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Gear test: The Airbow

Things that are strange and innovative are mostly kind of tough to figure out when they’re initial introduced. A lot of people took years to comfortable adult to a thought of a VCR or a x-ray oven, or a personal computer.

The Pioneer Airbow is kind of like that. What it does and how it works is singular and remarkable, yet what accurately is it? Is it a crossbow? Is it an airgun? It’s indeed neither, yet on a shifting scale, a Airbow is closer to an airgun. Its odd, futuristic, polymer coming doesn’t assistance transparent things adult either.

Since a introduction progressing this year, several states opposite a nation have addressed a Airbow and some have given it a place in existent sport seasons as some-more people get a possibility to use it, learn a advantages and what it could meant for a destiny of hunting.


The good folks during Benjamin, a Crosman brand, sent me an Airbow package to exam out. Having no genuine knowledge with complicated airguns, we was a tiny doubtful of a arrow-shooting contraption’s utility as a sport implement, yet it didn’t take prolonged to put those concerns to rest. The biggest reason? The thing is customarily plain fun to shoot, and it’s frighteningly accurate.

First, let’s take a demeanour during how a Airbow operates.

How It Works

What does a crawl of any kind—long, compound, cross—do? Simply, it pushes an arrow with a string. The arrow—or in a box of crossbows, a bolt—is intent by a fibre during a nock on a behind of a arrow, moving a arrow forward.

The Airbow changes all that. It uses special, full-sized 375-grain and 26-inch arrows finished by Benjamin that are hollow, with a tiny slap where a nock would routinely be. They can be propitious with any form of margin points or (full-weight) broadheads, customarily like unchanging arrows. The vale arrow slides over a skinny aluminum tube that serves as a tub until a slap thatch in during a behind of a gun, formulating a seal.


Pressurized atmosphere is channeled by a tube from a missile resource when a Airbow is fired, impacting a arrow behind a arrowhead, radically pulling a missile of a arrow behind it. And as anyone who has used a flatbed trolly knows, pulling something is a lot easier than pushing, and it subjects a arrow missile to fewer unpropitious army when withdrawal a bow. This creates for intensely rapid arrows.

The normal recurve crawl will glow arrows during about 230 fps. Arrows from complicated devalue bows transport during about 300 to 400 fps. Crossbows send arrows during anywhere from 300 fps TO 375 fps. The Airbow propels a arrows during 450 fps, and not customarily that, yet it’s about 10 times as easy and quick to bucket as a crossbow. All that speed creates for a offset arena and conspicuous accuracy.

Filling and Charging

The frequency pressurized atmosphere that creates a Airbow work is stored in a slim tank underneath a barrel. The pattern is fundamentally a bullpup pattern with a cocking/firing resource located in a batch behind a trigger.

There are dual ways to fill a Airbow’s onboard tank located underneath a tub tube: with a high-pressure palm siphon and 200-350 pumps, that is a bit of work, or with a apart fountainhead tank, that if we buy it from Benjamin, is a 15-inch steel and carbon-fiber atmosphere tank that comes with a stuffing valve and takes a hose connection that comes with a airbow. Benjamin calls it the PCP Charging System.


You could use a incomparable dense atmosphere tank to fill a Airbow, yet it has to be means to fill to 3,000 psi, that is miles over a compressors in your normal garage or automobile shop, that customarily max out during 200 psi.

If we go with a fountainhead tank option, your best gamble for removing it filled (unless we wish to dump a few grand on a high-pressure compressor) is a diving emporium that fills SCUBA tanks, or a paintball shop. Most paintball stores these days also specialize in airguns, given they have a lot of common ground.

I got my 4500 PSI PCP Charging System from Benajamin filled for $6, and that will let we entirely fill a Airbow 7 times. From any fill, a association says we get 8 full-power shots and and dual absolute shots before a speed drops off, for a sum of 10. When sharpened it, we was squeezing 12 shots out of a fill, with customarily a final arrow ostensible like it mislaid some speed, attack a bit lower.

If we occur to have a incomparable high-pressure atmosphere tank, we can positively fill it from that for longer sharpened sessions, yet for sport purposes, a Charging System tank should be some-more than adequate.

Actually stuffing a crawl is simple. You simply insert an enclosed hose from a 4500 PSI tank to a tiny adapter that we afterwards insert in a hole during a front of a gun’s tank behind a vigour sign until it seats. Then solemnly open a valve on a tank and watch a sign on a bow. Fill it until it reaches 3,000 PSI and tighten it off. Bleed a line, and cocktail it out. That’s it. You’re good for during slightest 10 shots.

Loading a Airbow

The Airbow is intensely elementary to operate, and given it’s such a new concept, Benjamin provides an exhaustively helpful array of videos that cover all from stuffing to maintenance.

