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If you are looking for the best pellet pistol on the market, you are not alone. You might need one for whatever intent and purpose that you see fit. What you need to find is a pellet pistol that will be easy to use, reliable at all times, and will be able to last you a long time.

Best Pellet Pistols of 2020 Ultimate Buyers Guide

Best Pellet Pistols of 2020  Ultimate Buyers GuideIf you are looking for the best pellet pistol on the market, you are not alone. You might need one for whatever intent and purpose that you see fit. What you need to find is a pellet pistol that will be easy to use, reliable at all times, and will be able to last you a long time. You can use it on a regular basis or on occasions when certain opportunities to use it were to arise. While there are so many pellet pistols available on the market, we managed to put together a list of ten of the best on the market. Before we get to the list itself, we’ll talk about when exactly you need to use a pellet pistol and what to look for when you are buying one. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Pellet Pistols OUR TOP PICK: Glock 19 Gen 3 .177 Caliber BEST BUDGET OPTION: Crosman American Classic Pump Pellet Pistol Crosman Vigilante 357 CO2 Air Pistol Kit Gamo 611138254 PT-85 Blowback Pellet Pistol Walther PPQ .177 Caliber Pellet / Bb Gun Air Pistol Comparison Chart of the Best Pellet Pistols PRODUCT DETAILS Our Top Pick Our Top Pick Glock 19 Gen 3 .177 Caliber Best overall pellet pistol Chambered to fire .177 caliber shots 15-shot capacity View Latest Price Best Budget Option "Best Budget Option" Crosman "American Classic Pump" Pellet Pistol Chambered to fire .22 caliber rounds Available in black or brown Travels up to 460 fps "View Latest Price" Crosman Vigilante 357 CO2 Air Pistol Kit Best pellet pistol for the money Includes additional cylinders for shooting CO2 powered View Latest Price Gamo 611138254 PT-85 "Blowback Pellet Pistol" Best pellet pistol for hunting Double magazine with 16 rounds CO2 powered air pistol View Latest Price Walther PPQ . "177 Caliber Pellet" / Bb Gun Air Pistol Best CO2 Pellet Pistol Chambered to fire .177 pellets Synthetic frame View Latest Price Umarex Beretta M92 A1 Blowback Full-Auto Best semi-auto pellet pistol 18-shot capacity Shoots at 310 fps View Latest Price Crosman 2240 Bolt Action CO2-Powered .22 Pistol Best pellet pistol for under $100 Chambered to fire .22 shots Shoots up to 460 fps View Latest Price Umarex Legends P.08 All Metal .177 Caliber 22-shot capacity 12-gram CO2 cartridge included Made from high-quality, durable materials View Latest Price Sig Sauer P226 Air Pistol Best .177 pellet pistol Replica design of the "Sig Sauer P226" 16-shot capacity View Latest Price Crosman Benjamin Marauder .22 Call Air Pistol BP2220 Best .22 pellet pistol Shoots up to 700 fps Powered by 3000 psi of air For Target Shooting When Would You Use a Pellet Pistol? Using a pellet pistol might be fun, but when exactly are you able to use it. We’ll take a look at the top three uses so you know the common intent and purpose of every pellet pistol user. Here are some of the best examples of when to use them: When Varmints are a Problem One of the major uses of a pellet pistol is to get rid of any of the varmints that may be invading your property. Imagine waking up to your lawn being dug up or trash cans being tipped over in the middle of the night (and it’s not even windy). You can use a pellet pistol to ward off any annoying varmint and make sure that they are no longer able to return. Source Target Shooting Fun Yes, even target shooting is fun when you are using a pellet pistol. Not only will adults enjoy it, but it can also be a fun activity for kids as well. Find a pistol that is safe for children to use so they are great entertainment to fire off pellets at lots of different types of targets. Also, they’re great to teach the youngsters about proper firearm care and safe use. Recreational Activities Yes, even pellet pistols can be used in recreational competitions. Most of these can shoot fast and are often a lot of fun to compete with. Find one that is of the best quality and allows for other attributes like a light trigger pull and easy loading ability. What to Look For When Buying a Pellet Pistol The important thing to know is that you shouldn’t choose any pellet pistol at complete random. You need to pay close attention to the characteristics and features of each one so you are able to find one that works to your satisfaction. With that said, here are some things to keep your eyes peeled for: Price Yes, the price tag in all likelihood will be a deciding factor. But it shouldn’t be a “be all, end all” thing. If you are on a budget, then you’ll need to consider finding the best quality and performance that fits your wallet. This means you won’t have to settle for cheap and flimsy (and even consistently poor performance). Quality When you think of pellet pistols, you’ll tend to think that all of them are made from cheap plastic. The reality is they are not. Most are made from high-quality metals and synthetic materials like polymer. You need to look for a pistol that is sturdy in quality and won’t be easy to scratch or get banged up. Reliability Reliability is a must for all kinds of firearms (and yes, even pellet pistols). Without reliability, your firearm is useless. You’ll want a pellet pistol to work exactly at the times when you need it the most. Because you might miss the opportunity to ward off any varmints that continue to destroy your property or miss the bullseye while you are target shooting. Quick Take - The "Best Pellet Pistol" s These are our recommendations for the best pellet pistols: Glock 19 Gen 3 .177 Caliber Crosman American Classic Pump Pellet Pistol Crosman Vigilante 357 CO2 Air Pistol Kit Review of the Best Pellet Pistols The following is a list of the ten best pellet pistols on the market. While going through the list, take note of any features and characteristics that will stand out as interesting. This way, you’ll be able to narrow down which one will work for you best in terms of your needs and preferences. Now, let’s take a look at the first item on our list -- the “best overall” pellet pistol: Best Overall: Glock 19 Gen 3 .177 Caliber CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Nice and lightweight Accurate and precise shooting Perfect for target shooting , drills, etc. Reliable shooting, jamming episodes are non-existent Feels like you are holding on to and firing a real pistol Cons Some CO2 leakage may occur May be difficult to load at times Some say it’s not for beginner level users What Recent Buyers Report Most of the new users were looking for a pistol that was reliable and accurate for most applications. They were not disappointed in the slightest when they were using this pistol. It held a good number of shots and was easy to fire at any given time. One user said that he uses it for target shooting and the occasional varmint hunting. He said that it scares off the varmint with a couple of well-placed shots and he wasn’t able to see them since. Why it Stands Out to Us The Glock pistols are known for being some of the most reliable in the world. So this air pistol is just as reliable as the real deal themselves. You can load up to 15 rounds and shoot off as many as possible with this CO2 powered pistol. As long as you have rounds handy, then you are able to fire off as many rounds at targets as you can. Or if you need to ward off a varmint or two, you can do that also. Who Will Use This Most This would be a great pellet pistol for those that want to have a lot of fun or if they want to keep their property well protected from a few pesky