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Big Game Hunting Pneumatic arrow shooters

Pneumatic arrow shooters

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Everything old is new again
  • Feet per second (f.p.s.)
  • FX offers many arrow launchers
  • Missing the boat
  • What I would do
  • Advantages of a pneumatic arrow launcher
  • The downside
  • Summary

Everything old is new again

This will be a different kind of history report, because today the past is also the future. Today’s topic is one that has been touched on ever-so-lightly over the years, yet is also one of incredible significance today, when hunting with airguns is at the forefront of the hobby. I’m talking about airguns that launch arrows.

I’m not talking about crossbows, though they do serve as both the inspiration and the performance baseline for this subject. The airgun that launches arrows is very similar to the crossbow, except that it exceeds it in many important ways.

Feet per second (f.p.s.)

Our cousins using crossbows are assaulted by ads that tout  f.p.s., just like we do in the airgun world. The crossbow makers are as prone to ignore the weight of the arrows or bolts their products shoot when they give those velocity figures as any airgun maker would be. The advertising appears very similar to airgun advertising, though if you dig a little you can discover the facts that really matter. This is where I will start the discussion. A hunting crossbow that shoots a heavier hunting arrow of 400 grains at 350 f.p.s. is considered a powerful hunting weapon. But you really have to dig to get the arrow weight, because the advertising is all about the velocity.

However, where conventional crossbows struggle to get velocity, airguns do not. Their struggle for airguns is to shoot the arrows slow enough

I have shot airguns that propelled their arrows so fast (in excess of 440 f.p.s.) that they were either damaging the arrows or burying them so deep in the backstop that they were damaged when extracting them. In fact, it is a little-appreciated fact that when someone shoots an arrow from an airgun that their biggest concern may be slowing the arrow down!

Swivel Machine Corp Airrow Stealth

The airgun I shot that went that fast was one made many years ago by the Swivel Machine Corporation. It was both a pellet shooter and an arrow launcher. As a pellet shooter it was a miserable failure for many reasons. It was a revolver whose cylinder had to be rotated by hand for the next shot. The tolerances were machined to the ten-thousandth of an inch, and, while that sounds good — trust me, it isn’t. The parts fit so tight that they didn’t move freely on a cold day. And the trigger was a pneumatic valve release that had to be yanked fast or all the air would leak out of the gun. That gun just wasn’t fun to shoot at all, and it wasn’t accurate — probably because of all the trigger-jerking I had to do.

But their arrow launcher, called the Airrow Stealth, worked quite well. We operated it on CO2 outdoors on a 38-degree day and I was still burying bolts so deep in the backstop that some of their hollow shafts were damaged when they were extracted. The launcher had a red dot sight and, at about 40 yards, the whole thing was very accurate. I didn’t want to stop shooting it! I didn’t chronograph that launcher, but I can believe the claim of greater than 400 f.p.s. for a heavy hunting arrow on a 60-degree day.

Airrow Stealth
I shot the Airrow Stealth on a cold day and was surprised by the performance!

One thing Swivel machine Corp saw was the potential for military sales. Arrow launchers are quieter than lower-powered pellet rifles, both because they have a lower muzzle blast and also because their arrows do not approach the sound barrier.

Swivel Machine appears to still be in business and still offers a pneumatic arrow launcher. I’m sure there have been changes in the nearly two decades since I shot one, but it still looks similar.

Another pneumatic arrow launcher of the recent past was the AirBow from Pneumatic Arms. It was pretty much the same thing — a rifle-looking launcher that shot an arrow. The trigger was a long lever grasped by the entire hand — very similar to a crossbow trigger of the Middle Ages. Not many were made and they are considered collector’s items today.

The AirBow from Pneumatic Arms is a collectible today.

FX offers many arrow launchers

FX of Sweden has seen the light and offers several arrow launchers today. Some are made specifically for that purpose, while others are adaptations of their existing pellet guns. So, it is possible to get a new pneumatic arrow launcher, but the price is high and the wait can be long if it isn’t in stock when you order.

Missing the boat

There are also several boutique arrow launcher makers out there. They come and go with the seasons. If you want something different it pays to go online and look around, because at any point in time, somebody if probably making them.

The remainder of the mainstream airgun community, however, is missing the boat. They scramble over one another to build big bore rifles that have become the flavor of the month while disregarding the technology that has the greatest potential for bearing fruit. With hunting as hot as it is today I would think this would be the next hot thing, but it isn’t.

