Your Favorite Handgun with Shotshells
If you already own a favorite carry gun in .22lr, 9mm, .40 S&W, .44 Mag, .45 Colt, or .45 Auto, the cheapest option is simply to buy a box of CCI Shotshells.
Unlike a true shotgun shell, these miniaturized shotshells are kind of the same concept, only designed to fit into a rifle or handgun round. They have a lot less shot (tiny pellets) in each round and an entirely different application. That is, you’re not going dove hunting with these rounds.
These shells have a spread pattern that is only effective up to about 12 feet, which is ideal for snakes, rats, etc. The advantage is that you can use a handgun that you already own and that you’re already familiar with.
Whenever you’re going to carry your weapon in snake country, simply load a few shotshells and “old faithful” is transformed into your snake gun.