critters. It’s a pellet pistol that is reliable and will be easy to use for as long as you have rounds or if you need to replace the CO2 cartridges. Either way, you get to enjoy it your way. After all, it’s doing what it’s designed to do. Bottom Line The Glock 19 Gen 3 .177 Caliber Pellet Pistol might be the best on the market, but it’s probably going to be #1 in the hearts of many users. It’s reliable, accurate, and a lot of fun to shoot with. No matter the intent or purpose, you have a pistol that is solid in construction and is designed to last you quite a while. If you want something that is high in quality and easy to use, give this pellet pistol a closer look. Runner-up: Crosman American Classic Pump Pellet Pistol CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Pretty sturdy quality Reliable and accurate Shooting groups are tight Perfect for target shooting Works great, even with a couple of pumps Cons Trigger quality is not the best The rear sight is not the best in quality Front sight might get loose after short-term use "What Recent Buyers" Report Most of the new users say that this pistol was reliable and accurate right out of the gate. They said that it was nice and easy to load and gave them the ability to shoot targets accurately while they were situated from a good 10 to 15 yards away. One user said that his son uses this pistol for target practice and so far, he said that his son loved firing off every round in the backyard. Paper targets or plastic bottles didn’t stand a chance, he added. Why it Stands Out to Us This pistol can shoot fast and get to the target quite quickly. It’s reliable and allows for quick shooting each time you pull the trigger. On top of that, it’s pretty sturdy in quality and light in weight even when fully loaded. So it won’t bog you down if you carry it in your pocket or holster. So if you want a nice pistol that is excellent in quality and fun for the kids, you’re going to love using this pistol for a long time. Yes, it’s a pellet pistol and not something that’s not as powerful as some of the other air pistols on the market, but thankfully it’s something that will be safe for kids and adults even for a little harmless backyard fun. Who Will "Use This Most" If you have a child or grandchild that would appreciate a pellet pistol for the purpose of target shooting and even practicing responsible gun use when they are old enough to conceal carry, then this might be one of the best possible choices you can find. It’s quality and reliability is second to none. You probably won’t trade that for anything else on the market. If you want a pellet pistol that is just plain fun and awesome to use, this might be the best possible choice for you. Bottom Line The Crosman American Classic Pump Pistol is perhaps one of the best pellet pistols that you will be using for the purpose of some good old fashionied pellet shooting. It only takes a couple of pumps to get some good powerful shots out of the whole deal. You’d be surprised how fast this can hit the target and with such precise accuracy. Best for the Money: Crosman Vigilante 357 CO2 Air Pistol Kit CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Trigger is decent in quality Super solid in construction Easy to fire off in single-action mode Perfect for target shooting and varmint hunting The rear sight is easy to adjust for better accuracy Cons Grip might be a bit flimsy Double action trigger is a bit heavy in pull Rifled barrel may decrease the shot quality over time What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new users were super happy with this pistol. Yes, while it was super affordable it was also excellent in quality as well. The trigger pull was light and easy in single-action mode and it allowed for shots to get off quickly (thus reaching the target much faster). One user said he was super happy with the extra cylinders he received so he could shoot off as many shots as possible. Why it Stands Out to Us This pistol is a replica of a heavy-hitting .357 magnum revolver . While it probably won’t do as much devastating damage as the real deal, it’s got some power behind every shot with the use of CO2. So you get some fast and accurate shooting out of the whole shebang. Not only that, it’s got both single and double-action shooting ability. So you can just pull the trigger back or utilize the hammer and shoot it that way. Whatever works best for you is the name of the game. If you want excellent quality and ease of use at a price you can afford, this might be the best pellet pistol for you. Who Will Use This Most This is a pellet pistol that will work for both target shooting and the occasional varmint hunting as well. It’s safe to use even in neighborhoods and it won’t be loud enough to alert the neighbors. It’s pretty reliable and super fun to use (especially when you get extra cylinders out of the whole deal). If you want a pellet pistol with a design and replication that you can appreciate, this might be what you’re looking for. Bottom Line The Crosman Vigilante 357 CO2 air pistol is reliable, accurate, and pretty dang sleek in terms of looks. And of course, it’s affordable as well. If you want a nice looking pistol that works pretty good and won’t jam on you at the worst possible time then you’re definitely going to invest in a pellet pistol that won’t break the bank. Best Pellet Pistol for Hunting: ​ Gamo 611138254 PT-85 Blowback Pellet Pistol CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Easy to load Very accurate shooting Well balanced in weight Pellets are very affordable Superior durability thanks to the material Cons May lose accuracy after a while Shots may be a bit low at the start, may need some adjustments May not be the most powerful, but still decent enough in taking out varmint What Recent Buyers Report Most of the new users were looking for a pellet pistol that was best used for hunting varmint. They were quite impressed with this pistol in particular since they were able to load the pistol with ease and quickly get a shot off while fending off varmint from their property. One user said that it was one of the best “property management tools” that he’s ever invested in as of late. He had no complaints with the shooting ability and reported reliable shooting without a single misfire or leakage to report. Why it Stands Out to Us This pistol has a double magazine that will hold up to about 16 rounds in total. So that’s plenty of firing power for you even when your mission is to hunt down and get rid of the pesky critters that have been wreaking havoc on your property. It’s got a good amount of CO2 propulsion that will drive each shot far and fast until it reaches a target that is situated from a good 25 yards away. So if you want to keep a safe distance, you are free to do so while engaging the target. It’s safe to use in the suburbs, so it won’t be so loud to the point where your neighbors are scared out of their minds. Who Will Use This Most This is the best pellet pistol for those who are getting sick and tired of being overrun by varmint. This is truly the pellet pistol that you want to have on hand when you want to take your property back. It’s quick to shoot, reliable, and gives you a good number of rounds to work with. Don’t take this pellet pistol for granted. This sucker is pretty decent in function and hard-hitting enough to take out the little S.O.B that’s been digging up your property. Bottom Line The Gamo Blowback Pellet Pistol is the go-to choice for many users that are searching for a solution that will rid the varmint on your property one by one. It’s reliable, powerful, and will certainly be the sidekick you deserve in getting your property back from the invasive critters that have no business being