“Need” might be a strong word, but every prepper should certainly consider purchasing a pellet rifle, and I’m gonna tell you why. But first, for those completely unfamiliar with pellet rifle awesomeness, I’m NOT talking about a Red Ryder style BB gun as made famous in A Christmas Story. Who else had the Red Ryder as their first “firearm”? It was mine.
by Derrick James, SHTFblog founder and blogger at Prepper Press
No, I’m talking about a PELLET rifle, .177 or .22 caliber (not to be confused with a .22lr bullet). While these rifles shoot pellets by air only, they have the potential to be very dangerous. Think I’m kidding? Check out this recent news article I noticed:
A nine-year-old Maine boy was fighting for his life Friday after his uncle accidentally shot him in the head with a pellet gun while trying to shoot squirrels. Investigators from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s office said the pellet from the .177 caliber gun entered the victim’s head and lodged in the front of his brain.
I read another article on the incident where police thought alcohol may have been a factor. The uncle scuffled with the cop (he must be wicked smart). But that’s besides the point. The point is, pellet rifles don’t shoot BBs, they shoot these:
I know, the picture of a BEAR along side a package of pellets is a little comical, but forget about that. Below is a pellet closeup “shot.”
The top pellet is a .22 caliber “hollow point” pellet, in the middle is a .177 caliber target pellet, and at the bottom is a .177 caliber “Master Point” pellet.
Would YOU want to be hit with one of those traveling at 1,000 feet per second? Of course not. Am I suggesting pellet rifles make great self-defense tools? Of course not.
So why should preppers consider buying a survival pellet rifle? It’s a survival pellet rifle. It will quietly dispatch small critters like birds, squirrels and rabbits. You could stock A TON of hunting pellets for a long-term TEOTWAWKI situation.
Reasons Every Prepper Should Own a Pellet Rifle
Are there other reasons? Yes, five of them:
- Convenient Shooting Practice – I can’t legally target practice with a firearm in my yard. I know, I know, Rawles at SurvivalBlog.com would probably call me a prepper poser for not living somewhere that I can unload 30 rounds off my deck, but whatever. I like where I live, it’s convenient to everything and there’s a strong sense of community. Are there downsides to Maine suburban living? Sure – I can’t unload 30 rounds off my deck. I’d have to travel to a gravel pit or a shooting range, which makes target practicing more of an event, which means I don’t go as often as I should. IF, however, I can fire a pellet rifle off my deck while enjoying an evening iced tea – I can get daily practice, and daily practice is what makes shooting second nature, which makes for a good shooter.
- Low Cost Shooting Practice – As of this posting, I see .22lr ammo at about $21.00 for 500 rounds. That’s pretty cheap, but what’s even cheaper is 500 pellets for under 10 bucks.
- Quiet Shooting Practice – I can put a sub-sonic .22lr cartridge in this single-shot rifle and it’s very quiet, but it’s not pellet rifle quiet. I can practice shooting a pellet rifle any time I want, morning, noon or night. The loudest sound heard would be the *ping* of the aluminum cans I’m hitting.
- Regulation Friendly – no laws regulating pellet rifles, no background checks, no nuthin’.
- Save Wear and Tear on Firearms – you can get a TON of low-cost shooting practice in and not reduce the life of your more costly, “real” firearms.
I can hear some of you now, “Target practice on a pellet rifle – pfffft. Practice on the firearm you’re going to use!” I won’t argue that you shouldn’t practice on the SHTF survival rifle you’d reach for first, but I will certainly argue that a pellet rifle makes good shooting practice for any rifle. The principles are the same. You need to hold the rifle steady. You need to sight the target quickly. You need a smooth trigger pull. You need breath control. It’s easy to gain (and maintain) the fundamentals of target practicing on a pellet rifle, which you can then successfully move to “real” firearms.
Have I convinced you to consider buying a pellet rifle? If so, check out Air Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide for way more information.