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"Now, hold on," you keep saying. "Aren't bows and arrows primitive and harmless?"
Why don't you ask the dinosaurs? Except you can't, because the cavemen bow and arrowed them to death.
— Huntsman publicity blurb

The Huntsman is an unlockable primary weapon for the Sniper. It is a hardwood recurve bow held together with black tape. When equipped, the Sniper will carry arrows in the quiver strapped to his back.

In exchange for decreased damage at longer ranges compared to the Sniper Rifle, as well as a smaller ammo count, the Huntsman requires less time to achieve a fully-charged, maximum damage shot and allows the Sniper to move at a faster speed while charging; 45% compared to 27%. The weapon can be charged whilst the Sniper is falling or jumping, but he cannot fire until safely on the ground.

Since the Huntsman is not outfitted with a scope, the Sniper must get closer to his target to use it effectively. Pressing primary fire quickly will release the arrow rapidly, albeit with less power behind it, allowing the player to more easily hit faster classes such as the Scout. If the arrow is drawn for longer than five seconds however, the accuracy of the shot greatly decreases, the shot will always do minimum damage, cannot headshot the target, and will go wide of the crosshair. This can be avoided by pressing the alternate fire button, which brings the arrow back to its idle position allowing it to be drawn again. A wide shot can be discerned from the Sniper's hand slightly shaking with tension.

Arrows, being projectiles, have a tendency to arc over long distances, yet this effect is reduced based on the strength of the charge behind the shot. Arrows travel around 1875 Hammer units per second (about 80 miles an hour) in a snap-shot; fully charging the Huntsman for 1 second therefore increases speed by around 25%. Like other projectiles, arrows can be reflected by a Pyro using the Compression blast. Unlike the Sniper Rifle, the Huntsman cannot be fired underwater. The Huntsman also has an added cosmetic effect; enemies killed with an arrow, if near a map object, will be pinned to it via the arrow. Arrows embedded in objects or enemies cannot be retrieved for additional ammunition.

A friendly Pyro can set fire to the Huntsman's arrows with their Flamethrower, Backburner, Degreaser, or Phlogistinator, as can the Soldier with his Righteous Bison and Cow Mangler 5000, as well as the Engineer with his Pomson 6000. Doing so will give the arrow the ability to inflict fire on a successful hit. However, Pyros and Soldiers do not get kill assists for lighting a Sniper's arrow. The arrow can be lowered without losing the lit arrow, ready for a later shot; switching weapons, however, will douse the arrow. The torches on DeGroot Keep will also light a Sniper's arrow on fire. Water will not extinguish the lit arrow.

In addition, headshot kills scored with the Huntsman will net a total of 2 points, as compared to the 1.5 points obtained from a headshot kill using the Sniper Rifle.

A player taunting with the Huntsman equipped can perform the Skewer taunt attack.

The Huntsman is automatically given to any player who obtains 5 Sniper achievements.


Damage and function times

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Shot type Projectile
Base damage 100%
Critical hit
Function times
Attack interval 1.94 s
Maximum charge time 1.0 s
Aim fatigue 5.0 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.

Note: Distance from the target affects damage values, except for critical hits.


Learn more about the Weapon Demonstration project.
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See also: Crafting


Template:Dictionary/blueprints/sniper primary

As a crafting ingredient

Huntsman Reclaimed Metal Sydney Sleeper
Item icon Huntsman.png + Item icon Reclaimed Metal.png = Item icon Sydney Sleeper.png
Huntsman Dead Ringer Tribalman's Shiv
Item icon Huntsman.png + Item icon Dead Ringer.png = Item icon Tribalman's Shiv.png
Huntsman Scrap Metal Crusader's Crossbow
Item icon Huntsman.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.pngx2 = Item icon Crusader's Crossbow.png

Related achievements

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

Controlled Burn
Controlled Burn
Ignite 50 enemies capturing one of your control points.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

Beaux and Arrows
Beaux and Arrows
Kill a Heavy & Medic pair with the bow.

Dead Reckoning
Dead Reckoning
Kill an enemy with an arrow while you're dead.

Dropped Dead
Dropped Dead
Kill a Scout in midair with your Sniper Rifle or the Huntsman.

Jumper Stumper
Jumper Stumper
Kill a rocket or grenade-jumping enemy in midair with your Sniper Rifle or the Huntsman.
Hit an enemy with 3 arrows, without killing them.

Robbin’ Hood
Robbin’ Hood
Take down an intelligence carrier with a single arrow.

Stab an enemy with an arrow.

