7581Re: [SCA-Archery] Apples and Oranges?
- Dec 1, 2001In an earlier post I stated that the crossbow provided an "unfair advantage"
due to its fixed string position and mechanical release. I would have been
more accurate to have stated the crossbow provides an "unfair mechanical
advantage," since I would be the first to acknowledge that shooting a period
style crossbow requires every bit as much knowledge, expertise, practice and
cussing as a handbow, just in different areas than the handbow.
For example, beyond the basics of shooting a handbow well, almost the
entirety of what I practice is to achieve the "mechanical" results that the
crossbow possesses as part of its design; a consistent draw length (anchor
point) and "mechanical" release (the non-effort that gets my fingers off the
string in the least invasive manner).
Truly, when my arrows do not go exactly where I intended I can almost always
point to one of these two factors as being the culprit - either I "let down"
or "crept" or my release was less than perfect. "Aim," in my belief (and
teaching) is the least of what directs my arrows to the proper part of the
target - Good form, including, most importantly a consistent anchor and
clean release, dictates the eventual placement of the arrow.
Conversly, when shooting a period crossbow, it everything about where the
butt of the bow is placed on (or in) my shoulder, how the bow is canted, how
I drew the string back, how the bolts are made and balanced, how I am
breathing when I actuate the mechanical release aid (trigger), etc. Again,
my practices become about being as "mechanical" as possible, doing all the
right things all the time, consistently.
Having said all that - and acknowledging the "balancing" factor of the
quicker rate of fire for the handbow vs the crossbow (with the exception of a
few crossbow shooters who have figured that one out as well) in the speed
rounds - I will still state that crossbows should not compete heads up
against handbows. It is historically accurate that crossbows supplanted
handbows in Europe as the "shaft thrower" of choice, only in turn to be
supplanted by the firearm. It is easier to learn to shoot the crossbow
effectively than it is to learn to shoot the handbow to the same level,
primarily due to its inherent "unfair mechanical advantages."
All the above is my personal opinion. It is based on what I can do with a
handbow and what I have learned to do with a period style crossbow over the
past five years. I invoke Master Ailean's name here as testimony that I
enjoy the crossbow and so am not tainted by a dislike of the apparatus - I
merely point out the differences.
Andras Truemark, OGGS
Ludicrous Bowman (Handbow)
Grandmaster Bowman (Crossbow)
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>