When I talk to these makers, they tell me that crossbows are not legal for hunting in many states today. To which I answer, “Yes, and silencers were illegal for hunting until a few years ago. Now they are experiencing a boom!” If you wait until the climate is right and all the laws have been passed, you’ll miss the boat. Get out in front of the development curve and start defining the future yourself,  rather than waiting for it to be defined for you. Everyone else will have to scramble to keep up

What I would do

From time to time over the past 20 years I have advised certain manufacturers on new airgun projects and accessories. If I were asked to do this with an arrow launcher I would advise them to build it on the chassis of an existing gun. That saves a lot of development time and simplifies production.

I would advise them to sell the arrow launcher as an upgrade to the existing platform. Even if the existing platform isn’t perfectly suited to being an arrow launcher — say the stock is too fat and heavy — make a new stock part of the upgrade.

I would advise their marketing departments to create a package that includes everything in one handy field-transportable box or case — both the airgun and the arrow launcher. Shooters like systems that have multiple applications. To put it succinctly, everyone likes MacGyver and most men own at least one Swiss Army knife.

Advantages of a pneumatic arrow launcher

I’m not against crossbows, but air-powered arrow launchers do have several advantages. Weight is a good place to begin. A crossbow gains weight as the power increases. The makers are doing a lot to keep the weight in check, but an air launcher is so much easier to trim down that there is no contest.

Bulk goes along with weight. The limbs of the crossbow stick out to the sides. Compared to them, the air launcher can be as thin as a pipe.

Cocking effort! Do I even have to say it? Cocking a crossbow is daunting — especially the powerful ones. Air, on the other hand, weighs almost nothing. And we know that the pneumatic launchers have to be scaled back to keep from shooting too fast!

The downside

I’m sorry, but I don’t see a downside to this. If you are reading this subject I assume you want to hunt with arrows, so let’s not make comparisons between the trajectory arrows and bullets.

The fact that it takes compressed air to fill the gun isn’t a drawback. You can do that with a hand pump. Hand pumps are in the same price range as electric cocking winches for conventional crossbows.


Let’s wrap this up by observing that this idea of a pneumatic arrow launcher today is as obvious as a group of chemical engineers standing around a pool of oil in Titusville, PA, in the late 1800s and wondering whether the stuff had any commercial value.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

77 thoughts on “Pneumatic arrow shooters”

  1. B.B.

    What would be better at administering a strong sedative to a large wild animal, a chemically tipped arrow or a hypodermic pellet? Have bow-hunting permits exploded in the past several years?

  2. I was very surprised at how efficiently the 760 with 880 soda straw barrel launched arrow I had cut the nocks off with a tubing cutter I only shot target tips but it was a nice little package.
    Now I’ve got a powermaster 66 to play with

  3. Over the years I’ve launched arrows wirh “a stick an’ a string” (recurve bows), and I’ve launched them with “wheels an’ pulleys” (compound bows), doing so for both target-fun (3-D) and for hunting with each type of bows.
    I must confess, however, that I have never shot arrows with air…I’d never even heard of the concept much-less the fact that it was actually being done at the tume I was into archery.
    This blog topic is the very first I’ve heard OF this, let-alone heard anything ABOUT this. I love this idea…it is something that I’m going to have to begin looking into…Thank You B.B.

    p.s.~~Looks like I seriously need ti get out more !!! 🙂

      • An interesting reply B.B. First some background. I was a president of a southern state bow hunters association. It was our responsibility to represent our bow hunters and their preferences (obviously we weren’t politicians) and protect our sport. Most don’t remember the battles that were fought to earn separate archery seasons but they were hard fought and worth protecting. Some years ago there was an individual that developed a product that made a compound bow shoot like a crossbow. It was touted as the impaired hunters friend, but in fact was designed to attract hunters to “bow hunting”. Our state wildlife commissioners embraced this product, as any wildlife commission would today, because it might sell more hunting licenses and boost revenue. We supported the product for handicapped hunters but opposed the product for general bow hunting because archery is something one must practice to become proficient. This product would make those not willing to make the effort believe that they could be as proficient as those that practiced. All of this occurred back in the era when tuning a bow was important because most archers shot traditional broadheads rather than expanding broadheads. As an organization we were not concerned with the effect on deer harvest, in fact the more harvest the better. We were concerned for the sport of bow hunting and the safety of those that used the product. Of course we lost the battle with the commissioners, but in the end the product died quietly. As an archer and one that has led the fight, I have no problems with these arrow shooting air guns. Class them where they belong as primitive weapons and have a ball with them.

