Five silent weapons (or tools) that will knock your socks off

Silent weapons, no, not the kind of silent weapon used by CIA spooks or KGB assassins to dispose of targets during the cold war or the type screwed onto the barrel of a long-range sniper rifle, with cross hairs zeroed on the heart of a charismatic evil leader or the ex that continues to suck at the wallet year after year forcing you to live in deprivation while they and your replacement live in the lap of luxury at your expense.

No, the silent weapons that I’m talking about are less sinister . The value of silence under certain survival conditions could literally mean the difference between life and death for the survivor. Taking game silently could be essential in keeping your location secret and avoiding potential threats, or frightening away other animals in the area.

Never fall into the trap of being totally dependent upon one food source, therefore learning to hunt is important. Too much can happen to cut off or eliminate your food storage. Remember old man Murphy and his law will be in full effect and in top form after any disaster.

Plan to supplement your food storage with wild game, eatable plants, a garden, domestic animals etc., evaluate your location and personal situation and plan for at least three independent food sources to meet your survival needs.

The area behind my property is covered by thousands of acres of national forest; my area has an ample supply of deer, wild turkey, black bear, pheasant, rabbit and squirrel I would be foolish to not use these abundant resources to supplement my food storage, garden, and domestic animals .

By far the best foraging tool is a firearm, but under certain survival conditions silence may be desirable or even essential. For this reason, I have the tools needed to take game without arousing suspicion or attracting unwanted attention because of the sound or report.

These include:

.22 caliber CB caps

While not completely silent the .22 caliber CB caps  caps are much quieter than standard loadings with this round. The sound is more of a thud when compared to the crack of standard .22 LR rounds. Small game can be taken out to approximately twenty-five yards with careful shot placement.

Blow Gun

A blow gun is the epitome of simplicity. It is basically a tube through which a dart is blown. Blow guns offer silence not found with other weapons and the dart can reach a muzzle velocity of 250 fps or more depending on the user. I bought mine years ago from a mail order supplier but they can be made at home for nearly nothing.


The slingshot is generally seen as a child’s toy but can be very effective on small game and birds out to about twenty yards. The key is to practice enough to become efficient in its use. I’ve used a slingshot to great effect on small game – most of the time game is stunned and not killed and must be finished off by other means.

Bow and Arrow

Modern compound bows are great for taking larger game, but are expensive with most models costing more than a comparable firearm. Primitive bows are easy enough to make from materials found in nature, for me the hardest part has always been the arrows. I have several handmade bows, but for the most part I prefer to use commercial arrows and broad heads.

Air Guns

In my opinion, the spring piston models are the best design choice of the models currently available. They are cocked by a single stroke and the force driving the pellet out of the barrel is consistent meaning better accuracy. Look for a gun with a fully rifled barrel, adjustable sights and grooved for scope mounting. Also look for a rated muzzle velocity of at least 1,000 fps. This site has a good selection of models available.

And don’t forget to read my latest air rifle reviews: and :yes:

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. I like the idea of the slingbow and crosbow. I could not hit a buick with a normal bow or slingshot.Crossbow use special arrows though called bolts.

  2. How about a tomahawk! I hear those can be thrown….

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Have tomahawks and yes…they can be thrown along with knives. I would choose neither as hunting implements. I throw them purely for my own amusement. The likelihood of ever hunting successfully with either of them is negligent. Still, they can be amusing….

      Might be useful, in a pinch, for self defense. Though throwing sharp objects at one’s adversaries, and missing, only arms them. 😉

  3. Got the air rifle and the bow. CB’s work okay in the single shot. I would need a lot more practice to use a blow gun. Wish I still had my Wrist Rocket, never had the patience as a kid, maybe more now.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Get a slingshot JP! I occasionally sit in a chair in the backyard and shoot my slingshot for an hour or so. Goes great with a pail of iced beer and some talk radio. Very relaxing.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        I used to shoot rocks but now I stick to one size of steel shot as I want to maximize my accuracy.

      • SD: Fine. But I’m blaming you. Already to my wife you said I had too. I figure I can use that 50 lbs of #4 buck I bought.

  4. another ken says:

    interestingly, twang and bang on youtube did a video on comparing quiet things. this included a suppressed 300blk, a bow, and a pellet gun. you should check it out.

  5. Prefer a good pellet gun over any 22 . prefer a crossbow over a standard bow because I cant hit the side of a barn with one .

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Been thinking about getting a crossbow. Any recommendations? What about scopes? Not looking to spend big money either.

      • SD, I used to have one , I got rid of it as I live in the city and there is only so much space for weapons . I got it second hand at a yard sale ….it was fun to shoot and accurate , but for the life of me I cant remember the brand . Sold it to one of the neighborhood kids for next to nothing because he really really wanted it .

      • HomeINsteader says:

        I believe it was Jarhead who suggested a Barnett crossbow when I asked this question.

