4 Reasons To Add a Pellet Air Gun To Your Survival Gun Arsenal

You read the heading correct – I said Pellet Gun. Yes, the kind powered by air – just 1 step above a BB gun. I own many guns of many calibers and styles for many different purposes. Among these is a good quality Pellet Air Gun and it’s not just because I still have it from when I was a kid. I INTENTIONALLY have added this gun to my survival rifle options for very specific reasons…which I have detailed below.  If you’ve never considered a Pellet Gun as a survival rifle option, you might change your mind after reading this post.

Next to my 12 Gauge Mossberg and my Ruger 10-22 sits a very cool and collected Benjamin Sheridan 392 .22 caliber Multi-Pump Pellet Gun and I treat it with the same respect as it is a very specialized soldier in my arsenal.

Benjamin Sheridan 392 .22 Cal Multi-Pump Pellet Gun

Benjamin Sheridan 392 .22 Cal Multi-Pump Pellet Gun

As a student and instructor of survival living, I take my gun choices very seriously and only add one to my cabinet if it deserves to be there.  Below are 4 reasons (in no particular order) why a Pellet Gun deserves to be including in your Survival Rifle selection:

Survival Reason # 1: Excellent Small Game Hunter

A pellet gun, especially .22 caliber, is an excellent weapon to take down small game.  While people have taken larger game such as wild boars with air guns, they are best suited for small game.  Hunting small game is perfect for any survivalist.  Rabbit, squirrel, dove, quail, duck and the like are excellent food sources and are readily available in most of the country.  With practice, hunting small game with a pellet gun is absolutely no problem.

Small Game Hunter

Small Game Hunter

I have taken many small game animals with my .22 cal pellet gun.  It requires better stalking skills, but that is a good skill to learn anyway.  It requires better shooting skills, but that is also a good skill to hone in on.  Hunting with a pellet gun will force you to be a BETTER hunter and it will also put dinner on the table.  For an interesting photo gallery of pellet gun hunting kills visit: http://www.adventuresinairguns.com/gallery56-i-12.html

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Survival Reason # 2: The AMMO

The Pellet Gun’s AMMO is one of the more convincing reasons to have one on hand.  Pellets, no matter the caliber, are very cheap.

.177 cal Pellets - 500 Count for $10

.177 cal Pellets – 500 Count for $10

You can buy 100s of pellets for just a few bucks.  Spend $50 and you’ve got enough to last a lifetime of small game hunting.  If all hell breaks loose, traditional ammunition will become increasingly difficult to get your hands on.  Not to mention that it will be ridiculously expensive.  If the world we live in ever gets this way, why waste your traditional ammo on hunting squirrel or other small game?  That would be wasteful and careless if there was a smarter way.  There is – PELLETS.

1000s of Pellets Fit into Small Spaces

1000s of Pellets Fit into Small Spaces

Not only are pellets DIRT CHEAP, they are very small.  You can carry 1000s and not even know they are there.  You can store 10s of 1000s in just 1 shoe box.  To top it off, pellets have a shelf life of pretty much FOREVER!  Traditional ammunition can go bad over time.  Especially with the talks of giving ammunition an expiration date, stocking a few 1000 pellets isn’t a bad idea.

Worse case scenario you could use all these extra pellets to reload your shot-gun shells.

Reload Empty Shotgun Shells With Pellets

Reload Empty Shotgun Shells With Pellets


Survival Reason # 3: Silent Shooter

Forget the earplugs.  These guns are silent.  In many survival scenarios, a silent weapon is a good thing.  Not only can you hunt without drawing attention to yourself or your family, but shooting a silent weapon often means you can get off more than 1 shot if there are multiple targets.  Both of these are positive.  People pay 1000s of $$$ to make their guns silent.  No extra charge for the pellet gun.

Survival Reason # 4: Powered By Air

You don’t have to buy air.  And, it’s never going to be out of stock.  For this reason, I prefer either a MULTI-PUMP or BREAK-BARREL Pellet Air Gun.  I have opted NOT to purchase a CO2 or pneumatic powered air gun.  Needing to refill canisters or tanks doesn’t make any sense in a survival situation.  You want to keep it as old fashioned as possible.  It’s hand pump all the way for this survivalist.

Break-Barrel Survival Pellet Guns

Break-Barrel Survival Pellet Guns

There are tons of options when it comes to Hand Pump or Break Barrel guns.  They both come in .177 and .22 calibers.  The fps varies depending on the gun.  My Multi-Pump Sheridan shoots 850 fps but there are models out there that shoot upwards of 1250 fps which rivals some rim-fire cartridges.  Like anything, the details are personal choices.  However, I definitely suggest a PUMP or BREAK-BARREL so that you can manually charge your air chamber rather than being dependant on other air supply products.

So there you have it, 4 solid reasons why I keep a Pellet Gun in my survival arsenal.

I hope this has been useful information and as always I would love you hear your thoughts and comments.



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  1. I’ve never even thought about this kind of gun as a survival gun. This is on my new grocery list 🙂

    • I agree with Sam. I have always said to have a muzzeloader was a plus for a number of reasons but this tops that easily. I’ve been thinking of getting one for the problem creatures around my property but now I have another reason to get one.

