Break Barrel Air Rifle – Why it’s the Best for Survival & Preparedness

Break Barrel Air Rifle – Why it’s the Best for Survival & Preparedness by Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

An air rifle (pellet gun) is definitely part of my preparedness tool chest.

I chose the Diana RWS 34 break action (spring piston) in .177 caliber.

There are lots of air rifle brands, models, and charging types (described below).

For preparedness, I prefer the break action type of air rifle. I’ll tell you why after I briefly describe / compare the different types of airguns:




Power comes from CO2 in a pressurized cartridge/canister. The most common size is a 12 gram cartridge. Airgun pistols often use them. (This is what they look like)

CO2 cartridges are typically pressurized to about 1,000 psi. How many shots from a CO2 cartridge in an air rifle? You might get about 50. Though some may be less. Be aware that consistency may become an issue. CO2 pressure will lower on each shot. CO2 is affected by temperature.

One of the most popular and economic CO2 air rifles is the Crosman 1077 (see it here) .177 caliber; 12-shot rotary pellet clip; muzzle velocity 625 FPS.

CO2 air rifles are relatively inexpensive. They lack in velocity compared with other charging mechanisms. With that said, they can be fine for plinking, one’s budget, and even used on small pests.



RWS-34 break barrel

I believe this type is best for SHTF preparedness. Why? It requires no external charge source (compressed air). It’s the easiest to air rifle to shoot and maintain.

To cock it, you simply ‘break the barrel’ at the breech (it’s on a hinge). Then load a pellet and snap the barrel back up into position.

RWS-34 insert pellet here

The break barrel action moves a piston backwards and compresses a strong spring behind it. The trigger sear engages in a notch and holds the piston-spring under tension until triggered. It’s recommended not to leave the spring compressed for long periods of time (e.g. when not in use).

These air rifles produce power velocity ranging from 600 FPS to well over 1000 FPS on some models. My RWS-34 is spec’d at 1000 FPS.

The most popular break barrel air rifle on AMZN is the Gamo Varmint air rifle. Its popularity is likely due to very inexpensive price vs. specs (1250 FPS muzzle velocity), and it comes with a scope.

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Ken Jorgustin

Ken Jorgustin’s survival blog focuses on a wide variety of preparedness topics varying from short to long term actions and solutions for wide-ranging scenarios of preparation… for daily life, disaster, or even SHTF collapse. Subjects include situational and risk awareness, the dangers, systemic risks, and avoidance of dependence upon the major ‘modern’ systems that we take for granted, topics of self-reliance and self-sufficiency, and practical solutions to live a way of life while surviving these uncertain times. Modern Survival is Preparedness For Life Preparedness is a process and will become a way of life – one in which you have more control over your own destiny. Being better prepared will help liberate you from “the system” which in many ways is designed to hold you down and keep you “dependent”. Modern Survival Blog has been committed since JAN-2010 to produce a wide variety of information to hopefully provide you with ideas for your own preparedness.