--------------------------------------------
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------------Monster Hunter Tri--------------
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-------------Bowgun Companion---------------
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------------By VampireCosmonaut-------------
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---------------Version: 1.6-----------------
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Contents:

Introduction

Section 1: Bowguns and Ammunition

 Part 1: Bowgun Basics (BGBASIC)
 Part 2: Ammunition (BGAMMO)
 Part 3: Bowgun Assembly (BGASSEMB)
 Part 4: Weight (BGWGHT)
 Part 5: Range (BGRANGE)
 Part 6: Recoil (BGRECOIL)
 Part 7: Reload (BGRELOAD)
 Part 8: Deviation (BGDEV)

Section 2: Bowguns and Armor

 Part 1: Low Rank Bowguns (LRBOWS)
 Part 2: Low Rank Armor (LRARMR)
 Part 3: High Rank Bowguns (HRBOWS)
 Part 4: High Rank Armor (HRARMR)
 Part 5: Bowgun & Armor Sets (BGARSET)

Credit

Contact and Copyright

============================================

Introduction

============================================

Welcome to the Bowgun Companion!

Gunning in Monster Hunter Tri can be quite daunting for veterans
and new players alike. The bowgun has been completely rebalanced
and many ammo types have been rendered less effective.

In this guide, I will try to make the bowgun and its use easier to
understand. I will reference the Bowgun Damage FAQ and explain why
the formula affects the game and weapon and ammo choices in the
simplest terms that I can.

This guide is for both new users and veterans, I will not assume
the reader is an experienced gunner.



============================================

     Section 1: Bowguns and Ammunition

============================================



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 1: Bowgun Basics (BGBASIC)

 --------------------------------------------

I will try to explain bowguns in the most simplest terms.

Bowguns take ammunition, that you have purchased or combined, from your
gunner pouch and load them into your bowgun magazine. You can then fire 
this ammunition at range until the magazine is empty and you need 
to reload again.

In most cases, a bowgunner is a mid-range attacker. You are not a sniper
and you are not to fire upon the monster from miles away. The bowgun is
a primitive gun that is less effective the further you are from the 
monster. You need to be close to deal damage.

Various choices affect your bowgun's damage output, what parts you use
in the gun, what ammo you choose to fire, and the distance from the 
monster you choose to fire from. 

Your part choices affect the size of your bowgun's magazine, the attack
power of the gun and the recoil and reload speed of the gun. You'll 
usually want faster reload speeds and lower recoil. Part choices also 
affect what shells you can fire, not all bowguns can fire all the shells 
in the game. To get the magazine size of a bowgun for a specific shot,
take the total number for the shot from each part and total them.

If a shot has a yellow highlight around it on your parts screen, it can
be rapid fired. This results in burst fire mode that only uses one shell.
You can get multiple shots out of one shell using this feature. The
individual shots are slightly weaker than their non-rapid fired versions.
If all the shots connect, you will do more damage than a single shot. You
cannot change where you are aiming or walk while you are rapid firing.



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 2: Ammunition (BGAMMO)

 --------------------------------------------

Bowguns have a wide variety of ammunition choices. 
I will explain the basic function of each below.

The Bowgun Damage FAQ contains a chart of the shot power, reload and
recoil values, and special effects of each shot. Please refer to that
guide for your reference.


----------
 Normal 1
----------
This is your basic "free" shot. It will always be in your inventory.
It does not show up in your gunner's pouch but it is always available 
to be loaded into your gun. It does very weak damage. 

When you fire it, it impacts the monster in one hit location and stops. 
It does not penetrate. This ammunition is a close range type and is more 
effective the closer you are to the monster.


----------
 Normal 2
----------
This ammunition is non-piercing and close range. It is twice as damaging as
Normal 1. It impacts the monster in one shot location and stops. It does not
penetrate. This ammo is close range and good for nearly any monster.


----------
 Normal 3
----------
This ammunition is the strongest of the Normal series. When it impacts the
monster, it deals damage to the location it hits and then ricochets in a 
random direction. 

If the ricochet hits the monster again, anywhere on its body, it will deal 
superior damage to Normal 2. If the ricochet does not hit the monster, it 
deals damage that it weaker than Normal 2. You can have multiple ricochets 
from a single shot. 

This ammo is close range and can be fired from further away than any of 
the other Normal Shots.


----------
 Pierce 1
----------
This is a penetrating ammunition that deals damage to multiple locations
on the monster's body. Pierce 1 is a good ammunition choice for small boss
monsters and large boss monsters. 

This shot deals 3 hits in rapid succession. These 3 hits are usually dealt 
from one hitzone to the next. Some larger monsters might be hit multiple
times in one hitzone.

For example, hitting a monster in the head with pierce 1 will usually 
result in a hit to the head, the neck, and the body. This bullet stops 
dealing hits after it deals 3 hits. Higher levels of Pierce function in
the same way, they just deal a larger number of hits.

This ammo is most effective from around 3 rolls away from the monster.


----------
 Pierce 2
----------
This is a penetrating ammunition that deals damage to multiple locations
on the monster's body. Pierce 2 is a good ammunition choice for large 
boss monsters. This ammunition is less effective on small monsters.

This shot deals 4 hits in rapid succession. These 4 hits are usually dealt
from one hitzone to the next. Some larger monsters might be hit multiple
times in one hitzone.

This ammo is most effective from around 3 rolls away from the monster.

Each individual Pierce 2 hit is slightly weaker than each individual 
Pierce 1 hit. It's important that most hits connect to deal superior damage.


----------
 Pierce 3
----------
This is a penetrating ammunition that deals damage to multiple locations
on the monster's body. Pierce 3 is a good ammunition choice for large 
boss monsters. This ammunition is less effective on small monsters.

This shot deals 5 hits in rapid succession. These 5 hits are usually dealt
from one hitzone to the next. Some larger monsters might be hit multiple
times in one hitzone.

This ammo is most effective from around 3 rolls away from the monster.