      • Pellet guns are not necessarily muzzle loaders. For break barrel rifles, breaking the barrel allows the pellet to be inserted.

      • There are also breechloaders such as the Air Arms Mistral sidelever spring-piston, BARs such as the Crosman King Ratcatcher and the CZ BRNO S200 (which also has a ten-shot external rotary magazine option), internal magloaders such as the Crosman Nightstalker and the very similar Umarex Beretta CX4 Storm (both 12-shot blowback semiautomatics), and of course let’s not forget the Nightstalker’s Daddy, the Crosman 1077 Repeatair, also a blowback semi… which actually uses the same sleeved barrel as the Nightstalker, and the same rotary magazine!

  2. ReallyOrnery says:

    I have a Benjamin 392 pump air rifle, as well as the newer Trail NP break barrel .22 caliber air rifle. Both are excellent for harvesting small game, although I give the nod to the Trail NP because it is so much quieter. Nevertheless, I aways reach for the Benjamin 392 which, as a multiple pump, allows me to customize my shot to fit the game. But when I must put food on the table, I choose the Trail NT because it consistantly sends a 15.4 grain lead pellet down range at 800 fps, which means that I will have some food for me and my wife that night.

    Do not mistunderstand me. I have and use .a 22 long rifle, a .223 rifle and a .30 caliber rifle which I use often; but when it comes to shooting doves and squirrels, the almost-silent NP break barrel is tops for killing the smaller game without spooking them.,

    “Whatever works” is my motto when it comes to harvesting game, but when it comes to doves and squirrels, I reach for the .22 caliber Trail NP; it is qauiet and deadly.


    • Just curious, do nitro piston guns require CO2 or something similar?

      • Nitro piston guns do not require CO2 or any other gas. they work the same as a springer air rifle but they use gas rams instead of a spring. they are more consistent, quieter, and smoother than a spring rifle but much more expensive. you can buy kits to fit gas rams to most spring guns to upgrade them. theoben makes a similar system and that is the leading one here in Great Britain.

      • Hi. most newer break barrel airguns accept a gas ram (nitro), except those featuring a piston with central rod, like the B2, B3, B12, from china and some other that use this design.
        its quite easy to replace the steel spring for a gas ram , only simple tools are needed. not very expensive and give good result. i’ll do it to my .22 pellet gun when the spring get tired *it’s brand new right now* grin*

      • @ vfs.iurd

        ummm, yeah it is easy but very dangerous since the spring is under lots of tension even when not “cocked”.

        i recommend watching or reading at least 5 different tutorials to make sure someone has not missed or omitted something important.

        i built my own disassembly jig with a dremel modified C clamp, and a few pieces of wood and drywall screws and some short rubber pieces of fuel line to hold the gun against the 1×6 plank without scratching it. lol

  3. Great article. I have been shooting with a Benjamin .22 pump pellet pistol for years and have even hunted small game on numerous occasions. It works great and has never failed me. The best part about it is that I can do some “urban” hunting and none of my neighbors are the wiser. In other words, we have an abundance of rabbits on my street and I can easily hunt them with my Benjamin without getting the cops called on me for firing a firearm within the city limits. 🙂

  4. Not too mention in countries like the USA they are very easy to legally travel with too – no trouble with airlines that don’t like live ammo in luggage.

    I miss having an airgun, I had a pair while living overseas that I got in Texas, a Crosman 66 Powermaster with a 15x scope and their top pump .177 target pistol. That was back in the late 90s – unfortunately I couldn’t bring them back to Australia by the end of the 90s because of the restrictions that came in to play

    You actually need a firearms license to have a pellet gun you could get at Walmart in Australia – and the licenses are hard to get! Like you have to have a farm and a reason or be a member of a shooting club and store it in a safe on club premices etc.

    Crossbows just got banned in my state – I think they already are in most others. Pretty sure if a slingshot has a wrist brace that puts it on the dangerous/illegal weapons list. Lord knows what they are going to ban next – it’s just further weakening the law abiding citizen

    • Jamie Mackenzie says:

      Mate, time was when you lot could point north and say, bunch of whinging pomms. Now! What the hell happened to Australia, when did it turn into a Nanny knows best country? Time was when Aus was a rugged, arse kicking, bar fighting, beer drinking, hard working, hard playing kind of a place. Next thing you know you’ll be allowing your government to make it compulsory for men to knit, but only on rubber needles as metal ones are far to dangerous.

  5. John Moore says:

    .22 Benjamin nitro piston is the best air rifle I have ever owned
    I have taken so much small game with this also a fox great allrounder

  6. They’re not silent – just quieter. My pellet rifle has a very loud report (high velocity scoped setup). In fact, it’s as loud as a .22 with subsonic rounds. However most people wouldn’t recognize the sound and, of course, there’s no sonic boom from the projectile. To minimize the effect, shoot from inside a structure through an open window or door. If in the open, fire so that the pellet passes between trees and by boulders to help redirect the report away from the target. For multi-pump rifles, just learn to use the minimum number of pumps. If the game is up close I can use my pellet pistol which is much quieter. No matter what, if you’re trying not to draw attention, check your surroundings before you shoot and then make a point of hitting the animal with the first shot to make it harder to localize the sound.

