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Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Splitting hairs about splitting arrows

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  • mark s graves
    I have split several aroows with my 37 lbs. recurve, but there are two things to note. My furthest split is about 8 inches, while most only penetrate 2-3
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 28, 2005
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      I have split several aroows with my 37 lbs. recurve, but there are two
      things to note. My furthest split is about 8 inches, while most only
      penetrate 2-3 inches before deflecting. I usually just shot the nock
      off. With the points we use in the SCA it is much more diificult to do
      this. If we used medieval hunting points or the standard war point it
      would be much easier. The key to splitting an arrow is practice,
      practice and practice-resulting in doing the same thing every time.
      Other factors include the type of wood, how straight is the grain of the
      wood and the wind/luck factor. Something that surprises me, is that I
      haven't accomplished this feat more with cross bow. I have only done it
      twice, compared to eight times with my recurve.....William Ross of Skye
    • Cian of Storvik
      I agree if they didn t do it from a large enough distance the archer s paradox would have affected the travel of the arrow making a dead-on strike super hard.
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 4 8:58 AM
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        I agree if they didn't do it from a large enough distance the
        archer's paradox would have affected the travel of the arrow making
        a dead-on strike super hard.
        Although the renfesters trying to split an arrow must have been
        cute. I would deem it highly unlikely, not because of their
        accuracy, but we as reenactors/SCA members tend to use light weight
        bows (30-50#) compared to a period bow which would have been atleast
        90# and possibly even closer to the weights that Howard Hill hunted
        with (130#-176#).
        To split a piece of wood 27"-32" in length would require a very
        considerable amount of force, even though the wood could idealy
        spread apart and out of the way like a banana (and unlike a broad
        piece wooden board which would grip the arrow like a target butt),
        the friction imposed upon the splitting arrow would slow it down
        geometrically as it traveled down the shaft of the arrow.
        And also, our mass produced cedar shafts don't tend to split as much
        as shatter with impacts. Yes they do split and I have several arrows
        sitting near by as I type this that have long angular cracks in
        them. But when get hit by successive arrows they are as likely to
        shatter (break off clean from the shockwave force) as they are to
        shard. Poplar and ash shafts probably wouldn't be much better.
        The other comment I heard early on was "How thick are the shafts?"
        Diameter of the shaft could increase the arrow's ability to take a
        direct hit and split the length. If they were trying to split 5/16"
        dowels compared to 1/2", would increase the difficulty further, not
        only on chance of hitting, but the wood's ability to sustain a blade
        passing through it.
        Not sure how one would go about making the calculations, but
        wouldn't that be a great thesis for an mathmatical/engineering
        student? To prove or disprove the ability of splitting a piece of
        wood with a solid blade force the entire length, the required odds
        of proper angular impact, friction imposed on the cutting arrow.

        How did they do it in Adven. Robin Hood?
        I believe that they had Howard Hill make the shot all right. He hit
        the dead center of that arrow that was filmed, but they probably had
        a razor thin cut down the shaft from point to nock, and just glued
        it together at the nock before the call for "ACTION!". When Hill hit
        the back of the arrow, the splitting arrow broke-loose that bit of
        glue at the nock and continued undisturbed to the center of the
        target through a pre-cut channel.
        Since Hill isn't alive to take on the challenge today it would be
        interesting to see if someone could get in touch with Byron Ferguson
        and see if he's ever been able to do it...if so, he could bust the
        myth busters.
        Because we can concieve of it being done, I would never say it's
        impossible. Even though the precept of accuracy and force needed to
        hit a 3/8" dowel straight on and split it's 28" length seems
        unimaginable, it's just as unimaginable to me that someone can hit
        asprin tablets tossed into the air. Now...if he were hitting gel
        caps or caplets...that I could see ;)
        -Cian
      • Jeffrey Webb
        Greetings, Now I m going to split hairs a little bit, I m sorry Cian, though I agree with most of what you wrote, I must make a correction. I ve read a lot
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 4 12:56 PM
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          Greetings,
          Now I'm going to split hairs a little bit,
          I'm sorry Cian, though I agree with most of what you wrote, I must make a correction.
          I've read a lot about Howard Hill and I've seen the films of him shooting and on a hunt. The average draw weight of his hunting bows was in the 100# range going up a bit higher for the "Big Five" safari in Africa. (awesome enough and quite powerful enough). I can't recall ever reading of him hunting with a bow in the 170# range. I can't imagine anyone pulling a bow that heavy in a hunting situation.
          For his trick shots, he used a lighter poundage bow (for him) in the 60# - 90# range. He developed the bamboo laminate "American" longbow which was long and VERY easy on the draw and doesn't stack that badly although if you try shooting it holding the grip like a recurve, you'll get a hand shock that'll loosen all the fillings in your teeth.
          I normally shoot longbows in the 70#-95# range and I use 23/64" or 3/8" shafts.
          I sharpen my field points to avoid "bounce outs" (that happens in hollows even with heavy draw weight bows). I have "banana peel" split two arrows in my times on the line and I have seen it done by others several times (though NEVER as the second shot into the center of a target). An archer that is grouping well will break many of their own arrows and others in the gold. The odds are that you will occassionally get that "one shot" that hits the arrow "dead center" on the same trajectory and that kind of split happens, whether it's Port Orford Cedar, Ash,Oak or whatever.
          When I "paper test" my bow and arrows, I put the paper out at about 12 yards. By then, my arrow usually straightens out. If I start getting tears, I know I need to make adjusments to my nocking point, arrow spine, shelf or my release is sloppy. I have found that 12 yards is my marker for that. I reccommend that traditional archers use the paper test, it's great training for working on your release......and then you can tell people that you're "paper trained" ;-P
          -Geoffrei



