I think we need to be careful here as we are discussing different
cultures, different locations, and different time periods in many
It would only appear that bodkin type points were the only heads
that might have been loose headed - bees wax or tree pitch. The
bodkin was initially designed to go through mail and later
modified to go through thin plate. They were used by European
cultures primarily who were wearing mail, leather, and plate
I don't know enough about mongol archery to know if the
mongols ever used a bodkin type point. My understanding is that
most of their arrowheads were tanged and not socketed. I doubt
that a mongol head would be loose.
A barbed arrow is intended to inflict its initial damage and then
inflict additional damage when the arrow is removed. You want a
barbed arrowhead to be attached firmly. The silk would wrap
around the barbs making it easier to extract the arrow with
inflicting the additional damage.
A bodkin point has no barbs. It will not do any additional damage
when it is extracted. But if you can leave part of the arrow, like a
three inch piece of sharp pointy iron, in the wound, then it can
cause damage when the person moves.
Has anyone tried penetration tests with silk armour? It sounds
great but I am also reminded of the Sioux Ghost Shirt. While it
would be most accurate to test it using the bows and arrows that
would have been used against it, I would love to hear how a
bodkin point affected it.