Archery 101

Discussion in 'General Weapons & Armour' started by Jessehk, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    cheesy,
    Well, you have to excuse me. I've been in Europe training the United Nations folks for 5 weeks so have been off the forum since.

    I use super glue to attach my nocks and find the pliers routine works just fine. Basically it crunches the plastic nocks to smitherenes.

    I like the novelty shoots as well. Shooting at a standard target gets boring. Basically I have a small round the size of the inner two most important scoring circles on the standard 60 cm target that I shoot at. If the arrows land outside that I figure they aren't going to count as I want them too any way so who cares! I often shoot at laudry bottles or milk bottles. There is a certain satisfaction at shooting at a target that moves along the ground each time it's shot!

    You might try stuffing your boxes with plastic bags. Like the ones you get at the grocery store. I find they work great for holding the arrow - read here, the arrow does not go all the way through the box. Plus, there is always a plentiful supply of the bags! I use Pepsi boxes stufed with the plastic bags and have great fun chasing them across the field.

    Well maybe if you try the Irish soap you can try the grip on the finger pads. Just kidding!!!!! I prefer this type of grip but I will admit that when I get tired I sometimes loose an arrow without intending to! As for the thumb ring, that was used primarily by the Turks and Mongols. They used what we today call horse bows that had a much higher poundage than today's bows. They used a thumb ring that allowed the string to slip off the thumb smoothly. The idea was that a human could hold a higher poundage bow using the thumb better than using either the pinch method (English) or the traditional three finger method (modern). That's a fact though as the thumb is the strongest finger on the hand! I have never had any luck with this type of release though. It tends to pull the string too much to one side for my method/technique. The advantage though is that you can shoot more arrows in a shorter period of time. You don't have to reverse your hand after nocking an arrow. You nock and pull in one move. I have a friend here who says he can get off 12 arrows in 30 seconds using this method. Haven't seen him do it, but it's what he says.......
     
  2. Cheesy Goodness

    Cheesy Goodness The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Christopher: i was just kidding about the posting remark

    I managed to cut the notch upward with my knife...took a while, but it was like a jaket and pulled right off after that.

    I might have to try the laundry bottle/soda bottle method...there's nothing like shooting and seeing the triumphant feathers whipping in the wind...lol
    (BTW do you use real or fake feathers?)

    When summer comes around, we will have the HUGE round bales all around my house...about 100 yards away...all i gotta do is light on fire the arrow and ill have a fun-filled day!

    I actually might use the other method of gripping...when i was posting i pulled back and looked at my grip, and without even thinking i went farther to the tipof my finger...meh, whatever, as long as it shoots

    I noticed that when you were saying about grips, you mentioned pinching, and 3 finger...but I only use 2 fingers...could this be why i'm not as accurate as I should be? And what two fingers should you notch the arrow between?

    I tried Irish Spring, but it didn't deliver the results I wanted...LOL

    I was talking to a swordteacher, and he was saying that before he hurt his shoulder, he used the double quiver technique and shot 60 arrows in...i think 89 seconds and hit 58 out of the 60 arrows...after this summer i'll break that record...LOL!!
     
  3. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    cheesy,
    One draw back to shooting at plastic bottles. After you strike them they hop, typically with the arrow crosswise to the next shot. I have split a few arrows with second and third shots. Be careful!

    As for fletches, it depends. On my practice arrows I use plastic. Not as great, but again more durable. On my tournament arrows I have to use feathers - club requirement. The last set of arrows I made I used 5 1/2 shield feathers. Very large. I was going for a look but I like the results. It was a royal pain in where I sit, but I finally figured out how to do the helical thing. I like the results again. The arrow rotates much faster in flight. I read somewhere though, that rotating arrows, that is left helical, then to drift left. I assume right would drift right. I haven't found that to be the case.

    Huge bales of hay and flaming arrows - now won't you be the hit in your neighborhood? NOT!!

    Grips, well that is quite the subject! Most modern tradional shooters use the three finger method. One over the arrow, two below. Some use two fingers. Usually the two finger group put both under the arrow, but some do one over, one under. As long as you can hold the draw I don't see where there would be much difference in the techniques. The real issue is how much you pull the string to the side on the release. If you watch folks, most will flinch just a tad and tend to pull the release hand back just prior to the release. Also, most tend to actually "release" the fingers. That is, flex the fingers forward to release the string. "Proper" technique, whatever the H--- that is, says you should simply relax the fingers and allow the string to pull itself out of your grip. By doing this it minimizes the amount the string is drawn to one side during the release.

