Air Rifles For Preppers?

I was talking with a friend recently about the usefulness of air rifles as a prepping tool.  Initially the idea caught him off guard.  Aren’t air rifles just BB guns like kids get for Christmas every year?  The answer may surprise you.

The new breed of air rifles are actually quite powerful.  Much more powerful than the simple Crossman BB/pellet gun I had when I was a kid.  Some can shoot a pellet at around 1300 feet per second!  They’re also much more accurate and quieter too.

But what use would a prepper have for an air gun?  Most of us already have rifles and handguns for hunting and self defense.  Why throw a less powerful weapon into the mix?

For me there are several reasons I like the idea of adding an air rifle to my collection.  First of all you can shoot them just about anywhere as long as you’re far enough away from any buildings (local laws vary but are generally pretty loose, check your own laws before you head out shooting).  This means that a lot of us that don’t have easy access to a gun range can practice our skills much closer to home.  Some of you may even be able to use your air guns in your own backyards.

Second of all I think air rifles are a great item to have around not for self-defense but for defense of property and crops.  If you’ve got a substantial garden (or even a modest vegetable plot) an air rifle is a great way to keep crows, gophers, and other pests out of your plot.  Chances are the neighbors aren’t going to mind the modest “pop” that comes with firing one of today’s air guns.  They may very well take offense at a live round though, even a light .22.

Finally, they can actually be very effective at taking small game.  Furthermore, they do it quietly.  If you’re trying to not attract attention to yourself then using a pellet gun to take a few rabbits or even geese or wild turkey is an excellent option.

Don’t believe the new breed of air rifle is that good?  Check out these guns from Gamo’s line of Adult Precision Airguns.  They’re really cool and some even come with an integrated noise suppressor, making them even more discreet.

Personally, I’ll be adding one of these to my collection in the very near future.

~ Butch

10 Responses to Air Rifles For Preppers?

  1. Take a look at Crossman Phantoms. They shoot 1000-1200 FPS and they are single shot/single cock rifles.

    They work fabulous, and for $79 you can’t argue with adding it to your stockpile. I believe 500 rounds have cost me as much as $12. How can you go wrong with that?

  2. My grandson recently killed a wild turkey with one.

  3. I found a web site for a full-auto pellet air gun, it shoots 22 cal pellets. This was an impressive BB gun. I was commenting with my friend,” I could shoot some one with that probably quicker that with a shotgun.” the site is if some one is interested for a quick look.

  4. I have a Stoeger X10. Wonderful rifle for thinning out squirrels in the woods surrounding my garden without alerting the neighbors. Definitely not a toy. I did look at Gamo but Stoeger had better ratings.

  5. I was just thinking about getting one of these. Looks like the technology has come a long way.

    Even though not ideal for self defense, I certainly wouldn’t want to be shot by one!

  6. I currently have 2 air rifles (single stroke style) .17 cal and .25 cal..
    Practicing with both, on different type targets (to understand ballistic effects) and ranges. Ive hunted small game (such as “gophers” in Montana) with great effectiveness. If one does a search on youtube for air rifle hunting one will find interesting results! I fell the .25 cal with the heavier pellets would be a possible defense round at proper ranges.

  7. Take a look at the “gas piston” air rifles; they are supposed to be quieter, last longer, and work at colder temperatures than conventional spring-actuated air rifles. .22 and .25 caliber “nitro piston” rifles are available also; the .25 caliber cost about twice as much as the .22′s do. Shooting a heavier, larger cross-section subsonic round might be worth paying more for. There are also “pre-charged pneumatic” air rifles that enable multiple shots from one charge and shoot up to at least .45 caliber projectiles; they cost a lot.

  8. Take a good look at the BSA Ultra Tactical, its only 34 inches long, add its moderator and its almost completely silent, it will take rabbits , pigeon, grouse, pheasant , turkeys etc, Its got a synthetic stock, you can get single shot versions or ten shot magazine versions, its a doddle to modify from the UK limit of 12 ft pounds to dial it up to about 20 ft pounds. In standard form it fires about 45 shots on one charge or the air tank, but if you get it customised by someone like Tench ( A UK airgunsmith) you can get it to fire over 85 full power shots off one fill. It can be recharged by a styrup pump or from a divers bottle.

    If you have an aversion there is always the BSA Tactical Carbine spring gun and I think they have just introduced a gas strut powered version.

  9. Stock up on the pellets. They are excellent for taking small critters. Very accurate too!

  10. I use a Beeman .17 for ground squirrels at home, within 70 yards it is deadly accurate. Things to remember about air rifles.
    1. They make more noise than you think, the pellet is supersonic and there is a definite “crack” when you shoot. However I don’t think it carries far as the critters seldom duck if you miss.
    2. The model I had recommended max accuracy after 300 rounds which was true, out of the box the accuracy wasn’t great. After the break in it is a tack driver.
    3. You really need to dope the wind, treat a 50 yard shot as you would a 300 yard shot with a .223.
    4. The trigger pull is brutal the single stroke models but it actually makes you a better shot as you have to squeeze through the shot to be accurate. When you are shooting a head shot on a squirrel at 50 yards you are basically shooting at a golf ball under field conditions, not much room for error.
    5. If you use a scope, 4x power is more than adequate.