My new longbow

Discussion in 'General Weapons & Armour' started by Mububban, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    You do lovely work CoG.

    Well I'm extremely archery unfit, but I had a great time on Saturday. I killed a few milk bottles and gave a good fright to several others. I'm trying to aim more consciously using my right eye and the arrowhead as the aiming point. I seem to do better on longer range shots than close range. That, and I love seeing an arrow arc towards its target and *thunk* into it :)

    But skinny unfit me using my 50lb bow (both my longbows are 50lb) made me tired pretty quickly. I just don't get a chance to shoot much unfortunately. The longest range I could safely set up at home would be using my driveway and the steel garage door as a backstop, and that would be maybe 10m maximum. I'm not sure if it'd be worth convicincing the wife of its merits :D
     
  2. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Here's a couple of things I've learned to steady my draw until I get in full shape for archery season. First off, we tend to hold the draw with our arms. As you reach your full draw, concentrate on sticking your chest out. You don't really do this but what it does is force your body to hold the draw with your back muscles which are considerably stronger than your arms. It also has the added advantage of adding an inch or two to your draw thereby getting full power out of your bow. Most of us tend to short draw our bows anyway. What I find helps in this sometimes is to stand in a very closed stance. That is, instead of my toes on a line straight to the target, my back foot is about one foot length behind that line. This forces my body to slightly twist forcing me to use my back muscles to hold the draw.

    The other exercise that works well for archery is the bent over row. Simply put, rest one knee on a bench and bend forward at the waist. Holding a weight in your extended arm, downward, lift the weight to your shoulder. This is a particularly good exercise for your draw arm as this replicates the draw action and uses the same muscles.

    Finally, good practice does not require distance. Byron Ferguson, the guy who shoots asprins out of the air, typically practices within 5 feet of his target. What he does is hang a bag and stand far enough back that the arrow clears the bow but he can step forward one step and pull the arrow for the next shot. This way he practices what is most important to good archery, draw, anchor, release. Another practice technique that works even if you live in an apartment is to get a trash can and stuff the bottom third/half with blankets. Sacrifice one arrow by cutting off the point and replacing it with a blunt. Stand back and shoot your arrow into the trash can. Again it's practicing the draw, anchor, release trio that, once consistent, leads to great archery.
     
  3. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    You could always invest in something like:
    http://www.merlinarcherycentre.co.uk/acatalog/Saunders_Power_Pull.html

    I shot both Sunday & Monday ~ the courses were miles long, up and down hills ~ absolutely knackering :D
     
  4. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm trying to do a few more weights when I come home from work. I only get a half day off each weekend to myself, the rest of the time I have to help look after bubs seeing as I'm away from my girls between 7:30am to 6pm each weekday :(

    And normally I use my half day off to hti people with swords rather than shoot stuff. But it's football season now, which means our training ground gets used as footy parking every 3rd week or so, so I'll skip training those weeks and try and go shooting some more!

    Sadly I'll get even less time to try and make my first bow as my work area is out in the open, and it's now entering our rainy season...
     
  5. AmrasTheArcher

    AmrasTheArcher Woodsman and archer

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    English archers always drew through the body using shoulder/ back muscles rather than arms which is how they managed 180-200lb draws, with immense practice obviously and still hit a massive rate of fire compared to crossbow, try using a chest expander rather than weights as these will add weight all over for less draw gain.
     
  6. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm seriously considering backing both cars out of the driveway every now and then and setting up my portable target, using the steel roller door as my backstop. Seriously, if I can't put all my arows in an 80cm target at ~10m range, I should give up archery as a hobby :D

    It's also a damn site closer than the 80km round trip to go shoot with my friend!
     
  7. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Even for the best of archers a shaft goes astray now and then. I would suggest hanging old carpeting in front of your garage door and behind your target. Leave a space of about 1 foot. That way, should the target jump sideways your arrow will hit the carpet and still be usable instead of putting a dent in your garage door and possibly ruining the arrow.

    But for staying in shape it's not a matter of how far you shoot as much as simply going through the motion. That's why things like the archer workout rubber band thingie suggested on this list work. Although, I'm going to be picky here for a moment, the guy who is demoing that device has poor form. Notice his draw arm elbow and how it is out away from his body. In good form, assuming you are not intentionally short drawing your bow, your bow hand, arm, and shoulders all should form a straight line. Your draw arm follows that line from your draw fingers right through to your bent elbow. This would put your anchor point something like the base of your thumb at the corner of your jaw, or your middle or index finger on your upper jaw eye tooth (it doesn't move like your lower jaw does). A common technique mistake that leads to plucking and doing the ballerina (draw hand flying away from the body after release), is to have your draw arm elbow out like it is in the picture.