    Some folks using either two or three fingers put all fingers below the arrow. They then set their nocking point for a given distance. Then when they change distance they actually count the number of string serving wraps with their thumb nail to know wher to place their top finger. (Doing this changes the angle of the arrow.) This technique is known as string walking. Some groups do not allow this. To my mind this begins to rub up against things like compound bows, sights, releases, etc., etc. that modern bows have. It stomps all over the esthetics of shooting an arrow. OK, I'm hoplessly in love with the tradional archery thing!

    Now the pinch is truly the "Manly" approach. You actually pinch the nock between index finger and thumb, like you were tweeking someone's nose. In Helen of Troy, Paris uses this technique. It would take quite a pinch to hold a bow much over 30 pounds! I guess the idea is that on release the string simply flys straight out of the grip with no sideways movement.

    60 arrows in 89 seconds - I'm impressed! My biggest issue is nocking then reversing my hand to draw. I'm experimenting with a technique of puting the arrow between the string and bow so that when I nock it my draw hand is already on the correct side to draw - no need to reverse my draw hand. Although, the folks I've seen who shoot lots of arrows in a short period of time don't generally have a very good degree of accuracy. When you're doing this at a tournment, accuracy always out scores numbers. I did see a guy at Gulf Wars this year who was using a Turkish bow with horn limbs. It was a 75 pound bow. The guy was a machine gun! He could rapid fire arrows faster than anyone I've seen to date. He admited, though, that his accuracy wasn't the best. Actually I thought he did OK. I think one of the issues is that a Turkish bow, like Horse bows, does not have an arrow rest. You rest the arrow on your bow hand. This means each time to regrip your bow you have changed your aiming points. I always thought, if I bought a horse bow, that I would put a piece of string on the grip so that it passed between my index and middle figers on the bow hand. That way I would know I was holding the bow exactly the same as before, therefore the nock point and aiming would remain the same. I've not seen this on anyone I know who has a horse bow though. I don't know many with a horse bow admitidly.
     
  4. Cheesy Goodness

    Cheesy Goodness The Fighters Guide House Member

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    i actually made it go through...standing 5 feet away lol

    I perfer feathers...i always stroke the feathers before i pull back...sort of relaxes me and I get a feel for it...It sounds kind of stupid, but you can't do that with plastic. But, I just lost my last arrow, so if plastic comes along, i surly wont say no. lol

    I'm a firm believer in the traditional scene as well. I view compound bows, or even longbows with sites as cheating. The most modern i'll go is a recurve, and the recurve has been around a long time as well. I just shot my first recurve today...I thought I had one, but after shooting the one i shot today, I believe mine is a longbow. What does a recurve and a longbow look like unstrung...this has been bugging me for a long time, and you seem to be the man that would know.

    I tried the 3 finger grip, and it worked fine for me. I have 2 fingers on the bottom side of the arrow and 1 on the upper side.

    The flaming arrow and the dry hay bale was a joke...It's no fun unless you soak in Gas, and cake in gunpowder. Free Fireworks!

    I'm going to try the pinch grip...i might have my middle finger thrown into the mix to help with the pull back...45 pounds with just a thumb and index finger is kind of insane.

    I could never use a horse bow...the thing that would mess me up the most would be the arrow changing places each time.
     
  5. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Bows 101

    cheesy,
    This first link is to the Martin Stick, Youth model. A classic long bow design. http://www.bowsite2.com/acb/showdetl.cfm?&DID=15&Product_ID=2734&CATID=61

    The next link is to the Martin Mamba, a classic recurve bow - Ah someday to posess!! http://www.bowsite2.com/acb/showdetl.cfm?&DID=15&Product_ID=2729&CATID=61

    As you can see from these two links with the long bow the limbs curve into the tip. That is, a long curve from the center of the bow. The long bow is designed to flex the entire length of the bow, even through the handle. The typically results in more hand shock. The recurve has a modified S shape to it. Another distinction is that with the recurve the string actually rests against the bow limb at the tip. On the long bow it does not. Recurves are designed to flex in the limbs but, typically not in the handle. Usually recurves have pistol grips that are large. These large grips do not flex hence less hand shock.

    Now the new kid on the block, not really but it sounds good!, is the reflex/deflex bow. Here's ElkRidge's Pilgrim model. http://www.elkridgearchery.com/images/lightf.jpg In this picture you can see the bow limb curves out to the tip like the long bow, but then has a slight recruve to it like the recurve but not so much that the string actually comes in contact with the bow limb. Depending upon the construction the bow does not flex through the handle section. Usually there is a bit of build up here providing a modified pistol grip. This part flexs some thus a little hand, at least, typically, more than a recirve.

