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Old June 15, 2010, 09:17 AM   #1
walt_l
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survival air rifle wanted: help me decide?

I've been considering an air gun for SHTF for some time and frankly the selections is overwhelming. I originally considered a springer but am leaning toward a PCP at this point.

Like I said the choices and advice I've gotten is all over the place. I'd love to find a brick and mortar store that "specializes" in air guns that I can get all touchy feeley with several makes models etc. IS there such a thing? I'm on the Western side of West Virginia and wouldn't mind taking a day trip to see what's there.

So, there's my plea, give me your advice please.
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Old June 15, 2010, 09:32 AM   #2
jmorris
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While I own/have owned quite a few air rifles I can’t think of one of them I would pick over better suited smoke poles for survival/SHTF. Why would you want an air rifle for such a purpose?
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Old June 15, 2010, 10:23 AM   #3
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Makes no difference which one you choose, you will starve to death fairly quickly anyway depending on an air gun to kill enough protein to survive on. In a survival situation you need to be able to kill animals with a significant amount of fat or you will supply your metabolic needs by metabolizing the fat in your nerves and brain. Also, your liver is incapable of supplying the metabolic energy needed to sustain any sort of activity like hunting on the amount of glucose it can produce from lean meat. A large stash of rice to supplement your rat and squirrel diet might have a chance to keep you alive but would severely limit your ability to travel.

Interesting reading here: http://www.medbio.info/Horn/Time%201...tefansson1.htm
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Old June 15, 2010, 10:44 AM   #4
RimfireChris
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I can't speak for pcps, having very little experience, but I've had a Gamo Shadow 1000 springer for 5 years or so now, and it's held up nicely. The one thing you might want different would be the Silver Shadow version, wich is stainless and might better suit your needs. Another alternative would be something called a gas ram, wich works like a springer but uses gas filled tubes, kinda like little shock absorbers I guess, to shove the piston forward. I've not gotten to shoot one yet, but a pal at work has and said they're a lot smoother, plus you can leave them cocked longer with less loss of power, wich can happen with a springer. Now, all that said, I gotta ask why? If you're looking for a quiet shooting gun, I've gotta be honest with you, a .22 caliber bolt action loaded with CCI CB Longs is actually gonna be quieter than most of the higher powered air rifles out there, and would be more versatile as you could use full house loads if needed. Please don't think I'm pickin' at your choice, I love airguns myself. And if you find a good one, get on here and let us all know.
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Old June 15, 2010, 12:23 PM   #5
ratshooter
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I like the idea of a backup air rifle for small game hunting. I have a new Beeman combo 177/22 that I bought at WM for $13 OTD. It has been worth every cent. I have shot a little 700 pellets throgh it so far with no problems.

I also have 4 Benjamin/ Sheridan pumps. Two 20 cal and two 22s. If I were to pick between the two styles it would be the pumps hands down first choice. I like the ability to regulate the power. They are shorter by several inches and there is no recoil. You can get a rebuild kit for $22 and repair them in a half hour or less.

I have killed over a hundred squirrels with the 22 pump and found that 5 pumps was plenty of power for any squirrel. I have also killed possums and feral cats.

I agree with the low powered 22 rounds and have over a thousand rounds stored up myself. My favorites are the Remington version CBs. Better bullets and a little more velocity.

That was an interesting article on rabbit starvation. I have heard it before. I do agree if you are planning enough in advance to have a survival air gun then sock back some food for survival also. Its a lot easier to hunt a can of beans than it is to hunt a rabbit.
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Old June 15, 2010, 01:17 PM   #6
troy_mclure
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why is everybody thinking so small?

they make .30-.50 cal air rifles.

theres youtube video of a guy taking a hog with a .45cal air rifle.

