Airbow may be a new word for a lot of people. Only very recently is it starting to get popular with limited companies perfecting their new airbow models.
So what is airbow archery and how does it relate to the other bows?
The Airbow is closest in resemblance to the crossbow. Using proper foregrip handling, stock placement, and safe trigger control. To the untrained eye, it would look almost no different than a single barreled rifle.
The main difference is that an airbow, just like the name suggests, uses compressed air as the source for firing the arrow. Very similar to how an Airsoft gun works.
Instead of having a nock, the arrows are hollow and fed over a long barrel that is similar in length. Once the trigger is pulled, compressed air from the pressurized canister pushes the arrow forward at incredible speeds.
Benefits of Using an Airbow
As you can immediately see, the airbow has no risers or limbs. This means it has absolutely no draw-weight and no bow string to pull back, allowing anyone of any physical shape to be able to use an airbow.
An advantage of having no limbs makes the airbow more maneuverable when you are traveling through tight spots.
You also don’t have to worry about your string potentially getting caught and being cut while you are out in the field.
No strings means no worries about damaging the airbow if you were to dry fire it.
Since there is no draw-weight, cocking the bow is incredibly easy. After placing the arrow in position you simply flip the cocking bolt and it is ready to fire.
This also makes the airbow a lot safer to handle when re-cocking it in a tree or high stand.
The firing rate is also much faster in comparison to re-cocking a crossbow.
Parts of an Airbow
The stock for the Benjamin Pioneer Airbow is considered a bullpup feature as the precharged pneumatic mechanism that launches the arrow is located behind the handle and trigger. Remember to have proper stock placement while aiming!
2. Cocking Bolt
In standard airbow models, a cocking bolt is often situated near the sights or, in our case, the cocking bolt is located right above the stock. Using pneumatic technology, switching the bolt back and then forward prepares the arrow to be fired. Always practice safe cocking procedures!
Place your favorite sights here! In the picture you can see the quiver is attached at the front end of the sight bridge.
4. Handle and Trigger
Just like on crossbows and airsoft guns. Remember to keep the safety on and your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire!
5. Safety Switch
On this airbow model, the safety switch is positioned in front of the trigger, preventing you from pulling it back. Simply moving it forward will disengage the safety.
Proper foregrip handling further stabilizes the shot. Keep the airbow vertical, no canting (tilting the airbow left or right while aiming)!
7. Sling Stud
These front and rear sling studs allow you the option to attach a bipod or shoulder straps.
8. Pressure Regulator
This meter gives you an indication on how much pressure is left in your airbow’s compressed air cylinder.
9. Barrel and Arrow
The front of this long straw-like barrel is where you insert the rear of the arrow and guide it all the way back, securing it to be fired.
A quiver attachment is always handy for reliably quick reloads.
Refilling the Airbow’s Compressed Air Cylinder
The location of the compressed air cylinder may vary between different airbow designs. In the case of the Pioneer Airbow, the cylinder, also called an air reservoir, is situated at the front, directly behind the pressure regulator.
Recent airbow models have air reservoirs which can hold up to and over 3000 PSI (Pounds per square inch).
In order to bring the air gauge back to full, you need to use a Fill Probe that attaches into the hole on your air reservoir.
Once it is securely in place, you are now able to attach either your hand pump or air tank to the airbow and properly begin the air filling process.
Make sure you are using high-pressure equipment that is in good condition and always follow the proper procedures when filling anything with compressed air.
This means making sure all connections are properly secured, checking the gauge meter to see when it is full, and letting out the excess air using the bleed nozzle once you are done.
Now that the air cylinder is full, remove the fill probe and you are ready to fire your airbow!
Accuracy, Power and Speed of Airbow Archery
So do Airbows shoot as good as they look?
You will find it normal to have amazing accuracy at 50 yards with an airbow. Recent airbow models allow 8 or more shots with each full air cylinder and you will often find yourself having 2 inch groupings at long distance.
Apart from your skillful aim, another reason for the airbow’s accuracy is that it avoids the archer’s paradox (this is when the force of the string bends the arrow around the bow) as the arrows are instead pushed at the front by compressed air rather than at the back of the arrow with a string.
Recent standard airbows can reach speeds of 450 FPS (Feet per second) and have the stopping power of 160 FPE (Foot-pounds of energy).
The power can further be increased if you decide to change the arrow tips for a heavier grain broadhead.
Airbow Archery Safety
Keep the airbow pointed away from you at all times and always practice proper trigger discipline!
Always take a moment to inspect your arrows before using them on the range.
Make sure the tips are tightly screwed on, there are no splitting of the material along the stem, the fletching is not damaged, and there is no debris inside the hollow nocks.
Always make sure the arrow is fully locked in place when loading it onto the barrel.
It is very important to load the arrow first and then cock the airbow to prevent dry firing while loading.
Always keep the safety on until you are pointing at your designated target and are ready to fire.
Follow your airbow model’s proper de-cocking directions if you have to do so for any reason.
Follow all of the safety rules given to you when you are at the range or in the field!
Conclusion To: What is Airbow Archery?
What is airbow archery really? Would it even be considered archery by this point? Or do you think it is more in class with the airsoft rifles?
Many of us will have our own opinions on this matter, but there is no denying that airbows can launch arrows at serious speeds with serious power, at an incredible rate.
We recommend the Benjamin Pioneer Airbow as it is one of the limited high-quality airbows currently out on the market.
Before getting your hands on an airbow and experience its features, you must remember that you also need a high-pressure hand pump or air tank to fill the airbow’s canister as well as an air compressor to fill the air tank.
If you are a fan of airsoft and already have this equipment then you are more than halfway ready to enjoy airbow archery!
It is without a doubt that the popularity of airbow archery will only increase as time passes and we are presented with newer, better designed Airbows!