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Thread: .38 Snake Shot

  1. #1
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    .38 Snake Shot

    I've used it before in a revolver to dispatch unwanted snakes, but I never considered this stuff to be very potent.

    A few weeks ago a man was shot in the back while riding his bicycle. The guys who shot him still haven't been found, so the police have released more information about the shooting today.

    The man was shot once in the back with .38 or .357 rat shot. He was hit with 130 pellets.

    This 65 year old man has been in the hospital since the shooting, has undergone several surgeries, is still in a lot of pain, and has yet more surgery ahead of him.

    Anyone know of the ballistics on rat/snake shot? I'm suprised there was enough penetration with this stuff to do that much damage.

    I hope they catch the guys (probably teens on a joy ride). A second bicyclist was shot at the same night, but he heard them coming and dove for cover.

    WM
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    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I suspect that since he was shot in the back, some of the pellets may have caused some spinal issues (though evidently no paralysis, fortunately). In a defensive situation, we're obviously more likely to face a frontal or lateral shot, versus a shot to the opponent's back. This requires more penetration to get to the CNS or vital organs.

    Also, a 65 year old man is atypical of the combatant we're likely to face on the street, who is very likely to be under 25 years old.
    Last edited by Mike Barham; 08-06-2008 at 08:07 AM.
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    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    ...

    Anyone know of the ballistics on rat/snake shot? I'm suprised there was enough penetration with this stuff to do that much damage.

    ...
    http://www.cci-ammunition.com/ballistics/shotshell.aspx

    About a quarter-ounce of number 9 shot, at 1000 feet per second muzzle velocity. Probably pretty close to the same effect of catching the edge of a pattern from a full-size shotgun target load.

    I imagine that some of the pellets might even made it into his lungs, from a rear or rear-quartering angle; not nearly as much meat and bone to stop them as there is on a frontal shot.

  4. #4
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    Interesting thread. I stopped carrying cci snake shot in my 38 special when I noticed that when I fired at a cardboard IDPA target, at 10 ft - not one of the pellets actually went through the target. Many seemed to bound off or get stuck in the cardboard. The pellet pattern was also not particularly impressive either.

    Given my woeful experience with the CCI snake shot, I am now wondering what brand of ammo was used by the perp referenced in the original post. Any idea?

  5. #5
    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeb21 View Post
    Interesting thread. I stopped carrying cci snake shot in my 38 special when I noticed that when I fired at a cardboard IDPA target, at 10 ft - not one of the pellets actually went through the target. Many seemed to bound off or get stuck in the cardboard. The pellet pattern was also not particularly impressive either.

    Given my woeful experience with the CCI snake shot, I am now wondering what brand of ammo was used by the perp referenced in the original post. Any idea?
    It looked like the CCI round shown in the earlier link.

    Here is a link to the local TV news story:

    http://www.kiiitv.com/news/local/26267659.html

    A Google pop-up across the lower portion of the screen may hinder the view of the round. Just click on the little X and it should go away.

    WM
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  6. #6
    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeb21 View Post
    Interesting thread. I stopped carrying cci snake shot in my 38 special when I noticed that when I fired at a cardboard IDPA target, at 10 ft - not one of the pellets actually went through the target. Many seemed to bound off or get stuck in the cardboard. The pellet pattern was also not particularly impressive either.

    ...
    Was that from a short-barrel gun? These loads, more so that regular ammo, seem to need a longer (4"+) barrel to get up to speed. When I've shot them in short snubbies, they appeared to be VERY weak, similar to what you described.

    Weirdly enough, the longer barrel imparts more velocity, but the shorter barrels pattern the shot better. Once you get the payload spinning at higher speed (as in the longer barrels), the pattern gets thin and sometimes rather donut-shaped (big empty hole near the middle).

  7. #7
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    Thanks for the replies and for the link. It does look like CCI bullet.

    I fired my snake shot out of a 3" Smith Model 64. So I will give it another try with a 4" barrel revolver and see what my results are.

    Thanks again for the responses.

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