Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > The Airgun Board

Are airguns any good for self defense? real or psychological?

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I would like to take a minute here to reiterate the reasons that certain air guns are one of the best solutions for home defense in a situation when a powder burner is not available for whatever reason. One, certain air guns, the benjamin rogue, the shin sungs in 9, .45, and 50 and the sam yangs in the same calibers, are hunting rifles. They are made to kill animals and have been used to take deer and boars at archery ranges. If you can kill a 300 lb boar or a 150 to 200 lb buck at 30-50 yards, you can do the same to a two legged rat in your living room when you are in you kitchen or bedroom or probably anywhere you have a clear sight picture. Again, would I rather have a 5 to seven round auto or pump 12 ga instead of a complicated gun with dual phase ammo, (the projectile and propellant are seperate and both have to be loaded seperately.) Hell yeah I would, but if I had a six shot 357 carbine air rifle that I can attach a laser and tac light too I guarantee you I will kill an intruder with that before you can get your first ball bearing or short plastic chicom crossbow pistol bolt loaded. And even with the single shot bigger air guns, they will reload faster than a crossbow pistol. And those pistols are almost always a really cheaply made piece of crap, if you look at the reviews, a lot of people complain about some of them breaking on the first shot. And if you are going to defend your house with toys, get something with a little punch and get a cold steel big bore blow gun and a bottle of curari because that will work better than a sling shot. Unless you have the one that sweedish dude made that shoots machetes. I'm not trying to rant here, but this guy asked a serious question and I'm seeing a lot of answers to questions he didn't ask.

    Another word about air superiority, (or at least adequacy!) The quackenbush air rifles (the new ones) have been used to take bison and other large (african, if memory serves) animals. While not a first choice for home defense, it would do the job.
   My opinion is this, if I could not have a firearm for home defense, then the best thing to do is to first, harden your home to be more resistant to invasion. Then have diverse and redundant combative measures to use to defend yourself and subdue, kill or repell and incader. So, a combination of clubs, knives, and other high power projectile launchers should be in the arsenal. Heck, these should be in the arsenal anyway. Additionally, learn to effectively use the weapons you have and learn and practice a martial art such as wrestling or krav maga, or whatever you feel is the best one.

  I'm not saying that everyone should go buy an air gun instead of a 12 ga or glock and call it good. But if its what you have or all you can have, then train with it and learn what it can do and learn what it can do in a given situation. Just like you would do with a "real gun" and use it for those things.
   Something I forgot to expand on in my first reply, something in air gunning that is even more important than in powder burners because of the lower power and shorter range, is ammo selection. There may be no magic bullet, but in many cases there is pretty much a magic pellet. And if home defense is what you are looking for, then that will effect your choice. There are probably as many if not more varities of pellets and makers for a given caliber than there are for powder burners. (Maybe not, but it seems like it.) Though once you get to the higher calibers, it gets a little simpler. Without getting too far into it, I would think that the hollow point wouldn't be as desirable in this case as it is in real guns beacuse of the lower velocities probably won't cause as much expansion and will reduce energy due to lower bullet mass. Just my thoughts on the issue.

I got more to say,
   Alan, thanks for the link to that stopping a train with a bb. That was great. Loved it.
   And just to make sure I covered all aspects of his question,
Home defense, yes if you can't have or don't want a real gun. Couple it with other options and learn how to use an air rifle the same way you would use a pistol caliber carbine for home defense, and practice with it. You will have to figure out how to do that.
  As for self defense, if you mean away from home, or even in your yard. Hell NO!
    There is no commercially made air pistol I am aware of thay would in anyones even very liberal view be considered a good concealed self defense weapo. There's just not enough area on a package that small to get enough air compression to get the power you need to reach fatal energies. And not to mention the legal implications. You are likely to get shot by cops, or other citizens doing that at worst and get your ass handed to you by the person you shoot or wave it at in the least. So, good luck buddy, I hope you find a home defense option for you. For self defense, cardio so you can run if you need to. (More advisable than most people want to admit or talk about.) Strengthen your lungs so you can make a lot of noise to get attention, learn and practice a martial art. And carry unusuall weapons. The asp key defender is a real good one for this. Its a flail, kubotan,and it has pepper spray in it. Get one of those and a short ball bearing or golf ball monkey or gorilla fist and put the fist on the key ring and you have a heck of a meelee option with that. A walking stick or cane (look up hanbo) or even just a bottle of water squited in some jerks face might be all you need to get the upper hand and end a confrontation. But I don't want to go on all day. There was a suggestion for a stun gun or taser above. And I would prefer a brand name TASER or something very similar as they give you distance from your attacker. Pawn shop stun guns and malil order stuff can be anywhere from excelent to only good for impressing and amusing your drinking buddies with. Again, good luck and I hope you find something that works for you.

Arent these super powered air rifles regulated just as much as a regular gun in most states? I dont know why someone wouldnt just get a normal gun for half the cost of one of these super BB guns if its just as much of a headache legally and more prone to malfunctions... 

I'm going to say that if you're looking at home defense, and for whatever reason you can't go with a conventional firearm or BP weapon, then the air rifle/pistol still wouldn't be my choice.  I'd go with a corded or battery powered chainsaw first.  You don't need to swing it like a warhammer (think cramped hallways).  It's also quite the psychological weapon to an intruder.  Next would be one of those air compressor powered nail guns (may need modification to shoot further than 10 feet or so).  Finally I might choose a fully automatic paintball gun shooting ball bearings or marbles (you could probably crank the pressure up too).