        • M Boyd,

          Welcome to the blog.

          When I wrote my answer you responded to, I remembered the past discussions I’ve had with bow hunters. They reflect exactly what you say. Bows are primitive weapons and should be experienced as they are, rather than modernized for everyones’ convenience. Like I said, I can appreciate that view.

          I don’t think there is any one answer to this question that will satisfy everyone. I tend to be conservative myself, but I’m trying to be as open-minded as possible, so I don’t overlook anything for the readers of this blog.

          I really appreciate hearing from the past president of a bow-hunters association. Your views are those of the community, and we need more of that in this blog.

          Thank you for responding.


  4. B.B.,

    At what muzzle FPS will an bolt destabilize? Or will it? I ask, because it would seem that around 440 fps is the current limit. You mentioned that you would have to worry about “slowing” it down because of back stop induced damage, but, I thought that there might be another reason, like stability or some other physical limitations such as 440 fps is all a PCP bolt firing airgun is capable of.

    Thanks, Chris

    • Chris,

      I think the major limiting factor is the arrow itself, more specifically the material it is made of. The impact on the target can be quite substantial. I have shattered arrows with compound bows when launching them. With an air launched arrow, the stress is at the other end of it’s flight. The point hits the target and begins to slow/stop, but the shaft is still trying to move forward. Also, a backstop strong enough to stop the arrow can be hard to extract the arrow from without damaging it.

      • Agreed, that this is the one disadvantage. The darn arrows cost so much. Even worse is a reproduction English war bow that I’ve seen for sale with a draw weight of 100 lbs. But the obstacle is not the price of the bow but the price of the arrows. They have 400 grain heads, half inch thick shafts and cost $70 each! I would be paranoid of losing them, especially with the power of that bow.

        I’ve had an odd problem with targets in getting my arrows to stick in them. Even my 60 lb. longbow arrows will bounce off at 20 yards. The targets are bags made out of some material with a plastic texture. But the interior seems to be packed burlap which I think is the problem. The burlap, especially when protruding through the cover, seems to be absorbing the arrows’ energy then recoiling and flinging them back out. Strange.

        Thanks for all the advice on cooking! You guys are the best. I received my boar sausages and am now ready to go to work.


    • Chris,

      There are arrow launchers that have reached 600+ f.p.s. with hunting arrows. I don’t think destabilization is the problem. I think the arrows don’t perform the way they are intended at those speeds.

      But I am not qualified to comment because this is something about which I know little. All I know is that people who have done it say you don’t want arrows flying that fast.


  5. BB,

    Was that Fred Liady’s Airrow that you shot?

    In the state of Virginia, you can hunt deer with a bow from about the middle of October till the end of the year. Now, convincing the authorities that this is a bow might be a bit of an effort.

    There also was a company that made a rig you could mount on your bow for shooting pellets.

    • RR,

      No. I shot one that was owned by the man who sold Fred his. He was the Swivel Machine Corp. dealer in Virginia.

      I resisted testing the whole Swivel Machine Corp. suite of guns until he drove up to Maryland and went with me to the range.


      • Doc:

        Dry firing a bow can damage the bow. Firing a lite 22 cal pellet comes very close to dry firing the bow. I’ve seen a bow completely degenerate when it was accidentally dry fired. I don’t believe that I want to try a pellet launcher in the bow unless there is some way to compensate for the difference in weights.


  6. BB
    I remember back in the mid 70s I used to scuba dive and spearfish and had a kind of cross between an air spear gun and band style spear gun as it shot a spear that was about two feet long and the gun was about 1 1.2 feet long and had high pressure nitrogen in it much like a gas ram of a spring gun and you would place the spear into the bore of the gun then use your body weight to compress the piston inside using the spear placed against a solid object until it latched on the trigger sear so in essence it was a gas ram powered spear gun that under water would launch that spear with enough power to spear fish at up to 50 to 60 feet away and I did shoot it a few times out of the water with the aluminum bolt it used and it was like you say and easy to destroy the bolt if you shot at to solid a backstop. I did find out that the hard way and cost me a good bit for a new bolt and the only real difference is my bolts had a lanyard attached to the gun and bolt so that you could reel the fish in when speared.

