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Dinosaur Hunting Guns: Taking Down T-Rex and Other Extinct Reptiles

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April 09, 2013
Dinosaur Hunting Guns: Taking Down T-Rex and Other Extinct Reptiles - 20

Over the weekend I took my two children to see Jurassic Park, which has been re-released in 3D to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film’s introduction. I find it impossible to watch without putting myself in the shoes of the professional hunter whose job it is to somehow manage the beasts once they escape. 

His firearm of choice is a Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun, which has the ability to work both as a semi-auto and a pump-action. The extended magazine tube, oversized foreend and skeletonized folding stock give it some serious bad-ass cred and it’s hardly surprising that it has appeared in numerous films, including the Terminator, the Matrix, RoboCop, and Snatch—not counting a whole host of utterly forgettable action films. (Blastfighter, anyone?)

But I digress. The real question is what is the ideal gun for the job as head game ranger on an island full of dinosaurs? 

T-Rex

 

A full grown T-Rex is 40 feet long, stands 13-feet tall at the hips and weighs somewhere around 6 tons and is estimated to have the most powerful bite of any terrestrial animal in earth’s history, generating more than 15 times the chomping power of an African lion. Making matters worse, conservative estimates put its top speed at 25 mph while some scientists believe it could truck along at 45 mph, which is faster than either a charging grizzly or a lion. 

If the movie is accurate, then one slight blessing is that the animal’s sight cues in on movement, so, in theory, if you stay still it should have a more difficult time finding you. 

Needless to say, a shotgun isn’t worth a warm bucket of spit against an animal of this stature. 

Being over-gunned is an impossibility against a T-Rex, but with a true charge-stopping rifle, like a Merkle double, you’d at least have a chance. Personally, I wouldn’t go any lighter than a .458 Lott. The .470 NE, .500 NE and .600 NE would also be good contenders. I would probably opt for a double-rifle with a red-dot sight on it. I’d want that red dot for precise bullet placement as the only shot that makes sense is a broadside shot that takes out either the hip or smashes the knee. Take out the leg to put it down and then finish it off with a double lung shot or a shot in the neck.

The open sights that are usually on a rifle like this, meant to stop a charging animal, would be worthless against a charging T-Rex. With a puny brain inside a massive skull the chances of turning off the switch with a head shot are minimal. Of course, the only bullets worth using on a T-Rex are solids. I’d be curious to see how Federal’s new safari load would fare. 

Velociraptor

 

As any self-respecting first grader knows, the velociraptors in Jurassic Park were not accurately depicted. True velociraptors stood about a foot and a half high at the hip, were approximately 7 feet long from nose to tail and only weighed about 33 pounds. I wouldn’t underestimate the little monsters, but a good semi-auto shotgun loaded with buckshot should settle their hash without much difficulty. So I’ll go with either the Remington Versa Max Tactical or an FNH SLP Mk1 Tactical.

Deinonychus

 

This fearsome predator is more akin to what Spielberg was going for with his “velociraptors” in the movie. These larger cousins of the smaller true velociraptors grew to 11 feet long, could weigh as much as 160 pounds, and were, by all accounts, very smart pack-hunting animals that used the large curved talons on their feet to deadly effect. Picture them with the speed and agility of a leopard and the killing power of a lion and you’ll get some idea of what they could do. It probably wouldn’t require a lot of gun to take one down, but woe to the hunter who only wounds one. A semi-auto shotgun loaded with slugs might serve well, but I’m going with a Springfield Armory M1A Socom 16 for this job. I’d put either an EOTech optic up front on it or something like the Trijicon SRS. Mount a SureFire X400 combo weapon light/laser and you’ll be good to go.

 

Comments (20)

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from Safton wrote 11 weeks 3 days ago

If I was just being dropped back into the Cretaceous and had to pick a "general-purpose" survival/defense setup, I'd forgo any sort of big bore rifle.

I'd probably opt for an FN SCAR 17S and several 20-round magazines, each loaded with 180-grain Nosler AccuBonds. They're good enough to take down full-grown black bears, feral hogs, and even moose with a good well-placed shot. I figure having nineteen spare rounds on semi-automatic should make up for any lack in capability. I'd slap an extended forend, EOTech, 3x magnifier, and a good sling on there.

