why I shoot longbow
I have been shooting archery in the SCA for about seven years now. I started out like many
of us up in Lions Gate, shooting a recurve. I learned aiming, form, tuning with this bow. I
learned about arrowmaking and grouping arrows with this bow.
I then started to shoot with various longbows loaned to me. My lord started creating his
own bows and I love shooting them. Shooting a longbow is a little different than shooting
a recurve. I find it to be a more "organic" experience, I feel more connected to my bow, my
arrows, and my surroundings. I think it makes me a better archer in total than I could be
with my recurve.
There are many archers in Lions Gate that will shoot recurves, there are many interested in
trying longbows. Those that have experimented with longbows often try other bows such
as Mongolian horsebows and Yumis. It is all very interesting and increases my enjoyment
of shooting archery. It is interesting discussing the various bows with people and
comparing how they all shoot.
I am 5' 3" and have a draw length of about 25 inches. My longbow is about 30 lbs. I have
shot a York with it (and even scored at 100 yds). I have 5/16th shafts with 4 inch feathers
and self-nocked. I try to look period because I enjoy the connection to the past as I do so.
My lord has made me a new English longbow of about 30 lbs. Due to an arm injury I am
slowly rushing back to shooting and find that my aiming points to 30 yards are still below
the butt. I expect to be aiming at the gold at 40 yards which makes this bow more likely to
perform a York to a higher performance than the previous longbow.
I have a number of Antir top ten medallions. Some of these medallions are for Period
Crossbow, another aspect of shooting I have tried and enjoyed. One medallion this year is
for shooting with a Period Open category bow that was bamboo with sinew that had a
draw weight of about 20 lbs.(talk about aiming for the sky at 40 yds!!). We call it "Slug"
because it has a slow inefficient cast, but what a hoot to see it score. Some medallions are
for Longbow, and Period Longbow.
Shooting in the SCA should be about the fun and camaraderie of it all. The ability to
exchange information and ideas should be encouraged and easy to do. That is one reason
for this list and I have found the archives to be very useful at times. When we talk to
eachother we should also listen and respect the perspective the other people are coming
All good bows (recurves, longbows, compounds, Horsebows, Yumis) work. All good arrows
(period, modern, cedar, ash, etc.) work. It is a matter of finding the right match for the
HL Margaret Hamilton of Stirlingshire