Each individual Pierce 3 hit is slightly weaker than each individual 
Pierce 1 and Pierce 2 hit. It's important that most hits connect to 
deal superior damage.


---------
 Pellet 
---------
This is your basic "shotgun" shot. The pellets fly out of the barrel in
a cone originating at the tip of your barrel. This shot is most effective
at around 2 rolls away from the monster, where the cone hasn't widened too
much and the shot deals the most hits. If you are closer than 2 rolls,
the shot will deal fewer hits.

This shot is highly effective against fast moving and small monsters.
It can be easily used to clear a room of minions or hit something that
moves too quickly for careful aiming.

Each shot type deals the same amount of damage but they all inflict a
different number of hits. Pellet 1 does 3 hits, Pellet 2 does 4 hits, and
Pellet 3 does 5 hits.


------
 Crag
------
This is an explosive shell. When you fire a crag shot, you are essentially
firing a normal shell with an explosive payload. The shot will hit the monster
and remain at the site of impact, and then explode.

The initial hit is as powerful as a Normal 1 shot and does the most damage 
when fired from the same range as a Pierce 1 shell. Due to the weakness 
of this initial hit, it is not really important to worry about it dealing 
optimal damage.

The explosion crag deals is significant. It does a set amount of fire damage
and a set amount of unmodified damage. The fire damage is modified by where
you hit the monster and its weakness to fire. The unmodified damage is not
affected by hit location and is effective anywhere on any monster. In the
Bowgun Damage FAQ, this unmodified damage is simply referred to as "DAM".

Each level of Crag 1, 2, and 3, deal higher levels of fire damage and "DAM".
Crag 1 does 30 fire and 20 DAM, Crag 2 does 45 fire and 30 DAM, and Crag 3
does 60 fire and 40 DAM.

Crag Shot also deals a small portion of KO damage. This damage will weaken the
exhaust tolerance of the monster and, if you hit the head, the KO tolerance.
Crag 1 deals 6 KO/exhaust, Crag 2 deals 8 KO/exhaust, and Crag 3 deals 10.


---------
 Cluster
---------
Cluster is a shell that breaks apart into multiple bomblets upon impact.
The shell impacts like a normal shell and remains at the impact site until
it explodes, dealing one bomblet on the impact site and spreading more 
bomblets over the monster. The bomblets rain down from the impact site, so
it's sometimes best to hit the monster on the back.

The initial hit is as weak as a Crag initial hit and is not modified by range.
It deals the same damage regardless of the distance that it was fired from.

The bomblet at the impact site and the bomblets that explode over the monster
deal a small cosmetic amount of fire damage and a fixed amount of unmodified
damage which refer to as "DAM". 

Every Cluster shot type 1-3 deal the same amount of fixed damage, the only 
difference is the number of bomblets. Cluster deals one weak initial hit,
one bomblet explosion on the impact site and a number of additional bomblet
explosions on a random hit location nearby. Cluster 1 has 2 additional 
bomblets, Cluster 2 has 3, and Cluster 3 has 4.


-------------
 Wyvern Fire
-------------
Wyvern Fire is a shot that requires a brief moment to charge and then releases 
a burst of flames that deal 2 hits. These 2 hits are one part fire damage and 
one part unmodified damage, "DAM". The fire damage is a fixed amount based on 
the shot level. The unmodified damage is based on the attack power of the 
bowgun firing it, making this a very powerful shot.

The hits that Wyvern Fire deals are very close range, and the charge time
could put the gunner into serious danger. Use this shot type with caution.
This shot is most effective at less than one roll away.

Wyvern Fire 1 deals 2 hits of 20 fire damage and 2 hits at 18% of the bowgun's 
attack power. Only the fire damage is modified by the hit location. The 
unmodified damage is effective anywhere on the monster.

Wyvern Fire 2 is 2 hits of 30 fire damage and 2 hits at 20% attack power.
Again, the unmodified damage is unaffected by hit location. Only the fire
damage is mitigated by resistance.

Wyvern Fire 3 is 2 hits of 35 fire damage and 2 hits at 25% attack power.


-----
 Sub
-----
Sub S is a Pellet type shot that deals more hits when fired underwater. It 
appears to be more effective at very close range, around 2 rolls. Sub 1 deals 
2 hits above water and 3 underwater, while Sub 2 deals 3 hits above water 
and 5 hits while underwater. This shot is more powerful than Pellet underwater
and should be used in the same way.


-----------
 Elemental
-----------
There are 5 elemental shots in Monster Hunter Tri, Dragon, Flaming, Freeze,
Water, and Thunder. 

Dragon:
Dragon shot hits the target and then falls straight down burning like a flare. 
Each hit is a weak physical hit, 1% bowgun attack power, with a significant hit 
of 64 dragon element. This shot is unmodified by range and is best suited for 
locations where it can get the most hits while it falls. The elemental portion
of Dragon shot is not affected by affinity.

Flaming:
This shot deals one hit that is slightly more powerful than a Normal 1 shot.
This shot does 45% of the bowguns attack power in fire element on the impact 
site. This is not a Normal shell and does not receive any bonuses from Normal 
shot up skills. This shot is not modified by range but does cease to exist 
after a certain distance. The elemental portion of Flaming shot is not affected
by affinity.

Freeze, Water, Thunder:
These shots function identically. They all deal 3 penetrating hits, much like
Pierce 1. They are not Pierce and don't receive any bonuses from Pierce skills.
They all deal 3 physical hits that are slightly weaker than a Normal 1 shell.
They also do 15% of the bowgun's attack power of their respective element at 
all 3 impact sites. This shot is not modified by range but does despawn after 
a certain distance. The elemental portion of Freeze, Water, and Thunder is not 
affected by affinity.


---------
 Slicing
---------
This shot functions in a way that is similar to a Crag shell. It will impact a
hit zone on a monster, and remain stuck there, until it explodes. Unlike Crag,
the explosion deals only cutting damage and the damage is modified by the 
attack power of the bowgun.

