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Hi all,

My main carry gun is an LCR 38 sp. and I carry it everywhere.

Has anybody used snake shot or bird shot out of yours? I'm thinking of taking it on trails instead of my 22.

My question is directed mostly to the shot pattern. Is it usable at any distance or does the shot spread out immediately with little impact.

Thanks

knobbylon
 

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Spreads immediately, but the lower velocities of a short snub barrel tend to be the most effective in range because the shot pattern doesn't spread as quickly as with longer barrels & higher velocities.

15 feet or so should be good.
Denis
 

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I've used the Speer .38 shot capsules for a long time. Given what they are, they're surprisingly good at "across the room" distances, as "DPris" said. Of course, anything more than a bird or a small rodent (I've killed ground squirrels with them) is way beyond the performance of these things.
 

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knobbylon, Several years ago ... out of necessity, I ran some tests using the Speer 38 cal shot capsules. If the velocity exceeded 1000 fps, the shot pattern got much wider. You would think a longer barrel would act more like a shotgun choke and restrict the pattern size ... but due to the rifling, it does just the opposite. Not only does the pattern get larger, the center has virtually no shot .... so it looks like a donut. This makes killing a pest way more difficult because the point where you aim is void of pellets.

What I found was ... a 4" barrel was the optimum ... long enough to develop decent velocity but short enough where the rifling didn't cause a large donut pattern. The pattern ratio with a 4" barrel is about 33% ... meaning for every foot of shooting distance, the pattern will be about 1/3 foot in diameter. So at 15 feet, which is the max distance for a kill shot on a pest, the pattern will be about 5 feet in diameter. This may sound good because it's harder to miss with a larger pattern .... however the distance between pellets is enough where a small critter can survive without a single hit.

I tried a 2" barrel and found the pattern size was about the same diameter as a 4" barrel. Although there was no indication of a donut, pellet velocity was lower. When the powder charge was increased just a small amount, pellet velocity went up but the pattern spread. I found 4.5gr of Bullseye would work about the best with 38 shot capsules. I also found #7 1/2 shot was the best compromise ... enough pellets for a decent pattern but large enough for decent penetration on small critters. Pattern density gets way better with smaller shot but it just doesn't have enough momentum to inflict great bodily harm on pests.

When I lived in Higley, AZ, I had a horse acreage and also had my share of Western Diamondbacks ... some very healthy specimens, BTW. When I had to clean the tumble weeds out of my irrigation ditches, it was very common to hear that familiar buzz. My 4" S&W Mod 10 was always on my hip, loaded with Speer shot capsules containing #7 1/2 shot. I found this combination to be the most effective for rattle snakes. I don't recall shooting at distances beyond 10 feet but within 10 feet, it was pretty much "one shot - one kill". There were a few times where Mr Diamondback tried to slither away ... mortally wounded but alive enough to bite ... so a second shot did the deed. I also used the same shot capsules in my barn. It was an every day occurrence to see mice and sometimes a big ol' rat. Traps worked pretty good for the mice but not for rats. There were several occasions where I drilled a rat dead center and had them run off squeaking at the top of their lungs ... tough little buggers. Maybe a day or so later I would move a hay bale and find Mr Rat had succumbed to the injuries.

Another issue you need to be aware of .... with shot capsules weighing way less than a normal bullet combined with light powder charges, a revolver's muzzle will not rise hardly at all. As such, if you aim directly at a target 5 feet away, your pattern will center about 6" low. While on the subject .... learn from my mistakes and don't shoot at a hardboard target to check your pattern ..... seems those #7 1/2 pellets bounce straight back and sting like hell when they hit your face.
 
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