Archery - making your own arrows

Discussion in 'General Weapons & Armour' started by Mububban, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. Haldir

    Haldir Archer Extraordinaire

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    String? As in the string you will be drawing?

    I would suggest Dacron. That's the material most bows use to start off with. I wouldn't know if it's perfectly suitable though. My suggestion is to mail an Archery Store and ask them what they would suggest. I use a material called Fast Flight but that might be too fast and cause the bow to break. Dacron is the typical material people start off with (target archery and take down bows).
     
  2. javelin98

    javelin98 does anyone read these?

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    Sorry... when I said flatten, it was in a way such as you would flatten a soda straw by chewing on it, not flatten like the end of an unsharpened pencil. You're right about the weight of the tip being critical to flight, though; I recall firing a wooden arrow without an arrowhead at Scout Camp and the thing pulled upwards something fierce. Oh, well, it was just a thought.
     
  3. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    Javelin98, it sounds like you're looking for a "chisel" tip. I've seen pictures of flint arrowheads like this but I've never seen a steel version.
     
  4. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Mububban,
    My group who does combat archery with blunted tips uses rounded tips called Baldar Blunts. Much more aerodynamic that flat blunt tips. While some folks still use wooden shafts most have moved to solid fiberglass shafts. If you need I may be able to provide some web sites for suppliers.
     
  5. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Lonearcher,
    While traditional English long bows that I have seen do not have an arrow shelf they typically have an arrow rest which is often made out of a piece of horn affixed to the side of the bow in combination with the leather grip. Basically it is a small L shaped piece of horn just big enough to rest the arrow on.
     
  6. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    Thank you Christophe. I haven't had the opportunity of viewing one up close. English Longbows are'nt nearly as popular in my area as flatbows or the modern laminated longbow.
     
  7. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Lonearcher,
    There was a comment made either on this forum or one of the others in the FantasyForum about shooting without an arrow rest. Actually that is how the Huns and Mongols shot their bows. The arrow actually rests upon the hand holding the bow. Modern day horse bows are shot this way. You wear a special glove on the bow hand so your hand does not get cut by the fletches as the arrow is loosed. You also do not use the traditional finger release, either under or pinch. They used a thumb release usually with a thumb ring. This allowed them to fire faster as well as pull a much stronger bow.

    I also had a very long and enlightening discussion with a bowyer from Elk Ridge Archery at Pennsic last year. In discussing bow types I told him I did not like bow shock. It throws my aim off because I'm anticipating it. He told me that the design of the bow has a great deal to do with how much bow shock you get. Most modern bows of the traditional type have thick risers. This puts most of the curve and energy in the limbs away from where your hand is. Or to say that differently, the bow flexes in the limbs, not throughout the handle. True long bows flex their entire length and as such you will experience more bow shock. This is because you are feeling the flex of the bow, or more correctly, the release of the bow's energy when you loose the arrow.

    In my collection I have a very traditional English long bow. Admitidly it is not a great bow and the limbs are quite thick but the shock is like holding a mule's leg when they kick! I have tried silencers on the string and limb dampeners. They help some but the shock is still pretty intense. My favorite bow is a modern/traditional take down from PSE, 30 pound pull. The riser portion is a nice pistol grip which puts the flex into the limbs. The bow is smooth and has virtually no shock. I also have a more traditional one piece bow from Elk Ridge Archery, 49 pound pull. It shoots much flatter, to be expected, and has very little hand shock. While it's more of a traditional long bow design, it is refered to as a reflex-deflex design, it has a small handle grip which helps to keep the flexing out in the limbs.

    The very best advice I got from Elk Ridge was don't buy a bow until AFTER you have shot with it. As good bows have a lot of hand work in them, no two are the same. Not to be essoteric here, but for good shooting a bow and the archer must be "one". If you don't like your partner you won't shoot well.
     
  8. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    I've read that many bowyers who build ELBs today build them a little thicker in the handle so that all of the flex is in the limbs. That is what I hope to aquire someday. Though admittedly I only want one for my collection. I've been fortunate that I've never had a bow that had a problem with hand shock.

