|Gamo Varmint Hunter|
If you walk into your local big box store and take a look at the price of an air rifle you will notice they are all dirt cheap. A good majority of the average ones you will see on display will shoot at least 800 fps and the more expensive will shoot past 1200 fps.
There are basically 3 types of pellet guns available in either a .22 or a .177 cal; C02 power, break barrel, and multi pump. C02 power is a bad choice for a survial rifle because it is a non renewable source. Break barrels are nice because you only have to pump them once, and multi pumps are probably the best in terms of survival.
The main advantage of a pellet rifle over a .22LR is the cost. The gun itself will be between $50 and $200, you can purchase 6000 BB's for $9.00, and 1000 Gamo Hunting pellets can be had for $11.00.
Air rifles are best when used for small game and birds weighing less than 20 lbs, as well as an effective and economical way to practice shooting targets. Accuracy is generally pretty good once you get past the break in period of 100-200 rounds.
Some other advantages to a pellet gun are the weight, low maintenance requirements, legal for open carry almost everywhere, and some even come equipped with a legal suppresor.
I'm not implying a real rifle should ever be replaced with an air rifle. What I am saying though is you should at least consider adding one to your arsenal.