Boron carbonitride nanotubes (BCNNTs) were grown with high yield by arc discharge without catalyst particles or pre-grown template nanostructures. Two types of nanotubes (NTs) were formed: thin NTs with diameters of 10–15 nm and thick NTs with diameters of 25–50 nm, all multiwall. Transmission electron microscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy analyses indicate that the thin NTs are carbon NTs (CNTs) while the thick NTs are BCNNTs wrapped around CNTs. The growth kinetic appears to be faster for CNTs than for BCNNTs. Through the concerted substitution of B and N for C in the in situ grown CNTs, template growth of BCNNTs follows the CNTs growth without causing topological changes.