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16866Re: [SCA-Archery] Arrow Length

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  • Bruce R. Gordon
    Dec 28, 2004
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      There is something of an advantage to keeping your arrows as short
      as they can be while still being safe - but, there are a number of
      archers who would disagree with that. A lot depends on your personal
      style, and what seems to work best for you.
      Here are the issues:
      1). Arrows need to be a certain minimum length, which is equal to
      drawlength plus a noodge or two. Why? Because if they are too short,
      and you happen to overdraw a bit, you end up with a potential for an...
      um, extremely interesting and dramatically random shot as the arrow
      wanders inside and around the bow. You might end up shooting your own
      bow, which makes an amazing sound as the arrow explodes into splinters.
      In front of your face. So, bottom line is, drawlength plus a few inches.
      2). Why not much, much longer? Well, some archers feel that the
      shorter the arrow, the lighter the arrow, the farther the cast for
      poundage expended. And they also note that very long arrows will tend
      to porpoise or fishtail more in flight. But, others will note that a
      longer arrow means a heavier arrow means a more stable arrow in flight.
      So go figure.
      In period, they used "clothyard" shafts, which probably weren't 36
      inches but more like 29 to 32. But they deliberately overdraw to their
      chests, so they needed the extra length. And they wanted heavier, more
      massive missiles, to penetrate deeper.
      So it ends up to what I said at the beginning, drawlength plus
      enough extra to be safe, and after that, whatever seems to be best for
      your kind of shooting style.


      > What's the recommended arrow length? The arrows I currently have for
      > longbow are cut to my drawlength, but recently I had someone tell me
      > should be drawlength + 4 inches.
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