1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Ask me about archery, longbows especially.

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

  1. JOATWarrior

    JOATWarrior Acolyte

    8
    0
    1
    That's beautiful. Really cool quiver.
     
  2. grimreaper

    grimreaper Scribe

    27
    1
    3
    This question is not directly archery-related, but I thought I should post it here. I have been reading a lot about how mounted archery was a tactic used by a lot of succesful warrior races. I even read that this was what caused the defeat of the Romans at the hands of the Visigoths. My question is, exactly how effective was this tactic? Also what measures could the opposing army take against this?
     
  3. grimreaper

    grimreaper Scribe

    27
    1
    3
    Also , on the subject of warrior races, can someone please tell me something about the Scythians? I know little about them , except that they were very brutal, had a fearsome reputation as warriors , lived on the Russian grasslands and were , possibly , great goldsmiths. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  4. dangit

    dangit Scribe

    29
    0
    1
    Archers need to wear a finger tab or glove on the hand drawing back the string [​IMG].

    And actually you don't need to use a release aid (the clamp you mentioned) for modern bows at least not all of them, you do need one for compound bows (often used for hunting they have pulleys that lesson the weight you're pulling back) but not for recurve bows (the kind used in the olympics).


    [​IMG] recurve.


    [​IMG] Compound.
     
  5. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    2,888
    496
    83
    What's the purpose of finger tabs? Did all archers use them, or only Europeans? I ask because I never see them used by Native American or Asian archers.
     
  6. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    4,044
    1,950
    163
    Fingers tabs and gloves lessen the impact of the string on the fingers and protect the skin. In the past, trained archers that shot all the time, developed hard callouses and therefore did not need leather tabs. In modern times, shooters don't use bows even nearing the amount of time that a military longbow archer would have. Therefore, shooters that use their weapons less would benefit from the finger protection.
     
    dangit likes this.
  7. dangit

    dangit Scribe

    29
    0
    1
    Yeah T. Allen's right.
     
  8. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    3,598
    1,518
    163
    Actually, I just took a speed-shooting class, and I'll tell you what, it's way easier to shoot without a glove. Problem is, yeah you can get nerve damage in your fingers if you say, shoot all afternoon, without callouses. I have a friend who did that.

    Even with gloves, your fingers can bleed after a tournament, depending on the weight. I usually don't have many problems with my 30 pound bow. I get sore through the glove, and I shoot every week. The tab does the same thing, but it's only on the inside of your fingers.

    Mongol archers used a horn thumb ring to draw their strings, that's why they didn't have gloves and tabs.

    As far as measures against mounted archers, pikemen are typically used for cavalry charges, but I'm not sure whether the Mongols often collided with Germans or English, who employed a lot of pikemen. Caltrops are the best for that, laming the horses on the field, but I'm not very knowledgeable about the fighting styles themselves, just the concepts of archery. However, the mounted archers would carry big quivers of arrows, and have several of them strapped to a saddle. Their bows were small and light, and could fire quickly, plus they had the maneuverability of being mounted. all in all, not a bad concept. But, terrain might play a factor, as would feeding all those horses. Remember, when armies moved, they had to maintain a lot of supplies.
     
  9. Stuart John Evison

    Stuart John Evison Minstrel

    55
    5
    8
    I make my own traditional longbows and whereas finger tabs help, having hardened craftsman hands and fingers helps more.
     
    dangit likes this.
  10. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    3,598
    1,518
    163
    I want a really traditional long bow. DO you trade?
     
  11. dangit

    dangit Scribe

    29
    0
    1
    I can see that:happy:.
     
  12. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    11,095
    1,562
    313
    Quick question about a scenario in my book: A character is fleeing from a group of armed guards on horseback, toward a gateway between worlds. The guard at the front of the group is an archer, who fires at him as he jumps through the gateway. The arrow flies through the gate along with the fleeing character, who winds up a few feet from a brick wall on the other side. I intend for the arrow to miss the character and hit the wall instead. Would the impact make the arrow stick into the wall or just bounce off? It may be important to note that the arrowhead in question is bronze.
     
  13. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    4,044
    1,950
    163
    It might stick if it hit the mortar between the bricks regardless of arrow type. There, it may be brittle enough for deep penetration.

    It also would depend on the type of arrowhead. I'm not talking about the material it is constructed from but rather, the design. There are field points, which are generally just a conical shaped heads mainly used for target practice. There are broadheads which are bladed heads. These can have anywhere from 2 to 4 blades and also may combine blades of different sizes (like 2 main blades and two smaller blades radiating out from the centers of the larger blades). There are also square heads, often with a pyramidal point on the tip. These would be used to punch through armor.

    If I was the writer, I would have the tip design match its intended target. Are the target characters armored? If so, use a square head. That would offer the greatest potential for wall penetration as well. If they are not armored then a broadhead is most likely. For that, you'd probably have to hit the mortar between bricks or it would certainly break, bounce off, or both. Either way, the arrow would hit with enough force to damage the wall even if it doesn't stick. Perhaps that would serve your story in a similar fashion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
    Ireth likes this.
  14. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    11,095
    1,562
    313
    Thanks T, this is quite helpful. ^^ The characters in question are not armored, so I think I'll go with a broadhead. :)
     
  15. The Writer's Realms

    The Writer's Realms Minstrel

    89
    6
    8
    I have read and viewed a lot of scenarios where a character uses a bow in hopes to score a kill stealthily, but usually I never observe these bows with silencers. When I shoot my recurve without silencers it's pretty noisy and seems to vibrate more as well. Is this the case for all bows or are some just made better for stealth?
     
  16. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    4,044
    1,950
    163
    I'm not certain of this but I believe that silencers are used more with recurves because the string contacts the limbs of the bow to a greater extent. The contact of the string on wood makes a lot of noise.
     
  17. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    1,474
    434
    83
    Um, what does a silencer on a bow look like? (Strange images in my head...) And what does it bring the sound down to?
     
  18. John McDonell

    John McDonell Dreamer

    24
    30
    13
    Longbows use silencers also. A silencer is usually a specific type of fur, like beaver wove in to the bowstring halfway between the ends and the middle. They are about 2-3 inches long usually and look like a ball of fur when placed on the string. They work by dampening the sound of the "twang" that the string makes when released. I am not sure if they are effective at reducing "string slap" on recurves as mentioned above. Hunters use silencers because deer will often "jump the string" which means that when they hear the string "twang" they begin to jump. The first part of the jump motion is actually a crouch so the arrow will pass over the top of the deer.
     
  19. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    4,044
    1,950
    163
    Modern bow silencers are most often made of rubber. There are many different shapes and types. Those I'm familiar with are shaped like a half sphere with the flat pointing down. The rounded rubber rests just on the limb under the lowest point where the string contacts the limb. The rubber then strikes the limb along with the string, reducing the twang.

    There are also silencers that look like small tags of rubber, attached about 8-10" below the contact point. These are meant to absorb string vibration.

    Older methods of reducing string noise (that are still occasionally used in combination with the above) are thin felt pads, attached to the upper sections of the bow limbs. These separate the string from the limbs and also help to deaden sound. I've seen many hunting bows where all three types are employed.

    There are certainly more types. These are the ones I have personal experience with.
     
  20. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    947
    113
    What considerations do I need to be concerned with if my scene takes place during a storm? Will the archers completely avoid using their wood bows or is it not a big deal for a short time? Will they just keep them protected until needed? What happens to the bowstrings (I swear I've read a book or books where they were always concerned with keeping the strings dry)?

    Thanks.
     
Loading...

Share This Page