Survival Item – Pellet Guns

Most people wouldn’t think of a BB gun or a pellet gun as a survival item, but lately, a number or people have emailed us asking about adding one to their supplies. While it wouldn’t be my first option, there are some reasons you may want to consider adding one to your survival stockpile.

BB Gun laying on the ground

Technology has made them stronger and more reliable

In terms of technology, design and manufacturing, BB guns have come a long way over the last decade. Today’s BB guns are not the BB guns of your youth, and many of them are actually very reliable and very powerful. Pellet guns take things up a notch, and are great for plinkers or hunting small game.

  • They are both quite capable of taking small game like birds, rodents, squirrels and small rabbits.
  • If you want to increase your odds, look for a pellet gun with a high velocity of at least 700 FPS in a .22 cal, or 950 FPS in a .177 cal.
  • A good scope can increase accuracy, and help you spot smaller game.

They are dirt cheap

With the recent rise in ammo prices and a sudden shortage of rimfire ammunition, a lot of people are looking for cheaper alternatives. For training purposes, a BB gun might not be a bad alternative for speed or defensive drills. It’s probably not going to make you a better shooter, but it can be used to simulate some self-defense situations, and sure is a lot cheaper than almost anything else you can shoot.

  • A 500 ct. box of pellets is going to cost you around 10 bucks, and BBs are going to be even cheaper at $10 for around 6,000.
  • A decent BB or Pellet gun, suitable for hunting small game, can be found for under $200

A couple more reasons to consider adding a BB or Pellet gun to your survival stockpiles

  • They are legal to carry in most areas of the country.
  • They are quite and do not attract as much attention, making it easier to take out multiple small animals when hunting.
  • Believe it or not, during the Vietnam war soldiers were trained with Daisy model 99 BB guns to practice instinctive shooting techniques. They can be a great way to practice target focused shooting and quick kill techniques.
  • They are just plain fun, and can be a great way to introduce children to firearms.

What kind of Pellet or BB Gun is best for survival?

If you’re buying one for survival purposes, I would stay away from anything that needs CO2 or compressed air to fire. During a survival situation, these cartridges are going to be hard to come by, making your rifle completely useless once you run out of compressed air. Instead, look for a spring piston or lever action rifle; these allow you to build up air pressure by simply cocking a lever.

  • Single pump air rifles only require one pump to obtain maximum power. They are quick, easy to use and the best option when trying to quietly take a number of small animals.
  • Multi-Pump air rifles are another good option that allows you to control the amount of power you’re shooting with. They are typically less expensive but they are not as stealthy when trying to hunt.

Of course, if you’re looking to take things to the next level, I highly recommend checking out a Ruger 10/22. It’s one of our favorite .22LR Rifles on the market.

Some BB Guns and Ammo that we like:

100 Comments

  1. Manny Toledo
    October 10, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    that is a good thing to carry for hunting small game

    • Erling
      June 20, 2015 at 8:41 am

      I have one and have killed gophers chipmunks and birds all one shot one kill

    • Dallin
      November 24, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      I have used a multi-pump air rifle for hunting for almost 3 years now and stealth is actually really easy if you have the time to pump it slowly

    • Chris
      November 7, 2016 at 1:18 am

      I’ve dropped 2 40 pound pigs with a gamo air rifle

  2. Kesten
    January 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

    It’s good to keep one of these around.

  3. Big T
    February 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Very bad idea, and I am simply shaking my head in disbelief. I have hunted small game extensively, and only an expert would try hunting with a pellet gun. It lacks killing power for squirrels and rabbits, and have fun getting close enough to kill any animal with it. You are far better with a manual action .22, which has plenty of killing power and range. Ammo is cheap and you can therefore afford to practice and get the accuaracy skills necessary to hunt with a .22. A 410 shotgun might be better for those with poor skills; can still take small game, but slugs provide better protection against predators-or people.

    • jlowski214
      March 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      you are a poor shot if you cat kill a squirrel with a pellet gun.

      • SWC
        March 4, 2015 at 2:21 am

        Lets look at the topic, Survival, that was the question, any one can fire a bullet, what happens when they are scarce? If I am in the mountains and hiking and I am not sure how long I will be out there. I would much rather carry 1000 rounds at 10Lbs than 100 rounds at 30 pounds. It does become a very essential survival tool. it is quiet and reliable.

    • Adam
      March 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

      My pellet rifle will shoot upwards of 1,250 fps. I’ve taken down a few rabbits with it no problem. It doesn’t require co2 and its very accurate up to 100yds. The only downside is its a little slow to reload. For shooting small game, I think the pellet rifle is indespensible.