      • SurvivorDan, I just bought a crossbow last week. It’s a Barnett Penetrator. It comes with the scope, 3 bolts, quiver and a cocking rope. It cost just over $430 at Academy. It hits speeds in excess of 350 fps. It’s 175 lbs pull. I haven’t got to shoot it much, but from what I can tell it’s very accurate. You’ll need a good high speed arrow target. I’ve already destroyed one bolt.
        Compared to a compound bow it’s very loud, but not as loud as a .22. You won’t have time to recock and fire a second shot at the same animal.
        The scope is multi-reticle in the horizontal plane. There are five and each is preset to a range depending on how you set the first reticle. Or you can upgrade to a different scope that uses one horizontal reticle and you set your own ranges.
        The big thing I got mine for was the killing power of a bow at greater range. I also got some Rage broadheads. They deploy on impact with the animal and leave a 2″ cut. I saw a bear hit with one and it died within seconds. I was impressed!!!

      • SD,

        You can find a number of good crossbows by simply searching Google for “crossbow comparisons” and there are a number of articles.

        Your choices are pretty much between a recurve, a compound, or a reverse draw. The recurve is a single string with ends attached directly to both ends of the bow portion that you pull back into the trigger locking mechanism and has direct force applied; IMHO the recurve at a full 175 lbs of pull is extremely difficult to work with, so most of those would be at a lower weighted scale so the average person can load.

        You can find crossbows starting at below $200 and exceed $1,500, and I would expect to pay between $400 – $550 for a “good” quality bow, and much higher to obtain a more professional series. Unless you are an avid bow (crossbow) hunter and use your bow regularly, there is no need to spend the higher dollar price tags out there.

        The compound offers a pulley system on each bow limb ends and depending on the design can provide a more forceful bow with less pull weight (take-off) in the triggering mechanism. This take-off weight is typically around 60% – 85% depending on manufacturer and your state may have limits placed; essentially, if your bow has a 100 pound pull, with an 85% take-off, when at full draw, the force you feel is only 15 pounds, this makes it much easier to control, and less stress on the triggering device (and more critical for standard compound bows).

        The reverse draw is also a compound type bow with the limbs positioned 180 degrees from a standard bow design, and has been seeing increased sales because of its unique design and a more compact (narrower) profile so it would be easier to maneuver through the bush. I have only shot one of those a couple of times and while the smaller portability is nice, I guess I am more traditional in my tastes toward design.

        One thing to always remember ‘NEVER DRY FIRE A BOW” because if there is nothing to apply that released force to, like the arrow or bolt the limbs can splinter, or break and make your bow useless.

        When it comes to arrows, if you have a traditional longbow or recurve bow at under 45 pounds pull, the wooden cedar arrows still work. If you have a bow that has more than 50 pounds of pull, I would suggest carbon arrows as compared to wood or aluminum. Aluminum may sound like it would be sturdier, but they are more brittle especially in colder weather, they weigh slightly more than carbon so the actual fps velocity can be reduced at impact; besides, technology has come a long way and those carbon arrows can be stronger and more durable than aluminum any day.

  6. Dean Weingarten says:

    CCI has the new Quiet22 which propels a 40 grain bullet at 710 fps. Out of a rifle with a 24 inch barrel, it is not as loud as most spring piston air guns, and much more powerful. The price is the same as Standard Velocity, about $3 per box of 50, 70 percent of the cost of CB caps with 30 percent more energy.

    For the cost of an air rifle, about $120, you could buy 40 boxes of Quiet22 or 2000 rounds of ammo.

    • Dean Weingarten,
      There are also at least 4 or 5 manufacturers of .22LR subsonic cartridges. When fired through a suppressor (legally owned), all you hear is the action operate; however, when fire from a standard .22 bolt action rifle they are still significantly quieter then a standard .22LR which has a supersonic velocity and can’t avoid being noisy. They are a bit more expensive than CB caps but have a longer effective range, and can even cycle some semi-autos, including the 10/22 and the AR=15 with a .22 conversion kit.
      Just one more option.

      • Make sure you check the sub-sonics before you start stocking them. I checked out 4 different sub-sonics and 2 wouldn’t cycle the action.

        • JP,
          Good point. I purchased several boxes of numerous brands with differing results. The ones that don’t cycle the semi-autos consistently have been relegated to my bolt action rifles and revolver.

  7. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Excellent post. Save your valuable ammo for when you really need it. I’ve used a springer (break barrel) air rifle for vermin control, a scoped RWS 45 in .177. My brother raised racing homing pigeons in our backyard, and I made a habit of staying on the porch, watching for any rats / mice in the trees or walking along the power lines or roof. Some great times (well, rats didn’t care for it much, lol).

    I used to be an ‘okay’ shot with sling shot, but it (and bow and arrow) requires practice to stay sharp. I need to start that up again. Along with a big game take-down bow (man, does that do a number on my rotator cup injury!), have some old ‘snot green’ colored fiberglass bows from way back when. My uncle used to be a high school P.E. teacher, and the department was throwing them out – he thought of me and saved a pair of them, a low powered 25lb model, the other a 40lb model. Recently saw an article at Backwoodsman magazine about using duct tape to make DIY arrow fletching.