Slicing shot does one very weak initial hit that's only 1% of the bowgun's
attack power. It then explodes dealing 3 cutting hits, near the impact site, 
that are 8% of the bowguns attack power.

These shots are very weak on their own and should not be used to cut tails
without the assistance of other team members. This shot should really only be
used to supplement cutting damage inflicted by other players.

---------
 Exhaust
---------
This shot deals pure KO damage. When fired upon the head of the monster, this
shot will deal 15 points of KO damage and 15 points of exhaust damage. If fired
anywhere but the head, this shot only deals 15 exhaust damage.

KO and exhaust damage are essentially the same. KO is just exhaust damage 
applied to the head of the monster.


--------
 Status
--------
Status effect shots, Poison, Stun, and Sleep function identically. They all deal
a fixed amount of status damage against the status tolerance of the monster.

Every monster has a resistance against status effects, when you hit the monster
with a status effect shot, you lower that resistance. When the resistance hits 
zero, the monster is affected by the status you are trying to inflict. After 
the monster recovers from that status, the resistance resets to a higher number.
This makes it more difficult to affect the monster with the status again.

It's also worth noting that while a monster is affected by a status effect,
like poisoned or stunned, it is not possible to inflict more status until it 
has recovered.



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 3: Bowgun Assembly (BGASSEMB)

 --------------------------------------------

Bowguns are made up of 3 parts: the frame, the barrel, and the stock.
Each one of those parts contributes to the magazine size of each shot the gun 
fires. The parts determine the reload speed, recoil, deviation, and rapid fire 
capability. I will describe the function of each part below.


-------
 Frame
-------
The frame is the main firing mechanism and the backbone of your bowgun.
It contributes the largest portion of attack power to the gun.
Your base reload speed, recoil, and deviation are determined by the frame.
The frame also has small affect on the bowgun's range attribute.

Reload speed is the speed at which you load a magazine and are ready to fire. 
The Recoil of a gun is the amount of time it takes after you fire a shell
to move or fire again.

The frame also contributes to what shells you can load and fire.
Not all bowguns can fire all the shells in the game.

If a frame is labeled (folding) in it's description, then the frame is a
folding type. This means that the bowgun will take longer to assemble after
you unsheathe it and it will take longer to put in on your back again.
This also means that you walk speed while the gun is out will be severely
reduced. These frames benefit from a reduced recoil and base deviation.


-------
 Stock
-------
The stock is the primary part that affects recoil. 
No other part reduces recoil.
It can reduce recoil by 1 (Reduced) or 2 (Reduced+) levels.

The stock contributes to what shells you can load and fire.
It also increases reload speed by 1 or 2 levels.


--------
 Barrel
--------
The barrel reduces or increases deviation. Deviation is the accuracy of 
your bowgun. A bowgun with increased deviation will fire shells that drift 
away from the center of your aim. The bowgun can increase the deviation by 
1 or 2 levels or decrease it by 1 or 2 levels.

The barrel is the only other part, besides the frame, that affects the 
attack power of the bowgun. The barrel also affects shot choice and magazine 
size. Range is primarily affected by the barrel, it's either slightly increased 
or reduced by the barrel.



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 4: Weight (BGWGHT)

 --------------------------------------------

The combined weight of the bowgun parts results in the bowgun being one of 3
classes of bowguns: light, medium, or heavy. Each type affects the hunter's
movement differently when it is unsheathed.

A bowgun is a light bowgun when its combined weight is 29 or less. It's a
medium bowgun when its weight is between 30 and 70, and it's a heavy bowgun 
when its weight is higher than 70.

Light bowguns allow you to walk when they are unsheathed and you can dodge 
immediately after firing a shell. This quick hop to the left or right is 
unique to light bowguns.

Medium bowguns have the same level of movement as a light bowgun, although
you cannot dodge to the right or left immediately after firing. You can dodge
roll after firing however. The medium bowgun is the same as the light bowgun
from previous Monster Hunter games.

Heavy bowguns cause you to move very slowly while they are unsheathed.
You can have a heavy bowgun without a folding frame, and it will unsheathe as
fast as any medium bowgun. The slow folding and unfolding animation that most
heavy bowgun users are used to from previous games is actually determined by
whether or not the frame is a folding frame, not the weight.



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 5: Range (BGRANGE)

 --------------------------------------------

The range attribute of the bowgun has some unexpected affects on the damage
output of the bowgun. For some shots, reduced range actually helps deal more
damage to weaker parts of the monster. Before I explain that, however, I'm going
to explain the basic effects of range.

First, let's assume the range attribute of the bowgun is the standard, 1.0.
Three shots are affected by range, as I have explained in the ammunition
section, these shots are Crag, Normal, and Pierce. The initial hit on Crag is
so small that the range from which it was fired really shouldn't be the concern
of most gunners. On the other hand, Pierce and Normal damage is increased by
50% when fired from their most effective ranges.

Normal is most effective when fired very close to the monster.
I will demonstrate the effective ranges below. Each set of 5 dashes is a
dodge roll. Each line break represents the end of a range multiplier.

The chart below represents the range multipliers from a Normal 2 shot.
Within the first dodge roll, the shot gets a 1.5 times damage multiplier.
As the shot drifts further away from the bowgunner, it gets weaker.


       1.5        1.0   0.8    0.5------------------------->

|---------------|-----|-----|------------------------------>


Pierce shot functions in a different way: it needs some range between the
gunner and the monster to be most effective.

Here is the behavior of a pierce 2 shot.

       1.0             1.5          1.0      0.8    0.5----->

|---------------|---------------|----------|-----|---------->


Pierce requires a buffer between the hunter and the monster where the bullet
can pick up speed so that it can deal more damage.

The range multipliers change when a barrel with 0.60 range is introduced.

Here's a Pierce 2 shot being fired from a 1.0 range bowgun.
The "X" represents hits on a monster.