          -----Original Message-----
          From: Cian of Storvik
          Sent: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 08:58:33 -0700
          To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [SCA-Archery] Splitting hairs about splitting arrows

          I agree if they didn't do it from a large enough distance the
          archer's paradox would have affected the travel of the arrow making
          a dead-on strike super hard.
          Although the renfesters trying to split an arrow must have been
          cute. I would deem it highly unlikely, not because of their
          accuracy, but we as reenactors/SCA members tend to use light weight
          bows (30-50#) compared to a period bow which would have been atleast
          90# and possibly even closer to the weights that Howard Hill hunted
          with (130#-176#).
          To split a piece of wood 27"-32" in length would require a very
          considerable amount of force, even though the wood could idealy
          spread apart and out of the way like a banana (and unlike a broad
          piece wooden board which would grip the arrow like a target butt),
          the friction imposed upon the splitting arrow would slow it down
          geometrically as it traveled down the shaft of the arrow.
          And also, our mass produced cedar shafts don't tend to split as much
          as shatter with impacts. Yes they do split and I have several arrows
          sitting near by as I type this that have long angular cracks in
          them. But when get hit by successive arrows they are as likely to
          shatter (break off clean from the shockwave force) as they are to
          shard. Poplar and ash shafts probably wouldn't be much better.
          The other comment I heard early on was "How thick are the shafts?"
          Diameter of the shaft could increase the arrow's ability to take a
          direct hit and split the length. If they were trying to split 5/16"
          dowels compared to 1/2", would increase the difficulty further, not
          only on chance of hitting, but the wood's ability to sustain a blade
          passing through it.
          Not sure how one would go about making the calculations, but
          wouldn't that be a great thesis for an mathmatical/engineering
          student? To prove or disprove the ability of splitting a piece of
          wood with a solid blade force the entire length, the required odds
          of proper angular impact, friction imposed on the cutting arrow.

          How did they do it in Adven. Robin Hood?
          I believe that they had Howard Hill make the shot all right. He hit
          the dead center of that arrow that was filmed, but they probably had
          a razor thin cut down the shaft from point to nock, and just glued
          it together at the nock before the call for "ACTION!". When Hill hit
          the back of the arrow, the splitting arrow broke-loose that bit of
          glue at the nock and continued undisturbed to the center of the
          target through a pre-cut channel.
          Since Hill isn't alive to take on the challenge today it would be
          interesting to see if someone could get in touch with Byron Ferguson
          and see if he's ever been able to do it...if so, he could bust the
          myth busters.
          Because we can concieve of it being done, I would never say it's
          impossible. Even though the precept of accuracy and force needed to
          hit a 3/8" dowel straight on and split it's 28" length seems
          unimaginable, it's just as unimaginable to me that someone can hit
          asprin tablets tossed into the air. Now...if he were hitting gel
          caps or caplets...that I could see ;)
          -Cian





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        • Scott B. Jaqua
          From a movie trivia site about the 1938 film Robin Hood. Heavily padded stunt players and actors were paid $150 per arrow for being shot by professional
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 4 2:36 PM
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            From a movie trivia site about the 1938 film Robin Hood.