there. Best CO2 Pellet Pistol: Walther PPQ .177 Caliber Pellet / Bb Gun Air Pistol CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent quality and durability Shoots pretty fast up to 360 fps Very reliable, works like a champ Accurate across various distances Easy to add sights and other accessories using the Picatinny rail Cons Trigger quality is not the best Some say the CO2 compartment should have a better design What Recent Buyers Report This pistol was a hit with most of the new users. Not only was the synthetic frame nice and tough all over, but there also wasn’t a single hint of scratching or bumping around whenever someone would accidentally drop it. The shooting was perfect and reliable with little to no misfirings reported. One user said that he uses it for the purpose of shooting off paper targets and even plastic bottles. He manages to knock them down quite consistently even at distances up to 15 yards. Why it Stands Out to Us This pellet pistol is hands down one of the more powerful CO2 pistols on the market. So you can pull the trigger and be able to get a quick, powerful shot each and every time. That would be perfect for varmint hunting since you’ll have enough power to knock down a varmint target from a good distance. It’s solid, powerful, and does a great job working whenever you need it the most. If that’s what you want in a pellet pistol, this could be right up your alley. Who Will Use This Most If you are looking for the perfect pellet pistol for all kinds of purposes, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything quite like this one. It’s got some power and it will make every shot count even when you’re standing from a good 10 to 15 yards away. This CO2 pellet pistol might just be the best in its class. Especially when CO2 power can create some impressive knockdown shots against varmint. Bottom Line The Walther PPQ .177 Caliber Pellet Pistol is a force to be reckoned with against varmint. But it’s a super fun pistol to fire off against targets as well. Using this pellet pistol will lead to hours of fun and it will not be one that will shy away from delivering an excellent performance. If you want a great CO2 air pistol that will work hard and deliver accurate shooting every time you pull the trigger, this one might be your cup of coffee. ​ Best Semi Auto Pellet Pistol: ​ Umarex Beretta M92 A1 Blowback Full-AutoODUCT CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Perfect blowback Excellent in quality Accurate and dependable shooting Great for target shooting and varmint hunting Weight is well-balanced, not too heavy or light Cons Safety may break off easily Some leakage has been reported Not the fastest pellet velocity of the bunch What Recent Buyers Report New users say that this Beretta pistol was quite useful in target shooting and even varmint hunting applications. They said that accurate shooting ranged from hitting targets situated from 10 to 15 yards out. Shooting groups, for the most part, were tight and consistent and were a bit tighter when the targets were farther out. Why it Stands Out to Us This has some serious semi-auto firing power that you can work with. That’s probably a plus if you intend on using this pistol for the sake of varmint hunting. Once you load this sucker up, it will be a matter of time before varmint think twice before being able to set foot on your property again. You can load this easily and be able to clear out the entire magazine and then repeat the process for hours on end if you want to. Whether you use it for target practice or ridding varmint, it’s a pistol that deserves a chance. Who Will Use This Most This will be great for varmint hunting, but there will be a handful of target shooters that will enjoy using this as well. No matter what, it’s a semi-automatic pellet pistol that is fully functional and will certainly stand out as one of the better options. It’s a great pistol for kids to try out as well. And believe us, they’ll have a blast so long as they use it safely. Bottom Line This Beretta M92 Blowback Full-Auto pistol will certainly be a ton of fun to fire off. It won’t matter if it’s targets or varmint, you will have a field day with this pistol. Yes, it’s excellent in quality and superior in shooting ability. But it can certainly be useful when you need it the most. If reliability is what you look for in a semi-auto pistol, you got it with this. Best Pellet Pistol Under $100: Crosman "2240 Bolt Action" CO2-Powered .22 Pistol CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Durable construction Affordable for many budgets Accurate across many distances Easy to load, takes a couple of minutes Excels at varmint hunting and target shooting Cons Pull weight is a bit heavy Trigger quality could be better Sight may be a bit difficult to adjust at first What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new users were looking for an affordable pellet pistol that would fit most budgets . They were able to find one that was excellent in quality and provided reliable, accurate shooting with one pull of the trigger. One user said that he uses this for the purpose of shooting at varmint whenever they show up on his lawn. So far, it’s been able to knock down a couple of squirrels and a raccoon that had been known for digging up his and his neighbor’s lawn for quite some time. Why it Stands Out to Us This pistol is fast shooting and pretty reliable. That’s about all you need in a pretty good pellet pistol (especially for the sake of hunting or target shooting). Not only that, it’s pretty sturdy so it’s guaranteed to last you quite a while. Don’t be shocked if this winds up being quite useful for a few years down the road. As long as you take good care of it and don’t overuse it, it might still keep its reliability without losing a hint of accuracy. Who Will Use This Most If you want superior reliability and accurate shooting when pitted against varmint or if you just want to shoot at a bunch of paper targets, this is one of the pistols you can snag off the shelf and not pay an arm and a leg for. After all, it’s one of the most affordable pistols that are great in quality and performance with a price tag of south of $100. It’s not cheap or flimsy by any stretch of the imagination. But you can best believe that this will make a great starter pellet pistol for a handful of users. Bottom Line The Crosman Bolt Action CO2-Powered .22 Pistol might just be the best choice for those who are looking for a powerful CO2 pistol that will get the job done at a price that you won’t be able to say no to. This pistol is no joke and might just be what the doctor ordered if you want accurate, dependable shooting for all your target shooting and varmint hunting applications. Best Blowback Pellet Pistol: Umarex Legends P.08 All Metal .177 Caliber CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Easy to load Solid and heavy-duty feel Accurate from 15 to 25 yards out Trigger pull weight is decent, but not too heavy Perfect for fending off varmint and even rattlesnakes Cons May lose accuracy over time Some feeding issues have occurred Misfirings may happen from time to time What Recent Buyers Report New users were looking for a pistol that was sturdy and had excellent shooting ability as well. They were quite happy with this pellet pistol being quite useful for target shooting and even varmint hunting as well. One user said that he even used it to fend off rattlesnakes on his dad’s cattle farm since they were harassing or even attacking some of the livestock they owned. He said it took a couple of good shots to take out one rattler that appeared to be threatening him when he was last out there. Why it Stands Out to Us If you must find a super sturdy pistol that won’t easily