       1.0             1.5          1.0      0.8    0.5----->

|---------------|X----X----X----|X---------|-----|---------->

                |Head|Neck|Body|Tail|


Here's the same Pierce 2 shot fired from a 0.60 range bowgun.
The distance from the monster has not been changed.

    1.0       1.5     1.0   0.8  0.5----->

|---------|------X--|X--X--|X--|---------->

                |Head|Neck|Body|Tail|

The 40% reduction in range caused the pierce to deal hits every 3 dashes
instead of every 5. This reduction in range can be used to deal more pierce
hits in weaker parts of the monster. I will demonstrate this effect below.

If the gunner had moved a little closer to the monster, he could maximize
damage to weaker areas. 

This is a Pierce 2 shot where the gunner is closer to the monster.


    1.0       1.5     1.0   0.8  0.5----->

|---------|X--X--X--|X-----|---|---------->

          |Head|Neck|Body|Tail|

As you can see, the damage is increased.


Increased range can be used to benefit a gunner using Normal shot.
If the bowgun has a barrel that gives 1.20 range attribute, the effective 
range of Normal shot is increased by 20%. This increases the time between
Pierce hits, so you need to choose what shot you like to fire most. If you 
like Normal, go for a range increase. If you like Pierce, go for a range 
decrease.

It's also worth mentioning that being underwater reduces effective range 
and pierce hit frequency by 50% naturally. It's not a good idea to use a gun 
that decreases range underwater. When using a 60% range barrel, this could 
cause your effective range to be reduced to 30%!

When you are underwater, take your range statistic on your equipment screen
and halve it. That's your effective range.

I have a graphical range chart available at this address:
http://www.gamefaqs.com/psp/943356-monster-hunter-freedom-unite/faqs/57743
It's for Monster Hunter Unite, but the range values are the same.



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 6: Recoil (BGRECOIL)

 --------------------------------------------

Recoil is the 'kick' given by a bowgun when it is fired. After every shot
you fire, you need time to recover from the recoil of the shell. Some very
large shells like Status Effect Lvl 2 shot and Crag lvl 3 have a very large
recoil that requires a long time to recover, unless you have a recoil +
armor skill and recoil reducing stock.

Bowguns have 7 levels of recoil.

Bowgun Recoil Values:

Recoil Rating       Value
-------------------------
Max		       0
High		       1
Average 	       2
Some		       3
Low		       4
Tiny		       5
Min                    6
Min+                   7+


To determine your bowgun's actual recoil for a shot type, take the value listed 
next to recoil in the shot table, listed in the Bowgun Damage FAQ, and subtract 
that from the recoil value of your bowgun.

Recoil is calculated using the formula:

Bullet Recoil - Bowgun Recoil Value = Adjusted Recoil Value


You take the adjusted recoil value and use it to figure out how long it takes
to recover from a shot. Below is the chart used to determine the length of the
effect of recoil after you fire a shot.


Adjusted Recoil Value:

Result    Rating              Recovery
-----------------------------------------------------
Below 8  |   Recoiless       |     1 second recovery
9 - 10   |   Weak Recoil     |     2 second recovery
11+      |   Strong Recoil   |   2.5 second recovery
-----------------------------------------------------

I have created a chart below that gives you the minimum recoil needed to fire
specific shells without having to do the math. Just take your current recoil
value on your gun and compare it to the chart. The recoil value you have and
every entry above your recoil value is what you can fire without recoil.

It's worth nothing that while there isn't a displayed min+ recoil value.
It does exist in game and will lower the recoil of only Wyvern Fire Lvl 3.


Bowgun      Shot
Recoil     Recoil                 Recoiless Shots
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Max       |  8   |   Normal 1, Armor 1, Demon 1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
High      |  9   |   Normal 2+3, Flaming, Freeze, Water, Thunder
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average   |  10  |   Pierce 1+2+3, Pellet 1+2, Tranq Shot, Recov 1, Sub 1
                 |   Exhaust S
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some      |  11  |   Pellet 3, Crag 1, Status 1*, Paint S, Demon 2, 
                 |   Armor 2, Sub 2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Low       |  12  |   Crag 2, Recovery 2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tiny      |  13  |   Crag 3, Cluster 1, Dragon S, WvyernFire 1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Min       |  14  |   Cluster 2+3, Status 2**, WyvernFire 2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Min+      |  15  |   Wyvern Fire 3
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Status 1 covers Poison 1, Stun 1 and Sleep 1

** Status 2 covers Poison 2, Stun 2, and Sleep 2

Recoil is reduced by both the stock and the recoil + skill.
I have organised the increases and decreases of those skills and what
modifiers they have to the recoil level below.

Recoil Reduction by Stock and Skill:

Reduced Stock:     + 1 Level
Reduced+ Stock:    + 2 levels

Recoil + 1:        + 2 levels
Recoil + 2:        + 3 levels
Recoil + 3:        + 4 levels
Recoil - 1:        - 1 levels
Recoil - 2:        - 2 levels

Just take your starting recoil value of your gun without a stock and add 
the bonuses to get your recoilvalue. For example, if I have a average 
recoil bowgun frame and I add a reduced stock, I have Average (2) recoil 
adding + 1 for the stock which equals Some (3). If I then have Recoil - 2 
skill I take the Some (3) value of my gun and subtract 2, getting High (1). 
This means that with High (1), I could only fire Normal 1+2+3, Elemental 
shots except Dragon, and Lvl 1 Demon and Armor shot.



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 7: Reload (BGRELOAD)

 --------------------------------------------

Reload speed is the time needed to top off or completely fill the magazine
of a bowgun with ammunition. Some shots take more time to load than others.

Bowguns have 9 reload speed levels in MH: Tri.


Bowgun Reload Speed:

Reload Rating       Value
-------------------------
Fastest                 6
V. Fast                 5
Fast                    4
Abv. Avg                3
Average                 2
Bel. Avg                1
Slow                    0
V. Slow                -1
Ext. Slow              -2


Take the base reload value of your bowgun frame and add/subtract these 
skill & stock modifers to get your bowgun's actual reload value.