  7. GREAT WRITE UP! I have a ton of air rifles and yes you are absoultly correct on all the points you make for carring a .22 air rifle. Come check out the air rifle hunting section on gatewaytoairguns.org There are alot of hunters out there who will have full bellys when the super market is burnt down.
    Thanks Bart

  8. What you are proposing actually has precedent. The authorities in Eastern Europe used to keep a tight leash on arms and ammunition in the Cold War era. Air rifles escaped their attention and were used to boost meagre rations by hunting or poaching. Their nickname for crow is church chicken; they would pick them off the roofs with their air rifles.

  9. jimmy farris says:

    i got a daisy 177 Pellet Air Gun and it’s all right and i like it but i going to get a RUGER Pellet Air Gun AND I RELLY LIKE my friend got one and he;s had it for a long time and it does good so i’m going to get me one…jimmy

    • jimmy farris says:

      I going to get a 1000 fps RUGER break down barrel

    • I have a new Ruger Magnum, .22 caliber still in the box. 1200fps. with scope.
      I can’t cock it. I also bought it for the inexpensive pellets.
      It’s for sale.
      Craigslist won’t let me list it.

  10. I’ve got a bug-out bag behind the seat of my truck, & in it, I have a crossman pump .177 pellet pistol. 3 years ago, I killed a canada goose @ 35 yards with it, and several squirrels since. I also have several feet of latex tubing, (from Lowes), for sling-shot rubber. In my closet, I’ve got a crossman 760, that I removed the butt-plate, stuffed cotton in the grip of the handle, (and provide tinder), and have a small box of pellets & BB’s, a fire-steel, fishing kit etc. 550 cord wrapped around the grip, and its a self-contained survival kit.

  11. I fully agree. I love my Gamo.177 Silent Cat.

  12. I just bought a crosman nitro venom In .22 cal. w/a 3x9x32 mildot center point scope & boy does it shoot ! I am looking to use it for squirrel, & rabbit hunting in October when small game season opens! Along with any other small game , & varmits that are unlucky enough to cross my path 😉 Ray

  13. Long time reader first time to comment. I like the idea of an air gun for my survival gear. I have used an FX Ranchero and FX Verminator MK2 (both are PCP air guns) on many a small game hunting trip as well as touring my co-workers farm taking out pests. Never thought about keeping one set aside for my survival set.

    When I go out I keep a spare tank for each, and carry my charging unit for weekend trips(looks like a bike pump), they take up minimal space in my pack, quick to swap out, 70 or so shots before I have to swap out air cartridges or repump (which only takes a minute or two). Plus, the verminator makes grabbing a fish for dinner feel like cheating with the bow and real setup. Just find a fish in the creek, shoot, and reel in dinner.

    Another thing to think about, although the ammo is cheap, it is also easy to make. Although I buy 90+% of my ammo, what I use for target practice I salvage and melt down and reform into new pellets to use later. I use this guys molds, and it works quite well. http://airgunpelletmaker.weebly.com/ They are easy to make with either a hot plate or butane lighter/torch.

    Besides, at the end of the day, they are just fun to shoot.

  14. Mr. Stewart – I just discovered your site while researching decent, serious, air-rifles.

    I’ve wandered around your site a bit and have really enjoyed your take on things and I’ve learned some really valuable information. Great site, I’ve added it to my favourites. Cheers!

    • I’ve owned many airguns… Crossman/Benjamin, Gamo, Daisy, Diana, etc…

      The best value in airguns is a Diana RWS .34. It is about $210, but it will last a lifetime and is far superior in every way to similarly priced Crosman, Benjamin or Gamo break barrels. If you are on a strict budget you can get a crosman break barrel for under $100, but the Diana has amazing quality, more like something that would cost much more. It has better fit and finish than most “regular” rifles.

  15. I just added 2 break barrels to my kit, one is.22 and powerful, the othe is.177 and low ball. why? I train with the.177 cause is cheaper and riskless (backyard range…) and keep the.22 with more pellets in stock for SHTF. my country sucks on firearm ownership, but I'l get a.22 pistol,.22 rifle and one 12ga shotgun (in more or less 1yr- takes 6month to get the paperwork done and guns and ammo are expensive. If the police helps, I'll add a combo 36ga/.22 ROssi single-shot and a taurus judge 36ga (only version allowed here, no rifling, no.45LC). I'm also saving the fired pellets for: 1) cast fish weights 2) cast balls for homemade black powder shotgun 3) cast new pellets 4) reload shotgun shells 5) any other use I may learn… read your articles at AoM. thanks. bye

  16. dam! vfs.iurd I would move were I could own what I needed to defend me and my family!

