Is a Stinger II better than a firearm?
With its aggressive looks and ergonomics based on the highly-popular AR-15 rifle, it is easy to draw swift comparisons between Steambow’s AR-6 Stinger II repeating crossbow and firearms as a whole. It is important to note that, despite some outward similarities, a Stinger II is not trying to be a firearm, although it can take on a number of the same roles, sometimes with greater success. This blog will look at where the comparisons are justified.
Some people might dismiss a Stinger II because it is less powerful than a gun. There’s no denying that a gun of almost any kind will have a greater energy output. But does that mean a Stinger II crossbow is ineffective? Certainly not.
Let’s take hunting as an example. Rifles are more powerful than bows. One of the smallest and least powerful calibers, .22 Long Rifle, makes around twice the kinetic energy of a high-poundage compound bow of around 60 lb.
Yet such compound bows are used every hunting season in the US to take large animals like elk, moose, bears and boars. Meanwhile the .22LR rifle is outright forbidden for those game animals, due to its inability to effect a humane kill, so effectiveness is far more than a case of foot-pounds or joules on specsheet.
Louder is not better
Plain number comparisons are very misleading and, at best, serve as a reference point for like and like. The Stinger II predecessor (the AR-Stinger) has been used to hunt modest game as documented in a YouTube video detailing the event. While Steambow doesn’t encourage using a Stinger II for such animals, the hunter in question was so experienced and skilled that he knew exactly what his first gen Stinger was capable of. And it performed as he’d anticipated.
So, just because they don’t go bang doesn’t mean you can dismiss these crossbows as ineffective. They are potentially lethal and will certainly cause grave injury if misused, just like a firearm. And, like a firearm, the Stinger II’s 6-shot magazine capacity, fast shooting and quick-reload options make repeated shots in quick succession very achievable. With ergonomics to match, it is very accurate too.
Where a Stinger II does struggle to compete is range. Rifles shoot over hundreds of meters. But with that said, standard practice distances for a handgun are very similar to those for a Stinger II Tactical: between 3 and 10 yards in most cases. 25 yards is also in the Stinger II’s abilities and is considered far at most pistol firing ranges. And that last point is interesting because in most places using a firing range for your gun is at least a practical necessity, if not legally required.
So easy to live with
No such limitations with the Stinger II: it is perfectly usable indoors, or in a back garden without disturbing neighbors. And while Steambow always advocates a safe backstop, shooting direction and appropriate target, a Stinger II bolt simply won’t travel the same distances as a bullet, helping minimize the risk of accidents.
So in the case of being easy to live with, for many, many countries, the Stinger II wins hands down for having fewer restrictions on where it can be used while still delivering effective performance.
A fun pursuit that needn’t empty your wallet
Another area where the Stinger II shines is cost of ownership. Aside from the ever-increasing transport costs of getting to a range to shoot a firearm, there is also the cost of ammo (which is obviously single use only) and the initial cost of the firearm itself: €600 being on the cheap end for a new one.
Add to that far less restrictive laws. If you need €600 to buy a gun, you may need as much, if not more, for the permits, tests and storage needed to acquire and keep one depending on where you live. It’s a very expensive hobby, sadly making shooting sports inaccessible to anyone with limited funds.
By contrast, with €450 you can have a Stinger II Tactical, a Steambow target and a supply of arrows that will last you if you’re careful. That’s incredible value, whichever you happen to prefer.
A very competitive alternative
So while range and power may not be comparable, the cost and ease of buying and owning a Stinger II have helped make it a very popular product. With low running costs, the ability to use it indoors or in gardens in most countries without breaking laws or disturbing people, it is a stress-free product to own.
Add to that the knowledge that it is still designed, and capable of performing as a weapon if the unthinkable actually happens: It’s hard to find a similar package out there on the market with the same levels of quality.
Why not take a look at all the products in the Stinger II range? With great prices and swift delivery, you could be enjoying yours in a matter of days.