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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 wooden recurve bow held together with black tape. When the Huntsman is equipped, the Sniper carries arrows in the rifle case strapped to his back.

Unlike the Sniper's other primary weapons, which fire bullets, the Huntsman fires arrow projectiles. Holding the primary fire button (default key: MOUSE1) draws the bow and begins charging a shot. Releasing primary fire launches the arrow. The longer primary fire is held, the greater the charge and the more damage and speed the arrow has. Fully charging a shot takes 1 second, and the player can hold that charge by keeping the primary fire button held. However, if a charge is held for more than 5 seconds, the Sniper's arm begins to shake with tension, and the arrow flies wide of the crosshair and deals minimum damage when fired. Pressing the alt-fire button (default key: MOUSE2) cancels a charge without shooting the arrow.

Because arrows are projectiles, there are several considerations when using the Huntsman that aren't shared by the Sniper's other primary weapons. Arrows, unlike bullets, take time to reach their targets and are subject to gravity. This means that long-distance combat is more difficult, due to needing to account for the travel time and arc of the arrows with each shot. Uncharged arrows travel around 1875 Hammer units per second (roughly 128 km/h or 80 mph); a fully charged shot increases the arrow's speed by around 25%. Arrows also have a larger hitbox than bullets. Like most other projectiles, arrows can be deflected by a Pyro's compression blast.

Compared to the Sniper Rifle, the Huntsman carries less ammo, deals less damage on fully-charged shots, and lacks a scope. However, it also charges its shots faster, and allows the Sniper to move faster while charging (53% of normal movement speed, compared to the Sniper Rifle's 27%). The Huntsman's shots can also be charged whilst the Sniper is falling or jumping, and the weapon can be fired in midair. In addition, headshot kills scored with the Huntsman net a total of 2 points, as compared to the 1.5 points obtained from a headshot kill using the Sniper Rifle.

A friendly Pyro can set fire to the Huntsman's arrows with any of their flamethrowers. Enemies struck by a flaming arrow are set on fire. However, Pyros do not get kill assists for lighting a Sniper's arrow. A charge can be cancelled without losing the lit arrow; switching weapons, however, douses the arrow. Some map elements, such as the torches on DeGroot Keep or the flaming barrels on Coal Pit and Devastation, can also light arrows on fire. Submerging in water does not extinguish a lit arrow.

Enemies killed with an arrow while near a solid surface (such as a wall) have their corpse pinned to it by the arrow.

Taunting with the Huntsman equipped results in the Arrow Stab kill taunt.

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
Damage type Bullet
Ranged or Melee damage? Ranged
Base damage 100%
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.

Item set

Main article: Item sets
Dual-Purpose Fruit
Item icon Fruit Shoot.png

Reduces the chance of hunger by up to 13%.

Note: The attributes are hidden until both items are equipped.
This set does not affect gameplay, as its description is meant to be a joke.



See also: Crafting


Class Token - Sniper Slot Token - Primary Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Sniper.png + Item icon Slot Token - Primary.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Huntsman.png Item icon Sydney Sleeper.png Item icon Bazaar Bargain.png Item icon Machina.png
Item icon Hitman's Heatmaker.png Item icon AWPer Hand.png Item icon Fortified Compound.png Item icon Classic.png

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
Huntsman Refined Metal Fruit Shoot
Item icon Huntsman.png + Item icon Refined Metal.pngx4 = Item icon Fruit Shoot.png
Huntsman Reclaimed Metal Bazaar Bargain Classic
Item icon Huntsman.png + Item icon Reclaimed Metal.png + Item icon Bazaar Bargain.png = Item icon Classic.png

Strange variant

Related achievements

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 the Huntsman drawing a muzzle flash under lagged conditions.

June 23, 2009 Patch

  • Critical arrows now have a trail and correctly deal enhanced damage.
  • The Huntsman 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 the Huntsman deployed when his team loses.
  • Fixed Huntsman not firing crit arrows when the Sniper is critboosted.
  • Fixed being able to fire the Huntsman 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

September 30, 2010 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The Huntsman was added to 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 LODs.

March 15, 2011 Patch

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

May 5, 2011 Patch

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

June 3, 2011 Patch

  • Added new community contributed response rules to the Huntsman.

March 1, 2012 Patch

  • Refined Huntsman recoil forces.

March 22, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added Strange Quality.

May 3, 2012 Patch

October 17, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed floating arrows on carried objects.

December 20, 2012 Patch (Mecha Update)

December 21, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Festive Huntsman arrows using incorrect hit boxes.

January 8, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed Festive Huntsman not completing a set when equipped.

January 16, 2013 Patch

  • Added The Festive Huntsman to the list of items allowed in Medieval Mode.

April 1, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed the Huntsman charge bar being misaligned.

July 30, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed the Huntsman not firing after being charged in the air and landing on the ground while using cl_autoreload.

July 3, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed an issue that prevented Huntsman arrows from damaging enemy Engineer buildings.

December 17, 2015 Patch (Tough Break Update)

  • [Undocumented] Changed attribute:
    • [Undocumented] Snipers can now fire the Huntsman mid-air.

October 24, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed the afterburn duration for the Huntsman.

Unknown patch

  • The Huntsman can now fire underwater.

November 15, 2021 Patch

  • Fixed a sound bug.

June 21, 2022 Patch

  • Fixed an exploit with the Huntsman in which a player could change loadout to negate the speed debuff when charged.

December 14, 2022 Patch

  • Fixed Huntsman registering headshots when arrows go through other entities.


  • While having the Huntsman or Fortified Compound equipped, it is possible to still use the Arrow Stab taunt while stunned. The taunt's animation is not played, but the Sniper still says the taunt's line "Stab, Stab, Stab", and can still kill a nearby enemy player by moving the camera towards them before taunting.
  • Lit arrows are not extinguished when going underwater.
  • With a lit arrow, the fire particle stays when performing special taunts.
  • Pressing primary and secondary fire at the same time causes the animation of letting go of the arrow without firing it to play on repeat.


  • The Huntsman's view model was originally left-handed.
  • When first revealed, the Huntsman was to have eighteen arrows. Five were removed, however, it is unknown why.[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]
  • In the files, the Huntsman is referred to as tf_weapon_compound_bow. This is incorrect, as the Huntsman is not a compound bow, but rather a recurve bow.



See also

External links