    For shooting I prefer the modern recurve. My current favorite (and has been for years) is a Damon Howatt Hunter, it pulls 55# @28" and is extremely smooth shooting.

    The traditional horse bows interest me also but I'm not too sure that I could ever get used to shooting with a thumb ring, I've been shooting three finger-split for too long.
     
  9. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Lonearcher,
    I got all excited about Horse bows last year. I started reading about them. The articles said things like they shoot silky smooth, no hand shock (something I really don't like), more power with less poundage, etc. They fell short of saying that you would hit the bullseye at any distance and time no matter how poor your technique. (Idead here - glowing reports.) So needless to say, I had great expectations. Then I had the opportunity to shoot with one. They have hand shock. They do shoot flatter than "other" bows, but I think that has more to do with the speed of energy transfer due to design than "more power with less poundage". I also struggled with resting the arrow on my bow hand (there is no arrow rest). That concerned me as you have no "point of reference" as you would with a bow with an arrow rest. A friend of mine was also trying the horse bow. While he was shooting, the bow string actually came off the bow! It was strung properly and the arrow released cleanly, it hit the bullseye at 20 yards, but then the string just poped off! Never seen that before. So did I buy one? No, I bought a traditional reflex/deflex from the vender. I may in the future, but they aren't cheap, about $400 starting. If I owned one I think I would put a loop of string on the handle that would serve as a reference point - i.e. the loop would pass between my index and middle fingers on the bow hand, like a grip. That way the arrows would be resting in the same spot, thus my anchor point et al would provide a consistent aiming.
     
  10. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    Christophe,

    Placing a string on the handle sounds like a good idea, after all one has to have a consistant reference point in order to shoot consistantly! :rolleyes: I've been interested in the horse bow for a while now myself, but it will most likely be several years until I get one, there are just too many bows that I want. :D
     
  11. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Lonearcher,
    Bows, Bows everywhere but not a bow to shoot! Opps, I guess that's supposed to be Watter, Water, etc. Oh well............

    I know exactly what you mean about different types of bows. I saw some Korean bows where I got my last long bow. They were real sweet little bows. And while they were designed to be used by an adult they looked like kiddie bows to me. They were set for a 28 inch draw though, which happens to be mine. I guess hunters would call them bush bows.

    I don't know if you know this or not, but horse bows as shown on this web site - http://www.horsebows.com/horsebows.html - and are the only type I've personally seen for sale, have fiberglass limbs. The limbs are covered with leather, sometimes embossed, sometimes not. I don't see that as a bad thing as fiberglass is often used by bowyers to give a bow longer life (it doesn't break down with use like wood does sometimes). Now I have seen "real" horse bows in museums. Their limbs are made out of wood but are also backed with raw hide, horn or other nearly-impossible-to-flex-by-modern-man/woman materials.
     
  12. Tawnos

    Tawnos New Member

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    arrows without an arrowhead were actually used by some tribes in Africa, IIRC... they were especially effective vs maille because when they hit maille they'd split and penetrate as separate pieces...
     
  13. Lady Swartt Sixclaw

    Lady Swartt Sixclaw New Member

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    I like wooden arrows, but they have to be cared for EXTREMELY carefully, because they become much more brittle than usual in the dry climate I live in. I've successfully made a longbow before, but I forget what kind of string I used. Sorry, Bowcrafter.
     
  14. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    OK, here's two questions for folks on this thread - arrows that split, shattered shafts, and bow limbs that break. I shot an arrow once that flew about 20 feet off the bow and then just shattered in the air. It was like the Star Trek movie where they go back and save the whale and the whaling ship fires the harpon and it hits the cloaked ship! It was the wierdest thing I have every seen. Left the string fine, then just dissentigrated in air. Now question - has anyone ever actually witnessed an arrow that failed and injured the shooter?