    Photos are great. At a recent event we had a photographer who was taking pictures and published them on the web. Looking at them I found photographic proof of a technique error I've been talking with a friend about. He swears he doesn't short draw his bow, but looking at the pictures you can clearly see he is drawing to the front of his chin. Thus his arrows arch way more than they need to from his bow at 30 and 40 yards/meters which accounts for his inconsistent results and frustration.:)
     
  8. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    I noticed that too.. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was at part draw :)

    When I first started archery the coach used to video your technique so she could explain and work on any issues. She was excellent and had been national ladies champion & coach for years, so you listened! One of the chaps I shoot with regularly was really inconsistent. His main issue was he doesn't settle before release so literally his bow was still moving on release. I chatted with him, suggested he anchor, momentary pause, then release and after a brief period of adjustment he's now really hard to beat... should have kept my mouth shut :D
     
  9. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Yeah, I have often wondered about helping other folks who then become tough to beat. But I figure the only way I'm going to get better is to shoot against good archers. Besides, one of the things I like most about archery is that while we often do shoot against each other most of the time we are really shooting against ourselfs and trying to get better.
     
  10. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    There's a great atmosphere shooting field archery, a mix of encouragement and good humoured ridicule ~ target archery was far more 'formal'. We tend to shoot in groups of mixed classes; HT, longbow or whatever so scores are not usually directly comparable anyway. I agree that you mainly shoot against yourself. I usually try and beat my last score so I'm quite relieved when I have a 'bad' day... well after a drink anyway... as next shoot it'll be easier to achieve.
     
  11. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Elladan,
    Just noticed the picture of Legolis you use in your signature block. If you look at the elbow of his draw arm you see exactly what I was saying before. Everything in one line. Good form, of course all the ladies say that about him without even looking at his elbow! "Elbow, he has elbows? Where?" And they call us animals! hahahahaha
     
  12. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    ^ lol

    I'm pretty good at the straight line form ~ my issue is 'having a look' where the arrow's going, too quickly.

    Had a very good round today (Sunday), nice weather, no missed targets.. 82% of available points scored which is one of the highest I've done for a number of months.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  13. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    One of the guys I shoot with who is quite possibly the best instinctive shooter I have ever seen or shot with was given a clue for speed rounds by his son who is also a very good shot. His advice, don't watch where the arrow is going. If you aimed right and technique is good you know where it's going. This archer fairly regularly is getting off 9 - 10 arrows in 30 seconds.

    I can imagine how hard it would be to find arrows in all those ferns. But it is a really cool looking site for shooting.

    Also, I'll shoot with Aeon any time! Your shooting partners are better than mine!
     
  14. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    ^ Glad you saw the photos ~ I took them down later as I don't really like leaving photos online.

    I like watching the arrow, especially long shots where you see the arc of the arrows flight, then (hopefully) thunk right in the kill :D
     
  15. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    Your photos remind me of another site called St. Hubert's Rangers. I know some of the folks on that site and some day would like to join them. One of them is an Englishman who lives in Sherwood Forrest.

    What is it about the flight of an arrow that is so pleasing? A thing of beauty. I particularly like it when a fletch gets bent over and causes the arrow to hum in flight. I tried an experiment last year in fletching. Instead of splitting the feather down the spine and using just half of it, I mounted two whole feathers opposing, flat on the shaft. That is, a whole feather on each side of the shaft. To my great surprise it worked as well as "regular" fletching and the arrows hum nicely. The issue is that due to irregularities in the feathers the arrows are inconsistent beyond 30 yards/meters. This due to some feathers act as flu flus and some don't. I used chicken feathers. I may get more consistent results if I used a higher grade of feather. I've been told this is how the Cheroke Indians fletched their arrows.
     
  16. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Do you guys tilt from the hips when aiming long range? I've seen some people collapse their back leg a bit. I was taught to draw and anchor, then tilt from the hips so as not to shorten my arm length. And my forearm guard has 3 straps on it that make excellent sighting gauges for clout shooting :)

    I just love sending an arrow >40m, watching it sail and hopefully hearing that satisfying *thunk* as it sinks into the foam. I've always been more interested in military archery and "manhunting" than chasing bulsseyes. So while I do try and hit the center of the target, I'm happy as long as I hit a man-sized area :D I only really do target shooting as a warmup or to practise technique. I'd much rather be doing field shooting with its "real world" scenarios of varying distance, trees to shoot through, under or over etc, or of course my favourite, combat archery. Nothing's quite as satisfying as shooting someone in the faceplate of their helm and watching them react in surprise hehehe.
     
  17. Christophe of Grey

    Christophe of Grey Cordwainer to Royals

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    For clout shooting, 100 yards/meters or so, I first draw and aim as though I were shooting 20 - 30 yrads/meters then rock back at the hips. As you say, this prevents shortening of the draw and reducing the power of the bow. Now to add some spice into your long distance target shooting make up a few arrows with whistler points http://www.3riversarchery.com/Broadheads+Points+Screw-On++Whistling_c57_s109_p0_iWPX_product.html . Three Rivers Archery. Send one of these babies down range and everyone on the line stops and looks!
     
  18. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    I've got some whistler points ~ sound like a WW2 German Stuka bomber diving ;)

    Adjust from the hips? ~ yes me too ~ trying to adjust with arms is a recipe for poor form. That said with my 63lb bow, using fast flight string & small fletchings, I can basically lay the point just above target out to 100yds anyway
     
  19. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Hmm, those whistling points are tempting :) Any idea how much distance you'd lose with the air going through them?

    I've seen people use ping pong balls with traingular holes cut into them to make the whistle, they can be popped over any shaft.

    With winter coming up, hopefully we can play with some fire arrows on the farm we go to. Now that would be good to video at dusk!
     
  20. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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