Ballistic Weapons for Hunting – UK
As most of you are aware, our government has done everything it possibly can to keep guns out of our hands, no matter how honest we are. With that in
mind, I’d like to start a discussion on the merits/drawbacks of ballistic weapons that are LEGAL in the UK without a license. Keep in mind, we’re
considering their use in a survival situation where ammunition and spares may be in limited supply.
My research indicates that the following weapons are legal in the UK and can be bought with little trouble:
• Airguns (12ft/lb limit, can no longer be supplied via mail order but can still be purchased at a registered firearms dealer)
• Catapults (Slingshots to my American brothers)
Let’s consider each in turn, starting with Airguns. There are 3 distinct models of Airgun available in the UK. The spring piston, gas ram and
recoilless. The spring piston is a self contained rifle that under normal use will require minimal maintenance. Benefits:
• Requires little maintenance
• Cheap to purchase
• Extremely reliable
• Requires specialized ammunition
• Relatively low power
• Single shot and noisy reload mechanism
• High recoil
• May require unattainable spare parts
Conclusion on spring piston air rifle. A very good stopgap measure for short to medium term hunting in a survival situation. A good air rifle can take
down a rabbit/hare, squirrel, rat, pigeon or small species deer with no problem although you’ll have to be within 60yards or so and your shot will
have to be in the head, neck region (with smaller mammals and birds a headshot is not so critical but with a small species deer such as a Muntjac,
anything but a headshot will simply result in a runner). Air rifles are available in 2 calibers, .22 and .177. A .177 pellet will give a flat
trajectory but not a lot of “stopping power” whereas a .22 pellet will give the stopping power required to get your food stopped even with a bad
shot. For this reason I suggest a .22 blunt head pellet. Suggested rifles are (cheap to expensive):
Has open sights so if your scope goes south, you still have a fighting chance.
Gamo ViperMax www.wighillparkguns.co.uk...
Again, open sights. Scope is really not required at the
distance you’ll be hunting at.
Air Arms Pro Sport
My personal airgun but it comes at a price! Requires a scope and a deep pocket. Although I’m happy to
recommend this rifle it won’t be my “weapon of choice” as you’ll see later.
Right, that’s spring piston airguns out of the way, what about gas ram and recoilless? Well, the gas ram rifle is a viable alternative to the spring
piston but they are hideously expensive and all require scopes to be useful. Also, the gas ram rifle is not serviceable in the field, break one of the
many seals in it and you have a very expensive bat. The recoilless air rifle has some huge advantages, they are very accurate and have a multi shot
capability however, they require pumping up and pumping requires energy you may not have spare. Not to mention you have to carry 2 bits of kit to use
one, the pump and the rifle. In survival situations, simplicity is key. The spring piston is your best bet.