William Tell Overkill
William Tell Overkill
Pin an enemy Heavy to the wall via his head.

Update history

May 21, 2009 Patch (Sniper vs. Spy Update)

  • The Huntsman was added to the game.

May 29, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed players killed by flaming arrows not showing the appropriate kill icon.

June 8, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed this weapon drawing a muzzle flash under lagged conditions.

June 23, 2009 Patch

  • Critical arrows now have a trail and correctly deal enhanced damage.
  • This weapon now defaults to be right handed.
  • Friendly arrows will no longer trigger the near miss sound on you.

August 13, 2009 Patch (Classless Update)

  • Fixed a couple of issues with the way critboosts affected the Huntsman.
  • Fixed an exploit where you could reload this weapon faster than intended.

September 15, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed Sniper using the reference pose if he has this weapon deployed when his team loses.
  • Fixed Huntsman not firing crit arrows when the Sniper is crit-boosted.
  • Fixed being able to fire this weapon under water if you jump into the water with the arrow charged.

December 18, 2009 Patch

  • Fixed a client crash related to arrows.

April 28, 2010 Patch

  • Removed restriction that arrows need to be aimed before they can be lit by a Pyro.
  • Bow can now be lowered without losing the lit arrow.
  • Changed bow so you can start charging it while you're jumping, but you can't fire until you're on the ground.
  • Fixed bug where flame effect would get stuck on if you change weapons with a lit arrow.

May 20, 2010 Patch (Second Community Contribution Update)

September 30, 2010 Patch (The Mann-Conomy Update)

  • [Undocumented] This weapon was added in the crafting blueprint for the Sydney Sleeper.

November 19, 2010 Patch

  • Fixed not being able to light arrows after the first arrow is fired unless they're drawn back.

December 17, 2010 Patch (Australian Christmas)

  • Fixed the arrow burning effect getting stuck on if player changed class in a respawn room with arrow lit.

December 21, 2010 Patch

January 19, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed being able to attack teammates using pumpkin bombs and arrows fired.
  • Updated model with optimizations and new LODs.

March 15, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The crafting cost for the Crusader's Crossbow was reduced from two Reclaimed Metal + Huntsman to two Scrap Metal + Huntsman.

May 5, 2011 Patch (Replay Update)

  • [Undocumented] Added a voice response for the Skewer taunt.

June 3, 2011 Patch

  • Added new community contributed response rules to this weapon.

March 1, 2012 Patch

  • Refined Huntsman recoil forces

March 22, 2012

  • Added Strange Quality ( Crate #40 )


  • Due to the arrow's classification as a projectile, it has a large hitbox. Combined with player hitboxes, the Huntsman often scores hits on targets that it appears to miss.
  • Should the Sniper be stunned with the Huntsman drawn, he will immediately release the arrow, causing it to fire normally.
  • Should the Sniper be thrust airborne while his arrow is drawn, the arrow will not release until his feet touches the ground.
  • If an arrow is lit on fire while the Huntsman is drawn, cancelling the shot will cause the flaming effect to visually disappear. However, the withdrawn arrow is still considered lit and capable of setting enemies on fire.
  • Although going underwater with a lit arrow will visibly extinguish it, it is still considered lit and capable of setting enemies on fire.
  • Arrows that are stuck to an Engineer building will remain floating in midair if the Engineer hauls the building away.
  • While performing the Skewer taunt kill with a flaming arrow, the flames on the tip of the arrow will fade, then reappear after the taunt has been finished.


  • The Huntsman's view model was originally left-handed.
  • When first revealed, the Huntsman was to have eighteen arrows. It is unknown why five were removed. [1]
  • The concept of lighting the Huntsman's arrows on fire was not in the original design. The ability was added after the item was shown to the public based on community feedback. [2]
  • The Huntsman's arrows can clash with hostile projectiles or throwable items. For example, should an arrow collide with a Soldier's rocket in midair, the rocket will disintegrate into team-colored sparkles while the arrow continues on.


See also



External links

Leaderboard class scout.png
Leaderboard class soldier.png
Leaderboard class pyro.png
Leaderboard class demo.png
Leaderboard class heavy.png
Leaderboard class engineer.png
Leaderboard class medic.png
Leaderboard class sniper.png
Leaderboard class spy.png
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Dead Ringer
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Taunt various Home Run
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(Eyelander/Horseless Headless Horsemann's Headtaker/Claidheamh Mòr/Half-Zatoichi/Persian Persuader/Nessie's Nine Iron)
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