First of all, you need to know my wife thinks I’m sick. If there’s any kind of disaster movie on TV or an account of how someone survived in the wilds after a plane crash or other misadventure, I’m all over it, drinking in the details. I’m not entirely sure what drives this curiosity, but over the years, I’ve amassed a fair amount of material about survival skills, and there is a great deal of it on the world wide web.
A couple of years ago, I ran across the U.S. Rescue & Special Operations Group. In their own words, “This site was created specifically for military personnel that could easily find themselves in a foreign country, without the vast assets of the United States military’s tactical or logistical support. In places where not only the people are a threat but maybe the weather and terrain conditions are as well. Those places that are referred to as the “Wild Places” of the world that a human being is moved down a few notches on the food chain (some times literally). . .” And: “Although this site was put together with SOCOM units in mind, any one can utilize this site and gain some type of information that may save their lives or their buddy’s life in a moment of life threatening chaos. . .”
One of the things that USRSOG offers is a terrific training manual called “Six Ways in and Twelve Ways Out.” Anyone can buy it for just $13, and I recommend it as an excellent resource. One of the recommendations made in the manual is for a survival firearm: a .22 target pistol equipped with a red dot because it is small, light, easily transportable, and “Every mammal on this planet has been taken with a .22 caliber bullet at one time or another. Not to mention the reptiles and some aquatic species as well. A.K.A “ED” rendered a deer to possession with his 5 inch heavy barreled S&W, at 65 yards.”
The folks at USRSOG recommend practicing on golf ball-sized balloons or balloons blown up no bigger than a tennis ball. Now, my neighbors are going to get cranky, cranky, cranky if I start shooting a .22LR pistol in my yard. So I thought: why not get in some inexpensive practice time with an air pistol?
So here’s Uncle Jock’s recipe for a whole lot of fun and good practice at a very reasonable price:
– an air pistol
– a red dot
– some suitable pellets
– a bag of wiffle golf balls
Sprinkle the golf balls around the yard and have at it! I tried it, and all I can say is, don’t blame me if you’re still out there popping wiffle golf balls while someone is yelling that you’re late for dinner. And if you don’t think this is fun, see a doctor; your fun gland needs some help.
Below is my Gamo Compact single-stroke pneumatic pistol equipped with a CenterPoint red dot (I had to change the rings to clamp the red dot to the pistol), but if you want to trick out your Beeman P1 or Crosman Silhouette pistol with a red dot, they will work just fine.
Another option is the Beretta PX4 Storm. It’s a full blowback semiautomatic that shoots pellets or BBs. Fire eight shots, eject the clip, and fire eight more. With a weapon like this in your hands, those golf balls better watch out!
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott