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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So again I clicked too fast on amazon without reading. I was rushing to get more darts for a camping trip and ordered 100 wire broadheads. After I went back and actually read the description. The broadheads were plastic.

I figured not a big deal, I'll grind the wire to a point and use them. I received them today and yup, the pionts were crap and will not stay without adhesive.

I have a well equipped auto shop but it's over an hour away. What I do have at home are 2 tools all hobbyist should own. A dremel and a panavise.

At first I clamped the wire in the vise and tried to put a point on it. This worked quite poorly. I popped open a frosty beverage and thought about it.

This time I clamped the dremel in the panavise and tilted it almost vertical. With a grinding stone I braced the wire against the vise and spun the wire against the moving grinding wheel.

This worked wonders. With the wheel at high speed and the rotation sending the sparks away from me I had a nice point on the wire in about 30 seconds.

I got through more than half of the wires before the battery died in the dremel. It's charging now and I'd guess without having to charge it would take less than an hour to put a point on all 100.

This should work with any material with the proper grinding wheel and rotation speed.
 

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Treefork is correct. I have done that myself when I wanted to use a dart for hunting that created a higher impact on the target. Any type of game that might be suited to being hunted with a blowgun has very thin skin and it takes nothing to push through it. Penetration is not as good as a sharpened point or broadhead but it's good enough to affectively get the job done. Also I've used blunt ended wire like this unsharpened for target shooting to good affect. But with some backstop material using unsharpened darts will cause the backstop material to deteriorate much faster than when using pointed darts.

I used to take the time to create a really sharp pointed dart tip for hunting but upon shot after shot and missed shots that destroyed that beautiful point that I meticulously crafted I just got tired of sharpening them all the time and in doing so you will eventually end up with a bunch of darts that vary slightly in length making wieght of the darts inconsistent and thus degrading my dart's accuracy.

After hundreds of shots later I started (I'm not the sharpest tack in the box) noticing that the shape of the unsharpened darts start to "self" form into the shape of a half moon whereby they started to become a perfect half circle in shape. This shape of point is very rugged indeed. It never needs sharpening, only varies in weight very very little over time and just works well for most things. It is even easier on backstop materials and I never have to waste time on sharpening. It's funny how many times airguns are used in referrence to blowgun scenarios but after using unsharpened points as described here I noticed something about the airgun pellets. The number one selling pellet shape is the standard Dome shape.......just like the shape my dart shaft tips had "self" formed over time into that same "dome" shape.

I think too many people think that they can turn a blowgun into a superduper killing machine by creating broadheads that create a devastating wound to the animal. In most cases this is extreme overkill. There might be an argument for their use in a survival situation but all survial type situations are unplanned situations and as such ur probably not going to have your blowgun with you anyway. If you compare the size of a squirrel for instance to that of an average man........killing a squirrel with a normal pointed dart is easy. The diameter of the dart shaft is small. Now scale that squirrel and dart shaft in size to equal that of a human. That dart shaft when you think about it would probably be like getting hit with something like a 4-5 inch fence post. I don't know about other folks but if I get hit with a projectile of that diameter............there's no question of whether or not I'm going down. A sharp fence post would certainly go through you, but think how much more shock would be transferred to the target if that fence post was blunt.

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that the shape of the point is no where near as important as the fact that each and every dart should be exactly the same in shape, length, weight and style in order to give you maximum repeatability shot after shot. Shot placement is far more important than than the shape of the projectile.

So experiment with everything you can think of from point shape to cone shape/length etc. that you can possibly think of trying. That's how we all discover new things that no one else has and when shared benefit everyone. Good Luck my friend.
 

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I must say that squirrels are tough little buggers.

you HAVE to get a heart/lung or headshot with a blowgun or airgun to get a(near) instant kill...

and it is pretty hard to get a headshot, plus the skull will deflect some types of dart.

Hence why I use arrows from a 50-pound longbow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did attempt the unsharpened darts over the weekend. I was able to get them to stick into the plywood but the woman was not able.

I can easily see with your analogy how in a hunting situation they would work better. I'm not about hunting for meat. Where I live in the republik of NJ if I were to walk around plinking squirrels I'd be having a conversation with the local PD in short order.

I'm actually amazed blowguns aren't illegal here. I can't have a slingshot of any type here. I may have to print up the law for when the inevitable happens and someone calls the police on me.
 

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I must say that squirrels are tough little buggers.

you HAVE to get a heart/lung or headshot with a blowgun or airgun to get a(near) instant kill...

and it is pretty hard to get a headshot, plus the skull will deflect some types of dart.

Hence why I use arrows from a 50-pound longbow.
That's like using a cannon to shoot an ant. I don't find squirrels all that hard to kill without heart or lung shots. Yes that is the ideal scenario but it is one that sadly happens the least. That's why I use stun darts (round ball with home made cone -anything from glass marbles to lead balls) on squirrels. They hit very hard and you don't need to be as pin point accurate as you would with a standard dart (once again the fence post analogy). You will knock them right off the branch and into the air with a good stunner. They will hit the ground and quiver long enough for you to finish them off with a heel to the skull or such.

But this is neither here nor there as I think you missed the point of my comment. I was talking in terms of a "general duty" dart. Dull or sharp is no where near as important as uniform dart length, shape, and weight for "general duty". If an occasion does arise where you must use a "general duty" dart to kill something with........a dull one will be more affective than a pointed one on anything up to and including rabbit size game because of the extra shock imparted to the quarry unless it is a very light dart such as bamboo.

Farabomb I did not read what caliber/make of BG you were using?

It surprised me to read that the woman was not able to stick the dart into the plywood. Perhaps it is just her blow technique that needs practice. It is an acquired skill and becomes more powerful over time. If I could offer you one piece of advice it would be to take the suggestions people offer up to you and try them without arguing or splitting hairs with folks as some here will do. Try the suggestions, find what works for you and share that with others as we can also learn from your discoveries. I look forward to reading your future posts and discoveries you have made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It was a .40 48in. 2pc predator (avoid) and I don't remember if we were shooting it full length or half size. This was into some dense plywood and they pretty much just bounced out with her. I agree her technique needs work as does mine. She does pretty well though. We'll keep score and most of the time she'll be within 20 points (cold steel target rings) and at times beat me. The new 36 in. single piece is far, far more accurate.

Your point about well... points has logic behind it. If you're shooting game with a blowgun the stun effect of a blunt tip is probably more desirable than a ultra sharp tip. The sharp one may even pass through and tack the game to the tree. The proper tool for the job.

I do notice a difference between 2 lengths of wire darts that I have. I can easily see how ones of varying lengths can affect accuracy. I wonder what the best balance point for a dart is?
 

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It was a .40 48in. 2pc predator (avoid) and I don't remember if we were shooting it full length or half size. This was into some dense plywood and they pretty much just bounced out with her. I agree her technique needs work as does mine. She does pretty well though. We'll keep score and most of the time she'll be within 20 points (cold steel target rings) and at times beat me. The new 36 in. single piece is far, far more accurate.

Your point about well... points has logic behind it. If you're shooting game with a blowgun the stun effect of a blunt tip is probably more desirable than a ultra sharp tip. The sharp one may even pass through and tack the game to the tree. The proper tool for the job.

I do notice a difference between 2 lengths of wire darts that I have. I can easily see how ones of varying lengths can affect accuracy. I wonder what the best balance point for a dart is?
Sounds like you are on the right track. Unless all you want to do or be limited to is sticking darts into paper targets I'd move up into a larger caliber. Not only will you find it much easier to blow say a .50 or .55 or .625 but because the darts are generally heavier they hit with much more authority. From a round pointed dart shot from my .625 it is not too difficult to push that dart through 1/2 inch plywood from about 5 yards. So the larger calibers definitely have more power. I started with a .40 cal also but once I moved up to the larger calibers I never looked back at the .40 as anything more than a toy by comparison.

If you make your own BG as most of us on this site have done I would recommend that you stay away from the plastics like PVC pipe for a blowgun if the cost of a metal pipe is not a deterrent. You will have far less sag and the bore diameters will be far far more consistent. PVC is probably the worst offender for inconsistent bore diameter. It works and is better than nothing but for those who can afford to buy a metal pipe of either steel like conduit, copper pipe, or aluminum the latter three are much better options.