    • sip
      May 19, 2012 at 7:39 am

      Big T, you must not be a good shot, I’ve been back packing for 30+ years now. I’ll always carried my crossman 1377 and never went without eating and never wornned an aminal to wonder off to die. Rabbit, squriel, dove, or quail all are one shot one kill. Try bushing up on your stocking skills.

    • westoftherockies
      May 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      you’re crazy if you think a pellet gun can’t take out small game, easily can, i’ve killed lots of critters with a bb gun when i was a kid, squirrels/birds etc. you’re not making sense. a pellet rifle is plenty powerful and can easily kill small game, without any problem.

    • Greg
      June 25, 2012 at 12:51 am

      Big T you haven’t got clue what your are talking about. You must be thinking about a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun LOL. I have a Diana 34 .177 and Diana 350 magnum .22 air rifle. Both easily take out game up to Jack Rabbit size at ranges up to 50 yards and beyond. Muzzle velocity respectively is 1000fps and around 890 fps for the .22. With these new Gamo steel point pellets the .22 will easiliy stop a man with a head shot. Airgun pellets are extremely cheap and light weight. When it’s shtf time you won’t be out in the woods stalking deer. You will be after the most abundant food source namely small game. When it’s Zombie time you also don’t want to be making a lot of noise with a firearm. I have various weapons including a crossbow. Nothing comes close to a good air rifle for food and a revolver for Zombies (auto clip springs weaken). PS Crossbows and modern bows are next to useless in a survival situation. You have to own one to appreciate what I mean. Slingshots? depends what you mean by survival. A few days maybe then what. Rubber has short shelf life and slingshots are not very accurate. How you going to replace the rubber? Go to Walmart? A good springer airgun (note good) will last a lifetime if you treat it right.

      • sid
        October 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm

        I wonder if a pellet can go all the way through a squirrel – since I plan on killing the one in my attic with my new BB gun (410 FPS). Any thoughts?

        • JR
          November 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm

          @ sid. I would recommend upgrading to a pellet gun of at least 1,000 fps. From personal experience a even a 600 fps bb gun will not work on squirrels (thick skin). I would suggest getting the gammo hornet. It cost me under $100 and shoots lead pellets at 1000 fps, or alloy pellets at 1200 fps(BBs will ruin the riffling).

          • Robert Lengyel
            July 30, 2014 at 7:48 pm

            I beg to differ i killed a gray squirrel with a crossman 760 pumpmaster 625fps last year

        • andy
          February 4, 2016 at 4:02 pm

          you got to have a rifle that will shot at least 600 fps and ahead shot and its over.beware it will go through the head easly.

    • Twig
      July 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      Big T,Type in big bore pellet guns. They can take out big game in one shot at 100 yards. If you like them I would recommend a quakenbush airgun, or a .45 cal Sam Yang airgun.

      • SWC
        March 4, 2015 at 2:32 am

        OUTSTANDING AIR GUN!!!!!!!

      • Azar
        June 10, 2015 at 10:03 pm

        Good luck getting a quackenbush. I love them, but they are back ordered for years! You’ll have to buy used and they are pricey because of demand. But if you can pay it, Go for it!

    • Justin
      June 11, 2013 at 6:21 am

      Idk what you are talking about when you say it lacks killing power. I had a Remington 1200 .177 break barrel and I took out a turkey, no problem. Imagine if you had one chambered in .22 or .25, with heavier pellets the knockdown power would be more than enough.

      • andy
        February 4, 2016 at 4:08 pm

        ive killed racoons with 177 cal at 1000 fps and 22 cal at 900 fps the racoon weighted in at about 15 1/2 pounds it doesnt matter what the cal is as long as it a (HEAD SHOT) it will go down also gamo makes all kinds of killer pellets.

        • Nikki
          May 11, 2017 at 9:04 am

          Hi I was wondering if you can help me my name is Nikki I’m having a real problem with nuisance animals I was able to trap the possums but the raccoon managed to head-butt his way out of the cage I have a daisy Powerline model 1000 do you think that would do the trick I do not want to have to make him suffer or shoot him more than twice

    • bob
      June 27, 2013 at 10:36 am

      I guess im an expert because if killed like 20 squirreles with a pellet gun and have killed only one with a firearm

    • mike
      September 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      read this comment, went into my back yard and killed 2 birds and 1 rabbit in less than a half hour 4 shots total so ya they defiantly can kill small game Gamo Silent Stalker .22 with stock setup

    • David Haworth
      November 1, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Big T I can tell you wrote this in 2010 because it is impossible to find .22 shells now in November of 2013. My Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston break barrel.22 caliber pellet gun has plenty of knock down power for a squirrel or rabbit at thirty yards. If you can’t get within thirty yards of an animal you aren’t much of a hunter. Even in the city there are plenty of squirrels in the parks, etc. and the pellet gun is so quiet that nobody will even know you are harvesting squirrels. I wouldn’t be without one when the SHTF. I purchased 4,000 14.3 grain .22 caliber pellets for around $50. On today’s market that many.22 long rifle shells would cost you $560 if you can find them.

