When it comes to pest control, particularly the venomous kind, few handgun loads beat CCI Shotshells.
How CCI Shotshells eliminate pests:
- Shot held in rigid plastic capsules.
- Flexible base wad prevents gas blow-by.
- Uses CCI primers.
- Available in 10 calibers, from .22 Short up to .45 Colt.
- Depending on caliber, loaded with No. 12, No. 9 and No. 4 shot.
Personal protection with a handgun is not just about fending off muggers, homicidal maniacs and vampires. There are other bad things is this world. I grew up in the Allegheny Mountains where copperheads and timber rattlers were the price we paid for the serenity the hills provided, and I developed an intense dislike for both. The only thing that can ruin a fishing trip or a picnic faster than a politician is a poisonous snake.
When Grandpa wanted us kids to enthusiastically tackle some chore, he often told us to get at it like we were “killing snakes.” I never really understood what that meant until I fought a 4-foot-long copperhead while armed with a shovel. You can kill serpents with hand tools, but if I ever do it again it’ll be because I’m out of ammunition.
The only thing to brag about after my first gun battle with a snake was that the timber rattler I eventually killed was almost as long as me. After a magazine full of hardball from a 1911, the snake coiled up under a laurel bush. I then fetched a .22 rifle and finished the job. Lesson learned: It’s hard to hit a moving target the size of a water hose when you’re afraid it’s going to give you a fanged surprise.
If you sometimes encounter venomous snakes in your wanderings and don’t exercise the live and let live philosophy, a shotgun would seem the obvious choice. But shotguns are hard to carry in your pocket. Continually out and about in the underbrush, I’ve found CCI Shotshells are an ideal solution. A snake can strike about one-half to two-thirds its body length. In North America, a 6-foot-long venomous snake is on the large side, so a safe engagement distance should be on the other side of 4 feet. Sure, you can get closer, but like my 10-year-old says 350 times a day, “Why?”
Best Starter Kit for Concealed Carry:
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CCI now offers two versions of their handgun shotshells. The standard version is loaded with No. 12 shot (9mm Luger) or No. 9 shot (.38 Special/.357 Magnum, .40 S&W, .44 Special/Magnum, .45 Auto and .45 Colt.) The newer Big 4 loads are loaded with No. 4 shot. For snakes, the smaller shot is the way to go; the patterns are denser and the shell delivers a more pulverizing effect.
You should test these loads in your own handgun for pattern size at distance. Just be advised that few semi-automatic handguns will reliably cycle shotshells, so you might have to manually rack the slide after the shot.
For more information on CCI Shotshells, please visit: www.cci-ammunition.com.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
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