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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    OK folks, got the Picture Post to work. Just posted some shots of some of my newer quiver styles. If they are not right on the front, check under Christophe of Grey. The basket weave quiver and Elven custom order quivers are both single strap over the shoulder styles. The other two back style quivers are backpack style - two straps coming over the shoulders. The single strap style keeps the arrows coming over one shoulder. The second strap in the front keeps the quiver in position. Else, it has a tendancy to slide around. The two strap style is favored by hunters because it keeps the arrows right behind your head. This way the fletches don't catch on brush. I don't care for that because the fletches then also hit the back of my head! I adjust one strap longer than the other which causes the quiver to cant to one side like the single strap quiver.

    The hipster was a concept quiver - made to understand it's use. It's great for stumping or target. The arrows fit fletch to the rear. BTW the arrows in the quiver are my stumping/night shoot arrows. The bright pink is easy to find in brush and the white tape is actually reflective tape for locating at night with a light!

    The Elven quiver was a custom order. It is like the basket weave quiver but has two layers of leather. The second Elven vine tooled layer was hand stiched onto the base layer. All the straps have an alternating S pattern on them - Elfish. Inside the bottom is a layer of sheep wool to protect against sharp broad heads. Also inside at the top is a layer of sheep wool to help silence the arrows when walking. The sheep wool is a beautiful light grey color and feels wonderful!

    I'm in the final stages of completing another side style of quiver based on a 15th Century Italian quiver. However, as I intend to use it during the summer and "go Moorish" during the summer and they could not have living things in their art work due to religion, I put a geometric pattern on it. When I get it finished I'll add pictures to the gallery.

    Comments, contruction questions, etc. are most welcome.

    Enjoy!!
     
  2. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    Christophe, I was finally able to view your gallery today. (I've been trying for over a week and every time my computer would lock up!) You do some beautiful work! I especially like the Elven quiver, the celtic knotwork belt and the tankards. Very nice work!
     
  3. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Lonearcher,
    Thanks for the compliment. The basket weave quiver was bartered to Elk Ridge Archery for replacement limbs for one of my 30 pound target/combat bows. I moved up to 35 pounds this time.

    COMERCIAL PLUG -- If you are interested, I do commisions -- WE NOW RETURN YOU TO YOUR REGULAR FORUM

    The Elven quiver was a custom order. It turned out pretty nice. I especially like the sheep's wool inside for silencing. It's a beautiful slate grey color - now why would I like Grey? - and is silky soft. Really nice to the touch! I personally, would have used brass hardware but the customer prefered silver. More of an Elven thing I believe.

    Did you also notice the arm guard that matches the basket weave quiver? I made them as a set.
     
  4. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    I did notice the basket weave armguard, that's really cool having a matching quiver and armguard. I've done a little leather work many years ago (would you believe 8th grade shop class?) but I've not done any carving since then. Though I've never tried it, I'm thinking that basket weave would rather challenging.

    Commisions huh? I might have to pm you on that one. :D
     
  5. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Lonearcher,
    The hardest thing about doing the baset weave is getting the first line straight. Once you've got that down, then the rest is not too difficult. Now realize that the stamp used to create that pattern has ONE circle in the center. Look at the quiver again. I don't know how many strikes it took, but there are a lot! Most folks have done some leather working and it is usually in Scouts or early in school. What I find amazing though, is that we ALL have something made of leather but most modern folks know about zilch where the leather comes from - I don't just mean cows - or even can tell the difference between a good quality vinyl and leather! Ever really look at a pair of shoes like Bass Wejums and think what's involved in making them? Most folks never have. Shoes are the second hardest thing to make to fit. First is gloves. The very first person who got me involved in leather working made a comment, "Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes indicate the item was hand made. If there are no mistakes, it was made by a machine. Which would you rather have?" I find today most consumers are satisfied with machine made stuff. I personally would much rather have something hand made.
     
  6. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Very nice. Christophe, what quiver do you use for combat archery? I've wanted toe xperiment with the back quiver, but am worried it could move a bit too much when on the run? I've got to experiment with a design like yours.....
     
