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handbows vs. crossbows at Gulf Wars

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  • Eric Francis
    Greetings Egil and all: I want to add to the discussion some of my own observations as the guy running the Gulf Wars Prize Shoot. First of all, Egil, yes: You
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 1 7:30 PM
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      Greetings Egil and all:

      I want to add to the discussion some of my own observations as the
      guy running the Gulf Wars Prize Shoot.

      First of all, Egil, yes: You did see crossbowyers doing
      exceptionally well in comparision to handbowyers. However, I want to
      point out that many of the crossbowyers there are people of
      exceptional skill who have shot their weapons many, many years,
      including James Cunningham, Lynette Davejean, Thomas of Cologne. So
      I was little surprised that those crossbowyers frequently came out
      on top or near it.

      At the same time, what Nigel and others have pointed out is true:
      The crossbow has certain mechanical advantages. However, for someone
      just starting out with the crossbow there are obstacles to overcome:
      It is much heavier than a handbow, so it requires greater strength
      and stamina to hold steady over the course of, say, a Royal Round or
      IKAC. The cocking and loading process is more involved and has a
      steeper learning curve than just putting an arrow on a string.
      Still, once you overcome these, you gain the benefits of its design
      -- and that's why they were designed, after all, to be better than
      the handbow.

      In our lands of Gleann Abhann (and, before its elevation, in most of
      Meridies), the crossbow is a foreign thing. Few people shoot them;
      Ronan MacMorton is the only one I can name right away. I even have a
      Cunningham that I don't shoot because I damaged the string and
      there's no one around here who can make me one! (Is that a lame
      excuse or what, James?) But all you have to do is go to the Middle,
      Calontir, Ansteorra or other realms and you'll see crossbows
      aplenty. I suspect they'll eventually become more popular down here,
      too.

      Next year at the Prize Series, there will be separate divisions for
      handbow and crossbow. This is in part to address some lingering
      feelings of unfairness, but it's also because, I'm pleased to say,
      we drew about twice as many participants as last year's shoot, and I
      expect continued growth. I've had offers from people willing to make
      prizes for both divisions, so there'll be more loot to spread
      around. I'm hoping at some point to also incorporate kingdom Royal
      Round rankings by letting people shoot only against those in their
      own ranking category, to further even the playing field.

      I'm a dedicated handbowyer. I'll shoot my Cunningham (once I replace
      the blasted string) because I want to get to know crossbows better,
      so I can better train my marshals and populace about them, but I'll
      probably never switch unless I simply can't pull my longbow anymore.
      Until then, I'll always have a goal: Practice enough that I can take
      Nigel! See, crossbows are good for something, after all!

      In service,

      THL Peregrine Fairchylde
      Gleann Abhann DEMLW

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    • James W. Pratt, Jr.
      Confirm your address, number of strands and prod type or number and I will make you a new one and send it to you!!!! James Cunningham I even have a
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 1 8:51 PM
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        Confirm your address, number of strands and prod type or number and I will
        make you a new one and send it to you!!!!

        James Cunningham

        I even have a
        > Cunningham that I don't shoot because I damaged the string and
        > there's no one around here who can make me one! (Is that a lame
        > excuse or what, James?)
      • Egil Haraldsson
        THL Peregrine Fairchylde, You, without a doubt made my time at the range very enjoyable, your advice and encouragement allowed me to get better even with such
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 1 10:48 PM
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          THL Peregrine Fairchylde,
          You, without a doubt made my time at the range very enjoyable,
          your advice and encouragement allowed me to get better even with
          such a short time to do so. I am still very much in the learning
          curve and only stated my observation in an attempt to learn from it.
          I look forward to this discussion with the open mind of a layman.

          Please be sure that I in no way intended to reduce anyones skill
          level or dedication to practice in either bow or crossbow. I have
          shot both, crossbow and recurve, as a combat archer. I hold both
          heavy weapon and archery stamps on my card. So I understand the
          skills, somewhat, needed to shoot the crossbow and I hold on high
          those that can use the crossbow with the skill needed to shoot high
          scores.

