Need gun advicegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
This past week I decided that I need a gun. The sole purpose of this gun will be to end the suffering of dying animals here on the farm. Just lately, a goat here took hours to die while I waited for the farm vet to get here to euthanize him. It was a long day for both of us, and if I'd had a gun, I would have handled it differently. Then, this afternoon, it cost me $50 to put down two turkeys who had some awful sinus condition. And I've been faced with other situation where an animal's death could have been easier if I'd known what to do. So what I need is advice on what kind of gun I should get for these purposes, and what sort of gun-safety stuff I should look into. Cost is a factor, too. I swear, I'll put ALL that vet's kids through college before I'm done!
-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2000
It's a shame that you don't have a sympathetic vet who could let you have some kind of shot to give the animals in these type situations...but they're probably afraid it could do harm to people if it fell in the wrong hands....
I use guns but I don't really know what kind to recommend to you but I'm sure some other folks here will have some good recommendations. It needs to be something where you can give them a good shot to the head where death will be instant. So the gun needs to be pretty powerful. But if you've never used a firearm before or aren't familiar with them, PLEASE get somebody who knows about guns to train you on the one you buy!!!!
-- Suzy in 'Bama (email@example.com), July 27, 2000.
If you don't know enough about guns to know what you need for that, you don't need a gun.
-- Joe Cole (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2000.
Unless you are dealing with a large animal, a .22 rifle should work for you. Next step above that would be a .410 shotgun. Next step above that would be a SKS (Chinese made) with basically the same bullet as used in the military's M-16. Hogs are traditionally put down with a .22. Make an imaginary X between the eyes and ears, hold the end of the barrel close to the skull and fire. A head shot for a turkey should take care of it. Likely your local Wal-Mart or K-Mart would have the .22 and .410 (which is a small shotgun even a small person should be able to handle). A gun store would likely have the SKS. I bought mine with a gun case, 100 rounds and a cleaning kit for about $100. I use it for downer cows.
Previous post was right about knowing what you are doing with guns. You cannot get in a whole lot of trouble with either a .22 or .410, but both are capable of killing humans. While I mentioned the SKS, if you need something of that caliber, surely you can call a neighbor or someone.
-- Ken S. (email@example.com), July 27, 2000.
Cheap .22 singleshot will put a cow out with one well placed shot. I do it, nothing to it and the animal is out of its suffering. Here, the truck that picks up dead stock carries a .22 rifle to use when need arises. Nothing to gun handling to know except never point it at anything you don't want to shoot, and don't load up until your ready for business. Should be able to find a used one for 50 bucks or so. Tip--don't shoot from afar. I touch the tip of the barrel to the forehead so the shot is right in the spot I'm wanting. Don
-- Don (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2000.
Contact your local NRA --they have gun safety courses for all ages & Lots of women around here are members. Please learn to use the gun responsible....Make sure you purchase a trigger lock (an ounce of prevention....etc). Learn to clean the gun, break it down and put it back together again. Make sure you feel comfortable when using it or DON"T use it!
-- Debbie T in N.C. (email@example.com), July 27, 2000.
May I recommend a single shot 410 shotgun. For your needs this gun would be sufficent. They are available here at gun shows and pawn shops for about 60 bucks --used. Safety courses are free in my state--hopefully in yours also. Forget trigger locks unless you have children probing your closets. Mostly a trigger lock is a vote getter for a dirty politician. Use slugs for furry animals and shot for feathered animals. Who said SKS ??--lol--unless your attacked by all the occupants of Animal Farm at once than I can't see you needing a 30 round clip. Hope this helps P.S. My SKS's are reserved for two legged, upright walking varmits.
-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), July 27, 2000.
Well I had my own opinion on this subject before I started reading the posts, and I have to say that I agree with several of them. Personally I would get an over/under .22 cal/410 shotgun. That way you could select the appropriate weapon for the task at hand (I can't imagine using a 410 on a goat or a 22 on a turkey). It'd be good for snakes and small varmits too.
-- Chris Stogdill (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2000.
I was thinking exactly what Chris said, but a .410 is much less expensive. As with any tool, the most important thing is to learn how to use it safely. Most gun stores have their fair share of folks very happy to help someone learn properly for free. Just to keep you safe and sound.
-- Doreen (email@example.com), July 27, 2000.
