Archery Bows: Some Basic Iformation
Archery played a large part in human daily life for thousands of years from ancient times until about 1750, when the gun started to replace it for hunting and warfare very quickly. Peoples all over Europe, north Africa, like Egypt, Persia (Iran), India, China and Japan celebrate their most skillful archers. I am sure that other countries do as well.
Wales had Twm Sion Catty; England had Robin Hood and Switzerland memorializes William Tell. Greek and Trojan archers are mentioned by name in Homer’s ‘Iliad’. Archers all over the world were thought of as well loved heroes like footballers are these days.
It seems that bows were first invented in various parts of the world practically at the same time in the late Paleolithic Age or the early Mesolithic Age. It is remarkable that different kinds of bows were developed by the different societies around the world and each sort of bow was invented to suit the style of warfare that that society conducted and to the environment in which they hunted.
There are too many varieties of bow to clarify them all here, but some of the most conventional archery bows are: the longbow, flatbow, shortbow, recurve bow, compound bow and crossbow.
The longbow and the flatbow are similar in size, both can be six feet or more in length, but the cross section of the longbow is ‘D’ shaped, whereas that of a flatbow is rectangular. A flatbow is usually wider than a longbow. Both can shoot heavy 36 inch arrows long distances with fantastic force – enough to penetrate the armour of the Middle Ages from 250-300 yards.
The shortbow is shorter, as you might gather from its name. It is a small distance bow, utilized for hunting small animals in regions where a large bow would be too unwieldy such as in woods or forests.
The compound bow is also a shorter bow, but it is extremely powerful because the limbs are not very supple. In order to bend the limbs, use is made of a system of pulleys or cams.
This gives the compound bow enough power (more than 50 pound draw weight) to enable it to be used to hunt larger game such as deer or bear. The compound bow is a new style, which was only invented in 1966.
Recurve bows have tips that ‘point the incorrect way’ when the bow is unstrung. This gives the recurve more power inch for inch than the long or flatbow, enabling it to be used as an effective weapon for warfare or hunting from horseback.
Crossbows are specialized bows, which can be pre-loaded like a gun and shot later. In general, it requires less skill and physical strength to soot a crossbow.
The arrows are very influential too. Arrows can be interchangeable between the bows to a limited extent, but the length should match the draw of the bow. Crossbow bolts are usually very small.
There are two types or shooting: instinctive and sight shooting. Sight shooting refers to using sights of some kind to take aim, either by looking down the arrow or using optical fibre sights. Instinctive shooting is more demanding because it is intuitive. It cannot be learned, you have either got it or you ain’t.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on several subjects, but is presently involved with compound hunting bows. If you want to know more or for special offers, please go to our website at Kids Archery Set.