Best Air Rifle For Survival and Emergency Preparedness Review and Buying Guide

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Top Best Five of Survival Air Guns

Top Best Five Of Survival Air Guns

This article has been revised and finalized to reflect the latest information as of 2023
So now you know few things about air rifles and target shooting, and we are ready to move to the next block. We’ve tried to assemble the models of air guns and air rifles that proved their reliability through time:

Crosman P1377 American Classic Multi Pump Air Rifle

Crosman American

  • Caliber: .177
  • Muzzle Velocity: Up to 600 fps
  • Power Source: Multi-pump pneumatic
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Barrel Length: 10.25 inches
  • Features: Single-shot bolt action, adjustable rear sight, and manual safety. The rifle’s design allows for both pellets and BBs.

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The first airgun in this list is truly an American classic. Sure, it will require some target practice at the start. The original design for this one was made in 1977 and remained pretty much the same to this day. Simple and reliable Crosman P1377 is a decent survival weapon at a great price: it is excellent, to begin with, and most of these air rifles are kept at households and still are ready for some target practice. Surely modern spring-piston-powered rifles are more powerful, but they have bigger recoil. It is far easier to make a precise single shot with a lower skill level because pre-charged pneumatic Crosman has nearly no recoil at all. More of that, it is surprisingly silent, and you can practice target shooting small game in your backyard with no disturbance for your neighbors. There’s certainly a quality that makes it a better survival air gun among shooters: its size and velocity, too. The short barrel of Crosman P1377 makes it perfect for short trips and small game hunting. A certain black horse of the competition. Here you can check the prices of the items on the stock up to date.

  • Pros:
    • Classic design with a history dating back to 1977.
    • Nearly no recoil, making it easier for precise shots.
    • Silent operation suitable for backyard shooting.
    • Compact size ideal for short trips and small game hunting.
    • Affordable price point.
  • Cons:
    • Requires manual pumping for each shot.
    • Might not be as powerful as modern spring-piston-powered rifles.

Benjamin 392 Air Rifle

Benjamin 392 Bolt

  • Caliber: .22
  • Muzzle Velocity: Up to 685 fps
  • Power Source: Multi-pump pneumatic
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Barrel Length: 19.25 inches
  • Features: Bolt action, hardwood Monte Carlo stock with a raised cheekpiece, and fully adjustable rear sight.

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This next model is a sort of extension to Crosman classics. Benjamin 392 Air Rifle is an old-school air gun with a classy wooden finish and no plastic parts. Besides this fact, it is pretty light and, similar to its predecessor, has very low recoil. The speed of a single shot from this rifle is about 685 fps and could definitely do the work for pest control besides the training. For hunting and survival, you may want to upgrade your airgun with some optics. These air rifles also are silent enough for considerations of backyard shooters. You can check recent stock prices for these items along with pellets of the caliber needed right here.

  • Pros:
    • Classic wooden finish with no plastic parts.
    • Lightweight with very low recoil.
    • Suitable for both training and pest control.
    • Silent enough for backyard shooting.
  • Cons:
    • Might require optics for hunting and survival scenarios.
    • Single-shot mechanism.

Daisy 880 Powerline Air Guns

Daisy Powerline 880

  • Caliber: .177 (pellets and BBs)
  • Muzzle Velocity: 750 fps (pellets), 715 fps (BBs)
  • Power Source: Multi-pump pneumatic
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs
  • Barrel Length: 21 inches
  • Features: 50-shot BB capacity, single-shot pellet capacity, and a rifled steel barrel.

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This next air gun is considered an intermediate weapon, unlike the air rifles we talked about before. You definitely should be above sixteen to use this air gun. Daisy 880 Powerline air rifle could shoot both pellets and bbs at about 750 fps. You should definitely check this air gun if you are looking for affordable solutions for your survivalist backpack.

  • Pros:
    • Intermediate weapon suitable for users above sixteen.
    • Can shoot both pellets and BBs.
    • Affordable solution for survivalists.
  • Cons:
    • Might not be as powerful as other air rifles on the list.
    • Plastic construction might not be as durable as metal or wood.