  8. Cold Warrior says:

    I’ve had a homemade blow gun since my collage days. It will put a 10d nail/dart thru a beer can at 25 feet. Nasty as french kissing Grandma! (I know, gross)

  9. I switched to using subsonic .22 LR in my main .22 rifle, which is LR only. It’s quieter than my Gamo air rifle even without a silencer. The Gamo breaks the sound barrier with a loud crack.

    And this little gadget may come in handy someday in a dystopian future. Draw your own conclusions as to it’s other uses.

  10. Tactical G-Ma says:

    I appreciate your addressing the need for stealth. Sounds and smells both draw attention.
    I don’t use the blowgun or the slingshot but do use the others. I also have a crossbow pistol that shoot

  11. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Hit that darn button. My crossbow pistol shoots 6 inch darts that are excellent for small game. My compound bow was a little expensive but again for stealth reasons it is worth it. Even old women can learn to use these with practice. Guess I have to try the blow gun and sling shot.

  12. Figure a good net (fishing) would be something I haul around in my pack. Quiet. Effective. Very little effort.

  13. Uncle Charlie says:

    What a coincidence and timely article. I just received a brick of 22 CB caps and two spring loaded pellet rifles. The latter are for Christmas presents for my son and grandson so we can all go plinking together.

    One warning regarding CB caps, however, they will NOT recycle your semi-automatic pistols or rifles. I use mine in a single shot break-open rifle to make it easy to see if the round cleared the barrel IF there is any doubt. Some manufactures only recommend revolvers.

    Nice catch tommy2rs. They’re selling a device to affix the infamous home made silencer in the pretext of something else. Just like the ads in the Sunday paper for massagers. I will definitely get one (or more) of those. Thanks for the site. I’m a regular at Sportsman’s Guide devotee but never noticed this item. Aguila has a 60 gr. subsonic which I’ve had success with: Don’t believe the part about it recycling in most semi-automatics, however.

    • I use the Remington subsonic 36 grain hollowpoint. Cycles my rifle fine, does not cycle the Service ace adapter for my 1911 though. Side benefit is it works with the 36 grain turret on my BSA Sweet 22 scope which has a BDC that lets you dial out to 175 yards. Not that I can use it that far as I had trouble finding even a hundred yard opening on my place to try it out safely.

  14. BarbeeBunch says:

    We recently purchased a Jaguar 175 lb. Crossbow with a red-dot scope. I’ve never shot a crossbow before, but on my second try, I hit a dime size target from 20 feet spot on. I absolutely love it. The only drawback is that since it’s 175 lbs. The string is too hard for me to lock in place. My husband has to do it for me 🙁 I would highly recommend this crossbow!

  15. Cosmolined says:

    Glad to see you post!
    A small matter regarding blowguns. I bought into the hype and bought one in the 80’s. I practised and was able to hit 2 squirrels at about 15 feet. Both of them went farther up the tree and into their holes. (As in dying an ugly death because of my toy.) Go with a pellet gun. My 2 cents. Cos

    • Cosmolined,

      I’ve taken rabbit and squirrel with a blow gun on a number of occasions using the broad-head type darts and accurate shot placement. Gut shots are not very effective heart, or through the neck on small game works well.

      • Cold Warrior says:

        Make your own darts with nails and heavy paper as the tail cone.

      • The darts I use in mine are a stiff piece of steel wire, perhaps 16-18 gauge. You heat the back end and insert it into a .40 cal (or whatever your bore size is) plastic bead. I bought this thing perhaps 30 years ago and it has always been accurate up to perhaps 40-50 feet. Not really sure if it’s legal to hunt with in my jurisdiction, so I probably should not discuss the several squirrels and rabbits that might have been successfully shot at.

  16. Georgeislearning says:

    Im drinking my barter items !

    Im all for digging a pit and filling it full of

    My sign did say No trespassing , perhaps they were here illegally and didnt read english.
    Hey btw Happy Friday zee party is on

  17. recoveringidiot says:

    The air gun is a really good option for me and I’m ashamed to say I don’t have a decent one at all. Lots of noise makers but no air gun.
    I do have a bunch of traps and they hunt around the clock with almost no noise.
    Good article and thanks for reminding me about the airgun again….

  18. Warmongerel says:

    A few years ago, long before I had even thought of prepping, I was given a Gamo Big Cat pellet gun with a pretty decent scope, a laser and a flashlight mounted to it.

    Once I began prepping, I immediately realized what an asset it could be, It’s amazingly accurate and, at 1200 fps, it’ll easily kill the tree rats (squirrels) around here…quietly.

    I also have a Browning 75lb compound bow that I haven’t shot in 20 years. Guess it’s time to restring it and start practicing. I’d be lucky if I could hit the earth with it now.