Once a tank is filled, a routine goes like this:

  1. Make certain a reserve is on and slip arrow over tub tube with a immature fletching confronting adult until it seats.

  2. Lift a cocking push on tip of a stock. It takes about 2 pounds of force and we hear and feel a good plain click when it’s entirely cocked.

  3. Aim. Disengage a safety. Fire.

There’s zero some-more to it than that, and maybe some-more importantly, it’s customarily as easy and protected to de-cock. Crossbows have a rubbish of not being really easy to unload, if we can during all. Many complicated crossbows have anti-dry glow mechanisms that forestall a fibre from being expelled if there isn’t a missile on a moody rail. To unpack these, we have to move along a gangling missile with a margin tip and glow it into a tiny bag aim designed for such a task, or into another formally protected object.


On a Airbow, if it’s loaded, cocked, and prepared to fire, we simply lift adult on a cocking hoop all a approach and reason it, lift a trigger with your other palm and solemnly reduce a cocking hoop before putting a reserve on (watch how it’s finished in a video above).

Since a Airbow uses a dense atmosphere in a tank to work a missile like a piston, that in spin propels a arrow, there’s no need to recover or rubbish atmosphere if we de-cock a bow, a missile is simply disengaged.

Then simply mislay a arrow from a tub tube and a Airbow is unloaded and safe.

As distant as upkeep goes, there are customarily dual things we have to do. First, oil a missile any 200 shots by lifting a cocking push and putting moly douse on a missile and receiver and around it. Second, check a arrows before any use for cracks.


The Airbow is freakishly accurate inside 50 yards, that was a limit operation we shot it for this review, given that’s typically what we cruise my limit operation for bowhunting. It comes with a tradition 6x40mm operation finished customarily for a crawl with a elementary mil-dot-like reticle. we sighted it in during 20 yards, and during that range, it was roughly too accurate…meaning after a initial integrate of shots, we started retrieving any arrow before a subsequent shot, given this happened:

I did many of my sharpened disposed and seated during 40 yards, and we was removing intensely parsimonious groups, with a strike frequency deviate outward a 3-inch core round on a uninformed bag target. Sighting it in was a many formidable part. we used a enclosed 20 MOA lifted rail platform—which is a riser that attaches to a Airbow’s tip rail to give a operation some-more height—at a company’s insistence, and put a initial integrate arrows in a dirt. After cranking a operation down utterly a bit, it was customarily teenager adjustments.

While my crony and we were sharpened one morning, a deer hunter creation his approach to his crawl mount on a adjacent skill stopped by to see what we were adult to, and watched us glow a few shots. The male in his mid-50s with a Buck blade on a belt wrapped around his stay overalls hefted a unconventional Airbow and directed it downrange while seeking how many shots it got off one fill. He walked a few paces and sat adult opposite a tree looked by a operation again. He asked how most it went for. we told him and he took a impulse before declaring, “I’d compensate that, and I’d hunt with this. For sure.”

Easy sale. we design a commission.


If we aren’t already an airgun shooter, hunter, or paintball enthusiast, there’s going to be a bit of an investment in removing started with it. The crawl itself has an MSRP of $999, yet we can find it online for as tiny as $788. With that we get a bow, 9 (previously three) arrows with margin tips, an on-board quiver, a scope, and a rope and a pack of RealTree camo stickers that can be practical to a bow’s factory-black body.

A six-pack of arrows will set we behind $100, during $16 and change per arrow, yet we can find packs for $75 on amazon.com, that is allied to other arrows on a market.


The 4500 psi PCP Charging System is a bit pricier, going for $430. A distant cheaper choice is the palm siphon from Benjamin that retails for $190.

However, if we already have stuffing solutions for other gear, afterwards you’re customarily looking during a cost of a crawl and arrows. The fact that we can use customary broadheads is a large plus.

As distant as sport regulations go, you’re going to have to see what your state has to contend about it. Crosman includes a “Where Is It Legal To Hunt With a Pioneer Airbow” map on a website http://www.crosman.com/airbow yet includes a disclaimer “Use a map next to see that states have large diversion airgun sport seasons. Based on a Pioneer’s powerplant, we trust it is authorised for use in those states in that Air Powered Guns are eligible. Do not count on this map. Confirm internal regulations.”

So if your state already allows sport with airguns, it’s a plain maybe for a Airbow. If your state doesn’t already concede airgun hunting, like mine, a chances that a Airbow will be a authorised diversion harvester any time shortly are slim, though there could be changes on a setting for some states like Pennsylvania, or for exceptions to be finished for hunters with disabilities.

Otherwise, a Airbow is one ruin of a fun aim torpedo that’s sincerely inexpensive to shoot, once all a start-up costs are out of a way…and supposing we don’t kill any arrows with other arrows.



Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/great-outdoors/2016/11/08/gear-test-airbow.html