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Alternative Weapons for Survival
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01/31/2012 09:59 AM
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by M.D. Creekmore on January 31, 2012
This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by JD
There has been some previous articles about options and considerations for your survival battery of firearms. These options included the handgun, .22 caliber rifle, shotgun and the battle rifle. Now, I will present you with some other options to consider.
The air rifle, also known as the BB gun or pellet rifle, is many times looked down on as a practical survival tool. Some immediately think of the lever-action, ďRed-RiderĒ model when they hear BB gun. But, there have been significant improvements on air rifles since even my child hood.
Today, many modern air rifles have much more power, greater accuracy and variable power. While there are still the standard CO2 options, many of todayís more powerful air rifles can have their power increased with several pumps of a forearm or other similar device.
Many of these modern guns also have rifling and/or other improvements that allow for much greater accuracy. In fact, my brother competed throughout high school on a shooting team through his high school R.O.T.C. unit and they used hand-pumped air rifles.
A good air rifle brings many advantages in a survival situation. Itís inexpensive to shoot a lot, itís fairly silent and you can kill a large amount of small game animals as well as pest animals with a well-placed shot. While growing up, I killed several birds, squirrels and other rodents on my grandparentís farm using my Crossman pump air rifle.
The next option to discuss is the bow and arrow. I donít think that anyone can go wrong by learning to shoot a bow and arrow. I think that a quality bow and arrow set should be a part of your preps. Like the air rifle, it is silent, can be used to kill a variety of game and is fairly inexpensive to shoot if you stay with the base models. It is also a great family activity as many men, women and children that I know seem to like shooting the bow
A distinct advantage of the bow and arrow over the air gun is distance, power and the fact that you can make bows and arrows out of resources readily available in the woods. I have several friends that regularly kill deer with their bows, thus putting meat on their table every year. In this pre-WROL period, bow hunting as a sport is popular and can be very expensive. But, if this is what you like then great, keep at it! But, the same thing can be done with the cheaper options, such as recurve bows, or even home-made ones.
The distance and power are limited with many recurve and home-made bows but they are still a good option. Making your own bow and arrows is an art form that does take years to do well consistently but I think that it is an awesome skill to have should you choose to learn it.
Bow and arrows are also a self-defense option. Men have used this platform to kill other men for centuries. It is not my primary means of self-defense but I like having this silent option as well. Also, arrows can have a variety of tips, based on what you are hunting for. Blunt tips can be used for practice and bird hunting; field, or target tips, can be used for practice and small game; multi-prong tips for fishing; and broadhead tips for hunting large game and self-defense.
The next part of the survival battery is the sling. Now, there are 3 primary slings that we will talk about; the sling shot, the old fashioned-style sling and the sling bow.
The sling shot is familiar to many people and is also known as the wrist rocket. It is essentially a forked device with some sort of elastic band that is used to launch a projectile. This is a very effective platform for taking small game and can be fairly accurate. I think that each of us should consider having at least one quality sling shot as well as some round steel shot in your bugout bag as well as your vehicle.
The old fashioned sling is similar to the one David used to slay Goliath. There are a couple of ways that you can make this type of sling. The most common way,which dates back to Biblical times, is a piece of leather or similar material that is about 1-2Ē wide (or something more simple like para-cord) and 2-3 feet long with a wider piece in the middle. You seat a rock or other hard object, such as a bolt, large hexnuts that screw on to a bolt or a large ball bearing, in the wider piece and fold the sling over it.
Now, you twirl your sling to build momentum and at the right moment, let go of one end of the sling and the projectile rockets at the target. In a survival situation, this can also be done with a bandana. Itís just that with a bandana, the projectile may not be moving as fast or have the same distance. Either way, it does take practice to get good with either set-up.
The third type of sling is the sling bow made popular by Dave Canterbury. Essentially, you use alarge key ring and two bands made from pieces of bicycle tire to turn your run-of-the-mill wrist rocket sling into an effective bow that does shoot arrows instead of round projectiles. This is not as powerful as your average bow and arrow set-up, however you can use it to effectively take game within 12-15 yards as long as you practice.
There are some other things that you can add to your survival battery that some people find useful. One such thing is the blow gun. You simply blow air into a tube with your mouth, which sends a pointed projectile at the target. Usually, this only effective on small game as well as rodents.
The final option that I will discuss at this time is weapons that you can throw. Various spears and the atlatl have been effective weapons for hundreds of years. There are a plethora of videos and websites available to learn about both platforms.
Other throwing options are knives, hatchets, stars and the rabbit stick. Various videos instructing the proper way (and sometimes the not-so-proper way) to use each of these can be found on YouTube. I urge you to thoroughly research and practice each option that you are considering.
All of the options mentioned in this article do take a significant amount of practice to get proficient at. One of the things I like about the options in this survival battery is that, usually,you can practice all of them in your suburban backyard. Some neighbors might look at you a little funny, but who cares. The other advantage is that you can practice as a family. Most kids love to do these kinds of things, especially if mom and dad are having fun with it too.
This is an entry in our non-fiction
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