    • Bearhunter9989
      November 30, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      you obviously know nothing at all about these modern air rifles buddy

      • Bearhunter9989
        November 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm

        Benjamin .357 Rogue. That’s all I have to say to the guy who doesn’t believe

        • Gil
          May 30, 2014 at 12:11 am

          That guns a beast! I want 1! And that new .30 FX BobCat!!

    • Art
      December 2, 2013 at 8:05 am

      I have killed a rabbit @ 10yrds + with a crosman pumpmaster classic .177. I have a stoeger model 10 .177 and a benjamin np xl 1100 .22 and I drive pellets through a 1/4 plywood and lodge in the wood behind the target @ 40yrds +.

      • Asif Can
        January 29, 2015 at 3:19 pm

        10 yards?? How funny?? Shooting a rabbit in 10 yards and killed?? So Sad dear.. If you can reach to rabbit about 10 years and then what’s the need to shoot it with Airgun?? If you are so closer to a rabbit about 10 yards then go and catch him through your hands.. Why shooting?? Is it not a joke?? Air Rifle are used to shoot for long distance where we can’t reach easily as the object will run away… Do you should practice with about 80-120 yards.. Not 10 yards.. In 10 yards Stone or Slingshot is enough what a kid do.. Are not?? Joking yaar..

    • Bmsmith
      January 2, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      I have to agree with the others: you must not be familiar with the modern 22 cal air rifle. At anywhere from 910-1750 fps, a .22 air rifle firing hollow point ammo will easily dispatch anything from game birds to small/medium game. When you combine a sub-500 price tag with ammo that averages a cent per shot, the air rifle is a perfect “extra” to any gun locker.

    • john
      January 3, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      I agree if you cant kill a squirrel with a pellet gun that pretty pathetic

    • Chris
      February 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      I killed a coyote in 1 shot with a benjamin discovery .22… It was attacking my chickens that were outside. It was 49 lbs and dropped on the spot from a head shot

    • Urban Airgunner
      May 3, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Air guns have long been used for killing. with the high cost of ammo and the fact that you cant find it air guns make sense. I have been hunting small game and large. .25 cal has 100 foot pounds of energy and can kill deer and pigs at 60 or 70 yards. My gun is fully suppressed. if you do your home work you’ll find a hole new world with adult airguns.

      • Gil
        May 30, 2014 at 12:17 am

        Yes Sir!

    • sheckley
      June 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      I hunt squirrels almost every day with a pellet gun, it is a break barrel, and not a pump, but i do recommend one in suburban areas! it is quiet enough to not disturb the neighbors and 8 out of 10 times kills a squirrel with the first shot.

    • Jon
      October 8, 2014 at 5:38 am

      I have a Crosman Nitro Piston .22 pellet rifle. Without much effort, I’ve eliminated 272 pests from my back yard including 62 chipmunks, 3 crows, 1 raccoon and 203 squirrels. The pellets I use are less than $0.02 per shot which makes it extremely affordable.

    • Robert
      February 4, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Lol what planet are you from. Pellet rifles from 30 years ago had the power and accuracy to drop squirrels and rabbits. The current generation of air rifles will take groundhogs.

    • badOedipus
      March 14, 2015 at 7:30 am

      Big T you must be one lousy shot. My 80 year old father picks off at least 10 squirrels a week from his back patio with a pellet gun. I personally have killed 3 o’possums, hundreds of squirrels, dozens of morning doves and one rabbit cat with a pellet gun. They are great tools to have in a survival situation.

    • byshup
      March 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Big t u need to do some research. I have a .357 PCP air rifle that is capable of taking down a 1000lb buffalo with good placement. I do deer and hog hunt a lot. Hog hunting just about every week if I can. In my opinion it takes more skill to hunt with a air rifle. U have to get at least with in 50 to 70 yards to get an ethical kill.I’m not really down for sitting in a stand watching a bait station. That not real hunting to me. In my opinion its a bull shit way to hunt. So my advice is do some research before u go dogging something u know nothing about

    • RODOLFO
      March 23, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      NOTE THAT MY FRIEND IS NOT KNOWN OF ARMS AIR UP THERE DESE CALIBRE .177 CALIBRE 50, AND HAVE HUNTED ANIMALS IN AFRICA WITH AIR RIFLES, BETTER PUT TO READ AND STUDY ON THE SUBJECT IN ORDER TO SPEAK

    • Nate
      April 11, 2015 at 8:04 am

      .22 ammo is hard to find and when you find it, it is expensive. I just bought 100 .22 ammo for $40.00

    • watcher
      June 27, 2015 at 8:08 am

      You sir, are an idiot.

