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Ballistic Hunting Weapons - UK

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posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 06:57 PM
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)
• Crossbows
• 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):

BSA Supersport Has open sights so if your scope goes south, you still have a fighting chance.

Gamo ViperMax 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.

posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 06:58 PM
Now we’ll move on to Crossbows. Believe it or not, Crossbow’s are largely unregulated in the UK. There are a few laws such as age limits and carrying in public but as far as power goes, just about anything is legal. There are 2 types of crossbow generally considered to be worthwhile, the recurve and compound. We’re going to exclude the compound crossbow straight away. They are expensive, require regular maintenance and once they break, that’s it unless you have the spare parts. The recurve crossbow has several points that make it an ideal weapon:

• Simple to operate
• Quiet
• Spares are small and portable
• High powered, extreme stopping power when in range.
• Easily repaired in the field

However, like most weapons, it has its drawbacks:

• Limited range
• Requires specialized ammunition
• Bulky and unwieldy
• Single shot

Conclusion on Crossbows. An excellent choice for medium to long term hunting in survival situations. A crossbow bolt is almost guaranteed to stop just about any small animal with even a mediocre shot. In survival situations we’re not worried about being “humane” we’re more worried about food and a crossbow will provide that food if you manage to hit it just about anywhere. Suggested crossbows, avoid wooden stocks, they require care and yet again, simplicity is key:

Standard Recurve
Doesn’t matter if it’s painted bright orange, I have used this crossbow on several rabbit hunting trips using just the standard open sights and it is a very reliable weapon. I suggest buying a few spare strings.

Barnett Panzer V Recurve
Although it looks like a toy this is a very capable crossbow. It can spit a bolt at 245FPS with only a 150lb draw weight and its synthetic body renders it impervious to weather. Spares are a bit hard to come by though, try and source a few spare strings before buying.

Finally we come to Catapults or good ole fashioned Slingshots. A few of you will no doubt notice I have omitted Bows from our choice. Although a longbow is a simple choice of weapon it requires massive amounts of practice to use effectively and you’ll end up using arrows at a ruinous rate if you are less than an expert at using the longbow. The main criteria of this exercise is identifying a weapon that can be used with confidence by the average user, it must have stopping power, relative accuracy and above all, be portable and easily repaired. The classic catapult meets every criteria. Benefits of the catapult:

• Very cheap to purchase
• Spares are cheap and portable
• Insane damage, a good catapult and 3/8” steel shot will kill just about anything you aim it at!
• Doesn’t require specialized ammo, you can use a stone/rock.
• Quiet
• Easy to master


• Range is limited to about 20m

Suggested Catapults. Well there’s only one company that springs to mind, Barnett. I’ve hunted with many catapults in the past but the Barnett Cobra stands out as the best. Considering it’s price, I won’t bother suggesting anything else:

Next week I will go into edible mammals in the UK and how best to hunt them.

posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 07:15 PM
Forget the X-bow and air-rifle and stick with the slingshot, the Barnett 'Blackwidow' is powerful enough to kill humans with, can be folded up and slipped in a jeans pocket in a second, silent, and requires nothing more than a bit of practice to load, draw and fire when needed...

The best option for a limited budget, and at a tenner a piece you can but seceral and stash them at different BoB locations too just in case

posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 09:28 PM
reply to post by citizen smith

There you go thinking like proper British SUBJECTS rather than FREEMEN of the 21st century.

Seriously, guys a Chinese made QB-79 ,22 caliber tanker air gun will costs you less than 60 quid and can be converted to precharged for another 60. The high pressure pump is a drag to use but you'll likely never shoot the gun empty in a single night's poaching. It will give you at least 80 shots at below the 12 ft/lb energy limit and can be quickly converted to shot well above that for larger game. Some folks in the US have achieved 40 Ft/lb muzzle energy(in.22 cali) from these guns without major surgery. A friend has used a Theoben Rapid 12/.20 cal to take several deer with head shots shooting at the 27 FPE level . There's no laws against moderators in the UK . Unless you're get unlucky and get caught by the warden/ranger, A precharged airgun would be the way to go, The QB gun also has open sights but a 4-6x scope is all you'll need to take small game efficiently and quietly at ranges upto 50 yards at below FAC level. Many of the Crosman multi- pump airguns can be easily modified to shot well beyond the FAC level with very simple tools. You can buy 10k rounds of premium airgun pellets like JSB's for less then 100 quid and it will last you a life time. I know do most of my hunting here in Texas with a Korean made .22 PCP gun.

