Latest Greatest Tranquilizer Gun Ammunition Darts


I just re-ordered a new supply of .5-cc, 1-cc and 1.5c tranquilizer gun darts and thought I would post a few pics. They made a few really nice design upgrades since my last order, most noticeably a translucent body which is awesome. Some of the larger darts now utilize a triple needle port which injects medication or sedatives from both sides of the needle in addition to the main injection opening out the front.

I had a thread about this type of ammunition in the old/lost forum but figured I would kinda redo it here. In general, the way these darts work is at the tail end of each dart is a loose firing pin that floats inside a spring. Upon impact, inertia drives the firing pin into a small explosive charge which then in turn forces a rubber plunger up, thus delivering the darts contents. Upon impact, the tail end of the darts glow as a result of the explosive going off which is great at night and in shadows. It also lets us confirm that the dart went off ok and not to reuse it if has been detonated as they can only be used once to administer a drug. I save fired darts to use as TP and to adjust to power level of the gun to reduce the wallop of the darts impact on the animal to a minimum depending on distance, size of the dart and type of wildlife it is being used on :)

This photo shows a group of sedation darts. The older style has a colored plastic or metal body. The newer ones are translucent.

This pics show the newly designed .5-cc , 1.0-cc and 1.5-cc Darts with see threw body, there packaging and a scan of the front and back labels. They also made the needle thicker on the inside to improve needle bends on impact with thick skinned animals.



Beautiful items. I have no personal interest in collecting them, but am I safe in assuming that it takes some sort of special license, or “proof of need” to buy these things? Just wondered, since they contain a drug (or I assume they do).

John Moss


John, I think they are delivered empty and the user can fill them with what ever he needs to.


You are correct, EOD :-) I buy the darts empty and fill with medication or sedation drugs under the guidance of a licensed Veterinarian.



One more thing I forgot to mention. On the larger 1.5CC dart you will notice a green protrusion on the needle. That is a “Gel Collar”, which is riggid and tapered to a point around the needle. I order gel collars on larger darts because they deliver more volume of meds and the collar keeps the dart attached to the animal to insure 100% drug delivery. After a short time, the gel collar softens and dissolves a little so the dart can be removed safely. Smaller darts typically bounce off the animal but the drug injection is so fast that the animal receives 100% of the dose. With the tigers and other large felines, we often have to use 4cc or 6cc or even 8cc darts and the gel collar really helps insure all of the dose is injected.



Highly informative! A type of ammunition on which I knew absolutely nothing and had nothing on file for except a four (or so) page brochure from S&W on the Mercox revolver.

Thanks for posting this!

APFSDS strikes again! Great stuff.

John Moss


Thanks, John :-)


good stuff Jason




I am happy some of you are finding this type of ammo interesting. I figured I would take a chance and post a few pics here :-)

I really like the thicker needle walls and the transparent design. They are kinda like the ultimate cutaway. Right now the company only makes the darts with transparent bodies in under 1.5cc sizes. They told me that they plan on designing the larger darts in a similar way soon.

Not that many forum readers will ever need to use these darts in reality, but something to note is when filling, you need a needle longer then the darts needle to fill. If you use a filling needle shorter then darts needle, the capillary effect forces most of the drug back out of the dart to spill on your hands and the ground, which sucks! I hate when that happens :-)

Also, after filling, I push a dab of bacitracin or neosporin into the opening of the darts needle. This serves two functions. First it puts a topical antibiotic immediately on the impact site and second, it keeps the drug inside the dart. This is especially helpful when your target forces the barrel to point below level grade.


Once we are on the subject you may check on my favourite video clip concerning this subject:

Geat fun everytime I see it.


I remember seeing a TV program ages ago where they were firing a tranquiliser dart to subdue a stray horse. The vet had to inject himself with the antidote to the drug before he handled the dart. This was because apparently it would kill a human if you accidentally stuck the dart needle into yourself. Do you have to do this with any of the drugs you use?


EOD, that video was great! If only :-)

No, I have never had to inject myself with a antidote or reversal agent before I had to chemically sedate a animal. There is no doubt that the wide variety of Veterinary sedation drugs can be extremely dangerous or deadly and the upmost respect and caution must always be used when handling them. The issue with large animal sedation in a emergency situation were a dart gun is ideal is the fact that they typically weigh so much. With-out getting to technical on the Veterinary side of things, the drugs used on large mammals is typically ULTRA CONCENTRATED, thus they can kill any lightweight animal extremely quickly. Even with the large cats (mammals under 1000 lbs) we use normally concentrated sedation meds. In our case, a cocktail of 2 drugs, at 1-cc per 100 pounds each. In the case of 600 pound tiger, we would need a total volume of 12-cc’s which in turn equals two 6-cc darts. If I had to use the same concentration of drugs on say a elephant and was shooting from a helicopter, I would need a few dozen darts to sedate it. So with large, heavy mammals Vets or their supervised agent, orders the sedatives concentrated so in many cases only one dart is needed. In the field this is key.