    • james
      December 7, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      i got my first pellet gun at 11 years old,a crossman 177 calpowermaster or something like that.i doubt it was more than 800 fps.their was lots of small game in my area and i kiled a rabbit with a head shot the first day.i lost count how many doves.qual,rabbits and squirrels i killed with that gun.most were head shots.the little factory scope they sold along with the rifle i give the credit to and it lasted me the life of the rifle which was maybe 3 yrs,but i was hunting almost daily

      • danEnter your name...
        January 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm

        You all must think you are real men shooting little unarmed animals for sport. I’d like to make a real sport out of it and I’ll shoot for the animals. How would you like that.

        • mark
          August 25, 2016 at 2:47 pm

          They taste so good though

        • Joe Ledux
          January 12, 2017 at 12:58 am

          Dear sweet dan,
          yes, yes of course yet another defender of innocent animals has come here with his magnificent frightening self to tell us all what wimps we are for persecuting poor innocent animals. He even makes a statement which verges on the threshold of being a threat. Of course, it’s an inexact, ambiguous and deniable threat of the kind that passive-aggressive ninnies like him tend to make when they’re in as snit. Such ambiguous threats work well for that sort of girly-chap, in case somebody truly scary fellow (e.g. any man taller than him) holds his feet to the fire over it. Why, all he has to do is point to the ambiguity of his threatening language to establish that he was not, in fact, making the threat to the guy who’s about to beat the everloving piss out of him, and voila! He’s off the hook! Except it often doesn’t work that way. Me, I’ll take that bet. I will go out and put some innocent animals to death–it’s really not the death that hunters enjoy so much as eating the tasty critters once the sentence has been carried out, but whatever–And while I’m in the process of doing that, you’re quite welcome, even encouraged to do, well…whatever the heck that vague threat of yours said you would do, and when it’s all said and done I’ll have some small innocent but very tasty dead squirrel, rabbits, doves, whatever. And if you ever actually grew the huevos to pop out of your hole in the ground and attempt ANYTHING that annoyed me or threatened to interrupt my recreational hunting, I will beat your ass like a mulatto stepchild, and when it’s all set and done I will tattoo a pair of breasts on your back, dress you in a tutu, and rent you to a gang of degenerates I know from back in my old police days. And then I will have a pack of smokes and a sixpack of Pabst Blue Ribbon to go along with my innocent-critter stew that I can smell already, bubbling in an iron pot hanging over the campfire. Folks, it don’t get no better than this.

          Joe

    • John
      December 10, 2015 at 12:45 am

      I disagree somewhat, yes a .22 bolt action/lever is a good choice for small game. But I disagree with you that a high power .177 .22 will not kill small game! I have taken many many rabbits,Hares rats’ medium sized game birds Pidgeons etc
      Yes shot placement is very important for a clean quick kill, but then the same for other larger calibers. My .177 reliably exceeds 1200 fps and my .22 960+fps plenty of power for small game and pests!!

    • evergreenenter@aol.com
      December 20, 2015 at 7:19 am

      In my opinion, the .22 cal is the best for survival , in many occasions, I use a air rifle, to kill small game, rabbits, squirrels, rats, lots of rats,,,, head shots at 75 yards or less,,,,, very unexpansive to shoot,,,,,

    • snowman
      January 28, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      I hunt with a .22 cal and a.177 I have had no problem killing anything. If your trying to kill at over 30 yards no it wil not kill. My firearms are too expensive to use so I stick with air. I also carry a pellet pistol for personal protection. I have a .22 mag for back up. The right fps on a pellet pistol can be just as deadly.

    • DavidEnter your name...
      February 2, 2016 at 7:47 am

      U must be steel lousy shot to call someone an expert to kill a squirl ,with a pellet gun at one point I had a1200 fps &had to shot a pitbull because it had a death grip on my sons leg &i had one chance &one shot and a second all’s I heard was a shot saw the pit drop an idiot can take a deer down with any thing over 1200 fps at75 yards I’ve done it u done need a hand grenade,just the right trianing,my advice to u go back to school,or u shouldn’t Be out thier

      • tom
        August 21, 2016 at 6:02 pm

        U cant spell dude

    • Jerry
      April 8, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Big T, I know this post is over 6 years old, but you must be the worse shot on the planet, if you can’t use a pellet, or BB gun. Yes, they can take out a squirrel, very easy, and even bigger game than that.

