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Best Preppers Air Rifle for Hunting Small Game and Survival in the UK – UK Preppers Guide

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Best Air Rifle For Hunting And Survival In The UK


man with air gun

Air rifle hunting is carried out by many people and there are many different air powered rifles available in the UK.
However, there are two distinct differences to consider when choosing the best air rifle.

The two distinct differences are a matter of the law. To own a air rifle that is more powerful than 12 ft lb you must have a FAC – Fire Arms Certificate.

However, anyone over 18 can purchase and own an air rifle below 12 ft lb rating.

Unless you are a competition shooter and take the sport very seriously, I would not even consider going to the trouble of trying to get yourself a FAC especially as many of the Non FAC rifles are more than capable of doing the job very nicely.





Having said that, you have a perfect right, by law, to own many different firearms in the UK – in fact, the different types of legal firearm would probably surprise you!

If you are of good standing and can prove so, you simply have to pass the required police checks and your ok to purchase and use a firearm

see my FireArms guide here:


the-airgun-centre-main-shop-banner-2

Considerations For Choosing The Best Air Rifle For Hunting And Survival In The UK

  • Your rifle must be capable of hunting small game – in survival, this is its primary purpose.
  • Choose a .22 rifle for a clean kill – generally a .177 is preferred for target shooting, but will still take down a rabbit at the right range with an accurate head shot.
  • It needs to be light – you may well need to take it with you in your Bug Out Bag, so weight is important.
  • It needs to be compact – choose a smaller weapon over a longer barreled, bulky rifle.
  • Reputable, tried and tested manufacturer – a good second hand British or German rifle will still perform well enough to hunt with.
  • For pure value for money, consider buying a Chinese brand. (can be risky at times though)
  • It needs to look menacing..! more for personal protection, should you need it. Tactical rifles always look mean.
  • Cost could also be a factor for some – look to pay upto £300 for a mint secondhand rifle
  • In a SHTF situation any rifle is a good rifle..! So long as it works you’re still in with a chance….

TYpes Of Air Rifle

There are 2 main types of air gun – spring or gas ram and PCP [ Pre Charged Pneumatic]:

  • Spring – Piston
    The cocking action puts tension on a spring which becomes the main mechanism to propel the pellet.
  • Gas Ram
    Essentially the same, except the tension is used to pressurize a gas ram and not a spring.
  • Pneumatic
    A cylinder mounted within the rifle body is pre-charged with air, with a small amount of pressure  reducing each time your fire.

under lever arm side view

Spring Piston or Gas Ram
fixed barrel – underarm cocking – these type of
air rifle as known as ‘springer rifles’.


side view of air gun cocking arm

Spring Piston or Gas Ram
again, a springer rifle, but with the barrel
being used to compress the mainspring.


side view of air rifle

Spring or Gas Ram Rifle:

This shows the loading point of a .22 or .177 pellet.

One shot at a time – unlike a PCP rifle which can have a multi shot magazine. 

A PCP rifle with multi shot magazine like this BSA Ultra is leaps ahead of the old springers.
The cylinder is below the fixed barrel  and once fully charged will give 70 – 100 shots before needing to be refilled.


air rifle bsa scorpion image

Pre-Charged Pneumatic [PCP]

air rifle bsa scorpion image

BSA air rifle side view

The extremely good BSA Scorpion – an excellent ‘value for money’ rifle and certainly one of the top contenders for Best Air Rifle For Hunting
70-100 shots on one charge / gas cylinder is charged up to 200 – 232 bar.

There’s two methods available to charge the gas cylinder on a PCP:

Most rifles are available in different livery as well – this PCP rifle offers a solid wallet body, for the traditional look. A  black Polyester Resin Stock for a tactical look, and a Full Camo Print design for the hunter.



The Big Question Is – Which Is The Best Type Of Air Rifle To Choose.?

Do you go for the spring piston, the gas ram or the PCP – there are plusses and minuses for each type.
All are very capable to use as a survival rifle and more than capable of hunting small game like rabbits and pigeons. 
In fact you only need around 6 ft lb to kill a rabbit and less for a pigeon with a head shot.

For a rabbit or pigeon kill shot, you’re looking at a  maximum hunting distance of 30 mtrs for the .22 – the .177 may give you a bit more at 40 mtrs.

I have heard stories of people saying they killed rabbits at over 60 mtrs, but that’s rare and highly unlikely, and more like ‘old hunting tales’….

