There are times when you’re hunting that you may not have that confident, fresh feeling. You may be wondering if you’re packing enough punch with your compound or crossbow to bring that big beast down. For those times when even a Carbon Express PileDriver may not be enough, the inventive minds at Rac-Em-Bac now give you a way to add a little more bang to your bolt…with the Bow-Mag . . .

Simply secure your .38 or .357 Magnum round into the Bow-Mag Arrowhead cylinder, turn until the casing threads lock in place, then attach to your standard arrow shaft or crossbow bolt.


But before you drop $39.99 for a six pack, it’s a good idea to check your local hunting regulations. Texans, note: “While hunting game animals and game birds, a projectile may not be poisoned, drugged, or explosive.”

How do you drug a projectile? Anyway, feral hogs aren’t considered game animals. Do you really want to see this tested by TTAG?

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71 Responses to New from Rac-Em-Bac: The Bow-Mag (Bullet Carrying Arrow)

  1. Yeah, my understanding is this would be 100% legal against hogs on private land. Go for it and let us know.

  2. Oh Yeah…………….

    With lot’s of pics and video…………..

    That thing looks like a “Nasty bit of kit”!

    I used to think that prairie dog hunting was the best form of cheap entertainment………….until I went Texas Hog Hunting with an MSR

  3. How do you drug a projectile? Ask any jungle blowgun hunter. The secretions of poisonous frogs are quite effective.

    BTW, this prohibition includes tranquilizer guns.

    More to the point, you’re not going to get much if any expansion, or even kinetic impact, if this thing doesn’t trigger until contact and without a barrel. It seems that the primary effect would be from the explosion of the propellant.

  4. “How do you drug a projectile?”

    There is a poison that some have used on broadheads that kill game animals quickly, even if it was a bad shot (gut shot). Kind of like the poison darts in South America.

    • You should do at least one test with an overcharged load. Like a full case of bullseye or titegroup. This may be the only instance where overcharging could have an application.

  5. I don’t get it. Whats the point of using a bow with bullet, other than to fulfill our comic book fantasies (no problem with that)? Aren’t you kind of defeating the purpose of hunting with a bow? It seems to me that you might as well just use your .357 revolver and save yourself the trouble. Granted, I don’t bow hunt, so maybe I am missing something.

    • I do bow hunt, and no you are not missing anything. I have to wonder why this would be better than the hypervelocity crossbows that they have now. I also wonder what prevents this from exploding when the arrow is launched.

      Sounds like nothing more than a cool toy. Of course, I’d like to see it tested – was that rhetorical. However, seeing as how this is a cool toy, lets skip right to shooting things that blow up (whats the special effect explosives that they use for high-impact detonation on mythbusters?).

  6. As a bigger archery nut than gun nut, I approve of this message. People have been making these for decades, this is the first “marketed” version. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a useful device, but it’s cool that it exists!

  7. Seems you might as well use a gun. What is supposed to be happening on impact? The primer goes off and since it’s not encased the cartridge blows apart and that’s about it. It won’t have the effect that a bullet launched from a gun at velocity would have.

    This is a gimmick.

    • Au contraire
      If the case is contained by the device so it does not split, then at least the arrow acts as a blow back bolt. Gun bolts are stationary at ignition except open bolt machine gun that uses forward momentum instead of at rest mass to lower the bolt weight.
      Seems like the same concept.
      Now we know the history of the term “bolt” as in the cross bow lingo.

  8. I guarantee it will be legal in Louisiana in no time. The state recently removed almost all regulations for hog hunting, e.g. silencers, night vision, spot lights, you name it.

  9. I believe this is a gimmick as well. Remember, the gun powder in the casing is a propellant, not an explosive. That propellant needs time to burn and create expanding gases which ultimately propel the projectile. And that only happens in the confined space of a cylinder/barrel.

    Furthermore, a typical arrow weighs about 400 grains. So if the projectile weighs 158 grains (popular for .38 Special and .357 Magnum), there will be a fair amount of reactionary force backwards into the arrow shaft. In other words the arrow will tend to accelerate backwards robbing the bullet of some of the forward momentum that it would normally have.

    As far as I can see of the physics involved, this is silly in terms of hunting.

    • I do bow hunt and I agree, this seems silly in terms of hunting.

      Now, bow fishing on the other hand… and a whole lot safer than grenades.

  10. “…a projectile may not be drugged…”

    The entertaining, and correct, way to read this, is that you are not allowed to drug your projectiles; no getting them lit or stoned or high or otherwise chemically enhanced.

    We all know about poison dart frogs; apparently some people don’t know about the English language or a sense of humor.

  11. I expect that this thing works on hogs the way a “Bangstick” works on sharks. A speared shark is still pretty dangerous until he bleeds out, they are pretty much DEAD immediately when “Bangsticked”. I have seen the effects first hand of both .44 Mag and 12 gauge Bangsticks and they are both massively destructive.

