So I had not shot a bow before joining the SCA. It was a parallel
I don't percieve period equipment being handicapped on scoring, when
shooting against modern equipment. The difference is the archer's
skill IMHO. I got to the point where I was doing okay with my Impala
recurve, and arrows of my own making. I felt for me, it was time to
embrace the way it used to be done. As my skill increases, I drop some
other aspect of moderninity (new word), and take on whatever skill set
I need to replace that.
So for example my equipment history over the last 3 years goes like
1st: Impala recurve 40#
2nd: American glass-backed laminated longbow. 55#
3rd: 72" horn nocked, hickory backed yew laminate longbow, made by me
1st 2 dozen: store bought.
2nd 3 dozen: made on a "one-up" fletching jig, pretty much variables
as the store bought arrows.
3rd 2 dozen: Made on a 6-up jig, with my own variables thrown in (draw
length, spine, plastic nocks).
4th X dozen: Currently in progress is a batch of 11/32 cedar arrows,
spined within 2 lbs of needed weight, with feathers cut on my own
chopper, glued and string wrapped on the shaft, self-nocked w/black
walnut inserts, and standard 125gr field point. Stained and gasket
After Estrella, is the plan to take the 3/8 square ash strips I have,
and make a set of battle shafts. I have the sources for the materials
that I don't have on hand (hide glue and Irish linen string). The plan
is then to make a dozen battle shafts for display, and then make
another set to shoot for target score.
So far, in my experience, there is much closer equipment type matching
required to sucessfully shoot a longbow. Weight, length, mass, spine,
pile weight, arrow height....all these errors are magnified it seems,
when shooting period type equipment.
I know that I can shoot a wide variance of arrows out of my recurve,
but I am only now getting very close to the arrow I need to shoot,
after 5 months of shooting, out of my longbow. That's okay.
My pursuit of archery, is to attain some high percentage of the skill
that archers had in period...to best the highest score I ever had with
my recurve (which isn't all that high ;) ), and re-learn those skills
which have been lost, or we are in the process of losing.
The bow I built, I wanted to shoot, and shoot alot. I was worried
about shooting a self-bow quite as much as I wanted to shoot, so this
bow is a hickory backed yew made of 2 laminations of hickory and 4 of
yew, horn nocked of course, a very very small wedge of leather wrapped
in the handle to serve as a arrow shelf. From more than 2 ft away, it
has all the appearances of a self-bow, which is why I call it my
"stealth self-bow). The hickory has the color of yew sapwood, and of
course adds to the overall strength of the bow. But I figured this bow
would outlast a selfbow, I hope I'm right.
So that's how I view my SCA archery experience, I'm selfish...it's all
mine...whatever I want to do, on top of the base requirement that the
SCA sets down.....all the research, the learning, the books....it's
all cool...way cool. Then, it gets even cooler when someone comes up
and says, "cool...can you teach/help me....?"