Friday, March 30, 2007

Say Hello Goodbye To My Little Friend

Gunblast Reviews - Taurus has introduced a handgun that may just be the ideal trail gun for those of us who live, work, and play among timber rattlers, cottonmouths, copperheads, and diamondbacks. It should also prove just as useful for our Western friends who must contend with the sidewinder and the Western version of the diamondback. I don’t know which I hate more, as all are ornery when cornered, but the cottonmouth is the only snake that I have ever had personally come after me. Most snakes will slither off if they can, except for maybe the copperhead, who just lies there quietly grinning and waiting for your approach. At least the rattlers will sound off and give you a chance to soil yourself just before he sinks those fangs into your flesh. However, in my experience, the cottonmouth is downright mean.

There are those in our society who look with disdain and loathing upon those of us who kill poisonous snakes - mostly they live in nice apartments or suburban subdivisions. If they are really well-heeled they call them "estates". However, those of us who live in the Southern woods (forests, for you snake-loving high society types), for about eight months out of the year, we must keep a careful eye out for poisonous snakes as we walk amongst the chiggers, ticks, and poison oak.


I do not kill non-poisonous snakes such as black snakes and chicken snakes, for they provide a service and do no harm, unless you happen to step on one at night, at which point they might cause you to hurt yourself trying to hop around on one toe without touching the ground, which should probably be an Olympic sport in itself. However, if I find a poisonous snake around my house, I will do all that I can to kill it. I have two young grandchildren that play around here, and a snakebite could easily kill one of them, or even kill their dear old Grandpa, and I just will not risk it. Now, if some short-haired, Volvo-driving, apartment-dwelling, cappuccino-drinking, Nancy Pelosi fan club chick wants to send hateful email, let the games begin. However, I really don’t think that those women read Gunblast, so hopefully, I am safe.

I always carry a handgun, unless I am flying what was once termed the "friendly skies". When out deeper in the woods or down by the creek, I carry one loaded with shot loads if I am wandering around there during the itching season. This new Taurus is chambered for the .410 shotshell, and packs a pretty good payload of shot to reliably dispatch crawling vermin. For the vermin that walk upright on their hind legs, it also chambers and fires the .45 Colt cartridge, making this a very versatile handgun. Taurus calls this five-shot revolver "The Judge", which seems appropriate, even if the name will most likely offend the type of person referenced in the preceding paragraph. It weighs in at just under 36 ounces, and packs rather comfortably holstered on the hip or across the chest in one of Rob Leahy’s Grizzly Tuff holsters, with the latter preferred if any riding or wading is anticipated.


Patterning the .410 shotshells proved that this revolver is, as I expected, a close range proposition, which is just fine. Any farther than twelve feet away, the pattern opens rather quickly. The number 7-½ shot at that range is pretty sparse. I would have liked to have some number 9 shotshells for testing, but none was to be found. Anyway, the 7-½ penetrates better, and at normal "A SNAKE!!!" range, it does just fine. The spread is wide enough to assure a good hit, and the pattern tight enough to assure a quick kill.

I also tried some number 4 shot at closer range, and it is with larger shot such as this that The Judge becomes better suited for solving social disputes of the most unfriendly kind. I see this as an ideal weapon to keep on the car seat to quickly resolve an attempted car-jacking. When a punk jerks the car door open, a face full of number four shot should rapidly dissuade the social misfit from wanting anything to do with your car, and should also render him unable to pass the eye exam for a driver’s license for the rest of his miserable life. If this seems cruel, so be it. If someone sneaks into a parking lot and hot-wires a car, that is one thing, but if he tries to forcibly take an occupied vehicle at a traffic light, he can learn to read Braille in prison as far as I’m concerned.

I tested the penetration of the number four shot loads on some aluminum bottles (no, I did not empty them. I found them that way) and some tough cured country ham hocks. The shot completely penetrated both the lightweight bottles and the tough meat, and would surely do the same on a close range snake or small game for the pot. Anything farther than about twelve feet, and the cylinder needs to be stoked with the .45 Colt loads.


Hat Tip Nuke Gingrich