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Thread: Bang Stick or Snake Charmer

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Default Bang Stick or Snake Charmer

    If this is better suited in the Saltwater Forum then please move it or I'll copy and paste it there myself.

    So, I'm looking to get one or the other. The cost is about the same, but which one is better suited for the boat. I'm thinking the bang stick is maybe safer, but the snake charmer, ie. Rossi 410, might be more of a dual purpose shotgun. But is there really a use for a little .410 while out on the water? If ya choose the bang stick, which caliber is best and where is the best place to get one? Gear Shed?


    Rob
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    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    I've never seen a bang stick available locally? Anyone? I keep a .357 on the boat to dispatch large halibut. If you don't have a gun already and are looking to purchase something just for boat use than I'd go ahead and get a .410. they are very affordable and like you said duel purpose. they can be used for grouse or rabbits when not fishing.
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    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

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    Member kaisersosei's Avatar
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    I believe BJ Commercial has bang sticks or you can just order one cheap online. I got a 44 caliber one and have used it a few times. I actually attached it to the back side of my harpoon stick. My vote is for a snake charmer or maybe a Taurus Judge as long as YOU are going to use it only. The problem with the bang-stick is that when you actually want to use it, it requires a somewhat flat surface to stick it to fire and the big halibut can move around quite a bit. I have aborted the use of the bang stick and just used a pistol at least once because it was easier. Just be careful for ricochets and use good common sense. The benefit of the 410 is that it is inherently safer in case of accidental discharge on the boat. (For potential boat-damage I mean.) If you are in Anchorage, you can try mine out and see if you like it.

  4. #4

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    I prefer a medium/heavy handgun. Besides, when you go exploring on-shore you are covered and can also use it as a signaling device. On a side note...refrain from hollow point ammo as they can shed their jackets when they hit the water and may do some boat damage on a too close shot.


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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Great info on the hollow point ammo. I never thought of that. I've been using my Glock 30 since I carry it everywhere anyway, but I'm tired of getting spashed and deaf at the same time. I checked around town for bang sticks today. I think they might be made of gold now. LOL Guess I'll head to Walmart tomorrow and pick up a .410.
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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbentler View Post
    Great info on the hollow point ammo. I never thought of that. I've been using my Glock 30 since I carry it everywhere anyway, but I'm tired of getting spashed and deaf at the same time. I checked around town for bang sticks today. I think they might be made of gold now. LOL Guess I'll head to Walmart tomorrow and pick up a .410.
    Might want to chck Fred's too. I got mine several years ago on sale for I think about $140 or so. not a big difference but 30 or 40 bucks cheaper on sale. They should be going on sale soon enough.
    Tony

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I carry a .410 snake charmed myself. Bought a stainless one at the impact area on K beach in Soldotna. They also carry bangsticks as does the Gearshed in Homer.
    If I went with a bang stick I would go with the same caliber as one of my pistols. That way I could use up the extra ammo at the range every fall and have fresh ammo on the boat each season.
    That being said I have never needed my snake charmer.
    I have killed halibut up to 80# with one well placed wack from my fish bonker and watched my dad do the same on a 100# fish my mom caught a few years back.
    I don't Target the bigger fish and we haven't caught any big ones lately but always a limit of good eaters.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I definitley don't target big fish either. Heck, I haven't found one over 86 lbs anyway. I guess that one more reason to get the shotgun instead...
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    I used a 22LR Ruger MK2 Stainless for years and if you don't have one now is a good time! I did start using a .410 when I chartered, but the .22LR Ruger did just as good of a job with a well placed shot!

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    I've used various handguns, a snake charmer, and a .44 mag bang stick to dispatch halibut. The thing I like most about the bang stick is that it saves the ears, because it fires underwater. Even a .22 pistol has quite a crack to it.

    For dispatching halibut on the cheap, I'll just harpoon the fish and wait for the thrashing to stop. After the fish calms down, it doesn't take much to reach over, cut the gills with a bait knife, and let 'em bleed out before bringing them in the boat.

  11. #11

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    Ditto on harpoon and slicing the gills to bleed out in the water and not bruise the meat. I thread a rope through the plastic handle on my brush and stuff it through the mouth and out the gills to make sure the fish is definately secured. Then pull the hook and harpoon out so it is ready for the next fish. I als use the rope to bring the fish aboard using my davit, great for pics also while it is hanging. Only do this for large fish, if I am lucky enough to catch one.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Sure, you don't have to shoot 'em, but we CAN! I like the .410 with a load of #6s.

    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Charterboat Operator
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    still love that picture! what timing, thanks Pete
    g

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    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    Great picture Pete but I think the Halibut Farmers fish was bigger , to bad he farmed it. LOL

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    Great picture Pete but I think the Halibut Farmers fish was bigger , to bad he farmed it. LOL
    Yea, it was a "three bill" fish. She will be bigger this next trip.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Alaska View Post

    For dispatching halibut on the cheap, I'll just harpoon the fish and wait for the thrashing to stop. After the fish calms down, it doesn't take much to reach over, cut the gills with a bait knife, and let 'em bleed out before bringing them in the boat.
    That's what I do. I used to use a gun, but got tired of the maintenance in the saltwater environment.

  17. #17
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    I popped one (105 lbs, father in law caught it otherwise I woulda cut the hook and let it go) a few years ago with my .45 (yea I forgot to remove the Golden Sabres LOL ) I can say that the hollow point only went through one side of the skull. And it did make the halibut very very mad. Not as mad as when I jabbed the harpoon through the hole.........

    Next time. ball ammo.
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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    For several years I used a 22 revolver on my charter boat.. but the problem with a 22 was, if you missed the magic spot by very much you simply PO'd the big fish.. So there you are, holding the leader in one hand, the revolver in the other hand, the 2 lb weight is swinging wildly and the fish is really po'd and thrashing madly (getting bruised)... so I went to a 410 snake charmer.. the concussion of the 410 was enough to sedate the largest fish, reduced bruising, and made everything safer...

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    I bought a .410 stainless bang stick head from http://www.budsbangsticks.com/
    Then mounted it on a 6-ft round wood.Attachment 57196Attachment 57195

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    My brother was a guide for 8 years, he used a bang stick for one year until there was an "accident" on the boat with it. He had a big fish up next to the boat, grabbed the bang stick, pulled the safety pin on it and turned to poke the fish when the fish took off again. He set the bangstick against the cabin of the boat (stupid I know) and started helping the client with the fish. In the course of events the bang stick tipped over and fired inside the boat. His clients never figured out what happened but the big dent in the boat scared the you know what out of him. While he loved how it worked, he did not like the safety system. The next day he borrowed my snake charmer and used it the rest of the years he guided. The other complaint he has about the bang stick was how hard it was to reload, you had to unscrew the tip to get a new shell in. Kind of slow if you have to punch two holes in a fish.

    With that said my Father has a snake charmer and 22 on his boat. He shoots any fish up to 50-60 lbs with the 22 as it "settles them down and bleeds them".. anything bigger gets the 410.

    One word of warning on the snake charmer. Don't fire it with the barrel in the water. My brother did that to my snake charmer and he split the last 3 inches of the barrel. Its a bit short on length now and has been taken out of service as I have no desire to spend the rest of my life in jail for having a illegal firearm.
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