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Modern Archery Equipment


Is this really a bow?

At the ATA show last January, Crosman Air guns introduced what they titled “a total Game Changer” one of their representatives stated, “we are opening up a whole new category of hunting.” And they really have. Some states have gone so far as to totally ban its use, others have adopted it as technology at work.

Archery manufactures and the ATA (Archery Trade Association) have spoken out against this device. While others have heralded it as innovation and progress. Granted its title is confusing. Crosman’s invention and ‘game changer’ is what they dub as the “Air-Bow”. But in many circles the question remains, is an Air-bow really a bow? Let’s look at the details.

Crosman developed a pneumatic arrow launching device. This device is capable of launching a full length arrow with a full sized broadhead in excess of 450 fps. With a rechargeable air cylinder one can get up to 8 full strength shots on one charge of air. Holding approximately 3000 psi of air in the chamber, cocking is done with two fingers. Crossman also maintains that this device will shoot 2” groups out to fifty yards. Whether it is a “bow” because it launches arrows is the confusing part of the problem.

The Archery Trade Association came out strong against the air-bow. In an official statement the ATA said, “The air-bow nevertheless lacks basic components of standard archery equipment (e.g., a string system and limbs). For this reason, the ATA does not consider air-bows to be archery equipment.”

Crosman contests this by saying that their use of pneumatic’s propellants of arrows may not meet the definition of “bow” but certainly is archery equipment just as a compound bow and crossbow is considered so.

I personally do not have an opinion on this, I did shoot the air-bow at the ATA show and found it similar to shooing a crossbow. Neither require any more skill than shooting a rifle. Neither are difficult to shoot accurately. While the air-bow may shoot very fast, its effective range is still about the same as a crossbow, with fifty yards being the extreme limit. Currently in South Carolina, it is legal to hunt with this air-bow. Actually, only South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Arizona are the only states that allow hunting for deer with the air-bow. Other states are considering it as we write this.

In general observation, it does seem that if we are going to allow muzzleloader rifles to use inline ignition and 209 primers with optics and Sabot bullets. The use of an air-bow is not that far removed from this style. Time will tell and tempers will flare. Just remember as hunters we must stick together. It may not be for you, but we still need to stand together and support each other’s position.