heck, one of the Lewis and Clark guys carried an air rifle.
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Old June 15, 2010, 01:38 PM   #7
rickyjames
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i think pellet guns can play an important part of any shtf planning. i have 4 in either 177 or 22 cal, both air and springer types and they can be pressed into action for taking game. even it their only role is cheap, quiet practice they are worth the investment. as for your choice, do some research and get what fits your needs and budget.
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Old June 15, 2010, 02:05 PM   #8
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I don't think airguns are a good option for SHTF scenarios. The only real advantage is that the pellets are smaller than the entire round for a boomstick. Disadvantages are many. You have to expend precious energy to pump the gun. Less so with spring guns, but higher powered guns are generally PCP's and having hand-charged PCP's before I know that it's not something to do on starvation rations. They tend to be heavier than a gun with equal power. They also tend to be more maintenance intensive (my carrier 707 needs new rings every 200 shots or so, every other gun I own just needs ammo and oil). And to what benefit? You can store a greater amount of ammunition in the same or smaller space, and can theoretically recast and reuse the rounds easier than with a powder rifle. If you spend the money you would have spent on a mid-range airgun on an ammo stockpile, you'll have enough to last until civilization inevitably reasserts it's self.
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Old June 15, 2010, 02:19 PM   #9
Irish80prf
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Why not have one? Say you weren't able to come by any more ammo after several years or your stock runs out. I would much rather be able to grab an air rifle for rabbits then a sharp stick. you could easily have 10,000 pellets in a couple shoe boxes in the closet. That's all you need pellets and the rifle. You don't have to come up with primers, powder, brass, and bullets.

Last edited by Irish80prf; June 15, 2010 at 04:26 PM.
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Old June 15, 2010, 02:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Say you weren't able to come by anymore ammo after several years
YEARS????......oh geez.......
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Old June 15, 2010, 04:18 PM   #11
OhReally?
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Well myself except for 3 Wild Boars that I killed on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California about 15 years ago with a 50AE Desert Eagle, ALL of my hunting for 35 years has been with various air rifles.

I have put in the pot probably a couple hundred Doves, about a hundred rabbits, probably 30-50 Quail, at least 15-20 ducks, 1 Pheasant, 1 Goose, 1 Grouse and 2 Wild Turkeys and all with air guns.
In fact i wouldn't dream of using anything for small game but an air rifle.

If you are talking just shooting small game like what I listed, I killed 90% of all those with my FWB 124D in .177cal, it shoots a bit over 800fps using medium weight pellets, is deadly accurate with easy kills to 50 yards and I have killed several rabbits and Doves out to 100 yards with it in still wind.

The main thing you want to look for with a SHTF air rifle is quality of workmanship and accuracy.
There are several air guns that fit that bill today, the best IMO is the Feinwerkbau 124D.
I think it is the only "sporter" type rifle that Feinwerkbau ever made. Sadly they no longer make it, so if you can find one it will have to be used and best to get one with the serial number over 4000.

http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2005/...let-rifle.html

A well cared for spring piston air rifle will last you your entire lifetime and then some.
The springs and pistons/seals etc are good for about 15,000 or more rounds. That would be like 4 shots a day every day for a decade.
I have owned mine since 1983, in 2004 I had the spring/pistonhead/seal all changed and put in slightly more robust springs from Macarri.
Gave me an extra 50fps and smoothed it out very nicely.
Gun was still shooting fine when I did it and that was after 21 years and I have no idea how many rounds but had to be getting close to 15,000 I am sure.
Mine looks brand new still and actually shoots better today than it did 27 years ago.

You need over 800fps in .177 IMO but accuracy in an airgun is just as important as power if not moreso.
When you are dealing with FTlbs of energy less than 20 shot placement is critical.

The 2 Wild Turkeys I have killed were both with the .177 FWB 124. One from about 35-40 yards the other about 50. One shot in the head bird was dead before it hit the ground and no shot gun pellets to worry about chomping down on.