    • Warmongerel,
      Have you comped the speed @ 1200 fps? Since the speed of sound is nominally 1116 ft per second, either the pellet is moving slower than this speed, or it will make some noise (sonic boom).

      • Warmongerel says:

        I’ve never actually checked the speed of the pellet, but it’s so small and over such a short distance that any “sonic boom” won’t be very loud and will be very localized. In fact, the sound of the spring probably covers it. I’ve never heard it that I recognized.

        It’ll go through a 2×4, so I would tend to believe it.

        • Actually, a sonic boom, no matter the distance of the projectile that crated it, will make a large, audible crack. Try firing a standard .22 into the dirt beneath your feet, and even though the bullet is only traveling a foot or two, you will hear an unmistakable loud sound a significant distance away. Fire a subsonic round in the same situation and the noise is virtually non-existent, although that same subsonic round will easily penetrate that same 2×4. Not trying to start a fight here, just pointing out that sometimes manufacturers will hype a tools capabilities more than they should and we should all be aware of it.

          • Warmongerel says:

            I don’t doubt you, OP. I really have no idea of the actual speed. I don’t really recall hearing a “crack”, so you may very well be right. I’ll have to bring it out again…always a chance I just wasn’t listening for it or the sound of the spring/discharge covered it.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Yikes! 75 lb? I don’t know how old you are Warmongerel, but this old geezer has a 50 lb compound bow. I can barely pull my buddy’s 75 lb. He laughs at my attempts to use his bow but then again, he can’t construct and properly site a powered snare. 😉

      • Mother Earth says:

        Survivor Dan, I bought a compound bow years ago at an auction and have a question maybe you can answer. Can it be strung so its easier to pull for a weaker female? I bought for fun then but would now like to use it for real. Thanks

        • Mother Earth… you may be able to ‘re-cam’ your bow for a lighter pull or, like mine, adjust the pull to its min. Compounds shoot nearly like a rifle at closer ranges. I have a 55lb adjusted to its low range.. about 47lbs. To many of us let our pride or egos overcome our skill sets. If its to heavy a bow… sell it off and get a lighter pull.

          Warning….. IMHO.. don’t use wooden arrows with a compound. You can overpower a wooden arrow and shatter it on realease… very unhealthy. If you want ‘cheap’ to practice with…. go to walmart.

          • Wal-mart.. as in $3.oo carbon arrows. Don’t forget to figure your ‘pull’ length. Never said a cheap arrow was the best thing to stock…. but it beats destroying a set of $100 plus a dozen on ‘twang…shit!’ practice.

        • ME I’m not SD but the short answer is yes most compounds ie pulley / cam style bows can be detuned. This is done by loosening the screws holding the limbs to the riser. Care must be taken to loosen each limb the same amount so the load is the same top to bottom. While some say three full turns is the minimum I prefer six, from the point that the screw starts going in till it begins taking load. Some older bows lack the thread depth to allow much adjustment this way. Too little thread holding the limb to bow can fail suddenly. A good bowsmith is recommended to check this and other tuning aspects of setting up a bow. I used to keep a second bow tuned twenty pounds heavier than my hunting bow, ten pulls a morning on it made my seventy pound hunting bow seem mild. NOTE never dryfire a bow the energy needs a release (arrow) they can shatter from dryfiring. The simple trick to good archery is posture. Good consistent bracing with the back and shoulders leads to tighter shot groups. Releases take another variable out by providing a trigger instead of just fingers. Dowels from the hardware store are good for beginning fletching lessons, never use wood arrows on a compound bow they lack the spine strength to take the cam assisted exceleration. It is possible to make compressed wood arrows just not for the beginning Fletcher.

        • Mother Earth,
          The answer to your question is – sort of. Since the draw weight is mainly in the flex action of the two limbs, it is generally possible to have them loosened by someone who knows what they’re doing (like a bow shop) and relieve some of the draw weight, although its usually only 5-10 pounds, so turning a 75 into a 50 is probably not going to happen. I had a 65 some years back and had it adjusted to something in the high 50’s, but it would not go any lower. Call you local bow shop and tell them what you have and what you want to do with it and you can probably find out if they can do what you need.

          • Mother Earth says:

            Thanks everyone, I will takes notes of what all of you said and then find a professional to help me. I give thanks to everyone on this site for all the good advice you give, it’s very much appreciated.

        • I used a 35 lb bow and was very accurate with it–I won a competition of 500 people with it at 50 ft.

          Later in life I acquired a 55 lb bow . I thought nothing of it to string an arrow and pull back…but the string wasn’t what made the “TWANG” noise–it was the tendon in my shoulder which took 3 years to partially heal and I had to work with a bum arm. I was a mess not raising my right arm for years, and 20 years later still have problems. I should have had surgery, but I opted out.

          If you plan to use a bow I strongly advise do gradual exercises to build up your shoulder and arm muscles before you go to archery or any activity that requires using similar motion of force, especially in women.

