Archery 101

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

  1. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    60 pound recurve? Is that the draw weight or the power? I can barely get a 60 pound longbow to a half-draw.
     
  2. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Poundage is always the draw weight. So it's be 60 pounds of force required to pull the string to X inches.

    I'm skinny so 50lb is my safe maximum, I've got 2 x 50lb longbows. I prefer to shoot my 43lb longbow as it's less tiring and easier to control. I'd rather shoot a 40lb all day than a 50lb for a short time.

    And when you see how damn thick a 100lb+ longbow is, it's really quite scary. Warbow staves used to be shipped "3 fingers square" as the starting point. Modern naysayers who simply cannot believe that men who didn't sit behind desks all day used to draw bows in excess of 100lb simply need to make a bow to the measurements of surviving bows ie the Mary Rose, and they will quickly find out how strong the bows were.
     
  3. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    A 50 pound recurve bow is very powerful I've heard, and a recurve bow is better than a longbow depending on its size and draw weight. So a 60 pound recurve bow, is easier to draw, but just as powerful or more than a 60 pound longbow.
    But the English used 120 to 200 pound longbows, and trained officially every sunday, and were left with their bows to train whenever they wanted. So like this they built up the muscles needed to draw a bow that these days are very rarely used, for less people fire bows.
    Please tell me if I'm wrong, I love archery but am not aloud to have a bow of my own other than a bent stick and some rope, and have only heard all this, and this is my interpretation of it.
     
  4. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    Adding a recurve to the end certainly adds some speed, although I'm not sure how much. However at least some Medieval yew longbows were recurved. What percentage and for how long, I'm not sure, but we have solid evidence that some were.

    Frequent practice did build up required muscle, but so did manual labour. We lose sight of the fact that the typical Medieval human being had to be strong, a lot stronger than we are.

    Actual Medieval draw weights I'm not sure about. The idea of a 200lb bow gives me the shakes, and I do wonder if war bows ever really got that powerful. But I'm certainly not discounting the possibility. I'm certain that bows of 100lbs and more were common among the English and Welsh archers of the time.
     
  5. trazzberry1

    trazzberry1 New Member

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    i have a hunnic-style water buffalo horn composite recurve which, as i said, has about a 60 pound draw weight. i hunt with it at least 4 times a week and a well-placed shot will usually take down a wild pig, although sometimes it takes more than one. I was very impressed with its power when i first got it, but it did take me a lot of practice and workouts to be able to consistently take it to full draw. the thought of a 200 lb. longbow scares the living snot out of me. it's no wonder the english longbowmen were so feared if they were firing a 200 lb bow. i mean that thing must have been like a rifle, yeah?
     
  6. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Your bow scares me. So it's composite, and recurved - like the mongol bows? - and with horn? So add a few tendons to the front and you'll have a near-80 pound longbow-power bow.
    Those weapons (longbows) could have been kept in use much longer than they were, because with the really powerful ones and correct training you could fire a volley over a mile and more. So that would have been deadly in certain trench-warfare. An arrow is also more painful that a bullet when it's in you, and the longbows were certainly more powerful and less risky than the early muskets.

    @Greybeard: The french bows were about five-foot tall with recurves at the end. A fifty pound one of these was apparently as powerful as a 60 pound longbow. But the french couldn't wield them properly because they were only ever aloud to have them just before the battle, and so had no training. Also the muscles used to draw a bow are rarely used in any other - tried to find a better word - occupation.
     
  7. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    I doubt 200lb was very common. I think most warbows would have been around the 120-150lb range. I'll read through some of my reference books and get back to you.


    Huh? Shooting an arrow over a mile? That's 1600 meters right? I must be misunderstanding you because I believe the world flight record for very light arrows is about 400m.

    Trench warfare is very confined and if you stick your head up someone blows it off. Longbows are, well, long. They aren't great for sneaking with and just popping up somewhere due to their length. And you can't hold it crossways in a narrow trench either.

    Not sure how you figure an arrow would hurt more than a bullet or ball, I imagine both would be excruciating :D Mind you the arrow would stick in and the shaft could then wiggle around, whereas the bullet/ball is inside on its own.
     
  8. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Here are the 8 fire arrow cage heads my friend and I made. I'll try and do an ignition test before the weekend of 10-11 to test the fabric and fuel. Just have to be careful as apparently linseed oil in cloth can spontaneously combust!

    They're a bit rough as they're not made for show and tell, they're made to be used, abused, set on fire and lobbed into an empty paddock. The wire is quite soft so I imagine they'll deform a bit on impact, but as long as they last a good couple of vollies, and we get some good photos and videos, I'll be a happy man :)

    And flicking through The Great Warbow again, the Mary Rose Trust built yew bows to the dimensions of some of the recovered warbows, and they ranged from 110lb to 184lb. Most were in the 150-160lb range. And keep in mind these bows were drawn to about 31 inches, not the modern average of 28 inches.
     

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  9. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    I've shot with Mark Stretton who holds the UK (World?) record for heaviest longbow ~ a 200lb ~ arrows were like broomsticks! I've shot a york round (144 arrows) with a 110lb bow which was manageable although I could feel the tendons down the back of your shooting hand vibrating so it's not a bow you'd draw, hold (for long) & aim and release.

