Low power? No problem

Wanna enter a debate about stopping power?
Wrong place I’m afraid, because stopping power in the UK is generally associated with vehicle brakes not firearms and especially not air weapons.

Having said that, this post is about air weapons and how in an ambush mode they can be as effective as a firearm only without the BANG!

Yep, one of those “boyz toyz” that no self-respecting prepper, survivalist, or patriot would use in combat mode. There again if anyone has seen the full-bore PCP’s in action (for example the modern Daystate Wolverine in .303) it kinda changes your perception on their usefulness over long distances.

I’m not going there though. No full-bore air guns as in the UK they are hard to source and license BUT IN THE RIGHT HANDS most any air rifle can be a game changer and that is where I’m staying, with what is easily obtainable.

And so I’ll start.
The three things that will quickly incapacitate you are:-

If you can’t see, a fast loss of blood, and an interrupted airway.

Think about it.
All three are achievable at close range i.e. less than 50 yards (aka across a street) with an average degree of shooting accuracy and for the most part a relatively low power. To really rub it in I’m going to be talking about NO MORE THAN 12 foot pounds (ft lb).


Cute aren’t they?
Both .22, 11.9 and 11.7 ft lbs respectively and what I use for pest control.

What is it you are trying to achieve?
With eyesight you are looking at penetrating the globe, the eyeball, or at least destroying the iris and lens. Only what if the target is wearing glasses i.e. reading, sun glasses, or (worse case) shooting / impact resistant variations? Whoops, not so easy now unless you are damn close. Except a full on smack in the lens of a pair of safety glasses is “distracting” to say the least.shotglassAssuming you can see the whites of the eyes i.e. no glasses.
Technically it only takes 2 to 3 ft lbs to punch into the eye globe.

On my PCP rifle using a 21 gn pointed pellet, 500 fps @ muzzle,
I’m smacking that eyeball at:-
25 yards 9.7 ft lbs
50 yards 8 ft lbs.

Note:- The Harrier PCP rifle I use for furry pest control easily holds a ½ inch group at 50 yards.

OK, if glasses are worn, it’s time to swap targets and think blood loss.
Note:- I‘m not going to be talking about head shots, drilling the brain, or taking out the heart. With 12 ft lbs you can cause death on those targets BUT seldom at range.
The head has a rich blood supply and it all goes in and out via the neck. Except the jugular veins are (on average) a mere 3/8″ to 3/4″ across and the Cardiod artery is around a 1/2″ across. All about 3/8″ below the skin and all surrounded by muscle and made of pretty robust stuff. (Well sort of).

So what would you use, 4.5 mm (.177) or 5.5 mm (.22)?
Unlike shooting a furry creature or a bird, here penetration (burrowing power) is what counts and not “knockdown” power. Pointy tips, fast-moving. Or, maybe not !?!pointedSome will undoubtedly question my choice here BUT I still prefer a 5.5 mm (.22) despite it not burrowing as deep as the little 4.5 mm (.177) and having a lousy trajectory.

Why? Because even if I can’t get through to the vital bits, a sharp blow to a major blood vessel can shut it down with shock and the .22 does impart a decent THUMP!

The generally accepted rules in medicine are if the heart stops pumping blood into the brain, the victim will lose consciousness in about 4 seconds if standing, 8 if sitting, and 12 if lying down. Only to shut off the blood flow completely, there are two sides to the neck that have to be compressed.

Still, why play “shut off” at distance when you can get it to SPURT with an accurate ‘pointy pellet’ strike?
Thus I’m looking for the shock of massive blood loss to ‘distract’ an aggressor.

This found on the web:-
Severing a jugular vein in the neck causes an air embolism and will make the victim collapse after one or two gasps for air.
Severing a carotid artery in the neck cuts off the blood supply to the brain but the victim may be conscious for up to thirty seconds.

Disrupting the airway.
The science says the speed at which a projectile must travel to penetrate skin is 163 fps and to break bone is 213 fps.
The science also says that only takes 2 to 2½ ft lbs of energy.

OK, putting aside the fantasy scientific lab rat and ballistic jelly “facts”, you need to hit the neck plumb on the center line preferably just below the Adam’s apple (cricoid cartilage), thus the pellet will burrow into the airway which is just beneath the skin of the throat.

What’s going to be the immediate effect?
Ever poked someone in that sweet spot with a finger?
They gag. Simple as that.
Pellet hits the same spot? Instant Tracheotomy (without the tube) and a pretty strong gag reflex.
Bleeding isn’t the real issue here yet some “ex-spurts” also claim the pellet may carry on into the spinal cord.

Um, I may believe that at close ranges but at 50 meters plus, I’ve got doubts. Besides you are looking at hitting a  1/2 inch “sweet spot”, probably under duress, low light, and usually in less than idea conditions.

Hang on, I was talking about out to 50 yards being within range at the start of the article. I still am but like everything, in a well-lit range or controlled environment, ‘good accuracy’ is readily achievable. In less than perfect conditions I’m thinking 30-35 yards tops to ensure accuracy.

Beyond that I don’t care what you’ve read, seen on YouTube, or claim you achieved when hunting. That tiny “high tail drag” and “low spin speed” stabilized air pellet is easily distracted from its path. Years of shooting furries and feathered prey have proved that to me.

Thus to use a 12 ft lb air weapon at range is not recommended by me even if the Range Card reads:-

Even at 100 yards, that’s an awful lot of useful “SMACK” left.
That is provided you can hit the target within an inch group bearing in mind the tremendous fall in trajectory and the very real possibility of tumbling lead.

And finally
Is this a purely academic article?
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for us preppers) there is plenty of historical and current medical proof let alone media coverage that shows air weapons kill.