    Very cool gun that has since depressurized itself from years of non use.


    • That’s something I always wanted to do and I had a couple buddies tell me about snorkeling for green lobster so far the closest I’ve come was wrangling a couple 5gal buckets of the huge red crawdads at the spillway below lake Travis about 5 miles from my place in Cedar Park.

      • Reb
        One of the advantages of growing up on the beach and intercoastal waterway as I had water on both sides of where I lived and spent most day either on a dirt bike or in the water skiing or scuba diving and I have always said the only way I could drown is if I was unconscious as I had senior lifesaving in high school and know how to float in water for days on end without expending any energy at all.

        I do miss my youth


    • Buldawg76:

      I have used both band and pneumatic spearguns for a number of years. One word of caution about shooting a speargun out of water: Make sure that the lanyard is NOT attached to the spear if shooting out of water. The gun (either one) in air will launch the bolt with enough force to return it to sender if it reaches the end of the cable without striking a target.


      • Jim
        No lanyard attached out of water but yes the bolts will fly with sufficient force to either yank the gun out of your hand or return the bolt just like a boomerang to its exact starting point.

        That’s why I said I learned the hard way that it is not wise to fire a gas powered spear gun out of water at a hard surface like a tree as it goes far deeper in the wood than it does fish that are under water and the flip open barbs make it all but impossible to remove from tree undamaged hence the cost of a new bolt/spear. LOL


  7. This has me interested. I’ve had two crossbows in the past, but ended up selling them.

    BB- perhaps you should show those companies how much some of those crossbows are going for.

  8. Cool topic, BB. You are right, I’m a bow hunter and somehow feel little interest in obtaining an arrow gun…but it’s still interesting to read about.

    As far as speed goes – typical bows have a limit in acceleration they can produce based on human strength (ability to pull the string back), so that the typical compound bow pushes about 85 or 90 lbs through about a 20-24 inch stroke. In that length of stroke, there is a limit to how stiff the arrow can be for a given weight, and the harder it gets launched the more “twang” (technical term I just made up for the amount of bending in the arrow shaft that occurs when it’s launched). Crossbow bolts are shorter and stiffer in order to minimize that “twang”, owing to how much more force their strings can produce.

  9. Sounds like something to revisit with my 1377 and steel breech, the aluminum blanks slide right over the 880 barrel very nicely! And still shoot pellets just as accurately but pushing too hard may blow out the tip or rupture the shaft 5 pumps were plenty with the 760 powerplant. It would be able to be run on SHOP air not HPA in a PCP application which allows the design the flexibility of being built outta cheap and easy to work with PVC pipe and maybe even use a bicycle pump for charging.
    See you got me going again! 🙂

  10. “… this idea of a pneumatic arrow launcher today is as obvious as a group of chemical engineers standing around a pool of oil in Titusville, PA, in the late 1800s and wondering whether the stuff had any commercial value.”

    Good one, BB! I needed a good laugh today; thanks. =D

  11. Got my new .22 comp ultra back today, with the metal match trigger. Ohhh boy, what a difference that makes. It has a walther scope on it:
    8-32×56 with a parallax wheel on the side. I dont wanna be premature, but I reckon it out shoots the fwb 300s at twenty meters (22yards). It has to bed in, about 300 pellets trough it today.
    So if someone whats to buy the lgv…. make sure you install that metallic match trigger. It is truely ashame that they do not install it at the factory.

    I would compare this lgv trigger with a T06 trigger, but the lgv trigger is better.
    Still….. it isnt a Weihrauch trigger! The old trigger, Id compare it to a Stoeger x20 trigger. So the trigger is a big improvent.

    Ive only shot jsb rs trough the lgv. I have yet to try the ftt and the baracuda match and the heavier jsb pellets.

    It really is a fine rifle. Just wanted to let you guys know.

    • Dutch
      Where did you get that match trigger as the only place I have seen one is Rowan engineering in the UK or does Umarex sell them but just not advertise them as I agree it should be stock from the factory and it is my belief that in Europe it is factory and the reason it is not here in the USA is our wonderful lawyers and their liability issues.


        • Dutch
          I believe it is because you are in Europe is why you can get it from Umarex as I said here in the USA it is considered an unsafe trigger since it can be adjusted so light and is why it is not a factory item on the guns so must be purchased from the UK or Europe.