An airgun is much more efficient a hunting arm than a slingshot in terms of the actual game you can harvest especially if game becomes scarce from being overhunted. The game won't/may not let you get close enough to use a catapult.

Some of the very cheap Chinese spring guns can also be converted to fire those steel slingshot roundball ammo like a balllsita via a pushrod. The one that I saw modified that way slung those steel balls about twice as fast as the strongest catapults. Legendary airgun engineer John Bowkett made one to mimic a black powder dueling pistol practice arm.

Airguns can also be modified to fire darts or bolts that will exceed the accuracy,range and lethality of the crossbow.

If things really get that bad in the UK, I'm fairly certain the last things the police are going to be worried about is someone with an airgun.

My 2 pence worth

posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 11:13 PM
That sounds like good advice, will defo take a look at those guns you mentioned-are they under 12 ft.lbs muzzle velocity? In a sit x situation i think you might struggle for co2 for refills,though, surely? Seems to me that a good longbow might be a decent addition ( lot quicker than a crossbow to reload) if legal?

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 07:41 AM

Originally posted by crgintx
There's no laws against moderators in the UK . Unless you're get unlucky and get caught by the warden/ranger.

As long as you keep your modified weapon BELOW 12ft/lbs then your OK, but as soon as it goes over that limit, you are taking a monumental risk in terms of breaching the FAC laws...getting caught bagging bunnies on private land without the owner's consent with a standard air weapon is bad enough, but if you get caught and it's above the 12ft/lb limit....just pray that you can get a damn good solicitor.

The recent draconian changes in weapon legislation will put you in the category of possessing an unlicenced firearm and carries a mandatory 5 year sentence!

Don't risk it!

Slingshot Vs. Air-rifle:

The lethal hunting range for a standard air-rifle and a slingshot are about the same, the rifle will spit out a small lightweight 177/22 cal round at a high velocity and the slingshot will lob a 38/45 cal round at a lower velocity...the slingshot will win at a 20m range in terms of hitting the target with greater kinetic energy, and if not killing a bunny outright from the force of blunt impact, stunning/wounding, and enabling you to follow up with a second round, and faster than you can pump-up or break the barrel and reload a rifle.

Another distinct advantage the slingshot has over the air-rifle is its simplicity and ruggedness. You could drop them both from 2 metres, say, falling whilst scrambling over a wall or fence in the field, the slingshot will work just fine, but you may have dislodged your scope, bent the barrel just a fraction, or done other damage that renders the rifle practically useless without repairs

The rifle has the psychological edge over the slingshot when it comes to intimidating other people, but will just make you a target for others who desire your fancy weapon and are determined to take it from you for themselves...this is where the slingshot has the can fold it up and stuff in in your pocket and no-one is any the wiser that you are armed

The last point is that if you run out of ammo, unless you have the knowhow to precision-cast your own lead pellets, you're buggered, but with a slingshot, anything that can fit snugly in the sling...pebbles, rivets, coins, gravel...etc becomes a lethal projectile

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 09:07 AM
Airgun pellets can be easily swaged(pressure formed) with a set of dies from recycled lead wheel weights or from dead car batteries.

You keep speaking about obeying laws that are meant to keep the average bloke under the thumb of tyrants like your current gov't. I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath when the Dunblane School massacre happened. Taking away guns won't stop massacres, ask the people of Northern Ireland, Iraq, or Israel if it does. From what I understand you ban on private handgun ownership has done nothing but turn law-abiding folk into defenseless victims of hand gun wielding criminals.

This is a 'survival' thread. I doubt that average man will be hunting in the UK under normal circumstances and if things are bad enough in the UK that they'll have to the cops will be too busy with food rioters to deal with a poacher. I hunted on the now defunct RAF Lakenheath's Rod and Gun Club's hunting lease in the Thetford Forest from '94-'96. Standard rabbit snares will yield you more bunnies than any catapult ever will. I've hunted with a catapult here in the US and it's much more difficult to bag even cottontail rabbits with one than even the cheapest Chinese airguns. Even tougher if you're not using round lead or steel balls. In a survival situation, practice is a luxury that few can afford.

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 09:55 AM

Originally posted by crgintx
You keep speaking about obeying laws that are meant to keep the average bloke under the thumb

Put it this way, would you recommend someone, or purchase yourself, an unregistered handgun, or a rifle thats been modded from semi to full-auto-fire in the US?