If you go with PcP I would go with something that is 25cal or more and is a repeater.
but IMO those are not the best choice for SHTF, too much mess to deal with, air tanks, noise, seals.
If you are going to go with that might as well get a match grade .22lr rifle.
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Old June 15, 2010, 05:15 PM   #12
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Hmmm my go-to survival rifle is a Daisy Red Ryder. You just hafta be careful not to shoot your eye out
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Old June 15, 2010, 05:30 PM   #13
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If I'm thinkin' survival gun, I'm not thinkin' air gun.
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Old June 15, 2010, 06:05 PM   #14
ohen cepel
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I wouldn't get the PCP, too many extras needed for it to work.

A springer or gas ram in .22 that pushes and honest 1000fps is what I would look to get. You choice on make and model.

Even if you never need it for SHTF it will give you a lot of good shooting time.
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Old June 15, 2010, 06:09 PM   #15
BGutzman
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To me survival and air gun dont go in the same sentence..... Sure you can buy 10000 pellets and all that but the problem with taking the small game that a pellet gun is limited to is that you can eat a rabbit every day and still starve to death. (Unless your going to eat the brain too which can be dangerous)

You must have other things to eat, plus if someone comes looking for trouble lets face it a pellet gun just doesnt carry the respect of almost anything else in the firearms world.

To each his own I guess, but a wrist rocket can have infinite ammo and certainly can hit with a larger stone than any pellet.

Good luck.
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Old June 15, 2010, 06:15 PM   #16
OhReally?
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"To me survival and air gun dont go in the same sentence..... Sure you can buy 10000 pellets and all that but the problem with taking the small game that a pellet gun is limited to is that you can eat a rabbit every day and still starve to death. (Unless your going to eat the brain too which can be dangerous)"
Ever heard of "FISH"?

Lets be realistic here, if it gets to the point where the ONLY food you ever see is what you can grow or kill the least of your problems is going to be what kind of meat you eat.
Not to mention that is complete hogwash anyway, vegetarians are perfectly healthy, in fact probably healthier than most of us.

The air gun is just nice to have as a small game rifle that is quiet, cheap, can have 1000s & 1000s of rounds stored up, is extremely effective at getting small game.
it is not meant to take the place of any other weapon just as a very reliable small game gun.

Last edited by OhReally?; June 15, 2010 at 06:20 PM.
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Old June 15, 2010, 06:34 PM   #17
BGutzman
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Ever heard of "FISH"?
One of my favorite things to do actually....

However if your talking when stuff hits the fan survival, unless your moving way out in the woods you may well be occupied with other citizens and their needs for your things.

During Hurrican Rita my wife and I watched the Military Police have to go to our shoppette (gas station) to quell a fist fight over markers or pencils or some such dumb thing... Before we left there were at least four MP cars on the scene and people were still going at it over things that werent going to help them survive the storm and the number of people fighting was growing.

My point being is that if some crazy thing were to ever happen your worst enemy is going to be people that live near you and know what you have or dont know you and are crazy enough to just go from place to place.

Fear does wierd things to people that would never normally act with such poor behavior.

But unless your deep in the boondocks or something similar that is remote you may well have to spend more time watching out for others than you can hunting and gathering (or fishing).

To each there own, I wish you the best with the pellet gun.
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Old June 15, 2010, 06:48 PM   #18
James R. Burke
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I would not use a air rifle for a survial weapon. But just myself I think the RWS is a very good make to start with. I would get the side cock model so the barrel does not move every time you cock it. You can get them over 1,000 f.p.s. and they are very accurate. Also with that system no pumping or co2 etc. Just one cock. Each shot is consistent has the last because nothing is compressed till you pull the trigger. Also with the side cock it is nice for a scope not moving every time you cock it. Then you need to decide do you want a .177 cal which is probably the most popular or the .22 if it was survival you wanted it for which I would not do I would probalby go with the .22 otherwise I would stick with the .177. Good make of pellets will make a differnce also. Stick with good name brands, you can get target, pointed, field, hollow point etc. I believe they have a new one out that is really fast, and accurate. Cost wise you will be surprized good ones are up there. But there is no doubt I would go with a break barrel or side cock type model. They are the stongest you can get, and like I said no pumping or co2 etc. Just one cock. I am not saying that is the best made but one of them, there are some real good ones out there, and they keep getting better. Just myself for survival I would be looking at more rifle than a air gun, but that is up to you. Good luck and let us know how it turned out. Funny but honest comment on the sling shot or wrist rocket. If your good with one of those with a ball bearing I would not want to be hit by it.

