In this post, we're going to discuss the viability of modern airguns for use in self-defense.

Modern airguns are vastly superior to your grandfather's airgun. The airguns of yesteryear were limited to a single shot and were only capable of generating about 1 to 2 foot-pounds energy (FPE).  In contrast, the AEA Precision Zeus .72 Cal, the strongest production air gun in the world as of 2021, generates 1500 FPE, which is 2 FPE shy of the AK-47, which generates 1502 FPE.

Today, we have fully automatic and semi-automatic airguns that are capable of generating firearm levels of lethality.  According to “Homicide Using an Air Weapon”, , the requirement for lethality in a projectile is 58 foot pounds energy, while projectiles of less energy can still be lethal if the pellets were to strike in key positions.  Airguns are regulated in many parts of the world and are even outlawed in some parts of the world according to

It only takes 72 Joules or 53 FPE to penetrate the human skull, according to “Achieving humane outcomes in killing livestock by free bullet I: Penetrating brain injury”,

What if the target is wearing level IIIa body armor you ask? The Full Auto Hatsan Blitz .22 Cal (36 FPE) firing H&N Hornet 16.2 grain (armor piercing pellets) is capable of tearing right through the Tactical Scorpion Gear Level 3A body armor.

Need to shoot through car doors and concrete walls? Not a problem, here is a video of the AEA Precision Terminator .357 punching through a car door,

and cinder block


If that isn’t enough, here is a video of the AEA Precision Zeus .72 Cal turning a block of brick into dust.


Foot Pound Energy Comparison:

Airsoft Pellet - 1 FPE
CO2 BB Pellet – 2 FPE
Canada Regulatory Limit – 4.2 FPE
Germany & Belgium Regulatory Limit – 5.5 FPE
South Africa Regulatory Limit – 6 FPE
Paintball Marker – 10 FPE
UK & Czech Regulatory Limit – 12 FPE
Poland Regulatory Limit – 13 FPE
France Regulatory Limit – 14 FPE
Human Skull Penetration Threshold – 53 FPE
U.S. Army Lethal Threshold – 58 FPE
.22LR – Walther P22 – 105 FPE
9MM – Glock 17 and Glock 19 – 320 FPE
.223 Remington – AR-15 – 1175 FPE
762x39mm – AK-47 – 1502 FPE

So unless your target is immune to scientifically peer reviewed data, can stop projectiles like neo from the matrix, or is walking around completely encased in level IV hard plate body armor, modern airguns are viable for self-defense.

Side Note: Airguns are also effective in/against Zombies, Aliens, Demi-Humans, Demi-Gods, Mutants, Dinosaurs, SHTF, Apocalypse, and End of World scenarios. 

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys or are offering any legal advice, please seek an attorney for any legal matters.