Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Blowgun Dart Quiver

When people speak of indoor target practice I think of blowguns. I never use them outside preferring my slingshot or one of my selfbows instead. But for a relaxing evening of punching holes in a cardboard shoebox I find the blowgun the perfect tool. I set the shoebox on a chair then stand at the other end of the room and punch holes in the box for a few minutes. There’s a certain satisfaction in being able to hit a half-inch dot painted on a box twenty feet away. 

There are many articles on how to make blowguns as well as making blowgun darts so I won’t spend much time covering that subject. Suffice it to say that they are made from steel or aluminum pipes and from plastic conduit and similar materials. But my blowguns are made from stalks of carrizo (Arundo donax) which is an introduced species of cane that’s pervasive from California to Texas. I’ve made them out of bamboo as well but since carrizo is so readily available and cheap (as in, free) I prefer using it instead. 

This is a picture of one of my carrizo blowguns. It’s only 44 inches long but that’s fine for my indoor shooting. I had to reinforce the end of the cane not long ago when it started to split. I wrapped a little artificial sinew around it. I’ve got carrizo blowguns ranging in length from about 40 inches to six feet. By the way, I make my arrows from carrizo as well.

When it came to making a quiver for my darts I decided I wanted one from leather. 

Here are the quiver’s dimensions:

Length: 10 ¼ inches

Outside Circumference: 8 5/8 inches

I used two different types of leather lace to complete the project. The larger lace secures the quiver’s bottom and side. A narrower lace is used as decoration along the quiver’s opened end.

I attached a length of parachute cord to the quiver in order to hang it over my shoulders.

My darts are made from bamboo skewers obtained at the grocery store. I trim them to nine inches long and then wrap a little bit of cotton to the end using a thin piece of artificial sinew.

The darts in the photo above are getting old and need to be replaced.

For those of you living in colder regions you might consider making a blowgun for wintertime use. It’ll be freezing outside and the snowdrifts might be covering the cars but you can still have fun practicing your survival skills in your living room. Oh yes, one more thing: You’ll need a cardboard shoebox.


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