The AirBow: Coming to an Archery Season Near You

By Brodie SwisherJuly 25, 201819 Comments

The mere mention of the AirBow seems to stir excitement among hunters across the country these days. Some are giddy at the idea of a new weapons category for hunting, while others seem to see their blood pressure boil at the thought of such a weapon being allowed in an archery-only season in their home state. So what’s the fuss on the AirBow?

Let’s start by taking a closer look at the Airbow.

According to the website, the Pioneer Airbow is an all-new category of big game weapon featuring full length arrows and full weight broadheads, all driven by air. Based on Benjamin’s proven American-made PCP platform, the Pioneer can be cocked with two fingers (and decocked just as easily), fires 8 shots in the same amount of time it takes to fire three from a crossbow, all at a blazing 450 FPS.


Pioneer Airbow

Specs on the Airbow

Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) Airbow

  • Powered by 3000 psi of compressed air
  • Integrated pressure regulator delivers 8 consistent shots at 450 FPS
  • Bullpup configuration, short 33.5” overall length
  • Ambidextrous top cocking bolt
  • BONUS: Realtree AP camo decals included
  • Comes with 3 custom arrows with field tips, 6×40 mm scope, sling and quiver
  • 160 fpe with 375 gr arrows @ 450 FPS
  • Length: 33.5 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds

What the Airbow is Not

It’s not a bow. Right? Seriously, no strings or bending of limbs – can the Airbow even be considered a bow?

Crosman says, “The Pioneer enhances everything enthusiasts enjoy about archery hunting while making the sport safer and more accessible.”

But is it actually an archery weapon? Maybe we need to define what archery is first.


Archery is the art, sport, practice or skill of using a bow to shoot arrows. The word comes from the Latin arcus. Historically, archery has been used for hunting and combat.


Is the Airbow coming your way?

One wildlife officer we spoke with in Tennessee said their terminology for the weapon is, “Pre-charged Pneumatic Gun That Shoots an Arrow.”

So what is the Airbow?

It’s a new opportunity for hunters. It’s a new category of weapon that has quickly found its way into hunting seasons across the country, and even a few archery-only seasons as well. That’s right! The state of Virginia and Tennessee are among the first to allow the use of the Airbow in their archery-only seasons for disabled hunters. And if I were a betting man, I’d say it’s coming to an archery season near you, sooner than later.


It shoots an arrow, but is it really a bow?

The good thing is these states seem to have a pretty thorough process for obtaining such a permit for the use of an Airbow. I reached out to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and spoke with Captain Jamie Davis, Conservation Police Manger, Region III regarding the use of the Airbow. He shared the application below with me as what would be required for using the Airbow as a disabled hunter during archery season.


A similar application process is taking place in Tennessee where the commission recently voted to allow the use of the Airbow for hunting in the Volunteer State according to the following statement…

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission has announced that starting with the 2018 hunting season, big bore PCP air guns .35 caliber or larger such as the .357 Caliber Benjamin Bulldog will be legal to hunt Deer, Elk, and Bear during the Tennessee Modern Gun Season. The Benjamin Pioneer Airbow will be legal means to harvest Deer, Elk, Bear and Turkey during the Modern Gun Season for all hunters and during the archery season for disabled hunters.

Staff at the TWRA central office shared that obtaining a permit to hunt with the Airbow would not be as simple as it was to secure a crossbow permit years ago. Disabled hunters would be required to have one of four Permanent Disability Licenses offered by the state, including Type 168, Type 169, Type 189 or Type 198. Like Virginia, Tennessee will utilize an application process for disabled hunters to be eligible to hunt with the Airbow.


Would you hunt with the Airbow if it was legal during archery season?


What are your thoughts? Is this is a good move to allow disabled hunters to hunt with the Airbow, or is this merely the first step on the slippery slope that’ll usher in the Airbow to archery seasons everywhere and for every hunter?
Comment below, and let us know your thoughts.

See more on the Pioneer Airbow at


Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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