dent or scuff up, then you won’t be disappointed in the slightest. This sucker contains 22-shots in a single magazine. And it’s propelled by CO2 gas that will make sure that your shots are going far and going fast. So it will stand out as the perfect varmint hunting pistol whenever those invasive creatures tend to destroy property. If varmints aren’t the problem around your house, you can still put this pistol to good use as a target shooting pistol. For the latter application, a lot of younger shooters might utilize this pistol to practice gun safety and safe shooting. So by the time they are ready to use real live ammo, they will have confidence in hitting their targets and using their pistols with the right amount of discipline. Who Will Use This Most This will certainly be one of the best pistols that will excel as a varmint hunting pistol. It’s tough, shoots fast, and will hit your intended targets exactly where you’ll hit them. It might have the ability to last you a few good years so long as you take good care of it. If you want a pistol that will give you the best blowback and consistently good performance, you’d be insane to pass up the opportunity to give this pistol a closer look. Bottom Line The Umarex Legends All Metal .177 Caliber pistol will be one of the better air pistols to use against varmint and even snakes that can harm you or your livestock. It's powerful enough to deliver a good amount of knockdown power so they are kept at bay for as long as possible. Since it's solid in construction, this will be reliable for a long time. The varmint problem can be taken care of quick and fast with the right kind of pellet pistol and this one could be it. Best .177 Pellet Pistol: Sig Sauer P226 Air Pistol CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Sturdy design Excels as a target shooting pistol Shoots pretty good and fairly accurate Velocity is impressively fast for a pellet pistol Picatinny rail allows for customization for sights, scopes, and other equipment Cons May jam at times Sights are non-adjustable Trigger pull may be tough to shoot at first What Recent Buyers Report For a pellet pistol that is designed for target shooting, it does a great job hitting targets dead on and fast. Not to mention, the sights allow for straight and accurate shooting even with targets situated up to 20 yards. One user said that he was able to load this pistol without any feeding or jamming issues and enjoyed shooting it over and over again. He also added that the pistol didn’t misfire as often compared to a pellet pistol he had previously owned. Why it Stands Out to Us This pellet pistol is solid in construction and will prove itself beyond a doubt that it can be one of the best .177 caliber pistols on the market. The rounds are small but can do damage at a high rate of velocity. You can expect the pellet to hit the paper and leave a nice sized hole. And you’ll notice it once the time comes to look over the target to see where every single one of your shots has landed. Who Will Use This Most If you love shooting off pellets for fun, then you may need a pistol that will keep consistent with performance and reliability. This is perfect for backyard shooting and is super safe for kids to use. Don’t be surprised if you find this to be much better than even most pellet pistols or air guns that you have used in the past in terms of performance and quality. Bottom Line If you are a fan of .177 caliber pistols, then you might want one of the best in its class. The SIG Sauer P226 Air Pistol will not disappoint for many target shooters. So if you are going to find a pellet pistol that will really stand out as a casual or recreational target shooter’s choice, this might be your favorite pistol yet. Best .22 Pellet Pistol: "Crosman Benjamin Marauder" .22 Call Air Pistol BP2220 CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Easy to sight in Super powerful shooting Fast velocity, gets to the target faster Perfect for target shooting and varmint hunting Very accurate, leaves dime-sized shot groups at about 25 yards Cons May not bee suitable for younger children Might be a bit too loud for suburban use The trigger may get harder to pull over time "Recent Buyers Report" Report This pellet pistol was powerful according to most users. They said that this was a really good pellet pistol for multiple purposes. About half of them were using it for target shooting and another half used it for varmint hunting. One user said that it took out a good number of varmints in either one or two shots max. He said the accuracy was quite precise and he knew exactly where the shot would go by the time he pulled the trigger. Why it Stands Out to Us This pistol can shoot fast and has a good amount of pressure to propel each shot. You would be amazed by how powerful this pistol is once you start using it to your advantage. It does a great job loading and shooting off .22 pellet pistols with ease and leaving some nice sized shooting groups in the process. If accuracy and power are two things you want in a pellet pistol, then this pistol will be more appealing to you. Who Will Check Latest Price If you want a pistol that will excel as a varmint hunting pistol, then this one might get the job done. It’s got enough power and velocity to make every shot as impactful as the last. If you are using it for target shooting, you better be ready to leave some damaging shots to all kinds of paper targets. Even with plastic bottles, you can still do a good amount of damage. Bottom Line The Crosman Benjamin Maurader .22 Call Air Pistol is powerful, accurate, and reliable. The last thing you’ll want to do is doubt it’s shooting power and ability to leave a good amount of damage to paper targets or even small invasive critters. This will certainly be a fun pistol to shoot with when you have all kinds of rounds and targets at your disposal. Benefits of Investing in a Quality Pellet Pistol A pellet pistol will probably be one of the best investments you’ve made in your life. Especially when you want something that is fun and safe to shoot with. Whether you are a kid at heart or have kids of your own, here are a few benefits that you’ll find in a pellet pistol: Hours of Fun to Shoot So long as you have a lot of rounds and a handful of paper targets, then you’re going to have the time of your life shooting off so many pellets. All it takes is a high-quality pistol like one of the ten above to make that a reality. Be sure that the pistol you purchase is consistently reliable and make sure it has a full can of CO2 before it’s good to go. Great for “Property Management” Varmint are known for destroying property. This includes digging up lawns, knocking down trash barrels, and even destroying gardens as well. If you want a true property management tool to ward off these invasive critters, you’ll need to find a powerful enough pellet pistol to get the job done. Perfect for Practicing Responsible Gun Ownership If your child is intending to use a pistol or any kind of firearm later on in their lifetime, it’s important to teach them the basics of gun use and proper gun safety. Yes, while shooting off pellets is entertaining enough training them for using a pistol properly will be important. Especially if they choose to conceal carry a pistol with live ammo when they are at the age to legally do so. Conclusion The best pellet pistol is out there. Yet, one of these ten listed might be yours to own. Find one that will be accurate, reliable, and fun to shoot and you won’t get bored of it. As long as you take the best care of it, it will certainly take better care of you regardless of the application. These pellet pistols we’ve reviewed are anything but poor in quality and disappointing in performance.

