Nov 24 2007

Blowgun 1st Attempt

Published by at 8:38 pm under Plant Materials

When I was a kid we used blowguns made from Wild Angelica (Angelica Sylvestris), they were only used for a day or two, then discarded. This was for playing war only, we used berries as ammo. It never occurred to me that I could use it as a hunting weapon.

Lately I have started thinking about this again. There arn’t many suitable pieces of blowgun material in Norway, most are too short. I decided to go for red elder (Sambucus racemosa), though I guess that several roses (Rosa sp.) and common reed (Phragmites australis) and Cattail (Typha latifolia) could be used too. I drilled out the soft pith of a dead piece. It cracked one place, but I wrapped it with sinew so then it was fine. I made a quick dart out of an elm splintre and wrapped small feathers around to fletch it. the feathers were secured with sinew


Since it’s very short it isn’t accurate nor powerful, Accuracy suffers badly on distances over 3-4 metres and it could only kill the smallest of birds and maybe mice. But for a first try, it’s fair enough.


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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Blowgun 1st Attempt”

  1. Marcon 24 Nov 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Hey Torjus,

    looks like a good first attempt 🙂
    it is a usefull tool I think and a good addition in your gear as woodsman
    look forward to hear what you may get with it or with newer bigger ones!!



  2. Sam_acwon 25 Nov 2007 at 11:20 am

    I’ve tried making a flute with elder before – it hollowed nicely but I couldn’t get much of a sound from it. I think the older branches are meant to have thicker wooden walls so may be more suitable.
    Do you have any hollow reeds or grasses near you?

  3. adminon 25 Nov 2007 at 12:29 pm


    Blowgun hunting isn’t legal here, so you will never know…


    Hmmm, never tried making an elder flute, but I plenty of whistles from willow and rowan when I was a kid. I guess the principle should be the same. The problem with older pieces is that they are usually not as straight. We have reeds and cattails here, I think raspberry might work too, but I haven’t tested any of it yet.

  4. Ronon 04 Dec 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Blowguns are excellent for hunting birds and small game. I have used them and they can be very accurate

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