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Sidewinder

Hand Loading 38 Spl Snake Shot Load Recipe?

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We're coming up on fishing... and snake season. What are some effective snake shot rounds you've loaded for the 38 Special, without using the plastic capsules? I like the complete "roll your own" loads. Some say the larger size bird shot penetrate better and others say the smaller #12 shot effects more of the nervous system and there's no wriggling after the shot. I've also seen some vids that seem to suggest a shorter barrel patterns better than a longer barrel. Anybody got any experience with their loads in the field...or on the river bank?

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Do not depend on it to make a Rattler or Copperhead safe to go near it. Several years ago a couple contractors I was working with in Cheatam County had a Rattler slither by and rested under a small pine. They were afraid to work so I got a 20ga with

#6 and shot it in the head at ten yards. The neighbor driving by seen it a six footer on road and asked for it to eat and make a belt. Although dead it managed to strike and sink its fangs into his jeans twice, lucky he held it by the tail and it was upside

down striking an did not get skin. I was told the only thing to do is cut off head, but mouth will open and close on you for a few hours.

 

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My Grandfather told me about a neighbor of his back years ago that was walking to his barn and his hired had had to him he killed  a rattler  near the path to the barn from the house. The neighbor asked him if he cut his head off and indeed he did. Neighbor for got about the snake the next day and was headed to get some eggs in his house slippers and he stepped on that snakes head and it damn near killed him before they could get him to the hospital. Any time a dangerous snake was killed on our farm the head was buried!! 

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I load 44mag and 45 Colt snake and bee shot. I use green dot powder and poster board for disks above and below the shot. Corn meal for bees and #9 shot for snake.

A bit of reading for you.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forumdisplay.php?253-Shot-Shell-Loads-For-Pistols

Edited by RED333
Because I can

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S.S.S.ssss

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On 5/7/2018 at 1:44 PM, jaysouth said:

check with a warden at TWRA before you shoot any snakes in TN

Think he'll say it's OK to shoot the snake after he has put a couple of puncture wounds in your flesh and filled them with venom! Nature made the laws of a snake... man made the laws about shooting them...common sense makes the laws about protecting one's self against any deadly threat.

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On loading snake shot rounds, the wealth of experience from people who live in states where they encounter snakes on a daily basis is to use #12 shot for your loads.  The smaller size of the shot (users claim better penetration), along with the higher pellet count, makes this size much more effective at killing the varmint rather than just getting it angry. 

You will limit your weight of the shot charge by not using shot capsules.  Some handloaders will put their powder in a primed case, then install a gas check (cup open side UP and pressed down to the powder charge), insert shot to just below the top of the case, top off the load with either a gas check (cup open side DOWN) or cardboard cap which can be sealed with Elmer's glue and crimp the case.  It's been too long for me to recall the type and weight of powder used for these loads.  To add to this process, some shooters will trim .357 Magnum brass shorter until they can fit into your revolver's chambers and do the above loading process to add case length for more shot in the load.  Sounds like a lot of work for little gain.  

I have only one personal experience with having to fire snake shot loads at a snake.  On that day I was carrying a 3" S&W Chief Special, stainless steel with 3 inch barrel.  The snake was passing in front of me but turned and advanced straight at me.  When it got too close I fired.  Have you ever seen a revolver fired full auto?  Mine did that day.  I got the first 4 shots off so quickly they sounded like one shot only.  I looked to the left, then the right, saw no more threats, knew I had to reload, so I put that last round also into the attacker.  Game was already over, but so what?  The #12 shot stopped the threat with the first shot (#1 of 4), but there was fun to be had.

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So do you think a Game Warden would allow a Rattler or Copperhead to live under his porch, garage? Unless you know them well they have to give the standard response. I let all non posionious live near me as they eat mice, lizards and such and help keep the unwanted snakes away.  In the wild I do not bother them but do not want them as neighbors.

 

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According to a report I just read in is illegal to kill any snake in Tennessee unless it is threatening you in your house or livestock.

