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Hi Friends, Been thinking of getting a gun to take in my tackle box for rattlesnakes when fishing, they're pretty bad in SE New Mexico. Thinking about a 410: super comanche, maybe a derringer (hard to hold on to with a 410 round?) or maybe just get shot shells for my Armscor 38 sp. Don't want to spend a lot of money to throw it in the bottom of my tackle box. I need ideas from you pros. Thanks, Bernie
 

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My grandpa just uses a .22 revolver with rat shot in it. A couple shots usually does the job. If your wanting a little more power, then a .38 special or .357 magnum loaded with rat shot will get the job done too. Look into the cheaper companies that make safe guns. Remember, your wanting a snake gun. Unless you want to shoot snakes through the eyes at 50 feet, you don't need a super accurate gun. Plus, if you use shot, then accuracy won't be a big issue.

I'd look into something like a EAA Bounty hunter .22. They run about $240 new, so a used one will be cheaper. From what I read, they have ok accuracy, and are generally decent guns.
 

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What is "rat shot"? My .357 is loaded with something much more deadly than "rat shot", I think.
 

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Definitely use shot. The question is .22 or a 410. The .22 is smaller and the gun / ammunition will be cheaper, but it doesn't pack as much of a punch. The 410 gun / ammunition will be more expensive, but it'll kill'em dead in one shot. I think .22 or 410 would be the best choices based on ease of finding shot shells - I've never even seen .38 shot; but then again I do live in NY.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have an N.E.F Gardner Model R92, 22lr 9 shot revolver, cheap gun but goes bang every time I pull the trigger. But is a 22 enough gun? And I want shot shells (don't want to take the chance of missing the booger with a regular 22 round.) The Armscor 4" barrel 38 sp. is a $200 gun that's small enough not to be bothersome. Also have a Uberti 45 lc, but its big, heavy and not a cheap gun (just in case I drop it in the lake). What do you think? Thanks, Bernie
 

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I think it's about shot placement. A .22 is enough is you shoot'em close - remember we're talking about shot here; after 5' - 7' it's not worth much. If needed you have another 8 rounds, right? :) The 410 is cool because you can use larger shot ( 7s or 8s ) and it'll hit much harder.
 

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Snakes move preatty fast around here anyway, I'd take shot over the single projo on such a small, fast target.
 

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Or just leave the snakes alone. I hike hundreds of miles a year in rattler country. I've stepped on rattlers and looked down and seen them rattling near my feet(I don't hear very good) but never had a problem. I carry hollow-points for the bigger varmits. But if you must i would use a 38 spl with shot cartridges.
 

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winds-of-change said:
What is "rat shot"? My .357 is loaded with something much more deadly than "rat shot", I think.
"Rat shot" is a shell loaded w shotgun shot that is usually lapsed w #10 or #12 shotgun shot. If you reload your own ammo then you can use pretty much any size you want as long as it is small enough to go down the barrel. If it was me I'd find a cheap 22 mag revolver and mix the loads in it w rat shot and jhp.
 

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hiwall said:
Or just leave the snakes alone. I hike hundreds of miles a year in rattler country. I've stepped on rattlers and looked down and seen them rattling near my feet(I don't hear very good) but never had a problem. I carry hollow-points for the bigger varmits. But if you must i would use a 38 spl with shot cartridges.
I'm all about preservation. I agree you shouldn't be looking under rocks to find snakes to shoot, but I don't think OP is doing that. It sounds like it's a backup plan.

As for "stepping on rattlers and not having a problem", I call BS. I lived in New Mexico and have been around them too - you step on a snake like that you get bit.
 

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What is "rat shot"? My .357 is loaded with something much more deadly than "rat shot", I think.
"Rat shot" is a shell loaded w shotgun shot that is usually lapsed w #10 or #12 shotgun shot. If you reload your own ammo then you can use pretty much any size you want as long as it is small enough to go down the barrel. If it was me I'd find a cheap 22 mag revolver and mix the loads in it w rat shot and jhp.
As the man said, it is basically a scaled down shotgun shell for pistols and rifles. It can kill rats, and snakes pretty easily, but you would just piss anything else off. They have a very small effective range, so you have to be within a few feet of your target to do some damage.

 

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Snake bit........

What good is it to have a gun loaded for snakes, and locked up in a tackle box,:confused:, a 22 nine shot revolver with a decent barrel lengnth and loaded with rat shot, and a good holster works good for me. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Keeping in mind that I am "fishing", not hunting. If I am hunting snakes I'd take my 12 or 20 ga. but I don't hunt snakes, they give me the "heebe-geebes". I'm looking at family & self protection. Due to your great advice I think I'll use the guns that I have. Now the question is 22lr or 38sp? Both are inexpensive (knock around guns), the advice of carrying it in a holster is a great idea (keeping it handy). 22 or 38? Thanks, Bernie
 

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I would either go with a 357 with snake shot rounds... or this may be the perfect application for a Taurus Judge or S&W Governor with 410 birdshot shells.
 

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Don't over think it, you have a cheap 38, the bigger the round the more shot. Either way 22 or 38 is just in case so err on the side of caution. I have used both for tackle box guns wit shot shells and for the last 30 carry an old S&W mod 10 38 with shot shells, never had to regret the choice.
 

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I only hike in day time, rattle snakes sleep in day time. I have stepped on several (not on purpose). They are somewhat slow when woke up(like most humans). When following my brother one day I watched him step on a black rattler(I was to slow to stop him). It took about 15 seconds or more for the snake to coil, by that time brother was maybe 3 yards down the trail. Call bs all you want, your always welcome to come with me. I've never killed a rattler. I don't really like them but they are just another critter.
 

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That may be but I have know three people who got bit at work all during the day so one of these days you might not be so lucky….in the timber in Oregon might be different than your area
 
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