          Again I am looking through a new target archers eyes. Shooting
          with unfamiliar arrows on a bow that was not tuned to those arrows
          and with my limited experience with target shooting. What I
          remembered most about shooting the crossbow was that once I shot it
          a few times, less that 20 shots, I was able to hit the target with
          much better accuracy than I did with the longbow after shooting many
          more arrows.

          The mechanics to me was no different than shooting a rifle.
          Kneeling or sitting crosslegged is a basic shooting technique taught
          by the miltary. Once in that position you have a very stable
          platform from which to shoot. What I was finding with the longbow
          was that there were many more influances to the shot. Foot position,
          shoulder turn, drawing to the same anchor point..etc.

          I was not really concidering the discussion of modern mechanical
          technology but even the basic, hand carved wooden stock of a well
          made crossbow still allows the stable platform from which to shoot.
          I have not enough experience to fully yet understand the scoring
          ratios of crossbow vs handbow. I fully hope that one day soon, with
          practice and dedication, be able to compete on the level that would
          give me the chance to win at a shoot. I intend to continue with the
          handbow as my primary target bow and yes I will still use the
          crossbow during field battles as I tend to shoot it better with the
          helm on.

          Thanks for the feedback. I think open discussions like this when
          tempered with an open mind leads us as a group to better ourselves
          and maybe give us a goal to shoot at.

          YIS,
          Egil

          --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Eric Francis <squirrelhenge@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Greetings Egil and all:
          >
          > I want to add to the discussion some of my own observations as the
          > guy running the Gulf Wars Prize Shoot.
          >
          > First of all, Egil, yes: You did see crossbowyers doing
          > exceptionally well in comparision to handbowyers. However, I want
          to
          > point out that many of the crossbowyers there are people of
          > exceptional skill who have shot their weapons many, many years,
          > including James Cunningham, Lynette Davejean, Thomas of Cologne. So
          > I was little surprised that those crossbowyers frequently came out
          > on top or near it.
          >
          > At the same time, what Nigel and others have pointed out is true:
          > The crossbow has certain mechanical advantages. However, for
          someone
          > just starting out with the crossbow there are obstacles to
          overcome:
          > It is much heavier than a handbow, so it requires greater strength
          > and stamina to hold steady over the course of, say, a Royal Round
          or
          > IKAC. The cocking and loading process is more involved and has a
          > steeper learning curve than just putting an arrow on a string.
          > Still, once you overcome these, you gain the benefits of its design
          > -- and that's why they were designed, after all, to be better than
          > the handbow.
          >
          > In our lands of Gleann Abhann (and, before its elevation, in most
          of
          > Meridies), the crossbow is a foreign thing. Few people shoot them;
          > Ronan MacMorton is the only one I can name right away. I even have
          a
          > Cunningham that I don't shoot because I damaged the string and
          > there's no one around here who can make me one! (Is that a lame
          > excuse or what, James?) But all you have to do is go to the Middle,
          > Calontir, Ansteorra or other realms and you'll see crossbows
          > aplenty. I suspect they'll eventually become more popular down
          here,
          > too.
          >
          > Next year at the Prize Series, there will be separate divisions for
          > handbow and crossbow. This is in part to address some lingering
          > feelings of unfairness, but it's also because, I'm pleased to say,
          > we drew about twice as many participants as last year's shoot, and
          I
          > expect continued growth. I've had offers from people willing to
          make
          > prizes for both divisions, so there'll be more loot to spread
          > around. I'm hoping at some point to also incorporate kingdom Royal
          > Round rankings by letting people shoot only against those in their
          > own ranking category, to further even the playing field.
          >
          > I'm a dedicated handbowyer. I'll shoot my Cunningham (once I
          replace
          > the blasted string) because I want to get to know crossbows better,
          > so I can better train my marshals and populace about them, but I'll
          > probably never switch unless I simply can't pull my longbow
          anymore.
          > Until then, I'll always have a goal: Practice enough that I can
          take
          > Nigel! See, crossbows are good for something, after all!
          >
          > In service,
          >
          > THL Peregrine Fairchylde
          > Gleann Abhann DEMLW
          >
          > __________________________________________________
          > Do You Yahoo!?
          > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
          > http://mail.yahoo.com
          >
        • Carolus von Eulenhorst
          Egil, You make an important point here. Before getting there, I would like to point out that many of the top crossbow shooters began as handbow shooters and
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 2 12:11 AM
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            Egil,
            You make an important point here. Before getting there, I would like
            to point out that many of the top crossbow shooters began as handbow
            shooters and developed certain discipline there which transferred to
            their crossbow. Now I would like to address something you pointed
            out in the 4th paragraph below. It appears you have some familiarity
            with rifles and possibly military shooting styles. This gives you a
            predisposition to doing well with a crossbow. You are not coming to
            it blindly with no point of reference. This applies to many other
            members of our society as well. Because the technology of the
            crossbow is so similar to one with which we already familiar, it is
            much easier to accommodate to it. The handbow, on the other hand
            requires an approach and physical action with which we are not so
            much familiar. Thus, the learning curve is much different. When I
            began shooting in the SCA, it was rather easy for me to post good
            scores (I believe I posted high bowman in my first Royal round) but I
            already had 12 years of shooting including 2 years of college level
            competition behind me. Now the technology of the handbow was
            different than that which I was used to and I had to adjust to not
            having sights, stabilizers, and very carefully matched precision
            arrows. But I had learned the discipline of shooting a
            handbow. That made the rest easy. I am not sure that someone coming
            without any similar knowledge to the crossbow would do so well as
            you, and others, have. One of the things we often fail to take into
            account in the SCA is the amount of knowledge we have of the methods
            of the past when we start this pursuit. In many things we are
            predisposed to do well. As we reach into fields further from our
            modern experience, we find them much more difficult.
            Carolus

