What is the viability of modern airguns for hunting and self-defense.

Modern airguns are vastly superior to your grandfather's backyard BB Airgun. The airguns of the past were very much 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, Hunting Rifle the strongest of all airguns in the world as of 2021. It generates 1500 FPE, which is 2 FPE shy of an AK-47, that 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”Visit the requirement for lethality in a projectile is 58 FPE foot pounds energy, while projectiles of less energy can still be lethal should the pellets 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 Click Here.

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”,Click here.

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

Can AirGuns shoot through a car door or concrete walls? Not a problem, here is a video of the AEA Precision Terminator .357 punching through a car door!

Check out this AirGun shooting through cinder blocks!

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

(FPE) Foot Pounds of Energy Comparison:

Airsoft Pellet – 1 FPE

BB Pellet CO2 – 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

HATSAN SORTIE TACT .25 CAL (Semi Auto Pistol) – 19 FPE

AEA PRECISION HP SS .25 CAL (Semi Auto Pistol) – 30 FPE

HATSAN INVADER AUTO .25 CAL (Semi Auto Rifle) – 33.5 FPE

Human Skull Penetration Threshold – 53 FPE

HATSAN BLITZ .30 (Full Auto Rifle) – 53 FPE

AEA HP BACKPACKER .25 CAL (Semi Auto Carbine) – 55 FPE

U.S. Army Lethal Threshold – 58 FPE


Walther P22 .22LR – 105 FPE

AEA PRECISION TERMINATOR .357 / 9MM (Semi Auto Rifle) – 160 FPE

SW AIRGUNS FD-8P (Two Shot Pistol Shotgun) – 179 FPE

9MM – Glock 1 and Glock 19 – 320 FPE

SW AIRGUNS FD-15T (Two Shot Carbine Shotgun) – 375 FPE

HATSAN PILEDRIVER .50 CAL (Single Shot Rifle) – 800 FPE

Remington .223 – AR-15 – 1175 FPE

AEA PRECISION ZEUS .72 CAL (Single Shot Rifle) – 1500 FPE

762x39mm – AK-4 – 1502 FPE

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

DISCLAIMER: We are not attorneys and do not offer legal advice, please seek an attorney for any and all legal matters.