Reload Reduction by Stock and Skill:

Sm. Boost Stock:     + 1 Level
Lg. Boost Stock:     + 2 levels

Reload + 1:        + 2 levels
Reload + 2:        + 3 levels
Reload + 3:        + 4 levels
Reload - 1:        - 1 levels
Reload - 2:        - 2 levels
Reload - 3:        - 3 levels


For example, if you have a average (2) reload frame and you add a Lg. Boost
reload stock (+ 2), you will have a adjusted reload speed of Fast (4). 

If you also had the Reload +3 skill, you would add 4 to the Fast (4) 
value from your frame and stock and you would get Fastest (6). 

You would not get a reload speed of (8) because it only goes up to 
Fastest (6), so for that gun you really only need a skill of Reload +1 
with a Lg. Boost stock.


To determine your bowgun's reload speed for a shot type, take the value listed 
next to the reload speed in the shot table, listed in the Bowgun Damage FAQ, 
and subtract that from the reload value of your bowgun.

Reload is calculated using the formula:

Bullet Reload - Bowgun Reload Value = Adjusted Reload Value


You take the adjusted reload value and use it to figure out how long it takes
to reload a magazine of that shot type. Below is the chart used to determine 
the length of the reload animation.


Adjusted Reload Value:

Result       Rating           Reload Time
-----------------------------------------------------
Below 4  |   Fast       |     2 second recovery
5 - 7    |   Medium     |     2.5 second recovery
8+       |   Slow       |     3.5 second recovery
-----------------------------------------------------


I have created a chart to attempt to simplify reloading.

The Bowgun Reload value on the chart is the minimum reload needed.

The Shot Reload value is the reload speed of the bullet.

Fastest Reload Time shows what shots load the fastest when your bowgun has
that particular reload value. 

Minimum Reload Values:

Bowgun      Shot
Reload     Reload                 Fastest Reload Time
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bel. Avg  |  5   | Normal 1, Pellet 1        
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average   |  6   | Normal 2, Pierce 1, Pellet 2, Sub 2, Flaming, Freeze, Water,
                   Thunder, Exhaust
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Abv. Avg  |  7   | Normal 3, Pierce 2, Pellet 3, Crag 1, WyvernFire 3, Sub 1,
                 | Slicing, Status 1*, Paint, Demon 1, Recovery 1
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fast      |  8   | Pierce 3, Crag 2, Cluster 1, WyvernFire 2, Tranq, Armor 1
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
V. Fast   |  9   | Crag3, Cluster2, WyvernFire 1, Dragon, Status 2**, Armor 2,
                 | Recovery 2
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fastest   |  10  | Cluster 3
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Status 1 covers Poison 1, Stun 1 and Sleep 1
** Status 2 covers Poison 2, Stun 2, and Sleep 2



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 8: Deviation (BGDEV)

 --------------------------------------------

Bowgun deviation is the attribute that affects the accuracy of the bowgun.
A bowgun with high deviation will not fire straight, the bullet will veer
off in a direction dictated by the deviation direction of the barrel.
Some barrels will deviate only to the right, while others will veer to the
left. In the worse case, some barrel will randomly curve either right or
left.

Deviation is corrected by the bowgun's barrel. Some barrels remove a small
amount of deviation, "Reduced" barrels, while others remove a large amount
of deviation, "Reduced+" barrels. Some very special barrels actually make
deviation worse, "Increased+", but these barrels will also drastically 
increase attack power.


Here's a chart that represents bowgun deviation.

Deviation Chart:

Level      Name        Effect
------------------------------------------------------------
4 & 5  |   High+    |  Shot curves immediately after firing
2 & 3  |   High     |  Shot curves immediately after firing
1      |   Low      |  Shot curves at a medium distance
0      |   None     |  Shot moves in a straight line
-1     |   None     |  Shot moves in a straight line
------------------------------------------------------------

To figure out the deviation of a bowgun, take the base Deviation of your 
frame and assign it a number. For example, a "High:L/R" frame would have
a value of "2". Ignore the L/R for now.

Add or subtract these modifiers:

Reduced Barrel: -1
Reduced+ Barrel: -2

Increased+ : +2
Felyne Temper Active : +1

After you have added or subtracted these modifiers from your frame's base
deviation, refer to the chart again to get the bowgun's final deviation
value.

Deviation has a second, very simple attribute, the L, R and L/R deviation.
These stand for Left, Right, and Left/Right deviation. This is the direction
the shot will travel if you have Low or High deviation on your bowgun.
Left/Right deviation randomly chooses left or right every time you fire
your bowgun. This type should be avoided.

If a bowgun frame has a L deviation, and you do not add a barrel with 
L/R deviation, you will only have L deviation. If you combined a frame 
with L or R deviation with a L/R increased+ barrel, you will get L/R 
deviation. L/R deviation overrides either L or R deviation.

Here's an example of determining a bowgun's deviation.
For example, I am using a Rathling+ Frame which has a starting deviation 
of Low (1). I attach a Barrozooka Barrel, this adds 2 to my deviation
total because the barrel is a Increased+ Barrel. This combination results
in a deviation of 3, which is a High deviation.

The Steadiness Armor skill has a special effect on deviation, this should 
be determined after you add the modifiers for Temper and the bowgun's 
barrel together. I will detail these special effects for Steadiness + 1 
and Steadiness + 2 seperately.

Steadniess + 1 automatically sets the deviation values of 2 and 3 to 1.
This means that any "High" deviation value is reduced to "Low".

Steadniess + 1 automatically sets the deviation values of 4 and 5 to 3.
This means that the "High+" deviation value is reduced to "High".

Steadniess + 2 automatically sets the deviation values of 2 and 3 to 0.
This means that any "High" deviation value is reduced to "None".

Steadniess + 2 automatically sets the deviation values of 4 and 5 to 1.
This means that the "High+" deviation value is reduced to "Low".

