( This is not the same author that has been doing the last few weeks three articles at a time. Those appear this week the next three days )
Air Rifles For Survival
Some of you may recognize from reading some of my previous comments, that I'm a big proponent of Archery gear, Flintlock Muskets, and other low tech weaponry.
I recently read a good article over at Willow Haven Outdoors on Survival Air guns that made a good case as to why every survivalist should have one.
The article went on to state that for around $50.00 spent in pellets, that they would provide for a lifetime supply of small game hunting. That was all that it took to sell me on this concept, especially considering that the once very affordable .22 LR is now going up in price as availability decreases. Stealth, as always for me, was also a consideration, and my preference for an additional method to aquire small game in a survival situation without broadcasting my locale to anyone in the local area, became an important issue.
I was in no hurry to acquire a pellet gun, and had just decided to wait until next years tax return. I had began looking at a variety of guns in anticipation of what one I might choose when the time came? I was interested in the Gamo Whisper, but many of the reviews claimed that the silencing features of this gun was really more of a gimmick, and that this feature was a little overrated? Other reviews seemed to be less than stellar, but the gun had a good overall rating. The Crossman Venom was also a gun that seemed to come up frequently on the airgun forums, and came with a high rating. None the less, I continued browsing through reviews and came across these Shanghai Chinese airguns (See links below).
I was surprised that an airgun that was made from actual wood and steel could be so inexpensive, and therefore any good? But the reviews, while there were a few bad ones, seemed to indicate that these guns, with a little tinkering, can be turned into fine little shooters. They appear to be built strong, and are very simple, and low tech to maintain.
Now these do appear to be guns from an older stock, that were tucked away in warehouse somewhere, and are still being sold as of today at Amazon, as well as a few other places. So parts availability may be a little sketchy? I did notice that parts for the B3 seemed to be more available than the B1? If you type the keywords “shanghai air rifle parts” some suppliers do come up.
For $30.00, I felt that the B1 (The B3 is $40.00) in the top link below was worth giving a try? And so I ordered one (Through Jim's link of course) and will be getting it hopefully within the next week? I am looking forward to it, and am hoping that it shoots decent with a minimal of tweaking? I will provide an update on what my thoughts are on this gun after I've had it for a while. If it does not work out, I will hold out until my next tax refund and spend in the neighbourhood of $150.00 to $200.00 for a better model.
A few important notes of interest.
You must learn the Artillery hold in order to accurately fire a spring powered pellet rifle. Any other hold does not allow for the gun to have consistent shot placement.
The B1 is said to be 400FPS, but reviews said that it was more than powerful enough for small game. The B3 is said to be in the 600FPS range.
If you decide to get one of the Chinese spring guns (or any spring gun for that matter) and maintain it yourself, you must exercise caution here, as the springs are under a lot of pressure, and can be very dangerous, if not fatal without the proper safety precautions in place.
Regardless of what model gun that you go with, I would recommend a .22 Cal air rifle vs a .177. I say this based on some bad experiences with taking game with the lower weight .177 Caliber pellets.