    The whole concept, as explained to me, is that recurves and reflex/deflex bows have more snap to them compared to long bows. More snap, in archery speak called cast, results in lower poundage bows being able to fling (cast) arrows farther. The issue with a bow shooting an arrow is how fast the bow can transfer the energy in the limbs to the arrow. The faster this can happen, the farther the arrow goes (in theory at least!). I had/still have a long bow, my first. Let me just say it is not a very good bow. It's draw weight is 40 pounds but it can bearly shoot an arrow 40 yards. My 30 pounder regularly outshoots it! I didn't pay much and I bought it from a "first time" vendor. I have only myself to blame.

    I bought a Pilgrim Feather Light from ElkRidge for two main reasons: 1 - It's pretty (Yeah,, that's important!), 2 - Joe, the owner and boyer, said to me when we were talking about what I was looking for "You should never buy a bow without shooting it first." He then proceeded to hand me a $350 bow and told me to go to the range and shoot it. He also gave my buddy a $450 horse bow and said the same thing. (This was at Pennsic last year.) Needless to say he wound up selling both bows! I really like the bow. The only down side is the poundage, 49 pounds. Doesn't seem like a lot but if you are shooting 144 arrows in a tournament 49 pounds begins to catch up with you! I can keep up with it latter in the season but not in the beginning.

    As for horse bows, the idea is that they are supposed to shoot like a bow with higher poundage and have absolutely no hand shock. My exeperience is that they do seem to shoot as though they have higher poundage. But they have as much hand shock as a reflex/deflex bow.

    I'm intrigued by Japanese bows though. They are like Horse bows but much smaller. They look like kid's bows but can be made to handle a 28 inch draw - adult size - while still being a small bow. Seems to me it would make a great bush bow. I'm going to try one out this year at Pennsic.
     
  6. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    Hi Cheesy, how've you been? Sounds like you're doing well in your shooting. Am I correct in thinking that you were working on building a bow? If so, how is it going? I hope to do that someday myself. I need to do some studying on it though so that I have at least some idea of what I'm doing! :duh:

    Christophe, I have some good news, I was out shooting today and managed to shoot a very good group with the new longbow. This is the first good group I've managed with it yet. Needless to say it was a very good feeling! :D I changed my grip method and used a "high wrist grip" like I do with my recurve, this is a little bit of a challenge as the heel of the hand is not in contact with the grip but I should be used to it in no time at all.

    I was only able to get in six shots because it was raining and I had very little time, but of those six, four were within about 2" - 3" with the other two being flyers. The two flyers were the first and last shots with the first being the worst of the two. Not bad considering how difficult it was to concentrate in the rain!

    Sanding the snaps out of the nocks really helped with arrow flight. They still have a tighter hold than I would like but they are flying well so I may leave them as they are.

    BTW, That bow from Elk Ridge Archery that you posted a link to looks very nice, good choice!
     
  7. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Lonearcher,
    4 out of 6 within 2 - 3 inches? I'd say that's a great grouping considering you only shot 6 arrows!

    I use that high wrist grip with the ElkRidge bow. Asbell says the reason for that grip is that if you use the heel down on most traditional bows it causes the bow limbs to flex disporportionately throwing off the shot. It took some getting used to. I find it a great indicator of just how tired I'm getting. Like Asbell says, when you get tired you tend to let your heel down on the grip.

    At this year's Gulf Wars I was walking back from the range carrying the Elk Ridge bow. A guy from a camp I was passing yelled out "Beautiful bow!" It sort of startled me because my mind was back on the range diagnosing my shooting and I didn't know these folks. But it made me think, yeah, it's a very pretty bow. I think bows are like clothes, if you feel good holding it/wearing them, you do better. It's sort of, "Well H***, I've got this beautiful bow and I can't even hit the ground? I've have to shoot better!"
     
  8. Cheesy Goodness

    Cheesy Goodness The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Lonearcher,

    Sorry, I'm not building a bow, and I doubt i will ever be smart enough to do so :D ...I'm just starting and have almost no idea as to what I'm doing other than launching arrows at taargets :) I might have a site that helps out with this kind of stuff hidden somewhere in the abyss of my tons of favorites...If i find it ill post it later Good Luck with your bow!

    Christopher,

    a-ha! It's a reflex! This has been bothering me for so long, you have no idea how happy I was to find this. Thanks!

