Air Rifles Vs Blowguns

Air rifles and blowguns are both projectile weapons that shoot ammunition using pressurized air or gas. But how else are these two similar, and what are their differences? Find out below.

Air Rifles Vs Blowguns Shooting Distance

Air rifles can shoot accurately up to 50-100 yards. However, they can shoot up to 300-400 yards inaccurately using a 30-degree drop in elevation.

Blowguns, however, are not able to reach such distances. A 6-foot long .40 caliber blowgun can shoot up to 100 yards. However, these shots will not be very accurate. A blowgun shot is best at 25-50 yards distance for achieving the highest accuracy.

Much of how far a blowgun can shoot depends on the lung capacity of the shooter. A small person with little lung capacity will struggle to shoot a blowgun, whereas a larger person will not. Airguns, however, do not require much difference in physical strength from person to person to shoot accurately.

Air Rifles Vs Blowguns Shooting Speed

A blowgun fires a dart that can travel up to 300-400 FPS. Whereas, an airgun can shoot on average 600-800 FPS. So, air rifles fire rounds 1.5 times faster than blowguns through the air.

For more information, see our post All About Air Gun Ballistics.

Air Rifles Vs Blowguns Size

Air rifles and blowguns can be similarly sized, but most are not. In fact, blowguns tend to be much longer than air rifles.

The length of air rifles can vary depending on the specific model and intended use. Generally, air rifles range from about 30 inches (76 cm) to over 50 inches (127 cm) in length. The length of the barrel can also vary, typically ranging from 12 to 30 inches (30 to 76 cm). The overall length and barrel length can impact the accuracy and power of the air rifle, with longer barrels often providing increased accuracy and velocity.

Blowguns, on the other hand, range from about 4 feet (1.2 meters) to 8 feet (2.4 meters) in length, with some models being shorter or longer.

For both airguns and blowguns, the length of the barrel matters greatly in terms of the accuracy and power of the projectile. However, longer versions can limit the shooter’s maneuverability.

Holding an Air Rifle Vs a Blowgun

Because of the size and shape difference, a blowgun and air rifle are held, aimed, and carried differently.

When holding an air rifle, you typically grasp the stock with one hand and support the barrel with the other hand, while keeping the rifle firmly against your shoulder. The position of the hands and arms can vary depending on the specific type of air rifle and shooting position being used.

However, longer air rifles can be more cumbersome and difficult to maneuver, particularly in tight spaces or when shooting from awkward positions.

In contrast, when holding a blowgun, you typically hold the mouthpiece to your lips and use one or both hands to support the tube and aim at the target. The position of the hands and arms can also vary depending on the length and weight of the blowgun, as well as the shooting position being used.

As mentioned earlier, longer blowguns can be more difficult to handle and transport and may require more space to use effectively.

Air Rifles Vs Blowguns Materials and Construction

Air rifles and blowguns are typically made from different materials and constructed differently.

Air rifles are usually made with metal barrels and a wooden or synthetic stock. The metal barrel is usually rifled to improve accuracy, and the stock provides a comfortable grip and support for the shooter. The internal components of an air rifle include a piston, spring, or compressed gas system that propels the projectile out of the barrel.

Blowguns, on the other hand, are usually made of lightweight materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber, plastic, or bamboo. Blowguns have a small hole at one end and an opening at the other for the shooter’s mouth.

The tube is typically smooth on the inside, and the projectiles are propelled by the user’s breath rather than an internal mechanism. Some blowguns may have a mouthpiece or grip made of rubber or other materials for added comfort and control.

Air Rifles Vs Blowguns Ammo

Air rifles and blowguns fire different types of ammunition. Air rifles use pellets and bbs, while blowguns use darts.

Air guns typically use pellets or BBs made of lead or other materials. Pellets are cylindrical or pointed projectiles that are designed to fit snugly into the barrel of the air gun, while BBs are typically spherical and smaller than pellets. Pellets and bbs come in packs of hundreds which are easy to carry, and spill!

Blowguns, on the other hand, use darts or other projectiles that are usually made of lightweight materials such as plastic, bamboo, or metal. Blowgun darts are typically 5-6 inches long and thin. They are also often feathered or fletched to help stabilize them in flight. Some blowgun darts may also be equipped with tips designed for hunting or other specialized uses.

For example, see Venom Blowguns .40 Caliber 5″ Pro-Length Broadhead Darts.

Reloading an Air Rifle Vs a Blowgun

Reloading an air rifle is very different than reloading a blowgun.

Reloading an air gun involves opening the breech or removing a magazine, inserting the pellets or BBs into the chamber or magazine, and then closing the breech or re-inserting the magazine into the gun. Air guns have the benefit of having multiple rounds ready to go for firing, one after the other from the magazine.

Some air guns may require additional steps, such as cocking a lever or pumping a piston, to prepare the gun for firing. If the C02 or compressed air tank is empty, it will need to be refilled or replaced. It is important to note that reloading an airgun is not a fast and fluid motion.

A blowgun, however, must be loaded one shot at a time by hand. This is similar to reloading a crossbow, in that it takes a set of actions using the hands. Reloading a blowgun typically involves manually inserting a dart into the open end of the tube, either by hand or with a dart quiver. The user must then exhale through the mouthpiece to propel the dart out of the tube.

Air Rifles Vs Blowguns Accuracy

In general, air rifles are typically more accurate than blowguns due to their rifled barrels, which help to stabilize the pellets or BBs in flight. This also reduces the effects of wind and other factors that can affect accuracy.

Additionally, air rifles often have sights or scopes that allow the shooter to precisely aim at a target, further improving accuracy. However, most blowguns do not have sights like airguns and must be aimed with instinct and practice.

Blowguns, on the other hand, do not typically have rifled barrels and rely on the user’s skill and experience to aim and fire accurately. While blowgun darts can be fletched to help stabilize them in flight, they are still susceptible to wind and other environmental factors that can affect accuracy.

However, both airguns and blowguns are accurate at short distances. And both can kill small game when in the hands of a skilled shooter. Both airguns and blowguns can require only the power provided by the user, so they are great for survival situations where gunpowder, stored gas, or battery power is limited.

To Close

Air rifles and blowguns are weapons that have distinct differences. However, they can each be very accurate in the right hands. With practice and skill, both air rifles and blowguns can be used to shoot accurately at a variety of targets.

Just make sure to always use safe handling practices when you shoot either of these to protect yourself and others from injury.

Lawrence the Airgun Ranger