          • Encourager says:

            Amen to that advice about GRADUAL exercise to build up the shoulder and arm muscles, Donna! I messed up my shoulder doing overhead pulls on an exercise machine – under supervision. I had the surgery – it was NO FUN but was glad to get back the use of my arm/shoulder. It was worth the pain and the recuperation and sometimes painful physical therapy. I had a good surgeon who explained everything very well. He told me that when you tear your rotator cuff, it can continue to tear like wet tissue paper. I have a friend who kept putting off his surgery because of fear of the pain; by the time he finally had the surgery there wasn’t much the surgeon could do to repair his huge tear. To this day he has limited mobility in that arm – for life.

        • SurvivorDan says:

          I would take it to a bow pro shop. Seems likely.

      • Warmongerel says:

        I’m 47 and in halfway decent shape, SurvivorDan. It takes some effort, but it’s really not that bad. It’s more technique than brute force, I think. You can’t just lock your left elbow and pull the string. You have to push both hands apart and pull your right shoulder back, twisting your entire torso to the right. I did try a 90 lb bow once. THAT was difficult. I couldn’t do that more than once or twice without hurting my old self.

        • SurvivorDan says:

          Thanks i have never had aany instruction. too prideful and my buddy just laffs.

          • Warmongerel says:

            LOL. Good. Now practice the motion and go show him how it’s done. Then ask him when he’s going to learn to build a snare? 😉

        • When drawing the bow, use your arm, shoulder and back muscles, predominately the back muscles between your shoulder blades.
          To get the idea of how this works, hold your arms out in front of you, shoulders square, then draw your blades together- you’ll see how your arms ‘open’ a bit.
          Another technique is a ‘zen’ type of draw where you hold the bow overhead, arms extended, and as you lower the bow to eye level, separate the arms by pulling down on the string to the anchor point, and extend the bow arm into position. You’ll be amazed how ‘heavy’ a draw you can pull this way.
          Too, short bows have more tension to overcome, so try a longer bow. Longbows will have the most tension, recurves less, and compounds the least, to overcome (the whole idea behind compounds originally).
          Newer compounds are variable to a degree, some more than others. This is done by loosening or tightening the allen-screw where the limbs join the riser. If your bow doesn’t have markings for tension adjustment, take it to a pro shop and have them do it, or explain how to do it. (You don’t want the strung compound limb releasing and breaking your neck, or worse.)

  19. … and then there’s the trap/snare. More game, large and small, will be had with traps and snares than all the other weapons available. And utterly silent since ‘you’re’ not even in the area.
    Though I agree whole-heartedly with the bow and arrow, especially the long bow/self bow. Effectiveness with a blowgun/dart will be very dependant upon one’s lung power- and those who don’t run much and often will find themselves fairly short of breath when it’s needed hunting.
    Slingshots have been survival hunting tools for decades, and definitely viable as long as rubber is available. Along the same lines, consider the AtlAtl and spear. Of course, all but the snare will be dependant upon physical good health (aka ‘strong’ arms/body fitness).
    Not that I’m doing it, either, but practice with all forms of hunting tools could assuredly benefit each of us in the future.

    • I’ve had some pretty good luck with a sling. A couple of strings and a leather pouch kinda like what David killed Goliath with. These things can propel a 2 lbs rock almost a hundred yards and with a little practice one can get quite good with it. If nothing else one can lob large rocks at an aggressive dog from distance.

    • Does anyone know what the average ratio of snares to actual catches is? I always wondered how many you should have out to be able to feed a group.

      • Mike,
        Great question; however, I’m not sure there’s really a good answer any more than an answer to which gun is better for hunting deer. I know folks who get 1 or 2 deer every season, and others who go years without bringing home anything. I think you will find snares fall into that same category of the difference between having “stuff” (the snares) and “skills”. For trapping and snaring you really need to know the area, the species and their habits, and be able to evaluate game trails and other “signs” in the wild. Someone who knows these things and has a high level of skill could perhaps place 5 traps or snares and fill three or four of them every day. Someone without the knowledge and skill could place 100 traps and snares and never catch a thing. Also, along with the skill each trap or snare will require time since you should check them each at least once, or preferably twice per day. Here in Ohio each trap or snare must be checked a minimum of once per day by law.