  17. Good info here… as far as airguns go now days I suggest and opt for the croman nitrous for a buggout / home airgun for hunting or the Benjamin nitrous with the gas ram(both have the gas ram) and are really great guns in 22 Cal.. both are break barrels and awesome… nice thing is u can leave them cockrd almost forever without worry of a spring taking a set…accurate Quite and mist of all a well built gun… in 22csl… the only other one I would buy would be the new one that is all weatherized… if I were to get a pump it would have to be the BennjaminPump in 22 Cal.. decent well built. Ad definetly a small game getter… period cant go wrong with one… best to u all.

    • I have a crosman nitrous and as you say the technology is pretty amazing. I have the synthetic stock as they are supposed to last long under hard conditions.

  18. Reading the above comments, I’ve seen a lot of support for gas-piston air rifles (such as Crosman’s Nitro piston series rifles) over and above the support for the multipump pneumatic airguns (like the Benjamin 392 – which is also a Crosman product, btw). I have a few of these fine air rifles (both the Nitro-piston and Benjamin variants, I mean) and just want to add some info to the debate.
    If something goes wrong with your gas piston, you cannot repair it in the field (unless you carry a spare, which I would encourage). Even with the spare, though, taking down a spring-piston airgun – even one with a gas spring – requires tools that you may not readily have on hand, and often requires the use of a spring compressor — absolutely does, if it is a traditional metal-spring powered piston, as they use a substantial amount of spring preload in the non-cocked state.
    If you are talking about a survival situation, you cannot contact “customer service” and order a new piston (or spring). These pistons (actually, they are correctly termed “gas rams”) SHOULD last for 10’s of thousands of shot cycles, but as we all know, not everything lives up to expectations. And often things go most wrong when they are most badly needed.
    Also, almost any breakbarrel air rifle will outweigh a similarly powered multipump pneumatic, so there is the added consideration of carry weight. Further, all higher-powered spring-piston (metal or gas spring) airguns have some degree of forward-motion recoil — the felt impulse of the piston jumping forward for the firing cycle.
    In contrast, a well-built pumper like the Benjamin 392, which will also last for 10’s of thousands of shots, has the benefit of being stripped in the field with nothing more sophisticated than a hammer (or likely sized rock…) and some kind of punch, like a small bolt or medium thickness machine screw.
    The multipump guns will hold pressure for months – literally – if treated right. Additionally, the Benjamins (and Sheridans) are made with brass barrels and hardware, and therefore are weather- and rust-proof. They also have no felt recoil, unlike ANY breakbarrel powerplant piston airgun on the market. (There are sidelever airguns, like the awesome Diana/RWS model 54, which use a sledge system that the entire action rides upon to dampen recoil, but these airguns costs over $550 in general, and are quite heavy — the RWS 54 weighs a truly impressive 10 pounds, unscoped).
    One thing AGAINST the mentioned pumpers, the Benjamin 392 (or the .177 Benjamin 397, or the .20 cal Sheridan Blue-or-Silver Streak … same airguns, different calibers) is that they do not include scope dovetails. If you find yourself wanting to use a scope (or red-dot sight, etc…), I would look at the absolutely excellent, $65 Crosman 2100. Yes, it’s plastic stocked, and yes, it’s .177 caliber, but it offers you a choice to use optics, if that’s your concern. Just be sure to use it only for pellets; steel BBs will eventually damage your rifling (yes – even if they are copper coated!) Also, lead round balls do not work as well in most air rifles as pellets do, so just stick to pellets and avoid the hassle.
    Another multipump alternative — if you can still find one! — is the .22 caliber Daisy 22SG. This is wood stocked, has scope dovetails, and is a handy little carbine-sized air rifle, but it is simply not capable of the power of even the Crosman 2100 or anywhere near the potential of the Benjamin/Sheridans.
    I have over 200 air rifles (I have been collecting since the early 1980’s), and they include PCP, CO2, spring-piston, Nitro-piston, and multi-pumps. My go-to airgun for SHTF scenarios is a multipump, .22 caliber Benjamin 392 SE (which differs from the standard 392 in that it has a checkered Monte Carlo stock and scope rails). Not too fancy, but powerful, lightweight, accurate, and practical. I have a steroid-tuned 392 with a peep sight that would come a close second, and a vintage, 1971 Sheridan Blue Streak that would actually top my list, if only it weren’t in the less readily available .20 caliber.

    • What kind of scope/red dot can you put on these? I’ve heard the recoil is different and therefore a traditional scope won’t work. What’s the real scoop?

    • A Break Barrel is a superior survival/hunting weapon than a pumper. The difference in power/range = ability to put game in the pot.

  19. Abigail Lynette Gladwell says:

    http://www.pellet-guns.net is a good place to shop!

  20. Arvin Lewis says:

    Hi been reading your web site and have wanted to start a survival school in the Seattle area. I have been into survival for many years but in a slightly differenty flavor. I do the mountain man things. Starting fire with flint and steel as well as others. (they learned from the Indians) I also have advocated the pellet gun for many years but you left out a very serious weapon the tomahawk. It is truly silent and very effective. Any report in the woods that is heard in a survival situation is going to bring others and they will eventually get you if they think you have something they want. If I were going to hunt with a rifle of any kind it would be a single shot and only carry one or two bullits. If someone takes it away from you all they can do is use it as a club. (especially a black powder one) the throwing knife is to me more of a weight problem than an effective hunter. I teach Throwing the hawk (and knife) and have a utube video on “Arvins Tomahawk Throwing” As Jim Bowie once said a knife is always loadad that is true for the Tomahawk also. I know a few people that can throw the hawk fairly well but teaching it is another matter I have developed a system to do that (and at different distances) which works I can get any one that is willing to try and to listen to my instructions to do it. The hawk is also needed to cut limbs for shelter. Fire wood. it is without doubt my number one thing to carry outside of a way to produce fire. But you had better bring your brains and patience because with out those you are one lost Turkey.

