Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

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Bill in Oregon
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Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Bill in Oregon »

I have absolutely no doubt about the ability of a run of the mill barrel-cocking "springer" pellet rifle to kill a buzzer with one accurate head shot, but I am sitting here fiddling with my Crosman/Webley CO2 Mark VI copy and got to wondering if this thing has enough power to effectively penetrate the noggin of a good sized Western diamondback. Pyramyd Air suggests 400 fps as a likely maximum velocity.
I guess I need to assemble some test media -- perhaps an empty pop can vs one with some water in it; multiple layers of cardboard; a piece of luan doorskin; in place of standard ballistic gel, perhaps a blob of regular Jell-O, prolly raspberry :"just because."
Anyone else dawdled over this problem? Actual field experience most welcome.

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Last edited by Bill in Oregon on Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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GunnyMack
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by GunnyMack »

Bill i always just walked up to a snattlerake and BOPPED them on the brain box with a breaker bar. Guys I went to skool with though I was nuts (but then again at that time I had a 9' Burmese python, a couple boa constrictors. It was the Bull snakes ya had to watch out for! Nastiest critter I ever did see. )they always shot them...usually with full power loads. Heck ya get close enough and 22 birdshot does the trick.
Last edited by GunnyMack on Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I've killed quite a number of them with a .22 pistol with rosette crimped ratshot and I don't think that penetrates much. You might want to shoot a tin can with such a load, and then shoot it with your pellet gun and see what it looks like.

My brother and I killed a lot of snakes with our Daisy BB guns as kids. I don't think a snake can take a lot of shock and the BB guns seemed to work well.

I assume that your gun will produce more energy than a Daisy Cub (I think they call it a Daisy Buck these days) so you should be good.

I've killed them with a stick, a roping rope and a quirt......none of those would have high energy figures.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Well, I got a few answers. With a fresh CO2 powerlet, both the wadcutter and the domed hollowpoints easily passed through six layers of common cardboard.
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They also passed with ease through a piece of Georgia Pacific wall paneling approximately 3/16s inch thick:

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Having a fresh powerlet is important. When I tried both tests with a powerlet nearly out of CO2, I could hardly spot dent marks in both the cardboard and the paneling; the pellets tended to ricochet back toward the shooter. Targets were engaged at about nine feet distance.
Last edited by Bill in Oregon on Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bill in Oregon
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Gunny, Scott, the fastest kills I have had on rattlers were with the little .22 LR CCI shot capsules out of a sixgun -- much faster kills than with the No. 9 shot they pack in the 9mm, .38/.357 and .44 shot shells. I think it is just that the cloud of smaller shot (No. 12?) tends to disrupt more circuits than the bigger stuff, given a similar range of five-six feet. Pretty sure the C02 Webley would get the job done.
And on the subject of bull snakes, we had very large gopher snakes in New Mexico that would hiss, shake their tails, strike and just put up an awful fuss when messed with.
Bill in Oregon
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Being in town, I can't legally discharge a round of .22 snake shot into a tin can. I did shoot a Crosman domed HP pellet into a Gatorade bottle full of water, and it penetrated with enough energy to slightly deform the nose.

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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by jeepnik »

Always wanted to ry this, but I generally leave snakes of all varieties alone. They do good work.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by GunnyMack »

When I lived in Trinidad CO, I stepped on the porch at a buddies house and heard a buzz tail. It got my attention and I started looking for it. There coiled up was this 4" long baby snake. It wasn't a rattler but a western hog nose with an attitude! I got it scooped up into a jar so I could figure out exactly what it was and that sucker never stopped buzzing that tail, a natural defense tactic.

I lived in an old adobe house, in the winter the walls crawled with mice. I decided to catch a bull snake( not an easy feat!) and turn it loose in the house for the winter. There was no taming that snake! Not long after that I was given a California King Snake, Angus. He was very tame, one morning I woke up and he was gone from his tank. 6 weeks later my Lab goes into the closet then out, in, out. I finally went in and there is Angus a foot longer and very fat & happy!