  7. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Mububban,
    Well that's not a real easy question to answer. When I started combat archery, I shot long bow and used the standard cloth quiver with shoulder strap. It worked OK, but, as a leather worker, I was unsatisfied. I made a "quiver belt". Basically a belt with four loops on it. Each loop could carry up to 6 blunted arrows yet still not have one arrow fall out. Problem there was the nocks of the backward side loops hung down in a manner that when I ran they poked the backs of my calfs! Not functional, not comfortable!

    Towards the end of the long bow experience, I just tucked the arrows under a somewhat loose belt, blunt up. It works quite well and you can carry an amazing number of arrows this way without them falling out.

    Now, as time progressed on, I switched to a cross bow. As our combat archery is mixed with heavies - sword and board types - as long as you have an arrow on the string and drawn they will not advance. However, you can't hold a draw all day. BUT with a cross bow you can. Besides, the cross bow eliminates the horizontal aiming issue required by a long bow - hence, better aiming. As cross bow bolts are significantly shorter than long bow arrows I used a plastic trash basket as a quiver. It clipped to my belt with a carabiner. It worked really well and I could carry about 35 - 40 bolts in it without restricted mobility.

    I learned early on that things in combat get bashed, scratched, marred up pretty bad. My first set of leg armor was leather highly carved with Celtic patterns et al. I actually got an award for them at one of our events. Nowdays I use ice hockey shin pads underneath baggy pants. They are easier to put on, cooler, lighter, better protection, and actually more period than the outside armor. Looking at pictures of period, archers sometimes wore chest armor but seldom, if ever, leg armor. I'll post a picture of the leg armor soon.
     
  8. RangerFlik

    RangerFlik New Member

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    Hey fellas,

    I have some archery questions. I thought about making a new thread, but this seems to be the archery thread for the time being. So, I will just post here amid my fellow archers.

    First things first, I'm relatively new to archery having only been at it for a few months. I've always enjoyed it since I was young but recently decided to delve into things deeper. Someday I hope to take up bow hunting. Anyway, I'm using a traditional recurve (Martin X-200 Recurve) at 55# draw. I like my bow alot, it's quick, smooth drawing, and has nice power to it. My problem is that alot of my shots end up in the upper left corner of my target. I feel I'm, pretty consistant in what i'm doing, especially since I get a nice grouping within about 8-10" (with about 7 or 8 out of 10 shots hitting the target). I'm aiming for dead center of the target, yet I consistantly hit the upper left corner. Every now and then I get a lucky round and get a few bullseye's.

    Now I read somewhere that this can be caused by having too low a grain arrow for my bow. I read that lightweight arrows can flex outward before leaving the shelf on the bow and cause it to fishtail in flight, thus reducing accuracy and often pulling it left. Since I use some generic carbons, I was wondering if they might be the cause of my woes. So, can anyone suggest some nice carbon or aluminum shafts for a 55#?

    Lastly, something i've been curious about. What is the propper way to aim with the bow? Maybe I'm just not aiming correctly. I've been looking down the shaft of the arrow, past the bow....waiting for the moment when the bow drops out of clarity and the target comes into focus...then releasing. Any suggestions or advice yall could offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Aspiring archer,
    -Flik


    PS-CoG is a great guy and talented leatherworker. I highly recommend him for any of your leather needs. I've been working with him on a project now for a while and it's been a great experience!
     
  9. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    RangerFlik,
    Interesting question. Let me see what I can add. First shafting. Your bow at 55# should have arrows with a spine in the 50 - 60 range. That's advice from Three Rivers. Basically for recurves, match spine to bow poundage. I think a slightly higher spine weight flys better though. Now for non-wood arrows your best bet is to go to an archery supplier web site or Easton's for example, and check out spine weights for various model numbers.

    Now if I get this right, while standing about 10 - 20 yards from the target, aim for the middle, and shoot. If the arrows stick in the target with a left cant (as though shot from a position more to the left than where you shot from) the arrow spine is too soft. If right, too stiff. You might want to check this out, often I get things like this reversed!