    Question number two - I have broken a bow limb while in full draw. But, as the bow was a recurve and the energy was focused away from me and once the limb broke the energy in the limbs was gone, the bow simply collapsed on me. No splinters, no damage to me the shooter. A buddy of mine was testing a Horse Bow when the string just poped off during full draw. No damage/injury to him. Again, has anyone actually witnessed a bow limb break in a manner that resulted in injury to the shooter?

    I'm of the opinion that if a bow limb breaks the likelyhood of the arrow flying off at a 90 degree angle and hitting someone else on the line, or hitting the shooter is mearely a figment of the imagination of the overactive range marshal. Same issue with broken arrows. Am I in left field here?

    I will concede that if an arrow breaks mid shaft during release it could cause injury to the shooter. i.e. half of the shaft pierces the shooter's hand, arm or other body parts. But...... Help me out here.
     
  15. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    When I think about it, it doens't make sense that a failed bow would send the arrow off with any force at all.
    Bows transmit force through the limbs to the string to the arrow, but they rely on all of those parts working properly. If the bow or string snaps, then all the tension to fire the arrow just gets released, not flunf forward, because if a limb breaks then there's no brace for the working limb, and if the string breaks the arrow's just going to fall off!
    However if the arrow fails but the nock is still attached, then that part could conceivably go off the bow (which is still in working order) and do some serious harm. But I've never seen it happen, and pray that I never do. You'd be one unlucky archer for that to happen!
     
  16. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Mububban,
    Thanks for the validation. My thoughts exactly. When I broke a limb on my bow, the whole thing just collapsed in my hand. A friend was shooting a horse bow and the string poped out of the limb nock just as he released. The arrow fell at his feet and the string collapsed on his bow hand - no injury. Like you said, all the energy of the bow is gone at that point.

    The reason I asked is we have a target marshall in my area who wants people to remove string whiskers so he can inspect the ENTIRE string. Now the average whisker covers maybe 1/8 inch of the string. He has told me about experiences where he has asked/told potential archers to remove all such stuff from their bows before he authorizes them to use it on "his" range. Seems a bit overboard to me.

    Now breaking arrows upon release could definitely be a different issue.
     
  17. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Re: Arrows breaking

    Well, had a most interesting experience last week while shooting!! I was breaking in a new deer skin finger glove. Deer hide tends to be tacky when new. That is, it squeeks. Particularly so when your fingers, covered in deer hide, are next to the platic nock of your arrow. So there I am, drawing one of my wooden shafted self made arrows that I have shot for almost a year now. I feel something "settle" in when I get to maximum draw. I release the arrow, and what happens? The arrow falls at my feet, the string makes a tremendous twang, significant because I have string whiskers on the string to eliminate the twang, and the string leaves the most ungracious smiley on my bow arm. Can we say major OWWW! Apparently what happend is the deer hide glove was tacky enough to pull the loose nock off the end of the arrow, it fell to the ground so the string had only a tapered arrow end to contact with. NOT HAPPENING. So I got "reminded" with a bleeding smiley on my forearm. So the moral, when checking your arrows be sure to check the nocks too. I will be from now on!
     
  18. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    YOUCH! That had to hurt! Glad to hear that it wasn't worse.

    Concerning your previous post, I've never witnessed a bow or an arrow breaking on release but I saw a picture recently of a fellow whose carbon arrow broke on release, the arrow smacked his bow arm hard enough to leave an incredable bruise! Fortunately the arrow did not penetrate his arm. I don't know at what angle the impact was but I'm assuming that it wasn't even close to 90 degrees as that would (I think) result in his arm being skewered.

    And as for your range marshal, way overboard!
     
  19. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Lonearcher,
    Thanks for the sympathy. I now have a smiley scar on the inside of my bow arm. I guess that makes me a "real archer." LOL!!
     
  20. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    I ended up smacking mine twice this morning. No scar and the bruise is light but it's still annoying because that rarely happens for me. The worst part is that when it does it shakes my confidence a little and my shooting suffers.
     
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