This is my SKS story - and it happened. I have a flatbed truck with hydraulic arms on the sides to load and unload round bales of hay. Lots of other uses. For a while I advertised I would haul downed cattle to the processing plant to be turned into freezer beef. Got a call from a woman whose had a cow from her pet herd who couldn't get up after birthing. She said she didn't want it to suffer. I promised her it would be dead before it knew it. Took the SKS but no spare ammo. Made the X, put the barrel against the head, shot and all the cow did was to shake her head and look at me. Found one more round in the ashtray. Same results the second time. By now I know the woman heard both shots. All I had left was a not too sharp knife I used to make a cut in the leg tendons for attachment them to the arms. We wrestled for a bit while I managed to cut her throat. I didn't stop at the house on the way out.
As far as I know an SKS doesn't take a banana clip. Mine loads from the top and only holds, I think, seven rounds. I use it mostly to pop at coyotes. Haven't hit any, but it at least lets them know, "Hey, this guy has a gun."
-- Ken S. (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2000.
On more than one occasion, we killed an animal accidently by injecting air into a vein when trying to medicate. It was a quick death. If it's an animal you can find the vein for, it is an option. Air in the muscle if you miss won't hurt it either.
-- Sue (email@example.com), July 27, 2000.
Sorry to go off the topic , but feel I must after the last post .When giving a sub q or im injection fill your needle put the tip up ,tap it , and then push on the plunger to force a little of the medication out .Insert needle and PULL BACK ON THE PLUNGER you SHOULD NOT get blood , if you do you hit a vein and pull out .If you are trying to hit a vein MAKE sure you have no air in your needle .
-- Patty Gamble (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 2000.
As a gal I prefer my 22 rifle to my husbands shotgun of any kind. Also though I do have a 38 derringer I find it way to hard to shoot, especially with any accuracy, though I do carry it on the road. I much prefer my husbands small 22 hand gun though it is to big to carry in my jeans pocket. Small/young animals are just beheaded with a machete. You will have to practice alot to be able to shoot any small animal unless it is already laying down at deaths door. Shooting an animal to put it out of its misery takes a great deal of accuracy or else you are just contributing to its pain.
What a piece of sunshine and help you are Joe! Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh (email@example.com), July 27, 2000.
Vicki, was that sarcasm about Joe? LOL
-- Anne (HT@HM.com), July 27, 2000.
Always handy to have a .45 Colt on hand.
-- sheepish (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 2000.
Guess my 4 inch barrel .357 handgun is overkill, huh!!!
-- ~Rogo (email@example.com), July 28, 2000.
Trigger locks. What 'cha gonna do, say 'just a minute Mr. Bad Guy, I gotta find the key to my gun'!!!
-- ~Rogo (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 2000.
Rogo that's great!! I'm not fond of trigger locks either but we have them.. mostly because we have kids. The kids are trained not to touch guns of any type..but you can't be too sure huh! We've had many the "two-legged varmint" pest-type around here and believe me, I feel safer knowing that I have the gun!!!
-- Misha (MishaaE@aol.com), July 28, 2000.
Please attend a firearms safety course. Ask your local police or gun- shop or NRA or all of them for recommendations about a course to attend for your specific needs - some of them would espouse opinions which would be counterproductive in terms of your learning, and you've got to learn safety.
That said, I would have recommended a single-shot .22. Still works, but my opinions were getting in the way a bit. The .410 shotgun is more certainly lethal at point-blank range, but not lethal beyond a fairly short distance - both good by your criteria. Also, which may be of interest to you, beyond that short lethal range, it can still send an undesirable animal on it's way in a hurry, and make it disinclined to return, without invoking deadly force.
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), July 28, 2000.
Rural kids grow up with guns. They learn early the proper handling. A friend took his youngsters to the morgue to show them what a gun can do. They don't get up after being shot like in the cartoons!!
-- ~Rogo (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 2000.
What is an over/under shotgun, please?
-- Jean (email@example.com), July 28, 2000.
Ha! An over and under. I haven't thought about one of those for years. It was my first gun. 2 barrels in vertical alignment; usually, the top barrel is a .22 and the bottom barrel a 410 shotgun. There may be some variations, but that is the typical over and under. I have seen double barrel shotguns in the over and under alignment too, but the .22/.410 combination is the most common and probably what you are referring to.
-- JimR (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 2000.
First, everyone is right about getting training and practice. I use a 22 rifle with a scope. The deal was that I would take care of the animals and he would do the butchering. Sometimes that works. Other times I get mad at a renegade rooster and get out the 22. He finds said rooster on the porch with a hole in his head ready to be dresssed out. My point is that the 22 works great if you can get really close as with a sick or injured animal. But it also works if you have to fire from a ways away. Off topic: we have a huge dog who is terrified of thunder. The only way to get him outside is to get out the gun. He'll go every time.
