Whether you’re looking to get a blowgun for your kid, or one for yourself, you don’t want to overspend – especially because there’s no need to do so.
Really good blowguns aren’t insanely expensive or packed with extra features; they are high-quality, simple, and affordable.
That’s what we have in store for you on this list.
Blowguns are among the simplest ranged weapons available, but that doesn’t take away from their appeal. Because of their simplicity, they can be incredibly difficult to master, and a lot of fun to use. That’s why people still love using their respiratory muscles to propel darts from blowguns and into targets or prey.
- 1 Our Top 5 Blowguns
- 1.1 1. Cold Steel 4 feet .625 caliber
- 1.2 2. Venom Blowguns 36 inches .40 caliber
- 1.3 3. Commando 36 inches .50 caliber
- 1.4 4. Venom Blowguns 36 inches .40 caliber with a tactical rail
- 1.5 5. Avenger 36 inches .40 caliber
- 2 Blowgun Buyer’s Guide
- 3 How to choose the best blowgun for you
Throughout human history, many cultures utilized this weapon successfully, from indigenous tribes of Amazon and Guiana to Guatemala and Southeast Asia. Back then, these weapons served as tools for hunting small game. Today, they are used to capture or stun wildlife – whether for sport or veterinary purposes – as well as recreationally on targets.
However, when you decide to buy a blowgun, you will notice that there are dozens upon dozens of different models and manufacturers, not to mention that the prices range wildly from completely affordable to over-the-top. If you’re not competitive, you definitely don’t need the expensive models.
Whichever use you have in mind, our selection of top 5 affordable models will definitely fit the bill.
Our Top 5 Blowguns
1. Cold Steel 4 feet .625 caliber
Cold Steel is a manufacturer that has been in business since 1980. They started off by making incredibly sharp cutlery for knife enthusiasts but went far beyond that simple goal in the last thirty-something years. Cold Steel introduced many interesting innovations into the knife industry, including checked Kraton handles, as well as the Tanto Point blades. Now they have turned to other weapons, and by looking at this blowgun, we think they’re doing great.
Cold Steel .625 caliber blowgun boasts walls that are 1.5mm thick, length of 4 feet, a rubber ferrule, and a handy quiver guard. It also comes with a mouthpiece, a dart quiver, and 36 darts.
Big Bore hunting blowgun has an effective range of 20 yards but can send darts flying up to 100 yards according to users. Darts are heavyweight, and with some practice, anyone can learn how to hit a two-inch circle from the maximum distance. Thanks to the weight of the darts, and the length and quality of the blowgun itself, this means that you can easily penetrate a sheet of plywood half an inch thick with them. With this kind of range and precision, you can easily hunt small game such as squirrels, doves, and rabbits. However, according to users, this isn’t just great for rabbits and birds; it is also amazing for hunting fish and crab thanks to its 1.5-millimeter walls. Even better is the fact that you can do it completely silently without the risk of over-penetration, or accidental injuries to nearby livestock or people.
This blowgun is great for all types of weather conditions, and both for indoor and outdoor use. This Cold Steel model is reliable, affordable, and handy if you ever find yourself in a self-defense or survival conditions.
When this blowgun arrives, not only will you get a blowgun in the box, but also all the necessary bells and whistles. Within the box, you will find a quiver guard that prevents your hand from sliding into the tips of the darts as well as a dart quiver that holds several darts in a position that’s easy to access. It also comes with a mouthpiece that holds the darts, so that they don’t drop down the tube, a rubber ferrule, and 36 darts.
Don’t think for a second that Cold Steel would provide 36 darts that are all the same. Oh no. You get 12 mini broadhead darts, 12 stun darts, 6 broadheads, and 6 bamboo ones. With all of this equipment, you’re ready to use this weapon for whichever use you have in mind without worrying if you have all the right accessories.
According to users, this isn’t the best choice for kids, as it does pack quite a punch. What is great when it comes to this Cold Steel model is the fact that the learning curve is incredibly short, so you can learn to aim like a pro in no time.
What we especially like about this blowgun is the fact that it comes with a warranty against any workmanship or materials defects. Basically, if there are any problems with your purchase, you can contact them, and their friendly customer support will help resolve the issue.
* Perfect for small game such as squirrels, rabbits, birds, fish, and crab. Some even use it to chase away feral cats and similar animals. However, this blowgun can take down some larger animals if you are trained.