6 Best Earplugs for Shooting 2020

6 Best Earplugs for Shooting 2020

One of the biggest mistakes that first-timers make is going out on a hunt or onto the range and not protecting their ears. Mainly this is due to the movies showing the hero blasting off rounds without so much as a wince. In the real world, earplugs are a necessity. Getting protection for your ears is a no brainer, knowing which are the best earplugs for shooting is a little more difficult to work out. This is because they come with a range of options and their quality varies wildly. Use this guide to find the right pair for you and all of the information you need. Features to Think About Before you look over the list of the top available earplugs on the market, you should pay attention to the following features: Cord or Cordless. Corded means that the earplugs will be linked together and then will hang around your neck when they are not in your ears. These are ideal for those that will be constantly moving from a loud environment to a quieter one, such as going in and exiting a range. Disposable vs. Reusable. There are some very cheap single-use earplugs that are widely available and provide simple protection . They are the foam plugs that are compressed and put into your ear. Multiple-use earplugs are generally better as they offer the user the chance to take them out but they can occasionally not offer as much protection. Custom Molded. On our list, we have included earplugs that come with a do-it-yourself custom molded option. With new developments in technology you now have access to a product that would have cost hundreds of dollars in the past. Top 6 Earplugs for Shooting Table Picture Name dB NRR Price Rating (1-5) Picture Name dB NRR Price Rating (1-5) 1. Liberty DuraPlug Uncorded Disposable Foam Earplug with 32 dB NRR, Orange 32 $$$ 4.4 2. 3M Peltor Sport Tri-Flange Corded Reusable Earplugs, 3-Pair Per Pack 26 $ 4.2 3. Decibullz - NRR 31 Custom Molded Earplugs, Perfect Fit Ear Protection 31 $$$$ 4.1 4. SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus Filtered Earplugs, Triple Flanged Design, Reusable 24 $$$$ 4.1 5. SureFire EP3 Sonic Defenders filtered Earplugs, double flanged design, reusable 24 $$ 4.1 6. Howard Leight by Honeywell Quiet Band Earplugs, 1-Pair 25 $ 4.0 What Makes for the Perfect Earplugs for Shooting? The key feature that you should be looking at is what is listed on our table as: dB NRR . This stands for the noise reduction rating (NRR) and it is measured in decibels (dB). As a quick guide to decibels, a gun will usually produce a noise at a 160dB level. The human pain threshold, when it comes to sound, is set around 120-130dB. For indoor shooting, where the sound is the loudest, it is recommended to get earplugs that have an NRR of 26dB and higher. Lower options are perfect for hunting, where there are fewer echoes of the same sound, as with inside ranges. Top 3 Best Earplugs for Shooting Reviews 1. Liberty DuraPlug "Uncorded Disposable Foam" Earplug Liberty DuraPlug earplugs are a great disposable option for anything from shooting to sleeping. These are uncorded and cut out a lot more noise than you would expect from such a seemingly simple product. Rather than having to keep track of an expensive pair of the same quality, you can buy these 200 for a bargain and have a newly wrapped pair right at your fingertips. In terms of size, these are made of flexible and soft foam that lets you fit them without issue to any size ear. You will actually even be able to reuse them if you would like to before changing to another pair. 2. 3M Peltor Sport Tri-Flang In terms of the noise that gets cut out, the Peltor Sport Tri-Flange earplugs really do their job well. They are corded and come in a sporty style, which means they are the best earplugs for shooting . The cord itself means that the earplugs will stay more secure while you are using them and that you are less likely to lose them when you’re not. These are washable earplugs that you can use over and over again. Having three pairs does really help if you have a few people going to the range or you misplace a pair by chance. There is even a carrying case included that you can keep with all of your other shooting gear. 3. Decibullz – NRR 31 "Custom Molded Earplugs" If you are looking for a more personalized product then the Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs are the closest to having earplugs professionally molded that you are going to get. They are easy to set yourself, which is always a plus. For anyone that is new to such high-end ear plugs for shooting, it should be noted that they are meant to be used with the foam attachment in order to block out the most sound possible. This is also one of the most comfortable pair of earplugs that you will ever wear. They are on the higher end of the price scale but it is really worth it when you don’t have sore ears after shooting.