RE tips and points. A sharp or dull round dart shaft will never kill as affectively as a dart shaft with sharpened blades. But the problem for me has been that bladed darts seldom fly with the same consistency as a non bladed dart. The blades tend to act like little wings that push the dart off it's intended path as the alignment of these blades when the dart is being built is very hard to achieve accurately and repeatably. The standard plain dart is much more accurate. Now that is not to say that a plain dart has to be anything other than plain. GKU is the first person that comes to mind that builds darts using packing tape for cones and then utilizes a home made tool to trim them all to perfect uniform lengths and he even goes so far as to weigh each dart. And his darts perform extremely well as a result of his painstaking efforts to achieve uniformity.

As you stated above you have already noticed the affects of non-uniformity in dart performance. For example; if you have three darts and each is a different length from the others. All things being equal the shortest of the darts will place higher on a target and the longest dart will place the lowest on the target with the middle dart length landing somewhere on the paper between the shortest dart and the longest dart. That is in a perfect world of course. Mastering your blow - blowing with the same consistent pressure and follow through each and every time is also a huge influence. The more of these outside influences a person can eliminate the better that person's chances are of hitting the same spot each and every time. It is incredibly difficult.

I think that a person would be very well served by not changing from one caliber to another, or going back and forth from a longer BG to a shorter BG. Find a caliber that you like the most.........try them all! Then find the best BG length for your lung capacity and stick with it and nothing else.....to do otherwise brings an inconsistent variable into the mix. Make the most perfect darts that you can and practice practice practice with that one BG. And when you think you have got it.........practice some more. That's my recipe for consistency.

This is what I have found that works best for me in my shooting needs at this point in time.

I only use two different types of darts - blunt tipped dart shafts and stun darts (this does not include the experimentation I do). This minimizes the amount of adjustment I have to make from one dart type to another. .625 is my caliber of choice in a 5 foot length. But honestly here.......I go back and forth still between my Cold Steel 5 foot two piece and my Cold Steel 4 foot Pro. I love the weight and heft of the four foot pro but the diameter is greater than the 5 foot two piece which I find harder to use instinctually with out sights. The five foot two piece is better this way. So since getting these two BG's new just this last winter I have not had the chance to pick my one blowgun from these two. I suspect I will end up choosing the 5 foot two piece simply because it has more versatility when not abused and can be broken down into two shorter lengths making transport much more convenient. The four foot pro is definitely stronger and more robust. But the choice will be based on what I need from either of them for the type of shooting I do, and which one "I" can shoot the best.

GKU has written an excellent account of his experiences in finding the perfect blowgun for him/you/anyone and how to determine which is right for you based on your own lung capacity etc. It's a good read if you can find it on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hearing that the larger calibers are actually easier to blow comes as a surprise. I would have expected that the larger ones would require more lung volume and be harder. I guess as long as you don't go too crazy with length bigger bore is better.

My next step was to go to a .50, that was with my idea that the larger bore was harder. I had my eyes on the CS .625 5ft Pro but I didn't want to spend the money and have issues. I was going to slowly work my way up. I am a smoker and I have a feeling I'm a little down on lung power.

The reason I haven't made my own yet was I wasn't sure what the best material was. I also wasn't sure of the ID of materials. Tried to fix the plastic connector of my 2 pc with a 1/2 in. copper coupler but the ID of the coupler was too large. I guess bringing a ruler or a caliper would help but sometimes it's a impulse run to the hardware store and I'm just not thinking. I live in the woods and everything seems to be at least a 45 min trip.

I am going to take a look at the local HW store and see if they have anything in a decent length and the proper ID for a .625 cone. I also have a cousin that is a welder and a customer knifemaker. He knows metal better than anyone I know. I'm sure he can point me in the right direction to something that is rigid, consistent bore and hopefully laying around his shop.

I'm actually quite happy sitting in my backyard and blowing at targets for right now. I also know myself and if I catch the bug I will feel the need to keep progressing.
 

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Think of it like this - if you took a full lung full of air and tried to expel that whole lung full through a soda straw it would probably take a full couple of seconds. Doing the same through a 1/2 or larger pipe would be almost instantaneous with far less pressure build up doing so. It's the same with BG's. The volume of air is greater but the pressure is less when shooting larger BG's than it is when shooting smaller bore BG's.