      I have hunted with numerous pump action air guns since I was about 12, and never had a problem. They are a great way to hunt for food, in a survival situation, and dirt cheap, low maintenance, and light weight, and in a pinch, you can even use them for self defense, if you have the right cal. and velocity. You are stupid to limit yourself to just your .22. What are you going to do with it, when you run out of amo? You can’t reload .22 rim-fire. You need a range of different weapons, and dismissing a pellet/bb gun is a big, and maybe fatal mistake.

    • Franz von Maybach
      June 23, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      I beg to differ, pellet rifles go up to .50 calibre. There are a lot of videos on youtube. There is even a hunter that takes down a buck with a .357 Benjamin rogue air rifle. People taking down a boar with .177 Gamo PBA rounds. Pellet guns used to be weak. They even have tech that allows you to fill individual cartridges with Compressed air.

    • Daniel Lundquist
      October 23, 2016 at 10:22 am

      I have a Crosman Crusher 22caliber kill a rabbit or a squirrel over a hundred yards away you are wrong

    • David Mc
      November 13, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      in the uk wwe despatch rats squirrels rabbits at 35yds plus with 12ftlbs pellets from .177 through to .25…… they are effective. I agree with you on animals much bigger. ive seen absolute morons use half a dozen shots with a .22 break barrel pellet gun on a huge pig…… if its not one shot and lights out the guy should have been hung

    • RICHARD D RODERICK
      March 14, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      You must not be much of a shot. I kill plenty of rabbits and squirrels with a 177 cal BB gun. Shots of 30 – 40 yds are pretty easy. I have also taken down a small 45 lb pig with my 22 cal pellet gun.

  4. Joe M.
    March 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Slingshot, slingshot, slingshot. replenishable ammo, doesn’t need CO2.

    • Hokanut
      February 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      I live in a rabbit infested desert area with a nazi like HOA who will harras and fine any home owner with bare(rabbit eaten)spots on the lawn and I had to reply to the comment regarding the lack of power in a pellet gun to take small game. I love wild life at my front door but the rabbits have had to be delt with. The .22 single stroke Remington(NPSS)pellet gun I’ve used to dispatch several of these lawn eating mouraders at 25-30 ft.tears right through them and drops them in their track. More then enough power to humainly dispatch these buggers. Then they’re placed at the back fence line where the coyotes remove them for me. Just sayin.

      • william
        August 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm

        why put them on the fence for coyote’s?, if you get more than you can eat, then mabe but eat them wabbits. they are very tasty

        • Mark
          March 22, 2016 at 5:44 pm

          Here in TX I learned to only eat rabbits in months that have a r in them. Rest of the year it is not safe to eat them.

    • Sharpie
      March 18, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      I like slingshots, but I’m better with a rifle.

      You can reuse pellets and BBs in my experience.

      And none of my pellet guns use CO2 canisters.

      • ve
        July 17, 2013 at 12:37 pm

        you can’t reuse bbs or pellets. they will ruin your gun if you even manage to load them.

        • ken
          March 3, 2015 at 9:41 pm

          wrong, bb’s are reusable

        • tony
          December 20, 2015 at 7:24 am

          you can re use bb, not pellets,,,,

    • Robert
      February 4, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Slingshot is nowhere near as accurate as a pellet gun, and most pellet guns don’t need co2 either. The amount of time it would take to master a slingshot is better spent doing other things unless you’re just having fun with it.

  5. Numm
    March 5, 2010 at 1:08 am

    I think a BB/Pellet gun is a must have for any survival kit. Big T sais only an expert would try hunting with on but when it comes down to it if you need food this is the way to go. Not only can you take down small game but if you miss your first, second, third, or fourth shot it is silent enough to keep your prey close by. My Crosman 2100 goes for around $60 and shoots 755 fps with standard .177 cal BB’s and 725 fps with pellets, thats close enough to compaire to a lot of .22 cal long rifles out there which average 800 to 900 fps, and to top it off my BB gun is just as accurate as any small cal. rifle. And as Joe is implying I do not need Co2 for my gun it is pump action and a sling shot is not accurate at all unless you have enough experience to even come close to what you are shooting for.