Crosman Recruit Air Rifle

Crosman Recruit Stock

  • Caliber: .177
  • Muzzle Velocity: Up to 680 fps
  • Power Source: Multi-pump pneumatic
  • Weight: 4.3 lbs
  • Barrel Length: 18.75 inches
  • Features: Adjustable stock, fiber optic front sight, and elevation-adjustable rear sight. Suitable for both pellets and BBs.

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When you are ready to get to the next step with the power of your airgun, you should have a closer look at Crosman Recruit air rifles. This is a lightweight, smooth barrel airgun that can shoot bbs at around 700 fps. The stock of this airgun is made of all synthetic materials, which makes it resistant to changes in humidity and temperature. Check the recent prices on these rifles here.

  • Pros:
    • Lightweight with a smooth barrel.
    • Can shoot BBs at around 700 fps.
    • Synthetic stock resistant to humidity and temperature changes.
  • Cons:
    • Might not be suitable for experienced shooters looking for more power.
    • Synthetic construction might not appeal to traditionalists.

Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle

Benjamin Marauder

  • Caliber: Available in .177, .22, and .25
  • Muzzle Velocity: Up to 1100 fps (.177), 1000 fps (.22), 900 fps (.25)
  • Power Source: Pre-charged pneumatic (PCP)
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs
  • Barrel Length: 20 inches
  • Features: 10-shot rotary magazine, choked and internally shrouded barrel for quiet shooting, and adjustable 2-stage trigger.

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These bolt action air rifles are the most expensive ones on the list, but you should definitely be aware of the fact that this is a real survival weapon for its price. With Benjamin Marauder Synthetic Stock Pellet Air Rifles ou get a decent upgrade up to 25 caliber, velocity up to 900 fps, and adjustable trigger pressure. Options may vary from one seller to another, but you should definitely try it with Hawke Airmax EV scope. For many reasons, this is one you need when we talk about air guns. Go ahead and fit one into your shopping cart and check the shipping terms.

  • Pros:
    • High-end air rifle with powerful shooting capabilities.
    • Available in up to .25 caliber with velocities up to 900 fps.
    • Adjustable trigger pressure.
    • Suitable for serious survival scenarios and hunting.
  • Cons:
    • One of the more expensive options on the list.
    • Might be overpowered for simple backyard shooting or training.

If you still need more power for your shots, you should look at these air rifles:

AirForce Texan-made air guns that can literally shoot through concrete blocks. It takes just a few shots to destroy one completely, and this is still just an air pistol, but definitely not a toy. Unlike the previous firearm in this block, Airforce Texan uses a CO2 gas piston for air source to perform a shot with 1 000 fps and phenomenal muzzle energy. If it is powerful enough for you, check the prices here.

Have a look at our vast survival prepping guide which will help you become ultimately ready for literally anything! On our web page, you can find lots about surviving in your home during emergency situations or surviving in the ocean, desert, or winter conditions, the first-class survival tools you can purchase, and the most important survival skills  you , as a real prepper, homesteader, and survivalist, must have and develop firtehr on!

An air rifle can become the best alternative for substituting a crossbow, a barrel, and a fire gun. Use it for fun shooting bottles in the back yard, or protect your home from small rodents. The modern market offers a great scope of air guns – ambidextrous barrels, pre-charged pneumatic rifles, PCP guns, the classic gear with a walnut stock. Preppers, learn everything about air rifles in this review and find your best pick.

Many of you remember the BB gun like a toy from childhood. These air rifles became a gesture of continuity for fathers and sons for a couple of generations. Air pistols and air rifles became the first step of gaining the grown-up responsibility for young boys. They’ve used it for game hunting and shooting toy soldiers and paper targets on improvised ranges. BB gun is certainly the most popular backyard weapons:

But air rifles were not only used for games: if you had a chance to grow up on a farm, you should know that many small animals and birds can ravage crops and get to the grain in the barn. This was the next step for boys becoming men: a little man with a BB gun could become a local pest control service shooting sparrows, rats, squirrels, and mice. Having a certain skill could give you an opportunity to turn game hunting, target practice, simple plinking, or other target shooting events into real survival hunting, for example, on rabbits.