    I just lost my last arrow the other day, so I won't be shooting until I get some money, which should be challenging...paintballing isn't exactly cheap :D

    I have also experimented with the head between the bow and the string method of stringing...actually I havent tried anything else, purly because its quite simply the best.
    Anything else you would have to switch your hands around, but this is just too easy. Just make sure the broadhead doesnt hit either the bow or the string...haven't done this yet but rest assured...it would stink lol

    Speaking of speed shooting, what type of quivers do you guys use? I want to use a backquiver, but I can't seem to find a decent one around. That is what I have been practicing with (holding the arrow by the nock while its on my back and notching it like that). With the backquiver and the method mentioned above, I could see myself getting about 6 arrows per minute (mind you this is without the quiver...just the arrow and my hand)...I don't know if thats good for a beginner or not, but I thought I would mention it
     
  9. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    cheesy goodness,
    I'm with you. I've looked at building a bow but there just seems to be so many things that I could screw up. I've pretty much decided that if I want a good bow, and I can be very picky, I'll buy one from a good boyer.

    As for replacing lost arrows there is a Cheesy Goodness type solution (can we read here cheap!) Buy dowels at the hardware store. Use a pencil sharpener to put a "point" on one end and do a self nock on the other. You may also tape over the point with fiberglass straping tape to help prevent splitting. Self nocks can be made by tapeing two hack saw blades together. Then saw a notch in the non-pointy end of the shaft. Be sure you saw cross wise to the grain. Re-inforce the base of the notch with several wraps of thread. Coat/upholstery thread from JoAnns would work. Put a light coat of fingernail polish or varnish, whatever, on it and you're done. As for fletches, go period, use paper. That's what the Turks used on their arrows in the middle ages. If it worked for them, well you know. OR, you could make your own fletches out of old plastic milk cartons. Now the arrow that results isn't going to be as good an arrow as one you either buy or make from higher grade materials BUT YOU GET TO KEEP SHOOTING. And if you loose it, who cares? Store your arrows in a cardboard box. Cut two smaller pieces then put holes in them so that when an arrow passes through both pieces the small pieces suspend the arrow. Alternate the arrows, fletch right, fletch left. This will help to keep the shafts straight. This is how I store all my wood arrows just to make sure the shafts stay straight.

    Now as for quivers, I've used the back style with a single strap coming over one shoulder and a back style with two straps, like a backpack. I didn't like the two strap model as the arrows are right behind my head and consequently hit my head. Very annoying. The one strap model worked pretty good but I found I had to lean to the right to get the last few arrows out. They teneded to settle to the left side of the quiver and I couldn't reach far enough back to get them. For speed, back quivers are thought to be the best. After you release, your draw hand is already back there.

    I am in the process of making a fancy, Italian, style side quiver. I like it. I wear it on the side of my draw hand which I believe is opposite the side side quivers are normally worn on. Works for me. As for acquiring a quiver............have you read my signature? Leather things is what I do. I'm currently finishing up a commisioned Elven quiver back style with one strap over the shoulder. I traded a quiver like this to Elk Ridge for new limbs for my 35 pound bow. Leather, it's what I do. Usually I do lots of carving/tooling on the pieces but for self admited neighborhood hobos less expensive models could be had.

    (Any references to living styles or attached labels are the sole responsibility of the person who creates their own profile on this forum! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)
     
  10. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    Thanks Christophe! I got to shoot again today, had a couple of good groups, more bad ones but it was okay because I learned something new. I love it when that happens! I read recently about a style of release often used by FITA archers, this is kind of difficult to describe but I'll give it a shot: As the string is released from the fingers the tension from the drawing arm muscles causes the draw hand to "fly" backward from the anchor point, I've seen this referred to as "ripping" the string from the fingers. I've done this unintentionally on occasion and every time the resulting shot has been good so today I tried it intentionally and it worked well. It's still experimental for me right now but it looks promising. I also learned that this bow requires more cant when shooting, if it's not canted enough the arrows group to the left of point of aim.

    Cheesy, I use a back quiver exclusively. You're right about speed of drawing especially when drawing by the nock. Using indexed nocks makes this very easy as you don't have to look at the arrow to place it on the string, you just feel for the indexer and twist the arrow until the indexer is under the thumb. It would also help to have a quiver with a shoulder strap that is offset at the top of the quiver, this helps keep the arrows at a higher angle and therefore easier to reach. My current quiver is not made this way but I'm intending to modify it in the near future with a new strap.
     
  11. Cheesy Goodness

    Cheesy Goodness The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Christophe,

    Are you tryin to say something!? You want to start something!?...good cuz neither did I lol
    I'll have to try that method of making arrows. As well as getting in touch with you for the quiver. I'll have to see where my paintball carreer takes me.

    Lonearcher,

    I figured back quivers are the best, as well as using the arrow between the string and the bow technique. Lego does that if im not mistaken.

