Archery - making your own arrows

Lonearcher

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Haldir said:
Lonearcher: you shoot your arrows from your hand? I'll be getting one of those Kevlar gloves before I start resting any arrows on my hand that's for sure!


Not A chance! All of my bows have an arrow shelf and I shoot off of that. I've tried a couple of different elevated rests but I prefer shooting off the shelf.

I hope to get an English Longbow someday. I think that the traditional style doesn't have a shelf so I'll definately have to use a glove!
 

Lonearcher

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Bowcrafter,

It sounds like your'e going to need to have someone make a custom string for your bow. I don't know what type of string material you have tried but the most popular one for a wood self bow is Dacron. If you check some of the traditional archery suppliers you should be able to find what you need.
 

Haldir

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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).
 

javelin98

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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.
 

Lonearcher

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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.
 

Christophe of Grey

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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.
 

Christophe of Grey

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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.
 

Lonearcher

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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.
 

Christophe of Grey

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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.
 

Lonearcher

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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.
 

Christophe of Grey

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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.
 

Lonearcher

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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
 

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