I am guessing the stuff the Vet was using in your video was extremely concentrated and deadly. That being said, I would guess the antidote dose he would have to give himself would be massive and in itself could be deadly. I would pass on the prophylactic antidote concept myself :-)

One more quick thing, with the sedative cocktail we use on the cats, one of the drugs is reversible. What we do is wait 30 + minutes for the other sedative to wear off first. Then we administer the reversal drug to the animal. It is amazing to watch. Usually with-in 5 to 10 minutes the animal wakes up :-) Hope this made sense and I did not ramble to much. Remember, I am not a Vet. I just have a lot of years hands on experience under their guidance.


Jason - your explanations are very, very easy to follow. No unnecessary scientific terminology that would be above most of our heads, and very clear explanations. I am not the brightest bulb on the block and I have learned a huge amount on topics I knew nothing of from your postings (and those of many others on this Forum, of course). Thanks. Keep up the wonderful work you do, but someday, take a well-earned vacation and go to a good cartridge show! Your devotion to those animals is nothing short of incredible, and by the way, commendable.

One day, could you post a picture of the tranquilizer gun (or equipment) that you use. It would be nice to see. Most I have seen used in films, and once in person, looked much like common air guns, but it would make a good addition to this thread to see one here.

John Moss


Jason–Maybe for the benefit of many of our newer Forum members that are not aware of what you do, maybe a brief description of your work and a re-posting of some of your pictures is in order, especially the one with the big furry, striped one in the car with you. That is one of my all time favorite non-cartridge pictures.


Thanks John and Ron! You guys rule. I will look for some pics and take some of the tranquilizer rifle we use. I also use a blow gun as a dart projector with darts under 3-cc’s with-in 50 feet. Anything larger and my lungs are not good enough to produce enough velocity.



Thanks for a informative and interesting post. I look forward to see more pictures of both the weapon used, and some of the “victims”. Keep on posting.


Just scanned a few pics from the catalog showing their dart projectors. They make, Gauged, CO2, PUMP and Cartridge Fired guns as well as my favorite, the Blow Gun.

This pic shows their darts. They also make special purpose DNA SAMPLING DARTS, TRANSMITTER DARTS, BIOPSY DARTS and BEAR SCARE DARTS.

The one with the green " * " is the one we use on occasion. It has a dial adjustment so I can increase or decrease the darts velocity to my specs at the time of need. Some of these guns can project a dart so fast it will break bones and cause other injuries, so this feature is great. Like I said earlier, I save fired darts in all sizes so I can test the gun sites and impact force at the estimated distance I plan on shooting from before the tactical need :-)



“Cartridge Fired Projectors”…Yeah, baby! Thanks for the very interesting thread.



Yeah, the cartridge firing projectors are great. For “Sanctuary” or private uses I prefer the air powered projectors or the blow-gun with small darts. This is because they are silent or virtually silent. The cartridge ones are better in the field or in an emergency because in those cases sound means nothing. In a captive environment, the more incognito the device both visually and auditory, the better. This is especially true with an animal that has been darted in the past. With the blow gun they don’t even no its coming and I can keep stress levels as low as possible, which is key :-)


Excellent info!

The animal control officers in my area (they are separate from my LE agency) had a projector like the one you marked…they gave it to me to refurb. Around the same time there was a changing of the guard in their division and they got a 193 like the one pictured, so I still have the CO2 gun. I had to order all their darts for a while since the new folks had no clue where/how to get them.

I used to work at the Fort Worth Zoo; I can remember the large-game rifles they kept on hand for escapes but I don’t recall what kind of tranq guns they used. There’s a large cat sanctuary not even 20 minutes from my house that I keep meaning to visit.

There used to be a dartgun a long while back that used 2 slingshot bands to propel the projectile…configured like a rifle, camo, etc. They had a couple at a knife shop I worked at. It appeared in a Mitch WerBell video, and they had rigged it to fire hypos in an antipersonnel role…no clue whether or not it was field-viable but it was fast and quiet.