* Comes with a long list of additional equipment that makes the use easier and the blowgun more versatile
* High-quality design and materials allow you to use it for a very long time
* According to users, sometimes wrong darts get delivered with the blowgun, or some types are missing
* Some users found it’s necessary to have quite a lung capacity in order to use this blowgun
2. Venom Blowguns 36 inches .40 caliber
When it comes to Venom Blowguns, this company guarantees that these USA-made weapons are durable, accurate, and practically designed. All of their blowguns are high-quality, but their models range from those that are more for indoor use and beginners, to really professional ones, perfect for small game. The model we chose here is one of their strongest and most popular, but it still has an amazingly affordable price tag. When we take their prices and overall quality into consideration, it’s no wonder Venom Blowguns are making their competitors run for their money.
USA-made, this Venom model is 36 inches long .40 caliber, and it comes with a load of additional accessories that will come in handy as you start hunting. Aluminum tubing ensures longevity and strength, while additional elements help with precision and simplify handling.
When you take into consideration its relatively small caliber, you’d think this weapon can’t shoot anything bigger than a rat. However, you would be wrong. This gun, which is built to be powerful, can easily shoot the smallest game such as small birds, large frogs, and rodents. The darts will penetrate enough to get the animal, but they aren’t powerful enough to go through, so there’s no danger of hurting anything or anyone who happens to be in the vicinity.
When we tested it, this Venom blowgun managed to get a dart ¼” into a two-by-four with an average blow. It went through both sides of a bottle, and right through a balloon and into a wall. However, the ultimate test of strength for this blowgun was a copy of Guinness Book of World Records. The dart went straight through the cover and the first 200 pages. We think that is powerful enough for most recreational users.
When it comes to the range of this thing, it is pretty accurate at 15-20 yards, and while you can expect a dart to go as far as 50 feet, you must make adjustments for anything further than that, as it isn’t very accurate at that distance. The more you practice with it, the better you can get. However, due to its small range, we’d suggest this blowgun to be used recreationally for target practice – both indoors and outdoors.
When you open the box, you will see a blowgun made of lightweight aircraft-grade tubing with no seams. It comes with a foam grip that prevents the weapon from sliding out of your hands, a mouth and muzzle guard, which means even kids are safe with this anti-inhale mouthpiece, and high-quality finish. Included with the blowgun are dart quivers with 12 ordinary and 8 super-stun darts. What we like the most is the fact that this lovely little weapon comes with a tactical peep sight that makes aiming that much easier.
With all of these additions, you’re pretty well set to start learning how to use your blowgun, which is why this model is perfect for beginners and young ones. According to users, it’s safe for kids to use with adult supervision and proper explanations regarding aiming and safety. Depending on the lung capacity and muscle strength, you should be able to get rather powerful results from this model.
It comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, and if you have any problems, you can contact their call center; their agents are extremely pleasant and helpful.
* Lightweight aircraft-grade durable material
* Amazing price-quality ratio, plus numerous additions
* Peep sight isn’t high-quality, so it won’t be too useful in the long run
* According to users, stunner darts aren’t high-quality and may split after a while
3. Commando 36 inches .50 caliber
When it comes to weaponry, Commando knows exactly what they’re doing. To be honest, as this isn’t a very popular company, we were wondering whether this blowgun can live up to our expectations. Luckily, it is a pleasant mid-caliber surprise. This model can really offer a lot both to people who like to hunt with these and to recreational users.
Commando Avenger is a 36-inch long blowgun that comes with numerous quivers, a wide range of darts, and a .50 caliber. The barrel is made of aircraft-grade aluminum that adds precision and velocity to the darts. The manufacturer claims that this is their toughest and most penetrating longest-range blowgun. It can effectively shoot heavier hunting darts while remaining precise. The tube on this thing is thicker than in similar models, so it allows more accuracy than they do. When it comes to .50 caliber blowguns, this one comes with most accessories and the largest arsenal of darts that will definitely improve your experience.
When it comes to its range, according to some users, the Avenger can send a dart flying as far as 80 yards, and it will still be precise. However, beginners will hardly reach this distance. If you’re just starting to use this blowgun, it’s more probable that you’ll manage to hit targets that are between 30 and 50 feet away. Basically, the longer you practice, and the better lung capacity you have, the further you’ll be able to blow. Although, we have to say that having no sight for aiming is a bit of a flaw, but not a major one. You can either purchase that part additionally or just get used to aiming with the tip of the blowgun.
If you’re looking to hunt smaller creatures like birds and squirrels, the Avenger is lethal to 30 feet. Any further than that and you will probably just injure or daze the animal. On the other hand, if you want to use this on targets, you will need thick ones. This thing hits hard. We shot them at a fence, and we needed pliers and quite a bit of strength to pull the darts out afterward.
Whether you want to use this weapon inside or outside, it can take it. The weather conditions are no challenge for this caliber, so you can take it with you anywhere you want.
When you unpack this blowgun, you’ll notice that it comes with a ton of additional gear. The Avenger comes with a handmade carrying sling that makes it so much easier to take to outings. With it, you also get 44 darts and all the quivers that fit perfectly onto the blowgun and enable you to access the darts easily.