  21. Steve Waggoner says:

    I have an old Sheridan pump 20 Cal rifle that only pumps sporadically.

    Can you tell me who repair them?

  22. I own a break barrel pellet rifle .177 caliber beeman rifle it came with a scope its pretty good also its a light carry and simple to use I love mine

  23. It is actually a great and helpful piece of information.
    I’m happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  24. This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!
    ! Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Thank you!

  25. I've an ancient (but sound and reliable) Crossman 130 for precisely the same reasons.

    While a .22 calibre air pistol might sound absurd, I hunt with it regularly.

  26. I do agree with the break barrel and multi-pump airguns, good to have I keep one in my camping and hiking kit just incase I get lost. But I disagree with the pneumatic statement, you don't need a scuba tank to refill your pneumatic, you can get high pressure hand pumps that, to my knowledge, are durable and easy to fix with hand tools. As well, pneumatics give a big game potential without the use of a rim fire. However if I could only grab one, I would grab my springer first.

  27. Great advice Creek! I own quite a few airguns myself however most are co2 powered. I use the co2 powered guns for target practice and plinking fun. I also have a pneumatic pump crosman M4 .177 rifle to hunt with and exterminate pest animals. This gun has a five round pellet clip and can also shoot bb’s as well. I guess the thing I really like about it is that it is consistantly accurate, compared to some of my other guns.
    If you ever have any other advice about airguns Creek you can email me anytime. Again thanks for this survival tip.

  28. overunder27 says:

    Only thing is, the seals on air rifles will eventually bite the dust. If there is a way to keep a surplus of those seals in a container with some type of preservative, then I guess you can disregard worrying about it.

  29. Hello friends, how is the whole thing, and what you want to say regarding this post, in my view its truly amazing in support of me.

  30. Great article…I always buy the CO2 cartridges, but after this article it is a great idea to have the break barrel.So I got this Gamo rifle: http://airgunsworld.com/gamo-silent-stalker-whisper-igt-air-rifle-air-rifle/.

  31. Good short and to the point article…I have always purchased the CO2 cartridges for my pellet hunting rifles, mainly my Crosman 1077, but after this article it is a great idea to have a break barrel type rifle. So I got this Gamo Silent Stalker hunting rifle: http://airgunsworld.com/gamo-silent-stalker-whisper-igt-air-rifle-air-rifle/.

  32. Ted Baccich says:

    Great Article… worth reading.

  33. Paul Lee says:

    I just posted this on another site where some guy was recommending hunting with a Crosman 760.. (note that pyramid air and other responsible air gun sellers do not recommend the 760 or any other air rifle or pistol for hunting,, other than mice,,) But… this was my post, regarding guns with muzzle velocities in the 600-700 range or less: ——-
    “Some years ago , Dr Beeman (Beeman Air Rifles –the classic hunters gun) stated that an air gun which puts out 5 to 7 ft pounds of muzzle energy (which your 760 does Only if Fully Pumped) is sufficient for a humane kill on a squirrel out to 15 yards, (3 car lengths ) and a rabbit , can be killed humanely with such a gun at no more than 5 yards (1 car length) ..And,, those are IF the shooter places the pellet in the hearts or brains,, which means you Must be capable of reliably and regularly hitting a target dot of 1 inch or less at those ranges.. A shot anywhere else MAY kill an animal.. or disable the animal enough to go finish it off with a head shot up close , or break its neck with your hands .. but may more likely not kill it rapidly, and the shooter may assume he missed entirely, but in reality the creature ran off to die slowly and miserably from bleeding or infection, A reasonable Minimum velocity is 800 with .22 pellets and 1000 with .177. A muzzle speed less than 1100 will not break the sound barrier and will not make that loud crack.. A 1200 FPS Air gun is rated with light pellets,, if you use heavy hunting pellets.. the speed will be about 1000 fps and therefore meet your need for quiet shots.. I suggest a Gamo, ($150-$200+, or the lesser known Hatsun Air rifles about $110… in .22 cal. Also please do not shoot squirrels and rabbits in the spring,, if you kill a female,, there will be about 6 less critters to shoot next year, as the babies will die inside her or starve in the nest.

    • Paul Lee says:

      Sorry, I wrote (note that pyramid air and other responsible air gun sellers do not recommend the 760 or any other air rifle or pistol for hunting,, other than mice,,) that SHOULD have said “any other 600 fps air rifle or air pistol”

      Oops.. my fingers got ahead of my brain…

  34. Don Tripp says:

    I have a RWS.177 that I bought 25 years ago. I thought that it was quite pricey at the time, almost as much money as a "real" gun I remember saying at the time but it has turned out to be one of my best firearm investments. I've taken all manner of small game with it as well as a very aggressive coyote and most recently a huge filthy possum that was making short work of my daughter's near sighted cat (the cat is traumatized but otherwise fine now).