For a sidearm, I'd prefer a Glock 20 3rd Gen with a Lone Wolf barrel, heavy recoil spring, and aftermarket captive guide rod. Trijicon HD night sights and some grip tape for improved traction, too. Load that thing with Doubletap 230-grain hardcast WFNGC, maybe with some 180/200-grain expanding rounds on hand as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bill Atwood wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

No question about it a Browning .50 machine gun... none of these creatures would stand a chance... It even works against 200 MPH aircraft so it would work on the airborne dinos too... With an effective range of 2000 meters you don't even have to let any of these reptiles get close to you. Just pop in a few tracers and you don't really have to worry about aiming, just walk the tracers onto the animal and watch it start to fall to pieces.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ezrvs1 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Well, if you listen to the sputum coming out of Pierce Morgan, Chuck Schumer, Uncle Joe Biden and the rest of the public windbags we 2nd amendment devotees and gun toting 'Mer-uh-cuns' are the real dinosaurs. If that is the case than just about anything from .17 calibre and up ought to do the job.

Talk about extinction...if we don't shut these dangerous fools down the liberties of our Constitution will be as dead as ol' man T'Rex hisself!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ezrvs1 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Well, if you listen to the sputum coming out of Pierce Morgan, Chuck Schumer, Uncle Joe Biden and the rest of the public windbags we 2nd amendment devotees and gun toting 'Mer-uh-cuns' are the real dinosaurs. If that is the case than just about anything from .17 calibre and up ought to do the job.

Talk about extinction...if we don't shut these dangerous fools down the liberties of our Constitution will be as dead as ol' man T'Rex hisself!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peteyraymond wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I'd go the caveman route and push a 2 ton boulder onto the T-Rex from above, like they did to the wooly mammoths.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LovesOutdoors wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

The legend Fred Bear would hunt the T Rex and Velocirapor with his long bow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oneshot wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Ah just use a mini gun and start from the top and work your way down.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cbraygun wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I will take a Barrett .50 and keep my distance from that T Rex, thank you very much.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HunterDan wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Heck, I'd use the .50 BMG on a T-Rex.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HunterDan wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Heck, I'd use the .50 BMG on a T-Rex.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Paul Hollitt wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

It was supposed to be a Utah raptor, not the little one. The movie was right.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from officerdom1987 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

@4everAutumn: That was me who posted about zombies when the second season of Walking Dead started and I got a lot of flack for that; some people just don't see the fun in imagination. Oh well. These guns are great choices; however, I just saw Jurassic Park 3D bringing me back to my childhood (I know I'm young) and most of the encounters with the large reptiles were close and had to be quick. What would a good hip shooter be to take a small to medium sized dino down that can be handled with one hand? I doubt a .357 would do the trick. Maybe have to use a .454 Alaskan to take something like a Dilophosaurus down before it spits hot acid goop onto your eyes.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from B0whunt3r wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

What about some pterodactyl wing shooting? I don't think a 10 guage with BB shot would do it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from marksman wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Get that Trackingpoint rifle in 338LM with several preloaded mags. With that system you could start at 1000yards taking out the knees and hips. Just put the dot on him. I don't think the guide would need to take a look just to make sure you had the correct animal selected, just "Choot 'Em".

On a note about the 577, does anyone really know which end of the gun is the safe end?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from John B. Snow wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

The .557 Tyrannosaur is just too much gun, IMHO, to handle. I wanted a shoulder-fired rifle that balances stopping power with some degree of control. I suppose if we did that in a 25-pound rifle, then it would make sense. I'm certainly open to other suggestions.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I think I'd want something on the order of a bazooka for a T-Rex, I've heard they can be tough to bring down.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I think your selection is probably spot on for all but the T-Rex. The knee/hip shot is probably a good one to take but I'm not sure there is a shoulder fired weapon that I would feel is adequate for that beast.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from damo450 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Soooo, why not use the .577 Tyrannosaur on the T-Rex? Come on Mr. Snow!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 4everAutumn wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

The last time a member posted a question about guns for zombies, they got grief about the immature nature of the question. Well, call me childish if you must, but I really enjoy this type of thing. Fact is, that is what my kids and I talk about every time we watch a dinosaur movie. I would love to see what I could do with my .500 S&W. I would definitely need to shoot the 500 grain solids and probably all 5. If I survived, I’d really need to work on the wife for that taxidermy bill. Shoulder mount or full body?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from 4everAutumn wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

The last time a member posted a question about guns for zombies, they got grief about the immature nature of the question. Well, call me childish if you must, but I really enjoy this type of thing. Fact is, that is what my kids and I talk about every time we watch a dinosaur movie. I would love to see what I could do with my .500 S&W. I would definitely need to shoot the 500 grain solids and probably all 5. If I survived, I’d really need to work on the wife for that taxidermy bill. Shoulder mount or full body?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from officerdom1987 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

