Recently I have seen a lot of websites and magazines reviewing the Crosman Pioneer Airbow (also Benjamin Pioneer Airbow. Crosman owns Benjamin). Honestly I don’t get it. So I had to do a little research to figure things out.
Pioneer Airbow PCP Power
Pre-Charged Pneumatic power comes from compressed air. Used by pellet rifles, airsoft rifles and paintball guns. They are popular because they allow multi-shots and lots of power. Their website says:
The Pioneer Airbow is driven by 3000 PSI of compressed air. An integrated pressure regulator delivers 8 shots at a consistent 450 FPS and the convenient fill nipple makes refilling quick and easy.
Eight shots at full power per fill up? When I step into the backyard to practice my bow, I usually shoot forty shots before I stop. So with the Crosman Airbow I would have to refill five times to shoot the same number?! This is why I don’t think a PCP weapon makes sense for a prepper.
Pioneer Airbow 450 FPS
The Pioneer Airbow shoots at 450 FPS. Wow that is impressive. On their website they have a picture of Jim Shockey standing over a bison that he killed with the Airbow. But having a high FPS doesn’t mean that you will be able to kill bigger game. It just means you don’t need to have as much skill. Well, wait, that isn’t entirely true. Let me correct myself before anyone gets upset. You have to have a certain amount of FPS in order to hit an animal quick enough so that it doesn’t have time to react and literally jump away from your arrow. Additionally the higher FPS arrows typically have better penetrating power. Yes there are a lot of variables that go into the depth of penetration. Like weight, point and distance from target. But you don’t need a 450 FPS weapon to kill a bison. The bows that the American Indians used to kill bison were nowhere near that.
Howard Hill killed an elephant weighing 12,000 lbs. with one arrow penetrating 31 inches into the animals lungs. He used a 125 lb. longbow that probably only shot 175 FPS. Now yes Howard is considered one of the best archers of all time, but he certainly didn’t need 450 FPS to bring down a freaking elephant!
Pioneer Airbow Arrows
Guess what? The arrows that the Benjamin Airbow shoots are not standard arrows. Because the arrows are propelled by air they have a cupped end like a blow dart instead of a grooved nock like a typical arrow. The arrows are not really expensive. But don’t expect every outdoor equipment seller to carry them.
Pioneer Airbow Accuracy
The Pioneer Airbow is really accurate. I can’t argue with that. From their site:
The superb shot placement capability of the Pioneer comes from the unique method of propelling the arrow. Arrows are pulled from the front rather than pushed from the rear as with crossbows, resulting in remarkably tighter shot groupings. No Archer’s Paradox, canting or other disturbances result in 2″ groups at 50 yards.
Is it legal to hunt with the Pioneer Airbow?
Good question. You see not many states have laws governing airgun hunting yet. In fact, if you are hunting white-tail deer, there are only seven states where it is legal.
This will probably change slowly over time. If you are looking to hunt coyotes and other predators that do not have a hunting season, the number of States goes up to around thirty. Check out Crosman’s site for specifics and always check with your State before hunting.
BowHunting.com Has a good article: Should the Airbow Be Legal for Archery Season?
Final Words on the Pioneer Airbow
As you can tell I am not a big fan of this weapon. But to be fair I have never shot one either. Still, before I am willing to spend close to $800 on a product, it has to impress me. And so far there is nothing that I have seen on this product that does. For the same amount of money I can buy a nice compound bow, crossbow, or rifle–which I can hunt with in almost every State. So why would I buy a Benjamin Pioneer Airbow? I won’t.
But if the video above blew you away and I haven’t convinced you to not buy it, below are some Amazon links to the product.