We are blowgun hunting in the canopies and crevices around us. Cultures use them for Blowgun hunting, blowgun fishing, Fukiya, even breathing pipes! And craft blowgun darts out of metal and pirahna teeth, often dipping them in poisons derived from toxic plants and venom! Remember to share it with others! Every share truly matters, thank you. Like what you see? Blowguns and slingshots are how all my Children got introduced to aiming and hitting a target before getting to shoot a B.
I Hate it when that happens! Polyurethane, lacquer, or paint works fine, but, as mentioned before, nail polish is the most convenient. Make sure to use a thin coat and paint the cone both inside and out. Then try the fit of your dart in the bore again when you're done. The thickness of the sealant can sometimes be enough Lo cause a dart to stick in Lhe bore. The final step in making any type of dart is to sharpen Lhe point, This is saved for last to prevent accidentally sticking yourself dur- ing construction of the dart. Darts are most easily sharpened with a fine grlL wheel on a bench grinder or with a Dremei Look Final sharpening and touch-ups can be done with a whetstone.
These tips are an advantage in hunting because they create a larger wound channel, which means more bleeding. These can be improvised by soldering mod- ified X-acto hobby knife blades to the tips of wire darts, but an easier method is to heal the tip of your dart with a propane torch until it is bright red and then hammer it flat on an anvil. Alter you file it to a broadhead shape, heat it red hot again and quench It in water to harden it.
Then sharpen it on a whetstone. Lhey are even preferable, as their lighter weight extends the range of your gun. Additionally, when shooting at targels in trees or other high places, missed shots with wooden darts will usually fall back to earth so Lhe darts can be reused. The Breath of Death that miss their target will normally stick into someth mg else and be much more difficult to retrieve. If you plan to use poison on your darts, wooden darts have an extra advantage in that the porous wood will hold poison much more readily than steel.
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An assortment of wooden dans, The top d art come with a traditional Filipino biowgun. Materials can Include basically any type of hardwood, but bamboo, because of Us Fibrous nature and very hard skin, is the preferred choice. Constructing wooden darts can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Anything smaller will be too light to shoot accurately and anything larger will be too heavy. These dowels can be purchased in practically any lumber, hard- ware, or hobby store.
Be certain that the dowel is absolutely straight, as a warped or corkscrewed one wilt not shoot accurately. Then pul a drop of super glue on the tail end and twist a cotton ball around the shaft as described earlier. Alternately, a few small knife nicks in the shaft will snag the cotton sufficiently to allow you to wrap the stopper.
The shafts of these darts can be reused and resharpened many times. The stoppers will be good for as many as half a dozen shots before requiring replacement. To save on space when carrying your darts in the field, you can do as described earlier and carry the shafts without the stop- pers and keep a supply of cotton separate. This allows you to carry many darts without damaging the stoppers. When you are ready to shoot, you can roll your darts on site, fr you want to get more elaborate, a more permanent and durable stopper can be made from cork or wooden dowel as described in the section on wire darts.
These stoppers can be held in place with while glue or epoxy and will allow you to reuse the dans many times. If you're really ambitious, you can start with a larger dowel and whittle, file, or turn it down to create a broad head point and a thin, integral shaft. With practice, you can learn to make the stopper integral as well. Otherwise, a cotton or glued -on wooden stopper will work fine.
As mentioned earlier, bamboo is an ideal material for wooden darts. It is readily available in the form of bamboo chopsticks from any Asian market. These can be carved as described above and work very well. If you look for the type with square handle sections, you can take advantage of the hard skin of the bamboo to increase the hardness and penetrating power or the point of your dart. Find the hard, shiny side of the handle that was the outer skin of the bamboo.
That will be the base for your broad- head design. Done correctly, it will meet the base side so the point is triangular or half-round in cross section. The Breath of Death Shaping a bamboo dan may seem difficult a L first, but it will get earner with practice. I usually use a sharp pocketkmfe with a relatively thin blade for most of the detail work.