    • John
      June 25, 2012 at 1:06 am

      The problem with BB guns is they are notoriously cheap crap and won’t take a beating out bush for long. You want a German made spring air rifle. Weirach, Diana, Theoben etc.
      I’m having trouble with the concept of CO2 and survival weapon…. LMAO

      • byshup
        March 17, 2015 at 8:53 pm

        I spent 1300 on my air rifle. There not all cheap. Ant its very accurate. My bt65 shoots half inch groups at 100 yeards

    • tony
      December 20, 2015 at 7:33 am

      I have a piston air rifle, on stroke, and you are set to go, very accurate at 75 yards, or less, you can cover 10 shots with a quarter,,,,, have kill many rabbits, squirrels,with head shots,,,,, many rats as well,,,, pallets are less expansive than any other projectile,,,,,

    • marc
      October 23, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      I have many airguns, up to .45 cal pcp..You cant compare a .177 to a .22 long, even if it shoots 1500 fps..You are talking 100 fpe max with a powerful .25 pcp, that is close to some .22 rounds…You have to figure the weight of the projectile, FPS dont mean shit..I wouldnt hunt deer with my modded condor .25, but I know i could drop one with one well placed shot in a shtf situation..Now my .45 pcp, that is putting out over 500 fpe, and can take down just about any living creature on the planet, still not enough to kill with hydrostatic shock, just kills from blood loss or brain damage..

  6. joe c
    March 10, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    i think a pellet gun is a great idea.im not a expert by any means but i know for a fact you can take squirls,rabit,birds,rats,and coon with a .22 small calliber pellet gun because ive done it up to 35yrds easily and 50yrds is a little harder but definitly possible even at a hundred yards with a 1000fps rifle and a .22 pellet you can put down medium game.a 900fps gun using a 17gram pellet produces 30.5 ft.ponds of energy from the muzzle more than enough to penetrate skin and bones. not only that but pellet guns are very accurate and have low to no recoil. infact a moderatly priced pellet gun can out perform a compitition .22 centerfire rifle with in a 100yrds if put into the right hands.i can put 10 shots in a dime sized group from 35yrds away.also if you like big game i used to have a .50 calliber air gun that could take a 130lb buck look on youtube for people tacking wild boar and even a 2000lb buffalo with airguns. and if you want to know more about airguns try pyramydair.com or the yellow airgun forums.

    • ve
      July 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      i agree with that. if you want to be precise, a good air rifle is the way to go. pump rifles are very quiet, and if you need something stronger, a gas ram is the way to go.

      if you need more stoping power than that, a bow/crossbow is the way to go, but you need much experience to hit with a bow and have to get close up. 10m recommended. the advantage there is, they prey wont know what hit them until it has bled out, which takes about 2 to 3 seconds depending on size. i’ve seen deer that keeps grazing and then drops dead.

    • tony
      December 20, 2015 at 7:46 am

      I have a SW German made, piston air rifle one stroke, and you are set to go, jest as accurate as my .22 bolt action rifles, at 100 yards, have taken many rabbits, squirrels, and hahaha yes many rats as well

  7. Hank
    March 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I am afraid BigT just has not given today’s air guns, which are worlds apart from the Daisy Red Ryders of our youth, a fair chance. Serious small-game hunting can be done with a growing number of offerings from Gamo, for instance. Their Whisper line has guns capable of 1,200 fps velocity, coupled with an integral sound-dampening muzzle, which reduces the “crack” produced by projectiles travelling faster than the speed of sound, by up to 52%. I have used one of these rifles for pest/vermin control at a large apartment community where I work and have never had one complaint of being “too loud”.

  8. Goodwin
    March 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I have the Henry U.S. Survival for a small game rifle. Its a semi-auto .22 rifle that can be easily taken down and stored in the stock. The stock holds 2 mags, receiver and barrel. It’s water proof, floats, and all the metal components are teflon coated for weather resistance. It costs well less than $300, ammo is cheap and light, and the rifle weighs 2 pounds. Much more practical than an air rifle.

    • westoftherockies
      May 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      the henry is nice, but still not as practical as a pellet rifle, you can buy like 10,000 pellets for a few bucks and so you’ll never run out and with a pump pellet rifle, you don’t even need co2, and you can hunt all the birds and squirrels etc you need in order to feed yourself.

    • william
      August 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      a 22 is good and everyone should own at least one. but a pellet gun is a very necassary item if money is hard to come by. a lot of pellets can be bought for little money. use the pellets for small game in a survival situation and save the 22 for bigger game. don’t waste 22lr on small game when you could be using pellets.

  9. joe c
    March 16, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    That is a neat gun i think i will pick one up to play with. hope i can find one for around a hundred or so. for “SURVIVAL” i agree this is much more practical. still love my airguns for hunting though…lol.

  10. Goodwin
    March 19, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Yeah Joe, its great. It’ll fit in a backpack or large tool box. Check it out you’ll probably like it!