Next time someone has a Copperhead or Rattlesnake setting up house keeping under your porch call the nearest TWRA station and request that the snake be removed since you are not allowed to kill it. If they will not allow you to kill it then it is their responsibility to come and remove it since they are a protected species native to Tennessee. See what kind of response you receive.

It must be a new law cause back when I was growing up in the 1960's a few buddies and I would put our jon boats in the Harpeth River in Cheatham county and float the river with 22 rifles and float the river shooting ever snake we saw hanging in trees over hanging the river or laid up on drift piles sunning them selves. I think we would probably killed 50 on a cloudy day and upwards of a 100 on bright sunny days.

We did that for about 3 years and by the third year the snake population was down so much that we quit going. Got to where on that stretch of river might see 10 snakes on a Jon boat float.

 

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This is a forum, everybody is welcome to their opinion. Next time you have a deadly snake on your property which could bite a family member or pet call TWRA to come remove it and hope they can come when it it still there. With me having the stream, pasture and woods in yard this could be 3-4 calls a day at times. Use your best judgment and I will use mine.

 

 

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On 5/7/2018 at 3:23 PM, Omega said:

S.S.S.ssss

This ^^^^^^. The three S's. Shoot, shovel, and silence.  :angel:

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# 12 shot ? Hmmmm...........

123.jpg

 

A man in Cheatham County, Tennessee caught and later killed a 6.5-foot timber rattlesnake that slithered through his backyard.

Rob Freeman caught the snake after his wife saw it while playing with their son in the backyard, The State reported.

Freeman reportedly called the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency before killing the snake, as the species are threatened or endangered in certain parts of the U.S., according to WKRN. In Tennessee, the snakes are “protected from harvest” and listed as "in need of management" according to the Tennessee Herpetological Society.

Freeman later posted a photo of the snake, which had reportedly just eaten a squirrel, to his Facebook page. He captioned the photo “Leg breaker.”

Timber rattlesnakes are the second-largest venomous snake in the eastern part of the U.S., according to the society. They typically range from 3 to 4.5 feet, though they can grow even longer.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/05/18/tennessee-man-catches-kills-6-5-foot-timber-rattlesnake-after-it-swallows-squirrel-in-backyard.html

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On 5/18/2018 at 1:55 PM, xsubsailor said:

# 12 shot ? Hmmmm...........

123.jpg

 

A man in Cheatham County, Tennessee caught and later killed a 6.5-foot timber rattlesnake that slithered through his backyard.

Rob Freeman caught the snake after his wife saw it while playing with their son in the backyard, The State reported.

Freeman reportedly called the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency before killing the snake, as the species are threatened or endangered in certain parts of the U.S., according to WKRN. In Tennessee, the snakes are “protected from harvest” and listed as "in need of management" according to the Tennessee Herpetological Society.

Freeman later posted a photo of the snake, which had reportedly just eaten a squirrel, to his Facebook page. He captioned the photo “Leg breaker.”

Timber rattlesnakes are the second-largest venomous snake in the eastern part of the U.S., according to the society. They typically range from 3 to 4.5 feet, though they can grow even longer.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/05/18/tennessee-man-catches-kills-6-5-foot-timber-rattlesnake-after-it-swallows-squirrel-in-backyard.html

Glad this thing didn't get close to you, your wife, or your son. This is the exact reason I'm trying to work up a good snake round for a 38 Special.

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38 Special "Snake Shot" update. Short version... my loads sucked! Shot them at, I believe, at 3 & 5 yard distances at the OK Corral in Woodbury. Some would not even penetrate cardboard, and some sounded like a "primer" only firing! Very disappointing, as it takes lots of time to load these rounds. I used styrofoam from to-go boxes for the wads. I used Unique as the powder charge and #9 bird shot. I won't give up though, even though I don't have the skills of a machinist. I do believe the secret is a shot cup, similar to the way shotgun shells are loaded. I'm still not crazy about the idea of the capsules... too expensive for one thing. Thanks Red333, for the link to the other posts. I'm learning a lot about this "art" of loading bird shot in a pistol case.