A straight- edged hobby razor works well, too. Be careful r though, as it will take off skin even quicker. A compromise between the traditional wooden dart and the modem steel one can be made by Lakinga wooden dowel and fas- tening a sicel point to it. The result looks very much like a minia- ture hunting arrow, ft gives you the advantage ol a light dart which will fly greater distances and a hard point which creates deep wounds that bleed a lot To make these darts, start with your standard, thin wooden dow r el.
Then Lake an X-acto hobby knife blade and clamp it in a pair of vise grips. Using a bench grinder and a fine grinding wheel grind it to a symmetrical arrowhead shape. Dip it frequently in a can of water to keep it cool and preserve its hardness. When it is completely shaped, clean it off with alcohol and use epoxy to glue it in the slot you cut in the dowel. Then sharpen both edges on a whetstone, I Is a good idea to make protective covers for the heads of these darts do pre- vent cuts. This is especially important if you ever plan to use poison on your darts since even a small accidental cuL can pro- vide an entry route fur poison.
An interesting variation of this type of broadhead dart works very much like the notched wooden darts described earlier. As you recall, these were intended to break off. This can be found at a hobby shop or. The idea is to create w r hat looks like a small socketed spearhead Lhat will slip over the Lip of a wooden or steel shaft.
It is not glued in place hut held by frfction-fiLanly. These work even better if you use a Dremcl tool and a grinding disk to cut barbs on the blade and add a few notch- es to hold the poison. Other types of projectiles that can be used in blow guns include various impact projectiles. Traditionally, these have taken the form of hails or bullet-shaped projectiles made of hard- ened clay.
Although these can be made if you have access to ceramics equipment, an easier method is to use plaster of pans, plastic, or some oLhcr castable substance. If your hlowgun's bore is the same caliber as that of a pistol or rifle, you can use hand- loader's bullet molds. The plaster or casting plastic can be inject- ed into the mold with a cake frosting bag or a similar improvised setup made from a paper cone.
Make sure you lubricate the inside of the mold with pel role um jelly or some other nonstick substance before you start. If you made your own blowgun and have some tubing left over, coat the Inside of the tubing with a lubricant, cork one end, and inject your casting medium. When it s cured, push it out w ith dowel rod, cut it into sections, and sand the corners round. An easier solution is to use one of the many varieties of glass and plastic jewelry beads available in most craft supply stores.
These are available in many different sizes that are perfectly coin pa li hie with common blow- gun bore diameters. As mentioned earlier, it s a good idea to try all your beads for fit in your gun before you shoot to prevent a jam at an inopportune time. A short section of extra tubing used to make your gun comes in handy for this and is easier to clear of jams.
In fact, such a piece is useful to have on hand for try-fitting all the projectiles and darts you make. My favorite method of making impact projectiles is to simply crimp a lead fishing sinker onto a cotton ball. Load the weight into your gun. These weights hit with surprising force and can do consider- able damage.
Thfl Breath of Death gun is LG merely blunt the end of a spring steel dart. If you want to eliminate the possibility of puncturing your target altogether, you can bend the Up of the dart over double or crimp a fishing weight over the Lip. This has the advantage of keeping the weight and size of your impact darts the same as your sharpened ones so there s no need to adjust your aim when you switch from one to the other.
Bdow these is a standard dart with its tip hen r over. CHAPTER 7 W ith a few hours work yon can pre- pare a supply of the darts des- cribed in the previous chapter that will enable you to meet most of the chal- lenges Tor which a blowgun is suited. Perhaps the most useful type of spe- cialty dart is the syringe or hypodermic dart. Standard wooden or spring steel darts can be coated w ith practically any PRO JKCTII ,KS substance and shot into a target, bui a syringe dart makes it possible to put even greater quantities of that substance into your target s bloodstream.