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Old June 15, 2010, 06:55 PM   #19
oneounceload
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If you are talking just shooting small game like what I listed, I killed 90% of all those with my FWB 124D in .177cal, it shoots a bit over 800fps using medium weight pellets, is deadly accurate with easy kills to 50 yards and I have killed several rabbits and Doves out to 100 yards with it in still wind.
I'll call a BIG BS on this..............100 yards? Please, those pellets won't even make 50 arced like a 45-70...............:barf:
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Old June 15, 2010, 07:08 PM   #20
Italian_Marksman94
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To be honest I dont see what a cheap .22 that an Air rifle cant
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Old June 15, 2010, 07:28 PM   #21
OhReally?
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"I'll call a BIG BS on this..............100 yards? Please, those pellets won't even make 50 arced like a 45-70."
Obviously you are not too familiar with quality air guns.

As long as there is little to no wind, 100yard shots are not out of killing range at all.
We used to measure out 100 yards and line up tin cans "on end" so we were shooting at the bottom of the can and take out 9 outa 10 with regularity.

Granted at 50 yards I might have a 1/2" 5 shot group and at 100 yards it triples or more but I have still shot just a wee bit over 1" 5 shot groups at 100 yards as long as it is zero wind. Usually more like 1 1/2" groups at that range but that is still respectable.
But even after several beers I can hit the bottom of a tin can at 100 yards damn near every time in still wind.
That's about a 2 1/2" target.

Believe whatever you wish.


Here is a guy shooting bottles at 218 yards with an air gun and doing rather decent.
Now that is totally out of range for my FWB 124 obviously but still this is an airgun putting out just 950fps in .22cal
He is shooting a Air Arms S410Extra which is a PcP.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5md7...eature=related


Here is a guy shooting a little over a 1" group at 100 yards with a .177 Daystate air rifle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWFTdT_G6Sg

Here is a guy beaning birds on a wire at 110 yards with a Benjamin Marauder .22 and I think it is a standing shot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgnD3...eature=related

Last edited by OhReally?; June 15, 2010 at 08:23 PM.
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Old June 15, 2010, 07:32 PM   #22
jglsprings
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heck, one of the Lewis and Clark guys carried an air rifle.
And I think they hunted bears with it.
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Old June 15, 2010, 07:47 PM   #23
drjjpdc
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survival

Walt,

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the compact and foldable Henry rifle. Take a look.

http://www.henryrepeating.com/h002_survival.cfm
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Old June 15, 2010, 08:22 PM   #24
oneounceload
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Hitting a tin can and making a killing shot are different - why don't you make a You-Tube video and post it - I have an 1100 fps RWS airgun. No way is it killing at 100 yards - it can't penetrate a license plate at 20 yards

Still calling this BS........I hit squirrels at 30 FEET, not 30 yards, and they don't always go down with a heart/lung shot - no way you're killing them at 50 yards, let alone 100
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Old June 15, 2010, 08:26 PM   #25
OhReally?
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"Hitting a tin can and making a killing shot are different - why don't you make a You-Tube video and post it - I have an 1100 fps RWS airgun. No way is it killing at 100 yards - it can't penetrate a license plate at 20 yards

Still calling this BS........I hit squirrels at 30 FEET, not 30 yards, and they don't always go down with a heart/lung shot - no way you're killing them at 50 yards, let alone 100 "
It wouldn't do any good would it?
You apparently have your mind made up so it would be utterly pointless, you would probably have doubts if you were standing right next to me, LOL

Like I said believe what ever you wish, makes no difference to me.
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