10-year-old Arizonan uses Airgun in Self Defense

Common airguns

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-– At about 9 p.m. on May 4th, in the 5700 block of Azalia Street, a 17 year old teenager was shot, as reported by Pinal Central. From pinalcentral.com:

CASA GRANDE — The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Wednesday night shooting that is being described as an attempted homicide near Casa Grande.

At approximately 9 p.m. PCSO received a call regarding a 17-year-old boy who had been shot in the 5700 block of Azalia Street, a neighborhood off Pinal Avenue that is unincorporated, following an argument.

The victim was transported to a hospital, where he underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

Details of what happened were not clear. Casa Grande is in Arizona, close to the junction of Interstate 8 and 10, between Yuma and Tucson, on I-8. It is between Phoenix and Tucson on I-10.

Azalia street is a set of modest homes in an unincorporated area, so it falls under the jurisdiction of the Pinal County Sheriff.

Jeremy Beren of Newsbreak broke the story. A 10-year-old had used an airgun in self defense. This correspondent contacted the Pinal County Sheriff’s office and received confirmation from Lauren Reimer, Public Information Officer. From the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office:

 On 5/4 around 9pm, PCSO received a call regarding a 17-year-old male who had been shot after an argument. The victim was transported to the hospital where he underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

Detectives were able to determine a 10-year-old child shot the 17-year-old in an act of self-defense using a high velocity pellet gun. Potential charges for the 17 year old are under review.

Children using firearms for self-defense make the news now and then. This is the first time this correspondent has read of a 10 year-old using a pellet gun with sufficient effect to cause hospitalization of the aggressor.

Air guns have had the potential for serious injuries for hundreds of years. The famous Girondoni air rifle was a military weapon which was used on the Lewis and Clark expedition across the American West from 1804 to 1806. It was a pre-charged .46 caliber air rifle.

Most pellet rifles today are .177 or .22 caliber. Some pre-charged guns range up to .50 caliber. Even a common .177 caliber air rifle can cause serious injuries. Every few years, a person dies from being shot with an air rifle. Most are children. The most common placement for fatal shots is to the heart or to the brain.

This correspondent received his first air rifle at age 11. Many ten-year-old children are capable of cocking and loading common air rifles. Cartridge firearms take less effort to load and shoot.

The incident in Casa Grande, a mile south of the Casa Grande airport, is still under investigation. We may never know all the details. Many 10-year-old children are capable of understanding threats and may need to defend themselves. As with all ages, there is a wide variation in maturity and abilities. Some children show significant responsibility and careful thought at an early age. Other people never mature to the point of taking responsibility for themselves and their actions.

In this case, the investigators from the sheriff’s office are convinced it was justifiable self-defense. The question now is whether the offense by the 17-year-old should be prosecuted or not.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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“In this case, the investigators from the sheriff’s office are convinced it was justifiable self-defense. The question now is whether the offense by the 17-year-old should be prosecuted or not.”

If the first sentence is true, then the answer should be self-evident.


Fortunately, there are air rifles which, at quick glance, or by view of persons unfamiliar with guns, are as intimidating in appearance as real firearms. As an advocate of the intimidation factor for armed self-defense, the idea being to thwart the need to pull the trigger, when the perp faces the business end of a gun, one should avoid measly looking rifles or mouse guns. The youngster did well with the single shot air rifle.


Today there are sum that are space aged and can reach out and kill even a elk at over 100 yards/ Drop a hog in its tracks while running.

And the are fun to shoot costing way less to shoot/ They can cost more than some of the best factory rifles on the market.

Check it awesome stuff



Have wonderful evening


Thanks. At your suggestion, I checked them out-Awesome!


cool beans your welcome


“Other people never mature to the point of taking responsibility for themselves and their actions”. Sounds presidential to me.

Thanks Dean. Never knew they had air rifles back in the Lewis and Clark days.

Last edited 2 months ago by musicman44mag

They had been around I beleive since prior to our war to put the Brits in their proper place. Semiautomatic repeating rifle in a decent sied calibre. Heavy and rather on the dear side of such things, yet there they were….. out tjere in PUBlic even.


they go back to 1500s ,black powder was dangerous and loud people are inventive. daisy is from the 1800s mass produced sold through sears catalog ,some of the older ones are works of art and collectable ,and safer to shoot than an antique flintlock


Lethal, I heard of one incident of deer getting into a garden and one was shot with a pump 177cal pellet rifle. The deer was found dead the next morning a short distance away with a heart wound from the pellet.


I have an ooooold crosman that would put a hole through 4 steel garbage cans that were full shot a rat from ten yards and put a hole through the cans gave me a lot of respect for what a bb can do


Gee, I had a daisy bb gun fired a shot at a tin soda can at about 14 feet and the bb bounced back and hit me in the finger. Told my dad and he said that’s dangerous and got me a 22lr Mossberg single shot.


the spring action ones can be weak, the pump ones can be used for hunting. some are 30 caliber. and the new ones use high pressure compressed air (think diving tank pressures) and are good out to 100 yards and not regulated there was one demonstrated at cmp park at talladega they cost as much as a cartridge rifle only advantage no powder or primer


So when they go pew they are as loud as a ?????? 22LR?


Air rifles are weapons they are more than lethal and are now used on big game. I well placed shot even with a springer 177 cal can be deadly traveling between 825 – 1025 ft per second depending on the pellet weight 6.7 7.9 grains .The muzzle velocity is not all that great although enough to take a human life due to the speed of the small cal pellet.

The situation is different for pre charged pneumatic rifles which are as deadly as any rifle when used at the proper range.



their are some nice ones too, tempted to get one for practice, it will never reach a mile but no scrounging for primers at stupid prices


Being shot and the fear of possibly dying is a strong motivator to get the Hell out of Dodge. Even with a pellet rifle. Especially when all the perp seen was a GUN!!! and felt the Pain. Both of which I’m sure he didn’t expect.


getting a hole in you from anything hurts and a pencil in the eye can be fatal


I do not like “this correspondent’s” writing style!


Not enough hyperbole for ya ? lol


Nah, insufficient body count. 🙂


I really enjoy reading articles by Dean!
I however do no like green eggs and ham


That’s because green eggs and spam is better. Hawaii knows what I am talking about.


Care to elaborate? I’m sure Dean would be open to constructive criticism if you have suggestions that would actually improve his articles. Just coming out and saying you “do not like” something does nothing but make you sound like a whiny child.