At a time like this, would you benefit from owning an air gun? Let's take a closer look at the viability of owning air rifles below!
Should You Own An Air Gun Right Now?
When discussing Prepping, budget often comes up pretty quickly. Stockpiling food and supplies suggests that your income supports more than your daily necessities.
While many of the items recommended for your “Go Bag” and to keep around the house can be purchased at various price points, there is one main item that usually carries a hefty price tag: your firearm(s).
If you’re a savvy shopper, you can take advantage of bulk deals, secondhand stores, and sales to stock up on food, water, and tools. But firearms have several levels of deterrents to prevent purchase.
For one, the cost – guns are not inexpensive. Factor in ammunition and range time and the price only goes up. This doesn’t include a safe or any other accessories.
Secondly, you will need to pass a background check to purchase any gun. Not everyone will pass a background check for a wide variety of reasons, but timing can also become an issue. Background checks take time, which can become extremely valuable if SHTF.
Last, most people consider guns a necessity in an emergency. Just look at the long lines at firearms dealers around the country as the coronavirus pandemic began. Stores can sell out, and where does that leave you?
Is an Air Rifle a Viable Alternative?
For those that are serious about Prepping but are experiencing some difficult circumstances, a low-caliber air rifle may be a decent option.
To escape filling out paperwork on your air rifle, you will likely need to stay below .18 calibers. There are much higher-powered air rifles, but they then fall into the category of “firearm” and require those pesky background checks.
Air rifles have their merits, and one is their cost. Purchasing a .177 caliber air rifle for under $150 is a breeze. You can purchase hundreds of pellets and BB’s for under $5.
Air rifles, especially with suppressors, are extremely quiet. This would allow you to utilize your weapon without drawing attention to yourself, which is incredibly valuable.
The real question is if an air rifle is more for show or if it can do anything of value to you?
You can successfully hunt small game with an air rifle. That really means rabbits and smaller. This will certainly be enough to sustain you if conditions really deteriorate.
Where Air Rifles Fall Short
A firearm is irreplaceable for several reasons.
First and foremost is self-protection. An air rifle can take down a bunny or a squirrel, but those are not your biggest threats if/when society crumbles. Once you kill that squirrel for your dinner, how would you protect that squirrel stew from starving neighbors?
Air rifles are also not effective over long distances. Pellets will drop after about 50 yards, so you’ll have to get awfully close to your prey. You will also be limited to very small animals; your air rifle will not take down a deer or a wild boar.
Another big issue with air rifles is that they are single shot. You must pump them or cock the charging handle and rapid-fire will decrease the velocity of each shot.
That means their effectiveness goes down with frequent use. The pump action can also wear out over time.
Firearms Should Be a Priority
Ultimately, saving for and securing a firearm should be a priority if you’re serious about Prepping. If cost is the major deterrent, look for used weapons like at auctions.
A .22 rifle can be found for about the same price as an air rifle in some cases and will provide the self-protection and ability to hunt large game that air rifles do not.
If you cannot legally obtain a firearm, an air rifle is most certainly better than nothing. If you plan to rely on an air rifle, be sure to practice with it so that you are familiar with its limitations and can use it as effectively as possible.
Are you considering owning an air gun or do you have one already? We'd love to hear why you want one or your experience with is so far in the comments section!