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Ask me about archery, longbows especially.

Discussion in 'Research' started by John McDonell, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. got my new bow the other day: Qing Dragon 2 - 65lb at 36" draw. still waiting on my more traditional and heavier arrows, but the thing works!

    I do mostly asian archery, so if you have questions on that I maybe can help. others know more, but I know a bit.

    sorry i tried this media imbed thing and they uploaded sideways... but you get the idea. That was NOT from very far away as its my backyard but I was still impressed with myself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Is there a word--English, but French, German, Italian, or Spanish will do--for the hand that holds the bow? And one for the hand that holds the arrow, or draws the string? A list of archery terms didn't return anything.

    Bonus points for use of antiquated terms.
     
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  3. sadly I know of nothing interesting. In English as far as I know its just referred to as its descriptor: "bow hand" and the other the "draw hand" or similar

    the draw hand does not hold the arrow... the string does that. the draw hand draws the string.

    "Bow Hand" is pretty universal I think- the same is used in music. the hand that holds a bow.. of any type, is the bow hand. super not exciting I know.
     
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  4. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    Are shortbows really a thing?
     
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Yup. Picture the kind of bow used by Mongol warriors.
     
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  6. sometimes called "horse bows" for obvious reasons
     
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  7. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    The problem with building a small hunting-weight bow is stacking, which is an exponential increase in draw weight past a certain point.

    Drawing a bow stores potential energy by creating tension on the insides of the limbs and flexion on the outsides.

    When you draw a bow past its ideal point--which gets progressively smaller as the limbs shorten--the draw weight increases without adding significant potential energy to the limbs. This is why 100+ lb. bows are six feet long. So, a powerful short bow is tricky to build, especially with pre-industrial materials.

    That said, it doesn't take much force to put an arrow through a living creature. My wife hunts small game with a 30-lb. recurve bow. It's illegal in this state to take big game with a bow under 40 lbs., but I have no doubt hers would do the job.

    I've said this before on here, but I've seen longbows and recurves in the 40-45 lb. range put hunting arrows completely through elk, which are the size of small horses at 600-700 lbs.

    I hunt with a 55-lb. custom recurve (edit: 54# at 28" but I have arms like an orangutan), which is arguably a short(ish) bow, and the last time I shot a deer--which is almost exactly human-sized--the arrow entered through a rib on the left side, shattering it; traversed the liver and both lungs; exited the right shoulder, splitting the bone in two; and traveled nearly another 20 yards and lodged in the trunk of a tree. It was a standard steel broadhead on an ash shaft, nothing special other than being tuned really well (I make my own arrows).

    If you're not going up against someone in iron plate or brigandine, you don't need much bow.

    Mugwump.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  8. Malik

    Malik Auror

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  9. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    I have a 50 or 60# recurve based on the Scythian recurve (if my memory is right, it’s been years since I bought it) and it is SHORT, but like you’re saying, they’ll punch through a critter right easy. The primary utility of 100+ longbows is range extension in warfare, not that the extra power would lack use against some armors. I seem to have a memory in my head of Native American bows not being particularly powerful, and that sure as hell didn’t stop them from killing stuff.

    But on the short bow, I think much of the issue for me comes from D&D and the term short bow, and it caught on. It was basically a longbow only short (instead of being of composite materials), and wimpy. If you see a Hungarian recurve and think “short = wimpy” you have another coming, heh heh.

    There was an awesome spreadsheet I found many years ago, put together by some hard core gamers, where you pick the length of draw, weight of arrow, and several other statistics and figure a basic maximum range, and other details. While made for gaming, it was based on science and I think reasonably accurate. I need to track that down, it was fun.

     
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  10. my "short" bows are all not that short as I am tall with long arms and to comfortably shoot at my draw length they do have to be a certain size. I guess relative to my height they are short.. if a 5' person held some they might look long. ;) I think in DND they just needed a simple short hand for it.

    one thing to say about the "short bows" is they were often for hunting or on horseback. so hunting the prey does not have armor, and on a horse you often are able to get quite close and punch the arrow in at close range. "long bows" were for footmen - castle guards etc. range and stopping power. It is funny how people will have their dnd character shooting a 'long bow' from a horse which would not be easy - probably not even possible with a traditional english long (war) bow that were somewhere around 150lb draw etc and upwards of 7 foot long. or hunting with one, hard to sneak through a forrest holding that huge thing..

    look at this beauty but good luck on a horse! and that is only 40lbs..

    http://www.arundown.org.uk/wp-conte...rundstrom-40lb-Mary-Rose-style-Bow-900pxl.jpg
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  11. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Here's one for the Assembled Wisdom. I have in mind a scene in which crossbowmen are posted in an elevated position. Maybe atop boulders, maybe in trees. Their target is a creature that is sensitive to vibrations, so my archers would have to draw and load their crossbows before the creature arrives.

    The question: how long before the tension of the string becomes an issue? I know it would depend on the type of material being used. I'm not looking for precision, only for a range. I'm presuming that after a time, the tension would lessen, and at some further point the bolt would no longer be effective.

    Is it a matter of minutes? Hours? Days? Assume no rain.
     
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  12. I would not worry about it for days. it does depend on the materials as you say (assuming this is not spring steel)- but it should be fine if the crossbows are of any quality. long term its probably not the best for them but if one needs to...
     
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  13. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    They're wielded by Catalan crossbowmen, who were famous in the Middle Ages for their skill. They even made their own bows!

    Days will serve. I really only need an hour or two. Just long enough for the creature to think it's all safe again. Thx!
     
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  14. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    You are plenty safe, the main danger to crossbows is rain and strings. Limbs are tougher than hell, short and stout for the most part from my understanding. There’s already good tension from being strung and I don’t recall it ever being said that anything other than the string will weaken/stretch in a reasonable amount of time.
    Side note: stringing a crossbow is pain the ass, heh heh.

     
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  15. heh. never thought of that but makes sense!
     
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