These of course are probably all illegal for those purposes, SO DON'T DO IT!

Now to be serious.....have you considered a full grown tiger?  I'd imagine that even a well armed home intruder would run like a 6 year old sissy girl if he came across that climbing through a window.

Anyway, all of the above options would be more likely choices for me than an airgun.  Probably also a flamethrower, but I'd need to prep the home for fire-proofing.....

   I think you are right in some states, and many countries, they are considered firearms and fall under the same restrictions. In most of the US to my knowledge, they are still pretty much legal for everyone. And you are right that they are probably more prone to malfunction than most powderburners, and pretty expensive. End of response to livintup

Again though, the question was could he use an air gun for home/self defense either as a real lethal weapon or as a intimidation tool in a situation in which a real gun was unwanted or unavailable. Most people have answered why it sucks or isn't a good idea. The question was about possibility, not approriateness. I just wanted to give the guy the best information to guide him in a non optimal situation.
   I would not like to be in the situation of being forced to use less than optimal equipment to protect myself with. Let's change the variables, let's say you hate 9mm. Let's say you also hate hi-point firearms. And for some unlikely reason, you are forced to chose between a either a sharp stick, or a hi-point 9mm carbine rifle. Let's equalize it even more, you have unlimited materiel with either choice, in other words, ammo and sharp sticks are available in equal ammounts and if the gun needs fixing or replacing, its done.
   I'm going to pick the hi-point everytime. All day.
 Let's take it a step further, say you could choose between the same firearm and a knife.  I'm still picking the firearm. I'm going to pick a firearm because its the most powerful weapon that an attacker is likely to have and not having one puts you at a serious disadvantage. If you are forced to take the firearm out of one side of the equation, (ie you won't have one) then you need to fill that variable with the most similar choice you can. The most similar option to a firearm in this case is a high power air rifle that is ballistically capable of ending a conflict. Just my opinion.
 Ok I just saw the new post to this topic.
Wow, those suggestions are the most tv based loads of crap I have ever heard.
Let's say this another way, if someone broke into your home with the benjamin rogue and shot you in the head with it as you were swinging a baseball bat, chainsaw, sling shot, etc at them, you would be dead. These things are freakin guns, they will kill a person in one shot. They are deadly. They are more usable than a muzzleloading blackpowder rifle. They are as historic as feudal japan where they were used as sniper rifles because they were absolutely smokeless and quieter than powderburners. So there is a bit of history with them being used to kill people.
  A corded chainsaw? Really? Yeah chainsaws have been used in home defense (one case I know of involves a blind man chased off three armed guys with one here in oklahoma) but really, you are going to exchange a effective efficient tool for one that is not as effective or efficient based on the fact that it isn't as effective or efficient as a third tool that isn't part of the equation. This makes no sense. That would be like saying since I can't have a kabar, I'm just not going to have a knife at all and I will do all my cutting with a spoon. Go get some actual training in dynamic tactical home defense and see if anyone in that group would pick a chain saw. Go look up some of the vids on the sam yangs and other high power air rifles.
   The right high powered air rifle and the training to use it correctly, isn't as good as a shotgun, or a pistol caliber carbine, or a handgun for home defense. I want to go on record saying that. Just about ANY powder based gun of modern manufacture and design is better than almost ANY airgun of the same caliber.
   This is a case of emotional prejudice over riding logical thought process.
You can't stop a person who is ten feet away or more with a chainsaw. The paint ball gun is an airgun that is lower power and less effective, I mean really, let's not go further backward than we have too. The rogue is better than any paintball marker. Period. The only edge is that they can be full auto but they still are less lethal on average than any of the air rifles I've mentioned. Volume doesn't make up for power and effectiveness.
   And a tiger? A doggo argentino well trained as a protection dog would be more useful. 
   And would eat less. And shed less. And would be less likely to get spooked by some large hairdo and drag you around by your neck. You could afford a pack of hunting dogs and a contingent of protection animals for the came cost a single tiger and have less trouble with them. I was trying to give this guy a serious usable answer that might him defend his life one day. And I think a flame thrower for home defense is bass ackward. Seriously, I'd go naked and barehanded down a dark hallway first.
  It seem like even though we told the guy not to try to threaten with an air gun, a lot of the other suggestions have been about things that would be mostly for a scare factor. I'm not trying to scare someone with a home defense weapon. I hope they never see it.
   So let's try to be serious about the tools we would take to this job.
  Sorry to pick on you flippy, but those were some pretty out there suggerstions, I think using them would go badly for the person using them.
 Seems like we are trying to reinvent the wheel on projectile weapons here, I considered this for a while to use high pressure pneumatics to throw things at bad guys. Then I looked on line and saw that smarter people than me had already done it better than I was planning. The best answer to no firearm is the next best thing. Air arm. It has enough power and in the right configuration, is fast enough even if its a little slower than the real thing. I also base this answer on the fact, the irrefraggable fact that many of the high power air rifles are made in countries where powderburners are illegal. They are used for hunting and home defense.  Daystate air rifles are high power but lower caliber rifles that have to be set to a lower power in order to be sold in the country they are made in. I still haven't heard someone say why the appropriate air rifle isn't more desireable than a lett powerful option in lieu of real guns. Or an alternative that is realistic. The test is this, does it work, would you trust your life to it? So if anyone would like to proceed along those lines then I would like to read their response.


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