  11. Jorge
    March 21, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    talking about pellet guns, yes you can hunt small animals like rats,rabbits,birds when i was 12 years old my dad bought me a daisy 880 pump air rifle that uses BBs and pellets.With BBs wouldnt do much damage, but with pointy pellets it was real good. now i use a winchester 1000X pellet rifle .177 cal. with a scope that goes at 1000 fps.

    • watcher
      June 27, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Ducks, geese, doves, raccoon, opossum, squirrel, pigeon, cats, dog, bull frog, all with a .177. If I’m hungry and install the. 22 barrel there are deer and small pigs.

  12. Dave
    May 15, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    By the time you found and outfitted completely one of those ultra super-duper pellet rifles that can take ‘coons at up to 100 yards, you could have bought a reasonably tricked-out Ruger .22 fitted with nice optics and a thousand rounds and still be money ahead. Good lord, gear queers. LOL. I swear.

    • josh
      June 1, 2012 at 9:33 am

      dude i was totally right there with you, right up until last week, my best friend lives in a highly residential and historic neighborhood and he’s got one hell of a squirrel problem. everyone around him has dogs so poison is a no go, and try explaining to a police officer that your were only shooting squirrels with your 22. so i bought him a ruger blackhawk air rifle, first blood was taken just after sight in. you can’t buy a tricked out ruger 1022 with optics and a thousand rounds for 100 bucks. sorry, you just can’t. you can however buy a plethora of gamo, stoger, and ruger last years air guns complete with a decent 4x scope on clearance right now for that much or less and a tin of 750 hollow point pellets for 7 bucks. I’ve bought 3 more air rifles since then and shot 1000s of rounds, they’re fun, legal in the city, and deadly on squirrels.

    • robert
      February 4, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      Did you even read the article?A $150 pellet gun will do everything the author stated in his article, and he’s not saying it would replace a .22, hence why he states “Of course if you’re looking to take things to the next level, I highly recommend checking out a Ruger 10/22. It’s one of our favorite .22LR Rifles on the market.” There is no need to trick out an air rifle with hundreds of dollars of stuff like you 10/22 guys do with your guns.

  13. Robin
    May 17, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    If I recall correctly Louis and Clark carried a Air rifle with them on their trip.

    • Ben
      March 17, 2014 at 8:43 am

      I don’t think you are recalling correctly…. The first gun even somewhat related to the airgun was invented in the 1880s….

      • Hillbilly
        April 27, 2014 at 10:46 am

        Girandoni Air Rifle in .46 caliber is what Lewis and Clark took with them. This rifle was also in service by the Austrian Army from 1780 until 1815. It had an effective range of 100 yds.

  14. j.r. guerra in s. tx.
    June 25, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Also remember that if we are talking about ‘survival’ and not sport hunting, ANY source of protein adds flavor to the pot. Plenty of ‘tweety birds’ around for that overhead – add that to your canteen cup for about as easy a protein source there is.

    Do agree that pellet rifles (at least pneumatics) should have their small game animal range limited – maybe 30 yards maximum. I killed a rabbit with my old 70’s vintage Daisy 880 when I was a teenager, but it was not a clean kill, it took several shots to make it dead.

    You can go with springer, but those are pretty heavy. CO2 are lighter, but then you have powerlet availability and pressure issues with temperatures. To my mind, the Benjamin 397 or 392 makes a lot of sense, the Williams aperture receiver sight of great help.

    JMO.

    • john
      April 6, 2012 at 12:23 am

      when i was younger I killed a possum with a pellet rifle one shot

  15. rory ryan
    September 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    i found that even small squirrels when shot with a bb gun fail to die on the spot and go unfound. not something i would prioritze.

    • mike
      October 13, 2012 at 10:04 am

      i agree small squirrels dont die from bb guns unless u hit vital organ but pellet guns kill.gamo big cat crossman phantom 1000

  16. Jim
    September 4, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    In my opinion planning to have only a .22Lr as your survival firearm is a bad idea.
    Now I love the .22 and believe it is an essential part of a TEOTWAWKI kit.
    If you can choose only one; a shotgun makes the most sense from a versatility standpoint. You can kill everything from mice to bears with a shotgun!
    That being said; a powerful accurate pellet gun would be handy to have when the lights go out. .
    22Lr may become hard to get your hands on, the noise could draw unwanted attention, and you can’t reload .22lr
    The Air Rifle gets its power from you, you may be able to make ammo, it is real easy to store a lot of ammo, less noise to bring attention to yourself and they can be very effective on small animals. We are not talking about a daisy red rider. But a real adult air gun. Big 5 always have them on sale. For me it’s kind of a toss up between this and a Mosin.

