To kill a Velociraptor

Choosing the ultimate dinosaur gun
; .

The Ruger Guide Gun is ideal for protection against big dangerous creatures
such as dinosaurs, trolls, bears, lions, tigers and sharks. Available in powerful
rounds such as .375 Ruger and .416 Ruger, it’s a well-thought-out package for
specialized purposes.

You’re probably the kind of firearm nitpicker people hate to watch movies with. You count the shots, know when the actor should have reloaded, know if a certain gun is correct for the era, sneer at sloppy gunhandling and those 100-yard hits from the hip with a snubbie revolver.

I’ve tried to become a bit more sanguine about it. It’s just a show after all. Still, it can be fun to play the game of what gun would you choose in movie situations. Recently I’ve been a bit housebound with a minor illness and have been passing the time watching old movies. One of them was the 1993 classic Jurassic Park. If you have seen it you may recall the gamekeeper, an ex-Kenyan big game hunter named Nigel Bruce Percival-Smyth, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts … sorry, mixing up my movies.


Dinosaurs are not the only big dangerous movie creatures. This cave
troll has Dave’s wife Simone nearly surrounded. He thinks a 300-grain
Hornady DGS from a .375 Ruger would get its attention.

Welcome To The Jurassic Jungle

The gamekeeper has a rack of firearms to deal with dinosaur attacks. When trouble threatens he selects what appears to be a Franchi SPAS 12 gauge with extended magazine and folding stock. It’s a fine gun for personal defense against human assailants but for dinosaurs it would be far down my list. Limited range, limited penetration, moderate velocity — and folding stocks are useful only when storage is an issue, which is not the case here. I will concede with modern slug loads you could do a lot worse.

So what would I choose? I’d want a rifle, not a shotgun. Let’s look at the situation. It is on an island surrounded by an ocean and with lots of rain. Right away we are thinking stainless steel and either laminated wood or synthetic stock. I want the simple reliability of a bolt-action and I’d like it to have controlled-round feed. It should be reasonably portable, maximum weight in the 10–12 lb. range.

The biggest dangerous dinosaur is the Tyrannosaurus rex which, from what I can find online, would weigh 18–20,000 lb., half again the size of a really big African elephant. There’s really no one-man portable firearm that could deliver reliable stops with body shots, although a .50 BMG might do it. Better I think to use a smaller cartridge and plan on precise bullet placement as did the old-time ivory hunters.

The predator the people seem to fear most is the velociraptor, which appears to be a bit bigger than a tiger. Now a tiger we know is a creature to be respected but at the same time they are not so hard to kill. Your deer or elk rifle would likely do just fine. Something like a .375 H&H or .416 Rigby provides a comforting bit extra.


Rain, snow, saltwater spray — this is why synthetic or laminated stocks
and stainless steel excel in the toughest conditions.

Making The Call

If some dinosaur hunter calls me tomorrow for firearms advice, I’d recommend a Ruger Hawkeye Guide Gun. Personally I’d get it in .375 Ruger but if you’d prefer .416 Ruger, I won’t argue. I like the laminated stock, stainless steel construction, Mauser-style action, and overall rugged construction. At 8.1 lbs. it’s a bit light, especially as I would not plan on adding a scope. The 3+1 cartridge capacity is a concern, I’d rather have 5+ rounds on tap but I think after firing four rounds there should be time to reload — most of the time. Meantime my solution would be a gun bearer with an identical second rifle.

I’m on the fence about sights. The Guide Gun has a very simple, strong, shallow V rear sight. It should serve very well to provide adequate accuracy very quickly. I like receiver-mounted rear sights and would give a lot of thought to fitting an NECG or XS sight and removing the barrel-mounted sight. The rifle would be loaded with Hornady 300-grain DGX cartridges with five more in a laced-on butt cuff. A solid body shot with such a bullet should take out the meanest velociraptor.


Really Big Game

And what about the T-Rex? On my belt I’d have a cartridge carrier with 10 Hornady 300-grain DGS solids. I know dinosaurs are supposed to have small brains, but on a nine-ton creature even a small brain should be fairly large. When he (she, rather) opens her jaws to roar I’d put one of those bullets between the teeth and hope for the best.

The T-Rex in the movie is bipedal and seems to have knee joints. An alternative would be to shoot the knee joint with a solid to try and immobilize the creature, or at least slow it down. This is one case in which I’d feel justified in shooting from a vehicle.

Okay, planning for dinosaur defense is just silly game. But there are still plenty of wild places on this earth, and some very tough and dangerous creatures. I’d back a grizzly bear against a raptor any day. The Ruger Guide Gun is a specialized tool but very well thought out. I just may have to get one!

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