With an effec- tive syringe dart and a tranquilizer, the blow'gun can. If the tran- quilizer is replaced with a more toxic sub- stance, it can transform the blowgun Into a very deadly weapon indeed. The easiest method of making syringe darts for a blowgun is to start with an actu- al plastic medical syringe. Sand off the finger hold at the base of the syringe so only the cylindrical body which is about ,40 inch in diameter, remains. The body itself can then be sanded to reduce its diameter slightly for use in a ,caliber gun.
I've bad better results by wrapping a few turns of narrow adhesive tape around the base of the tube La increase its diameter to half an inch for use in guns of that bore size. Large-gauge needles around 20 gauge are preferred because they give the dart enough strength to penetrate without breaking and they ensure the maximum transfer of the poison or drug. Syringe darts made from 1 cc medical syringes. The dart on the left has Q lead fishing sinker crimped onto the plunger to increase rt i forward momea turn.
The plunger in the middle dan has a rubber bond asskr. An unaltered syringe is shown on the right far comparison. This inertia i force Is obviously less than that produced by pressurized darts; therefore the amount of the contents expelled is also considerably less. A tassel or plume of wool yarn at the back of Lhe plunger can be added LG stabilize it so it flies point -forward in flight. Obviously, the harder these darts hit. Lhe more of their conLcnts will be injected into the wound. Therefore, close-range hits on exposed skin arc preferred. Il should be noted that empty syringes make excellent impro- vised darts by themselves.
The body can be trimmed in length and the plunger removed completely to lighten it. Several years back, 1 had an acquaintance who was an army medic, lie had fashioned a very effective blowgun ou t of a 3-foot piece of glass lab tubing and used syringes for darts.
The glass tubing provided very little friction but obviously w r as fragile. One additional comment; a syringe dart, by virtue of its hollow shaft, has great effect when shot through the sidewall of a car tire, should you ever be inclined to do such a thing. Jfit is necessary to get more of Lhe substance into your target's bloodstream, you can modify the syringe darL by adding a rubber band assist to the plunger.
Using an X-acio knife, star! Don't cut straight down Into the hole or the rubber band will pull out w f hen stretched. Now lake a small rubber band and slip it through both holes so one end loops around Lhe outside of the syringe body and the other slicks out the back of the lube.
Now, very carefully heat r ' I ': Hold it over Lhe name for only a sec- ond or two, then, with the point of a paper clip, press into the syringe body to create a dimple on the inside. Insert the plunger ail the way into the syringe and carefully tie a knot in the loop of the rubber band so it lies directly over the back of the plunger. Tb cock the dart, pull the plunger back until its rubber stopper is held by the row of dimples.
Fill the dart by holding it poin L up and using a second syringe Ln in ject the preferred substance into the top of the dart. Then attach the needle. When this dart strikes, inertia forces the plunger's rubber stopper past the row or dimples, where it continues forward under the pressure of the rubber band. First, get a centerfire pistol cartridge that has a shell casing smaller than your blowgun s bore diame- ter.
Carefully remove the bullet and almost all of the powder charge. Then place a wad of tissue or cotton in the casing and dribble melted wax over it and the inside of the casing to seal it watertight. Mow r find a piece of thin brass or aluminum tubing about 2 Inches long with the same inside diameter as the out- side diameter of the shell casing the brass tubing sold in hobby shops described in Chapter 4 is ideal for Lbis.
Then apply super glue all the way around the circumference or the base and let it seep dowm to form a good, solid bond. Next, find a cork or rubber stopper that will fit mslde the tube behind the base of the casing. Drill a very small hole in the exact center of it so when it is inserted and glued in place, this hole is aligned with Lhe primer. Breath of Death Trie nexi step is to find a syringe or other needle with a base that is Lhe same diameter as the inside diameter of your brass or aluminum tube.
Set the brass tube upright and fill the cavity with whatever solution you prefer, being careful not to wet the inside rim of the tube. An eye dropper makes this much easier. Finally, carefully epoxy the base of the needle into the neck of the tube, making sure you have a watertight seal. Carefully place it in the hole in the rubber or cork plug at the base of the Lube so that it is nearly touching the primer of the shell casing. Measure the distance from the base of the casing to Lhe end of the tube before you insert the plug. Mark the dart shaft this same distance from the tip so you'll have a visual reference as to how far to insert the dan, Make sure that the fit of lhe dart in the plug is rather snug, if it Is loo loose, the charge could fire prema turely.