  17. Mick
    September 9, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    You cant compare a pellet gun to a .22 LR A 22.lr has around 140 ft-lbs of knockdown power A .25 pellet rifle has about 20 ft-lbs and we are talking a webley at 600 fps .Yes you can kill small game with one but dont compare on the FPS a .22 is a 40 gr a .177 standard pellet is about 7.5 grain . and gets about 3 to 6 ft-lbs.

    • Bearhunter9989
      November 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Benjamin .25 caliber averages 40 FPE and modified can get up 60+ Very accurate also. and you can customize them really nicely. Mine looks like an assault rifle and will take down coyote and bobcat. I haven’t done it yet but someone on you tube has.

    • marc
      October 23, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      you are retarded..My condor .25 pcp( not break barrel) makes just about 100fpe with 34 grain to 43 grain ammo..On LOW POWER, it makes 60 fpe all day..I dont know of ANY .25 Airgun that only makes 20 fpe..lmao..My condor .25 goes through 1/2 inch plywood at over 100 yards..My .45 texan pcp, makes more fpe than any super magnum .22 on the planet..Get your facts straight before you start shootin off..

  18. CRW
    November 7, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I have a Gamo and have killed small game with it. The proper air rifle not BB-gun could be a valuable tool in a survival situation. By the way I also own a Smith and Wesson MP-1522 and it is a sweet gun but I cant bust it off with the neighbors around.

  19. htwt
    January 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Big T:

    You’re uninformed…I’ve been taking rabbits, squirrels and other small game for over 20 years with a high-powered break-barrel pellet rifle, in .177.

    And as far as ‘humane’ is concerned, when I or my family is hungry, if I slow any animal down enough to catch it, kill it and eat it, I could care less whether or not it lived for a minute or two past the initial wound…

    On a side note: it’s funny how the ‘humane’ argument doesn’t carry over into snares, which strangle an animal to death…oh yeah…I use those too…

    Cheers!

  20. Flyer91
    May 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Absolutely a modern high velocity pump, break barrel or PCP) (preferably nitrogen piston, or PCP with the hand pump accessory) pellet rifle is ‘much’ better than a powder rifle for ‘true’ survival situation …. assuming it’s prolonged, and not just something to get you through for a few days/week or so.
    You won’t run out of ammo in a prolonged survival situation with an AG because you can shoot things that ‘will’ provide some sort of food ….. even if it’s not the best ammo …… like your own whittled down hard wood pellets and etc.
    If you are talking about going pack-packing and haven’t done the proper things to let folks know where you are going to be, or you are flying the bush in the great white north or Alaska and have a propensity to land unexpectedly, then a PG will probably be the better choice, but ….. if talking about ‘basic’ survival ‘food hunting’ for a prolonged, unexpected emergency situation, like the collapse of modern western society ….. then a modern air pellet gun will still be providing you food when an empty powder gun is nothing more than an ineffective club.
    So ……. basically blow off the .22 survival rifles, either get a good .223/5.56mm or 308/7.62mm caliber PG (the worlds most popular ammo calibers) to both protect yourself and more rarely …. to shoot large game ……. ‘and’ a good (1000FPS) pellet rifle to save the big gun for better use.
    If you can only afford one …… get the pellet gun.
    Keep in mind in the event of a ‘colaspes of society’ situation were many people are starving, big game will become scarce in a very short time, and worse …… people will hear you shooting, which will draw attention to your actions …….. more than likely in an very unfavorable way.
    But if you decide you still want a .22 survival rifle let me know …….. I have a Charter arms AR7 .22 bolt action, clip mag, 8 round, repeater that all fits in the stock (it even floats) that I will either sell you (through your local gun shop/FFL holder) or trade for a Benjamin Marauder or maybe even a Benjamin XL1100 air rifle in excellent condition.
    Then …… a few months after the advent of Armageddon, I’ll probably get it back from you in trade for a few rabbits and maybe a couple of quail that I’ve shot with the AGs …. so I can trade it again to some other initiated person for a pellet gun ……. then repeat over, and over again ……… :)

    • Greg
      June 25, 2012 at 1:01 am

      Flyer91 nothing beats a springer. PCP is complicated and while you are pumping away I’ve fired my shot. Springers last a lifetime if you not a moron (i.e walk around with it loaded). The problem with all powder burners is the ammo weight. Assuming it’s a SHTF time how much .223 can you carry and all the other crap you need. Also powder ammo gets less reliable with age. A lead pellet lasts forever. Of course depends what you mean by survival? Are you playing around in the woods until things get tricky or has the imminent economic collapse occurred?

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