Historical question--snake gun in 1965

Historical question--snake gun in 1965

This is a discussion on Historical question--snake gun in 1965 within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm writing a murder mystery located in North Florida. My protagonist's father, a major rancher and limerock mine operator, accidentally shot himself while cleaning his ...

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Thread: Historical question--snake gun in 1965

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    Historical question--snake gun in 1965

    I'm writing a murder mystery located in North Florida. My protagonist's father, a major rancher and limerock mine operator, accidentally shot himself while cleaning his snake gun. Mister Cedric needs something small and easy to carry while hunting, overseeing mine operations, riding, and fishing on the Suwannee River, and I liked the Taurus Judge's ability to use both cartridges and shot. But the accident happened back in 1965 and The Judge had not been introduced then.
    Can you give Mister Cedric any recommendations on what he should have been carrying?
    Thanks for your help, Skipper
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    Member Array Jaybm's Avatar
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    How about a derringer, one of those without a trigger guard. Just a thought

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    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    Most ranchers and farmers I know would have carried a small, single shot .410 shot gun. They were made by Harrington & Richards IIRC, more commonly known as H&R shotguns.

    A second viable option (if it must be a pistol) would be a 38spl or 357 mag revolver using shot rounds. One of the old S&W model 10 revolvers using shotshell ammo would be quite common back then, or so i would think.

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    .22 snakeshot existed then. I used to carry a couple of rounds of it in a .22 revolver when hunting in GA, but eventually I figured out it was faster and safer to jump back out of striking distance than to draw and shoot. And a poke with a stick will send any snake on its way.

    So if Mr. Cedric isn't opposed to carrying a .22 handgun for that purpose.
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    In 1966-67 I used a "Saturday Night Special" (i.e., cheap) .22LR cal pistol and .22 rounds loaded with bird shot as a snake gun when working on our reptile populated Demo Range in Arkansas. A lot of the other unit members did also and had been in the unit in '65 and before. No one I knew there used a "good" gun because the bird shot wasn't considered good for the barrel.
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    How about an antique Lemat revolver?
    LeMat Revolver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Quote Originally Posted by phreddy View Post
    How about an antique Lemat revolver?
    LeMat Revolver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    LOL. We're talking 1965, not 1865.

    That was the year I was born. My granddaddy carried a .22 rifle and/or a .38 snubby when he was in the swamp. 'Snake gun' does not necessitate scatter-shot.
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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    LOL. We're talking 1965, not 1865.

    That was the year I was born. My granddaddy carried a .22 rifle and/or a .38 snubby when he was in the swamp. 'Snake gun' does not necessitate scatter-shot.
    That was why I said "antique". You could create a back story to why he carried something out of the ordinary. It was his grandad's and used in the Civil War for instance.

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    For an interesting story line, pick one of these...Smith & Wesson Antique Revolvers For Sale
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    The good old S&W Model 49 - the humpbacked .38 BODYGUARD loaded with a couple of .38 shot shells for snakes.

    This was a classic S&W wheel gun that folks would just pop into a pocket without using a pocket holster and it was designed with that hump backed hammer shroud (covering the hammer) so that the hammer would not catch snag on the pocket when drawing the handgun from the pocket.

    Unfortunately the snake shot loads were not very powerful (since they were loaded with bird-shot) and it would be very unlikely that he could have killed himself with one of those anemic .38 shotshells. Blinded himself possibly.

    So he could have done what some folks still do when packing a handgun out in snake country.

    That would be to set his revolver chambers up so that the first two rounds to be fired would be the shot shells (in case surprised by a poisonous snake) and the remaining 3 rounds being regular .38 SPECIAL cartridges in case he met up with the 2 legged variety of snake (also known as a very bad person)

    Here (below) you can see a S&W Model Number 49 - Very Top Far Right - There is also an AirWeight Bodyguard but, I don't know of too many folks that carried the AirWeight version back then.

    BTW: These are 1964 S&W Catalog prices so you're safe on your desired 1965 available handgun.

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    A Hibbard .410 model W.H. single-shot pistol might fit the bill.
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    My father-in-law has for many years carried a .410 shotgun with a pistol grip in a scabbard which he calls his "snake charmer". He lives in the hills of eastern KY which is full of rattlesnakes. He always carries it when he works in his garden or the yard and when he takes walks in the woods. He has used it to kill a fair number of rattlesnakes.
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