What we really like it that this is the perfect starter blowgun for kids as well as adults. It’s not the smallest caliber, so it packs a punch, but it isn’t the largest either, so you can’t cause a lot of damage. What we disliked here is the fact that the blow end has no capture for the dart, so it can easily fall out of the barrel if you’re not used to it.
* Comes with 44 darts of all shapes – spearheads, target & spike, as well as broadheads
* Aluminum barrel is high-quality, so it provides ultimate precision
* Handy carrying sling that allows you to carry this blowgun on your shoulder
* No sights, so aiming is a bit more difficult than on other models
* According to users, sometimes it happens that a dart or two don’t arrive with the product
4. Venom Blowguns 36 inches .40 caliber with a tactical rail
Venom Blowguns that we already mentioned above is a great company that knows how to make an amazing affordable blowgun; there’s no question about it. However, when we saw that they’re calling this the “Destroyer Kit,” we have to admit we were a bit skeptical. After all, how dangerous can a .40 caliber blowgun be? Well, although it’s not a killer, it’s still pretty amazing in our opinion, especially when you bear in mind its price and the amount of additional stuff you get.
The Destroyer is the best equipped kit you can get for this price, and it includes a high-quality blowgun, a tactical rail, a carry sling, dart holders, hand guards, an anti-inhale mouthpiece, and 108 pieces of ammo.
When it comes to Destroyer’s range, when we tested it, we managed to get a decent result of 15-25 yards with it. However, other users claim that with enough practice and a strong enough of a blow, they can send darts much further than that, and even get a rabbit or a raccoon. Darts range from super-light to heavy so that you can adjust to the weather and hunting conditions.
Although it is powerful enough to get darts stuck in the walls and plywood, it still isn’t strong enough to hunt small game. So, if you want to hunt smaller birds and rodents, this will be just fine. But, if you had something bigger in mind, you should move on.
This USA-made aluminum blowgun is affordable, durable, and great for recreational use. If you become an expert with it, you might be able to hunt small game, but even then, we wouldn’t try anything wild with it.
When the Destroyer Kit arrives, you will be surprised by the number of additional accessories that come with it. First, you’ll notice a high-quality blowgun, and then the pile of stuff you got. You get 20 target darts, 20 spearhead ones, 20 nylon-tip broadheads, 16 spike darts, 16 super-stunners, and 16 standard stun darts. You also get a PIC/Weaver MIL-STD-1913 Rail that allows you to add accessories. You can attach lasers, flashlights, red dots, foregrips and much more. This blowgun also comes with an adjustable foam handgrip, a muzzle guard, and a handy carry sling, which all make it more comfortable to use. And, last but not least, it has 4 quivers and an anti-inhale mouthpiece, which makes it safer for children to use.
We like that you get a pile of ammo. Also, we like the fact that you also get the rail that allows you to add accessories that you already have or buy others that might upgrade your weapon.
* Comes with a wide array of handy accessories that makes it adjustable to just about anyone
* High-quality, low price, very easy to adjust to
* 108 darts in 5 different types make it more versatile than any other blowgun on this list
* You have to be an expert shooter in order to actually hunt anything with it.
* Some users complained about the lack of a user manual
5. Avenger 36 inches .40 caliber
Another USA-made blowgun made its way onto our list. Although it is the last, it definitely isn’t the least. However, it is the most basic and the most affordable model here. Avenger Blowguns is a small, family-owned business from Texas that’s been in this niche since 1994. They boast having the best USA-made parts that they use in order to provide the best user experience and the highest quality of blowguns. The entire staff of this small business consists of experts in this field who hand assemble every blowgun.
This .40 caliber blowgun is 36 inches long, and although it isn’t very powerful, it is wonderfully crafted and completely safe to use. It comes with 8 of the most popular and widely used darts, as well as several other basic accessories.
When it comes to the effective range of this blowgun, it is between 20-30 feet according to our experience. However, if you just want to test how far a dart can fly from this thing, we believe it can reach about 50 feet. From a close range, it can send a dart deep into plywood or meat. That means it’s suitable for target practice and the smallest of animals such as rats and small birds.
Moreover, according to users, this blowgun is incredibly fun to play with, although it takes some getting used to. For instance, some people thought that it is impossible to put darts into the blowgun without removing the anti-inhale protection first. We discovered that it is definitely possible; you just need to push it through until you hear two clicks.
Compared to others on this list, this blowgun comes with almost no additional equipment. You get two quivers that hold your darts, a muzzle, a mouth guard, and a foam handgrip. When it comes to darts, you only get 8 four-inch target darts. With that in mind, you might want to purchase additional ones as soon as you order it. Trust us; you’ll go through them really quickly.
