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16037Re: [SCA-Archery] Event differences/Seeking advice

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  • John Rossignol
    Sep 1, 2004
      Sharon Macielinski wrote:

      >Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're stuck with the 20/30/40 business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh well!

      Actually, timed shoots make a lot of sense, if you think historically.
      Imagine the enemy charging your firing line, and they are going to
      reach you in a few seconds unless you shoot them all...

      As far as the 20/30/40-yard targets...well, you have to learn to walk
      before you can run. Actually, one of the best things you can do as a
      beginner is to not worry about aiming at a target at all, but just
      practice your draw, anchor, and release.

      >Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my instructor is trying to tell me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because I wanted a heavier bow and am frustrated trying to figure out the "arc" thing in order to hit the target accurately.

      If you are really only drawing 26 pounds, then the politest way I can
      put this is to say that your instructor is not being very realistic.
      Reaching the target is not the same thing as hitting it, and I have
      seen a lot of arrows from weak bows simply bounce off the hay bales at
      30 and 40 yards even when they did hit them. See my comments below your
      bottom paragraph.

      >My form and anchor points are just fine, so my difficulty is figuring out how far above the target to aim... even with a good anchor point/release I get random arrow speeds!! ANY HINTS?

      Aiming high above the target is tough, because you seldom have anything
      handy up in the sky to use as an aiming point, and it's easy to lose
      track of where the target is. What many archers do in this situation is
      to use an anchor point on their chest or stomach -- a technique commonly
      used in clout shooting. This allows them to sight over the tip of a
      steeply-angled arrow without having to look way up into the sky.
      Exactly how high to aim is something you will have to work out by trial
      and error, since every bow and person is different.

      If you are truly getting *random* arrow speeds, then I suspect that your
      draw, anchor, and release are not as consistent as you think. A high
      degree of consistency in these actions is the very foundation of good
      archery, and generally takes years of practice to achieve. Even very
      small variations can cause quite an effect on the flight of an arrow.

      The only other random factors affecting arrow speed would be the wind,
      and maybe disintegrating equipment (unlikely). A non-random factor
      could be mismatched arrows, especially with differences in spine and/or
      fletching. I say non-random because, if all other factors are uniform,
      the same arrow should fly approximately the same every time you shoot
      it. Unless the wind is gusting, though, the greatest source of
      randomness is the archer.

      >Also, I don't believe that I would have no advantage with a higher poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight more accurate/consistent than one that has to arc to hit a target?

      You are entirely correct in thinking that higher arrow velocity should
      increase your accuracy, and for two main reasons.

      The first is that a faster arrow can reach a given target with a flatter
      trajectory than can a slower arrow ( I assume that is what you mean by
      "an arrow that flies straight"). The advantage here is that, as you
      have noted, it makes aiming much easier -- no aiming up in the sky to
      reach targets that are only 40 yards away.

      The second is that a faster arrow will be less affected by wind. There
      are three aspects of this. 1) Since the faster arrow will be in the air
      for a shorter time before reaching the target, there is less time for
      the prevailing wind to act upon it. 2) Since it will be in the air for
      a shorter time, there is less chance that it will be affected by a
      *change* in the wind that occurs while it is in flight. We can learn to
      compensate for steady wind, but gusts and lulls are unpredictable. 3)
      An arrow shot in a high arc is often exposed to wind of greater force
      and different direction that the wind closer to the ground.

      Except for the wind factor, I can't think of anything that would make a
      faster arrow inherently more consistent than a slower one.
      Inconsistency is almost always due to the archer.

      When trying to get your arrows to fly faster, it is important to
      remember that a heavier draw weight is only one contributing factor.
      Another is the efficiency of the bow -- how fast it throws the arrow
      per pound of draw weight. Some bow designs are more efficient than
      others, and within any particular design some individual bows are more
      efficient than others because of the materials and craftsmanship
      involved. If you can, try some different types of bow. Some of the
      recurved designs are not only more efficient than a longbow, but are
      actually much easier to draw at the same poundage.

      Another thing you can do is to use an anchor point which gives you a
      longer draw length, i.e. to your cheek or your ear instead of your chin.
      Traditional Japanese archers draw all the way to the shoulder. A
      longer draw generally increases the effective draw weight of a bow.

      Arrow weight also has an effect on arrow velocity, but it can be pro or
      con according to distance and shooting conditions. The most important
      thing, as far as weight, is that your arrows all be the same.

      All this being said, it is still very important to not use a bow that is
      too heavy for you *right now*. You can injure yourself, and you can
      develop very bad form and habits. Most of us wish we could shoot
      heavier bows, but we have to let reality be our guide. Your muscles
      will gain strength fairly rapidly if you draw your bow a lot, but it
      doesn't do to anticipate too much. The best rule of thumb that I have
      heard for choosing a good draw weight is one posted on this list by
      Carolus Eulenhorst, so I will quote him here: "As to poundage, the best
      thing is to go to practice and try pulling different bows. Find a weight
      you can just hold at full draw for ten seconds. if you can hold longer
      the you will outgrow the bow quickly and if you can't hold that long the
      bow is too heavy for you (overbowed)."

      If you are serious about archery, please believe me that in the early
      stages it is actually far more important for you to work on your draw,
      anchor, and release than it is to hit 40-yard targets -- or any targets,
      for that matter. And you should do it with a bow that you can draw
      easily. I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but it will really pay

      >It's like a crossbow would have no advantage! Hmmmmm....
      Sorry, I don't understand this comment.

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