    Now as for aiming, the bow you are using is a center shot bow. This means there is a sighting window that places the arrow in line with the string. (With long bows, the arrow actually has to go around the bow handle to get to the target.) As such, and in contrast to a long bow, the arrow does not have to flex as much to "get around" the bow, thus, theoretically, more energy from the string is driven straight into the arrow. HOWEVER, why is there always this word?, and assuming you hold the bow in your left hand which makes you a right handed shooter, the issue may be in your release. Let's assume you are using the three finger release, one over the arrow, two below. The string should not be caught in the first joint (as often shown in books) but rather on the pads of the fingers. Often when we release we conciously release our fingers and the arrow and as such, actually pull the string away from our anchor point. In this case for a right handed shooter you would be pulling the nock end of the arrow to the right - thus actually aiming at the left side of the target. Don't actually release your fingers, simply let the string be pulled out of your fingers. I anchor with my thumb just under the corner of my jaw. When I'm pulling in the release I end each shot with my hand slightly away from my face. My indicator that I'm pulling the string to the right.

    Also with your bow, you have a choice. You can shoot off the shelf or from an attached arrow rest. If shooting off the shelf you can use instinctive shooting aiming as the arrow is just above your bow hand - as though the arrow was actually resting on your hand. In this case, simply raise your bow hand and point your index finger at the target - assuming your anchor point is such that your middle finger is at the corner of your mouth. This puts your eye right in line with the arrow shaft and your bow hand index finger becomes the "aimer". I find this technique also works if I'm using an arrow rest. The issue here is that the arrow rest actually raises the arrow shaft about 1/2 to 2 inches above your bow hand. You then have to compensate for that in your aiming method. To say that differently - you have to aim high to compensate for the arrow being lower than what you are actually aiming at.

    The best shooters I know all say "Don't aim." Easy for them. Actually, if you have your bow hand, anchor point, and release all consistent, you get to a point of not having to aim. The only next challenge becomes how much elevation for the yardage you are shooting. So here's a trick I've used that works great. Put a piece of masking tape on your riser just above where the arrow is and on the side of the bow facing you. Shoot lots of arrows at a fixed distance. Put marks on the tape for 20, 30, 40 yards or whatever. Then you have a reference point for elevation. Now realize that these reference points are absolute only for the day you make then. From then on, they become relative - heat, cold, humidity, dry air, wind, tighness of arrow nocks, and about four thousand other factors. But you get to a point where you can be within two or three rings of dead center every time in the first few shots.

    I had previously posted an article about practicing archery if you lifed in an appartment! Yes, indeedy! Bascially it was practicing the draw, anchor and release and shooting into a barrel filled with stuffing. I've been trying something new lately that my wife thinks I'm totally wacko for, but I find it works pretty good. I've been shooting at night. I can just barely make out the target center. I can tell what I'm hitting by the sound. I make cardboard circles the size of the inner two rings of a standard 60 cm target and mount this on hay bales. If I hit the cardboard I get a nice wack sound. If not a soft whoosh! Amazingly to me, I shoot better at night, usually than during the day. It is really helping with the instinctive shooting.

    Sorry for the length - down side to being a fast typist and wordy.........

    PS: Thanks for the compliment on leather working. Pictures of your quiver are posted in the Gallery here.
     
  10. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    RangerFlik,

    First off, Hello. Always happy to meet another archer.

    What Christophe said is some very good advice! Also, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of "Instinctive Shooting" by G. Fred Asbell. It is an excellent book and extremely useful to have around.

    As for your arrow questions, you said that your arrows are a generic carbon, are they perhaps a store brand like Bass Pro or Cabelas? If so then the store web site will most likely have a spine chart that you can look up to check if they are the correct spine for your bow. From where they are hitting I suspect that they are spined too heavy. A too heavy spined shaft will hit to the left of aim for a right handed shooter and to the right for a left handed shooter. Consequently they will fly to the opposite side if they are spined too light.

    Most carbon arrows are physically too light for a recurve or longbow, do you know what the grain weight of your arrows is? You should be shooting probably at least 9 grains of arrow weight for every pound of draw of your bow in order to preserve the life of your bow. In other words, your arrows should weigh at least 495 grains. If they are not heavy enough there are ways to bring up the weight to where you need it. You can either weigh your arrows with a grain scale or calculate the weight if you have all of the required information on hand, i.e. weight of shaft per inch, length of shaft, weight of point insert, weight of point, and the weight of the feathers and nocks. It is of course, easier to just weigh them. More accurate to.