            At 09:48 PM 4/1/2006, you wrote:

            >THL Peregrine Fairchylde,
            > You, without a doubt made my time at the range very enjoyable,
            >your advice and encouragement allowed me to get better even with
            >such a short time to do so. I am still very much in the learning
            >curve and only stated my observation in an attempt to learn from it.
            >I look forward to this discussion with the open mind of a layman.
            >
            > Please be sure that I in no way intended to reduce anyones skill
            >level or dedication to practice in either bow or crossbow. I have
            >shot both, crossbow and recurve, as a combat archer. I hold both
            >heavy weapon and archery stamps on my card. So I understand the
            >skills, somewhat, needed to shoot the crossbow and I hold on high
            >those that can use the crossbow with the skill needed to shoot high
            >scores.
            >
            > Again I am looking through a new target archers eyes. Shooting
            >with unfamiliar arrows on a bow that was not tuned to those arrows
            >and with my limited experience with target shooting. What I
            >remembered most about shooting the crossbow was that once I shot it
            >a few times, less that 20 shots, I was able to hit the target with
            >much better accuracy than I did with the longbow after shooting many
            >more arrows.
            >
            > The mechanics to me was no different than shooting a rifle.
            >Kneeling or sitting crosslegged is a basic shooting technique taught
            >by the miltary. Once in that position you have a very stable
            >platform from which to shoot. What I was finding with the longbow
            >was that there were many more influances to the shot. Foot position,
            >shoulder turn, drawing to the same anchor point..etc.
            >
            > I was not really concidering the discussion of modern mechanical
            >technology but even the basic, hand carved wooden stock of a well
            >made crossbow still allows the stable platform from which to shoot.
            >I have not enough experience to fully yet understand the scoring
            >ratios of crossbow vs handbow. I fully hope that one day soon, with
            >practice and dedication, be able to compete on the level that would
            >give me the chance to win at a shoot. I intend to continue with the
            >handbow as my primary target bow and yes I will still use the
            >crossbow during field battles as I tend to shoot it better with the
            >helm on.
            >
            > Thanks for the feedback. I think open discussions like this when
            >tempered with an open mind leads us as a group to better ourselves
            >and maybe give us a goal to shoot at.
            >
            >YIS,
            >Egil


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          • John Atkins
            James, Could you contact me off list please? Christophe of Grey
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 2 3:28 PM
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              James,
              Could you contact me off list please?

              Christophe of Grey
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