Editors Note: An article from Douglas Keister to The Prepper Journal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies!

When looking at survival in the great outdoors, you may want to consider investing in an air rifle. Why? They offer a lot of advantages over traditional weapons, here are a few of those:

Permits: In most areas air rifles do not require permits, making them easier to come by. You can cut out all the paperwork and waiting periods applicable when purchasing a regular firearm.

Easy to shoot: Air rifles are easy to point and shoot, making it the ideal choice for beginners and also for the smaller in stature. After all, they excel at obtaining small game closer in without the tell-tale giveaway of position due to sound.

They are inexpensive: This is a huge advantage which will allow you to go and get more gun for your money. While this doesn’t speak to a physical advantage, per say, it certainly does speak to a fiscal advantage.  An entry level air rifle won’t cost more than about $150-$300, though there are models in the $800 and up range.

Let’s face it, the financial savings are a huge perk. Ammunition is easily available and is far more affordable than standard ammunition. This allows you to purchase plenty of stock at a time, allowing you to stay prepared at all times.

Easy to carry: The air rifle is lightweight, making it easy to carry while you hunt. You can move around freely and easily, unhindered by a heavy firearm and loads of very heavy ammunition. The air rifle’s ammunition is compact and lightweight too, making it possible for you to carry far more on you, without slowing you down. This will allow you to stay out for longer periods, giving you more time to do what you set out to do. The weight of standard ammunition is also very light, and a big plus when you’re headed out on foot.

Stealth: Air rifles are very quiet and as such, offer a huge advantage over regular weapons. There is no explosion at all, because they work on compressed air. Even when your ammunition hits its target, the sound is far quieter than that of a regular bullet. You would be able to shoot your catch, without the sound of it chasing away everything else in the vicinity and giving away your presence to a much larger area. This is also an advantage for target practice, as you may be able to practice without disturbing your neighbors, and without having to don ear muffs and head off to the shooting range. Even a .22 air rifle will take down small to mid-size targets, with a well-placed shot.

Minimal maintenance: Unlike a standard firearm, cleaning and maintenance is easy, requiring minimal time and fuss. A standard firearm must be dismantled, oiled and cleaned regularly, meaning it’s out of commission throughout the cleaning and oiling process. An air rifle, because it uses only compressed air, and does not involve any type of explosion or powder, requires only a few dabs of oil on a pad, run through its barrel every 500 to 1,000 shots. This means it’s ready for use again in a few short moments. They are hardy and last for many years when kept well lubricated.

High Velocity: The high velocity of even the smallest .22 air rifle will allow you to take down small to medium animals, such as rabbits and squirrels, or even small deer, for your survival.

Sustainability: Air rifles offer the advantage of being highly sustainable because they don’t need any CO2 canisters, gun powder, filling tanks or compressors. A single pump of your break barrel air rifle will ensure a consistent velocity every time. If you want to look at more advanced weapons, you could also look at the multi-pump pellet rifle which allows more than one shot at a time. You would pump the handle several times, building up enough pressure to pull off several shots. This is a huge advantage when out in the elements, especially if you find yourself in confined spaces, such as thick undergrowth.  However it is important to remember that the single shot is more accurate than its multi-pump counterpart.

Accuracy: Lacking the hefty kick of a regular firearm, Air rifles are great for beginners too. They allow you to aim and fire, without the margin for error brought about by the kick. If you’re new to shooting, you could start off with the lower caliber air rifles to improve your accuracy. The air rifle will offer you a safe, quiet way to improve your accuracy. You can practice safely in your own backyard until you feel ready to try going out to try one in a survival mode. A good option to start with is a .22 air rifle, whose ammunition is well priced, so you can afford to buy plenty while you perfect your shot. Once your skills improve, you can move onto heavier caliber weapons. To improve your accuracy further, you can add a sight, which allows you to line up your shot with greater finesse.

Reliability: The simplicity of its mechanism and the absence of advanced mechanical parts, makes the air rifle a reliable weapon that is guaranteed to fire the first time, every time, provided you have ensured there is air in the chamber. Since airguns have been around since the 1700’s, we can rest assured they are tried and trusted to be reliable and sturdy. They have proven themselves to be invaluable over the centuries. The Lewis and Clark Expedition used a Girandoni air rifle in the demonstrations that they performed for nearly every Native American tribe they encountered on the expedition!

Images from the 3-Position National Air Rifle Championship. These rifles might exceed that $150 – $300 range spoken of earlier.

They’re great fun too! Very importantly, air rifles offer hours of fun too. You can make your own targets and have contests with your friends, while still ensuring that you hone the skills needed to look after yourself in any situation.

When purchasing a hunting air rifle, there are plenty of options to choose from. Spend some time holding, aiming and checking the balance of an air rifle as you would any caliber weapon. With all the various types, calibers and sizes, take the time to find your perfect fit. Once you have found it, you will find it the perfect addition to your bugout bag.

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