    If your arrows are the right spine and physical weight then your problem is most likely your release as Christophe already mentioned. I know that when my release is wrong my arrows usually hit about six inches to the left of point of aim.

    If you like I would be happy to help out, just post the known specifics of your arrows. By the way, excellent choice of a bow! You can't go wrong with a Martin, I've got two myself.


    Christophe,

    Actually night shooting is a great idea! It's excellent for concentrating on form. I've read recently where some guys are using chemical light sticks as night targets, just attach them to the bale. There is a mail order company who sells miniature light sticks that I think would be perfect for this, they are 1 1/2 inches long and are $9 for a package of ten. P.M. me if you would like their web address.
     
  11. RangerFlik

    RangerFlik New Member

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    Thanks for the info fellas. I'll see what kind of data I can dig up on my shafts and post em up here in a few days or so. Appreciate the advice.

    -Flik
     
  12. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Lonearcher
    Shooting at Cylumes - chemical light sticks! Now that sounds like great fun. If you hit one I imagine it's like alien blood all over! How totally cool. And there would be no mistaking a direct hit!

    Reminds me of a party long ago when Cylumes first came out. The "big trick" was to turn off the lights, give everyone a Cylume which we would activate then poke a hole in. Then we would wave them all around. Everywhere a drop of liquid went would glow light green. We thought is was so cool, until we realized that the next morning that light green spot became a dirty brown spot - on clothes, on furniture, on ceilings, on everything!

    Hey, I just thought. How about getting those tiny little light sticks like they use for ear rings and stuff, and tieing them on arrows so you could watch the flight. That would be cool also! Flaming arrows!!
     
  13. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Speaking of flaming arrows, has anyone ever played with fire arrows? My group have an archery weekend at a friend's farm not this weekend but the next, and there's been talk of fire arrows (it's winter here in Australia). I would love to light up some arrows and see a volley of them flying through the night sky!

    For me, combat archery is the ultimate. I'm not into killing living things, and target archery is great for technique and practise, but I learnt archery so I could (safely!) shoot at living, moving targets that also shot back at me. Same with sword fighting, I wanted to (safely) learn how to fight someone with a sword and shield. And just as fighting in big group melees is awesome fun, I'd love to take part in a big volley of archers, especially using flaming arrows.

    I love re-enacting!
     
  14. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    Mububban, Flaming arrows would be cool! I've thought about shooting them off into a lake but I'd probably get arrested so I haven't tried it. :nono:

    Christophe, what a mess! My wife and her brother were playing around with some cylumes last halloween, cutting them open (outside fortunately!) and pouring out the cylume, it looked just like the "blood" spilt by the alien in the movie Predator. Way cool.

    I wonder about attaching them to arrows, how would it affect flight? Of course it would be easy enough to find out. :D There's a new nock on the market for carbon and aluminum arrows that lights up when it is shot and will stay lit for 40 hours (I think) unless it's turned off manually. Neat idea but the darned things are going for $10 each! :eek:
     
  15. Cheesy Goodness

    Cheesy Goodness The Fighters Guide House Member

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    This may be a stupid question, but then again, i'm a stupid person :cool:
    How would you get the arrows to light on fire? I can understand wooden arrows, but that would defidentially affect the flight, right? As for Aluminum arrows, I have no idea...if someone tells me i will try it (when it's been raining for a couple days...dont want to start any fires...yet :halo: )

    Does anyone know how far a 45- can shoot...as well as a 55-?

    the one that answers all of my questions will promptly recieve a cookie

    Lonearcher: about those arrows...they aren't battery powered are they? You mentioned turning it off manually, but i wasnt sure about turning off cylume :p
     
  16. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    cheesy,
    Usually there's a wrapping of fabric soaked in oil just behinde the arrow point. That way the arrow sticks and the fire ignites whatever was shot. Didn't you say in another post that you already do this into hay rolls in your neightborhood? LOL!