According to most users, this blowgun is perfect for anyone who has just discovered blowguns and wants to try one out. So, if you want to check whether you’ll like playing with a blowgun or not, this is your safest choice.
What we particularly like about this Avenger model is the fact that it comes with the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty. That’s one of the best guarantees that a manufacturer is confident regarding the quality of the product. It definitely has us sold. Nevertheless, if you do have a complaint, all you need to do is contact this family-owned business. They will happily help with any problems you might have.
* Manufacturer’s lifetime warranty on the blowgun
* Best way to check whether you like using blowguns or not – the cheapest test option
* Decent power combined with great precision and range
* Some users complained that darts didn’t arrive with the package
* Some users claim that provided darts get stuck within the tube
* Quivers are low quality and don’t hold the darts very well
Although this is an excellent list of blowguns that have the best price-quality ratio, you should still consider several things before you order one of these models. Will you use it for target practice or for hunting? Which material should you use? Do you plan to use it, or are you taking it for a kid? How do you pick darts?
That’s why we prepared an extensive guide that will provide answers to all of these questions.
Blowgun Buyer’s Guide
What to look for in a blowgun
Inside or outside use – If you’re looking to use your blowgun outside, you will need something that packs a bit more punch. That means that you need a longer range and a bigger blowgun.
Why? Well, when you’re outside, there’s wind, and there are distractions. You also want to shoot your darts as far as possible. However, if you plan to use your blowgun inside, you don’t need extensions or particularly large darts.
Animals or targets – .40 caliber blowguns are fun to use. However, their darts are way too small for any animal larger than a rat. That’s why these small, fun blowguns are perfect for shooting targets.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to use a blowgun for hunting, you shouldn’t use anything smaller than .625 caliber. That caliber can take down small game such as raccoons, birds, rabbits, and frogs. Also, if you’re planning to hunt, you should consider getting a two-foot extension that will allow more precision and add velocity.
Fair warning – If you want to use one of these to hunt, be aware that you won’t be able to take down large game. With these darts, it is impossible without using illegal poisons, so it’s best not to try.
Children or adults – No need to put a serious weapon into the hands of a child, or even a teenager, before they get some practice. Let them try out a weaker model first. On the other hand, if you’re an adult and just starting out, it’s also a good idea to get a smaller caliber and a cheaper blowgun. Pros already know – “the bigger, the better” if you want to hunt.
Modern blowguns are usually made of aluminum or carbon-reinforced plastic. The old ones were made from natural materials such as river cane and wood. Meanwhile, homemade versions are usually made of PVC or copper pipes, but we don’t recommend trying those out. If you want something durable – go with aluminum.
Darts for blowguns come in all types of materials – hardwood, bamboo, polyresin, plastic, modified piano wire, metal, and even glued paper. However, the best ones are made of bamboo and metal. These materials won’t bend due to improper storage and will travel the furthest while remaining true.
While some people will tell you that you can’t put a price on quality, they never tested the blowguns on our list. Sure, if you want to compete, you will have to pay a pretty penny for a sport-grade blowgun. However, if you have hunting or recreational use in mind, there’s no need for that, as any of these will do the job.
You should choose the caliber of your blowgun when you determine what you want to use it for. If you plan to use it for indoor practicing – take smaller calibers such as .4. But, if you want to hunt, .625 caliber will be much more suitable. Also, if you’re considering getting a blowgun for a child – pick one with a smaller caliber that can do less damage. On the other hand, if you want durable darts, take larger caliber ones. They are thicker and usually better made than the .4 caliber ones.
Blowguns can be dangerous if they aren’t made from safe materials, or if they are improperly used. We’re not telling you not to get a blowgun – you definitely should, as they are a lot of fun. However, you should also learn how to use them properly, or teach your kids how to do it, as they can be dangerous as well. You can find tutorials online, or ask someone with experience to teach you. You should learn how to load darts, hold a blowgun correctly, aim, breathe properly, and blow the dart.
Before you decide to order a blowgun, make sure it’s legal in your country. Basically, check everything and be certain that you won’t get in trouble for owning it. For instance, these are illegal in Guatemala, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. When it comes to the US, they are forbidden in the states of California, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, while being completely legal in the rest of the US.
When it comes to age, there are no age requirements. Children can use blowguns legally in states where owning one isn’t prohibited.
How to choose the best blowgun for you
In the end, all of these elements should fit you just right. If you intend to do target practice, a blowgun that comes with a bunch of additional equipment and has a smaller caliber is the best choice. On the other hand, if you’re planning to hunt with one of these, a more serious, higher-quality model with .625 caliber and a stronger punch will definitely be more suitable.
So, weigh your options, consider every detail, and then choose the blowgun that will be the best for you.