@4everAutumn: That was me who posted about zombies when the second season of Walking Dead started and I got a lot of flack for that; some people just don't see the fun in imagination. Oh well. These guns are great choices; however, I just saw Jurassic Park 3D bringing me back to my childhood (I know I'm young) and most of the encounters with the large reptiles were close and had to be quick. What would a good hip shooter be to take a small to medium sized dino down that can be handled with one hand? I doubt a .357 would do the trick. Maybe have to use a .454 Alaskan to take something like a Dilophosaurus down before it spits hot acid goop onto your eyes.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from damo450 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Soooo, why not use the .577 Tyrannosaur on the T-Rex? Come on Mr. Snow!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from marksman wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Get that Trackingpoint rifle in 338LM with several preloaded mags. With that system you could start at 1000yards taking out the knees and hips. Just put the dot on him. I don't think the guide would need to take a look just to make sure you had the correct animal selected, just "Choot 'Em".

On a note about the 577, does anyone really know which end of the gun is the safe end?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I think your selection is probably spot on for all but the T-Rex. The knee/hip shot is probably a good one to take but I'm not sure there is a shoulder fired weapon that I would feel is adequate for that beast.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I think I'd want something on the order of a bazooka for a T-Rex, I've heard they can be tough to bring down.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from John B. Snow wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

The .557 Tyrannosaur is just too much gun, IMHO, to handle. I wanted a shoulder-fired rifle that balances stopping power with some degree of control. I suppose if we did that in a 25-pound rifle, then it would make sense. I'm certainly open to other suggestions.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from B0whunt3r wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

What about some pterodactyl wing shooting? I don't think a 10 guage with BB shot would do it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HunterDan wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Heck, I'd use the .50 BMG on a T-Rex.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HunterDan wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Heck, I'd use the .50 BMG on a T-Rex.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from cbraygun wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I will take a Barrett .50 and keep my distance from that T Rex, thank you very much.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LovesOutdoors wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

The legend Fred Bear would hunt the T Rex and Velocirapor with his long bow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peteyraymond wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I'd go the caveman route and push a 2 ton boulder onto the T-Rex from above, like they did to the wooly mammoths.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ezrvs1 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Well, if you listen to the sputum coming out of Pierce Morgan, Chuck Schumer, Uncle Joe Biden and the rest of the public windbags we 2nd amendment devotees and gun toting 'Mer-uh-cuns' are the real dinosaurs. If that is the case than just about anything from .17 calibre and up ought to do the job.

Talk about extinction...if we don't shut these dangerous fools down the liberties of our Constitution will be as dead as ol' man T'Rex hisself!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bill Atwood wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

No question about it a Browning .50 machine gun... none of these creatures would stand a chance... It even works against 200 MPH aircraft so it would work on the airborne dinos too... With an effective range of 2000 meters you don't even have to let any of these reptiles get close to you. Just pop in a few tracers and you don't really have to worry about aiming, just walk the tracers onto the animal and watch it start to fall to pieces.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Paul Hollitt wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

It was supposed to be a Utah raptor, not the little one. The movie was right.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oneshot wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Ah just use a mini gun and start from the top and work your way down.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ezrvs1 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Well, if you listen to the sputum coming out of Pierce Morgan, Chuck Schumer, Uncle Joe Biden and the rest of the public windbags we 2nd amendment devotees and gun toting 'Mer-uh-cuns' are the real dinosaurs. If that is the case than just about anything from .17 calibre and up ought to do the job.

Talk about extinction...if we don't shut these dangerous fools down the liberties of our Constitution will be as dead as ol' man T'Rex hisself!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safton wrote 11 weeks 3 days ago

If I was just being dropped back into the Cretaceous and had to pick a "general-purpose" survival/defense setup, I'd forgo any sort of big bore rifle.

I'd probably opt for an FN SCAR 17S and several 20-round magazines, each loaded with 180-grain Nosler AccuBonds. They're good enough to take down full-grown black bears, feral hogs, and even moose with a good well-placed shot. I figure having nineteen spare rounds on semi-automatic should make up for any lack in capability. I'd slap an extended forend, EOTech, 3x magnifier, and a good sling on there.

For a sidearm, I'd prefer a Glock 20 3rd Gen with a Lone Wolf barrel, heavy recoil spring, and aftermarket captive guide rod. Trijicon HD night sights and some grip tape for improved traction, too. Load that thing with Doubletap 230-grain hardcast WFNGC, maybe with some 180/200-grain expanding rounds on hand as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

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