  35. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!

  36. Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips

    and hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site

    soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose
    starting with a free platform like

    WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any ideas? Thanks!

  37. Mauro Lima says:

    Wow! Great article. Never thought about pellet guns this way.
    It’s in my list!

  38. Everyone NEEDS an air powered gun. In a SHTF scenario you will not be wasting valuable ammo on small game, nor wanting to give away your position. In fact I would say in a pure survival situation devoid of other humans, this would be MORE valuable than a big game rimfire rifle simply because you will not be hunting big game often as explained int he above article.

  39. Carl Corbett says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article and I just thought I would mention Lewis & Clark’s expedition across the continent, my understanding is they took a Girandoni Repeating Air Rifle with them and were very enamored with it. There is no better survival test than what the corp of discovery went through in my opinion.

  40. James Gugelstuphukenmuch Moore says:

    What're you going to do in a SHTF situation when you run out of gunpowder? That's right, go to your pellet gun. Whaddya mean you ain't got one? Dayam, sucks to be you when the place is dancing with bunnies and you're hungry…

    The only accessory you *need* in a long term SHTF is a pellet mould. There'll be plenty scrap metal around you can melt down (lead and tin alloy AKA solder melt at 180C just so you know, and it makes lovely soft pellets that don't shred your rifling), and I'm sure every survivalist knows how to build a furnace…

  41. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well
    written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  42. The pellets are a good source of lead for casting you own balls for your muzzleloader.

    • Scott Suttle Langager says:


      • And what would have been the problem with them nesting in your garage?
        You couldn’t have thought up another way preventing them?
        The way you SHOUTED your manly success in bagging those dangerous birds indicates that you might have a problem with just about any thing or anyone, or were you just hungry for a swallow or two?
        Lets hope that after your incredible journey fraught with danger and many days of hope in finding a safe haven some thing swallows you too.
        By the way, you’re exactly the kind of zombie I’m preparing to meet.

  43. When you insert your pellet, try backwards. It turns the pellet into a hollowpoint making a better soft tissue hit.

  44. Richard Stork says:

    Hi Creek, excellent article. I’m in UK, so without a firearms ticket, the only option is an air rifle. I recently bought a Stoeger X-20 Supressor, and I think it’s a super little rifle. It came with a decent 4-9×40 scope, and the built in moderator makes it the quietest on the market (according to the box). I couldn’t hit a barn door with it at first, but a bit of on-line research showed that to get accuracy out of a spring air gun, you need to hold it as lightly as possible, too firm a grip and you are fighting the recoil. My bag so far only consists of one rabbit, from one shot. But I still have a couple of portions of rabbit curry in the freezer, and a kilo of good lean meat for the cost of one pellet? Bargain!

  45. HOREDOG says:

    i stick to my real guns. i not 12 anymore

  46. HOREDOG says:

    mite as well shoot rubber bands as use a pellet gun is shtf you will look aweful stupid trying to fight w/pellet guns

  47. Samuel Adams says:

    I have a Walther Talon in .22 cal and it is excellent, except I had to reppace the scope. No prob though. I use a 6×42 I took off my FAL. As for recoil, come on folks. Its nothing. You want to talk recoil? Shoot a 12ga. shotgun with 3 1/2″ mag slug or a sabot .50 fmj hp. That is recoil. But the end result is worth it and yes, it is home made using a fmj hp for a black powder rifle. Hey, don’t knock it, it works. I thought about getting a pellet pistol to shoot copperheads and rattlers. I am even more convinced now. I need or want one that will have a lot of velocity though.

  48. Creek, as expected…GREAT! Can you give this ignoramus a bit of input on what the difference is between a "Break Barrel" and "Multi-pump"? I've never even SEEN any "Break barrel" rifles before…or…at least, didn't KNOW I was looking at one. Am a LIFE time SURVIVALIST / PREPPER, often go through REALLY GOOD gun stores (Carter's Country — H-town Tx. etc.), but never saw one that I know of…PLEASE DO GIVE more explain Bro. and THANKS for your continuing wisdom from experience counsel, & examples!

    • Paul – Break barrels are very common. The barrel just folds in half. It will say it on the packaging. I’m sure you’ve seen one and didn’t even know it. Break-barrel just require one pump – multi-pumps require multiples. If you youtube break barrel airguns I’m sure many vids will pop up. Thanks man.

  49. Duane Dykstra says:

    Been taking small game with a Benjamin.22 for 40 yrs.

  50. While some hunting enthusiasts might scoff at the prospect of using air rifles and lead pellets to do serious hunting, there are a number of reasons why every passionate hunter should have at least one air gun and a good supply of air rifle pellets in his arsenal of hunting weapons.

