One of the hottest new products for 2016 is the “Pioneer Airbow” from Benjamin, the premier hunting brand of Crosman Corporation. Social media was set ablaze when the company released video in early January showing professional hunter Jim Shockey downing a 2,000-pound bison with this remarkable new weapon. Based on the Bulldog .357 caliber Pre-Charged Pneumatic airgun introduced last year, the airbow has been adapted to shoot arrows rather than slugs. And shoot them it does ... at a blistering 450 feet-per-second, arrow after arrow, with amazing accuracy. I’ve been privileged to test both the Bulldog and the Pioneer for Crosman, and I can personally attest that praise heaped on this new class of hunting weapon is well-deserved.
The airbow fires up to eight full-size, 375 grain, 26-inch arrows on a full 3,000 psi air charge at virtually identical velocity, due to an internal pressure regulator. Since arrows are not pushed by a string there is no “archer’s paradox” (arrow oscillation), and these factors combine to produce remarkably consistent point-of-impact, even when the airbow is canted. Legal as an airgun for hunting in many states, Crosman has set sights on the crossbow market, which will require regulatory approval in most states. Nevertheless, the airbow is faster, more accurate, easier to handle and use, and safer than a crossbow – in other words, “crossbow functionality with performance superiority.” It’s compact profile and top-mounted cocking lever requiring only 2 pounds of force means virtually anyone can handle the airbow. Ease of use and the absence of a crossbow cocking rope will appeal to treestand hunters, and these features also make it particularly well-suited for both disabled hunters and others with physical limitations that preclude crossbow use.
The Pioneer Airbow should begin shipping in April, and Crosman is accepting advance orders, but it may take the company awhile to fill them all. The airbow will be delivered with a 6×40mm CenterPoint scope with custom MTAG reticle, a canted base providing an additional 20 MOA of adjustment, custom sling, 3 carbon arrows with nano ceramic Victory ICE coating, quick-detach quiver, and a camo sticker package for personalizing the black synthetic housing. Pre-Order Price: $849.00