Best Air Pistol for Self Defense

Can you use a air pistol or pellet gun for self defense?

Some say NO but let’s talk about this with some logic.

If I had the choice of an air gun or no weapon…I would naturally choose the air gun. I would chose an air gun over a knife also. But I would much rather have a firearm. Multiple shots from a medium powered air gun will definitely stun an intruder to say the least. If nothing else, it will give you some time to escape and call 911. The ideal target is the face and particularly the eyes. Eye shots will blind the intruder and most likely kill them immediately. Once the brain is penetrated, it’s almost always “Lights Out”.

Air guns or pellet guns are limited in power which is why most people say you cannot use one for self defense BUT some have enough power to stop a human if shot placement is correct. A heart or lung shot with most pellet guns is useless however a Temple or Eye shot could be fatal. Steel BB’s traveling at 400-500 fps will penetrate the human eye and hit the brain. A temple shot will most likely hit the brain also resulting in a stunned, disabled or dead target. If you look at some gelatin air gun penetration tests, you will see that pellets and BB’s will penetrate about 5-6 inches. That much penetration in the human brain will be fatal or serious paralysis. Some pellet guns can penetrate 1/4″ plywood.

Daisy Powerline 415 Air Pistol

Daisy Powerline 415 Air Pistol – Muzzle Velocity – 500 fps

You can buy this self defense air pistol here…Shop Now at Amazon.com

There are a few considerations to think about when choosing a pellet gun for self defense.

  1. Rifle or Pistol
  2. Semi-auto or bolt action
  3. Single shot or repeater

Ideally you want multiple shots in a semi or fully auto mode. The size of the gun is up to you but smaller is handier and easier to bring into action. More powerful air guns are better but you have to also consider if they are multi-shot and semi-auto. A break barrel air gun might not be the best choice since you will only have one shot. Break barrel pellet guns have enough power to easily stop an intruder with a single shot. But do you want to bet your life on that one shot? I prefer to have 4 or 5 + shots available in short order.

Pump, Break Barrel, PCP or CO2 Air Guns for Self Defense

So what type of air gun is best for self defense?

Let’s look at pump air guns. Pump air guns certainly have the power to stop a human and are available in .177 and .22 calibers. They shoot steel BBs and lead pellets which are great ammunition against soft targets. BUT they are a SLOW 2nd and 3rd shot. You have to pump them 10 times and then load a pellet or BB. This takes too long in the heat of the moment. If your 1st shot does not stop the threat, you may be in for some hand to hand combat real quick or dead if the threat has a gun.

Break barrel guns fall into the same category as the pump guns. Break barrels are slow to reload but do have plenty of power.

PCP or Pre-charged Pneumatic guns are a little faster to reload than pump guns and break barrels but are basically a single shot gun. A 2nd shot will not be as fast as you would like. PCP guns are however very powerful and available in calibers up to 12 gauge.

CO2 guns are just about ideal for self defense with the exception of power. If CO2 air guns had velocities of 800 fps, they would be perfect. Most CO2 air guns are in the 400-500 fps range with .177 BBs or pellets. 450 fps will provide about 3-4 inches or so of penetration in ballistic gelatin. This is ample to penetrate the human brain with an accurate shot. Small game are easily dispatched with a BB or .177 pellet at 450 fps. And the advantage of multiple rapid fire shots can really “put the brakes” on a would be intruder.

So what are the best air pistols for self defense?

  1. Crosman SR 357 CO2 6 Shot BB Revolver  – 450 fps
  2. Winchester Model 11K CO2 Pistol – 410 fps
  3. Crosman PFAM9B BB Air Pistol – 450 fps
  4. Daisy Powerline CO2 Air Pistol – 520 fps

Crosman SR357 CO2 Air Pistol for Home Defense

Winchester Model 11K CO2 Air Pistol for Self Defense

Crosman PFAM9B CO2 Air Pistol of Self Defense

Daisy Powerline CO2 Air Pistol for Self Defense…Buy Now at Amazon.com

Here is why I would choose one of these for self defense. They are the most powerful air pistols and offer multiple shots with the pull of the trigger. These 4 are also very reliable and well made. To make these ever more formidable would be to add a laser sight. This makes it very easy to make a fast and accurate/lethal shot.

Best Air Rifles or Pellet Rifles for Self Defense

The same requirements go for air rifles for self defense. They must be a multi-shot semi or fully auto gun and be powerful enough to penetrate the human skull. Let’s look at some good semi-auto CO2 air rifles with multi-shot capabilities. I’m looking for velocities of 400 + fps.