Smoking does destroy not only lung power but also lung capacity. With that said, technique is more important than power.

With regard to materials - many older experienced members on here can attest to the ability of good old fashioned electrical conduit for making BG's out of. It is stiff and rigid which is a quality desired. It is cheap and you can find it anywhere. In my experience the only down fall of conduit is that it requires maintenance that aluminum copper or stainless does not and that is to swab it out well and give it a protective coating of some sort like vegetable oil to prevent the bore from rusting from the condensation of your breath. Other than that it makes a great BG. Copper can and does also make a great BG but it can be soft and susceptible to dents. Aluminum is lighter but can also be susceptible to dents if it is a thin wall pipe. For the best bang for the buck I prefer aluminum because it is lighter than conduit and available in more sizes than copper water pipe. 3/4 inch anything is too big for all but the very few. Most folks have the capacity to shoot a .625 cal, the only caveat might be whether if they can shoot a 4 foot .625 - can they also shoot a 5 foot .625. Those things take time to figure out on your own. I'd start with a 4 footer and go from there.

I would do my shopping the other way around from what you stated above in that I would choose the pipe of proper diameter and then build the darts to fit the pipe not the other way around like you stated above.

If you can't afford the metal pipe there is always pvc as a last resort but special attention to structural strengthening will have to be paid to prevent the barrel from sagging like a wet noodle when held horizontally. It's ok for kids but as an adult used to better things, I doubt you would be happy with it.
 

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Treefork is correct. I have done that myself when I wanted to use a dart for hunting that created a higher impact on the target. Any type of game that might be suited to being hunted with a blowgun has very thin skin and it takes nothing to push through it. Penetration is not as good as a sharpened point or broadhead but it's good enough to affectively get the job done. Also I've used blunt ended wire like this unsharpened for target shooting to good affect. But with some backstop material using unsharpened darts will cause the backstop material to deteriorate much faster than when using pointed darts.

I used to take the time to create a really sharp pointed dart tip for hunting but upon shot after shot and missed shots that destroyed that beautiful point that I meticulously crafted I just got tired of sharpening them all the time and in doing so you will eventually end up with a bunch of darts that vary slightly in length making wieght of the darts inconsistent and thus degrading my dart's accuracy.

After hundreds of shots later I started (I'm not the sharpest tack in the box) noticing that the shape of the unsharpened darts start to "self" form into the shape of a half moon whereby they started to become a perfect half circle in shape. This shape of point is very rugged indeed. It never needs sharpening, only varies in weight very very little over time and just works well for most things. It is even easier on backstop materials and I never have to waste time on sharpening. It's funny how many times airguns are used in referrence to blowgun scenarios but after using unsharpened points as described here I noticed something about the airgun pellets. The number one selling pellet shape is the standard Dome shape.......just like the shape my dart shaft tips had "self" formed over time into that same "dome" shape.

I think too many people think that they can turn a blowgun into a superduper killing machine by creating broadheads that create a devastating wound to the animal. In most cases this is extreme overkill. There might be an argument for their use in a survival situation but all survial type situations are unplanned situations and as such ur probably not going to have your blowgun with you anyway. If you compare the size of a squirrel for instance to that of an average man........killing a squirrel with a normal pointed dart is easy. The diameter of the dart shaft is small. Now scale that squirrel and dart shaft in size to equal that of a human. That dart shaft when you think about it would probably be like getting hit with something like a 4-5 inch fence post. I don't know about other folks but if I get hit with a projectile of that diameter............there's no question of whether or not I'm going down. A sharp fence post would certainly go through you, but think how much more shock would be transferred to the target if that fence post was blunt.

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that the shape of the point is no where near as important as the fact that each and every dart should be exactly the same in shape, length, weight and style in order to give you maximum repeatability shot after shot. Shot placement is far more important than than the shape of the projectile.

So experiment with everything you can think of from point shape to cone shape/length etc. that you can possibly think of trying. That's how we all discover new things that no one else has and when shared benefit everyone. Good Luck my friend.
Well said, educational.
 
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