The Different Types Of Archery Bows
Archery is now a very popular sport and hobby all over the planet, but once, long ago, it was even more widespread. Every army had bowmen and men hunted with bows for food. Every country or every region invented its own particular design of bow and therefore, even nowadays, there are many different styles of archery bows. Modern technology has meant that new varieties of archery bows are still being invented.
Some bows were invented by people who rode horses a lot. These bows were shorter, other bows were intended for long range shooting and these bows were longer. I will list some of the main varieties of archery bows below with a short explanation of each
The traditional Welsh or English longbow was made from a single length of yew (or other wood) at least the size of the bowman, but up to about six feet six inches (two metres). It was ‘D’ shaped in profile with the flat, bark side, facing away from the string. The curved inner side followed the natural growth rings of the branch. The timber itself was seasoned for two years.
The draw weight of a longbow was between 160-180 pounds, which is hard to accomplish by modern man. In the days of the longbow, in the Middle Ages, men and boys were obliged by law to do target practice with longbows at the village butts every Sunday. The target range for a man was to be no less than 220 yards by order of king Henry VIII.
The longbow was used to devastating effect as long range (400 yards) artillery by the British army at Crecy in 1346 and Agincourt in 1415, raining deadly three ounce, three foot long arrows down on the enemy. As the armies drew closer the longbow could be used accurately to aim at individual targets. Not long after these great victories, which can be ascribed to the archers and their longbows, bows were replaced as military weapons by firearms.
Flat bows, just as the longbow, can be over six feet long, are not recurved and can be crafted out of a single length of wood. However, they are rectangular in profile, not ‘D’ shaped.
Short bows are similar to longbows or flat bows in every detail except size and because they are shorter, they do not have the potential or the distance of the other bows. Sort bows are easy to carry and easier to use in confined situations like woods or a forest, so they were used mostly for hunting small animals.
Recurve bows are more effective that any other bow inch for inch of length. The tips of a recurve point frontward when the bow is unstrung and look odd to the uninitiated. The recurve was very common from the Mediterranean to the Far East from about 2000 BC until 1700 AD. Nowadays, the recurve is the only type of bow permitted to be used in the Olympic Games.
Compound bows use very stiff materials in their assembly so have pulleys or cams to help bend or draw the bow. This mechanical aid to drawing the bow to the best distance means less physical force on behalf of the archer, which means that the archer con concentrate on the target more.
Crossbows have the limbs mounted horizontally on a length of timber and the draw string is held by mechanical means until it is let loose with a trigger. The arrow, or bolt, is much shorter. They are practically half-way houses to firearms.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on several subjects, but is currently concerned with archery recurve bows. If you would like to know more or for special deals, please go to our website at Kids Archery Set.
Filed under: Martial Arts
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