  1. Sig Sauer MPX ASP CO2 Airgun – 30 round magazine, .177 pellets, short assault type air gun, up to 700 fps with hyper-velocity alloy pellets, semi auto platform.
  2. Crosman Comrade AK CO2 Air Gun – 22 round magazine, short assault type air gun, up to 600 fps with BBs and semi auto operation.
  3. Crosman RepeatAir 1077 CO2 Air Gun – 12 sot rotary pellet clip, compact traditional rifle style, up to 625 fps with hyper-velocity lead pellets, semi-auto operation.

Sig Sauer MPX ASP CO2 Air Rifle

Crosman Comrade AK CO2 Air Rifle

Crosman RepearAir 1077 CO2 Air Gun

H&N Piledriver 177 Lead Pellets

Looking for a super heavy weight .177 pellet for long range hunting or target shooting?

…how about a .177 lead pellet that weighs 21 grains?

…with a boat tail for low drag?

…and super precision tolerances?

Take a look at H&N’s 177 Piledriver Pellets.

These pellets are the ultimate for long range air rifle shooting. The barrel design with a recessed boat tail provide a very low drag coefficient. They are recommended for PCP rifles only because they are very heavy and take some serious power to propel them. H&N pellets are made in Germany and are very high quality.

There are 250 Piledriver pellets in a tin for about $22.00. If you hunt with a PCP rifle, these pellets will provide the ultimate in knock down power and deep penetration on small game.

Non Ricochet BBs – H&N Smart Shot

If you shoot BB guns then you know about ricochets and how dangerous they can be. I once shot a BB at an old stove I ran across in the desert. I shot at the glass oven door from about 30 feet and instantly got hit in the forehead by the BB. I never did that again. I’m lucky I didn’t lose an eye!

There are 2 lessons I learned from this incident.

  1. Don’t shoot steel BBs at hard objects
  2. Wear eye protection when shooting

Some BB guns will only shoot BBs like the Daisy Red Ryder. So you don’t have a choice of lead pellets. So what do you do?

…only shoot soft targets?

…use lead BBs?

I like and prefer shooting lead or copper coated lead BBs. Actually the copper plated are better for the simple reason there is no exposed lead. Lead is hazardous to most life on Earth.

Anyway…so who makes copper coated lead BBs?

H&N Excite Smart Shot BBs are lead core BBs with a copper coating. These BBs expand and flatten when they hit a target or any hard surface without ricocheting. They are much safer than steel BBs. Since the core is lead which is heavier than steel, Smart Shot BBs are heavier and weigh about 7.4 grains. Steel BBs weigh about 5.1 grains. BB gun velocities will be lower with Smart Shot BBs but penetration maybe greater because of the increased density.

Here are some samples of the H&N Smart Shot BBs….un-fired and fired. You can see how they flatten like a lead bullet. These are excellent for backyard plinking or hunting with a BB gun. If you are interested in these, here is a link to buy them online…H&N Smart Shot BBs at Amazon.com

Posted in BB

Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun Review

The Daisy Red Ryder BB gun has been around for a very long time and it’s still available. I remember shooting frogs at a pond in New Jersey when I was a teenager. It sure was a lot of fun.

Turn the clock ahead 40 years and here I am 54 years old and just bought a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. It’s a classic that will never go out of style.

Here it is in the same box as it was in the 70’s. It still has a wooden stock and leather lanyard tie too. It’s a really cool BB gun!

Here’s a link if you want to shop online…Daisy BB Guns at Amazon.com

Here’s the Red Ryder signature engraved in the wooden butt stock.

Lever action BB guns are a lot of fun. Just fill the reservoir with BBs and cock and shoot all day.

…350 fps with steel BBs…not bad for frogs, birds and targets.

I pulled off the outer box, which was kind of a pain. Now all I have to do is cut the plastic zip-tie.

Here’s the action and forend. It’s still very much like the one I used back in 1975.

I love this stock. It’s a youth type stock meaning it’s about a 12-13″ length of pull but it still works for a full size adult. It shoulders nicely and the sights align up easily. The wood stock will take some serious abuse where plastic may not.

Here’s a closeup of the action. The sides are metal along with the bolts/screws. The lever and trigger are polymer/plastic. Operating the lever is unique in that it ratchets 7 times before hitting full cock. Then it swings smoothly back in place. The lever is very easy to cock and any 10 + year should be able to cock it just fine. Now it’s ready to fire. The trigger is also polymer/plastic and feels nice on the index finger. The trigger pull is about 5 lbs. This is a good trigger pull for a BB gun.

The stock fits the receiver very well. There’s no slop in the fit. Everything was smooth and tight. Again…I like it!!

The lanyard ring and leather thong look cool even though they are not very functional. It’s the “Old West” look.

Here’s a closeup of the lever and trigger and safety. The safety is a cross-bolt type and works perfectly. The plastic/polymer lever snaps in place via the metal clip. The trigger is wide and very comfortable and not too heavy.

