by J.C. Martin, Guest Contributor
Preparedness Pro Notes: Firearms and other weapons aren’t just to ensure safety and security. They are also necessary to provide food for the table. Additionally, this is sound advice for every person who's trying to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. While his suggestion is budget friendly, in my opinion it's sound advice regardless of your budget. My friend, J.C. Martin, has written this nice article for us that sheds some light on a firearm option that many haven’t considered as a critical piece of equipment, that won’t be as expensive to use as the traditional firearm and ammo options. I hope you’ll enjoy his insights as much as I do.
One additional item can fill a critical gap in your weapons preparedness -- and you can get it (and ammo!) for about $300.
Let me set the scenario for you. You’ve been a “prepper” for quite some time -- but you’re a budget prepper. You don’t have the funds to make pricey purchases or buy in volume, so you follow the adage “Do what you can with what you have.” You’re not at the preparedness level you’d like, but you’re still doing better than 90% of the population.
From a weapons standpoint, your arsenal contains what you consider to be the bare minimum: a 9mm handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun for defensive purposes and a .22LR rifle for small-game hunting as needed. Because you’re on a budget, you can’t afford to go target-shooting at the range very often. Over the last few years, you’ve managed to amass a fair number of shotgun shells, about 1,500 9mm cartridges, and about 1,300 .22LR cartridges. Again, not comparable to what better-funded preppers have, but a decent start. And you plan to buy small amounts of ammo here and there, whenever you have a few extra dollars—as long as ammunition is widely available and relatively inexpensive, you’ll be able to stock up over time.
Here’s where the scenario takes a hard lurch in an unexpected direction. Due to a sudden societal or economic upheaval, availability of ammo drops dramatically. The ammo that IS available has become prohibitively expensive for most people and impossibly priced for a budget prepper. As the months go by with no change in ammo availability, you begin to become startled by the possibility that the ammo you have right now may be all the ammo that you’ll EVER have.
This scenario isn’t fiction; it’s what we’ve endured in the United States for almost two years. There are plenty of scared preppers out there wondering if ammo, particularly .22LR -- the most versatile and (previously) most widely available ammo in the world -- will ever again be available in sufficient supply and at fair market prices.
Nothing you can do can fix the availability and pricing of ammo -- you have to wait for manufacturers and market forces to correct that situation. However, there is an action you can take today to supplement your preparedness arsenal and remove some dependence on .22LR ammo.
Air rifles have been around for a long time, and some have been powerful enough to take down big game! Today, the most common calibers of air rifle are .177 and .22, and they achieve muzzle velocities approaching that of .22LR rifles (although the projectile loses velocity much more quickly than a .22LR cartridge will). Air weapons shoot small pellets that are propelled by compressed air, which is supplied in one of three general methods: spring-piston, pneumatic, or CO2. Your research may lead you to prefer one type over the others -- but considering that some methods require additional compression gear or CO2 cartridges, the budget-minded prepper would opt for an air rifle that doesn't require additional equipment or supplies. And because CO2 cartridges are yet another consumable item subject to market availability (and to your own cash flow), a budget-prepper mindset suggests that you get an air rifle that creates compression through mechanical action.
For the budget prepper, the best part of getting an air rifle is the price. You can find air guns for as little as $100 -- maybe even less when they’re on sale. And the ammunition is dirt-cheap. For less than $300, you can purchase a quality air rifle AND a lifetime’s supply of ammunition for hunting and target shooting. About $100 can get you 5,000 domed pellets that are suitable for hunting small game.
What kind of game can you hunt with an air rifle? Squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, groundhogs, etc. -- and there are verified reports of larger game being taken down with proper shot placement: 200-lb. wild hogs have been taken with a shot through the eye, and deer have been taken when shot through the throat. Granted, these large-game kills require skilled marksmanship and are extreme examples of what an air rifle can accomplish -- but they are possible.
This article is not intended to tell you which compression method is best or which type or brand of air gun is “right” for you. Your own research will fill that gap and will also be a very good learning experience. But if you are a prepper on a budget, you should consider an air rifle as a vital component of your preparedness arsenal. (Preparedness Pro says: consider an air rifle even IF you're not on a budget. It just makes good sense!)
Disclaimer: check your local laws regarding the usage of air guns. For example, in the People’s State of New Jersey, air rifles are considered to be “firearms” -- meaning you’d need a firearms ID to purchase, and you’d have to get an FFL transfer to purchase from out of state. In most other states, you can purchase air rifles via mail order and have them shipped right to your house!
About the Author: J.C. Martin is a prepper, a patriot, and a punster. He wishes to inform the readers that no animals were injured during the writing of this article. (He waited until after he wrote the article and was hungry.)
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