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The syringe dart can now be shot like a regular dart. When ii hits Lhe targcL preferably exposed skin , the needle will pene- irate until it stops. The inerLia of the dart will drive it forward, fir- ing the primer and charge and injecting the contents of the tube into the target. This method of construction can also be used with a rifle car- tridge, eliminating the need fora separate body tube. In fact, since rifle primers are more powerful than pisioi primers, you needn't use any powder charge, ft is still necessary to seal the inside of the casing's base with wax, though, to keep the liquid contents from deadening Lhe primer.
The needle is simply epoxied into the neck of the casing after it is filled and the rubber or cork plug glued onto the base of the casing. Obviously, darts constructed in this way will be much heavier than standard darts and have a limited range. Practice sessions using a full dart with the charge removed are recommended so you will be sure to hit your mark when you need to.
About halfway dow n the shafL, w rap a number of turns of masking tape to form a plunger. Then take an empty plastic ink cartridge from a fountain pen, cut off one end, and poke a hole in the center of the other end with the point of your dart. Now' insert the dart through the cutoff end of the tube and through the hole in the other end. Adjust the diameter of the plunger by adding or taking off tape so it forms a slide fit inside the tube.
Fill the tube with your substance and set it so Lhe plunger is partially inserted in the tube. When the dart hits its target, the shaft will penetrate, forcing the Lube back against the plunger and spraying the con- tents of Lhe tube along the shaft and into the wound opening, AlLhough this method is not as efficient as a subcutaneous injec- tion, it will certainly get some of the substance into the wound.
These darts are designed to be used either with an adaptor kit for a gauge shotgun or with specially designed air guns, lb ensure Lhat these darts will operate correctly at the lower velocities produced by a blowgun, you should first experiment using a liquid dye or other highly visible substance and shoot into a test large l.
After the dart hits, the target can be cut open to see how efficiently its contents were injected. This testing method can be used with all your homemade syringe darts as well. Targets that will give an indication of the performance of syringe darts include melons, layered corrugated cardboard, rolls of paper towel or toilet paper, and.
There is one tranquilizer dart that is specifically made for use with a blowgun. The dart is pres- surized with compressed gas. The Breath of Death dart penetrates, the coliar is moved to the rear, exposing the vent hole, and the contents of the dart are discharged into the wound. This blowgtin and dart combina lion is manufactured by Peter On A,G. Another type of special blowgun projectile is the incendiary.
These consist essentially of scaled-down impact- ignition Molotov cocktails. Tubes with very thin wall thicknesses are preferable, as they are not only lighter but are more certain to break on impact. There are two basic mixtures of fuel and igniter that can be used. The first uses a fuel mix of mostly gasoline and oil wlLh a small proportion of sulfuric acid, which is added last and poured in very slowly.
The Lube is sealed with a cork. Attached to the cork, or wTapped around the Lube if iL is smaller than Lhe bore of your gun , are strips of cotton cloth that have been treated with a mixture of potassium chlorate and granulated sugar. This mixture is made by taking two parts potassium chlorate and one part sugar and mixing them with a little water to form a syrup.
The syrup is spread on the cloth and allowed to dry before it is affixed to the tcsL tube. When the test lube hits its target, it shatters. The second combination uses an igniter made with one part sodium peroxide and one part sugar.
This is spread dry on a piece o[ cotton or loosely woven wool which is wrapped, with the chemical mixture on the inside, around a lest tube filled with gasoline and a small amount of water. Obviously, the smaller size of these projectiles makes them less effective than their larger band-thrown counterparts. Therefore, when possible, the area to be burned should be primed first with a liberal arnoum of gasoline or other flammable sub- stance and the blowgun used to Ignite it from a distance.
