Re: Crossbows vs Others
- Sir Jon brings up excellent points regarding the "legality" of crossbows with rifle stocks and rear sights. However, I think the larger question, and perhaps perception, is that a crossbow has an advantage over a handbow. This is a discussion we have long had here in Atlantia. I would also point out that one of our top archer's shoots a crossbow with a stock that is quite frankly, a piece of fire wood from his wood pile! So the issue becomes two fold, type of shoot and skill of archer.
Atlantia has had many Royal Archers, Atlantian archer champions, who shoot handbow and some with crossbow. They won that award while shooting against each other. For a new archer, crossbows tend to cost more than a first handbow. Thus most crossbow shooters are experienced archers and have practiced a great deal with their weapon. That is not to say handbow shooters do not practice. It does say that a new archer is much more likely to start with an inexpensive handbow rather than a more expensive crossbow, physical issues aside.
The other issue is the actual shot. I have set shooting stations where the target was fairly close behind a blind/wall. Clearly this shot favors handbows where archers can let down the draw and lob the arrow over the wall to hit the target. That is something one can not do with a crossbow. Typically timed shoots favor handbows as well. Although here in Atlantia that is not the case. Our top crossbow shooters are getting off about 9 shafts in 30 seconds either standing or sitting! Again, that comes back to practice.
In my personal experience I have seen a crossbow with a rifle stock and rear adjustable sight. I was not happy when it was specifically mentioned on the range by the MIC as being legal (not in Atlantia). However, after watching the archer who owned that crossbow shoot, my anger resolved. You see, he was challenged to even hit the ground! Back to practice.
What I do SERIOUSLY feel is unfair is shooting both handbow and crossbow in a single competition. The point here being, using the weapon of best advantage. I would much rather the archer choose a weapon and shoot the entire shoot with it and NOT switch back and forth. All that assuming the shoot was not a combination shoot requiring the use of handbow and crossbow, and I've done those as well.
Now all this said, I would like to see a stronger participation in the program of attempting to make archery more period in the SCA. A cheap cotton tunic over jeans, sunglasses and Nike's shooting a skeletal metal riser, holes taped over fiberglass limbed bow kinda defeats the purpose of this game. Just saying.
My two cents worth,
- Having read comments, and having almost been driven away by one obsessed with perfection, my concern is omission. I like the concept that was presented that included archers like myself. Limiting a guild to only those with period equipment is exclusionary and could end up fragmenting our community. I could, however, be misunderstanding your use of the term "period" and the inclusion of those with non-period equipment. IMHO, if this guild is to be proposed as a society-wide entity it can't exclude any portion of our community and be successful.
Moire Ayres, archer