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Re: [SCA-Archery] handbows vs. crossbows at Gulf Wars

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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 1 of 5 , Apr 1, 2006
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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 2 of 5 , Apr 1, 2006
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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
        >
        > __________________________________________________
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        >
      • 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 3 of 5 , Apr 2, 2006
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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 4 of 5 , Apr 2, 2006
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            James,
            Could you contact me off list please?

            Christophe of Grey
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