Here's an example of the effect of Steadiness + 2, I will use the bowgun 
from my previous example. I am using a Rathling+ Frame which has a starting 
deviation of Low (1). I attach a Barrozooka Barrel, this adds 2 to my 
deviation total because the barrel is a Increased+ Barrel. This combination 
results in a deviation of 3, which is a High deviation. I have Felyne Temper
active, so I add an additional + 1. This results in a final total of 4 points.
With Steadiness+2, my deviation of High+ (4) will only be reduced to Low (1).



============================================

     Section 2: Bowguns and Armor

============================================



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 1: Low Rank Bowguns (LRBOWS)

 --------------------------------------------

Here are some suggested Low Rank Bowgun Choices.


Light Frame / Heavy Barrel / Heavy Stock

This is the best store bought bowgun choice and the beginner bowgun for most
gunners. With +10 defense and 1.20 range, it is good for Normal shot and the
light frame adds a fair amount of all the useful status shots. This medium 
bowgun has a weight of 55.


Jaggid Fire Frame / Jaggid Fire Barrel / Medium Stock

Medium stock gives you an increase in reload speed by 2, which helps loading
Pierce 1 and Pierce 2 for rapid firing. 0.80 range results in 20% closer
pierce hits but doesn't reduce range on Normal too much. The recoil of a
rapid fire burst is not affected by recoil reducing stocks or skills, so for
this set I went for reload speed. This medium bowgun has a weight of 35.


Royal Launcher Frame / Royal Launcher Barrel / Tropeco Stock

The Tropeco stock reduces recoil by 2 levels, making this a very good pellet
spamming bowgun. It also rapid fires sub level 1 shot and water shot. This is
a good bowgun for soloing early on and underwater fights. This medium bowgun
has a weight of 40.


Poison Stinger Frame / Aquamatic "Needler" Barrel / Poison Stinger Stock

6/6/3 Normal and a weight of 65 results in a medium bowgun that really should
be a heavy bowgun. The gun also loads 1 Crag level 1 shell which can be rapid 
fired to get the damage of 2 Crag level 1 shots for the cost of 1 shell.


Poison Stinger Frame / Tropeco Barrel / Poison Stinger Stock

For those who do not have access to the Aquamatic "Needler" Barrel, this is a
good alternative. It still loads 6/4/5 Normal shot but instead of rapid firing
Crag 1, it rapid fires Recover S Lv1. This medium bowgun has a weight of 70.


Royal Launcher Frame / Tropeco Barrel / Tropeco Stock

This a good support bowgun choice at Low Rank. Loading 2 shots of Rapid Fire 
Recovery shot Lvl 1, 4 shots of Para lvl 1, 3 shots of Poison 1, and 3 shots
of Sleep lvl 1, this gun loads enough shots to heal and inflict status effects 
with the minimum recoil needed to fire them properly. This medium bowgun has a 
weight of 45.


Jaggid Fire Frame / Barrozooka Barrel / Rathling Gun Stock

Loading 5 Pierce 2, and rapid firing it, with a range of 0.60, this is the
best Pierce spamming bowgun available at Low Rank. This gun has 3 slots which
can be used along with 5 slots on your armor to gem in the 8 sniper jewels
needed to make this gun deviation free. This medium bowgun has a weight of 60.



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 2: Low Rank Armor (LRARMR)

 --------------------------------------------

Here are some suggested low rank armor sets.


Alloy Armor

Skills: Critical Eye +1, Trap Master, Normal S All Up 
Resistance: +5 Fire, +10 Water, -5 Ice, -10 Thunder, -5 Dragon

This armor can be easily gemmed for Critical Eye +2 and with Normal S All Up
makes this set a good starting bowgun set for a Normal and Pierce user.


Rhenoplos Armor

Skills: Recoil +1, Crag S LV1 Up, Speed Eating +1
Resistance: +15 Fire, -5 Thunder, +10 Dragon

With Recoil +1 and a large amount of available slots, this easy to make armor
is really good for Crag shot and status effect shots. It can be gemmed for
Recoil + 2 which is recommended.


Gigginox Armor

Skills: Constitution +2, Status Atk Up, Negate Poison
Resistance: -20 Fire, +10 Ice, +15 Thunder, -5 Dragon 

A good status attack up set. You can use a skull mask and a affliction jewel
if you cannot get the Fearsome Maw to drop for the helmet.


Lagiacrus Armor

Skills: Olympic Swimmer, Element Atk Up, Normal S Boost, Status Atk Down
Resistance: -15 Fire, +10 Water, -5 Ice, +25 Thunder, -10 Dragon 

The best Normal and Element shot set in Low rank. It also has a large amount
of slots available.


Barioth Armor

Skills: Evasion +2, Marathon Runner, Cold Cancel (Lo), Heat Surge (Lo)
Resistance: -20 Fire, +10 Water, +25 Ice, -15 Thunder

The best defense for most gunners is dodging, so this is a very good low rank
set for that purpose.


Diablos Armor

Skills: Pierce S LV1 Up, Pierce S Boost, Element Atk Down
Resistance: +6 Fire, -9 Ice 

The best set that increases Pierce damage at low rank.
If you need more slots for Sniper Jewels, make Lagiacrus coat and leggings.
If you don't need slots for Sniper Jewels, you can wear Barioth coat and
leggings, which can be gemmed for Evasion +1. They also look nice with the
Diablos armor.



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 3: High Rank Bowguns (HRBOWS)

 --------------------------------------------


Jaggid Fire Frame / Barrozooka Barrel / Rathling Gun Stock

Loading 5 Pierce 2, and rapid firing it, with a range of 0.60, this gun is
still competitive in High Rank. After an upgrade, this bowgun has an attack 
power of 324 can still be used until the end of the game. This gun has 3 slots 
and has a weight of 60. This bowgun requires Precision+2 to be deviation free.


