written by Nicholas O.
As a survivalist or prepper, having a personal arsenal of weapons for security and hunting purposes is important.
Many will tell you that having a good handgun, .22 rifle, center fire rifle, shotgun, bow, and a knife are the critical elements that make up a complete, personal arsenal. But there is one other weapon that despite being overlooked should be considered for any arsenal: a good, .177 caliber BB/Pellet air rifle.
Whether you have to pull your old BB gun out of the basement, or buy one new from Walmart or your local sporting goods store, an air rifle is a much more important weapon to have in your arsenal than you may think. Here’s why:
1. Target Practice. Let’s say you live in an urban location, or maybe even somewhere out in the countryside but you have neighbors nearby. In this case, getting enough target practice would require you to drive out to a range (and include paying the range fee) or to a secluded area in the woods. With a BB gun, you may be able to shoot right from your home to keep your shooting skills up. It’s also quiet and won’t disturb any of your neighbors. The principles of shooting a firearm and an air rifle are largely the same. You have to hold the weapon steady, control your breathing, aim carefully, and point the weapon in a safe direction. Plus, shooting from your own property is much more affordable, which leads us into our next point.
2. Cheap. Shooting a BB gun is dirt cheap. In the face of rising prices of guns and ammunition, the prices of BB guns and BBs have remained fairly stable. While you by no means should discount purchasing real firearms, they are undeniably expensive. Shooting BB or pellet guns costs less than a penny a shot.
3. Ammo Storage. One reason why the .22LR is such an excellent survivalist caliber is because you can stock up much more of it in very limited space. The space that would require you to store 50 or so rounds of 9mm could also hold 250 rounds of .22LR. Well, you’ll be able to store literally thousands of BBs in that same amount of space. Another great thing about .177 caliber BB and pellet ammunition? It doesn’t go bad. If you pull out your old air rifle and ammo that you had as a kid 20 or more years ago, it should still shoot just fine.
4. Safety Habits. You may not have thought of this one, but shooting a BB air gun often will help you to work on your gun safety until it becomes a habit. Get into the habit of wearing safety goggles, aiming the gun in a safe direction, and indexing until you are ready to fire. Since you can shoot an air rifle on your property without disturbing your neighbors, you will not only be able to keep your shooting skills up, but your gun safety habits up as well.
5. Hunting Small Game. If you load your air rifle with pellets, it will be an effective hunting rifle for small game. In the event of a grid-down scenario, food will become hard to find, and you better be praying you have enough stocked up in storage. But you won’t want to become too dependent on what you have in storage. If the grid stays down long enough, eventually you’ll want to find an alternative source of food, and an excellent way to find this alternate source is to go hunting. A .410 shotgun or a .22 LR are excellent weapons for small game hunting, but the benefit of an air gun loaded with pellets is that it is quiet – and that you can hunt with it without using your more expensive firearm ammo.
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