Originally Posted by Eliduc
I had a ewe sheep that had problems a few days following giving birth. She was on the ground and couldn't lift her head, more dead than alive. It was a hot day and she was lying in the direct sun. I decided the humane thing would be to put her down. I took my GP100 from where I keep it. I thought a 38 spec. should do the job. The gun was already loaded. It had been awhile since I had shot it. I took careful aim at the base of the skull and fired. Nothing. She didn't even flinch. Her breathing didn't change. I couldn't see an entry wound. No blood. How could I have missed from 3 feet away. I shot again. Same result. The third shot I saw it enter at the center of the base of her skull. About an ounce of blood seeped out. Still there was no reaction or change in her breathing. I had checked to make sure the gun was loaded before shooting it but had not removed a bullet. I assumed they were hand load 38 specials. Perhaps they were anemic. I went to my bullet shop and got a box of 357 mags. When I opened the cylinder it was already loaded with Hornady 158 g 357 hollow-point mags. I returned with my 308 deer rifle. There was no change in the ewe. Her respiration was as before. The 308 finally did the job and killed the poor thing instantly. Is it possible the first two hollow points mushroomed and didn't penetrate her wool and the third just barely penetrated the skin? I didn't check. I was fearful that I had already freaked out the wife who was attached to the ewe and I quickly got rid of the evidence.
This kind of experience is ugly and painful. I've had botched mercy shootings. I'd rather have appendicitis again than endure some of the awful mistakes I've made having to put down animals.
Watched a dog get killed with a pocket pistol. One to the head, two to the neck. Like it was poleaxed. Very weak round.
Lots of people have been executed with small handguns. One guy killed over 7,000 Polish officers, priests and college professors with a Walther 2 in 25 ACP. I don't know if he required a second shot. He killed one every minute a half for ten hours a night. Katyn Forest shootings.
The Nazis used to use Air Rifles on "last leggers". They were worried that the sight of a last legger would freak out the ordinary people being sent to be gassed.
Two prisoners would help the last legger strip down, they would escort the condemned person through a doorway. The SS creature would come out of the corner with an air rifle. One shot to the right spot in the skull while the escorts leaned out of the way. Down went the last legger.
Everyone else will say, I'll say it. No substitute for good shot placement.