Sunday, November 30, 2008

Controlling Cottonmouths and Copperheads - # 9 Shotshells for Your .38 Special / .357 Magnum Pistol

You can add a little more versatility to your .38 Special / .357 Magnum handguns by shooting #9 shotshells. This is a good option for close shots at snakes, varmints and other pests where the possibility of a shoot through could be a danger to others in the area.

CCI / Speer makes more handgun shotshell ammunition than any other manufacturer. This is a good choice for close range pest control. The cases are aluminum and not intended to be re-loadable (the cases are head stamped NR). They come in a hard pack of 10 rounds of # 9 shot (1/4 inch) with a pellet count of approximately135.

I use this load in my Smith & Wesson Model 65 Revolver. It’s a great little round for my revolver and will take out the occasional copperhead or cottonmouth and other small pests around my property. I’ve got a lot of field rats around my property in the country and they are really destructive little critters, so I try to be prepared with a few rounds to keep those nasty rats out of the shed. This ammo works great from my revolver out to distances of about 10 yards, which is about the maximum range for # 9 shotshells. Most of the time the actual distance is only about 10 to 15 feet.

This round is excellent and very useful for killing snakes which can always be a threat when out in the sticks. You need to be pretty close to achieve maximum effectiveness for this round, but it sure beats having to go at that copperhead with a shovel or a hoe, which have awfully short handles when dealing with a large snake! This makes my S&W .38 Special / .357 Magnum revolver a good tool for use around the property or while on a fishing trip in the country.

Be sure and pattern test the rounds for your particular pistol, as the rate of twist makes a huge difference. In S&W revolvers with 18"rifling, these shotshells at distances of about 10 to 12 feet will cleanly kill a snake shot in the head, but in faster twists they will only wound it and a second kill shot may be required. You might want to keep a couple of speed loaders handy with regular .38 Special or .357 Magnum rounds handy in case you run across something a little bigger.

Around my part of the woods this round is usually called “rat shot” because that is its main use. Eliminating rat problems will keep the snake population down, as you eliminate a primary food source of the snakes.

Staying above the water line!



Robot Nine said...

Hmmmm, the more snakes you shoot the more rats you will have.

riverwalker said...

To: robot nine

Hopefully you'll be shooting more rats , so there'll be less snakes to shoot.


theotherryan said...

Those seem useful for snakes up close. A snake is a pretty small target for a quick shot with a pistol but this would definitely help. Think I will pick up a pack next trip to walmart.

john beard said...

If food is as big of a problem post TEOTWAWKI as I believe it will be, snakes and rats may become the base for steady protein.

I watch the Survivor Man Series on Discover(?) and all those guys eat snakes and rodents.

I grew up in the country in North East Louisiana and snakes are very easy to kill. We never shot them as kids, just used a garden hoe and cut the heads off , it was a snap. We had a pump house and it was always cool and damp and attracted a lot of snakes. I never opened the door without a shorthandled hoe in my hand.

It was a wonder that all of us didn't die up there. Compared to the way kids grow up now especially.

riverwalker said...

To: the otherryan

Walmart doesn't carry them in my part of the country. I go to academy sports and outdoors for mine - there a behind the counter item there ($9 to $12 a box of 10). A lot easier to pack than a shovel or hoe while fishin'.


riverwalker said...

To: john b.

A lot of us can be thankful we actually grew up to get to be old guys. Did some really dumb stuff when I was younger.


Natog said...

I've heard these trash the rifling in the barrel. YMMV

riverwalker said...

To: natog

The problem with shooting pellets through a rifled barrel is you get a VERY erratic shot pattern because they are forced to spin down the barrel rather than move straight forward as what happens through a conventional smoothbore shotgun barrel.

Centrifugal force disperses the pellets wildly the instant they leave the muzzle of a rifled firearm greatly limiting the distance for their effectiveness.

For rats, mice and snakes at distances of 12 to 15 feet pretty good, after that it's pretty much a waste.


Anonymous said...

Using a shotshell on a rifled revolver causes the shots to spin making the shot inaccurate.

Anne said...

That would really be an awesome choice. Pest Control Melbourne

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