ARCH - History repeat itself

Wilim Penbras wilim.penbras at
Wed Apr 11 08:39:47 PDT 2001

Good Morning,

    The following is simply my opinion on the matter of the situation.  I make and have no opinions on whether ABDs are a good thing thing or not.

     The simple fact of the matter is that there have been arrows and bolts that have penetrated helms.  In a Target situation or in medieval days we shot arrows and the stuck in whatever they hit and we only had to worry about one end of the shaft.  It was easy, we made sure the business end of the shaft pointed at the enemy.  We may war with other kingdoms but we have no enemies so we blunt the business end and everyone's happy.

     Not quite,  the blunted business end means our arrows don't stick and with the bounceback we suddenly have a new Business End.  I'm sorry but I gaurantee you I can put a 1/4 inch shaft, Metal tip or not, through someone.  That unpadded end WILL and HASdone damage to unarmored bits of people it finds in its way.

     We can try to eliminate bounce back but that translates badly.  Bounce back is caused because not all of the force of an arrow hit is tranferred with the initial hit and the arrow still has enough force left to fly off in another direction.  Eliminating bounceback means transferring the full force of the blow to the object hit.  That's gonna hurt.  To keep it from causing too much pain and bruising then we're left with lowering the poundage of our bows.  Probably to the point that we might as well have a sword and charge the enemy.  Not something many of us want to do.

     Okay if we can't eliminate bounceback then we need to reduce the potential damage to a person that gets in the way of the bounceback.  Fighters get bruised constantly just about everywhere but hey we've got recommendations for rounding/padding the edges of our UHMW so people don't get scraped or bruised from glancing shots.  We round/pad one end but we still have edges on our arrow nocks and bolt ends.  That edge, IF it get's into a grill WILL and HAS caused damage.  But hey, people get dirt and sticks and all kinds of stuff in thier face at different melee events.  If the issue's Eye protection lets all wear goggles to protect our eyes and Problem solved right?

     Not quite,  most of the things a fighter gets into his eyes at events are fairly easy to see and we can predict their movement.  Kind of reduces the risk level.  If I get jammed into that tree that's just been standing there all it's life then it's at least partially my fault.  If I get jammed in the eye by an arrow that came virtually out of no where and hit someone 4 feet away before spiralling into me then whose fault is it?  Yes,  I was distracted and if I hadn't been probably could have moved out of the way but that arrow was sent there intentionally, maybe not to spin out of control and hit me but it was certainly sent there intentionally.  Still let's have everyone where safety glasses and it'll be a non-issue.

     Let me think,  the SCA was founded on Medieval Studies and Re-creation right?  So we had Knights and Archers and foot soldiers at the first event and we're all equal, right?  No wait,  it was just Knights and one unbelted fighter at the first event.  Archers are working to be equal and in some kingdoms are about equal.  Besides, this is a democracy where I have the right to the fightin style of my choice right?

     Yessiree Bob,  I'm an Archer in the SCA, Inc.  Inc?  Incorporated...  What do you mean corporations aren't democracies.  You mean the fact that there's 5 times as many of them as us we can't make them all change the way they armor up and we have to change?  What other options do we have?  Let's see, change to fix the problem,  PROVE there is no problem, or What?  What can you do to us?  BAN CA at SCA events... okay... I'll stop whining and start on either fixing the problems or finding proof there is no problem.

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