Vickers Sling Builder at Blue Force Gear: See Your Choices

Vickers Sling Builder at Blue Force Gear: See Your Choices

I have long been a fan of the Vicker’s Sling and Blue Force Gear never disappoints, but they have outdone themselves this time.  With twelve color choices for sling and pull tab, hardware choices, fourteen attachment options, padded or un-padded and sewing modifications, if you cannot find your perfect sling for function and fashion here, it does not exist. For non-typical applications like shotguns, AR pistols and Short Barrelled Rifles, I find that most standard slings need some tweaks to make them work. Mounting hardware and length requirements can be very different. With the sling builder, you get exactly what you need in your precise choice of colors. When you go to the link, you start with a ghost image of a white sling.  As you click on the choice boxes selecting options, you end up with an image of YOUR custom made sling. Mine showed up in the mail two days later. There are separate links for padded and non-padded: Custom Vicker’s Sling Builder Custom Vicker’s Padded Sling Builder High quality slings custom made for your application. From Air Soft to Armageddon, get what you need. About "Blue Force Gear" in their own words: Since our beginning in 2004, we strive for excellence in all we do and to exemplify that excellence in our products and design.  We are devoted to those we serve to deliver innovative gear with superior quality. Blue Force Gear is not satisfied with making the same thing as everyone else – merely changing the color or style.  We design by a code of advancement – if we can’t make something better than what is currently available, we don’t make it. By continually innovating, our products will always be different. We are proud to have pioneered technological innovations that have revolutionized load carriage and weapon carrying establishing the world’s standard in weapon slings and the world’s lightest, MOLLE compatible load carriage. Of course we are not stopping there.  We are continually improving our gear lineup and looking for more ways to improve the tactical gear industry and ultimately the warriors here at home and worldwide.

Best 2-Way Radios [Hands-On]: FRS, GMRS, & MURS

Best 2-Way Radios [Hands-On]: FRS, GMRS, & MURS

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s In today’s world of cell phones and instant communications, sometimes we forget that when we step off the beaten path and the “NO SERVICE” icon is lit up we need a backup plan. Enter the world of two-way radios. There are lots of choices when it comes to outdoor communications. Most hunters, hikers, and overlanders are likely aware and maybe even familiar with the compact radios available today, but do they really understand the capabilities and limitations of radio communications. What Is Radio? I grew up in a house where my dad worked in all manner of electronics, TV, military communications and instrumentation. However, the miracle of radio and TV sounds and sights was really summed up very easily by me as “FM”; freakin’ magic. Without getting into the real technical stuff radio can be broken down into three parts: transmitter, receiver, and antenna. The transmitter generates a signal that carries our speech. The antenna turns the signal into energy that travels through space as a radio wave. The receiver converts the radio wave back to speech so the person we are talking to can understand it. See, Freakin’ Magic ! Fortunately for us, all of the components are housed in handy gadgets called transceivers. What Types of Radio Comms Can We Use? Today there are really three types of radio we can access for our outdoor adventures. CB Radio Citizen Band radios are most commonly found in vehicles and are still popular with those in the trucking industry, farming, and logging. The CB radio frequencies have 40 channels and are generally reliable over a range of several miles. Vehicle and handheld units are widely available. Midland 2-in-1 40-Channel Handheld CB CB radios have been around for a long time. If you’re old enough to remember the ‘70’s you probably remember all the ‘10-4 good buddy’ chat and hearing that famous CW McCall song “Convoy” on the radio. CB’s allowed and still allow instant, line of sight communication when traveling and may have some utility for hunters and shooters. Most folks on the road monitor channel 19 to get updates from truckers on traffic, accidents, road conditions, etc. Channel 9 is set aside for emergency communications only. FRS/GMRS Family Radio Service/General Mobile Radio Service is commonly found at big-box stores and outdoor suppliers like Cabela’s. You’ll see a fancy camo two-pack with a big star on the package that says you can stay in contact with your hunting buddies 26-miles away. Sounds good, but unless that 26-mile is flat or straight up, you very likely will not be talking to your buddy in the next county. Rolling flat areas like this in Alaska is great for max distance radio These radios are by far the most common devices available to hunters, shooters and all who venture outdoors. By and large, the fancy bubble-pack radio set you find at Cabela’s or Walmart or on Amazon are dual-service radios. That means they can operate on the 14 channels the FCC has assigned to the FRS as well as the other 9 channels set aside for GMRS. Left to Right: FRS Only Radio; FRS Only Radio; FRS/GMRS Radio w/Weather Alert Feature Now here’s where things get a bit confusing for most folks. All 14 channels on FRS are limited to a half a watt of transmitting power. There is no license required and everyone except for spies and foreign operatives can use them. No spies! On the GMRS side of the radio, we share channels 1-7 with FRS and can transmit at up to 50 watts; 5 watts for handheld radios. Additionally, if you read the fine print in your fancy package, assuming you were able to open it without destroying the contents, you are required by the FCC to have a license to transmit on any GMRS channel . And it costs you $90 bucks. Fortunately for those not inclined to read instructions, the FCC has been pretty lenient regarding enforcement of GMRS transmitting violations. However, some fines can run to $20,000 per occurrence. Times are changing and if you really dig into the FCC rules, enforcement is going to get more strict. My advice; read the instructions and be very careful which channels you use or spend the money and get the license. With all that said, is there any point to getting the FRS/GMRS radios for your hunting camp? Sure. You can still keep in touch with all your hunters if the terrain allows and they don’t stray too far. The radios are still relatively cheap. Many have an NOAA Weather Alert feature to keep you apprised of any coming storms or bad weather. Having the ability to keep track of everyone and coordinate help if needed is a nice security blanket to have in your tool kit when far away from civilization. MURS Multiple User Radio Service is available to use for personal or business use. The real advantage of MURS is the ability to transmit using 2 watts, giving you a bit more range. Thanks, NASA . A set of five frequencies that fall in the VHF (Very High Frequency) realm and can be transmitted at 2 watts. That means four times the output of FRS radios. You can also use longer antennas on MURS to get additional transmitting and receiving range. A definite advantage over FRS/GMRS units. You can also program privacy codes into the radios, just like FRS/GMRS to help prevent interference on crowded channels. There are no licensing requirements. Best 2-Way Radios FRS/GMRS 1. Midland GTX1000VP4 This radio is one of the most reviewed units on Amazon, good to know it’s popular and people like it. FRS/GMRS Dual Service. NOAA Weather Alerts. 142 programmable privacy codes. Comes with desk charger and car charger as well as headsets. It’s also splash resistant, but not waterproof. Midland GTX1000VP4 70 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 70 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Downside? You need a license to take advantage of the GMRS capabilities and higher transmitting power. The 36-mile range claim is good for marketing, probably not realistic and the 50 channels include pre-programmed Midland channels…there are not 50 channels available to FRS/GMRS. 2. Midland T10 X-Talker This radio is simple and light-weight and it uses AAA batteries so you can carry spares in the backcountry on extended trips. Midland X-Talker XT 10 30 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 30 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Comes with FRS/GMRS Dual Service, NOAA Weather Alerts, and a silent mode. Best of all? Water-resistant case. Don’t forget though – licensing is required for GMRS use and in our opinion that 20-mile range is optimistic . MURS Radios 3. Dakota Alert MURS 2-Way Radio MURS radios are a little harder to find and a bit more expensive than FRS/GMRS radios. However, given the transmitting power, no licensing, simplicity and relatively unused frequencies this is the type of radio I would buy. Dakota Alert M538-HT MURS 2-Way Radio 85 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 85 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing The Dakota radios have 38 programmable privacy codes and will run about 40 hours on a charge. These radios are also compatible with Dakota driveway alert systems. 4. BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Radio These radios kinda run the ragged edge of legality with the FCC. They are primarily designed as a dual band HAM radio…but, they are also programmable to receive and transmit on FRS, GMRS, and MURS frequencies. BaoFeng UV-5R "Dual Band Radio" 21 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 21 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing The legal issue arises in the output power, 5 watts, and the removable antenna. You will also need to be a licensed Amateur Radio operator (HAM) to transmit on the 2-meter and 70-centimeter bands. If you choose this option do your research and stay compliant! It’s hard to beat the features for the money. What’s your take on the Baofeng? Readers' Ratings 4.89/5 (176) Your Rating? Honorable Mention 5. Garmin inReach Mini The Garmin inReach is not a radio, but it may be an option for those needing to keep in touch, but not communicate constantly. Garmin inReach Mini 300 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 300 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing These units utilize the Iridium Satellite Network and allow you to track your position, text with a compatible device like your cell phone and send preset messages to those who need to know your whereabouts. There is also a 24/7 Search & Rescue link feature should you hit the SOS button and need immediate help. With up to 90 hours of battery life, you can send a lot of messages out over a long trip in the backcountry. Signing Off There is really no reason to be out of touch, even if we are going to woods or range so our cell phones won’t work. Calling shots at a competitive long range match or calling your buddy to help pack out an elk is well worth packing a radio in your gear. You don’t want to miss your target, especially when hunting dangerous game. The radio services and radios discussed above will all work for those who venture outdoors. Just remember, there are limitations to the range. There are rules to follow. There may be licensing required depending on the service you choose. Maybe one day we’ll have a Star Trek transmitter and be able to “beam” that bull elk out of the woods and right to our freezers. But then, what would be the fun in that? We go to the wilderness to find adventure and test ourselves. How do you stay in touch when you’re disconnected from your cell phone? Let us know in the comments! Before you run off into the woods, don’t forget to bring a good knife with you – Best Survival Knives !

