[Ansteorra-archery] Using the golf tube APD's for combat arrows:

Mike Catron meggiddo at netzero.net
Wed Sep 26 11:19:08 PDT 2001


This Michael of the Fray here. I would like to state to Ld Ironwyrm a
"Thank You" for singling me as an example of a combat archer.

It is a bit overwhelming along these lines as there many fine and
excellent archers in this great kingdom of Ansteorra!

I wish to thank Ld Ironwyrm for stepping forward and addressing some of
the major stumbling blocks that someone who wishes to become a combat
archer must overcome, especially in regard to using the GT APD.

If I may, I would like to address and hopefully offer up some
solutions/methods to the issues that Ld Ironwyrm has raised.

And to further expand upon his message to both those archers who wish to
join the fighters on the battlefield and to the fighters of Ansteorra
that we all wish to bring greater glory to our great kingdom of

ironwyrm at juno.com wrote:
> Greetings into the combat archers,
> Last weekend at Elfsea Defender was the first opportunity we've had to
> use the golf tube APD's in a "War Practice" situation for myself and
> another combat archer from our Steppes unit of combat archers.  After a
> most embarrassing display of just how very out of practice we were and
> much fumbling over the new equipment I thought I would share some of the
> problems we encountered with some possible solutions to help us all
> resolve them before we all go to war.
> BOW: (arrows used were 1/4" fiberglass shafts w/"Bohning"
>    classic index nocks)
> Nocks; Stringing the nocks were a bit of a problem as they
>    small and hard to string without looking at them.
> Possible solutions - More practice(key words here), making
>    and/or installing larger nocks, or making the nock into
>    the APD itself(we will be working on this idea).
I used regular self locking nocks and just practice fitting them to the

I shoot 1/4 inch fiber glass shafts with self locking 11/32 nocks. The
combat striking surface is either Baldar Blunts or UHMW heads.

> Arrow rest; APD's would sometimes snag on the bow's arrow
>    rest deflecting the path and slowing the arrow.
> Possible solutions - reshaping the arrow rest to accommodate
>    the APD, or a slight adjustment to the angle of the APD
>    on the shaft.
I briefly looked at adding/extending an arrow rest, after giving it some
thought decided to save it as a last resort. Instead, I angled the APD
away from the bow's arrow rest and it clears the bow just fine.

To accomplish this angle, I went out to a large field in a local park
and build and shot GT APD's arrows until I found an angle that worked
for me.

A note - I have removed all vanes from my shafts for several reasons. I
feel that I get a more secure attachment of the GT APD to the shaft. And
due to the left spiral on my vanes vs. GT APD I was getting a wobble on
the arrow that decrease my accuracy.

> CROSSBOW: (1/4" fiberglass shafts and "Iolo" crossbow
>    w/rolling nut used)
> Spring clip; (Due to the weight of the combat bolt head a
>    spring clip is necessary to keep the combat bolt in place
>    before firing.)  The clip on the crossbow used was not
>    stationary and would rotate out of position with each
>    firing making it impossible to reload without adjusting.
> Possible solutions - replace any movable spring clip on the
>    combat crossbows with a stronger stationary one.
I shoot a recurve, so I have nothing to offer here.

Although I have heard of other archers shooting a crossbow that they
were having a similar problem. Their comments and I believe their
solutions can be found the archives of various SCA archery lists. Or
perhaps, post a message out there on those lists and hopefully someone
will response back with their solution.

> Drawing the missiles; Arrow/bolts being drawn from quivers
>    the APD's would sometimes hang on one or more arrows/bolts
>    as they were pulled in haste, resulting in entanglement with
>    more than one missile and/or the lost of some missiles by
>    falling to the ground.
> Possible solutions - Once again practice, remembering to give
>    them a bit of a jiggle as you grasp your arrow/bolt might
>    help to free them up, or some improved quiver designs.
I do the first, give the arrows a bit of a jiggle, although I have been
thinking about building a new quiver to reduce this entanglement to a

Note - I believe due to the construction of a combat arrow, there will
always be a bit of entanglement. I hope I am wrong here.

> Gloves:
> In general - we were both using worn leather work gloves,
>    these were not tight fitting in the fingers and did tend
>    to be a bit clumsy.
> Possible solutions - Better tight fitting gloves and/or
>    strapping, taping, or tying them about the wrist
>    might help(you have invested a great deal to be
>    a combat archer, don't allow ill fitting gloves to
>    lessen your abilities).
The gloves situation I discover early (summer of 1999) on by talking and
listening to various fighters, then borrowing their leather work gloves
that they fight with and attempting to pick things up that required fine
motor movements of my fingers.

The solution, I went out and bought baseball batter gloves. These gloves
give me enough feeling in my fingers to grasp a arrow and fit it to the
string. You still need to practice though fitting the arrow to the

> Note: Be sure to stay within the approved specifications for
>    these and all APD combat missiles.  If you are unsure
>    about or do not know what these specifications are please
>    contact your local combat archery marshal, regional
>    archery marshal, or Kingdom archery marshal for help.
> It is a fact that practice does make perfect.  So to that end starting
> 9/30/01 I shall be placing a combat archery target on both Steppes'
> archery practice ranges in order to give our Steppes and visiting combat
> archers a chance to bring combat missiles, don their armor, and prepare
> themselves for the months to come.  I do encourage all other Ansteorran
> archery marshals to do the same.
For those archers who do not have a combat archery target, I would offer
the following suggestion.