          • Buldawg76,

            Yea, link saved and still thinking about going for one for the LGU. Hector on the USA team gave me some good advice and says the “Yankee Tune” will get it done, and better than the Rowan. Still, I have a lot a creep in first. But still, the Y tune and backing off the pull weight did wonders. But nowhere near the TX on lightness. On that, I only adjusted the pull weight.

            • Chris
              Yea I talked to GF1 about you adjusting the trigger to help the barrel stay down on the LGU and it apparently did help as you have tightened up your groups a good bit from what I have read.

              That rowan trigger would be nice and give you a trigger like the TX as well but 100 bucks is still steep since you are hitting better with it now.

              The wife and I have been busy with doc visits over in Birmingham 60 miles away and have made five trips in the last two weeks so been worn out most days but did find out that she is allergic to Cobalt and Maganese metals of which her knee has those alloys in it so it is going to be replaced with a ceramic joint in the near future.


              • BD,

                Well at least you found out some info. on her knee. That is good. In my opinion, they should do it for free for not having tested for allergies in the first place!

                As for the LGU, I am maxed at 4 3/8oz. weights in muzzle. Lucky for me they were steel collars I picked up at work. It did help as well as GF’s tip on thumb on stock at safety area.

                Since it’s just me,…and Christmas is coming up,….a Lyman trigger gauge and the Rowan trigger might fit the bill! 😉 I like the adjustable butt plates as well. What is really wierd is that with the LimbSaver recoil pads for added pull length, the TX stays put pretty well and the LGU shifts to the left,..(I shoot left). And also wierd, both wiegh in at 10.5#, yet the TX feels a lot lighter and better balanced. The TX uses a large and the LGU uses a medium. If you ever want more pull length, I recommend them. 1″ added.

                Anyway, just an update and stay well…..Chris

                • I’m gonna try the one on my QB-36 out on my QB-88, I found some old new stock ones for a bot $10 and that’s my biggest problem with it because the original one’s hard,slick plastic.

                • Chris
                  I agree they should do it for free unfortunately there are only allergic reactions to artificial joints in one out of every 200 to 300 thousand patients so it is not enough of an issue as far as the orthopedic field is concerned or insurance to warrant the pre testing for allergies.

                  And you know as well as all of us that doctors do not have come backs so we always pay regardless if they messed up or not as they “practice medicine” meaning they are never experts or fully competent at what they do since to “practice” means you are always trying to get it right just as we “practice shooting” to get it right.

                  Yea if it was just me then I would have to treat myself at Christmas as well to a new trigger and gauge. It is funny how two guns of the same weight can feel so different when held and shoot different as well. Such is life.


  12. looking at Swivel Machine on the web, I see their Airrow “arrow” shooting gun. But, B.B., you are correct when you say pricey. Try starting at $1,700. But what I also found the site was a very interesting conversion for Ruger 10/22 rifles and Ruger 77/22 bolt rifles. It’s a replacement barrel (16″) that uses a 22 blank to propel the arrow. Very neat. But, this would be classified as a firearm due to the powder burning. http://www.swivelmachine.com/html/rimfire.htm

  13. B.B.
    This is real good. I thought about it once when I handled my friends Pneumatic speargun. It was a very powerful Italian make(just can’t remember the name). We used to do a bit of spearfishing in our school days & I wondered why no one had thought of making a gun to launch arrows on land. Never knew till now that they were actually being made! This is a novel idea as it beats the effort of cocking or pulling back the bow string & because there is no stress on the arms it can be aimed more effectively. Also since the arrows will always be loaded straight in, the accuracy should be very good. Wonder why it isn’t catching on. BTW I’m making a slingshot bow after watching the clips on u tube. It’s also a very good alternative to a bow or crossbow in compactness, accuracy & power. I’m waiting for the 32″ arrows & release which I ordered. Can’t wait to see how it works. My friend is coming down for Christmas & we hope to hunt wild pigs. But this is new to us & there’ll be a lot of practice to hone our skill before we go for game.

      • Reb,

        So,… what your saying is that instead of running away from you, and you having to track them down, as with other big game,……all you really do is “tick” them off, and instead of running away from you,…they run towards you?

      • Hi Reb,
        Thanks for the tip its much appreciated. What we have here are huge wild boar with very wicked tusks, like a wart hogs. And yes, they do charge at you if not given a lethal shot. Their favorite tactic is to run through your legs & ripping the insides of the thighs. Recently, a poacher using an old muzzle loader got gored. He had bled to death from a severed femoral artery when found a couple of days later. So we’re thinking of a tree stand for the hunt & getting a good shot in. Then giving it some time before tracking it like the bear hunters in USA.

