As I have mentioned before I believe every type of (Personal) weapon and technology has a place within the sustainable survivalist armory. The largest restraints we run into are finances, time and space.
Finances is pretty obvious, who can afford to pickup two of everything these days? The sheer number of firearms and other weapons that can fill a niche is overwhelming to say the least. Eventually you would have so many weapons you wouldn't be able to keep up maintenance on them nor log enough practice time with them. Space is pretty obvious as well, it doesn't take long to fill a safe or even a small room with firearms and hand weapons.
One niche that I feel needs to be filled these days is the air rifle. I am no expert on the different brands by any stretch but with the new technology and advances the .177 caliber air rifles can be useful for sustained collapse or off grid hunting and varmint control. They are also so economical that you almost cannot afford not to stock one or two. For any type of defense they are pretty useless of course but the advances in FPS and accuracy can take down small game at a price that cannot be beat.
I decided to fill this niche for the Small-Hold armory with absolutely no knowledge of current air rifles and no in person guru for guidance. The wide range and some pretty heavy duty price tags of some of the rifles out there was surprising to say the least. Since I was just starting out I didn't want to spend the big bucks and I settled on the Ruger Air Magnum. At around $150.00 the price was certainly right and it advertised upto 1400 FPS with the right pellets putting it int he power level of several much higher dollar rifles. The reviews I could find had pros and cons but nothing that convinced me it wouldn't be a good place to start.
Some of the reviews have stated the 1400 FPS is a bit exaggerated and that the scope included in the kit is worthless but overall I can say that I have been delighted with this little toy. My son and I have used it for target practice just stepping outside and it certainly has some power to it. More than enough to bag some small game and my bet is that with a little practice it could be used to take a ground feeding goose, at least until they got wise to your technique.
The Ruger Air Magnum is not a small rifle. It is bulky and heavy and does take some strength to cock. Regardless of their short comings and a weapon status barely above toy level I believe today's air rifles do have a useful niche for a sustainable armory. The Ruger happened to be the one I decided to pick up if any of you are more knowledgeable and have suggestions they would be more than welcome since I will need to pick up a second air rifle for the armory anyway. I haven't calculated the cost per pellet of using them but I can say it will be damned cheap overall.
Dollar for dollar I am quite happy with the performance and potential of the modern day air rifle and am happy to add it to the survival armory.
Keep Surviving Everyone!!!