    I have also had hogs run 200+ yards with several fatal (but non-head shot) wounds from .300 Whispers, 7.62 NATO and 6.8SP rounds, not counting the many that have been well ventilated with 5.56 rounds and run off into the bush to die. The advantage that the 30 cal loads bring is a great blood trail to follow.

    Head shots are well and good, but being able to anchor any game immediately is always preferable!

    Besides, it’s another cool tool that would REALLY piss off PITA!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Except a bangstick is usually made of metal, thus providing resistance to the explosion of the case, forcing the pressure and projectile out the front. This appears to be made of plastic, and so would more likely simply explode without pushing the projectile very far.

      I’m curious if it has a metal core or tube inside the plastic casing.

      • True,

        But the expanding gas does a major number too.

        I’m not a bowhunter, but I may just have to invest in one and some of these little beauties, just to see what “could” be done with them! As an experiment, if you know what I mean!

      • And water’s not compressable. All the force from a bangstick would be channeled into whatever it’s in contact with.

  12. ““How do you drug a projectile?”

    C’mon folks. Are you (and the the author of blog) not making the connection? That part of the legislation was put into place to thwart people using tranquilizer darts. You know – Like the ones game wardens use to relocate animals or sedate them. Presumibly because it wouldn’t really be hunting, and the only people using them would be doing so for illegal reasons.

    Back to topic….It doesn’t matter if the tip is a bullet or a broadhead. Unless you hit the vital area the result will be the same. Gimmicy product.

    But then again one could turn this thing into an “explosive” arrow pretty easily by packing a 357 magnum cartrige with 20 grains of titewad or bullseye powder and jb welding the bullet in place with a very, very heavy crimp.

  13. “Do you really want to see this tested by TTAG?”

    Heck yes, I do! With FPSRussia guest starring, while shooting at one of those zombie targets.

  14. Damn it! My Dad and thought of this years ago with a cut down .410! Got to market this stuff faster.

  15. This was in response to a poo poo above with added physics.
    If the case is contained by the device so it does not split, then at least the arrow acts as a blow back bolt. Gun bolts are stationary at ignition except open bolt machine gun that uses forward momentum instead of at rest mass to lower the bolt weight.
    Seems like the same concept.
    Additionally, if the whole device penetrates into the animal, you cannot deny that the chemical energy that was transported to the target does not have an additional damaging effect. In this case it is not just the kinetic energy that the arrow/bolt imparts to the target. Surgically implant a .38 special inside a hog then remotely fire it?
    Yeah, no damage there. (sarc)

    • Looking at those heads, I’m not to sure they can or are even designed to penetrate flesh to any degree. They are quite blunt compared to a standard hunting tip. I do think the explosion at the point of impact will do considerable damage, but I’m not convinced the explosion will be inside the flesh.

  16. I see a lot of people stating it’s ineffectiveness due to lack of a barrel or any means for the projectile to gain any real velocity. Think beyond the bullet guys, it’s the gasses entering the body that are doing most of the damage here. Don’t believe me put a blank gun to you’re head and fire it (please don’t actually do this) the gasses are enough to kill you or do some serious damage at close ranges.

    • Word. Also, the arrow is moving forward at roughly 200 FPS, so that will add to the speed of the bullet when it moves forward, as well as the expanding gasses from the partially contained powder burn. So if you have a 158 or 180 grain .357 JSP impacting at around 200 FPS, plus another 200-300 FPS for additional powder burn acceleration, plus the weight of the arrow, and a subcutaneous powder explosion in the same wound channel, you definitely have potential for a nasty wound.

      I’d like to see what this would do against a simulated hide / ballistic gel target.

  17. Pity the poor hog being stabbed and shot simultaneously. Now if we can figure out how to strangle the hog, run him over and shove him down a flight of stairs all at the same time, we can cover all the leading causes of violent death at once.

    This is going to be big.

  18. I don’t know enough about archery to make an informed statement. But wouldn’t adding this device and it’s payload to the end of the arrow cause a signifigant effect on the performance of the arrow? Bows are a short range weapon and wouldn’t this reduce the effective range further? You would have to do a lot of practice to get the feel for your new projectile and at 40 bucks a six pack that can get real expensive real fast.

  19. What about using the slowest (or fastest I am no reloader) powder with the smallest bullet (maybe pulling the bullet out and leaving the jacket so you can have more powder in). This is purely hypotheticaly of course.

  20. Drugging arrows: Several years back, there was a rubber “boot” you could add to arrow shafts behind the broadhead that would peel back on the arrow being pushed through the animal. The boot was secured to the arrow at the back of the boot (which was, oh, I dunno – maybe 1+ inch long?) and had a curled-up edge that was at the front (behind the broadhead). The idea was that the rubber boot would peel back over itself to the rear of the arrow, exposing the contents into the wound channel.

