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(TFT) Re: Dodging arrows

At 16:27 -0600 8/27/13, Neil wrote (accidentally off-list):
SCA standard is 30lbs @ 28 inches for bows.

Thanks! Pretty sure I'd read that somewhere, but a while ago.

Interesting, I'd missed the draw length before. <munchkin> Do they let really tall guys that can draw 32 inches use the same bow, and draw it up to 36 lbs or so?

Crossbows vary somewhat. The arrows are slower mostly from the poundage, not the ammunition. There isn't that much padding. I'll occasionally get a bruise, nut nothing big.

Ouch! Oh, misprint, good.


Those English cloth yard shafts were not light. Check out the Merry Rose stuff for more info.

Yeah, 150 lbs by some estimates. I've read some of the research, and I understand the claims, but I still don't completely buy them.

I'm truly no expert, but if those weights were really practical I can't help thinking there'd be an Olympic class with a draw weight up there. Every other Olympic sport is producing physical freaks that do nothing but train for that sport, and every other Olympic sport is producing records well in excess of what was ever documented in antiquity (or recorded history, for that matter). *All else being equal*, I think a heavier bow is more accurate because the archer has to compensate less for wind, gravity, etc. etc. and therefore, the Olympic guys would be at least experimenting with them. I never hear of any modern longbows above about 60 pounds, so I'm claiming that's close to the upper limit for a bow which produces repeatable long-range accuracy.

I can think of one exception to my reasoning, though. I will grant that for some phases of combat, the archer can wait until the opponent is close enough that he won't miss even with a really heavy bow, and then shoot. I think it's quite possible each archer had *two* bows; one about 60 pounds for long-range fusillades where accuracy counted, and one 100 or 150 pounds for a desperation last shot that really needed to stop the target. That would account for the existence of the monster bows, but relegate them to very rare use (and might also account for the fact that they still exist, in preference to the lighter general-use bows - those bows got worn out with practice, while the monster bows were left carefully preserved on the shelf).

Neil Gilmore

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