No doubt 22 shot loads ( yes #12) are deadly on close shots.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by 44shooter »

I shot a snake through the head from underneath with a Daisy 922 long ago. It was lights out. That was a 22 pellet maybe shy of 600fps. That rifle would kill rabbits too but not enough for possums and such. I tend to leave snakes alone now unless they are in place that poses a danger. Then a bush axe works well
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by bmtshooter »

I have found that whacking them with the flat of a shovel is 100% effective.

After one whack, you can use the shovel to separate the head from the body.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by JimT »

My pellet gun shoots a whole tube of pellets at once and vaporizes a snakes head if you are aiming....
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by wvfarrier »

This guy was 10#....not sure Id try him with a pellet gun
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Jim, that H&R/NEF will work every time.
Farrier -- is that a viper from Africa?
Jeep, I don't necessarily kill a rattler unless it is: my employer's policy; or the buzzer is too close to people, pets and kids. I agree they do yeoman's service keeping rodents in check.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by jeepnik »

Yea sometimes it can't be avoided. This one it was me or it.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

That looks like you have plenty of gun there.

I had a friend that lived on the bend of a creek near Halettsville Texas. We would go out there with .22 revolvers loaded with rosette crimped rat shot and flashlights. At night you could barely make out a copperhead because it shined a little though it was the same color as the leaves. But we would go out there once a year and kill a bucket full of these snakes and a few beers.

He wouldn’t have any snake problems until the next year. Must’ve been breeding season or something
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by AmBraCol »

I'd trust a 2240 a lot more than the replicas. Shucks, I just built a "1740" by adding a steel breech and a 10" .177 caliber barrel to a 2240 I had around for that purpose. So far have only run one powerlet of CO2 through it. Got about 40 shots, but the last 10 or so I'd not want to try on a rattler, the power was definitely going down. Shucks, the last one didn't even penetrate the cardboard target backer on my pellet trap, just stayed stuck right there. The 2240 definitely has enough UMPH to put finis to critters, and the accuracy to do it with. That's the other thing to keep in mind. Can you hit dead center at the range you're shooting at?

Years ago I was driving down the road in our old jeep when I saw a Brazilian rattler crossing right in front of us, made it across before we got there and it wasn't too far from a home built on the side of the road. Venomous snakes don't get a break from me if they're near human habitation. So I stopped the jeep and turned to the old guy sitting in back. "Erasmo, hand me your pistol." I said. He kind of hemmed and hawed, but I knew he carried one, he always did. "I'll give you some of my ammo when we get to town". Well, that convinced him as he knew I had the good imported stuff instead of the CBC Velox sold at the sporting goods stores in the area. So I took his little belly gun and walked over to where that rattler was and proceeded to miss it with five out of six shots, the sixth barely hit the side of its head. That threw it into a tizzy and it was rolling around NOT dead and making a real fuss. Back to the Jeep and I got out my machete and finished it with that. Never did care for killing snakes that way, but got it done.

Anyway, a few weeks later I was back in the area and so was Erasmo. I borrowed his 22 again and proceeded to shoot at a knot on a log about the size of the snake's head and at the same distance. That old gun had been carried so long in his waist band that the barrel was rusty towards the muzzle on the inside and it wouldn't group for sour grapes. Not too long after I was able to get my hands on my own carry piece and never had to borrow a gun for such a chore again, even taking out one snake with a head shot at five times the distance I'd missed that rattler at.

Anyway, don't worry just about penetration (that plywood indicates it's got enough punch). Can you center a snake's head? At what range? That's what I'd worry about.
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Paul, I did not know that Brazil had rattlesnakes, but there it is, Crotalus durissus, among the long list of Yararas, Bushmasters and other nasty venomous snakes of Brazil ... :shock:
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

