Can BB Guns Be Used for Self Defense?
I know what you're thinking..."you can't use a BB gun for self defense! It's just a toy." BB guns are NOT TOYS. They can be deadly. Remember, it's not the device that kills, it's the bullet plus velocity that becomes deadly. You could have a plastic toy (Nurf gun or slingshot) gun that shoots a 40 grain steel bullet at 500 fps. This is deadly.
Here are the criteria for a home or self defense BB gun.
- 400+ feet per second velocity
- Semi or full automatic for quick follow up shots
- Steel BB's or heavy lead pellets
- 99% reliability
- Easy reloading
- Accurate at 25 feet
- Laser or red dot sights
Let's look at the different types of BB guns for self defense.CO2 BB Guns
CO2 powered BB guns are exceptional in many ways and are good choices for self defense. First off, CO2 bb guns are typically more powerful as compared to spring air bb guns. Most CO2 guns produce 400-600 fps in a pistol. This is pretty powerful. Most spring air guns only produce about 300-350 fps. 400+ fps is desirable for a defensive bb gun. CO2 powered guns are compact because of the small compressed gas cylinders. These usually fit inside the handle or grip. There are no large cocking levers or pump handles. You also get quite a few shots from a single or double CO2 cylinders. I think you can get about 100-200 shots without replacing the cylinders.
You can buy semi auto and revolver style CO2 bb guns.
Here are the benefits of CO2 bb guns for self defense.
- Powerful - 400-600 fps
- Semi Auto - shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger
- Compact - small and compact dimensions let you store it anywhere
- Fast Reloads - replace CO2 or fill magazine quickly
- Inexpensive - $30-$75
- Easy to shoot - even petite women can shoot easily
- Accurate - dime size hole at 15'
Here is a list of CO2 bb pistols that meet the home/self defense specifications.
- Smith & Wesson 2255053 M&P 40 - 480 fps
- Daisy Powerline 415 - 500 fps
- Sig Sauer P226 CO2 - 450 fps
- Sig Sauer 1911 Spartan - 410 fps
- Daisy 5172 Powerline - 520 fps
- Colt 2254045 M45 CQBP - 400 fps
- Sig Sauer P320 CO2 - 430 fps
Single shot bb guns range from the famous Daisy Red Ryder bb gun to the powerful Gamo Silent Cat rifle. These are mostly break open air guns and spring air like the Red Ryder. The break open are some of the most powerful air guns available. I had a Gamo Maxxim Hornet .22 caliber air rifle a few years ago. I shot 18 grain lead pellets at about 800 fps. It was very powerful. It could easily kill a human. But it's not exactly suitable for self defense. It's a long gun and designed for hunting wild game. Plus I'm not sure a single shot is the ideal self defense air gun. However, if you have a break open air rifle or pistol, you could certainly use it to protect yourself and family if need be. It's better than a bat or knife. There are some break open pistols available that are really powerful. I think Benjamin/Crosman makes a few. Velocities can reach about 625 fps with alloy pellets or 525 fps with lead.
Single shot bb guns are not ideal for defense situations but if you own one, you certainly could use it but don't go buy one for self defense.Pump BB Guns
Pump bb and pellet guns are very powerful but lack in rapid firepower. They are slow to reload bb's and pumping the action. You could certainly dispatch a human with one if you had to. Pump bb/pellet guns are less than ideal for home defense. Velocities with pellets and maximum pumps result in velocities of around 650-750 fps. These are better suited to hunting small game.Spring Air/Action BB Guns
Spring air/action bb guns such as the famous Daisy Red Ryder are not recommended for self/home defense since they lack power. Most spring air bb guns produce velocities of around 300-350 fps. This is great for target practice with soda cans but is too low for penetrating 3-4 inches of soft tissue. Spring air bb guns are a lot of fun but only use them for target practice. There are much better options available.Full Auto BB Guns
Now these babies are exciting! Not only do they have a high rate of fire but high power too. Velocities are in the 400-500 fps range....and at Full Auto. Another exciting fact is that you can get bb pistols in full auto. Full auto bb guns are available in pistols and rifles. There are AR-15 style full auto bb guns and replicas of full size machine guns as well as Uzi replicas. Full auto for home defense is pretty scary...for the intruder or target. Some of these guns fire over 200 rounds per minute. These can easily dispatch/stop any intruder or unwanted guest. Just watch what one does to a watermelon at 15 feet. It's devastating. These are a little more expensive than semi auto but can be very effective. They range from mid $100's to $650. Oh...and yes full auto bb guns are legal and anyone can buy one if they are 21 years of age.
- Crosman DPMS SBR CO2 Air Rifle - 430 fps
- Umarex Storm 2252155 CO2 Rifle - 430 fps
- Umarex MP40 CO2 Air Rifle - 450 fps
- Umarex Steel Force 2254855 Air Rifle - 430 fps
- SMG 22 Belt Fed CO2 Air Rifle - 720 rpm at 500 fps