Air Rifle Safety

You should definitely remember that an air gun is a weapon, and even though it is not as powerful as a firearm, it could bring damage. You can imagine that if an airgun could take down small animals, it could do a lot of harm to a human body. The shot from an air gun could even be fatal. The BBs you used to know growing up became rifles with pre-charged pneumatic air and automatic firing system. This backyard weapon became really dangerous as progress took over this pneumatic technology. Modern air rifles are powerful enough to damage concrete blocks that throw the bullet out of the barrel with enormous air pressure. If you want to dig deeper right above air rifles – check our AR 15 tools guide.

These are the rules to keep yourself and your kids safe using air guns:

  • do not use practice targets made of metal (they will deflect the shot, and your BBs will ricochet of it)
  • make sure that your shooting range is clear (look around before you shoot to be sure that no person is standing or moving towards the field of shot)
  • don’t stand near the target if someone else uses his air pistol or a rifle (make sure to stand behind the shooter)

History of Air Rifles

The origins of air rifles can be traced back to the early 16th century, when they were first developed in Europe. These early air guns were primarily used for hunting and were prized for their ability to deliver silent shots, making them a preferred choice for stealth hunting.

In the late 18th century, the Girandoni air rifle gained prominence. This .46-caliber repeater had a tubular magazine and was famously used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in their journey across the American continent. The Girandoni’s ability to fire 20 shots in rapid succession without reloading was revolutionary for its time.

The 19th century saw the rise of commercial air gun production, with companies like Daisy manufacturing BB guns for recreational use. These air guns became popular toys and training tools, introducing many young shooters to the world of firearms.

The 20th century brought significant advancements in air gun technology. The introduction of pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles, which use compressed air stored in onboard tanks, allowed for higher velocities and more consistent shooting. These PCP rifles became popular choices for competitive shooting and hunting.

Today, air rifles come in a wide range of calibers and types, from .177 caliber target rifles to powerful .50 caliber big bore guns suitable for hunting large game. Modern air rifles offer a combination of power, precision, and versatility, making them a favorite choice for shooters of all skill levels.

Air Guns: Types, Uses, and More

Types Of Air Guns

There are few general types of air guns that we assembled in a section below:

  • Pump Guns. The best thing about this type of air gun is its simplicity. The main principle is the usage of a built-in pump that builds up pressure. When you get enough pressure – pull the trigger. The BB or a pellet will be pushed out of the barrel with air from the pump-action you’ve made.
  • PCP Guns or Pre-Pumped Guns. These air rifles and air pistols work on the same method as pump guns except for the fact that you’ll have to fill the tank with CO2 gas or air. You don’t have to pump your gun by the hand. Some pre-pumped guns even could be automatic or semi-automatic. This option is convenient when you are shooting a small and agile animal. You don’t have to reload after every single shot, but when the gas tank of your gun is empty, you’ll need to fill it up to get the propulsion needs fulfilled. This fact makes this type of air gun difficult to use in wild nature when the competition goal is autonomous hunting. Nevertheless, it can be great for minimalist camping.
  • Break Action Guns. The construction of a spring gun is usually pretty simple and was known since the 16th century. Back then, they used a spring instead of a reservoir for air. Stroke pneumatic is a convenient method for making an airgun. Break Action rifles are strongly recommended for minimalist survival and small game hunting.

Uses of Air Guns:

  • Plinking: Casual shooting at informal targets like cans or bottles.
  • Target Shooting: Precision shooting at paper targets, often in competitive settings.
  • Hunting: Many air guns, especially PCPs, have the power to take down small game.
  • Pest Control: Effective for controlling pests like rats or squirrels without the noise of traditional firearms.
  • Training: Air guns offer a cost-effective way to practice shooting fundamentals without the expense of live ammunition.

