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5 Best Snake Guns In 2023: Firearms to Strike First preview image
Aug 06 2023
9 min read

5 Best Snake Guns In 2023: Firearms to Strike First


If you’ve ever found yourself in the great outdoors, surrounded by the untamed wilderness, you know that running into a slithering snake can quickly turn your adventure into a scene from Indiana Jones.

Whether you’re trekking through the wild jungles or just looking for some extra protection in your backyard, we’ve got you covered with our roundup of the best snake guns. We’ve searched far and wide to compile this list and ensure you’re equipped with the most effective serpent slayers.

So, let’s get ready to meet some excellent firearms and make those snakes history!

Best Snake Guns & Recommendations

Best Overall – Bond Snake Slayer IV Handgun

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Caliber.357 Mag/.38 Spl, .45 LC/.410
Capacity2 rounds
Weight6.25 inches
Overall Length23.5 ounces
Barrel Length4.25 inches

Pros & Cons

  • Dual-caliber capability for versatility
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Sturdy build and excellent craftsmanship
  • Ideal for close encounters
  • Minimal recoil for precise shooting
  • Limited capacity may require frequent reloading
  • Premium price tag
  • Snappy recoil when firing .410 shotshells

The Bond Snake Slayer IV shines as a top contender when facing slithery threats. Its dual-caliber design gives you the advantage of both shotshells and potent .45 Colt rounds, making it a versatile choice for tackling various snake encounters.

It’s compact and lightweight to help ensure it won’t weigh you down during your exploration. We found the build quality to be outstanding, with smooth handling and easy operation.

The 2-round capacity is sufficient for most encounters, but it means you’ll need to reload more frequently than higher-capacity options. However, the trade-off is worth it for its portability and ease of use.

Despite its premium price, the Bond Snake Slayer IV offers top-notch performance and exceptional craftsmanship, making it a worthy investment for any snake-slaying enthusiast.

Best Value – Smith & Wesson Model 442

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Caliber.38 Special
Capacity5 rounds
Weight14.6 ounces
Overall Length6.31 inches
Barrel Length1.88 inches

Pros & Cons

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Budget-friendly without compromising quality
  • Suitable for concealed carry
  • Classic and stylish design
  • Smooth trigger pull for accurate shots
  • Capacity is on the lower end for guns on this list
  • Lack of external safety may put off some shooters
  • Snappy recoil, especially with +P ammo
  • The shorter barrel inhibits accuracy
  • Reloading takes extra time with revolvers

The Smith & Wesson Model 442 is a dependable and cost-effective choice for those looking to keep snakes at bay without breaking the bank. .38 Special offers sufficient stopping power for most snake encounters while maintaining manageable recoil for accurate shooting, and the gun is rated for +P ammo for those who want even more power.

The lightweight design and 5-round capacity make it an ideal concealed carry option for those venturing into snake-prone areas. We appreciate the classic design and smooth trigger pull of the Model 442, which adds to its overall appeal and ease of use.

However, the limited 5-round capacity means you’ll need to reload more frequently. Nevertheless, considering its budget-friendly price, the Smith & Wesson Model 442 is an excellent value-driven choice for snake protection.

Honorable Mention – Taurus Judge Magnum Revolver

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Caliber.45 Colt/.410 Bore 2.5 Inches
Capacity5 rounds
Weight29 ounces
Overall Length9.5 inches
Barrel Length3 inches

Pros & Cons

  • Multiple caliber options for versatility
  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Suitable for close encounters
  • Ideal for pest control and self-defense
  • Impressive stopping power
  • Heavier weight may not be ideal for everyday carry
  • Recoil can be stout with certain loads
  • Capacity is on the lower end for guns on this list
  • Reloading takes extra time with revolvers

The Taurus Judge Magnum Revolver deserves an honorable mention for its unique caliber options and versatility. This revolver offers a distinctive advantage with its ability to fire both .410 shotshells and .45 Colt rounds, providing multiple ways to handle snakes and other potential threats.

Its robust build and durability impressed us, and it’s easy to see why many trust this revolver for personal defense and pest control. However, its heavier weight might not make it the most suitable option for everyday carry, especially on extended excursions. Some users may also find the recoil slightly more substantial than they’d prefer.

Best Snake Gun Long Gun – Henry Repeating Arms Garden Gun

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Caliber.22 LR Shotshell
Capacity15 rounds
Weight5.25 pounds
Overall Length36.5 inches
Barrel Length18.5 inches

Pros & Cons

  • Large magazine capacity for extended shooting
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Accurate and reliable for precise shots
  • Suitable for pest control and small-game hunting
  • Affordable ammunition options
  • Limited stopping power for larger snakes
  • Less compact than handguns for on-the-go use
  • Limited caliber selection
  • Less versatile than some other options

The Henry Repeating Arms Garden Gun is a versatile and enjoyable firearm, especially for gardeners looking to keep critters at bay. Its .22 caliber offers accurate and precise shots, making it a great tool for plinking and small game hunting as well. The 16-round total capacity provides ample shooting without the need for constant reloading.

However, it’s essential to recognize that the .22 caliber might not deliver the stopping power needed for larger snakes or more dangerous encounters. It’s still effective against smaller snakes, but extra caution should be exercised in high-risk areas. Additionally, while it’s a lightweight and portable long gun, it’s not as compact as handguns, which may impact its ease of use during on-the-go situations.