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158 Gr. Round nose lead will just about blow their head off. 

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On 6/1/2018 at 5:01 PM, Sidewinder said:

38 Special "Snake Shot" update. Short version... my loads sucked! Shot them at, I believe, at 3 & 5 yard distances at the OK Corral in Woodbury. Some would not even penetrate cardboard, and some sounded like a "primer" only firing! Very disappointing, as it takes lots of time to load these rounds. I used styrofoam from to-go boxes for the wads. I used Unique as the powder charge and #9 bird shot. I won't give up though, even though I don't have the skills of a machinist. I do believe the secret is a shot cup, similar to the way shotgun shells are loaded. I'm still not crazy about the idea of the capsules... too expensive for one thing. Thanks Red333, for the link to the other posts. I'm learning a lot about this "art" of loading bird shot in a pistol case.

I would hazard to guess that styrofoam ain’t gonna work at all.  You might study on how brass shot shells are loaded and the various cardboard type “wads” folks use for bee loads.

What are you shooting out of?  I would be inclinded to pack that stuff in tight, but I would be experimenting with an old S&W 28 that is built like a tank, lol.

BTW, I saw CCI 38/357 shotshells at Walmart today, just saying.

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On 5/18/2018 at 1:55 PM, xsubsailor said:

# 12 shot ? Hmmmm...........

123.jpg

 

A man in Cheatham County, Tennessee caught and later killed a 6.5-foot timber rattlesnake that slithered through his backyard.

Rob Freeman caught the snake after his wife saw it while playing with their son in the backyard, The State reported.

Freeman reportedly called the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency before killing the snake, as the species are threatened or endangered in certain parts of the U.S., according to WKRN. In Tennessee, the snakes are “protected from harvest” and listed as "in need of management" according to the Tennessee Herpetological Society.

Freeman later posted a photo of the snake, which had reportedly just eaten a squirrel, to his Facebook page. He captioned the photo “Leg breaker.”

Timber rattlesnakes are the second-largest venomous snake in the eastern part of the U.S., according to the society. They typically range from 3 to 4.5 feet, though they can grow even longer.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/05/18/tennessee-man-catches-kills-6-5-foot-timber-rattlesnake-after-it-swallows-squirrel-in-backyard.html

Not close to 6.5 ft. Forced perspective is rampant in snake photos. 

 

Yes it is illegal to kill a snake in TN unless you are in imminent danger. If you have time to go get a firearm/other tool, you aren't. 

 

There have been 22 fatalities from snakebites in the US in the last 8 years. 1 was in TN (The guy picked up a venomous snake and tried to figure out what sex it was). Leave them alone and they will leave you alone. 

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On 6/1/2018 at 5:01 PM, Sidewinder said:

38 Special "Snake Shot" update. Short version... my loads sucked! Shot them at, I believe, at 3 & 5 yard distances at the OK Corral in Woodbury. Some would not even penetrate cardboard, and some sounded like a "primer" only firing! Very disappointing, as it takes lots of time to load these rounds. I used styrofoam from to-go boxes for the wads. I used Unique as the powder charge and #9 bird shot. I won't give up though, even though I don't have the skills of a machinist. I do believe the secret is a shot cup, similar to the way shotgun shells are loaded. I'm still not crazy about the idea of the capsules... too expensive for one thing. Thanks Red333, for the link to the other posts. I'm learning a lot about this "art" of loading bird shot in a pistol case.

Use poster board, or the heavy cardboard from the back of a legal pad as wads. Apply a heavy roll crimp and seal the over shot wad with nail polish.

The powder needs back pressure to burn properly.

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10 hours ago, xjsnake said:

Not close to 6.5 ft. Forced perspective is rampant in snake photos. 