      • Depends on the group size, Mike. One thing many don’t understand is ‘carrying capacity’ of a given area. Large groups of people hunting and snaring (living off the land) will deplete its resources rapidly. And not just the game animals, but plants as well.
        As to the ratio, a skilled trapper will have much better results than a novice, so you’ve got to compare beans to beans. For the ‘average’ prepper, I’d venture to say that they’re going to starve if they’re intending on trapping and/or hunting for a meat source.
        Knowing which animals to trap is paramount, as well. While nearly every animal you can trap or shoot is edible, some are more edible than others. A diet of rabbits and squirrels will create a protein deficiency if there’s not some alternate source of fat included with the meat. (They’re so lean the protein is not fully utilized- I forget the technical term for it.)
        If you’re going to set snares, the more the merrier, to a point. Setting two snares on the same trail for the same animal is going to cut your odds. (That’s why trappers run a ‘trapline’; animals overlap territory as well.) So set your snares in different areas.
        Too, snaring/trapping is an art form anyone can learn. Not being familiar with other states trapping, one can google Minnesota Trapper’s Association and learn quite a bit about trapping fur bearers (a whole other topic, but they’re edible).
        Good luck in the uncertain future, Folks. (I believe God will do as He pleases, but it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of ‘luck’, too! 😉 )

  20. I’ve been using a blowgun (mostly for playing) for more than 30 years, and with practice they can be extremely accurate up to about 50 feet.

    I also use a slingshot, not the typical ‘Y” shaped stick with a heavy rubber band, but a very specific type, often called the wrist rocket. It uses surgical rubber tubing and is generally constructed of metal tubing that wraps around the wrist for extra strength/support. You can also easy and cheaply add the component to make this into a slingbow. A YouTube search for slingbow and Canterbury will give a good construction video.

    Bow and arrow or crossbows are also a good tool to own, but if you plan to use one for pre collapse hunting check your hunting regulation for minimums. Here in Ohio the bow must have at least a 40 pound draw weight and crossbows at least a 75 pound draw weight

    Someone mentioned the tomahawk. I have a pair of these and with practice they can be quite accurate up to perhaps 25 feet. They are stealthy, but I suspect not a good tool for hunting game, but more for the MZB’s.

    I keep reading about air guns and have read the reviews. My boys are always asking for Christmas suggestions for me, so perhaps I’ll have to pick something out this year.

    Good tips.

  21. SurvivorDan says:

    Nice subject matter. I have it all but the blowgun {never could get the hang of that blowgun thing}. I’d need a big target like a deer or a cow, maybe. Would need to use curare then and I’m a bit clumsy…might stick myself handling the poisonous dart. Still for those with more lung power and better eyes, it would probably be a nice little close up small game getter. Rats and flying rats (pigeons) anyone?

    I have four stacked straw bales in the back yard that I use as a backstop with targets for my bows, slingshots, knives, .17 springer and spears. And no, I don’t recommend knife throwing for game taking. It’s just a hobby.

    I like the 60 grain Aguila subsonic rounds. Bit noisier…okay…a lot noisier forthan a 650ft/sec CB cap but less noisy than typical supersonic .22 rounds. And the qualifier here was silent weapons. Subsonic Aguila rd……not so silent, actually.

    I do have an old fishing rod set vertically in a buried pvc pipe to teach primitive powered trap setting. It is also SILENT and continuously at work in exigent circumstances. Set ten snares with some variation and it will out perform most other game gathering techniques when one factors in the calories expended vs calories gained. I can still actively hunt while my traps are working for me.

    I once counted rocks and throwing sticks among my arsenal of hunting weapons but as I approach sixty, I’m more likely to pull a muscle flinging such things. Though for the young folk, they are useful hunting tools when practiced with.

    • SD… I like the ‘fishing rod’ snare thang…. could you do a post on this?

      • SurvivorDan says:

        I did once. I’ll re-work it with more pictures and submit it. Specifically, it would be on powered treadle traps and I have some pictures using a fishing pole for the power source. ‘Course you can use a branch or a rock/log slung up in a tree, whatever, to power it.
        I just put some PVC pipe in the back yard and dropped an old pole in it so I could teach those who asked, how to make powered snares.

  22. SurvivorDan says:

    If I were in a post EOTWAWKI community with children, I would teach them to throw stones, hunting sticks and spears. Slingshots,bows and snares would be in the curriculum.
    I would make a game/contest of it so they would practice more and with enthusiasm. Let the young folk do the small game gathering.

    • Somebody above mentioned using old highschool bows… I see these at gunshows every time. lightpull easystring almost de-sposable. On occation ya run into a fine recurve thats been in the closet for a decade. Picked up a 35lb. recurve this way for Mommasan. This post has me motivated into lurking for a couple of lighterpulls for my grandkids this Nov… going to take your advice. Make it a game next spring along with hunting sticks … we usesta call em ‘chicken sticks’ out in California when I was a kid. Thats how grandma got em to stop running. Stick, hatchet, gut, scalding pot, batter bowl, iron skillet, plate……