Beginners Guide to Reloading Ammo [2020]

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Want to save more than 50% off ammo and shoot 1/2-inch groups at 100 yards? Reloading your own ammo might be the key! But you’re not sure if it’s right for you?  We’ll cover everything from the reasons to reload as well as how difficult/annoying it is to reload. Plus…do you really save money?  We’ll answer that as well with some example equipment setups that span all budgets. My Reloading Station But first…some disclaimers that this is purely educational.  Take care in reloading since it could be a potentially dangerous hobby. Table of Contents Loading... Top Reasons to Reload Your Own Ammo 1.  Saving Money This reason tends to pop up first…but it’s a little deceiving.  I don’t think any reloader actually ends up saving money overall.  They just end up shooting a lot more for the same price . Bunch of Ammo But you still save money per round right? Yes! A big cost of ammo is the brass casing.  So why give it away to your shooting range that will end up selling it to reloaders, when you can reuse it a couple times. How much will I save? Sorry, but it depends on the caliber .  For something that is already pretty cheap like 9mm, you might only save 10-20% in cost and you don’t even factor in time. But for something more expensive like match grade .308, you can save more than 50%.  For example…I make my .308 ammo for around 70 cents a round while Gold Match ammo is almost $2 a round. 2.  Maximizing Accuracy and Customizing Loads This reason usually comes up second.  And for good measure! Reloading allows you to basically be able to make custom rounds for every single one of your guns. Now, a super brief lesson in barrel harmonics as I understand it. Barrel Harmonics A barrel will whip around when you shoot a round.  So you might want the barrel to whip the least possible.  You do this by adjusting the speed of the bullet as it goes through the barrel by adding or reducing gun powder during your reloading process. Got it? Good…that’s only one way to wring some more accuracy out of your rounds. Others include extending the length of your round (seating your bullet further out of the brass casing).  This reduces the force needed for the bullet to leave the casing and also reduces the distance the bullet might need to “jump” into the “lands” (or rifling) of the barrel. Bullet and Lands Another big reason is to use different bullets, especially for hunting or competition shooting. For example, I shoot USPSA handgun and I like using heavy 147 gr bullets since they feel more like a “push” when shooting.  My .308 bolt gun also loves 175 gr HPBT bullets which is a problem since most match ammo comes in 168 gr. If you’re already lost…don’t worry.  You don’t have to optimize for every barrel.  I just think it’s pretty cool that you can.  The majority of ammo I make is for plinking rounds that mimic regular ammo. 3.  Restrictive Gun Laws This falls a little under saving money. Gun Control Cartoon But gun laws are only getting more and more restrictive.  Lots of cities already prohibit online ammo sales.  And check out California which recently passed a bill that would make you have to get an ammo license and purchasing online ammo through a licensed vendor. By reloading you can avoid ammo shortages, price gouging, and hoarding that could go around after unfortunate events, restrictive laws, or elections. Just be sure to get enough reloading supplies if you decide reloading is really for you. 4.  For Fun If you like upgrading your gun to perfectly fit your style, then you’ll probably love wringing out the last bit of accuracy with reloading. And if you describe yourself as DIY…there’s nothing else more DIY than making your own ammo . Plus, there’s a bit of mechanical stuff you get to tinker with (and upgrade) in the ammo presses (ammo making machine). Mad Scientist How Do You Reload Ammo? Now that you’ve gotten a couple reasons of why reloading ammo is awesome…let’s go over what it actually entails. And keep in mind this is a rough overview that isn’t caliber specific.  It’s meant to show you the possible steps in reloading your own ammo. Some calibers it might be advisable to follow all the steps while some only need the bare minimum. Parts of a Bullet Cartridge Parts of a Bullet Cartridge First…a refresher. There’s a couple parts to a standard bullet cartridge.  The brass casing, gun powder, bullet, and primer.  The gun’s hammer/striker hits the primer which creates a little explosion that ignites the gun powder and pushes the bullet through the barrel. You’ll be preparing the case and putting all these parts together in a reloading press. Deconstructed 9mm Cartridge Case Prepping When a gun goes PEW , there’s an explosion inside the brass casing that expands it to fit the gun’s chamber.  There’s some shrinkage (heh) shortly after, but basically the brass case is a little larger than it was before. It’s also a lot dirtier. First, you’ll want to clean the casings using a brass tumbler, some sort of medium (usually ground up corncob or walnut shells), and polish you dump into the medium. This usually takes place outside of the house since it’s loud, takes a few hours, and has some potential lead contamination risk. Frankford Armory Brass Tumbler Hooray, shiny brass! Clean & Dirty Brass If you’re going to be reloading this used brass, you’ll need to bring it back to its original specifications so it will feed reliably. Remember the primer? Sometimes you are using military brass that has a crimped primer pocket (where the primer goes).  Or you want it super uniform for precision’s sake. Primer Pocket Types You’re going to have to pop out (deprime) the primer and then using a reamer to resize or a cleaner tool.  Some people pop out the primer before tumbling so it takes care of the cleaning. There’s various ways to pop out the primer but usually it’s with a reloading press and usually in conjunction with resizing the brass. Primer Pocket Cleaner Speaking of resizing the brass… There’s two main kinds of brass…straight wall and bottleneck.  Pretty self-explanatory. Bottleneck Caliber vs Straight Wall Caliber You run the fired case through a resizing die where it will reform the brass.  Some calibers/dies you will need to lube up each case. Resizing Brass Cases You see above that there’s a good amount of stuff that occurs for bottleneck cases since you have to worry about the “shoulder.”  Examples include the popular .223 and .308 calibers.  A lot less stuff happens in “straight wall” cases such as most pistol calibers. The resizing die also reforms dents and case mouth problems. Brass Case Mouth Dents Depending on caliber, how anal you are, or how many times a case has been shot, you might need to check the case for proper length and cut off the excess since the brass has been squeezed down in size. There’s various hand-based or even electric options. Case Trimming by Hand If you do end up cutting some material off…it’s going to be sharp which might mess up your bullet seating.  So you have to deburr and chamfer the case. Again…lots of options. Deburring and Chamfering Tool Still with me?  We’re just getting started.  But at least the brass is prepped and inspected for any cracks/big dents/splits. Priming There’s various ways to put in a new primer.  Some are hand tools while others are integrated into the first sizing stage. Lee Hand Primer Now that you’ve got your primed cases…let’s add some powder. Primed Cases Adding Gunpowder Technically now smokeless powder.  And there’s a lot of them out there…many of which will work for your caliber/bullet.  But some that are more specific to a certain caliber or bullet weight. Smokeless Powders You’ll need to look up how much to start with in a reloading manual .  It will also have the correct size dimensions needed for case length, etc. Lyman 50th Edition Again, many ways to drop the powder into the prepped and primed case.  Most popular are standalone powder measures or part of a press. Lee Powder Measure Dillon Powder Drop (left) Bullet Seating We’re in the home stretch! Now is the time to add a bullet and press it into the case. Problem is…sometimes the case is too narrow for a bullet to fit and you will need to “flare” the top.  You usually will only see this pertaining to pistol cases.  Sometimes this is with a separate die or integrated into the resizing or powder stage die. How Much Flare Now you just place the bullet on top of the case and run it through a bullet seating die.  Sometimes you will want to add a crimp (pressing in the case onto the bullet) that makes the bullet more secure. Bullet Seating & Crimping Voila!  You are done…now onto the equipment that makes this all possible. Types of Reloading Presses Reloading presses span from cheap single stage presses that take one die at a time, to monstrous progressive presses that can crank out 1000 rounds an hour. Single Stage Press Called a single stage since there’s only room for one die.  So you’ll need to switch it out at least 2+ times (resizing and bullet seating), not to mention priming the cases either in the press or by hand. My Reloading Station The red press is my Lee Breech Lock Challenger kit ($120) that comes with almost everything you need to get started. Lee Breech Lock Single Stage Kit It includes a powder station, hand-priming tool, scale, and some case prep tools.  Perfect to see if reloading is for you but you don’t want to spend a lot of money. Turret Press A turret press allows the use of more dies that can be rotated over the casing.  Saves a lot of time since you don’t have to switch out dies every time you go to a different stage of reloading. Below is the Lee Turret Press kit "Lee Turret Press" kit ($190).  See how the powder station is attached to the press and there’s several empty slots for additional dies. Lee Turret Press Kit Progressive Press The progressive reloading press has multiple die stations on top and also multiple places to put your brass cases.  This way each pull of the press you are doing up to four different actions. Some models also have “toolheads” that allow quick caliber switches without having to set each die again. Dillon 550B and Different Caliber Toolheads I use the Dillon 550B Progressive Press ($460) which allows a good amount of reloading per hour.  A great machine if you are ready to upgrade from the single stage or turret, or if you know you’re going to be reloading quite a bit. There’s also higher end progressive models that “auto-index” so you don’t have to move the plate that holds all the brass cases.  But we’ll save that for another article. Check out our new article that covers the Best Progressive Presses for Beginners . Conclusion Ok, so it’s not really a conclusion since there’s so much left to go over such as all the additional equipment you’ll need such as the tumbler, dies, powder, primers, etc. Plus, how do you actually reload specific calibers? Pew Pew Tactical Reloading Supplies Check out the answers in our Ammo + Reloading section.