If you have the technical know-how to upgrade the power of your air-rifle, fine, but I'm just pointing out the risks in doing so

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 10:11 AM
You left out slings. Once used to slay Biblical giants they are more formidable and portable and concealable than slingshots or air rifles. Most folks do not know how to properly use one though and end up doing a helicopter imitation and letting the projectile fly weakly off on its own centrifugal force. This is the wrong way to do it. Ideally you only want to swing the rock over your head twice as you acquire and track your target. On the third time you will let the rock swing down and behind your back then you WHIP it over the top of your head like you are a big league pitcher. Really do it HARD! It is this final whipping motion that imparts the killing velocity to the stone. With 4-5 ft. leads you can send a fist sized chunk of rock a hundred yards.

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 10:50 AM
I hate to say it but you don't need weapons to hunt, you need a boat. If you don't get off that rock and into the saltwater to fish, you will die from starvation. With the UK population what it is, most of your easy game animals will be depleted in a very short time. Fish in the easy fresh waters will fall to nets and longlines and then there will only be the ocean. Perhaps sushi rice might be a better investment.

Look for a good durable type of small craft that can take a beating. Catamaran is nice for calm days, white water boat would be better and you can live your life and have fun with it in the mean time.

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 10:51 AM
A note on crossbows. On arrows used with bows, the fletching (feathers) spiral slightly around the arrow shaft to impart stabilizing rotation to the arrow. On crossbows I have used, the fletching is straight on the shaft making the bolts less accurate over distance than an arrow fired from a bow. For close distance though I would choose the crossbow.

One thing that irritates me about crossbows though, is that the strings wear far too quickly because they rub on the top of the crossbow. Somebody should design a crossbow where the string engages a sled that rides in the bolt channel. The sled would push the arrow and keep the string off the top of the crossbow. The sled could even be attached to the string and would ideally be made from aluminum. The sled would ride with the string and stop it from rubbing across the length of the top of the crossbow. Because the sled and string move together the rubbing is eliminated.

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 11:22 AM
Would the idea of combining slingshot with a shortened x-bow bolts work?

The idea would be to have a nose-heavy shortened 'bolt' 2-3 inches long with a very basic 'fletched' tail...would combine the penetration of a pointed-nose bolt projectile with the velocity of the slingshot

...something a bit like this

...a broadhead slingshot round

[edit on 27-3-2008 by citizen smith]

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 11:32 AM
reply to post by citizen smith

Respect due, sir. Have read many of your other posts and you always seem to be the voice of reason. On yours and the OP's advice, i will definitely be getting a slingshot. The ones with the sights and stabilisers seem better in terms of accuracy (espescially for novices like me) but obviously theres a trade off with portability? It seems like the power is due to the latex bands-any way of increasing that? Lets face it, most of us are not crackshots and the idea of using one for hunting seems less likely than using snares or nets to me but i reckon you could scare off a hungry dog or human attacker with one? Well worth a tenner if only as a back up-GREAT IDEA!
I still think there is a lot to be said for a longbow/short compound bow. Again, unless you're an expert i wouldn't advise it for hunting but for defence it has awesome potential-psychologically very intimidating,fast reload(comparitively) and you can make temporary arrows easily (with a knife or a fire!). Our ancestors and native peoples around the world knew the power of this tool and its only due to gunpowder ( which, along with co2-crgintx!-would be in very short supply very quickly, in a sit x, inmho!) that it has declined.
Honourable mention must go out to the humble spear as well, anyone who has a full tang blade in their kit can easily lash it up into a spear-great for fishing streams or keeping unwelcome guests at bay. I know my choices are all a bit neolithic, but fancy weapons make you a target, produce noise and have more moving parts to break and or requre specialised ammo or power (where is your co2 coming from by the way,sir?). These weapons have stood the test of time because like all design classics the simplest ideas are the best and you can make rudimentary versions with just your survival knife. Just my thoughts-am open to new ones!

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 11:49 AM
Sorry,your quotes were not included above citizen smith and crgintx-hope you got the gist? Think people seem to be focusing on the hunting part-the op was to discuss best ballistic weapons for defence and hunting.

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 04:02 PM
A multipump pnuematic airgun is self contained. You can buy a multistage hand pump to recharge your precharged pneumatic powered airguns and don't need CO2 anymore.

Scroogle and click on the forums link under Crosman or Chinese airguns and their are thousands of posts on improving the performance of these low priced airguns.

Catapults don't like cold weather and their rubber bands will snap and break under repeated use in the UK's colder climate. That's a simple fact of life.

I'm not advocating breaking the law but if your life or your children's lives depend on putting some meat on the table, a cheap air rifle converted to FAC+levels will do a much better job of taking game than the best catapult or sling and not require a life time of practice to become a skilled hunter with one. The logical choice for any stealthy hunter in the UK of course is the bow and arrow but get caught taking game with one in the UK and they'll lock you up right next to me with my unlicensed FAC+level air-powered weapon.