If you" re wondering how to collect the Mace to place it in the tube, here's a suggestion. Put on a heavy rubber glove that covers your entire hand and forearm. Hold the can of Mace in your gloved hand, place your hand inside the bag, and tape Lhe bag securely around your glove with duct tape.
Then spray short bursts into the bag. The bag will collect the spray and it will drip out of Lhe hoie, where it can be collected in a contain- er. Do Lhis outdoors and stand upwind of the bag. When you're done, drop the can in the bag. A simpler type of irritant projectile can bo made quickly and cheaply with a single sheet of toilet paper and ingredients from your kitchen spice rack. Just lake Lhe toilet paper and place a small amount of black pepper, cayenne red popper, or dry mus- tard in the center.
Pick up the four corners and twist them behind Lhe spice payload to hold it in place and to form a tail so lhe pro- jectile will fly point forward. Then place it in your gun and take aim at your target s face. Make sure to use only a single thickness of tissue Lo ensure that it breaks. The exact amount of the payload can be determined through experimentation, as it will vary depending upon the bore diame- ter of your gun.
Yet another type of special projectile thaL can be shot through a blowgun is a paintball. When they hit their target. Standard paintbalis come in ,62 or. If you are a paintball player, a blowgun equipped with paintbalis could be an interesting addition to your arsenal, giving you the capability for close-range, silent sniping. For regular blowgun users, paintbalis can be a fun add i Li on to your ammo supply. These are twists of paper filled with a small charge of gunpowder and a charge that detonates on impact.
Kids who arc less socially well-adjusted pop Lhem by throwing them at good kids. Either way, they make a loud noise when they pop, which can easily startle a person. On exposed skin, they can also sting quite a bit. By loading one of these into a blowgun and if necessary backing it. The possibilities for creating distractions or for harassment, are obvious.
As such, the darts become a vector by which you deliver the real killing agent. Traditional hlowgun poisons arc all based on some form of strychnine, in South America, curare is the favored poison. The sap of this plant is boiicd until it becomes thick and gluey. Most reciples also include exotic ingredients such as red and black ants, snake venom, and magical herbs, hut these do nothing to increase the rieadliness of the basic poison.
Unlike most strychnine poisons, which produce symptoms of stiffening and convul- sions. The Breath of Death Lhe meal of an animal killed by a curare-coated dart can be eaten without Tear. This poison kills by cardiac effects. For most blowgun users, traditional blowgun dart poisons are unavailable. Although curare is used In both human and veteri- nary medicine as an anaesthetic [when administered in small doses, it numbs rather than kills , it is not for sale to the general public. The same holds true of other exotic natural poisons. In his excellent book, A Sporting Chance, Daniel R Man nix described a successful deer hunt with a blowgun in which he killed a deer by shooting it with two curare-coated steel darts at a range of 20 yards, Mannix, by virtue of his reputation and the interest of members of the press in this hunt, was able to obtain the curare.
This was a special case, however, and not one likely to be dupli- cated by lhe average blowgun hunter. After ruling out the traditional poisons, whaL other poisons remain for use by the blowgun hunLer? The answer is virtually thou- sands. As most people arc aware, many of the substances that sur- round us everyday are toxic, sometimes highly so. We usually con- cern ourselves wcLh the possibility of children dying by accidentally Ingesting one of these substances.
What we don't normally slop to think about is the effect they might have if administered directly into the bloodstream. Death is, of course, much more likely, and Lhe lethal dosage when injected is much less. With this in mind, the List of toxic substances that are readily available over the counter is nearly endless.
Some of the most obvious are commercial insecticides and rat poisons, many of which contain sLrychnine and cyanide. Warning labels on a host of other poisonous products Identify them clearly as dangerous sub- stances of potential interest to the blowgun hunter. In the case of aerosol insecticides, the poison is in a liquid form but is some- what diluted by a carrying agent. Then put the liquid in a pan [disposable aluminum pie pans work fine and heat it over a low flame. This will evaporate off the unwanted portion of the liquid and leave Lbe concentrated poison.
