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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Taurus 5 shot .357 with a 2 inch barrel. I want to know what load would be best to carry in the woods. I know a 4 inch barrel is better but I don't own one. So I want the most effective load for self protection of wild game while out and about. Right now I have it loaded with tho chambers of snake shot and three chambers of 158 gr hollow point.
 

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I would back off to one snake load. In a .357 snub it does not matter what slug you use. They are all going to be adequite and they are all going to have excessive recoil and muzzle blast.

I shoot mostly stiff .38 spl loads in mine. I just wanted a snub that could handle any loads that were laying around.
 

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Looks like rain to me.
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+1 on backing off to one snake shot. I carry one snake shot under the hammer. It's the last round out. It's pretty easy to back the cylinder and have the snake ready when I wander out in snake country.

As for the 357 round. I always understood a longer barrel developped more velocity and often shorter barrels can propel unburnt powder out the muzzle.

So it's no big deal what you carry in a snubby. For target, .38 wadcutters, EDC, .38 140 +P+ or 357 125 JHP
 

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Son Of Liberty
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Why would you kill a snake? Even venomous snakes have a place and guess what your invading it. Snakes eat mice and rats , and other rodents that can actually carry infectious disease and kill thousands of people. If they are in my camp area or to close to the house I just use a stick to hold the head down, pick them up and let them go further from the house.

Anyway though, I think if it was me it would be all Hard Cast lead. I think penetration would be my concern seeing as the barrel is so short and you may be facing angry, aggressive, large animals.
 
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I'd carry the last round as snake shot, you can index it backwards if you need the shot load.

Other than that I'd be carrying nothing but hard cast LSWC's when out and about. The need for penetration (and accuracy) rather than expansion is the key when in the boonies.

I wouldn't be carrying a 2" snubbie in dangerous critter territory but in an area where I may need to take a rabbit, squirrel or grouse for the pot or to eliminate a feral animal or two, it'd suffice nicely.

I've carried a 2" Detective Special for years for both snakes and grouse in the game fields, even when packing a rifle or heavier handgun, it's perfect for the finishing shot at close range when anything else would destroy the skull and cape.

As for the reason to carry shot loads, snakes aren't always friendly and cuddly and sometimes they need to be eliminated. Been there, done that.
 

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Why would you kill a snake?
I only kill venomous snakes. All others get a pass, even though the Tall Timbers research station has determined that snakes are among the worst nest robbers of quail eggs.

I kill venomous snakes that are too close to my house, too close to my dog kennel, and in the areas where I hunt. Have you ever seen a bird dog that has been bitten in the face by a rattler or a copperhead?

I carry my three-inch Chiefs Special with the first chamber up snake shot, the rest with my 146 grain hard-cast wadcutters over a tad less than 5 grains of Unique.

The CCI snake loads are very effective. I took this one about 10 feet from my back door. I killed his twin almost exactly a year before literally stretched across the bottom step leading to my porch.
 

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Really?
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IMO, I'd find the lightest, weakest loads I could find.......shooting a snake with a snubby requires accuracy and a followup shot........unless you're talking about pinning it down and then shooting it.......shooting a snake on the move is almost impossible.
 

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Experiment 626
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I carry a S&W 340pd, which is an 11oz scandium snubby.
Unless you live in grizzly bear country, just use whatever ammo you would use for normal self-defense carry. If it will stop a person, it will surely stop a coyote. I prefer Corbon DPX... although I carry .38spc instead of .357 in the little beast.

Because seriously, you are much more likely to need it against 2-legged predators than any wild animal. Too many people tend to forget about other human threats once they are out in the woods on the trail. You are far more likely to be attacked by another person than by an animal.
 

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I only kill venomous snakes. All others get a pass, even though the Tall Timbers research station has determined that snakes are among the worst nest robbers of quail eggs.

I kill venomous snakes that are too close to my house, too close to my dog kennel, and in the areas where I hunt. Have you ever seen a bird dog that has been bitten in the face by a rattler or a copperhead?

I carry my three-inch Chiefs Special with the first chamber up snake shot, the rest with my 146 grain hard-cast wadcutters over a tad less than 5 grains of Unique.

The CCI snake loads are very effective. I took this one about 10 feet from my back door. I killed his twin almost exactly a year before literally stretched across the bottom step leading to my porch.
Now THATS a rattler.........glad it worked out.
Been snake bite twice now, both copper heads and it wasnt that pleasent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I did back off on one of my snake shot loads and have it as the last round. I also changed out a couple couple of other things such as loaded the first shot with a 95 gr 38spl +p load then follow the other three rounds with 125gr speer gold dots in .357. The way I figure is the first shot has less power but will enable me to put on target fairly easily while the reduced recoil from the first will allow me to better a quicker alignment on my target again and if i need a second shot then they are getting the other 3 .357 loads.
 

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Geronimo!
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I only kill venomous snakes. All others get a pass, even though the Tall Timbers research station has determined that snakes are among the worst nest robbers of quail eggs.

I kill venomous snakes that are too close to my house, too close to my dog kennel, and in the areas where I hunt. Have you ever seen a bird dog that has been bitten in the face by a rattler or a copperhead?

I carry my three-inch Chiefs Special with the first chamber up snake shot, the rest with my 146 grain hard-cast wadcutters over a tad less than 5 grains of Unique.

The CCI snake loads are very effective. I took this one about 10 feet from my back door. I killed his twin almost exactly a year before literally stretched across the bottom step leading to my porch.
Nice timber rattler levelfarmer. I'm going to call and raise you with this big cane break I killed last summer with my Judge ... he gave me no choice either. I leave them alone until they come up close to the house, around the dogs, or around my wife and son ...





Anyways, as to the best snubby load - I'd have to say 38 +P hardcast SWC ... I think that has pretty much been proven to be the bad boy in most 2" snubbies.

Here is a pretty good little write up testing some of the other options out there ...

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38 Snub Ammo Test.htm

... and another good read:

http://www.handgunsmag.com/ammunition/pocket_dynomite/

Hopes that helps. :)
 
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