  14. Wild boar are one quarry that if pissed off will hunt you as well so when I hunted boar in Florida I found that a gun was the quickest way to piss one off and end up being the hunted. The quickest way to kill a boar is slicing its throat so that it suffocates on its own blood, but then the boars I was hunting were 500 plus pounds up to 1000 pounds with 8 to 12 inch long razor sharp tusks and the size of bulls but twice as mean when pissed off.


    • Buldawg76,

      Hope you are doing well, as is the little lady. Here’s a question for ya’,….if one were to get a hold of you and mess ya’ up real good, or worse,….would they try to eat ya’? Hogs are known to eat about anything, are they not?

      • Chris
        I never got in that situation but I would say that they would just kill you and leave you to rot or for scavengers since they are not like a domestic pigs in that they eat anything in their way. Wild boar eat mainly roots and grubs and vegetation on the ground but will destroy crops and such if allowed to get at them.

        The boars we hunted were living in swamps that had standing water most everywhere with marshes and muddy out cropping’s they would bed in at night and would turn on you in a heartbeat even if you did not shoot at them and heaven forbid you came up on a sow with young.


    • If you’re close enough to cut the boar’s throat, you’ve already solved your problem. I thought that 1000 pound boards were either a myth or some kind of new evolution with the feral population. If you don’t use a gun to hunt them with I don’t know what else would work. A grenade? I suspect the solution is a heavier gun. I’ve seen .375 HH magnum’s used on YouTube.


      • Matt
        we used 10 to 12 pit bulls and two air dales to hunt them as the pits will corner and take the boars to the ground while the air dales howl to allow you to catch up and kneel across their head and shoulder while you stick a 10 inch bowie knife in their throats.

        I have shot at them back in the 70s when I used to hunt them in the swamps of Florida with 30/30s, 44 magnums, 30/06 and had them turn and chase me up trees.

        The boars on “you tube” were they as big as a rodeo bull with tusks that were 10 to 12 inches long as their is a big difference between a wild pig and a wild boar in terms of size and temperament.


      • Matt61,

        If I remember correctly,….there is also the use of a pack of “pit bulls” that do the initial work,..that allows you to get within knife range. They can end up not so well, as well. That was my initial conversation with Buldawg. Since then, all is cool and realize that this is just another way of hunting in another part of the U.S.

    • And this raises a question. Apparently, it is illegal to hunt with an M1 Garand in many places because it’s ammo capacity is too large. Why would that be a problem? I can see regulations about calibers that are too light for the sake of the hunter and the animal, but why care if someone has extra rounds that could be used as insurance. Now that my Garand is working, I cannot imagine any North American animal running down a whole clip and still posing a threat.


      • Matt
        The land we hunted them on was timber company land so no game laws applied as my buddy had a hog claim that meant he owned all the boars on 450 acres of land and could be hunted at any time and taken in any numbers so it was not a matter of number of rounds but the fact that you had very small areas that a gun was effective such as eye sockets, ears sockets, underside of the neck and behind the shoulder blade with a 3 square inch area that if you did not hit these areas exactly the bullets would just ricochet or not penetrate any vital organ and only serve to make one large angry boar whose only mission at that point is to destroy you at all costs.

        I have seen a 750 pound boar hit by a 70s Toyota corolla doing 60 mph and the engine was in the front seat of the car and the whole rear end of the boar was crushed but it was still running around on its front legs rooting at the side of the car until the trooper arrived and proceeded to shoot it with a shotgun with 00 buck and it chased him on to the hood of his car while he emptied 6 rounds into the back of its neck as it was can opening a hole in the front fender of his car and another 6 rounds of 00 buck and 6 38 special rounds it finally gave it up so I learned from a 45 year old guy that had hunted these boar all his life that in the swamp we hunted in that a gun was not the best weapon of choice if you chose to hunt these wild boar and survive to do it again.


        • BD76,

          WOW! That’s all I am going to say. (well, maybe not quite),…..anyone see that guy “nudgeing” an alligator with his his driver side front truck tire? The Gator ripped off (any and all) front fender and bumper plastic in a flash. Way to go Gator! 🙂

          • Chris
            yea I saw that video of the gator and the truck and also growing up in Florida I have had my fair share of encounters with gators as well and enough to know that they are as tough as a boar when it comes to encounters of beast and vehicles.