For poisons that come in a solid form, like rat poison. First grind it into a fine powder, then coat your dart shaft with a Lhin coat of vegetable shortening and dip the sides of Lhe shaft in the powder. Some very effective poisons cart be produced with kitchen technology from readily available beans and plants. Among these are ricin and abrin. Botulism is also very deadly and easily pro- duced from decaying vegetables and meat. The exact techniques for producing these are beyond the scope of this book.
If you are interested in learning more about poisons, get a copy of 77? The Breath of Death Jf you should decide Lo experiment with poisoned darts in your blowgun, there are a few simple safety precautions you should follow; 1- Wear rubber gloves and a protective mask when preparing or handling any poison, and destroy them when you are done, 2. Never apply poison to the point or cutting edge of a dart. It should only be applied lo the sides of the dart shaft to pre- vent your being poisoned if you acciden tally prick yourself.
Wooden darts hold poison best because they are porous. If you plan lo apply poison to spring sLeel darts, first wrap the shafts with a turn of masking tape and then rough it up with a piece of coarse sandpaper. They will hold the poison much better that way. Always carry poisoned darts in a protective container until ready for use. When loading darts coated with poison into your blowgim, make a paper funnel to fit Inside the mouthpiece. This keeps the poison from accidentally being scraped off on the mouthpiece and coming into contact w r ith your lips. Loading a poisoned dart. The paper cone is used to prevent poison from coming in contact with the mouthpiece.
Take extreme care when handling animals killed by poison darts to prevent being stuck accidentally, b. After shooting poisoned darts through your blowgun, clean the mouthpiece and bore with alcohol or warm, soapy water to get rid of any poison residue 7. Be careful not to allow any poison to come in contact with any scratches or open cuts you might have.
Also, be careful not to rub your eyes or wipe your mouth with your hand w r hen handling poisons. T he act oE shooting a blowgun comes very naturally to most people, espe- cially those of us who hud experience shoo Ling spitbaEls in grammar school. Targets for blowgun practice are many and varied, but some are preferable toothers.
For more Information, see the chapter on targets. The elbow of the front hand should be directly below the gun, just like when shooting a rifle.
Blowguns “The Breath of Death” | Poisons, Ninja, Hunting…
If your gnn has had Us barrel boot to counteract its sag- ging. These safety mouthpieces usually con- sist of a piece of spring wire across the breech or a hole in Lhe rubber mouth- piece smaller than the size of Lhe bore. Remove the wire or ream out Lhe mouthpiece. Jhe ou that shooting a 7-foot homemade gun. Note that the index finger of the iron t hand is extended to- improve aiming and that both eyes ore kept open.
With the gun pointed at the target, place your closed lips against the mouthpiece. Breathe in deeply through your nose while refining your aim on the target. When you re satisfied with your aim, seal your lips tightly against the mouthpiece, contract your diaphragm, and blow an explosive breath into the gun. The Idea is to make your breaLh duplicate the explosion of gunpowder in a firearm cartridge Lo gel maximum velocity or your dart. It helps if you keep your lips tightly sealed for a fraction of a second after you start your exhalation.
As the pressure builds In your mouth, the seal of your lips breaks and releases the air explosively into the gun. Ultimately, you want to get a good, powerful blow that will launch the dart with maximum velocity and stability. You also want lo get it the same every time. If the power of your blow varies from shot to shot, you will not be consistently accurate.
Blowguns The Breath of Death - Michael Janich - Paladin Press.pdf
Photo by MitdteH Sdineiter. The technique of aiming a blowgun is very similar lo aiming a bow. The Breath of Death by Michael Janich. The Breath of Death 2.
The blowgun is a mysterious tool of silent death. Michael Janich reveals the many secrets of its capabilities and uses: This is the best book on this fascinating and deadly device. Paperback , 88 pages. Published March 1st by Paladin Press first published January 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Blowguns , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Dec 23, Adam rated it liked it. A fine blowgun resource. Feb 09, Bill Dean rated it liked it.