    As for distance the answer is..............denpends upon the bow. I have a 45 pound bow that can barely shoot an arrow 40 yards. I also have a 30 pound bow that shoots an arrow abour 85 yards max. It all depends on how quickly the bow delivers it's energy to the string, hence arrow. That's one reason compound bows are popular. They deliver a tremendous amount of energy to the arrow in a very quick time. Plus the "let off" allows the archer to hold the draw for a longer period of time while using a higher pound bow. But a basic answer would be something like 45 - 130 yards, 55 add another 20 - 30 yards.

    And finally, how does one turn off a cylume? Come back the next day! LOL
     
  17. Cheesy Goodness

    Cheesy Goodness The Fighters Guide House Member

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    no...I said i lit round bales drenched in gas and caked with gunpowder from 2 feet away manually...geez get it right lol (actually said i did say what you said ;) )

    I actually thought they took something like cotton and wrapped it in a small sack. Then they spiked it with the head, lit that, and let loose...now i feel really stupid...let's bring out the sign :stupid: lol

    I was just reading over the posts, and Lonearcher said the NOCKS...not the arrow...my bad

    the only reason I asked is because the round bales are about 100 yards away from my front yard...I tried to arch it up from about 30 yards away at a box...came pretty close...this should be a fun-filled summer! lol

    CoG answered my questions...cookie sent :p
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2004
  18. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Didnt really know where to put this, so i though you archery guys might like it, its a simple archery game, pretty fun, you work out angle and power of shot, to hit your enemy enough times before they do the same, if youve eevr played "worms" its a bit like that. have fun

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/bowman.html
     
  19. Cheesy Goodness

    Cheesy Goodness The Fighters Guide House Member

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    ^ Thanks for the game...my computer's about as good as a rock and chisle...it couldnt handle it at all

    Just posting an update on my 55- recurve...it shot about 100 yards easily...now to get a better angle and try out my 45- reflex

    Does anyone know of a place to buy strings for bows online? I know of a few places, but I dont know if they're the right size...do they even make strings for a Kodiac Special anymore, or will i have improvise and get another one that fits

    CoG (i think): I tried your idea about the cheap man's way of making a quiver (old jean legs) and it's all cut out. I managed to get 2 quivers out of it (back and side) I would have had 3, but i measured wrong and it ended up comming not even half way to the arrow...ah well. I managed another back quiver that can hold about 2-4 arrows...nothing special by any means, but it should work fine for just shooting around.

    What do you strap the back quiver on with? I know the side quiver can work with a belt, but I'm having a hard time comming up with an idea...I got 13 feet of fabric cut into thin strips (not connected) but that should be plenty. Should it just be one long thing that drapes over my shoulder?

    Great...now i got to learn how to sew :cool:
     
  20. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    cheesy,
    Strings - I just got four Flemish strings from ElkRidge Archery, same web addy + .com, like Duhh!! They need to know the AMO length. It may be on one of your bow limbs. If not, they may be able to make one simply knowing the bow maker and model.

    Quivers - Back Straps - OK, so you have a cloth tube. You could put an embrodiery hoop in the top, sew it in, to keep the top open. Easier to put arrows in.

    Quivers - Straping - You have the cloth strips, just sew two on your quiver, one on the bottom and one on the top. Sew them so the stiching goes in the direction of the load, i.e. both should be going upwards. Then simply tie a knot in the other ends so that the quiver hangs where you need it to (the knot will be somewhat centered on your chest). This would make a custom quiver. BUT, as it has a knot in it, you could adjust it as needed. I have a combat archery quiver that uses this idea and it works quite nicely.

    Bows and distance - I should think you could get more yardage out of your bows. I was reading the Pennsic pamphlet the other night and they are doing an advancing fighter shoot again this year going from 70 to 20 yards in 10 yard increments. I've had problems shooting the far distance in the past so set up a 70 yard range yesterday. I find that my 35 pound bow can easily reach the distance as well as my 49 pound bow. I have to change my anchor point from the point of my jaw to my shoulder to get enough elevation but the target is within easy range. Some of my arrows are actually flying over the target!

    And for the night shooters, I tried LoneArcher's suggestion of cylumes. Great! Just enough light to see the target without so much that you loose your night vision. I have to admit though, I spent a L-O-N-G time trying to actually hit the cylume and finally just gave up. But I'll get better!
     
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