-- Peg (NW WI) (email@example.com), July 28, 2000.
I have a .22/20 gauge over and under. It is pretty old but is really handy to have around. You can shoot a variety of ammo through this thing. From .22 shorts to .22 hollow points. From 20 gauge birdshot to buckshot to slugs.
I also have an SKS, and I do have a 30 shot clip for it. The good thing about an SKS is that they are cheap, fairly reliable, and you can get really cheap ammo. The SKS shoots 7.62 X 39 and an M-16 shoots 5.56mm.
-- Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 2000.
I have friends who butcher their goats for their own use and for customers. They use a .22 handgun of some sort--I've not seen it. Rather than try to shoot a goat through its tough forehead, they take a different approach. When the time comes, they put a small pan of feed in front of the animal and shoot through the back of the skull downward right behind the ear while it is eating. They say the animal never knows an instant's pain and drops like a stone. They then bleed it and proceed with the butchering.
When we butcher chickens, I find the easiest way to kill them with a minimum of thrashing and spattering blood is to slip the head under a length of 1" x 2", put a foot on either side and pull up quickly and sharply on the chicken's feet. It should work on any injured bird if you can catch it.
Without doubt, the toughest part of animal ownership is the end, whether it's butchering, death from illness, injury or old age or a sale and I honor the strength each of you has displayed in caring for your animals .
-- marilyn (email@example.com), July 28, 2000.
Good Lord! There is so much information and mis-information that it exceeds Mr. Carter's monopoly on Little Liver Pills. First, some definitions. An over-and-under is a long arm (read - not pistol or revolver) that has 2 barrels with one on top of the other. The most common hybrid, ie., one rifle barrel (topmost) and one shotgun barrel is the Savage Model 24. Even used, these babies are in the $300 range, and not at all suitable to your needs, in my never to be humble opinion. A rifle shoots one solid projectile. A shotgun propels a multitude of small (relatively) round projectiles. The shotgun has a range of 50 yards in experienced hands. The rifle, depending upon expertise and caliber, is effective to 50 to 1000 yards. For your intended use, I suggest 2 things. If you may need to expunge the occasional snake, skunk (I advise against either, since I consider both friends), fox, raccoon, or irate neighbor, I believe the .410 shotgun to be a good choice. A single shot, top break shotgun of this type can be bought brand new for less than $100. However, if you can get a little training, and you can through the locally affilliated NRA Gun Club, the least expensive and best all around 1st farm gun is a .22 caliber rifle. You can, with practice, hit the marauding fox at up to 100 yards. The rabid coon is dead at closer ranges. The farm animal that you don't want to suffer is virtually instantly dead with a head shot at close range. If you are in Maine, I as a Federally Licensed Dealer, have a fine used ,22 rifle for $60. If you are not, e-mail direct and I can find a dealer for you who should be able to put an adequate .22 rifle in your hands for $75 of less. Do not be dissuaded by anyone who mocks your lack of expertise. As I remember, there was a time when I was unaware of the finer points of walking, humor, guns, women, integrity, honesty, committment, honor, politics, and Despicable Bill - all in roughly chronoligical order. But I've learned. Sadly, some have not, especially as regards the latter! GL! and let me know if I can help further.
-- Brad (Homefixer@SacoRiver.net), July 28, 2000.
As a woman with small bones & not strong wrists/ I use my favorite 22 hand gun. My hubby has almost any gun to choose from --but when something is in the chicken house at night --etc. I'm the first one there with my 22/ so he usually uses my 22 more than he uses his other guns. When I was growing up I had 2 brothers & my Dad who taught me how to care for a gun & how to use one---I remember my sister was also taught ---but I remember my Dad always saying to her as she missed her target--"think about where that bullet will go if you miss what you are aiming at"--when I taught my daughter that was what a always said to her also--so think about that each time you aim a gun!!!! Sonda in Ks.
-- Sonda (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 28, 2000.
If this is going ot be your first gun, then I would go alone with several others here and say a .22 rifle. They are cheap, ammo is cheap, and the skills you develop with it will transfer to larger caliber guns if you decide to buy them later. A .22 is more than enough to put down any North American animal that needs to be put out of it's misery.
-- Jeff Mandrell (email@example.com), August 03, 2000.
Forget the 410ga-ammo costs 2x-3x as much as a 20ga for equivalent loads;harder to hit things with a 410 too.As noted above,we all start as pilgrims.Get some firearms safety training or materials from the NRA[1/703/267-1000].Local gun shops,police departments or conservation departments will be able to put you in contact with instructors in your area.
-- karl (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 2001.