Survivalist? Really, Kirk?

In the top logo of this site it says I’m a survivalist.  I realized today that I mostly write about writing, so I thought it might be time to write a little about survival, and to write something a little controversial.  Here it comes, ready?

I believe that no bug out kit is complete without a pellet gun.

An air rifle?  “But Kirk,” you say.  “I have a Banelli 12 guage pump with 8 round tube, a Sig Sauer p226 .45 caliber pistol with 25 extra magazines and 1,000 rounds in dry storage.  I have a Ruger 10/22, why should I carry a pellet gun?”  (I promise, this won’t be a gun laden post, but I needed to reach the gun folks too.)

Here are my five reasons you should have a pellet gun in your survival kit.

1.  Price

Crosman Benjamin 392 .22 Caliber Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle is $139.00.



250 .22 calibe pellets are $8.99






Air is free.


A .22 caliber bullet ranges in price based on quantity and availability and sales, but they’re generally in the range of $0.35 to $0.50 each.    You can fire a .22 pellet gun for $0.04 cents per shot.  a .22 pellet will kill any small game; squirrel, raccoon, possum, etc.


2.  Silence

Zombie eating small animalPeople pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for ways to make their rifles make less noise.  The loudest part of an air rifle is the click of the valve.   If you miss a squirrel with your .22, every animal within a quarter of a mile is now hiding.   If you miss a squirrel with a pellet gun, you’ll probably get another shot.

Post apocalypse, being able to hunt without alerting everyone within a quarter of a mile to your presence has significant tactical advantage.  Trapping has it’s place, but anyone who finds your trap will know there is someone nearby.  If we’re talking about zombies, no one wants to set a trap and find a zombie chowing down on your meal.  In many books and movies, firing a gun brings zombies from miles away.  A pellet gun will be your best friend.

If you’re holed up in your house post apocalypse, a pack of birdseed and a pellet gun could feed you for weeks.


3.  Weight

.22 rifle ammunition is light and fairly small, but you can fit 1000 pellets in a pocket.  One pouch in your pack can keep you eating all winter long.  That tin of pellets pictured above is 4 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  It fits in your back pocket.

When you’re running and surviving, an air rifle is worth the weight.   Lighter than a regular rifle, smaller, quieter, and more portable.  If I was on foot in the wilderness, with a pistol for zombie emergencies, I’d definitely want an air rifle to keep myself fed.


4.  Availability

outofstockThere is no shortage of pellets.  They’re lethal to 75 yards or better, and they’re inexpensive.  This morning, 03/22/2013, I checked for prices on .22 ammunition for this thread.  Here’s what I saw.

There are plenty of .22 caliber pellets for sale, they don’t require a license, you don’t have to undergo a background check, they’re legal everywhere.  (That I know of, please don’t take this as legal advice).

Air rifles are legal and available in many countries that ban firearms.

5.  Defense

You probably wouldn’t want to use your pellet gun for defense, although if it’s all you have, use it!  It would take a HELL of a shot to kill a zombie with a pellet gun, and you’d have to be REALLY close.  What it *will* do is free up your ammunition for use in an emergency.   You won’t have to spend your valuable ammunition on a squirrel hunt.



3 thoughts on “Survivalist? Really, Kirk?

  1. Being a poor underprivileged Limey, I’ve long considered an Air rifle to be my only hope 😉
    However also of note (especially as I recently researched it) and of much less cost, and arguably greater lethality (at least close range) is the catapult. There is a huge selection to choose from nowadays, as well as the more traditional home made variant 🙂

  2. Malinari, I think you *could* kill a zombie with one. There are 300 meter-per-second air rifles, that’s definitely lethal. You’d have to be at pretty close range, and I don’t know if certain levels of air-rifle are regulated in the UK, but it would be better than nothing 🙂

  3. Hmm…well, I don’t know about quiet with a pellet rifle. Granted, the .22 and .25’s are reasonably quiet, being mostly subsonics. HOWEVER, my .177 has a really loud damned crack when it goes off…comparable to a .22CB. No way is it a low signature rifle. My “gotta kill that gopher without spooking neighbors” rifle currently is an old 1930’s bolt action that runs Aguila Super Colibri, out of a 24″ barrel. The loudest part of the shot is the hammer falling, and I’m not exaggerating either.

    One other thing – depending on what your location is, careful with the practice shots. Quite a few places, such as where I live in Southern California, have started to regard air rifles and bonafide firearms, with all the fun that comes with that designation.

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