    Despite being incredibly popular in Europe and other parts of the world, the air gun is sorely underappreciated in the United States. While there are a number of air-gun savvy hunters in the U.S., the average American hunter remains largely uninformed about the power and accuracy of air rifles and unimpressed with the thought of using one for more than a casual round of backyard can plinking.

    The fact is, air gun hunters in both Europe and the U.S. regularly use their weapons to take everything from neighborhood varmints such as rats, skunks, raccoons and pigeons to game animals such as rabbits, deer and even feral hogs. Air guns are effective hunting weapons; some American hunters just do not know it yet.

    As far as shooting difficult, pellet guns can be a bit of a challenge. This is true even for those who consider themselves marksmen. However, because they require practice, superior game-stalking skills and the ability to kill with a well-placed pellet to the kill zone, pellet guns force hunters to hone all the attributes necessary for hunting with any rimfire or center-fire rifle. This does not mean a pellet gun should only be used as a tool for practice. To the contrary, a pellet gun is superior to many rimfire weapons in a variety of hunting situations, and it is a legitimate hunting weapon in its own right.

    Indeed, many rimfire cartridges, while being low in power in relation to center-fire ammunition, present the problem of being too powerful when used while hunting small game in areas close to roads, houses and people. Pellets are powerful enough to take down animals, yet they are limited in range and do not pose much of a risk to neighbors or their property.

    Hunters should be selective about which pellet guns and ammunition they acquire for their collection. Air rifle pellets are an especially important factor in making a clean kill. Hunters should select premium lead-free or lead pellets from a top-notch manufacturer such as Haendler & Natermann (H&N). The pellets produced by H&N are not only insanely accurate, but they are surprisingly affordable considering the extreme degree of precision and quality control that goes into making each one.

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  52. got a shadow 2000, 1000 fps with one pump, accurate as hell and nearly silent. Have killed many squirrels and rabbits with it. A well placed shot would easily bring down an intruder also if needed, great tip.

  53. Bill Weir You can buy 10,000 of the highest quality .177 pellets(JSB Diabolo Exact) for 320 USD from Amazon. Alternatively you can get 10,000 Umarex Superdome Field Line Pellets for 173 USD. If you spend 100 bucks on it you might never run out. If you use 5 of them a day it would take you 5 and a half years to use 10,000.

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  55. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Great idea! But, can you kill zombies with one?

  56. Convincing post.
    Great idea,

  57. Padma Drago says:

    No one said: good to have a nonlethal range weapon. What if a pack of unarmed 12-year old scavengers come to raid your house? or some similar situation where killing is not necessary nor desirable.

  58. Padma Drago says:

    No one said: good to have a nonlethal range weapon. What if a pack of unarmed 12-year old scavengers come to raid your house? or some similar situation where killing is not necessary nor desirable.

  59. David-Tricia Murphy says:

    Exactly! Can you kill a zombie with it?

    Realistically if you have a real gun… a semi-automatic; AR15, AR10 or AK47 with a lot of bullets and a good semi-automatic pistol to use if your rifle quits working. You will want to shoot a deer and a deer will probably feed two people for two weeks more or less. Guess what there are 300 thousand deer in the US and 300 million people here. Simple math. Two hundred ninety-nine million seven hundred thousand will starve to death while 300 thousand people will eat for a week. Wake up. Store food and get a real weapon. Not a .22, a pellet gun or some shotgun. 🙂

  60. Bobby R Bowden says:

    I agree with the philosophy of the air rifle. I have 4 in my arsenal. One thing you might want to mention is anything rated over 1087 FPS will go supersonic thus breaking the sound barrier and making a crack. I use Winchester 77XS rifles. Very accurate and come with a rifled steel barrel. The Gamo rifles are very heavy and the single pump action is too difficult for a lot of people.

    • Mauro Gomes de Lima says:

      I agree with the philosophy of the air rifle. I have 4 in my arsenal. One thing you might want to mention is anything rated over 1087 FPS will go supersonic thus breaking the sound barrier and making a crack. I use Winchester 77XS rifles. Very accurate and come with a rifled steel barrel. The Gamo rifles are very heavy and the single pump action is too difficult for a lot of people.

      I didnt know about this model. Thanks. This one seems nice cause accept 2 kinds of ammo. and it’s very versatile. In the non PCP arena, this is an amazing choice.

    • Mauro Gomes de Lima says:

      Thanks for the tip. Nice gun. This Winchester is nice.

    • Almost all air gun manufacturer’s inflate their velocity claims on the box (they use very light, inaccurate alloy pellets for testing) these pellets might weigh half as much as regular pellets and are inaccurate due to weight/drag (think dropping a feather out of a window), because they don’t interact with the barrel as well as lead pellets, and because of supersonic drag.

      Anyway, virtually no .22 cal break-barrel or pump pellet guns are in any danger at all of shooting above 1087 ft per second. If it says it shoots 900 fps, it’s probably closer to 650. If it says 1100, it’s probably closer to 800 with real pellets.. That’s still plentyyyyy of power but people should never have to worry about supersonic cracks unless they are using gimmicky alloy pellets.