 

Yes it is illegal to kill a snake in TN unless you are in imminent danger. If you have time to go get a firearm/other tool, you aren't. 

 

There have been 22 fatalities from snakebites in the US in the last 8 years. 1 was in TN (The guy picked up a venomous snake and tried to figure out what sex it was). Leave them alone and they will leave you alone. 

Also considering I don't see a huge bump some where along its body, I don't know where this swallowed squirrel is. My wife is a herpetoligist by training. You are in more danger from broken glass and bacterial infections around water than snakes..

That being said, I applaud your determination to figure out this load. 

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On 6/2/2018 at 7:17 PM, Garufa said:

I would hazard to guess that styrofoam ain’t gonna work at all.  You might study on how brass shot shells are loaded and the various cardboard type “wads” folks use for bee loads.

What are you shooting out of?  I would be inclinded to pack that stuff in tight, but I would be experimenting with an old S&W 28 that is built like a tank, lol.

BTW, I saw CCI 38/357 shotshells at Walmart today, just saying.

Now that I have given it some thought, it would seem that the styrofoam would act like a shock absorber, taking the energy out of the load between the powder and shot. Next, I plan on trying some cardboard coasters that would be put under drinks at a restaurant.

I'm shooting it out of a Airweight S&W revolver, with a very short barrel.

I may have to check out the CCI shotshells at Wal-Mart. Just trying to do the loads on the cheap. But, in the real life situation, I'd sure like to know that the round was going to get the job done! Thanks for your post.

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15 hours ago, Sidecarist said:

Use poster board, or the heavy cardboard from the back of a legal pad as wads. Apply a heavy roll crimp and seal the over shot wad with nail polish.

The powder needs back pressure to burn properly.

Thanks for the information. I have some cardboard drink coasters I plan to use next. A friend uses Elmer's Glue and his works fine. I'm a bachelor, so not a lot of nail polish around...as in none. But, if the Elmer's don't work next time, I may be forced to seek out some nail polish. I do need advice on what to say to the checkout guy on the register... if he asks me for a date!  Just kidding! Just kidding!

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Those drink coasters should work great. I used to "borrow" the wifes.

Clear nail polish is also great fo fly tying..

Good luck!

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On 5/6/2018 at 6:04 PM, Will said:

Do not depend on it to make a Rattler or Copperhead safe to go near it. Several years ago a couple contractors I was working with in Cheatam County had a Rattler slither by and rested under a small pine. They were afraid to work so I got a 20ga with

#6 and shot it in the head at ten yards. The neighbor driving by seen it a six footer on road and asked for it to eat and make a belt. Although dead it managed to strike and sink its fangs into his jeans twice, lucky he held it by the tail and it was upside

down striking an did not get skin. I was told the only thing to do is cut off head, but mouth will open and close on you for a few hours.

 

 This story from today reminded me of this thread. 

 

A Texas man is recovering after he claims the head of a rattlesnake bit him — moments after he had just cut it off.

Jennifer Sutcliffe's husband was reportedly bitten by the beheaded snake on May 27 at his home near Lake Corpus Christi.

Sutcliffe told KIII-TV the two were doing yard work when she came across the four-foot rattlesnake. She said her husband used a shovel to behead the snake, but when he went to dispose of it, it bit him.

 

The snake, Sutcliffe said, "released all its venom into him at that point" because it no longer had a body, and her husband reportedly began immediately experiencing seizures and internal bleeding, and lost his vision.

The man was transported via helicopter to a hospital, where doctors said there was a chance he wouldn't make it.

"A normal person who is going to get bit is going to get two to four doses of antivenom," Sutcliffe told the news station. "He had to have 26 doses."

Her husband is now in stable condition but is suffering from weak kidney functions, Sutcliffe said.

While it's rare to die after being bitten by a poisonous snake, roughly one to two people die each year in Texas as a result of the venom, according to the state's Parks & Wildlife Department.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/06/06/severed-rattlesnake-head-bites-texas-man-nearly-kills-him.html

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