Here’s a closeup of the cross-bolt safety. If the red is showing, that means Fire. If there’s no red showing then the gun safety is engaged.

The forend is wood and fills your hand. It’s smooth and fits the barrel nicely. The open sights are basic but very functional and easy to align. They are adjustable for elevation. These sights work great for backyard shooting where the distance is only 15-20 yards.

The bottom of the wood forend is smooth and fits in your hand nicely. a single metal screw secures it in place. The forend was tight with zero slop.

Top view of the rear sight. You can see the elevation adjustment ladder and the push button release.

The rear sight and barrel look like they’re from a real gun. The glossy finish looks fantastic!

The barrel on the Daisy Red Ryder is a bull barrel. It’s not solid metal though. It appears to be a polymer/plastic shroud around a steel smooth bore tube. It looks great. I don’t care for those skinny barreled BB or pellet guns. They look like toys. This looks like a real gun. The front sight is a good one and works just fine. The tube below the barrel is the BB reservoir.

Here’s the BB loading port located on the left side of the barrel muzzle (don’t mind the dust on the muzzle). You push the button in and then slide the door downward. Then pour in the BBs. It’s simple and works great. I love BB repeaters…just cock and shoot. A funnel wood be ideal when pouring BBs in the loading port otherwise the BBs can go all over the place unless you’re really careful.

Here’s the loading port in the open position. It operates smoothly and closes positively. The barrel sure shines nicely.

350 count of Daisy BBs for $1.50. You can’t beat that!! Remember steel BB will ricochet off of hard objects like wood, bricks, metal, hard plastics and stucco. Only shoot steel BBs at soft targets like cans, watermelons, apples, clay pigeons, thin plastic objects and BB traps. There are BBs that are low ricochet. They are made by H&N and called Smart Shot.

Smart Shot BB’s are copper plated lead BB’s and will expand upon impact instead of bouncing off. Each BB weighs 7.4 grains compared to 5.1 grains for steel. Smart Shot BB’s will have a lower velocity but will hit harder which is great for hunting small game.

The Daisy Red Ryder BB gun is a great value at about $35. It’s a great BB gun for youths just starting to shoot or adults who just want to have a blast with an inexpensive BB gun. Lever actions are fun and fast. The 350 fps velocity is deal for backyard pinking or frog pond hunting. The spring air action is SUPER QUIET. There is no need to worry about neighbors getting upset from a loud BB gun. This gun won’t disturb anyone. My neighbors are very close, about 15 feet from my exterior walls. I shoot from my patio in my backyard all day. It doesn’t even disturb the neighborhood dogs or birds for that matter.

The Daisy Red Ryder reservoir holds 650 BBs. You can shoot all day or even 2 days (maybe a week) without reloading. Now that’s fun!

The Daisy Red Ryder BB gun weights about 2.2 lbs which is a good weight for any BB or pellet gun. My Daisy Powerline 880 weights about 3 lbs. The light weight makes it easy to shoot it all day and pack around. There are many air rifles and pellet rifles that weigh 8 lbs. I think that’s too heavy. My Gamo Hornet Maxxim with scope weighs about 7 lbs. That’s my limit with pellet guns. Anything heavier and I’m not shooting it too often.

Daisy Red Ryder Specifications

  • Weight: 2.20 lbs
  • Action: Lever cocking spring-air
  • Sights: Blade and Ramp front, adjustable open rear
  • Safety: cross-bolt trigger block
  • Muzzle Velocity: 350 fps with BBs
  • Overall Length: 34.5 inches
  • Caliber: .177 BBs or 4.5 mm
  • Stock/Forend: Stained solid wood with lariat logo and burnished forend band
  • Barrel: steel smooth bore shrouded with polymer/plastic
  • Maximum Shooting Distance: 195 yards
  • Capacity: 650 BBs
  • Receiver: Stamped steel, saddle ring and leather thong
  • Model: 1938
Posted in BB

Accuracy Test – Crosman SSP .22 Cal Pellets

Are Crosman SSP high velocity pellets accurate?

I test them in my new Gamo Hornet Maxxim air rifle.

I test all pellets at the same distance which is around 15 yards and in my backyard. I use a rolled up towel as a bench rest on top of a storage trunk.

Let’s take a look at my shooting/testing setup.

Here’s my pellet gun bench rest setup. It makes holding a rifle steady very easy.

Crosman SSP Supersonic Pellets in .22 cal. They weigh 9.5 grains.

Here’s a closeup of the SSP pellets.

Now let’s try a five shot group at 30 feet.

Here’s the 5 shot group from 30 feet. It’s about a 1.75 inch group. The heavier JSB pellets are much more accurate.

Lighter pellets most often are less accurate. The JSB 25 and 18 grain pellets will group in less than 1 inch.