  61. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com has better prices on pellet air rifles

  62. William LaFollette Jr says:

    David-Tricia Murphy you need to do your research… there are more than 7 million deer just in the state of texas

  63. Airguns are great fun too… way cheaper than shooting firearms, and great fun… I have an airgun and archery range in my basement, so I can shoot anytime… I prefer the older pre-1990's airguns, Beeman imports, Weirauch, FWB, Webley… harder to find at pawnshops these days, but still possible… found some of my best ones there! Airgunning is a great hobby… oh yeah, and learn to play harmonica and carry a few in your BOB !

  64. Just to be clear …there would be no "one shot kill" like a real firearm but you can potentially "kill it enough " (shot to the eyes , knees , ears ) to take its sense's (hearing , sight , and walking/running)to eat our brains away . its dangerous to us for a reason so you can do the same to a zombie .and a 50.cal pellet gun or anything higher then a 25.cal at 1250fps to a head would drop one and be silent.

  65. Zachariah Music says:

    David-Tricia Murphy there are over 600k deer in ohio hunters kill at least 250k every year in this state. I love my pellet rifle for the reasons in the article. it's all personal preference i suppose

  66. For those who are critical of the writer, you've missed the point. He clearly indicated he got EVERYTHING else, but these are the four reasons to ALSO own an air gun. Are deer "small" games? NO.

    What he said is intelligent and practical. Don't write anything unless it can convey good thoughts and info for other to benefit.

    Keep the good stuffs coming Creek.

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  68. William Mills says:

    Bill Weir – after 10000 rounds of on shot one kills Ill probably be deed any way.

  69. James Madeupmiddlename Moore says:

    Bill Weir like I said, make your own. One thing I have made sure of having recently is a 1/2" section of smoothbore barrel in 5.5mm. Push comes to shove with that I can melt a little solder into it, let it cool, knock it through with a purposed ramrod – instant wadcutter the exact size I need!!

  70. James Madeupmiddlename Moore says:

    David Murphy and Rusty: as I learned and later taught in sniper school: it's not the gun, it's the idiot behind it. You can have a 105mm Howitzer but it's no good if you can't hit the side of a building with it. Conversely, an air weapon with next to no maintenance, zero propellant charge, and ridiculously light ammo is a fucklot easier to carry than a powdercharge and all the shit that goes with that, and a well trained shooter with an air rifle can hit what he sees through his scope damn near every time, and if he's realistic about his quarry, drop it without needing a second shot.

    For example, your AR15 weighs what, 8.5lb with a 30-round magazine?
    My Mistrale weighs 7.25lb and a tin of 15.3gr* jacketed hollowpoints (500pc) adds another pound. For half a pound less weight (you'll see) I get 470 more rounds, NO powder to worry about going off, and with a little mackling with a good wood chisel, the tin fits inside the stock.

    *With my setup I can and have dropped rabbit with a shot through the eye at 100 yards.

  71. SHTF is certianly coming & the pump air rifle is OK. Also, the build it yourself Croctaw rifle & 12g shot gun that can be built in 3 hrs & cost $4. JameTurner(dot)20fr(dot)com

  72. Everyone should have one, they are so on much fun. And great pest control

  73. I have for decades used a sheridan blue streak 5 m.m. air rifle,pumps 3-8 times,will take down any small game with ease.I had a friend recently buy me a few boxes of original pellets at a gun show(premium I am sure)and have 2 rebuild kits in stock though after 40 years in family still shoots like a charm,this particular air rifle been in family since the late 60’s with off and on use,still works great.You are in the market for a good air gun would consider finding one of these used in decent shape or priced with a little work needed,well worth it over the newer stock out there,happy shooting all!

  74. Ken Swan says:

    actually my Gamo Silent Cat does not supersonic shooting lead pellets (1000 fps), it only goes supersonic if shooting the Gamo Platinum or Gold pellets (1250+ fps) and I have added a light and laser sight to it along with a tripod on weaver mounts just like my ar's

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  76. Richard Court says:

    David Murphy in the UK we can only have air rifles. you need to have a look at the mods you can do to a airgun

  77. James Madeupmiddlename Moore says:

    it's been nearly a year since I commented in here, but this needs to be said: if you're finding that your airgun is sending pellets supersonic, try a heavier pellet. You don't need a supersonic pellet, you need one that's going around 600-700 feet per second*. That'll get you a bunny sandwich at 100 feet with a whisper-quiet report. If you can't get within 100 feet of a rabbit, remember this maxim: nothing rattles, nothing shines. Move at the speed of growing grass, particularly where there's no concealment. My Mistrale blows a 15.3gr pellet at 575fps (average) for a muzzle energy of 11.24fpe. The same rifle would send a 9gr sabot (if I could get one loaded in the utterly weird breech) at shy of 750fps. I've dropped full grown hares with it at ranges up to 250 feet.

    *the muzzle velocity of a .38 ACP round at 95gr is 1150fps (just breaking the sound barrier). That gives a muzzle energy of 279fpe. That's way overkill for a rabbit, you'd cut it in half.

  78. Tim Yocky says:

    Richard Court you can only own air rifles in the UK? really?

  79. #5. It's an excellent way for somebody to learn how to shoot a rifle.

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