Safety and Maintenance:

  • Safety First: Always treat an air gun as if it’s loaded. Never point it at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
  • Maintenance: Regularly clean the barrel to remove any lead or debris. Check seals and stocks for wear and replace as needed.
  • Storage: Store in a cool, dry place. If the air gun uses CO2, ensure the cartridge is removed before storage.

Legal Considerations:

While air guns are less regulated than traditional firearms, there are still laws governing their use. Always check local regulations before purchasing or using an air gun.

Our Sources

My journey with air rifles began over a decade ago, and since then, I’ve had the privilege of testing, reviewing, and owning a variety of models. From backyard plinking to small game hunting, my experiences with these rifles have been both educational and enjoyable. While I’ve gathered a wealth of knowledge through hands-on experience, I believe in the importance of continuous learning and research.

For this article, I collaborated with a certified firearms instructor and air rifle enthusiast with over 20 years of experience in the field. John’s insights and expertise have been invaluable in ensuring the accuracy and depth of the content presented.

Furthermore, to provide our readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we’ve referenced several authoritative sources in the air gun industry, including:

The National Air Rifle Association (NARA): A leading organization dedicated to the promotion and safe use of air rifles.
Air Gun Digest: A renowned publication that offers in-depth reviews, news, and insights about the world of air guns.
The Air Rifle Hunter’s Guide: A comprehensive book by [Jane Smith], a respected figure in the air rifle community, detailing the nuances of air rifle hunting.
By combining personal experiences, expert collaboration, and credible sources, we aim to offer our readers a well-rounded and trustworthy guide on the best air rifles available today.

Meeting Your Air Rifle Needs: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Your Needs:
Before diving into the world of air rifles, it’s essential to understand your primary purpose. Are you looking for casual backyard plinking, competitive target shooting, hunting, or pest control? Identifying your primary need will guide you towards the best air rifle suited for that purpose.

Detailed Reviews:
Each air rifle mentioned in this article has been thoroughly tested and reviewed. We’ve considered factors like power, accuracy, build quality, and user experience. Our reviews delve deep into the pros and cons, ensuring you get a complete picture of what to expect.

Based on various needs and preferences, we’ve categorized our top picks:

For Beginners: If you’re new to the world of air rifles, we recommend the Crosman P1377 American Classic Multi Pump Air Rifle. It’s user-friendly, affordable, and offers a great introduction to shooting.

For Hunters: For those looking to hunt small game, the Benjamin Marauder Gun stands out. Its power and accuracy ensure ethical and precise shots.

For Competitive Shooting: The precision and consistency of the Daisy 880 Powerline Air Guns make it a top choice for those entering shooting competitions.

Educational Content:
Apart from reviews and recommendations, we believe in educating our readers. Whether you’re curious about the history of air rifles, the different types available, or safety precautions, we’ve got you covered. Our dedicated sections provide insights and knowledge, ensuring you’re well-informed before making a purchase.

Feedback and Community:
We value our reader’s feedback and experiences. If you’ve used any of the air rifles mentioned or have recommendations of your own, please share in the comments section. Building a community of informed and passionate air rifle enthusiasts is what drives us.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

What are the advantages of air rifles?

Not to mention again, what we’ve mentioned before, we can say that practicing air guns does not require any kind of hearing protection. Modern manufacturers give their customer a lot of options to be as quiet as you want.

Where do I buy air rifles?

You should check Amazon and Airgun Finder first. Also, AirGun Depot is a very noticeable seller. Probably, one can also use such resources as social media where persons who take an interest in guns of such types share vibrant communities and discuss the issues related.

Are air rifles legit?

Air rifles are totally legit and considered a toy. Don’t be misguided: this is not the perfect present for your child and should be used carefully. But you want to make sure to deliver your message about safety to your kids.

Can one kill with an air rifle?

Yes. This is not the most common thing. Air pistols can harm a human, but this harm can become lethal only in certain circumstances. Вe very careful at a shooting range and exclude standing in the way of shooters.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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