On January 4, everything changed.

That day, “the brand for serious airgun hunters” released this video of professional hunter Jim Shockey using the revolutionary new Benjamin Pioneer Airbow and the archery world has been buzzing ever since.

Jim Shockey, in his own words, issued this statement on January 27 in response to detractors of the Airbow:

Recently there has been quite a uproar about the new Crosman Pioneer airbow. You might have seen video of me using this amazing hunting tool to take a 2,000-pound bull bison. Some archery hunters are worried about this latest advancement in technology. I hear your concerns and understand. I, too, am an archery hunter.

We have all seen the crossbow revolution over the last few years. I’m old enough to have also lived through the compound bow and in-line muzzleloader revolutions as well! Now we have the “Crosman airbow” revolution.  Innovation. Progress. And each time we’ve gone through one of these revolutions, there have been improvements in performance and safety; and hunters have ended up with a better tool, an alternative tool.

Firearms perform differently than they did 100 years ago. Today we have better hunting calibers, better bullets, better loads, better manufacturing, etc … Hunting optics, laser rangefinders and bows are much different than they were 100 years ago. Compound bows largely replaced longbows or recurves in the woods. Crossbows are much different than they were 100 years ago … pulleys, easier cocking, etc…

… And now the Crosman airbow. Progress is a fact and necessity the mother of invention. Today’s crossbows have left many hunters wanting in a few critical areas … ease of loading and unloading, speed of a follow-up shot, and, most importantly, safety. An arrow fired from a Crosman airbow is slightly faster, but performs about the same as a modern hunting crossbow. Where the Crosman airbow is a slam-dunk better tool is ease of use and safety. What’s wrong with that?

Despite equipment innovations over the years, we hunters have learned to co-exist. I believe we’ve become more accepting of each other, no matter what type of hunting tool we choose. And this is a good thing for the future of our hunting heritage. As hunting equipment manufacturers have innovated, the hunting market has grown, more people have jobs in our industry, and wild places and wild animals are better off. More hunters mean more dollars for wildlife conservation.

If you worry that the airbow will affect your favorite deer season, I highly doubt it.  I expect that the Crosman airbow will fit within the season frameworks that already exist … when the states determine where it fits best.

Air bows will likely not appeal to most hard-core bowhunters. And that’s OK! They will certainly appeal to gun hunters who do not want to learn and practice with a vertical bow and who are too afraid of the complications of crossbows. And, as stated, they will appeal to existing crossbow hunters looking for an easier, safer option … especially for their kids. Further, the airbow is an incredible solution for those with physical disabilities who would like to enjoy the flight of the arrow. Anyone … anyone at all can shoot and/or hunt with a Crosman airbow and have a great time doing so. Now what’s wrong with that?