Gear Test: Arrow Gun
Is it useful? Or just a fun toy?
I recently purchased an 'Air Javelin' arrow gun online. I've seen these things making waves on video sites, and thought I would try it. I know I am Archaic Archer. As in I love the old school stuff. But sometimes, I like to play with modern gadgets too. And this one was extremely fun to shoot. Let's go over some of the features:
The propellant: Co2
In the first picture, you can see the forward grip pushed to the front of the gun. This is where the Co2 cylinder is inserted. The larger 88 gram cartridges that fit this model are readily available at Dunham's and Rural King. At least my local stores at the time of this article. An adapter is also sold which accepts 2 standard 12 gram cylinders. The cylinders can be bought virtually anywhere that sells airgun, paintball, and airsoft supplies. I ordered the adapter HERE. We did take note while playing with this as to the longevity of the cylinders. With the larger one, we got about 40 good shots before the gas was depleted. With the 12 gram adapter, we got anywhere from 10 to 14 shots. There is another model of this gun that uses a compressed air cylider. But it was a little more pricey (This one was $160. The air model was $280). I might get a chance to get one of those one day to play with.
The stock was pretty comfortable. And had length adjustments that were fine for me as a tall goofy guy, and smaller people like my nephew who was shooting with me. No complaints there. As you will see, this thing is basically set up like a modern rifle. Not only is there adjustable stock, but there is a rail system too.
The Rail Mount System
The entire top length of the weapon will accept scopes, lasers, lights, or just about anything else you want to put on it. I'm just keeping it with sites. But there are people out there who put lasers and optics on this thing. The option is there , which I think it pretty neat.
So, how does it shoot?
The truth is, this thing is capable of launching it's bolts very far. But keeping them on target at any decent range will be difficult. I saw a guy on Youtube hit out to 75 yards with optics. But at that range, he had to hold way high. As far as shooting it in the back yard, I stayed within 20 yards, and it grouped just fine with open sights. I even Robin-Hooded one of the bolts on the first round of shooting.
I am planning on doing some real testing to this thing. I just wanted to do a quick article tonight to talk about it. Overall, this is a fun little gun. But, it still can be a dangerous weapon. So all safety protocol should be followed. Basically if you would not do something with a firearm or bow because it would be unsafe, don't do it with this.
But although it can be dangerous, it does not possess very much penetration power. I would limit this weapon to small game if you want to hunt, so long as it is legal to do so. The bolts can of course accept broadheads, but in my opinion it doesn't matter because I would not feel comfortable shooting larger game like deer, elk, or something like that. It would do wonders on squirrels and rabbits though. It might even be fun to attempt some frogging.
Using this as a "Survival" tool?
I've also heard some people say they would consider this for a "survival" weapon. This probably would not be a good idea. First, it relies on Co2 carts. And if things went south, as in a societal collapse that would create the need for a "survival" weapon, you couldn't exactly run to Walmart to replenish. Even the more expensive model with the compressed air tube requires an air pump to refill. So any electrical outage would render that useless. I am not sure if you could use a bicycle pump. It may be possible I guess. I'll have to check. That might be a little more practical then if it does. But still, there are other flaws.
The weapon itself is not very durable. It is indeed mostly made from plastic. A steep fall or hard drop may crack or shatter the weapon. This weapon also requires the use of o-rings. And from playing paintball years ago, I know that o-rings fail and need to be replaced to prevent gas leak. And like the Co2 cartridges, you may not be able to run out and buy a pack.
Finally, the ammunition. Unlike with a recurve or even a compound, this weapon requires a hollow bolt. But it is a specially-sized hollow bolt. Not a regular crossbow bolt. And it must be made from carbon because it requires that very slight give to lock in place over the tube. With other bows, arrows are easy to make if you have the know-how. A good piece of river cane, dog wood, cedar, or even a sturdy dowel could be supplemented as an arrow shaft. Fletching can also be found in the woods. You could likely even locate sturdy enough materials to create something that will work on a crossbow if you run out of bolts. But if you run out of bolts for the arrow gun, you will have a very hard time making found materials like these work. You might be able to use crossbow bolts and carbon arrows of the same diameter trimmed down, but what if something happens long-term and you run out of or damage those?
Anyway, that is my take on the survival weapon idea. I would think no. But this thing is still super cool and fun to shoot. I'll do a real accuracy test for it later and put it through it's paces at different ranges. And maybe even test some things with broad heads. Until then, I'll leave you with a couple of pictures and a link to a video of my nephew shooting it HERE. Later...
I forgot to mention that the safety is just like a firearm safety
The Co2 smoke out of the "muzzle" when it fires looks cool!
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