Welcome to Discussion of the Week: Bowguns!

Sorry for the (extended) delay, but you know, these things happen sometimes.

2ndGen-Heavy Bowgun Equipment Render 001


  • Light Bowguns, also known simply as LBG, are ranged weapons. As the name suggests, they are light enough to allow Hunters to run with the weapon drawn, and they can be sheathed and unsheathed very quickly. However, Light Bowguns are generally low in attack power, although this is partially compensated by different Light Bowguns being able to Rapid-Fire a specific Ammo (Rapid-Fire shoots multiple rounds in quick succession, using only one shell of ammo). Light Bowguns are original weapons first seen in Monster Hunter.
  • Medium Bowguns, also known as MBG, are weapons only found in Monster Hunter 3. They are categorized as Medium by their weight, and are less mobile than Light Bowguns, but more powerful.
  • Heavy Bowguns, also known as HBG, are ranged weapons that deal considerable damage, but due to their size and weight, do not allow Hunters to run when drawn. Heavy Bowguns are able to use a wide-range of Ammo. Since Monster Hunter 2, Hunters are able to equip Heavy Bowguns with a Shield, for blocking monster attacks. Equipping a Power Barrel will obviously increase attack power. Heavy Bowguns are original weapons first seen in Monster Hunter.

In some third Generation games, Heavy Bowguns are able to enter Siege-Mode; the Hunter crouches, immobile, with the Bowgun drawn, and can fire vast amounts of Shells without needing to reload.

Specific Games

Monster Hunter: What can I say? One of the original weapons of the series, and this is where it started for them.
Monster Hunter 2: Heavy Bowguns were improved; now you could add a Shield for protection, or a Power Barrel to boost attack. And let's be honest, did anyone opt for the shield?
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite: Not sure if it was this game or the previous (can't find a source on the wiki to confirm or deny) but Crag S came in around this point in the series, adding Bowguns to the list of weapons that could KO. Not that they can do it very well, mind, and it's pretty pointless solo.

Also, this game probably represents the high point in terms of Bowgun power (feel free to contradict me in the comments); Lao-Shao Cannon (DESPITE BEING APPALLINGLY MISNAMED) was very powerful and very versatile.

Monster Hunter Tri: The first and so far only game to use the 'piece your Bowgun together yourself' approach, which I really liked. It allowed for some really versatile and interesting builds, although it was admittedly sometimes a struggle to get good round sizes for most shots.

This game also saw the introduction of Exhaust S, for draining monster's stamina, Wyvern Fire S, for cool explosions, Sub S, for underwater hunting and Slicing S, for cutting off tails in the most protracted, cumbersome method possible.

Chaos Wing Bowgun packed quite a punch, though:

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd: Heavy Bowguns are revamped, so that you can go into 'Siege Mode', and fire almost continuously from a stationary point. That met with mixed results. Light Bowguns can side-step as well as back-step. Apart from that, just reverting to the boring old system (Light/Heavy), obviously.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate': Um... yeah... Innovation wasn't this game's strongpoint.

Monster Hunter Frontier: Well, Light Bowguns have that super-rapid fire machine-gun system that looks just a little bit overpowered, and Heavy Bowguns can use shots to charge up and produce a Gravios-esque heat beam. Which certainly looks cool, it has to be said.


  • Do you prefer to use Heavy Bowguns or Light Bowguns? Why?
  • Which game were they best in?
  • Do you have any specific favourites?
  • What improvements should they get in the future?

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