.38 Shot Shells, any experience
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Thread: .38 Shot Shells, any experience

  1. #1
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    .38 Shot Shells, any experience

    I'm going to spend some time in the Everglades in the near future and plan to carry my SS 4" .357 magnum because it is most likely to not be effected by any of the elements . My primary concern is from the wildlife especially snakes, however there are always potentially larger critters and maybe even bad guys to consider.

    I am thinking about stacking the cylinder with two shot shells followed by four magnum hollowpoints. That way, in the event I meet up with a snake I have the first two shots with a scatter pattern. If I need to get to the "real" rounds it just takes three pulls of the trigger.

    I've never played with the shot shells though. Are they any good? It seems to make sense for this purpose but any input will be appreciated.

  2.   
  3. they are ok , not real powerful. i have used a 38 shotshell to dispatch a 4' rattler. .45 ones work better.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjwestbrook View Post
    they are ok , not real powerful. i have used a 38 shotshell to dispatch a 4' rattler. .45 ones work better.
    Thanks, good to know. I have the .38 so I guess I will limit myself to it.

  5. #4
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    Take some sheets of cardboard and pattern the shotshells just like a shotgun. First (you can't convince some till they see it) you will see they are not very useful past 6-10 ft unless you want to just make the snake mad. Farther than that and it's easier to go around the snake. Second,you need to know where the pattern is for the sights that close in. A bullet will strike higher than the sights the closer to the target you are. Third, it checks for holes in the pattern. It acts different in different revolvers (twist, barrel length etc. Sometimes you find there is a donut hole in the center which is good to know. Barrel rifling quickly disperses the shot. I find they work within those limitations.
    Help your own self - the Government is busy takin' care of itself!
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  6. #5
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    Basically worthless. I played around and experimented with these years ago. They wouldn't even penetrate a piece of 1/4" plywould at about 10 feet. Made dents and bounced around, some stuck in the wood. Milk jugs were leaking after shooting them at 6 to 10 feet, but that's about it. Save your money and spend it on real ammo. I did however kill a rat with a shotshell once, when I cornered him in the barn and he stopped. Took two shots because the pattern opened up so much out of a 6" 357 mag, that the pellets hit more around him than in him.
    Nowadays, If I'm going to shoot something with a shotshell, it will be from a shotgun. If you want something light to pop a snake, but still want to have a back up of more power in reserve for your 357 revolver, do this:

    Load 4 full powered magnums into the cylinder and two light .38 Target wadcutters, and make the wadcutters your first two shots, or one if you feel you only need one light round. That way if you want to Roscoe a snake, you know your first one or two shots will be light loads, but you will have the big boys comming up behind them if you have to shoot something big. If you have the time to shoot the big critter, you can always index your rounds to the big stuff first. I did this when I needed to travel light.
    If I wasn't concerned about space on my belt or in my pocket, I would carry a big revolver in my hip holster, like a 44 mag or heavy load 45 Colt, and a smaller 22 auto, or 38 airweight revolver in my pocket for the snakes. In the swamp areas where I hunted, Wild Boars were known to roam and occassionally got aggressive with people. My favorite carry combo was a 6" S&W Model 29 in 44 Mag, and a S&W Model 37 airweight 38 with a 3" Barrel in my pocket, loaded with wadcutters.
    There's Something Goin' On Here, and it Ain't Funny!!!

  7. #6
    +1 with Saltcreek.

    I ran a class for a couple a while back that had "snake issues" on their 280 acres. We played around with snake-shot in her .38, and came to the same conclusion Saltcreek just mentioned. The pattern is so wide open beyond 8-10ft that it's a bit counter-productive... combined with the fact most snakes around here aren't truly "encountered" until you're almost stepping on them... at which point, unless the gun is in your had already, yeah... you see what I mean.

    The Judge with shot shells was quite impressive though - .410 tore my targets up!

    Just my two cents, but I'd carry serious ammo for serious threats, and carry a "walking stick" for the snakes. IMHO.
    "There is no consitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen." (7th Cir. 1982, Bowers v. DeVito)Stay safe, and stay trained.www.sazsatt.com

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