The "right" gun for putting down a horse?

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by Roleysnewmom, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Roleysnewmom

    Roleysnewmom Senior Member

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    For no reason other than preparedness, I've been wondering lately about what gun is most appropriate for putting down a horse. In the event that we'd need one I want to make sure there's one available and it is going to go smoothly.

    Although my bf knows a decent amount about guns, I'd rather hear from a horseperson what type/gauge/etc is the best to use for that purpose.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. willeys bonanza

    willeys bonanza Senior Member

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    We had an old mare at the barn that had a really bad hip, she was probably almost 40, but she just couldn't get up any more and getting her up was getting dangerous to do all the time. Im not knowledgable about guns but Im pretty sure they used a rifle, the same one they would kill possums with.
     
  3. rascalboy

    rascalboy Senior Member

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    I'm not really sure either what would be best, though I'm assuming a strong pistol (for space reasons) or a strong deer rifle would be fine. (Shotgun). It needs to get through 1 1/2"-2" of bone, at least.
     
  4. Roleysnewmom

    Roleysnewmom Senior Member

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    Yea, I'm really wondering what "strong" is defined as. I'm pretty gun illiterate (and you can bet your cheerios I will NOT be the one doing it).
     
  5. CrystalNicklas

    CrystalNicklas Senior Member

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    I carry a 38 revolver with me and my husband carries a 40....I think they would both do the job (might need a couple shots though depending on how accurate the 1st was). I would just make sure it was a larger caliber (so probably not a 22 just to be sure). My hubby says he would consider a 45 ideal, but the others will get the job done as long as you hit the right spot. A rifle or shotgun could do the job too, our local rendering guy uses a rifle. I am pretty gun stupid too but am slowly learning since my husband wanted me to get my CCW.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  6. Eeyore1215

    Eeyore1215 Senior Member

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    You have to shoot them in a certain place, you draw an X between the base of the ear to the oppsite eye and vise versa. That is the kill zone. I would also make sure you have a copper jacketed bullet. Lead would be to soft. If you are using a hand gun. You could use a dear rifle or a shot gun with a slug, not buck shot or anything.
    I know that didn't give you a caliber, but that is what I know.
     
  7. Roleysnewmom

    Roleysnewmom Senior Member

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    Yea, I knew the zone.. just wondering about caliber. Might just go with a 45 or higher as crystal above recomended.
     
  8. ERollison

    ERollison Senior Member

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    A 9mm pistol would work or a good shot with a .22 rifle would work. They put cows down with .22 rifles and a bovine skull is MUCH thicker than an equine. Nothing bigger than a .223 rifle or a shotgun, they will make a BIG mess. Just make sure it is a well placed shot.

    A horse's skull is not "that" thick in the cranial area, like 1/2". If you would like an exact measurement I can get it for you tomorrow when I go back to my classroom. I have a horse's skull one of my students brought me that he found. It had been shot 4 times with a .22 rifle, judging by the holes in the skull.

    Also, if no one is too squeamish I have pics of a equine skull cap cut open revealing the bran. You can see the thickness of the one well in the pic as well as the size of the brain. It was from a horse we were doing a necropsy on when I worked for the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab. If you would like to see the pics, let me know I will PM them only.
     
  9. DukesAngel

    DukesAngel Senior Member

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    A rifle you kill possums with is not enough. We killed a possum with a .22 and have done it with a .22 time and time again. This would not be enough to kill a horse.

    I would go with a large caliber rifle, I would use either an "assult" rifle in a 7.62x39 or a .223. Hunting rifle I would go with our 6mm only because I'm comfortable using it. If it was a shotgun then I would go with a 12 gauge or a slug. If you are unsure in your abilities a shotgun with birdshot will never go wrong. That is what sits at our bedside for home defense, there is a reason for that. Close range you aren't going to miss. The slug might be the better option though.
     
  10. DukesAngel

    DukesAngel Senior Member

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    .38 would probably not do the job. .40 might not, depending on the type of bullet and I would wager if I was a betting person it would take more than one shot. I carry a .40 with hollow points for self defense, although I know it would take a few shots to take down a human unless it was a well thought out shot. A horse I wouldn't even consider shooting it with a .40.

    .45 is getting closer though, I'd probably try with a .45, I've seen what they do to fingers.... (had two close friends shoot their hands this year. Well trained firearm people too :( )
     

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