Best Handgun Calibers For Survival

Is there really a “best” of anything?  Well, yeah, I think A-1 steak sauce is the absolute best.  I love St. Pete’s Signature blue cheese . Diamond D Leather in Alaska makes the best across the chest crossdraw handgun holster on Earth.  I am a huge fan of Kimber 1911 pistols, Smith and Wesson heavy revolvers and ARs in 5.56 and 300 Blackout, and my Ruger SR556-6.8 SPC AR (just try to find one of those left on the shelf), which I clearly think are the best.  Well, at least those are the best for me anyway. Quick Navigation A Commonly Posed Question Decision Making Time Apples and Oranges Narrowing the Choices A "Commonly Posed Question" When I work the gun shows with the Glock armorer guys, I usually get many of the same questions at our show tables.  “I want to buy a first handgun for my wife.  What caliber should I buy?”  That question is often quickly followed by the No. 2 question, “Should I get a revolver or a pistol?”  Several other questions almost always follow that.  I try to offer the best council I can based on what I know about their situations, conditions, and experiences.  I’ve done this for over 40 years now. I get nearly the same series of questions from people inquiring about the “best” caliber for survival prepping.  These questions are more difficult to comprise to offer individuals specific recommendations.  Many factors go into the decision to pick a handgun caliber for survival work and then to pick the platform to fire it.  Let’s explore some of the possibilities. A Chart of Common Handgun Calibers’ Power Ballistics Caliber           Bullet Weight      Muzzle Velocity      Muzzle Energy 22 LR                 40                           1150                           117 25 ACP               50                           760                            64 32 ACP               71                            905                            129 380 ACP            95                            955                            190 38 Special         158                         755                            200 357 Magnum    158                         1235                          535 9mm Auto         124                        1100                         339 40 SW                 180                        990                           392 10mm Auto       180                        1150                          529 41 Magnum       210                        1300                         788 44 Magnum      240                        1180                          741 45 ACP                230                        835                           356 45 Long Colt      250                       860                           410 Do You Have Concealed Carry Weapon Insurance? Self-defense can land you into major legal battles, or even jail . USCCA provides top-class CCW insurance plus training for you and your family at $22/mo with $2,000,000 in coverage. Join USCCA As it is with spotting a seemingly attractive woman at a distance, looks can be deceiving especially upon closer examination.  It is much the same with factory ammunition ballistics charts as well.  Unfortunately these listed factory muzzle velocities and energy ratings are about all we have to go on when it comes to comparing one caliber against another.  It does at least offer us a baseline for comparison.  Reality in the field is something entirely different. Know, too, that this list contains only the most basic bullet and power level for each caliber.  Many, many other choices are available in bullet types, and power capacities.  Get yourself a factory ammo catalog from Remington, Winchester, or Federal to begin to understand the other options available in each caliber. "Decision Making Time" First, as you make the ultimate decision to arm yourself, your immediate family and/or your survival prep team, ask yourself exactly why for what purpose(s).  I will presume the No.1 reason is for self-protection, as well as defensive protection of family, home, and property.  Other reasons could be for foraging for wild game food, or offensive actions to secure goods for yourself under the most dire straits of circumstances.  For whatever reason you buy a gun(s) for a prepping assignment do not take the purchase of weapons lightly and be fully prepared to accept all the consequences.  This includes safe handling, learning to shoot properly, practicing to shoot, and maintaining your tools in top operating condition. Related: Survival Shotgun You may have already settled on some prejudiced decisions about what handgun caliber you want to obtain for prepping use.  They may be right on or not for you or others in the immediate circle you intend to arm.  Seek as much input as possible from people who should know what they are talking about.  Good advice on guns does not always come from behind the counters at a gun store, in particular the big box retailers where gun sales people are rarely well trained on guns or ballistics. Try a shooting range , a shooting course, or a concealed weapons course.  Walk around a gun show and ask several vendors as you check out their wares.  That is a next step anyway once you finally (maybe) settle on the caliber(s) you want then go shopping for and the handgun models to deliver them. Apples and Oranges Meanwhile study these ballistics numbers and try to make some obvious judgments.  I am guessing you have probably done some preliminary reading or research on line, from contacts, at gun shops or shows, books , magazines or other resources.  If not, then you definitely need to build an elementary foundation of knowledge on these subjects enough to know on what to spend your hard earned prepper money.  If you make a mistake, you waste money. If you need a hint, then take this one.  If your primary purpose for obtaining weapons is to protect yourself, family, friends, or others, then you obviously need a handgun shooting a caliber as capable as possible in stopping an adversary. Be honest with yourself.  While a .22 LR rimfire handgun may be ideal for taking small game for the meat pot or taking out small nasty vermin around the Bug Out camp , it is not a realistic choice for self protection.  It is better than nothing, but not for your primary defensive handgun. Also Read: Best Survival Carbine I will be so bold as to suggest the same for the .25, 32, and even the .380.  Once you acquire a more prominent caliber handgun for defense and become proficient with it, then you can branch out to consider acquiring other calibers and guns as your budget allows.  These three could make decent back up calibers with proper ammunition.  Now we have arrived at a “Y” in the road.  Whether or not you want a revolver or a pistol?  I won’t discuss those merits or distracters here, but may at another time review those points. At the low end of the revolver caliber considerations is the .38 Special, but why buy a handgun only for this cartridge?  The .357 Magnum revolver will also shoot the .38 Special so you essentially get two guns in one.  The .357 Magnum will stop an opponent, but you may be limited to six shots.  This revolver caliber is formidable.  Reloading takes more skill and time. Generally speaking the .41, .44 and .45s are not considered for personal protection though they could be.  Eventually if you are settled on revolvers, then consider stepping up to a larger caliber.  By the way, the .44 Magnum will also load and shoot the .44 Special.  Remember these calibers are more difficult to shoot well, costly, and the ammo is heavier to deal with for storage and carry. The other pathway in the “Y” considers the semi-auto pistol calibers.  These are the 9mm, .40 Smith and Wesson or “40 cal”, the 10mm and the .45 ACP.  The 9mm is basically a .38 caliber suited to the pistol platform.  The .40 and the 10mm are similar though the 10mm is considerably more powerful, expensive and has more recoil. The .45 ACP is the “King of the Hill” for most pistol shooters.  Obviously it was picked by the military early in the 1900s for a reason.  There are rumors now the .45 ACP may be coming back to service use, but somehow I suspect it will only be relegated to specialty team use.  The .45 ACP has more recoil, more noise, but the 45 caliber is a serious man stopper.  It takes a lot of practice to shoot well, as frankly does any handgun in any caliber for that matter. Narrowing the Choices An ideal method to settle on a choice on a handgun caliber is to visit a shooting range or gun shop that has a wide variety of gun models and calibers to actually shoot.  This way you can evaluate your comfort level in shooting different calibers and the types of guns available in those caliber choices.  It would be akin to test driving new cars. Now, here I go out on the limb by suggesting my own recommended choices.  If you favor the revolver action because of its simplicity in use without mechanical safeties to deal with, then I would opt initially for a .357 Magnum, but not a lightweight, short-barreled gun model.  Pick a good steel gun with a six-inch barrel and adjustable sights.  If you learn to use this well, then you might consider adding another bigger caliber much later. For pistol operators, the base choice is the 9mm.  It is very universal in all regards, and widely available both in gun models and ammunition types.  Practice with ball ammunition, but carry in Condition One with a serious self-defense round of which there are many new ones on the market now. Personally, I am not a big fan of the .40SW.  It has more recoil, and muzzle blast.  Ammo is more expensive.  However, the .40 is an effective pistol caliber for personal protection.  I do like the 10mm but it is a significant step up in skills to shoot well.  It is a good defensive people stopper using the right ammo. Also Read: SIG Sauer P227 Nitron Review The .45 ACP is my No.1 personal choice.  That big .230 grain bullet packs a wallop on its opponent especially in a defensive round with expanding bullets, not the ball ammo.  The .45 takes much practice to shoot really well, but in close quarters it is a deal changer.  It is not a first caliber choice for uninitiated neophyte shooters.  If I were starting afresh to build a self-defense survival handgun arsenal, then I would have a 9mm and then a .45 ACP.  If I had multiple guns, they would all be the same brand and model for uniformity of training, and use as well as exchange of magazines, parts, cleaning supplies and carry holsters. Is there a best handgun caliber for survival prepping?  Yes there probably is for you, but it may not be the same one for me.  What is really best is what you can shoot really well.  Obviously one or more well placed rounds are better than making a bunch of noise and missing the target.  Study hard, pick carefully, and then become extremely proficient with your choices.  That will be what is best for you. All Photos by Dr. John J. Woods Other interesting articles: Survival Gear Review: Smith & Wesson .380 Bodyguard Backup Building a Basic Defensive Arsenal Survival Debate: 1911 or Glock "Survival Gear Review" : Gum Creek Vehicle Handgun Mount

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