    Underneath the rubber boot would be poisons or drug OD’s in the form of powder.

    I assume it wasn’t all that effective, because it disappeared from the market relatively quickly. Don’t remember the maker or the price.

    • Dyspeptic, those drug delivery systems worked well if the arrow penetrated and rolled back the surgical tube. Very well. One of the drugs used was a succino-choline that within seconds paralyzed the involuntary muscles, like the heart and lungs. And they were popular for hogs as well as deer, since the drugs quickly metabolized in the dead/dying animal’s body into substances that were there naturally and did not harm the meat. Problem was, they were extremely dangerous to anyone handling the arrows also. Perhaps one of the early victims of our liability plague?


  21. The Wisconsin DNR sent out a release that these are not legal for hunting in the state. I am curious what happens when your arrow gets deflected, turned in your direction, and then the round goes off?

  22. I wish when I was 13 I had known what a patent was. I used to build these with a close friend of mine back in the early eighties.

  23. well the bullet would be going bang yards away from you, so it would negate the need for hearing protection but give you the same ballistics, so thats cool…. otherwise, meh

  24. As a kid I envisioned a similar device in the nose cone of my Estes rockets with the cartridge/primer facing backward and a nail as a firing pin on impact. Good thing the idea scared me just enough to remain an idea. (non-reusable)
    What is the required velocity to cause ignition??

  25. How’d they get these past the BATFE? Since they fire a bullet, aren’t they some kind of firearm, requiring at the least a 4473 to buy, and at worst some sort of NFA stamp?

  26. I have an idea!

    Take a primed .357 magnum case. Fill it with black powder. Make a .357 diameter inverted cone from a piece of copper and push it down over the powder. Apply a very heavy roll crimp to the top of the case to hold the edges of the cone against the powder. Put it in this thing which hopefully holds it at a small standoff from the tip. You have yourself a miniature explosively formed penetrator arrow! Should be good for hogs.

    • You’re gonna need something a lot quicker than black powder, or even flash powder as used in fireworks, to get anything more than an anemic “pop”, and even if you did use a true explosive, in the quantities you could put in an arrow’s “warhead”, the result would still just be a bad surface wound. Without the confinement of a closed breech and barrel, only a tiny portion of even Bullseye would burn before the case ruptured or the bullet departed (leisurely), and the majority would burn much as it would when you light it with a match unconfined. (And yes, as a kid I worked pretty hard at the concept.) As an adult, I admit to using blasting caps and even small boosters back when working in the explosives business – much more entertaining, and extremely dangerous without the addition of a safe-separation arming system well beyond the home workshop capabilities. Now a case full of strike-anywhere matchheads…
      Pat 🙂

  27. This device looks interesting. Not sure how practical/legal for hunting, but I would sure like to see some pictures/videos of it shot a random stuff like concrete blocks, old kitchen appliances, ballistic gelatin, or a side of beef. Seems like more of a novelty similar to those “special purpose” shotgun shells that shot fireballs and other odd stuff. Cool and fun to mess around with but not exactly practical. I could be wrong though, maybe they are as effective as in the company videos.

  28. So this new fangled bow/arrow technology kinda makes you like Rambo with his explosive tipped arrows? LOL.

    What a gimmick. Arrows or bullets, just pick one. Not both. If I wanted to hunt using a bullet I’d be using a rifle to begin with, not a bow.

  29. Ok I shot 2 of these things today and they are indeed plastic. I shot one into a piece of wood and the arrow did not shoot back it fell to the ground, and yes the round did indeed split transferring most of the energy sideways into thin air. The .357 bullet went in approximately 3/4 of an inch. As a test to see how a regular field point would react I shot another arrow right next to it and it went in the distance of the insert. his was from a 60# Mathews bow and carbon arrows. Next we shot one onto a “soft ” target to see if it would blow and it did not, it just broke the stem off the head. and the “soft ” target used was the end of a pretty compacted hay bail with a plastic lexan sheet covering it. Taking it apart it did hit the primer a bit but not enough to pop the round off….
    To be more affective the head of the projectile should be made of Titanium to force the round out the front and into the intended target, and not just blow up to make noise. Take it for what its worth..
    For me it was just one of those I gotta see what it does type of things..

  30. It’s the same this as a power head on a speargun (for spear fishing) and it looks awesome. Now I just need a traquilizer that will screw on for harvesting wild cows.

  31. Put it to ballistics gel and be done with it. It’s cool and I’m sure loads of fun. Will I buy some? Probably not, kinda takes away from the challenge of archery, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like seeing them in action.

  32. Regardless of the reason of use, Id buy them just for the pure cool factor… I have spent way more for dumber shooting stuff I still have…. still fun to talk about.

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