Best Full-Size Snake Gun – Smith & Wesson Governor

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Caliber.45 Colt/.45 ACP/.410 Bore 2.5 Inches
Capacity6 rounds
Weight29.9 ounces
Overall Length8.5 inches
Barrel Length2.75 inches

Pros & Cons

  • Multiple caliber options for versatility
  • Solid build and accuracy for reliable performance
  • Large capacity for extended shooting
  • Suitable for self-defense and outdoor use
  • Classic and attractive design
  • Bulky for concealed carry and everyday use
  • Recoil with .410 shotshells can be intimidating for some users
  • Reloading takes extra time with revolvers
  • Cylinder release on the top strap is not intuitive

For those who prefer full-size snake guns with multiple caliber options, the Smith & Wesson Governor is the one to beat. This impressive revolver can handle .410 shotshells, .45 Colt, and .45 ACP rounds, providing you with various choices for various scenarios.

Its solid build and accuracy ensure consistent and reliable performance, making it an excellent choice for self-defense and outdoor exploration alike. With its 6-round capacity, you’ll have ample ammunition to face multiple threats without frequent reloading.

However, its full-size design might make it less ideal for concealed carry and everyday use, especially for extended periods. Some users may find the recoil generated by .410 shotshells overwhelming, requiring practice and proper grip technique.

Nevertheless, the Smith & Wesson Governor remains a top pick for those seeking a powerful, versatile full-size snake gun.

How We Chose Our Top Picks

Selecting the best snake guns for our roundup review was a meticulous process that involved in-depth research and analysis. We considered several crucial factors to ensure we presented our readers with the best options.

First and foremost, we evaluated the firearms’ effectiveness against snakes and their suitability for self-defense and outdoor use. Then we considered factors such as build quality, reliability, and overall performance to assess each snake gun’s strengths and limitations.

We also examined the caliber and ammunition compatibility to ensure the selected guns offered appropriate stopping power for snake encounters.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Snake Gun


The caliber of the snake gun plays a crucial role in its effectiveness against serpents and other small pests. Common snake gun calibers include .22, .38 Special, and .410 shotshells. Each caliber offers different advantages and considerations:

.22 Caliber: Ideal for small snakes and pests, .22 caliber guns provide low recoil and are easy to handle for shooters of all skill levels. They are excellent for plinking and precise shooting.

.38 Special: Offering a bit more stopping power than .22 caliber, the .38 Special strikes a balance between ease of use and effectiveness. It is suitable for small to medium-sized snakes.

.410 Shotshells: Specifically designed for snakes and pests, .410 shotshells offer a scattering of pellets, increasing the likelihood of hitting the target. They provide a close-range advantage, but precise aiming may be more challenging.

Capacity and Reloading

Consider the firearm’s capacity—the number of rounds it can hold before requiring reloading. For outdoor enthusiasts or those venturing into remote areas, a higher-capacity snake gun ensures you are well-prepared for any scenario. Wherever you are, higher capacity allows for more follow-up shots if needed.

You also need to think about how easy your snake gun is to reload. Some revolvers have a simple top-break design, allowing quick and straightforward reloading, while semi-automatics generally require magazine changes.

Size and Weight

Snake guns come in various sizes and weights, so choosing one that matches your intended use and comfort level is crucial. For concealed carry or everyday use, compact and lightweight handguns are ideal. They are easy to conceal and won’t weigh you down during extended carry.

However, if you prioritize power and precision over carry convenience, longer-barreled and heavier snake guns may be more suitable. These long guns enhance accuracy and stopping power, making them valuable tools for outdoor pest control or self-defense scenarios.

Remember to consider the grip size and ergonomics of the snake gun, too, as a comfortable and secure grip is essential for accurate shooting and reducing recoil effects.

Recoil Management

Recoil varies between calibers and gun designs. Choosing a snake gun with manageable recoil is especially important for first-time shooters and those sensitive to recoil. Revolvers generally have less recoil than semi-automatic handguns, making them more user-friendly for beginners.

Remember that lighter calibers like .22 produce minimal recoil but may have limitations when facing larger threats. Finding the right balance between recoil management and stopping power is essential when selecting your snake gun.

Quality and Reliability

Prioritize build quality and reliability in your decision. Invest in a well-built firearm from a reputable manufacturer to ensure optimal performance when needed.

Look for snake guns made from durable materials and with precision craftsmanship to withstand harsh environments and repeated use.


What size shot is best for snakes?

#12 shot was made specifically for snakes. However, you will need to be within about 10 feet of the snake, so for further ranges, you’ll want something larger, like #9 shot.

What caliber is best for shooting snakes?

Calibers from .22 LR up to even .45 ACP can all be used for shooting snakes, but for best results, you’ll want to look for snake shot in this size range, such as .410 shotshells.

Can a .177 pellet gun kill a snake?

A .177 pellet gun can kill any snake native to North America and almost any snake in the world. However, effective use requires great precision, so we don’t recommend it for snake control.


Congrats! You’re now armed with the knowledge to pick the perfect snake gun for your thrilling escapades! Whether you prefer a compact handgun, a versatile revolver, or a powerful long gun, each option on our list is reliable and effective for slaying serpents in style.

So go forth, conquer those snake-infested lands, and leave us a comment below about your favorite snake gun!

Happy serpent-slaying!

Written by Megan Kriss
Megan Kriss photo Megan has been an avid recreational shooter since she was a young child and she's thrilled to have the opportunity to combine this love with her passion for writing. Megan Kriss is a seasoned writer and firearms enthusiast with contributions to a variety of publications, including Pew Pew Tactical, American Firearms, A Well-Armed Woman, Recoil, and Faxon Firearms. In addition to firearms, Megan also enjoys writing about pets, outdoor recreation, and other lifestyle topics. When she's not busy writing, Megan enjoys tabletop games, reading, and being outdoors. She shares her Georgia home with her partner, dog, and two cats.


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