  23. Slingshot with marbles from the dollar store works great on squirrels, and they’re cheap to practice with. I don’t like the surgical tubing, as it tends to dry out over time. The CeeBee caps from Remington, while not able to cycle a semi, will chamber just like a .22LR. In my 10-22, they’re quieter than most air rifles I’ve used.
    Surprised you didn’t mention throwing knives. It’s not easy to learn, but once you have it, they’re a lot of fun to practice with. Downside is when you throw ’em, your body motion can spook a critter. Don’t bother with the subdued or camo models, it’s easier to find a shiny hunk of metal when you miss (and you will), but eventually you learn how to find the sweet spot. I took a couple bunnies by learning to throw where I thought they’d stop to look back at me when I jumped them.
    Don’t try for throws more than 25-30 feet if you can. Longest throw I made was around forty feet, but they lose velocity quick. Get a lot, especially to start out with. They’re cheap enough, and experiment with different sizes too. A cheap thrower you can hit with is worth more than a top-of-the-line that doesn’t stick or pancakes, and you can get more of them.
    You don’t have to hit with the point, either. A handle hit will stun a bunny long enough for you to close the gap. The edge on most is sufficient for this purpose, and don’t bother to sharpen them any more than to fix flat spots (that happen if you hit something like a rock). If you take off too much metal you ruin the balance. If you must paint them, paint ’em blaze orange or yellow so they don’t disappear forever.

    Holsters are okay for having a few handy, but you don’t have to go nuts. I used an old trucker’s wallet (the long kind) to hold my spares while I had three on my belt. It simply looks like you’re wearing a simple sheath knife rather than role-playing an ninja. When you find the “perfect” knife (i.e. a style or size that works best for you and your style), buy a bunch of them. I found a super-cheap style (3.95 for three) that landed every time and carried enough energy to drop a jackrabbit with one hit. I ended up buying about twenty-five and I still have six of them.
    For practice, use a soft wood target (like an old hollow-core door). Don’t use trees, especially hardwoods. The resistance coupled with the curvature of the trunks can bend or crack a blade. Don’t use bent or cracked blades, either. They’ll never throw right again. Number your blades so you know which ones fly best. Practice bare-handed and while wearing gloves.
    I will admit, they are not the greatest hunting tool around, but they are cheap, light, and can provide both a fun way to pass the time and a silent option for hunting or defense. Especially the the part about being a fun way to pass the time!

  24. axelsteve says:

    Instead of a slingshot maybe use a sling. I mean the David and Golith type. Being able to kill a giant with one speaks volumes for them. Might be trickier then a wrist rocket but you can use a bigger rock in them. Also if someone finds it you can clam that it is homemade jockstrap instead of a weapon.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Not a bad idea. Looking back in history:
      Centuries ago Japan conquered Okinawa and confiscated all the Okinawans weapons. The okinawans developed an art of self-defense using gardening implement. Nanchuku is a tool for thrashing rice.
      Mankind will always find a means to defend themselves and mankind will always find a way to pervert it and use it to mame and murder.

    • Cosmolined says:

      Try it before you recommend it. My best friend and I had to duck more often than we hit anything…. Just my 2 cents. Cos

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Have tried that type of sling. Get very far away from structures and innocent bystanders. Just sayin’……… 😉

  25. Howdy folks,
    I have been reading comments on the Archery equipment and have a couple of very simple tips for you. There are hundreds of designs though basically they break down into Two very different categories.
    1. Finger release
    2. Trigger release

    Personally I do not like the trigger release and was not very good with it. The finger release with a bunch of practise was ever so much better for me in terms of accuracy and in terms of enjoyment. My buddy on the other hand, was the exact opposite, he loved the trigger release models much better.

    Some store clerks are so eager to make a sale, they will tell you anything to make the sale, most have little knowledge either, unless it is a speciality shop. You can use either method with both types of bows, but you will not have good luck or experience with hitting any good groupings.

    With my older finger release bow I was able to constantly hit the previous arrows end to end, splitting them. Not bragging just passing along info as I am a weapons specialist, former Canadian Infantry Soldier.

    Throwing knives, like in the previous post are very good for somethings as well, if you can master them.
    Cheers ~WR

    • WildernessReturn Ontario has a good point, but there are two more things to consider. When using either release, make sure you have a specific draw point that you use every time. In my case it’s laying my thumb on the tip of the cheekbone. This means that you will have essentially the same orientation each time you aim and shoot. Also keep in mind that the draw length for finger vs. mechanical release will be several inches different from each other, so you can not generally switch between the two string holds on the same bow, so play around to find out what you like, get your bow adjusted accordingly, and stick with it.

      • Ohio,
        excellent additional comments and thank you. I should have put those comments in as well, but just plain forgot 🙂

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        There are different kinds of releases, too. Some have only one side is active. Mine has both sides active so it opens like tongs. And I always set my index finger knuckle just behind my ear. My draw is like a good morning stretch and I am deadly. At my age, I use a Junior Bow with adjustable cams and a scope. I wanted something that I will be able to use for years to come. And no it is not pink. It is camo.

    • WR,

      I grew up learning finger release, and I still use that method with all my handmade bows. However, with the higher rated poundage bows, I find the trigger release to be just as accurate and less stress on these older fingers. IMHO it is just a matter of getting use to the method, and being able to hold in the full drawn position longer using the wrist strap to hold the pressure than the three fingers for any extended period, like waiting for that buck to get into the best position before release.

