Is this bow hunting or gun hunting?

I’m in two minds about this product, which involves using a firearm cartridge in an arrowhead.

My question is, is this legal for use in archery hunting season?  After all, you’re actually firing a round of ammunition, even though it’s launched by an arrow.  Wouldn’t that make it firearm hunting instead of bow hunting?  What do your state’s laws and regulations say about it?  Would bowhunters consider this to be ethical, or against the spirit of their sport?

If you have any answers, please share them with us in Comments.



  1. The case of a .38 or .357 mag is not strong enough to contain the pressures required to send the slug down range, and those arrow tips are made of plastic – except for the firing pin. Vast majority of your energy is wasted blowing out the side of the cartridge. Comparing them to a .357 rifle fired round is an unfair comparison, but I believe this video does demonstrate the craptasticness of the idea as implemented:

    If you watch to then, you will see them cut the bow mag fired .357 slug out of the 5 pound gummy at the end. With no apparent deformation of the hollow point.

    Waste of money and assured destruction of your arrow.

  2. There's no firearm involved, therefore, it's not hunting with a firearm. HOWEVER, it is an exploding arrow tip, and I've never heard of that being legal anywhere.

  3. Green Arrow did it first! ๐Ÿ˜› jk. Still, this is AWESOME! (Not saying it's a good idea, but seeing it implemented is just frigging cool, imo)

  4. What Bruce said. Anytime you see a bullet being used without a barrel, think of trying to shoot a spitball without a straw.

    Broadheads work just fine. If you compare them to hollow points, with the energy they hit with, they check out favorably for anything except the trip to the target. Which this does not change.

    All in all, a bad idea.

  5. Granted, there's not going to be a lot of force behind the bullet. But still, consider: you are walking around with a bunch of cartridges sitting on their firing pins. Don't trip! Don't let that branch whip back and catch your quiver!

    Also, don't lose any arrows in the brush, that some kid may find a couple of years later.

    Stupid, stupid idea.

  6. Here in Ohio it's illegal for hunting. We actually have a "No poisoned or Explosive arrow heads" thing in our laws.

    We also couldn't use rifles to hunt deer until this year so maybe Ohio is just a little weird…

  7. In Virginia it is prohibited to: "Hunt with explosive head arrows or arrows to which any drug, chemical, or toxic substance has been added."

    Don't know about other states.

  8. Iยดm an archery instructor, and on my circles, there were a lot of comments when this first came out about a year ago. General consensus, baring someone from my circle trying it and letting us know, is that is ineffectual as a hunting implement, and unfair for the animal as it most probably just wound it.
    General opinion is that the force of the arrow going forward would be cancelled by the recoil produced by the bullet. The arrow will not go through the animal, and the bullet, due to the lack of a barrel, will not have enough energy to produce a clean kill. It is just gimmicky

  9. I would argue that it is a firearm, in that it's using gunpowder to propel a projectile, even if it's a microscopic distance.

    This thing is, in essence, a bow-launched bangstick. Because the device isn't permanently attached to the shaft, odds are pretty good that they're going to be classified as firearms by the ATF.

  10. It is a bow-delivered bang-stick. It can be immensely devestating.

    Mas Ayoob wrote an article years ago about the vastly multiplied effects of firing a handgun in contact with target. What happens is that if the muzzle seals to theanimal and the cartridge gases get inside any cavity or even under the skin of the target the amount of destruction is radically increased. He demonstrated this by shooting several animals about to be slaughtered in a farm, and compared the effects of bullet strikes versus contact firing. He determined that the greatest drawback to this system was that it almost completely found every firearm he attempted to use this with, so it became a single shot pistol. Therefore, in his opinion, it was a last-ditch desperation technique if you were already in close contact with the bad guy.

    No, the bullet frequently does not expand, but an expanding bullet is not the goal. The goal is to deliver the full chemical energy of the cartridge inside the animal. I don't know if this device works that way, but if it does it will be devastating.

    I witnessed a bang stick being fired at an agressive 6 foot blue shark back in the eighties off the coast of Washington. The 38 special bang stick hit the shark right near the gills, and explosively separated the head from the rest of the shark. It was unbelievable.

    Your cartridge contains much more energy that is transferred to the bullet. If a way can be found to channel that energy into the animal, then the effects are unbelievable. I just don't know if this system does that effectively, or reliably.

    Probably illegal in many if not most states for taking regulated game animals, as evidenced by them using it on feral pigs.. I seem to recall hunting regulations in most states prohibit explosives or chemicals being applied to any bow launched weapon for hunting.


  11. I will admit that I didn't pay as much attention to the archery part of my hunter safety class as the rest of it (as while I like bows, I'm not going to be hunting with one anytime soon), but I'm fairly certain that "exploding arrow tip" would definitely fall on the big no-no list. (If I recall right, there were only two or three types of heads actually allowed for hunting (I live in Wyoming), presumably to cut down on the likelihood of injuring but not killing the animal.

  12. I've used a bang stick firing 357 rounds into sharks and when delivered correctly it can be instantly fatal to even large sharks.
    However when done incorrectly they make a mess of things and leave a very pissed off critter just a few feet from the leader man. The bang stick usually only travels a foot or less before it makes contact. Some joker sending this gizmo 20-30 yards sounds like an iffy proposal.


  13. Sorry, Mas Ayoob said it FOULED every pistol he fired in contact with an animal, thereby rendering them single shots only. That's why he declared it a last ditch technique.

    Again, I have to correct my dammned Autocorrect more than it corrects me. Gotta love it. . .


  14. While it may be against the "spirit of the sport", it's far from the first time we've seen specialised arrowheads. Sport is not war, which it why it has more rules and why it gets to have a spirit. In warfare we've had specialised arrows such as hollow cages to fill with a flammable material to use as an incendiary device, and nasty looking sickle-shaped heads designed to cut the tendons of an enemy (or their horse). Just thought I'd share. ๐Ÿ™‚

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