But remember, the PCP and the Springer are both very capable hunting weapons, 
when used in the right hands.

Springer or PCP? Both are capable rifles to use for hunting small game and survival.
I personally have two springers and a PCP, and by far prefer my PCP over the other two.
The performance, for me, is much better. 
But…. the PCP has far more working parts that could fail in a SHTF situation.
So the answer, as always, is to try and cover all the options.



With a PCP rifle like this BSA R10 [shown here in camo livery], you’re looking at 70+ shots before a recharge, a 10 shot magazine, it’s very quiet, virtually no recoil and deadly accurate.

Weighs just over 7lbs and you can get it on a choice of .22 or .177

What more can I say…! A beast of a rifle for silent, deadly hunting of small game..

Of course there’s always a downside to most things.

The main one here is that a PCP rifle should really be serviced regularly and, ideally from the gun shop where you bought it.

Most good gun shops will offer this service, with some it’s free if you buy certain rifles from them.

I use a BSA Scorpion T10 and here’s an example of the main parts that make up the rifle >




the-airgun-centre-shop-banner-3

Any gunsmith will give you advice about all aspects of buying and using an air rifle – don’t be intimidated by going into a gun shop purely by your lack of knowledge.

They are a very friendly bunch, and always very knowledgeable and eager to help with advice. Remember, airguns are their passion too and they are more than capable of giving you expert advice – far more than I could ever give here.

I highly recommend a trip to your local gun shop before making an decisions on what is the right rifle for your own needs.

I am very fortunate to have one of the very best air rifle suppliers in the country at under 10 miles away from me, The AirGun Centre, based in Rayleigh, Essex, (they also have a superb on-line shop as well).The AirGun Centre, who are based in Rayleigh, Essex. (they do have a very good on-line shop as well) a

Of course the next step, once you have got your new rifle is to go out and practice.

I would highly recommend finding a local air gun shooting range to get to know your new rifle – there are lots of them about and there’s bound to be one fairly close to you.

The advantages of the range are it’s far more ‘real’ than your back garden and there are some fantastic range setups around the UK.



Make sure you are within the UK laws

An air rifle is considered an offensive weapon in the eyes of the law and exactly where you are allowed to carry it and use it needs to be strictly observed.

Do not, under any circumstances, have an air rifle or air pistol in a public place and certainly do not have it out of its case and on full view.

Unlike our American friends, who have completely different gun laws to us here in the UK, and are allowed to freely carry a rifle for hunting or even a pistol as concealed carry.

In the UK – just don’t even think about risking it.


judge with gavel image

Final Thoughts

As preppers and especially as we are talking a SHTF situation, one of the main concerns is going to be reliability of your rifle.

That being said, there really is only one type of rifle that you should consider as the Best Air Rifle For Hunting And Survival:
and that is a bog standard Spring Piston air rifle.

The two main reasons are simple:
1/ fewer parts to go wrong.
2/ doesn’t need to be charged up

With so few moving parts the spring piston has to be top of the list. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my PCP, but think purely doomsday survival, food procurement and reliability and the Spinger is your best choice.
Not only for the reason above, but for example:
A brand spanking new Weinrauch HK is going to set you back less than £400.


judge with gavel image

the ultra reliable AND very accurate HW80 from the German manufacturers Weihrauch



If you prefer to by British, then BSA is a good choice of established quality brands – the BSA Lightening is a well loved hunting rifle and you can get a brand new one for £350, so great value for money.



The simplicity of the spring piston rifle has a lot more to offer when faced with SHTF – as you can see in this exploded view, the minimum of moving parts to go wrong.
You will still achieve a pellet velocity of over 550 feet per second with a legal 12ft/lb rifle using a .22 pellet, and even more with a .177.
This is ample to give a kill shot for most small game at anything up to 50 yards.

Hopefully this article has helped you out a bit. It’s a big subject and quite a specialist one when you really get into it.

My definite advice, before buying, is to visit your local gun shop
You will get great help from knowledgeable people.

Happy Prepping Folks.

Steve

ps: If I have missed anything or there’s gaping errors in anything written above, then please feel free to leave your help and comment below. Thanks.

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Emergency

Martial Arts Systems For Devastating Self-Defense

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Self-defense is always a hot topic in the survivalist and prepper community and with good reason – you don’t have to be in an “end of the world” type scenario for self-defense techniques to pay off. 