Rathling Gun + Frame / Jhen Cannon Barrel / Jhen Cannon Stock

This is my recommended Alatreon Status and Damage bowgun. This is one of the 
few High Rank guns that are capable of both roles. Loading 2 shots of Para
level 1 & 2 and 2 shots of 2 Sleep lvl 2, this gun packs plenty of support. 
It also has 3 shots of Crag 1, 1 shot of Crag 2, and 3 shots of Crag 3 for 
breaking parts and 3/4/3 Pierce gives good damage shots. This medium bowgun
has a weight of 60 and a starting recoil of Some (3). With Recoil +2, this 
bowgun can be reduced to a recoil of Min (6).


Jaggid Fire Frame / Diablozooka Barrel / Aquamatic "Needler" Stock

This gun has a range of 0.70 and fires Rapid Fire Pierce 2. The barrel
adds -10% affinity but the stock removes it. This gun can load 7 shots of
Pierce 1 and 4 shots of Rapid Fire Pierce 2. It also loads 8 shots of Normal
2 and 4 shots of Sleep lvl 1. It also chambers 2/1/0 Crag and 2/0/2 cluster.
This is a medium bowgun with a weight of 70. This bowgun requires 
Precision + 2 to be deviation free.


Thundacrus Rex Frame / Devil's Grin Barrel / Thundacrus Stock

This gun is deviation free and has a starting recoil of Some (3). This gun does
not rapid fire. It loads 5/4/3 Pierce and has a range of 0.80. It has 3 slots, 
one in the barrel and 2 in the stock. The Devil's Grin Barrel is - 10% affinity 
but the Thudacrus Rex Frame removes it. It also loads 2 Para lvl 2, 2 Exhaust S,
2 Crag lvl 3 and 3 Wyvern Fire lvl 1. This medium bowgun has a weight of 55.


Rathling Gun+ Frame / Barrozooka Barrel / Diablazooka Stock

Weighing it at 70, this is just barely a medium bowgun. It loads 8 Pierce 1 and 
6 Pierce 2 with a recoil of average (2). It has 2 slots, 1 in the barrel and 1 
in the stock. This bowgun has a range of 0.60 and requires Precision+2 to be 
deviation free. This bowgun loads 4 Exhaust S and 2 Crag lvl 2 for inflicting 
KO/exhaust status.


Thundacrus Rex Frame / Devil's Grin Barrel / Chaos Wing Stock

With 348 attack power, "some" (3) recoil, no deviation and loading every 
elemental shot, this is a very good general use bowgun. It loads 3/4/3 Pierce 
and has a range of 0.80. It also loads 2 Flaming S, 3 Water S, 2 Freeze S, 
3 Thunder S, and 2 Dragon S. This gun also loads 4 Para lvl 2 shot and 1 Sleep
lvl 2 shot. This gun works really well with the "Load Up" armor skill, as it
adds 1 to every shot the bowgun can fire. This medium bowgun has a weight of 70.



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 4: High Rank Armor (HRARMR)

 --------------------------------------------



Alloy+ Armor

Skills: Critical Eye +2, Trap Master, Normal S All Up
Resistance: +5 Fire, +15 Water, -5 Ice, -10 Thunder, -5 Dragon 

This armor can be easily gemmed for Critical Eye +3 and with Normal S All Up
makes this set a good starting bowgun set for High Rank.


Rhenoplos+ Armor

Skills: Recoil Down +2, Crag S LV1 Up, Speed Eating +1
Resistance: +20 Fire, -10 Thunder, +10 Dragon 

With Recoil + 2 and the available slots to gem in Status Attack Up, this a
good support gunner armor set that's very easy to make.


Diablos+ Armor

Skills: Pierce S LV1 Up, Pierce S Boost, Element Atk Down
Resistance: +9 Fire, -12 Ice 

Pierce S Boost and a 3 avaiable slots on the arm make this a good armor set
for a damage gunner. Pair this with Barioth + for evasion.


Uragaan+ Armor

Skills: Defense Up (S), Recoil Down +2, Bombardier, Slow Eater
Resistance: +25 Fire, -20 Water, -5 Ice, +5 Thunder, -10 Dragon 

The best choice for a gunner looking to sleep bomb Alatreon.
This set can be mixed with Gigginox + and some gems to get Status attack Up.


Lagiacrus+ Armor

Skills: Olympic Swimmer, Bonus Shot, Element Atk Up, Status Atk Down
Resistance: -20 Fire, +10 Water, -5 Ice, +30 Thunder, -10 Dragon 

This is a good choice for a gunner that wishes to rapid fire elemental shot.
This set has plenty of slots, including a 3 slot chest piece. This chest
piece combined with any torso increased armor piece, such as the Skull Mask
or Vangis waist, can be used to add a variety of affects to the armor. You
can for example, add a Onslaught Jewel, 3 slot +5 attack jewel, and then use
the Skull Mask to double it, for an easy +10 attack.


Deviljho Armor (Vangis)

Skills: Load Up, Autotracker, Attack Up (M), Raise Hunger
Resistance: +5 Fire, +5 Water, +15 Ice, -20 Thunder, -20 Dragon 

This armor goes really well with my multi-purpose element gun,
(Thundacrus Rex Frame / Devil's Grin Barrel / Chaos Wing Stock ).
The Load Up skill adds to the large amount of shots the bowgun can
load and the Attack Up (M) can easily be gemmed up to Attack Up (L).


Alatreon Armor

Skills: Evasion Up, Bonus Shot, Blightproof, Recovery Down
Resistance: -25 Dragon 

Evasion Up and available slots for Evasion + 1 or Evasion + 2 with a charm.
This armor set has high defense and Bonus Shot, which adds a extra shot in
any Rapid Fire volley. This is a very good end game armor for someone who
likes dealing damage with Rapid Fire Pierce 2 or Rapid Fire Element.



 --------------------------------------------

 Part 5: Bowgun & Armor Sets (BGARSET)

 --------------------------------------------

In this section I will feature bowgun and armor combinations sorted by
purpose that can be easily made by any High Rank bowgunner. These sets
require common charms. 

