Q:

How can I make a blowpipe out of bamboo?

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Quick Answer

A blowgun, or blowpipe, is a hollow tube that is used to propel a dart with the force of the user's exhalation. The Survivalist explains that, traditionally, a length of wood or bamboo would be split in half, hollowed out, and then glued back together. However, an easier, modern way is to heat a steel bar, and use it to burn out the interior of a length of bamboo.

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Full Answer

The Survivalist suggests selecting a very straight piece of bamboo, cutting it to the desired length, and using a red-hot steel bar to hollow it out.

The United States Blowgun Association says that longer blowpipes increase aiming accuracy. International rules for blowgun competition limit the length of the pipe to 48 inches; but for hunting, length is only limited by the difficulty of carrying a very long pipe. The narrower the pipe, the faster the projectile shoots out and the greater the force needed to expel the projectile.

While most commercial blowguns and blowgun darts are .40 caliber, which refers to a pipe with a diameter of 10 mm. The Survivalist suggests aiming for a diameter of around 0.5 inch, which is slightly larger than a .40 caliber pipe, for a homemade bamboo pipe. Darts can be purchased or made from bamboo skewers.

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