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Apr 1 09 5:30 AM

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Hello, if you guys do not mind, I need some reliable info about blowguns. The reason why is because I'm trying to create a character for a future book.
So here are some questions, if you don't mind:

1. Can blowguns be up to 5 feet in length or longer?

2. If they can be 5 feet long, how far can a bolt be fired(in feet please)?

3. How large can the bolts for blowguns be?

4. Is a blowgun a good weapon to use against other enemies rather than just hunting(I mean non-poison bolts)?

5. How fast can the best blowgunners load and shoot?

Thanks! 

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neondog

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Apr 1 09 8:48 PM



The Nukak Maku of Columbia use blowguns that are about nine feet in length to shoot light weight poison darts over two feet long at monkeys. photo by Niels Van Iperen.

A five foot barrel will enable a better than average shooter to fire a light dart (1.7 grams) about one hundred feet. A dart that weighs a quarter ounce (about seven grams) would be considered VERY heavy and would not fly as far. Japanese style fukiya (film cone) darts are better for achieving long distances but are easily knocked off coarse by a light cross wind.
         Some of the more powerful blowguns that are commercially available in the U.S. have been used unsuccessfully against squirrels because an inferior commercial dart was chosen. If the dart is not equiped with a razor sharp broadhead, there is a good chance that it will bounce off the intended prey. A dart with a single point (target dart) is likely to pierce the prey but it could take a long time for the animal to die due to insufficient damage (like the guy who drives himself to the hospital with a metal bar through his head.)
       I have seen videos of a man who fires five darts in less than four seconds but for bigger vollies an average of twenty darts per minute fired with some degree of accuracy is very good. 
       Bottom line is: if your "enemy" is a biped weighing over one hundred pounds and your only weapon is a blowgun, try to catch him (her?) walking on a tight wire a long way up. grin

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9950085

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Oct 12 09 10:12 AM

Neondog, thanks for the link to the articles with the other pictures of the Columbian blowgunner... those are beautiful darts and blowgun, very interestingly made when you see the pics full size.

--c50

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Oct 13 09 5:55 AM

Yeah, now THAT is a nice looking pipe, isn't it? Those darts, though...yikes!

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9950085

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Oct 13 09 8:45 PM

Yep, I would love to try it!... but if the darts are poisoned, I don't think I could hold a bundle of them as casually as that young man in the pictures does... Looks like there's all kinds  of decorative carving on the barrel as well.  We need to make and maintain a library of images showing different ways of forming cotton/kapok/fibrous masses into a blowgun dart "cone"... it almost looks like those darts have the fibres spirally wound (maybe a cotton candy machine, lol?), but I've seen some where the fibres are held in place with a little net that wraps around and holds them in.  Then there's the on-the-fly rolling method shown in the video "Kristof in the crosshairs" on Youtube.  Then I guess we'd need a separate library on methods with thistle down, rabbit hair, etc.  

Anyway, I mostly shoot indoors these days, but I think my neighbors would really take notice if I walked out in the backyard and starting hunting squirrels with THAT rig!!  It'd be a great time till the paddy wagon arrived, probably... smile

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neondog

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Dec 27 09 8:02 PM

It is used to hunt monkeys in Columbia. The only reason there still are monkeys in Columbia is because they have learned to stay close to the top of the canopy. That would indicate that it would go straight up about 100 feet and still have enough speed left to pierce a furry animal.

 There are trees in the Amazon Rainforest that are two hundred feet tall but they make up the "emergence" layer and there is little fruit found at that hight.

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Dec 10 10 1:08 PM

I think to kill a Biped like a human or something similar would take a shot in the eye or several broadheads in the throat/arteries. one could think of a fictional dart with fins to three or four sides giving it spin and causing drill like damage, especially at short range.
In any case I'm afraid that with large animals one needs to rely on them bleeding out if no poison is involved.
If you are thinking fiction it would be a nice and gruesome scene to illustrate someone pulling out a finned dart and completely opening up his own wounds.(this coming from a horror/gore movie enthousiast)

Proud ZBPC member Fire! Aim! Ready!

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#10 [url]

Dec 10 10 10:17 PM

That would be a gory but good scene in a story.

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