22 August 2012

Snake Shot

Smith & Wesson Model 19, Spring 1976, St John's County, FL

There was a small pond circled by thin pines that screened us from passing traffic on I-95. Cpt Williams was leaning on the hood of his unmarked car when we pulled up on the rutted clay road. Another plain clothes deputy, a sergeant, sat in the car with his door open and listened to the radio for Williams.

No one but Williams and the county sheriff knew our names. Two recent graduates of the Police Standards course with long hair and who were, for the most part, unknown in the county. We'd hang out in bars, light up a joint under our table and wait to get thrown out.

We'd show up the next night and the bouncer who threw us out would call us crazy fucking bastards, apologize, 'cause he was just doing his job, and buy us a couple beers. We'd tell the bouncer we had some stuff to sell -- most of it stolen. Conversation would ensue and I learned at an early age that most criminals are amazingly stupid.

The sergeant stayed in the car while my partner and I reported to Williams. The three of us stood a couple feet from the cars. My partner was telling Williams we needed some more pot when I pushed my hands in my pockets and sheepishly looked out at the pond.

I saw what looked like a tree branch -- Except it was moving -- At us -- Fast. I pointed at it and Williams, being from the area, shouted, "Water Moccasin!" I drew the Model 19 from a rough suede holster clipped to the inside of the back of my jeans, aimed and fired once. The snake disappeared... along with my hearing.

I heard Williams yell, "HO-LY SHIT!" over the ringing in my ears. "What the hell load you got in that thing?" Looking out at the pond for the snake, I turn to Williams, "158 grain, semi jacketed, 357 hollow point," and add, "Did I hit it?" Williams slaps me on the back, "You didn't hit it but you probably gave it a fucking heart attack."

Lesson learned: Snake shot. First two rounds in every deputy's wheel gun -- back in the day.


Main Line Sportsman said...

Always had a box or 2 or .22 snake shot for my .410/.22 Savage and my .22 pistol...love those mini shot gun shells.

Anonymous said...

So, is this macho post supposed to make up for the floppy hat post?? DMW

tintin said...

The Floppy Tennis Hat post is the macho post. In this post, I missed the snake and ruined my hearing.

Anonymous said...

NRA? Are you sure you want to post that out of NYC? Wait, you just did.

I'm gettin' a little woozy from today's whole Smoky and the Bandit-meets-Starsky and Hutch blog...

But it's still fun to read.

tintin said...

DB- I have a parcel of pics I'm debating putting up. They're so depressing but they're not bad.

Amatourist said...

NRA-certified Po-Lice Marksman. I know you're a dyed-in-the-wool D but the time you spent in the South is quite evident. So who're the cuffs for?

KSB said...

For those of us keeping score - how about a timeline of your adventures?

I am confused, were you a deputy sheriff before the Army? You are the proverbial Jack of all trades!

james at 10engines said...

"The snake disappeared... along with my hearing"

all thriller no filler. brilliant

Makaga said...

Enjoyed this one, Tintin!

tintin said...

Amatourist- I love the South. If you look real hard there's still a couple Ds. Can't remember if those were Peerless or S&W cuffs. I bought 'em second hand from a buddy who quit. And I sold 'em to a buddy when I quit. Back then hand cuffs all used the same key. Not sure if that's still the case.

KSB- I started the Standards course Sept '75 and graduated March '76. I worked as deputy from March to May '76 when some very nasty people figured out who I was. Thinking it was a good idea to get out of town for a while, I enlisted in the Army for four years. I'm not a Jack of All Trades nearly as much as I'm a failure at almost everything I've attempted.

James@10 - I liked it too.

Makaga- You still looking? If so, PM me. May have a lead for you.

Jim said...

TinTin, Although I saw this post before, I had not read the comments. Anyhow just so you know those are definitely "Peerless" handcuffs. Smith & Wesson had the key closer to the edge and the placed their logo on the key side as well. Peerless had the writing on the double shank which you can see in the lower right of the photo... Yeah I know in the grand scheme of things..Minutia...! Happy New Year Old Friend!

tintin said...

I think I sold those hand cuffs to you along with the holster. I still have the SB belt. It's somewhere in a storage locker off US1. Great to hear from you and happy new year to you.