gun and length of the barrel. The shot in factory loaded CCI shotshell loads is too small to do much damage unless you are very close to your target. Some 22 and 22 mag use 12.5 size shot which is almost dust. One thing I found is that lighter the load the better the pattern and it doesn't take a mag load to kill a rat or snake.
 

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I have had a Judge for many years now, and this time of year it stays loaded with #8, #8.5, or #9 birdshot. I think you are wasting your money with #4, #6 and #7 shot for snakes. Usually any .410 shotgun round that is rated for clays will do the job on snakes, but I always look for hardened shot as that patterns better in the Judge. Soft shot deforms and sails. I have shot so many snakes that I lost count, most were copperheads. The small birdshot has always been a one shot kill for me. My longest shot was 20-25 feet overhead, most are from 5 feet or less. Since young copperheads and young black snakes look a lot alike, I give them the poke'em test. I poke them with a stick and if they run away they are blacksnakes, it they want to argue, they are copperheads.

I have a friend who has used .38 snake shot for many years when fishing, usually against water moccasins. His shot are always close range as the snake tries to get on board. It works for him, but I like my Judge, and many of my neighbors who have seen me use it, go out and buy their own Judge. If the weight and size bother you, I would suggest one of the poly Defenders. They carry pretty much like your .38.
I have yet see a snake slither away from a shotgun load - no matter the shot size and consistency. If they even move after having their bodies riddled with a shotshell blast I look for a little red cape and a pair of yellow undies. And, I don’t do a pok’em test. If it’s a snake I ain’t interested in their race or orthodontic specifics - they gotta go.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That said, I used a 357 Magnum size revolver.
Interesting; I saw no difference in my pattern results between the world's smallest .38 and a 4" 7 shot .357, as shown in the pictures on page 1. A friend at work today was saying he's seen a .410 (shoulder arm, not revolver) turn a large snake's head to red mist. That really has be thinking Judge.
 
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