            When I was a mechanic at the caddy/olds dealer in Florida we had a 75 Olds toronado front wheel drive ” the big heavy ones” come in that had run over a 12 foot gator “as the driver said it covered his whole lane of the road” at 70 mph and the gator crawled into the swamp after being hit but the complete front differential and trans were ripped out from under the car and it was towed away in pieces so I learned to respect big critters and just how tough they can be.


      • I guess the fear is that extra rounds gives you too much of an advantage. I don’t agree but there it is. BTW, you can get five round clips for a Garand. It would be legal in Michigan loaded that way.


  15. B.B.

    Very interesting concept. Are the arrows loaded from the muzzle? I would think the fletching would be a critical element in the design. It would need to be soft enough to form a seal in the barrel and stiff enough to extend at high speed and provide spin on the arrow. Was the problem with too much velocity just in damage to the arrow in target shooting or did it affect accuracy. I could see with a carefully designed broadhead and a sabbit the fletching could be stiff and handle high velocities. With enough barrel length you might be able to use very low air pressures. Your history of air guns sure gets me thinking of new projects. Keep it up.


    • Benji,

      Yes, the bolts load from the muzzle. The fletching is usually thin flexible plastic that twirls around the bolt shaft to lie against it until the arrow fires.

      I really can’t say what the problem with too much velocity is, except everyone agrees that it is bad. I think it relates to the bolt or arrow not being strong enough for the flight.


  16. B.B.,

    The discussion of tranq guns above reminded me of a “project” I have: figuring out how to extract a CO2 powelet from a Cap’chur long gun (well, rifle — it does have shallow rifling). I slathered the powerlet with pellgun oil prior to inserting it into the CO2 tube, but as the rifle needs new seals, it immediately leaked completely. But now the problem is first to get the blasted powerlet to come out of it’s tube! I have set the thing on end for weeks, carefully but firmly tapped the side of the tune with a rubber mallet, everything I can think of.

    Any ideas?


    • Michael,

      Open the CO2 tube and bump the muzzle of the gun on the carpet a few times. Be careful not to shear off the transfer port. If that doesn’t work, you need a self-tapping screw or even a tap on the end of a straight rod. Thread it into the end of the cartridge and pull it out.


      • B.B.,

        Thanks for the tips, especially the one about a tap at the end of a long rod. I just so happen to have one, purchased recently for a different project. I am not concerned about the transfer port as I was able to get the powerlet to make its way about half of the distance to the opening. The blasted thing simply got stuck.

        In addition to slathering future powerlets with lube (this time silicone), I’ll also measure the diameter of each and choose only especially slim ones.

        Thanks again,


  17. B.B., can I ask about carbon fiber arrows, and their useage with airguns?
    I’ve recently assembled a pcp 2250 that can fire a 20″, 387 gr cf bolt to 315 fps. It gives 6 very consistent shots.
    My question involves the pressures involved in shooting an airrow off a barrel. I’ve been told that the carbon fiber bolts can explode from the pressures I’m inducing. I have filled this setup to 3000 psi, and had several test shots. I’very not noticed visually, or by measureing, any damage or expansion of the bolts. Should I be concerned? Should I switch to aluminum bolts?
    From what little I’ve tested, it’s super consistent, and very accurate. I hope to test at distance soon. Thanks B.B. , hope to hear back?
    Eric J.

  18. I know I’m a bit late to the party here, but I’d like to leave this comment for the benefit of anyone else who may come along and be intrigued by the concept of a pneumatic arrow launcher.

    I own an air shotgun called the Air Venturi Wing Shot Mk II. It is capable of firing not only .50 cal slugs, .50 cal 3D-printed shotshells (purchased with either #6 shot, #8 shot or empty so that you can fill them with whatever you like..buckshot does not fit though hehe) but the gun can also fire arrows sold by Air Venturi called the Air Bolt. They’re a little bit pricey (6 for $99 USD) but so far the first pack I’ve bought has lasted me a while in target shooting. I haven’t had the opportunity to take them hunting yet but I hope to this fall!

    Also, the Sam Yang Dragon Claw .50 cal air rifle can fire them too. I don’t own this rifle but it is very similar to the Wing Shot in construction except the barrel is rifled, it has dual air tanks and a dovetail scope rail.

    Hope this tidbit is helpful to somebody.

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