  26. Shouldn’t forget the sling either. Quiet, effective, and easy to make. Easier on my arthritic hands and shoulders than a bow. I’ve been using this one to learn on.—jeffrey

    If you can learn to make cordage you can make a sling most any place you end up. Even with brambles (aka wild blackberry).—shawn-noah

    Golf balls make great sling ammo but they do rebound off hard surfaces like trees and rocks. has making your own sling ammo instructions also.

  27. MD
    Silent weapons maybe the best under the radar survival tools. They allow you to practice cheaply,without disturbing the neighbors.Take game animals for food,and rid your property of vermin,without unwanted attention.Another benefit is that if an event is prolonged it is easier to make the ammo. Everything from throwing knives/axes, slingshots, blowguns, bows, spears, atatls, to high end air guns all have a place in your arsenol.
    Everyone may want the big bore, high rate of fire black guns, but these ‘lesser kid toys’ will do the same job and more, without letting the whole area where you are and that you have supplies.
    Several thousand rounds of 22lr is cheap, easy to shoot and accurate, it probably won’t attract the attention, that .223 , .308, or .50 cal will.
    These tools can be made or used by anyone, and are easily hidden or disguised, just one of many reasons to treat each other with respect,now and when the balloon goes up.Big bad Goliath was slain by lil’ ol’ David.

  28. Useful info, thanks. I have used tomahawks for targets at 20 to 30 feet splitting the card but had trouble mastering the heavy throwing knife to hit center target, but still hit the block.I used a 2 ft wide sawn block of pine laid on it’s side on a tree stump to expose the soft inner core as not to damage any projectiles, and a playing card as the center target.

    It came useful one afternoon when I cashed my paycheck from work, went home and was counting my money laid out on my couch. Next to me was my tomahawk which I hadn’t put away from the day before at a practicing throw session. Suddenly a man burst in the door and came at me…..I picked up my tomahawk and yelled at him to “stop or I would split his skull in two”. He stopped cold dead, turned and fled my home.

    I also used a blow gun and archery in target practice. They can be deadly depending on the force behind them and targeting vunerable parts to penetrate the target. One thing I recently saw was an atl-atl on a survival TV show that took down a large elk by someone who was an ameteur. It was awesome.

  29. Silence lover says:

    Buy a silencerco sparrow suppressor, or a element by AAC and be done with your silence needs, multiple high powered rounds extremely silently. Silencers are legal, less paperwork to do than registering a car it is only hard to wait the 6 months for the govt to approve you. Blow guns and slingshots Are incredibly lame compared to a silenced Ruger 10/22 with a 25 round mag with subsonic ammo

    • A few things to keep in mind with suppressors. They are not inexpensive, running about $500 plus the $200 for the ATF tax stamp.

      If however you want to bite the bullet, there are several ways to go about getting the stamp. First check with your police chief or local sheriff to see if they will sign the authorization paper work. I’m lucky enough to live in a county where the sheriff will sign. If that is not the case for you, you can create a trust (a friend used Quicken Willmaker) which will contain you and any other owner/trustees, and the trust will own the suppressor. The trust may or may not need to be registered (doesn’t have to be in Ohio) but is accepted by the ATF.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        It seems that I read about homemade suppressors, not that I am advocating using them but first and foremost is the potato. Then of course the gatorade bottle crammed with paper. With the right research surpressors and silencers can be made at home. In a teotwawki scenario alls fair in love and war.

        • SurvivorDan says:

          Two liter plastic bottle duct-taped on will suppress a lot of the report. Bulky but a quick set up for one shot in an exigent circumstance needs. Not silent but much quieter. I suppose paper or some other sound deadening material might help but I never used any. (One shot will blow the bottle off.)

  30. SurvivorDan says:

    Then there’s always that awful embroidered pillow some of you have laying around that you hate. Pillow = silencer.

  31. I love my ‘silent’ weapons. I have had a number of wrist rockets, aka slingshots, and those are pretty good for stunning rabbits and squirrels within 20 yards. You can get an attachment to allow shooting arrows at close range too, without the space constraints of a bow.

    Since I do not own any firearms, being proficient with my bows has been an enjoyable sport. I have been a bow hunter since the early 1970’s and I use to shoot with the 1976 Archery Gold Medalist when we were stationed together in the Air Force.

    I have a excellent 385 fps 175 pound pull Horton Real-tree Ultra light crossbow with a 4×32 scope sighted in at 40 yards with gradients allowing for 10 yard adjustments (I like the crossbow, but hate their customer service and lead time to receive it), also a superb PSE ‘Revenge’ 375 fps 65 pound compound bow that I just love and a number of handmade recurve and long bows. At 40 yards I can place 6 consecutive shots consistently within the diameter of a half-dollar with all my bows, further if there is little to no wind. The main problem with crossbows is that it takes too long to reload in comparison to a standard bow.

  32. Awesome! Nice!Nice! I like the idea of the slingbow and crosbow. I could not hit a buick with a normal bow or slingshot.Crossbow use special arrows though called is the great.

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