It can happen to anyone: walking alone or even with your family and you take the wrong turn. Or maybe it’s the right turn, just at the wrong time. In any event, the point is that even the most gentle, well-meaning people have found themselves on the wrong end of a raging psychopath, a deranged crack addict or someone just looking for trouble. 

Shockwave Mini

When that happens, you might not be able to get to your everyday carry weapon. Even if you can eventually get to a concealed firearm or other weapon, you might have to fight your way to get it – what are you going to do if your attacker pins your strong arm (or even both of them) against your body in a bear hug?

This is why it’s so important to know something in the way of hand-to-hand self-defense combat. Your life and your family’s might just depend on it. 

What Works And What’s Bullshido?

You can go to a self-defense course on just about every street corner these days. The issue is that all of these are not created equally. 

Take for example, kung fu. It’s a fascinating art and a beautiful one with a long, rich history and exotic traditions. However, in a real-life street fight it’s probably going to have you counting the street lamps from your back and your teeth after you manage to get up.

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Brazilian ju-jitsu and mixed martial arts gyms are incredibly popular these days, but as much as their proponents like to boast about how “combat tested” they are, this is simply not the case. Federal agencies have increasingly ceased relying upon them to train their undercover agents, because they’re just not up to snuff for a real-life street fight, mostly because they’re far too complicated for people to remember when push comes to shove – literally. 

So what can you count on in a real-life street fight?

The Deadly Art Of Kicking Butt

Man attacking with bare hands

If you’re already taking a martial art it’s not absolutely necessary that you switch from whatever you’re doing to something else more “battle tested.” In fact, what you know is certainly better than nothing, especially if you’re an experienced hand at the art. 

However, you might want to consider dropping into a seminar or three for the purpose of learning some very direct, effective and brutal tactics that you can deploy in a real-life street fight. 

There are three martial arts that are very good places to begin your hunt for these battle hardened tactics. We’re certainly not endorsing every martial arts school that teaches these, but, as a rule, these are the kinds of places that are going to be more oriented toward what works on the street than what works in the ring.

  • American Kenpo: This is what Elvis took and it’s a really interesting art that flies under the radar. American kenpo has always been about devastating strikes, crippling joint locks and fight ending chokes. “Kenpo 5.0,” an offshoot of American kenpo integrates the techniques from modern grappling arts that work on the streets, while ditching the rest. 
  • Jeet Kune Do: Bruce Lee fashioned his own martial art on the principle that students should do what works for them and not waste their time learning anything else. It’s specifically designed for street combat with a hard stance against sport competition, which practitioners see as watering down the art. JKD studios vary widely from one place to another. 
  • Krav Maga: This was developed by the Israeli Defense Forces to train recruits in brutally effective fighting tactics as quickly as possible. It’s primarily based on striking techniques, but it also involves a heavy dose of learning how to take deadly weapons away from people. To get a black belt you have to fly to Israel and disarm a soldier of his bayoneted combat rifle. Fun!

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Before you sign up, make sure to at least watch a class, though it’s very common for martial arts schools to allow people to take a single class for free. If you don’t feel that you’re welcome or the instruction simply isn’t your style, keep looking. Like we said at the very beginning, there are tons and tons of martial arts schools around for you to choose from. 

Remember that what works in the ring isn’t necessarily (and probably won’t) work in the street. So if you’re committed to learning self-defense, make sure that you pick something that’s designed for combat. If you’re already learning something that’s designed for sport, consider augmenting your studies. Because you never know when violence is going to come knocking on your doorstep. 

*This article has third party affiliate offers*

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Emergency

Surviving the Unthinkable: 5 Lifesaving Items for When SHTF

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survival and exploration in the wild. Man vs wild.

In the world of survival and preparedness, planning for the worst is a must. When SHTF, having these critical items will prepare you to survive and defend yourself when societal norms collapse. It will be you against the world in the wilderness. Check out this quick video from Calculated Survival that gives you 5 items to help you survive when shit gets real.

Calculated Survival – 5 Items to Survive

Think power grid failures, catastrophic natural disasters, or even finding yourself stranded in the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on your back. At these moments, having the right tools can mean the difference between life and death. Here are five such items that every serious survivalist must-have.

A Good Solid Knife

Bushcraft Knife and campfire in the evening

The heart of any survival kit, a reliable knife is multifaceted. Beyond its obvious use for cutting, a knife can be crucial for hunting, food preparation, and even defense. The blade should be sharp, sturdy, and capable of maintaining its edge through the rigors of survival situations. Your life might very well depend on its strength and reliability.

