You read the heading correct — I said Pellet Gun. Yes, the kind powered by air — just 1 step above a BB gun. I own many guns of many calibers and styles for many different purposes. Among these is a good quality Pellet Air Gun and it’s not just because I still have it from when I was a kid. I INTENTIONALLY have added this gun to my survival rifle options for very specific reasons…which I have detailed below. If you’ve never considered a Pellet Gun as a survival rifle option, you might change your mind after reading this post.
Next to my 12 Gauge Mossberg and my Ruger 10–22 sits a very cool and collected Benjamin Sheridan 392 .22 caliber Multi-Pump Pellet Gun and I treat it with the same respect as it is a very specialized soldier in my arsenal.
As a student and instructor of survival living, I take my gun choices very seriously and only add one to my cabinet if it deserves to be there. Below are 4 reasons (in no particular order) why a Pellet Gun deserves to be including in your Survival Rifle selection:
Survival Reason # 1: Excellent Small Game Hunter
A pellet gun, especially .22 caliber, is an excellent weapon to take down small game. While people have taken larger game such as wild boars with air guns, they are best suited for small game. Hunting small game is perfect for any survivalist. Rabbit, squirrel, dove, quail, duck and the like are excellent food sources and are readily available in most of the country. With practice, hunting small game with a pellet gun is absolutely no problem.
I have taken many small game animals with my .22 cal pellet gun. It requires better stalking skills, but that is a good skill to learn anyway. It requires better shooting skills, but that is also a good skill to hone in on. Hunting with a pellet gun will force you to be a BETTER hunter and it will also put dinner on the table.
Survival Reason # 2: The AMMO
The Pellet Gun’s AMMO is one of the more convincing reasons to have one on hand. Pellets, no matter the caliber, are very cheap.
You can buy 100s of pellets for just a few bucks. Spend $50 and you’ve got enough to last a lifetime of small game hunting. If all hell breaks loose, traditional ammunition will become increasingly difficult to get your hands on. Not to mention that it will be ridiculously expensive. If the world we live in ever gets this way, why waste your traditional ammo on hunting squirrel or other small game? That would be wasteful and careless if there was a smarter way. There is — PELLETS.
Not only are pellets DIRT CHEAP, they are very small. You can carry 1000s and not even know they are there. You can store 10s of 1000s in just 1 shoe box. To top it off, pellets have a shelf life of pretty much FOREVER! Traditional ammunition can go bad over time. Especially with the talks of giving ammunition an expiration date, stocking a few 1000 pellets isn’t a bad idea.
Worse case scenario you could use all these extra pellets to reload your shot-gun shells.
Survival Reason # 3: Silent Shooter
Forget the earplugs. These guns are silent. In many survival scenarios, a silent weapon is a good thing. Not only can you hunt without drawing attention to yourself or your family, but shooting a silent weapon often means you can get off more than 1 shot if there are multiple targets. Both of these are positive. People pay 1000s of $$$ to make their guns silent. No extra charge for the pellet gun.
Survival Reason # 4: Powered By Air
You don’t have to buy air. And, it’s never going to be out of stock. For this reason, I prefer either a MULTI-PUMP or BREAK-BARREL Pellet Air Gun. I have opted NOT to purchase a CO2 or pneumatic powered air gun. Needing to refill canisters or tanks doesn’t make any sense in a survival situation. You want to keep it as old fashioned as possible. It’s hand pump all the way for this survivalist.
There are tons of options when it comes to Hand Pump or Break Barrel guns. They both come in .177 and .22 calibers. The fps varies depending on the gun. My Multi-Pump Sheridan shoots 850 fps but there are models out there that shoot upwards of 1250 fps which rivals some rim-fire cartridges. Like anything, the details are personal choices. However, I definitely suggest a PUMP or BREAK-BARREL so that you can manually charge your air chamber rather than being dependent on other air supply products.
So there you have it, 4 solid reasons why I keep a Pellet Gun in my survival arsenal. Check out some of the air guns and ammo we have.