There are better sets that can be made. These sets are not designed 
to be the best, they are designed to be the most effective and easy 
to obtain sets for their purpose.



---

High Rank - Low Range & High Deviation Bowgun Pierce Shot Set

Rathling Gun + Frame
Barrozooka Barrel и - Sniper Jewel
Diablozooka Stock и - Sniper Jewel

Diablos Cap+
Diablos Low Rank Chest
Diablos Guards+ иии - Lightfoot Jewel, Element jewel
Barioth Coat+ иии - Lightfoot Jewel, Element jewel
Barioth Low Rank Leggings ии - Pierce Jewel, Sniper jewel

Talisman: Precision +10

Resultant Skills:

Evasion +1, Pierce S Boost, Pierce S Lv1 Up, Steadiness +2

---

High Rank - Low Range & No Deviation Bowgun Pierce Shot Set

Thundacrus Rex Frame
Devil's Grin Barrel и - Pierce Jewel
Thundacrus Low Rank Stock ии - PiercPlus Jewel+

Diablos Cap+
Diablos Low Rank Chest
Diablos Guards+ иии - Lightfoot Jewel, Evade jewel
Barioth Coat+ иии - Lightfoot Jewel, Evade jewel
Barioth Low Rank Leggings ии - PiercPlus Jewel+

Talisman: Evasion +5

Resultant Skills:

Evasion +2, Pierce S Boost, Pierce S All Up

---

High Rank - Normal Shot Set

Rathling Gun + Frame
Jhen Cannon Barrel и - Attack Jewel
Rathling Gun + Stock ии - Assault Jewel

Agnaktor Cap+
Agnaktor Chest+ и - Attack Jewel
Agnaktor Arms+ иии - Onslaught Jewel
Agnaktor Waist+ иии - Onslaught Jewel
Agnaktor Legs+ иO - Sprinter Jewel

Talisman: Attack +5, Mud/Snow -10

Resultant Skills:

Normal S All Up, Normal S Boost, Attack Up (L)

---

High Rank - Rapid Fire Element - Fire

Rathling Gun + Frame
Rathling Gun + Barrel O - Empty
Rathling Gun Low Rank Stock ии - Assault Jewel

Barroth Cap+ ии - Assault Jewel
Lagiacrus Vest+ иии - Fusillade Jewel
Barroth Guards+ иии - Element Jewel+
Lagiacrus Coat+ ии - Assault Jewel
Lagiacrus Leggings+ и - Attack Jewel

Talisman: Attack +5, Mud/Snow -10

Resultant Skills:

Elemental Attack Up, Bonus shot, Attack Up (L)

---

High Rank - Rapid Fire Element - Water

Devil's Grin Frame
Royal Launcher Barrel
Thundacrus Low Rank Stock ии - Assault Jewel

Barroth Cap+ ии - Assault Jewel
Lagiacrus Vest+ иии - Fusillade Jewel
Barroth Guards+ иии - Element Jewel+
Lagiacrus Coat+ ии - Assault Jewel
Lagiacrus Leggings+ и - Attack Jewel

Talisman: Attack +5, Mud/Snow -10

Resultant Skills:

Elemental Attack Up, Bonus shot, Attack Up (L)

---

High Rank - Rapid Fire Element - Thunder

Rathling Gun + Frame
Thundacrus Low Rank Barrel O - Empty
Thundacrus Low Rank Stock ии - Assault Jewel

Barroth Cap+ ии - Assault Jewel
Lagiacrus Vest+ иии - Fusillade Jewel
Barroth Guards+ иии - Element Jewel+
Lagiacrus Coat+ ии - Assault Jewel
Lagiacrus Leggings+ и - Attack Jewel

Talisman: Attack +5, Mud/Snow -10

Resultant Skills:

Elemental Attack Up, Bonus shot, Attack Up (L)

---

High Rank - Rapid Fire Element - Ice

Poison Stinger Frame
Thundacrus Rex Barrel O - Empty
Blizzard Cannon Stock

Barroth Cap+ ии - Assault Jewel
Lagiacrus Vest+ иии - Fusillade Jewel
Barroth Guards+ иии - Element Jewel+
Lagiacrus Coat+ ии - Assault Jewel
Lagiacrus Leggings+ O - Empty

Talisman: Attack +5, Mud/Snow -10

Resultant Skills:

Elemental Attack Up, Bonus shot, Attack Up (M)

---

High Rank - Rapid Fire Element - Dragon

Rathling Gun + Frame
Chaos Wing Barrel
Rathling Gun+ Stock ии - Panacea Jewel

Escadora Sagesse ии - Lightfoot Jewel
Escadora Seele  ии - Lightfoot Jewel
Escadora Arma и - Evade Jewel
Escadora Force  ии - Lightfoot Jewel
Escadora Scala  O - Empty

Talisman: Evasion +5

Resultant Skills:

Evasion Up, Evasion +2, Bonus Shot, Blightproof

---

Aquamatic "Spark" - Rapid Fire Crag 1

Aquamatic "Spark" Frame
Aquamatic "Spark" Barrel
Aquamatic "Spark" Stock

Diablos Cap+
Lagiacrus Vest+ - иии - Fusillade Jewel
Diablos Guards+ - иии - Pierce Jewel +
Lagiacrus Coat+ - ии - PiercPlus Jewel+
Lagiacrus Leggings+ - O - Empty

Talisman: + 10 Precision Charm

Resultant Skills:

Steadiness + 1, Bonus Shot, Pierce S Boost, Pierce S LV1 Up

---



============================================

     Credit

============================================



This guide uses data taken from the MH3 Wikia and the JP site MH3@wiki.

Using my Bowgun Damage FAQ as a reference, this is solely an original
work based on extensive testing and experience.



============================================

     Contact & Copyright

============================================



Copyright 2010 - VampireCosmonaut

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may be directed to this address: vampirecosmonaut ( at ) gmail.com

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