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Thread: New Warbow testing publication

  1. #51
    A couple of points that I would like to throw in to the discussion

    I don't think that the majority of people would have been wearing plate even in the 15th/16th century. Some plate over a jack or just a jack would be much more common. Needle point bodkins can work against a cloth jack (they push the weave apart) but should cause less bad injuries than broadheads (I'm sure someone who hunts could comment). Broadheads bounce off against thick cloth armour if it is made right. Mail plus cloth armour is much better than it's component parts.

    Before the English war bow appeared, bows were smaller, weaker and were drawn to the front of the face/chest. They were used by pretty much everyone except late Saxon armies. They are different weapons. There are accounts of crusader armies standing until Islamic armies ran out of arrows using similarly powered bows.

    Andy

  2. #52
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    I've noticed on impromptu tests that needle bodkins have more tendancy to bounce off layered textile defenses while broadheads are more likely to cut through.

  3. #53
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    Arc of compass

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Brown View Post
    >
    Hi Curt,
    >
    [
    QUOTE]The above intrigued me greatly. I have read that shorter bows were drawn to the chest but that the warbow/longbow was always drawn to the side of the face/ear. I don't know enough to dispute your assertion, I am just genuinely interested in the reasons/sources that lead you to say this.
    >

    Terry,

    I got this notion from my reading over the years and I can't give a solid reference.

    The chest draw is shown in the the Bowyers Bible on a bow recreating one from the Mary Rose. As I remember, and it would make sense from the way the bows are made, it goes like this.

    The shorter bows and hunting long bows of lesser strength often were tillered not to bend in the thickened handle area. Most of the work is done by the midlimb - this is how I make most of my bows, as it makes them sweeter to shoot -less hand shock.

    The warbows were tillered for an arc of the compass or d bow style bend to and or through the handle. On a bow of any power this makes for considerable handshock and a bit of loss of accuracy.

    I can't remember where I read the reference, but the bowmen shooting dropping shot volleys were enjoined to "draw with their whole body.

    Also personal experience shooting bows tells me that if I want distance or height to my shot, the farther back I draw the bow ( or overdraw)- the more the poundage increases and the further the bow will shoot, at a cost to accuracy.

    If I am shooting more or less horizontally, and I want good accuracy, I draw to my normal "archers kiss" length (first joint of the thumb to the right corner of my mouth).

    I've never read it it anywhere, but I always assumed from my experience shooting, that they drew to the chest for the long distance volleys where they were shooting at a mass of foot men or charging horse, as fast as they could. They then switched to the shorter draw for short range horizontal shooting - this would be the natural way to get the most from the bow.


    BTW Someone I know who shoots the warbow said that there is an English guy who bends a bow of enormous power (over 250lbs) have you heard of this person? Or is it just an urban myth?
    >
    TIA,
    Best wishes,
    Terry[/QUOTE]

  4. #54
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    Terry,

    It occurred to me that we are not talking about the same thing when we say "drawn to the chest".

    Some shorter weaker bows were drawn straight back to the center of the chest. This would shorten the draw length from the archers kiss draw.

    What I meant by drawn to the chest is that the bow was drawn past the ear to the upper chest or right shoulder area. This would lengthen the draw.

    sorry,

    Curt

  5. #55
    Dan

    That is weird, we found the opposite. It might depend upon lots of factors- closeness and type of weave, fabric type, profile and sharpness of arrow head, weight and speed of arrow....

    Some further experimentation is needed (a good excuse to play with shooting stuff)

    Andy

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Cummins View Post
    Terry,

    It occurred to me that we are not talking about the same thing when we say "drawn to the chest".

    Some shorter weaker bows were drawn straight back to the center of the chest. This would shorten the draw length from the archers kiss draw.

    What I meant by drawn to the chest is that the bow was drawn past the ear to the upper chest or right shoulder area. This would lengthen the draw.

    sorry,

    Curt
    >
    Thanks Curt, that clears things up nicely.
    >
    Terry

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Harrington View Post
    Dan

    That is weird, we found the opposite. It might depend upon lots of factors- closeness and type of weave, fabric type, profile and sharpness of arrow head, weight and speed of arrow....

    Some further experimentation is needed (a good excuse to play with shooting stuff)

    Andy
    Definitely. I used good quality tablecloth linen (the closest modern approximation to ancient linen I could find); quilted 16 layers together with vertical stitches that were about 2cm apart; and rotated each layer 45 degrees. At the time I was testing various Greek linothorax constructions. Another very good material for bouncing bodkins is felt.

  8. #58
    I mostly used some really heavy linen I got off one of the UK re-enactment suppliers. Pretty dense standard weave, a bit like the cloth they used to make deck chairs out of (complete with stripes). This gave me a strong, thick gambeson for less cash as he charges the same price by the meter. I wasn't focussing on authenticity- just performance and cost.

    Outside 8 layers of this was a couple of layers of finer cloth on the outside. Overall there was 12 layers giving a weight of over 3kg/m^2 (6lb/sq yard).There was no vertical stitching as the gambeson I made out of the stuff didn't have any. (There was no way I was going to stitch 1cm thick thick of linen over 3 square meters.)

    I have a suspicion that herringbone weave cloth will be better as it has a bit of stretch. No proof yet.

    Andy

  9. #59
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    The quilting is critical. Vertical rows spaced closely together greatly improves its ability to resist arrows. The closer the rows, the more rigid the final product (take a look at modern kendo armour). If you then add horizontal rows (to create cross-hatching) the armour actually loses some of its arrow resistance. It is strange.

  10. #60
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    Excuse me if I'm asking something already answered, but I can't find another comment about this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Cummins View Post
    ... The bows were drawn to the chest, which imparts a lot more energy to the arrow, and were not aimed at individuals, but were area fire.
    This drawing to the chest imparts a lot more energy than what?
    I am honestly confused. Surely drawing the bow back as far as you can will impart the maximum energy to the arrow, and the chest isn't as far as can usually be drawn.

  11. #61
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Ulfric Douglas View Post
    Excuse me if I'm asking something already answered, but I can't find another comment about this.

    This drawing to the chest imparts a lot more energy than what?
    I am honestly confused. Surely drawing the bow back as far as you can will impart the maximum energy to the arrow, and the chest isn't as far as can usually be drawn.
    Michael,

    I used the wrong term in calling it a chest draw- probably should have said across the chest. You are correct, the draw was to the ear or past the ear with the head held to one side out of the way of the string.

    In other words the longest draw that the archer could make.

    sorry,

    Curt

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