What’s an air gun?

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The blowgun is a simple weapon consisting of a tube used to fire small projectiles. Its origins are lost in history, but it has been used for hunting for centuries. The length of the gun varies, and it can be made from different materials. Darts are the most common projectile, and some hunters use poison darts. In the US, air pistols are legal, but blowguns are illegal in Canada.

A blowgun is a primitive weapon that has its origins in ancient history. The weapon consists of a light and thin tube. By blowing air into one end of the air gun, a small dart or other projectile is fired from the weapon at several hundred feet per second. Though very simple, the blowgun has been used as an effective hunting weapon for centuries around the world.

The exact origin of the blowgun is lost in the annals of history. Many researchers believe the weapon was invented in a number of places around the world during the Stone Age. The first written references to air guns have been dated to Roman and Chinese sources from the 2nd century.

The length of an air gun usually varies based on several factors. First, the longer the weapon, the more airflow is required to effectively fire a dart. If a hunter has powerful lungs and a long air gun, it is possible to bury a dart several inches long in a wooden target. Sports blowguns are often shorter than traditional hunting versions, as accuracy is more important than the strength of the dart.

Blow guns are made from different materials depending on where they are manufactured. The modern blowgun is often made of light metal or strong polymer with a plastic mouthpiece to transfer the full force of the airflow to the user. Modern blow guns are usually segmented into several pieces to allow for easy cleaning. Antique or homemade blow guns are usually made from bamboo or reed and can be made in one solid piece or segmented.

The most common projectile fired from an air gun is the dart. Some hunters use a poison dart as the blowgun is not guaranteed to kill in one shot. The most infamous type of venom used comes from the poison dart frog (of the family Dendrobatidae), which expels a highly toxic chemical from its skin when agitated. Modern, professionally made darts come in many different styles, such as the broad head, spear point, or “stunner” (very short dart consisting of a weighted rear end with a short point). Before darts were used, many blowguns fired projectiles made of stone or clay.

In the United States, the air pistol is classified as a firearm, but most adults (i.e., those 18 years of age and older) are legally permitted to own and use it in most U.S. states. It is illegal to own a blowgun in Canada, and any blowgun brought into the country must be deactivated by either drilling a hole in the base of the weapon or blocking off the airway altogether.

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