Building Hunting Darts for your Blowgun or Airgun
It has been well over a year since this page has seen an update. Well, I've been busy in my little workshop. Here I present an easier way to construct your own blowgun darts for hunting. These darts are suitable for use in .50 cal homemade airguns as well. Click here for info on making darts for blowgun hunting.
Quick, Durable Darts Made Easy!
Let's face it, making darts is a pain in the rear. Not to mention, they aren't always very durable. I've tried a lot of different ways to stabilize them, from making plastic cones, to paper cones saturated in krazy glue, to yarn with limited success. Watch the following video to see how I make darts that are reasonably accurate and very durable. If you make them as illustrated in the video, use a schedule 80 3/4" pvc pipe for the barrel. You can use a 20 gauge wad with a schedule 40 1/2" pvc pipe for the barrel for a dart with less drag (a very desireable characteristic!).
Nail Darts for High Pressure Airguns
Here is a video I made that demonstrates how to make a dart suitable for hunting small game. This dart is designed to be waterproof and reuseable.
Wire coat hangerBrightly colored yarn or foam earplugsThreadSuperglue or clear nail polishRuler or tape measureVicegripsScissorsTorch, lighter, or some other source of heatHammerFile or bench grinderSharpening stone
Step 1 - Cutting
Get your wire coat hanger and cut 4 inches (10 cm) off. Be careful to keep the wire straight while cutting. If you are going to build darts with a yarn stabilizer, cut 24 pieces of yarn about 2 inches (5 cm) long. If the dart is for an airgun, be sure to cut an extra 10 pieces of yarn to form a tighter seal. Line up the yarn in a neat bunch. Your progress should look like this:
Step 2 - Tail Assembly
The easiest way to assemble a stabilizing tail is to use a foam earplug. Coat the back 1/2 inch (1 cm) of the wire with super glue and slide the earplug over it. You can now proceed to step 3.
If you are using yarn, we have a couple of substeps here. First, slide the wire into the center of the bunch of yarn like this:
Next, use thread to fasten the yarn to the wire like this:
Tie off the threads with a couple of overhand knots and trim the thread close. You can now coat the threads with superglue or clear fingernail polish. Be sure to use enough to secure the tail to the wire. Here is what your dart should look like now:
Step 3 - Point Construction
Good penetration and creation of a wound channel are important characteristics of a hunting dart. To construct a hunting point, secure the dart in vicegrips and heat the front 1/2 inch (1 cm) over a heat source like this:
Now hammer the heated part flat like this:
Be careful not to hammer it too thin, as it will make the head fragile. Once you have pounded it flat, it is time to shape the head and put an edge on it. Use a file or bench grinder to give the head a triangular shape.
You can now put an edge on the point with a sharpening stone.
The Finished Product
Now it is time to test fire. Check the stability of flight. You might have to trim the tail down, I usually trim it to 3/4 of an inch to keep drag down to a minimum. Your finished product should look something like this:
I hope that you have found this article informative. Be very careful with these darts, they are not toys. Here is a picture of a hard plastic bottle shot with a 3 foot blowgun from 15 feet away:
The bottle was knocked 18 inches from where it originally stood, with 2 inches of the dart stuck into it. Think twice before you let one of these fly.