The effective range of a crossbow for taking large game is about the same as a longbow which is about 40 yards max. Most bowhunters in the US take their quarry at much closer distance of about 20-25 yards usually from a blind or treestand.

Full auto would waste ammo. Even most special forces only use full auto in the direst situations. When I hunt with a centerfire rifle, I use the standard match shooting method of one in the chamber and one in the magazine for a quick follow up shot. This method works very well for lever action guns to allow them to use pointed bullets.

Remember during a survival situation/societal meltdown, there may be no police or warden to enforce your nation's rather draconian firearms and hunting laws. Worse yet they may ban all hunting arms not just the ones they ban or restrict now.

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 05:09 PM
Fair point. Well made. Thanks for sharing your extensive knowledge and perspective on this. Sadly, i'm one of those skint people so even a second hand rifle is beyond my means at the mo', but it does seem like a logical choice especially if they are making them more hard to get hold of. Is there anything you can do to prevent slingshot bands going brittle and snapping? I remeber the days before dunblane myself, i used to shoot live .22 pistol and rifle in a local club, the gun ban has done nothing to prevent criminal gun use in my opinion,too? I beleive they are voting in america on changing the right to bear arms-strange days?

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 05:56 PM
Ive got a Chinese made B2 rifle, putting out about 11 ftlbs. I can attest that this has reasonable putdown power and with "prometheus" pellets are lethal.

Ive never tried hunting with it, so i cant comment. Though I can say accuracy is good, groupings of 4 inches at 25 yards.

I also have two CO2 pistols, which are worthless frankly in a survival situation. They may just have an advantage in that they are intimidating, however in the meantime if you pull one on a yardie, all it will do is get you shot in the backside.

posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 06:15 PM

Originally posted by 44soulslayer
I also have two CO2 pistols, which are worthless frankly in a survival situation.

Hmmm...then again, maybe not!

If you stripped them down to the essential mechanics and trigger assemblies and rigged them to short tripwire or sprung-plate mechanisms with bait lures, you have a pair of very potent point-blank 'deadshot' traps that you could leave on a small-game trail, bird-table, or rabbit-hole

*bang* rabbit stew for tea!

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 03:28 AM
That's the spirit, Smith. Improvise adapt and over come.

The Faux firearms CO2 guns are near useless for anything but birds and you have to be real close to hit one.

Want a quick and dirty air powered shotgun? Take an off the shelf Crosman mulitpump airgun and place a rare earth magnet on the barrel next to the breach. Some of the older ones had a magnetic tip already installed. Place 3-4 Steel .175 BB's into the breach and Viola! you have an air shotgun that will take small prey up close on the run. Eight- Ten pump strokes is usually the most strokes you can use effectively from these guns without major internal mods.

Crosman also sells a 24" barrel for their CO2 guns in both .177 and .22 calibers very cheap. One of these barrels will allow you to maximize the output efficiency of a pump gun ie reach full 12fpe with less strokes 6-7 instead of 9-10. These barrels aren't the finest finished but their accuracy is usual pretty good.

Personally, I have what a like to refer as a golf bag of hunting arms ranging from hand thrown darts to high powered firearms. Airguns are my favorites as their almost completely under the radar right now here in the states. Crossbows have finally been legalized for hunting here in my home state of Texas but there are many states where they're still banned for hunting purposes. Cap and Ball black powder guns(including revolvers) don't require any federal licensing and can be mail ordered. A .44 Colt Walker pattern clone six gun or Remington 1859 Navy are as deadly a handgun for self-defense energy wise as any modern combat auto. But I digress. Heck, it's not even illegal to make your own black powder in most states.

Look up sling-bow or flight bow in the 'net. You might find them interesting for your dart throwing project.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 06:04 AM
To be honest guys, i should be suggesting this but....

In a situation of total societal breakdown, why not just go and get a gun from the gun store without a license?

If its a foreign invasion, theyre going to arm the populace anyway to repel the invaders.

If its a natural disaster of a massive scale then the army and police will be tied down doing other stuff.

Judges are likely to be lenient if you took the gun in a survival situation.

They arent gonna imprison you for 5 years for having a gun if there is chaos everywhere. If you do get sent to prison... its a bonus- 3* hotel for 5 years, ride out the problems, nice food and shelter.

And if its a government sponsored act of NWO tyranny... then grab that gun and fight till youre dead or the war is won.

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