As I was at the keyboard late this afternoon, listening to Edith Piaf via iTunes, our #3 Son strolled in and calmly announced that there was a rattlesnake in the yard, just 20 feet from the front porch. So I snatched the closest weapon at hand: The Memsahib’s stainless steel .45 Colt Commander. Coincidentally, I been doing some work on that pistol earlier in the day, upgrading it with a bunch of Wilson Combat parts that arrived yesterday from Heartland Sportsman’s Supply. These were: an adjustable target trigger, a checkered stainless steel mainspring housing (I hate the plastic factory original parts that Colt has used ever since they “went cheap” back in the early 1990s), and an extended slide release, which I consider a “standard” modification for all of our 1911s. But I digress… Back to the rattlesnake: It was nearly 3 feet long, obviously well-fed, it had 13 rattle sections, and it did not give a warning rattle when I approached it. (Surprising, since it was a hot afternoon and the snake was coiled. I took a moment to put on my ear muffs. I wanted to see how the Commander functioned in rapid fire after the recent ‘smithing, and most importantly whether or not the slide would lock open properly upon fully expending a magazine, so is positively blazed away, rapid fire. The result, from just six feet, was a pitiful three hits out of nine shots, but Mr. Snake was very dead. For our overseas readers: A rattlesnake is a venomous pit viper with a potentially deadly bite.
OBTW, I generally apply a “half mile” rule for dispatching rattlers. If they are more than a half mile from the house (and not in one of our pastures), then we leave them be. They are great rodent controllers. But with children and small livestock here at the ranch, I can’t be so kindly near the house. And to have one not rattle at me… well that is enough to make me re-evaluate the half mile rule!
On another note: My family recently traveled to visit the home of Jake Stafford, to autograph and help package the first big batch of copies of the “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course. (A 210 page course ina binder with a supplemental 67 minute audio CD.) Shipments are starting today. All of the copies that are going to U.S. addresses are being mailed via Priority Mail, so you should have them within a week. If you order now, your copy of the course will be mailed almost immediately. For those of you that placed an order during the pre-publication special offer, thanks for your patience!