Air Rifles – Why You Should Have One In Your Bugout Bag

Is your bugout bag all set and ready to go? Or as you pack up water, rations, first aid supplies, etc. are you wondering about what you should be "packing" in terms of a firearm?

In reality, prepared individuals should have a couple of different types of weapons at their disposal. The popular image of a survivalist or prepper is one whose "lair" is bulging with semi-automatic weapons and mounds of ammunition.

In fairness, there are those who feel that one can never have enough firearms and ammo on hand when preparing for trouble. And one can certainly understand that folks would want some sort of firearm in a survivalist scenario. Not just for self-defence, but also as a hunting tool to be able to gather food.

This should be a firearm that can be neglected for months, while also being sturdy enough that it can handle being knocked around and still function dependably.

Considerations In Choosing A Bugout Weapon

So what should you be packing in every sense of the word in terms of firearms as you prepare to bugout? Consider:

  • What you'll actually be trying to defend
  • The types of "unfriendlies" (Animals? People? Both?) that you'll be dealing with
  • Your long term ammunition and maintenance needs

Strictly speaking, a true "bugout" is an event that lasts seventy-two hours or less. On the other hand, a true bugout isn't a relaxed weekend camping trip with the kids. You have no idea of conditions or circumstances that you'll be encountering, or how long that you'll have to live with them.

You need a reliable, low maintenance, versatile firearm as part of your bugout bag. You need an air rifle.

Why An Air Rifle?

Admittedly, it has been a really long time since the air rifle has been considered a state-of-the-art super weapon.

But there are multiple reasons why air rifles have never been out of style since their debut, and it's not just because they're great for target shooting competitions. The features that make air rifles consistently good all-around firearms work well for survivalist purposes as well.

1. Air Rifles Are Dependable

There was a time (about thirty years ago, to be specific) when it would have been difficult to make this statement. Many air rifle models from this era were notorious for leaking, which in turn led to the guns losing velocity.

But modern day air rifles have improved in design, and this is far less likely a problem. And while air rifles need cleaning and maintenance just as with any other firearm, because of how these guns fire, there isn't carbon build-up as a result, meaning a lot less time spent cleaning rifle barrels.

2. Variety

We wouldn't call them air rifles if they weren't pneumatically propelled. But aside from that common factor, the different types of this firearm mean more choices for users in terms of performance than similar types of related firearms.

That means that "buggers" contemplating bringing along an air rifle shouldn't assume that any old one will do. They should take the time to read up on the various air rifle types (and their different maintenance needs), which include:


  • Easy to use
  • Powerful
  • Must be cocked before every shot, spring can break


  • Lighter and has longer life than spring-piston
  • Less recoil than spring-piston
  • Hard to find parts for, difficult to modify

Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP)

  • Almost no recoil
  • Very powerful and accurate gun
  • Requires a lot of parts

Variable Pump

  • Small and light
  • Allows for a lot of velocity control
  • Difficult to cock, not a good hunting gun


  • Very accurate gun, little recoil
  • Very easy gun to cock
  • Gun has little power, also weather can affect gun performance

3. Versatility

Okay, an air rifle may not be the best choice for holding off a swarm of hungry zombies, or other real-life nasties you may encounter! But again, you should have already made room in that bugout bag for other firearm types, and you'll find plenty of other uses for your air rifle on the road or trail.

Since you'll be unlikely to find an open/well-stocked grocery stores in the aftermath of disaster, an air rifle is an excellent choice for hunting. You will not be able to go deer hunting with it, but you can certainly hunt small game with it, such as birds, rabbits or squirrels.

It also works well to eliminate feral and nuisance animals that might be competing with you for food.

One of the reasons that this type of firearm is so popular in shooting sports competitions is that many of these guns are easily adjustable and can be used by a range of shooters. So for folks who are not very experienced in shooting guns, an air rifle is an easier (and probably safer) option to handle than a high calibre gun.

And finally, these guns are incredibly accurate. While it's unlikely that you'll have time to participate in real life target shoots, this capability means that it's very good at finding real life targets, a sometimes unfortunate necessity of packing up and bugging out.

Wrapping Up

Do you have an air rifle as part of your bugout bag? If so, do you plan to be able to use it as a defensive weapon or purely as a hunting tool? Also, what air rifle would you choose for your bugout bag and why?

If you have any more thoughts on this topic, please share them with us by commenting in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!