    The quiver right between the head might not be that bad. I went over the form with my bow and I could see it happen. I believe that is what Faramir does in TTT (Flashback to Ithilin in the EE...When he turns around to talk to Boromir you can see it's position)
     
  12. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    cheesy I figured you to be one of the "good soles" on this forum (not that others are not!) and a little good natured kidding would be taken in kind. My motto in life is "If you can't laugh at yourself, you are taking life WAY too seriously". There are folks here who do but I see you as not one of them. When you are ready for a quiver let me know. I'll make you a great deal on one. Of course you will become my marketing agent in your home state......LOL
     
  13. Cheesy Goodness

    Cheesy Goodness The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Christophe,

    I agree. I make fun of myself more than others do most of the time, but most/none of its serious. I suck at half the stuff I try, and I know it. Doesn't mean I should cry about it, or whatever other people do...just laugh it off and either try again or try something again. No big deal.

    back on topic:

    Does anyone want to post pics of their bows? I'll try to get mine up sometime this week.

    I'll get in touch about the quiver CTG. Thanks!
     
  14. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    cheesy,
    Under age in this forum there wasn't room for "older than dirt" so I left it blank. But as such, I've been around long enough to know that ultimately we all reap the seeds we plant. Or as they say in the corporate world, "Becareful of the faces you step on climbing the ladder of succes. You WILL have to face each one on the way down."

    I would prefer, at any time, to be around people who don't take themselfs too seriously. No matter what you are good at today, someone is better, and tomorrow your skills will become obsolete. We call that progress!

    I figure from your postings and other info you have provided here that you and I could sit around the camp fire enjoying an adult beverage, or two, of our choice and having a great time!

    Back on subject - What a great idea of posting pictures of our bows. I'll charge up the digital camera and post mine. Of course I feel obligated to be dressed in my "Archer's garb." (Don't ask.) I'll also include some shots of the arrows I've made. They're not that great, but I'm proud of them!
     
  15. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi guys, I've been following this thread. Great info from all.

    Christophe, can you please also take some detailed photos of your quivers, especially the back quivers? Both on and off you so we can see it from all angles and how it sits on your back when in action. I'm a mad keen participant of combat archery, my medieval group sometimes shoots with the SCA here in Perth. I'd love to make a back quiver to supplement my boring cloth hip quiver, which holds about 30 arrows, but as I can shoot reasonably quickly (and okay accuracy) and I'm very hard to hit, I often run out of arrows in games with lots of targets...I mean, "participants" to shoot at ;-)
     
  16. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Mububban,
    In your SCA combat do you have to carry your arrows blunt up or down? That was a big issue at Gulf Wars a few years back. Makes a big difference in quiver design.
     
  17. Cheesy Goodness

    Cheesy Goodness The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Combat archery looks awesome...where would you buy arrows that has rubber tips?
     
  18. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    cheesy,
    You actually don't buy arrows WITH blunts, although you can, you buy the blunts and put them ON the arrows. But to get an idea go to northstararchery.com and follow the SCA combat archery links. This is a friend of mine, Sir Erika (yes folks, it's a SHE and SHE is a knight in the SCA!). Not only is she a fantastic human being but she is the ONLY person I personally know who can shoot, hit the target, nock another arrow, shoot and hit the target AND ALL IN A FULL RUN!!! I believe she is also on the Bear Traditional Archery Team for Florida.

    But back to topic - SCA combat archery, like all fighting in the SCA, has lots of rules designed primarily for safety of the participants. As such, they are very specific about arrown construction.

    HOWEVER CHEESY, as you live in PA why not see if for yourself? August 6 - 22 is Pennsic. The world's largest gathering of the SCA (you don't have to be a member to attend though). Over 25,000 (no typo there) people in attendance. They have combat archery at this event. Go to Pennsicwar.org to see the madness for this year's event! Actually it is terrific fun. Imagine 2 weeks of parties and fun like you will never have anywhere else!
     
  19. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Christophe, we keep our blunt arrows in the quiver the same way we'd keep sharp arrows - point down, flights sticking out the top of the quiver.
    Obviously the blunt heads are quite chunky so having 30 of them gets rather crowded. An easy way to get a cloth quiver shaped the right way is to cut the leg off an old pair of pants. The ankle end is the top of the quiver, and the thigh end flares out to accomodate the blunts. Voila - instant quiver!

    There's a small thread here I started, with some photos I took at one of our club shoots:
    http://www.thefantasyforum.com/showthread.php?t=1836&highlight=combat+archery

    Maybe we should go there to talk about Combat Archery stuff? Just to keep this thread more about archery itself?
     
  20. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Mububban,
    Jumping to the thread you proposed to continue combat archery talk.
     
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