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Dart Gun?


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#1 yulong

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 12:20 AM

Hi guys

I found a Chinese "dart gun" and "sleeve arrow"at a market in China and wonder if anyone knows about these objects. They are both metal tubes about 20-30cm long which fire darts (metal, heavy, 3cm) and arrows (thin, about the length of a chopstick). They are spring loaded and fire very powerfully by pressing a button. Any idea of the age? They look very old and I was told pre-1900 at least as they went out of fashion after the Boxer Rebellion. Could they be replicas?
I'll post pictures when I get the chance but ANY info about these weapons would be appreciated as they are very new to me.
Thanks
Yulong

#2 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 04:48 AM

Didn't know you can even get such an antique gun in China market? Do you have any picture of it?
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#3 yulong

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 12:49 AM

I'll try and get a pic up within the week. I have the dart gun and might go back for the sleeve arrow, didn't have cash with me. The market is very small, not touristy and in a small-medium city in China with a strong martial arts background. They have a number of older weapons mixed with a lot of junk, mostly swords, in very poor condition scattered about the stalls. The vendors are mostly from surrounding villages and buy second hand items from the locals there so its hard to verify ages. Wish I knew more about Chinese weapons.
Have you heard of these kind of dart guns before?

Edited by yulong, 01 November 2006 - 12:51 AM.


#4 mintai

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 06:46 PM

I'll try and get a pic up within the week. I have the dart gun and might go back for the sleeve arrow, didn't have cash with me. The market is very small, not touristy and in a small-medium city in China with a strong martial arts background. They have a number of older weapons mixed with a lot of junk, mostly swords, in very poor condition scattered about the stalls. The vendors are mostly from surrounding villages and buy second hand items from the locals there so its hard to verify ages. Wish I knew more about Chinese weapons.
Have you heard of these kind of dart guns before?

I made a video of mine.

More info in video details.



#5 autoknife

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:38 PM

I made a video of mine.

More info in video details.

Here are some pictures of both. Does anybody know anything about these? Are they really old, or just tourist toys that have been artificially aged? Thanks in advance. :notworthy:
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#6 ghostexorcist

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:26 AM

Those are pretty cool. I've never seen the first dart gun before. It has a very unique look it to. However, I've seen examples of the second one. They were hidden in the sleeves of a coat. If I remember correctly, it was mentioned on a Nat Geo show about deadly weapons.

Here is a vid of the sleeve dart on youtube:



I'm not an expert, but I would guess they are authentic. Possibly dating from the late Qing.

Edited by ghostexorcist, 21 December 2008 - 06:40 AM.


#7 Peter

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 06:06 PM

Interesting, I had never seen one mounted as a gun like the first picture posted here!

I have a very similar one, and so does a friend of mine. I've lived in China on three occasions where I used to regularly hunt for antiques, and have seen another few of these.

What is interesting about them is that they all are exactly alike. They in no way show the variety of, say, Qing military sabers or other arms manufactured in that time. The darts are also exactly alike. When looking closely, one can see that these were machine-turned and so not entirely hand-made.

Western steam technology was brought to China in the late Qing already so they may have been late Qing or early republic pieces, but they are all from exactly the same era, probably manufactured in the same workshop in considerable quantities for them to turn up everywhere in antique arms circles in China and abroad.

I now wonder for what market they were made. They are rather likely to be made for a tourist curio market around the 1900's, along with the many short duandao and copies of 18th century sabers made at the period. The latter would often have Qianlong design features, some even his reign marks and are nowadays often mistaken for the real deal.

In terms of effectiveness, these sleeve arrows can't even penetrate decent winter clothing. But I can imagine that in a fight it could mean the difference between winning or losing if one shot his opponent in the face with it. So it is not a really deadly weapon, but a rather good distractive weapon granting the user time for an attack or to flee.

The spring is also of special interest, as earlier Chinese steel was not made this springy. Spring steel has much higher purity levels than could be reached by earlier Chinese smiths. Which was good for sword making, as the impurities made tougher, stiffer steel than can be achieved with modern spring steels.

So these things must be a rather late innovation and probably not exactly a "secret" weapon as hundreds or thousands were made at some point according to exactly the same specs. (I've actually never seen one that was not similar to mine, or any of those presented here. Apart from the gun-mounted one.)

But still, pretty cool devices for sure.

-Peter

Edited by Peter, 19 January 2009 - 06:09 PM.

Only sports that which belong to war we know,
To break the stubborn colt, to bend the bow.


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