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Bill in Oregon wrote:
Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:22 am
Paul, I did not know that Brazil had rattlesnakes, but there it is, Crotalus durissus, among the long list of Yararas, Bushmasters and other nasty venomous snakes of Brazil ... :shock:
There are over 300 species of snake in Brazil, about half of which are venomous. So brazilians tend to say "ALL snakes are poisonous!" and when it comes to species in their part of the world - they've got a 50/50 chance of being right. That being said, I've seen more snakes on ONE canoe trip down the Elk river of SW Missouri than I've seen in my entire life in south America. And the ones on the Elk river included a fair share of water mocassins which are not only venomous but aggressive.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Blaine »

My Grandfather said a copperhead could see the BB from his Daisy, and would strike at it, and get shot.
Could be: We can usually see BBs and sometimes even bullets with the sun at our back.
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Walt
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Walt »

I have a friend who used to make rattlesnake skin mounts on a fancy board and also hatbands. I have a Leatherman with a very narrow slotted screwdriver blade and when we would encounter a snake in our wanderings I would hold the snake's head down with a stick and pith him through the back of the head just like pithing a frog in biology class. Made perfectly undamaged skins.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by JimT »

When we lived in Mozambique we encountered lots of snakes. The Mozambicans call every snake "Cobra" and are pretty shy around them. I killed quite a few with a machete including a spitting cobra and a mamba. But some of those snakes are really fast and getting that close got to me, so I built a snake killer ... and never had to get too close to any again.
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Jim, that is a handsome tool. I think I'd still want a 20-foot extension for it in the case of a mamba!
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

While a quirt works pretty well for a rattlesnake in the open, some other snakes are downright scary.

In South Africa they used to make a whip out of a strip of hippopotamus skin that they would roll into a round shape.

I understand that this is a pretty handy tool for killing snakes. Lynn made a plastic version some years ago.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by GunnyMack »

If I remember right, Capstick preferred a 12 ga for Mombas and cobras. They are a different class of reptile!
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by piller »

Mambas are one of the fastest snakes at about 12 miles per hour, maybe a bit more. I would have a hard time stopping myself from using a shotgun on them if they lived near me. Years ago, I had to hit a cottonmouth with an oar as it got its head up in my little 14 foot aluminum boat. That was on Lake Waxahachie. I never did get the dent out. Cottonmouths can be aggressive.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by FLINT »

Bill in Oregon wrote:
Tue Sep 20, 2022 4:57 pm
Farrier -- is that a viper from Africa?
Not sure if you were joking or not but the snake wvfarrier posted a picture of is a yellow phase timber rattlesnake, I'm assuming from WV. I'm just over on the VA side of the mountain and see them frequently. Beautiful snakes and totally non aggressive. I relocate them for people sometimes. They will rattle and coil, but when pressed almost always will retreat instead of striking.

I'm way more nervous around copperheads.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Flint, I wasn't kidding., The coloration, relatively short, heavy body and the lack of rattles (at least I couldn't see them) reminded me of the Gaboon viper of Africa. Now this is a snake! Longest fangs and largest venom yield in the world.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by JB »

I'd think you'd have enough velocity to penetrate a rattler's head, but I'd be more comfortable carrying rat shot in a 22LR handgun.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by PriseDeFer »

These went final on Eastern Diamondbacks, large. An 880 Daisy pumper, at around 15 feet, flathead solid 177 pellet. 38 snake shot out of a S&W 38 Airweight, the snake had been unintentionally wounded by a child on a dirtbike and went to ground inside a concrete culvert. Note to self: do not discharge a firearm inside of a concrete culvert without ear protection. All this previous to the Eastern Diamondback's special status.
Bill in Oregon
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Are Eastern diamondbacks now protected throughout their range? Didn't know they were under threat.
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Re: Rattlesnakes and pellet guns

Post by samsi »

Blaine wrote:
Wed Sep 21, 2022 3:10 pm
My Grandfather said a copperhead could see the BB from his Daisy, and would strike at it, and get shot.
Could be: We can usually see BBs and sometimes even bullets with the sun at our back.
An old timer told me the same thing years ago, but he used a Python not a BB gun.

I once saw a BP agent stir a rattlesnake into a ball with a collapsible baton and then whack it on the head. Looked pretty adept at it, don't think it was his first time.
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