Blowguns Can Be Dangerous
You should still buy your blowgun - I am not trying to scare you away. A dinner knife can be dangerous, I just want people to realize that some people may only use their blowgun for shooting targets. And that is great - I do a lot of target shooting. But I do want people to realize that this can hurt people and kill animals.
On that note, still buy the blowgun. If you are buying a blowgun for your kids or young ones; make sure to teach them how to handle this tool responsibly. I doubt too many children are given a knife and not supervised the first times they used it as well as a hundred warnings about how they can hurt people, animals, objects etc. This is the same concept, and pretty fun too.
I see some people are finding my article with the search, "Does it hurt to get hit by a stun dart." I would say, "YES!" I have never been shot with one but when shooting a stun dart at a soda can I can blow through both sides of the aluminum can with the stun dart from 25 to 30 feet away. At further range I start to lose some power going from breaking the aluminum to just crushing the can. I use the oblong stun darts that are Cold Steel's newer ones.
Blowgun hunting, targets, or both?
Blowguns may be used for shooting targets and/or hunting. I shoot plenty of targets and am looking into the Ohio laws for hunting with a blowgun currently. But is this going to be something to shoot inside or outside? Are you going to try to kill animals with it or simply shoot targets?
The reason I ask these questions is that a .40 caliber blowgun is a fun blowgun to shoot. I have a 36 inch tri-packer blowgun that is fun to shoot targets with. Although, I will never use it to shoot anything larger than a mouse or rat when it comes to living targets. The darts are much smaller than a larger caliber and the impact just is not the same as something a little bigger.
If you are interested in shooting game, make sure to check into your local laws on regulation weapons or kill devices before taking your blowgun out. Some states make no mention of blowguns whatsoever. I know one state is from raccoon and smaller pretty much, and Florida allows frogs and non-native mammals which are a nuisance.
But as for caliber of blowgun to hunt with, I would use nothing small that .625 caliber. A great example of this would be Cold Steel's Big Bore Blowgun. I have the five foot version with the two foot extension. I love this blowgun and have been trying to get further away. I am tight on space and with winter just starting I have been shooting in my basement. At the time of writing this I can shoot a quarter at 25 feet.
The .625 Big Bore has a wide variety of darts, which we will go over more in an article about blowgun darts. The caliber has the power to take small game with a well placed shot. Raccoon, frog, rabbit, bird, etc can easily be taken with practice.
If you are going to be shooting target and hunting, I would recommend the four foot .625 caliber with the two foot extension. The reason is if you decide to shoot at tournaments you are maxed out at 48 inches, but if you want to hunt you have a blowgun that has the power to kill and you can add the two foot section for some extra velocity and better accuracy.
Practice with your blowgun
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Choosing Your Blowgun Darts
There are several options for buying blowgun darts. I will focus on the .625 darts because I think the options are greater and the blowgun overall is made of better and thicker material. Cold Steel Big Bore actually has a video of a man using the blowgun as a melee weapon to show how durable the blowgun is.
.625 Dart Types
A couple of the blowgun darts that I do not like are as follows and the reasons. Cold Steel Broad Head dart is mostly a poly-resin build. When I received mine the shafts were all bent from the rubber band holding them. They do not bend back straight easily and the ball just behind the "broad head" stops penetration at about 3/4 inch. And the head is not sharpened upon arrival.
Another style that I am not wild about is the Zytel Broad Head. The head is plastic and bends easily upon impact of something such as wood or plastic. What I do like about this dart is that it is pretty light, also, the price for these darts is very reasonable. One reason I do not mind using them up.
The new Stun Darts that Cold Steel is selling are nice and have a very hard hit. The one thing I did not like about the Stun Darts that I received was that the back "tent" was over-sized and had to be trimmed to even work. I have read that a couple other people have had this issue as well.
If you want a dart that is going to skewer an animal, the Bamboo Dart is what you are looking for. The Bamboo Dart is longer than all the other darts by several inches. It is also lighter and flies faster. I found it a very true and accurate dart as well. This is not the most damaging dart to choose from, but it does a good job. I find myself using this for target practice more and more.
One of my favorite darts is called the Mini-Broad Head Dart. It has great penetration and does a fair amount of damage while passing through the animal. The only plastic component is the actually dart.
And the last one I am going to talk about is the Razor Tip Broad Head. This one can do some damage but it is great for squirrels and other small fur animals. This one causes some damage and kills quickly. I also think that it looks quite cool to be honest. This dart is definitely one of the best darts I have shot.
Take the time to use all the darts and see what works best for you. There are some instances that the darts that I do not really like work better - so I use them. Get to know how they all shoot. Some fly smooth, fast, and true while others are a little heavier but will do more damage and kill faster. Aiming them is slightly different, so take the time to figure out what you are shooting so you do not just wound an animal.
Blowgun Activities and Examples
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Chris Andrews