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Air guns have come a long way from your father’s Red Ryder BB gun.

No longer just for kids, higher-powered output makes air rifles and pistols ideal for survival situations, particularly due to their lightweight and easy-to-carry ammunition. When tasked with personal protection or hunting small game, a number of air guns on the market fit the bill.

 

1. CROSMAN CORPORATION Model CD8M22NP

MSRP: $179.99

Key Features: Low-noise, single-shot, quick and easy optic mounting

Description: Crosman’s Nitro Venom air rifle delivers serious hunting power with muzzle energy up to 21 fluid power energy and velocities of up to 950 feet per second. This single-shot, break-barrel air rifle features a precision, rifled barrel with fluted muzzle break and sculpted rubber recoil pad. The rifle is equipped with a CenterPoint 3-9 by 32mm precision scope and a quicklock mounting system for quick and easy optic mounting. The ambidextrous synthetic stock has a raised cheek piece and modified, beavertail forearm designed to promote the artillery hold shooting position. The wider surface area of the forearm is designed to rest on the palm of your hand and assists in achieving improved accuracy with break-barrel air rifles.

Manufacturer’s Comment: “Offering affordable peace of mind, Crosman Airguns are quiet and deliver sufficient power to take small game at more than 20 yards. Great for trapping and small-game hunting, pellets don’t cause as much tissue damage as other types of ammunition, leaving you with more.”

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— Laura Evans, Marketing Coordinator

 

2. CROSMAN CORPORATION Marauder Woods Walker Pistol

MSRP: $509.99

Key Features: .22-caliber pistol, multi-shot bolt action

Description: The Marauder Woods Walker pistol unleashes magnum power in a package small enough to fit in a pack. It has the authority to take out small game, and, if needed, this repeater gives a precise follow-up shot. The included CenterPoint Multi-Tac Quick Aim Sight with custom dovetail rings allows for fast acquisition and precise targeting. It comes equipped with a stock extension to shoulder mount the gun, and, with 2,900 psi of compressed air, this gun has the muscle to quietly and dependably get the job done. The pistol features an eight-shot rotary magazine and a crisp twostage trigger. This ProPick kit includes the Benjamin Marauder Woods Walker PCP pistol, CenterPoint MultiTAC Quick Aim Sight, Benjamin High-Pressure Hand Pump, additional eight-round magazine and a tin of 500 Benjamin hunting pellets.

Manufacturer’s Comment: “An excellent choice for hunting, the Benjamin Woods Walker .22-caliber PCP pistol is ultra quiet and, with practice, is more than accurate enough to easily take small game from up to 33 yards away.”

— Laura Evans, Marketing Coordinator

 

3. GAMO USA Silent Stalker

MSRP: $254.95

Key Features: Lightweight, all-weather, single shot

Description: The Silent Stalker offers all-weather durability combined with maximum performance. Lightweight synthetic stock, match-grade fluted barrel and 1,300 feet per second with PBA—thanks to the new IGT (Inert Gas Technology)—make the Silent Stalker ideal for small-game hunting, targets and pest control. The gun features a two-stage, adjustable, smooth-action trigger with manual safety as well as a non-slip texture design on both the grip and forearm.

Manufacturer’s Comment: “With IGT and the new recoil pad with up to 74-percent absorbing pressure, this adult break-barrel delivers a unique experience.”

—David, Customer Service Representative

 

4. AIRFORCE AIRGUNS CondorSS Air Rifle

MSRP: $737

Key Features: Quiet, pre-charged, ambidextrous, ideal for small-game hunting

Description: The CondorSS air rifle is the latest addition to the AirForce Airguns family of precharged air rifles. It’s based on the top-selling Condor frame with an 18-inch barrel integrated with the new SuperShroud for maximum noise suppression. Standard on all models is AirForce Airguns’ CrispBreak trigger/safety system, which is crisper and has less travel than the previous trigger. The new trigger group is also fully ambidextrous with a manual safety mounted in the front of the trigger guard. The rifle is offered with either the Quick-Detach air tank or the Spin-Loc system air tank. With the CondorSS, shooters can hunt small game, enjoy target practice at the range or in the backyard and even shoot indoors.

Manufacturer’s Comment: “We had a lot of customer feedback on both the Condor and TalonSS models. So, we took the highest-praised parts of each and turned that into the CondorSS air rifle.”

—John Mccaslin, Airforce Founder And CEO

 

5. WESTMINSTER BY DAISY OUTDOOR PRODUCTS Model 1250CS

MSRP: $219.99

Key Features: Break-barrel, bipod legs, fiber optic sights

Description: The composite stock is clad in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity Camo and features a thumbhole grip for added wrist support and straighter trigger pull. The folddown bipod legs extend from 9 to 13.5 inches and provide steady support on the bench or in the field. The included web sling allows for ease of carry in the field and provides shooting stability. Also included are fiber optic sights and air rifle scope. The rifled steel barrel delivers velocities up to 1,250 feet per second with .177-caliber alloy pellets.

Manufacturer’s Comment: “The model 1250CS is a feature-packed break-barrel that really performs.”

—Joe C. Murfin, VP of Public Relations, Daisy Outdoor Products

 

6. STOEGER INDUSTRIES Model: X50

MSRP: $249-$359

Key Features: Ambidextrous safety, break-action, checkered pistol grip

Description: The Stoeger X50 is a powerful air gun with an ergonomic cocking grip that assures fast and easy, single-stroke charging on each and every shot. The bluedsteel, rifled barrel provides accuracy and comes standard with fiber-optic front and adjustable rear sights. Target acquisition is quick and easy with red front and two-dot, green rear fiber-optic inserts, and X50 models are mounted in Monte Carlo-style stocks for improved control and target acquisition. All X50 receivers feature an integral dovetail scope-rail and are offered in a combo model that includes a 3-9 by 40mm parallax adjustable riflescope. For added security, the X50 features an automatic, ambidextrous safety that’s easily accessible on the rear of the receiver.

Manufacturer’s Comment: “The Stoeger X50 is the magnum choice for all air rifle chores and challenges, from plinking and target shooting to pest control and small-game hunting. A robust, spring-piston, break-action system gives you the power to drive .177 alloy pellets at a potent 1,500 feet per second.”

—Joe Coogan, Brand Marketing Manager

 

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the Spring 2014 print issue of American Survival Guide.