I use either a fiber glass rod or a shepherd's hook and hang a small
empty coffee can (13 oz size) from it. This can is about the right size
for the grill of a helm. I usually step off 20 to 30 paces (50 to 70
feet) and shoot at this can.

> It's very necessary that you become familiar with both your arms & armor,
> wear and use it.  You need to find any unforeseen problems with either
> and resolve them before it hinders you in battle.  Learn to be
> comfortable with both before you take the field.  Practice in groups of
> three to five where possible, using one as a spotter for all.  Also learn
> to become at ease with your movements to help increase your rate of fire
> which often can make the difference between staying on or walking off the
> battlefield bow raised over your head.
> Example: (Pray forgive me Michael to single you out.)
> "Michael of the Fray" has trained himself to nock his arrows while moving
> without looking at bow or string.  Thus allowing himself to neither lose
> sight of changes in the lines, nor intended targets (you can learn to do
> this on a static target).  He practices regularly in armor, is very
> familiar with his equipment, and he keeps to a well thought out plan of
> action on the field.  Very well done Michael, we all could learn from
> your example as a combat archer!
> I urge you, our combat archers, to attend the regional war practices
> taking place in your area, between regions, and at local events.  Static
> target practice cannot began compare to the lessons learned on the field
> at these practices.  They are being held for your benefit, the fighters &
> combat archers of Ansteorra and will be your best opportunity to gain
> experience in fighting & combat archery tactics short of battle.
I will add the following list below for those archers who are planning
on going to war, these are suggestions:

(Not in any order, there may be more steps you can take than listed

1. Locate a war unit and work with them.
2. Ask if you can join them as an archer.
3. Come out to their practices.
4. Get to know them and them to know you.
5. Learn their commands.
6. Obey their commanders while with the unit.
7. Bring your bow and combat arrows to their practices.
8. Bring your armor.
9. Wear your armor and practice moving with it.
10. Ask questions of the fighters, especially about their shields.
11. Listen and watch how the fighters move and fight.

3 Reasons for bring your bow and arrows:

1. Sometimes there are times when there are melee walk through
practices. Be ready to join the fighters as they walk through their
commands. And at least carry your bow - if only carrying the bow, leave
it unstrung. Plus, wear your armor.

Now, why would I suggest carrying a bow during these walk through
commands, if you can not shoot the bow. It is to remind all around you
that you are a combat archer and joining/working with them.

2. And sometimes there is an opportunity to actual practice with bow and
combat arrows with your war unit. This would help both the fighters to
deal with being under arrow fire and you.

3. Develop a drill for yourself to perform while the fighters are
practicing/improving their one-on-one fighting skills.

I have developed one drill, it is a movement drill that Ld Ironwyrm
briefly mention and in which I demo for him in July.

It involved shooting at a small tree in a local park and I was using it
as a reference point, with the combat arrow pointed to hit the ground
and the bow is pulled to a quarter pull. This quarter pull is just
enough to get the arrow off of the bow and allows you to reload.

Wear as much armor as you own and/or plan to fight in. Meaning, if all
you have is a gauntlet for now and then wear it.

Do this drill while moving - pull a combat arrow from the quiver and
load it to the bow -

start by walking, then work your way up to running forward, backwards,
and even sideways as well.

The last part of the drill was with Frayman Hosey who stood roughly 15
to 20 ft away as if he was an enemy shield. When I fired at the base of
the tree, he was to charge across that distance. I was to attempt to
reload and hopeful be in a position to counter his charge. I shot, Hosey
charged, I actually got an arrow out of the quiver and to the bow
string, when I
decided that I needed to run away like any good archer should and find

Here is the question: If I had the arrow to the bow string, why did I
run away from Hosey at point, instead of shooting him?

Answer: Frayman Hosey was well with in the minimum distance that an
archer can legally shoot an opponent. The minimum distance is 15 ft.
Therefore, I had to run away. Monty Python does it so much better!

Learn to judge the safe minimum distance you can shoot someone who is
charging you! This is very true on the battlefield!

Here are addition questions for those who intend to have a back-up

How often do you practice with that weapon?

Who do you practice against using that weapon?

Have you practice dropping your bow/crossbow "in a safe manner" so that
it can not cause a safety issue on the field and drawing this backup

The above steps is what I have done here in the Central Region. At first
it was not easy and yes, I did have to listen some jokes/jibs about

I stayed with it and now in some quarters of this Kingdom I am looked on
not as an archer, but rather as -

A fighter or a warrior who's' weapon style is the bow.

> The above has been offered as an aid to assist other combat archers to
> prepare to take the field during the upcoming war practices, battles, and
> this coming Gulf War.
> To those whom have lain down their bows:
> Do not allow our brave forces of Ansteorra fall prey to the arrows of the
> archers of our enemies due to lack of preparations, practice, or
> attendance upon the part of our own archers.  Nor allow petty bitterness
> over the APD ruling to keep you and your bow from the field.  We are
> archers of Ansteorra and we can overcome this and any handicap set before
> us to become the most feared combat archers of the known world, but it
> will take courage, preparation, and training with the new tools with
> which we must apply our craft.
> Now is the time to pick up your bow and began the work, ready thyself to
> return the field, and prepare for WAR.  Your Kingdom desperately needs
> you!
> In service,
> William Ironwyrm
> Marshal of Archers Barony of the Steppes

Thank you for time

Michael of the Fray
Hammer of the Eye
Hammer of the Purse
Greater Fyrd of the Fray

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