    To be honest as the bow limbs and arrows have to be so thick to avoid shattering what you gain in power from poundage you lose in speed of bow and distance in the flight of the arrows. My 63lb will comfortably shoot in excess of 240 yards which is fine for clouts, roving marks etc.
     
  10. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    My muscles hurt.

    I want that book, though.
     
  11. trazzberry1

    trazzberry1 New Member

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    the world flight record for an arrow is 2,046 yards or so, just over a mile, and i think it roughly translates to the same in meters. it's held by harry drake and was set at 90 mile beach in new zealand and rumor has it that he used razor blades for fletching o_O
    he fired 3 arrows before his bow broke, of which only one was found, and it is suspected that one of his other arrows may have gone even further. i think he set it in 1988, but i'm not positive. its some time around then

    also, great job on those fire arrow heads, they look really nice (in a functional way haha) i can't wait to see pics of the arrows on fire
     
  12. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks trazz, hopefully the arrows survive a few good shots :)



    Wow. I stand corrected. You can fling a toothpick of an arrow over a mile. That is truly amazing.

    Fat lot of good it'll do against a breastplate or shield when it arrives, but it will go a very very long way :D


    So for a 50lb bow that's a max of 250 grains. Compare this to a war arrow which is what - 1200+ grains?

    Like any weapon it's got to suit its intended opponent. If distance is the enemy, flight arrows would be awesome, but if soldiers are the enemy, you need the big boy :D
     
  13. trazzberry1

    trazzberry1 New Member

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    i suppose if you were really lucky and hit an enemy in an unarmored part with a flight arrow, and the person happened to have thin skin and underdeveloped internal structures, maybe you could slice the jugular or something. then again, you may have trouble even piercing the jugular with a 250 grain arrow from a mile away :p
    I have to use at least 900 grains to get consistently the right strength for taking down a wild pig, they have thick skin. i tried 300 grains once for increased speed but it deflected off his ribcage and it pissed the pig off and he tried to gore me but i climbed a tree... thank the lord for my primate heritage. moral of this story? pigs cannot climb trees, and arrows under 900 grains are really just kindling
     
  14. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Ahahahahaha :D

    I've never shot a living creature although Australia is full of ferals that need culling.

    Well, I did kill a bird with a golf ball once but that was accidental.....
     
  15. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    You could shoot rabbits... Sorry if that isn't funny.

    The arrows used in the middle ages were a lot heavier than the ones used these days, because the were used for more practical reasons - like killing somebody - and so could go through a breast-plate, though that was usually only knights that had them, and special arrow-heads were used for those.

    When I said trench warfare, it's because they could be up to 7 to 8 feet deep, and just as wide depending on the area. A volley fire would be very destructive if the enemy wasn't wearing helmets.

    There was another type of fire-arrow where they used a normal arrow with a small bag attached to it that held greek fire. When it hit something, the bag would been thrown off and hit what the arrow hit, exploding and quickly burning the target. I'd never actually heard if those in the picture.
     
  16. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    http://www.hectorcoleironwork.com/Arrowheads.html

    Top left is what we based it on, albeit cheating and using modern welding as well as cold forging.
    My mate did make a "proper" head by splitting a piece of sheet into strips using a big chisel, he then heat welded the bars intothe point and onto a socket using hammer and anvil but I had to go home when he was doing that. Lucky him has a forge in his backyard so he can play whenever he wants to :)

    As stated, I'll be going to linseed oil in cotton cloth, I'll be sacrificing some old bedsheets which though thin, are also plentiful. Hopefuly they absorb enough oil and have enough density that they won't burn out too quickly.

    Kerosene is a backup fuel option but that shit stinks. One reason I never got right into fire spinning as the sheer smell and mess of it.
     
  17. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    As long as you don't put the sheets back on the beds you'll be fine. ;-)

    The big arrow heads with recurved parts on the sides were used for killing horses usually, but could be used against men, going fore the most painful removal ever. Usually the arrow heads were in the form of a thin leaf.
     
  18. trazzberry1

    trazzberry1 New Member

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    i hunt wild pigs cause they are delicious and it helps me save money on food. i also hunt goats and small game and i fish a lot, usually not with a bow but i have before. its not because i hate animals or anything, i actually have a pig named bacon (who happens to love eating fellow pigs), although he is a potbellied pig and not a wild hawaiian one. i know no one said i was an animal hater but it's not an uncommon reaction
     
  19. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Most people nowadays have never been to a farm and seen where meat comes from. I actually work with two 20-somethings who can't stand to eat meat off the bone, like ribs or a drumstick. Because it's 'too freaky" and reminds them of an animal.

    I've never hunted and killed anything myself, but I know where meat comes from. I grew up visiting sheep farms due to my uncle living in a rural area.
    And in my limited experience, most hunters are probably better connected to nature than "animal loving" city dwellers who think meat comes from supermarkets.
     
  20. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    Thanks, guys. This just brought back memories of plucking ducks that Dad shot. Messy job, but nothing tastes like wild duck.
     
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