It’s also a well known fact that I love to rub it in that power isn’t everything when you’ve got accuracy!

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The Cheese

No good deed goes unpunished sayeth the cynical.
Except this time it went rewarded.

A simple electrical job for another i.e. disconnecting a fridge from the storage batteries on their boat was achieved with a little bit of scrabbling round and the removal of a fuse they didn’t even know they had!

Total time? 10 minutes and I’d forgotten about it all.
Until today.

Up popped the owner with a little waxed block of mature cheddar.

cheeseHistorically I’m used to being paid in kind or goods as opposed to cash and at one time it was my preference. That and some of my customers didn’t have a lot of money.

Anyway, no paperwork, makes for goodwill, repeat business, and not something the tax man can STEAL (easily).

 marmalade(Marmalade cake was my favorite currency)

Only this was totally unexpected.
Nice isn’t it when a kindness is acknowledged.
It sort of restored my faith in people a bit.
As for SWMBO? She was very touched by the gift.

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Thinking about “Threat Level”.

The current UK threat level for international terrorism is: SEVERE.
This has been assessed by using the standard criteria:-
Critical, An attack or incident is expected imminently.
An attack or incident is highly likely.
Substantial, An attack or incident is a strong possibility.
An attack or incident is possible, but not likely.
, An attack or incident is unlikely.

SEVERE means that the UK government thinks a terrorist attack is highly likely. That’s the ‘official line’ yet as an individual we cannot accurately define that threat or where to watch or what to look out for as we, being “little people”, are out of the official loop.

Anyway, bear in mind that the stated threat level could also be total B.S. as part of the government’s political agenda to encourage fear in the sheeple so that they will allow the government to use even more intrusive and restrictive security measures.

There again (Apparently)
there is Russia to consider.

Yet with the signs of civil unrest, Muslim extremism, and increasing crime. The possibility of financial collapse looming, plus government “austerity” measures ramping up the tensions.

Perhaps the more realistic danger
is more internal than external.

330f5-riotsLook Familiar?

So, all B.S. aside, what part of the current threat level affects you the individual?
While attention may need to be given to international terrorism, the possibility of war, etc, in most countries it’s the threat imposed by the government that affects most. 

Curiously they don’t include that bit when making their predictions.

After all they can affect all aspects of your life, finance, jobs, religion, health care, and by their actions make you a target of terrorism by simply opening their mouths or writing something down.

This is actually a unique judgment call for each of us and nothing to do with preparedness as that’s a long-term project. This is the things that ARE affecting your passage through life and what is coming up FOR SURE that will “hurt you”.

Try not to confuse this with situational awareness.
I write this as although the minute by minute hazards of life are important, threat assessment looks at your life beyond that. Thus Threat Assessment in this context is LONG TERM not now, not this instant.

So, with that one in mind, we regularly carry out our own “if this goes wrong we are well in the poo” threat assessment and some will think it’s surprisingly narrow in its scope.

  • Finances
    Income, Outgoings, our Safety buffer, Banking, And forthcoming plans of local and central government.
    Work, Housing, Taxation and Bureaucracy.
  • Health
    Access to and the effectiveness of health care and medication.
  • Physical and Personal Security
    Including Direct action against us from crime and civil unrest.

Red being what we have recently flagged up as threats.

Currently our personal threat level as a family is also SEVERE.
Things are due to change for us within months by the actions of the UK government. This will amount to a definite threat to our way of life and thus will have a direct effect on us.

How does this fit in with prepping?
As said, this is nothing to do with preparedness, that’s a long-term project, yet how do you prepare for a changing threat level and where are you going to get your Intel from to base your assessment on?

The answer is truly vague, “EVERYWHERE”.
Gossip, social media, newspapers, radio, TV, Word Press even.

It really doesn’t matter only we have basic rules.

  • We believe nothing unless verified by independent sources.
  • We act on nothing unless it is quantifiable and directly applicable to our own personal situation.
  • We try to make measured preparations for whatever BEFORE the event and not leaving it in the hope the threat to us will simply disappear.

In this respect we sometimes get caught out by changing events. Making decisions and setting into ‘courses of action’ which may turn out wrong. OK, that’s called “getting it wrong”.

Having said that we still plan for the worse and if something nice happens, we rejoice and move on.


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A decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico could continue spilling for a century if left unchecked, according to a government report obtained by the Associated Press.
(May 15) Video provided by AP

Oh look another B.S. based on guess-timation report and probably cost a heck of a lot of money to compile.
Yet let’s think about what they are saying.
In 100 years the leak will automatically seal itself. Wow.
In that case why bother to fix it as everything man attempts usually goes wrong and makes matters worse.
Never mind there could be a weird planetary plate shift which snaps shut the fissure.
Or a weird deep sea weed or fungi forms and seals the hole.
Or aliens take pity on us and deliberately crash a flying saucer onto the leak to cap it.

Nope, because of M O N E Y, the timetable is set, 100 years till the leak stops.
Only if someone says that’s a price tag of a billion dollars and the oil firms pay that, what happens if it stops in a year or two. Will they give a refund?

rotglmanYet here’s another prediction.
Unless I fix that kitchen tap, it’ll keep dripping.
Now that’s important because of the effect.
What effect? The thumping off SWMBO I’ll get if I don’t fix it.

Why mention this?
The second prediction is probably more accurate and based on a quantifiable risk to life.
As for the money? About 30 pence (45 cents) for a new washer and a smear of Vaseline.

No comparison you’re probably thinking except my prediction didn’t take millions of dollars to compile or have some B.S. political or monetary agenda.

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