            " Heavily padded stunt players and actors were paid $150 per arrow for
            being shot by professional archer Howard Hill
            <http://boards.imdb.com/name/nm0384325/>, who also played the captain of
            the archers, whom Robin Hood defeats in the tournament by splitting his
            own arrow. Splitting the arrow was Hill's feat, too, done in one take
            with no trick photography."

            So if better documentation can be found for this statement, then perhaps
            the myth busters should be told. I mean lets face it, nothing they did
            in testing the myth could hold a candle to an archery legend like Howard
            Hill.

            Did Mr Hill ever write of his experiences on the set of Robin Hood?

            Oh! the trivia site also named the Golden Palomino horse that Olivia de
            Havilland rides in the film. Seems she got to ride the Wonder Horse
            before Roy Rodgers did, yup! it's none other then the original Trigger!

            Njall
          • Cian of Storvik
            From the Longbow; a social and military history by Robert Hardy. In 1928, Using a 172 lb (78kg) bow he shot an arrow 391 yards 23 inches (358.1
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 4 8:00 PM
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              From the Longbow; a social and military history by Robert Hardy.
              "In 1928, Using a 172 lb (78kg) bow he <Howard Hill> shot an arrow 391
              yards 23 inches (358.1 meters)"
              and
              "The great American longbow maker and hunter, Howard Hill, who died in
              1974, habitually used bows of well over 100 lb. draw weight. One
              weighing 172 lb. (78kg).
              I believe I read somewhere that he downed an elephant with an
              enormously heavy bow as well (in the 150+ lb. range).
              I don't know if ther is veracity to these statements.
              I don't doubt that you can split an arrow with a 70 lb. bow. I
              wouldn't say it's impossible to do it with a 20# bow! But my brain is
              thinking; my 42# bow stops penetrating 2" into a 1/8" piece of
              cardboard at 40 yards. What are the odds it would have enough force to
              split a 28" solid piece of wood lengthwise like a fell axe blow?
              -Cian
            • Joseph E Rogers
              Something to keep in mind about splitting wood. Once you start the split, depending on the type of wood, the effort to finish the split can be almost
              Message 6 of 7 , Aug 5 7:36 AM
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                Something to keep in mind about splitting wood. Once you start the split,
                depending on the type of wood, the effort to finish the split can be
                almost nonexistant. It's not like driving a nail where it just keeps
                getting harder. Often when splitting wood with an axe, after the first
                inch is split, the rest of the log is also split and the axe falls through.
                I would expect a broadhead arrow to act in a simular fashion.

                James Cunningham, do you have an opinion?


                Josef
              • James W. Pratt, Jr.
                I think the key is not so much the force, because I have split shafts going through a plastic nocks and the shaft tapper. The key is to keep the arrow that is
                Message 7 of 7 , Aug 5 10:32 AM
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                  I think the key is not so much the force, because I have split shafts going
                  through a plastic nocks and the shaft tapper. The key is to keep the arrow
                  that is doing the splitting from defecting as it hits the nock so it can
                  split the whole arrow and then stick in the back of the first arrow head.
                  In the Robin Hood with Howard Hill the tips looked like 300 grain brass
                  botkins which would help to keep the arrow on track as it was slidding down
                  the inside of the first arrow.

                  James Cunningham


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Joseph E Rogers" <joe@...>
                  To: <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Friday, August 05, 2005 10:36 AM
                  Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Splitting hairs about splitting arrows


                  > Something to keep in mind about splitting wood. Once you start the split,
                  > depending on the type of wood, the effort to finish the split can be
                  > almost nonexistant. It's not like driving a nail where it just keeps
                  > getting harder. Often when splitting wood with an axe, after the first
                  > inch is split, the rest of the log is also split and the axe falls
                  through.
                  > I would expect a broadhead arrow to act in a simular fashion.
                  >
                  > James Cunningham, do you have an opinion?
                  >
                  >
                  > Josef
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                  > Brought to you YahooGroups Ad Free in 2003 by Medieval Mart
                  > Get Medieval at Mad Macsen's http://www.medievalmart.com/
                  >
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                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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