Ferro Rod

The ability to start a fire is fundamental. From boiling water and cooking food to keeping warm and signaling for help, fire is paramount. In a world where lighters can fail and matches can get wet, the Ferro Rod emerges as a dependable fire-starting tool. With its long lifespan and ability to produce sparks even in wet conditions, it’s a lifeline you can trust.

Shockwave Mini

Paracord, Particularly Survivor Cord

When you’re thinking of survival, paracord should be at the forefront of your mind. This versatile rope is a staple for a multitude of tasks. But not just any paracord will do. Survivor cord takes it up a notch by incorporating fishing line for catching food, tinder for fire-starting, and wire suitable for setting up animal traps. With this, you can craft shelters, snares, or even makeshift fishing gear.

Shelter Tools, like Tarps and Heat Reflectors

Exposure is a silent and deadly threat in survival situations. A tarp provides a quick and efficient shelter against rain, wind, and even the sun’s scorching heat. Pair this with a heat reflector, and you’ve got a system to keep you warm, amplifying the heat from your fire and directing it towards you, a true boon in cold environments.

ESB

Water Filtration System

Clean water is the elixir of life. While you might endure weeks without food, mere days without water can prove fatal. In many scenarios, available water sources are teeming with harmful pathogens.

Ready Filter
Modern Need’s Ready Filter

Having a reliable water filtration system ensures that you can safely hydrate, safeguarding against deadly waterborne diseases. Check out Modern Need’s Ready Filter to always have a reliable water source here!

In conclusion, the stark reality of survival situations necessitates robust preparation. While the above items are invaluable, remember that the real survival tool is your mind. With the right knowledge, these tools, and the will to survive, you can weather even the gravest of situations. So gear up, stay informed, and always be ready for when SHTF.

*This article contains 3rd party affiliate offers to keep the site free with new content*

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Gear

The Art of Concealment: Best Places to Hide a Knife on Your Body 

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Hunting knife in a plastic sheath

The Hidden Edge in Tough Times

All throughout history, concealed knives have swayed the tide of battles, saved lives, and borne witness to raw, unyielding human spirit. As survivalists, we recognize the tactical advantage and peace of mind a discreetly hidden blade can provide. Here’s a deep dive into choosing the best places to conceal a knife on your body.

Why Hide a Knife?

Tactical Advantage: In sticky situations, surprise is your ally. A concealed blade can provide that edge, literally and figuratively. Discreet Utility Beyond defense, a hidden knife is an invaluable tool for mundane tasks, ensuring you’re always equipped without drawing unnecessary attention.

Choosing the Right Knife for Concealment

Before we dive into the “where,” we must address the “what.” Not all knives are suitable for hidden carry. Opt for:

Compact Size: A blade that’s too long can be cumbersome and conspicuous.

Secure Sheath: You want it to stay hidden and avoid accidents.

Quick Release: In a crisis, you need to draw it swiftly.

Best Places to Conceal a Knife on Your Body

Ankle Holster: Tucked away in an ankle strap, it’s both discrete and easily accessible. Especially useful if you’re seated or downed.

Behind the Back: In a horizontal sheath, a knife can be comfortably nestled at the small of your back. However, ensure it doesn’t poke you when you sit.

Underarm Holster: Much like a shoulder holster for a firearm, there are harnesses that hold a knife snugly under your arm. Ideal for quick, intuitive access.

Pocket Clip: While not entirely hidden, a good folding knife with a low-profile clip can be inconspicuous in your pocket.

Inside the Waistband: This provides quick access while being hidden by your shirt. Make sure the grip is positioned for a smooth draw.

Boot Top: Slipping a knife inside your boot, especially with a dedicated sheath, can be both concealed and quickly accessible.

The Balance of Comfort and Access

Finding the right spot is a blend of comfort and functionality. You want to:

Ensure Mobility: Your concealed knife shouldn’t impede your movement.

Practice Draws: Regularly practice drawing the knife to ensure smooth, swift access when needed.

Always be mindful of local laws regarding concealed weapons. While a hidden knife is a survivalist’s tool, it’s essential to stay on the right side of the law. For the experienced survivalist, a concealed knife is more than just a tool or weapon; it’s a silent protector. As with all things survival, preparation and practice are key. Equip yourself, train regularly, and always be ready for whatever the wilderness—or life—throws your way.

How do you conceal your knife and why?

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