[Ansteorra-archery] Results From my Testing of New Combat Arrows - Possible New Design

Mike meggiddo at netzero.net
Thu Sep 4 16:54:21 PDT 2008

What we are trying to recreate is a thrusting tip, which is what the 
heavy fighters have been using on their swords, spears, and pole arms 
for sometime.

Based upon feedback local heavy fighters, which was need to stiffen up 
the combat head on the UHMW, from this feedback. I started building 
thrusting tips for my combat arrows - UHMW (1 inch long and 1.25 inches 
in diameter). The construction involves 3 3/8 inches foam disks glue 
together, then glued on the end of the UHMW combat head (the edges both 
leading and trailing have smoothed or rounded off).

Once the foam had set (about a day or so - I usually give it 2 days per 
arrow). I then wrapped the entire package - the leading edge of foam 
disks and all the way down the UHMW combat head in two to three wraps of 
Duct Tape. Then applied strapping tape over the entire combat head 

The local heavy fighters and I tested it out, years ago, and it works - 
a nice strict package which does not allow any part of the foam tip to 
enter the grill. Then of course, we did not have all the "testing 
equipment" available to us either. But just shooting it into a grill of 
a legal grill on a helm on the ground at a distance of 3 feet, saw no 
impact nor did it stick. Used a 30 lb. recurve at full draw. No impact 
clay behind the grill to see if there was any type of penetration.

I have been shooting this type of design for the last 5 years.

I was just wondering why one one thought of this design.

I have also cross posted to the SCA Missile list as well.

Ld Michael Kettering
Combat Archer
Missile Marshal

Ken Theriot wrote:
> I have honestly forgotten which list is the new one, so I'm sending this to
> all of them.
> I spend some time experimenting with different types of padding, and methods
> to apply the wrap.  I had sticky-back 1/4-in. foam left over from Gulf Wars
> and I had the stuff that Eadric suggested, the sticky-back 2-mm. foam from
> Walmart (Darice).  It turns out that, on my arrows anyway, the 1/4-in. wrap
> was WAY more than was needed (about 1-3/4 in. diameter after taping).  I
> applied strapping tape around the wrap as tight as I could, and there really
> was very little in the way of compression.    
> I made a majority of my original arrows with a leather disc on the tip, and
> even before applying a side-wrap, the diameter of the vast majority of these
> tips was already about 1-3/8 inches.  So 1 of the Darice 2-mm. sticky-back
> strips was really all that was needed.  
> Nevertheless, I conducted an experiment with the ones I wrapped with 1/4-in.
> foam.  I shot 6 of the old arrows from my longbow.  They flew an average
> distance of 37 yards with very little variation.  Then I shot 6 of the
> fatter retrofit arrows from exactly the same spot.  There was no significant
> difference in the distance (or variation) that they flew!  Though it seems
> logical (and is definitely true to some degree) that a wider face would
> encounter more wind-resistance, and a heavier head would not fly as far; in
> (my) real-world testing, those differences were negligible, and amounted to
> basically no real difference at all.  
> I did NOT conduct a test of impact force.  But the observations mentioned
> about folks being hit by arrows not feeling them may not be indicative of a
> cause-consequence situation from the retrofit.  Obviously I can't say this
> for certain, but I would bet money that if those same individuals were hit
> with the old arrows, their answers would have been the same.  A valid
> experiment would be to get some willing stick jocks (hey, I get to say that
> because I'm a knight;)) to let us shoot a random mix of old and new arrows
> at them, and report their reaction to the hits (blind experiment).  That
> would eliminate any possible bias on the part of the target....I mean other
> fighter;).  There still could be some bias in the way the testing archer
> since they would be able to see which arrow they were shooting.  But if we
> set up a way for the archer to shoot accurately WITHOUT knowing which arrows
> they were, we could do a double-blind experiment and have actual evidence of
> the differences, if any, in perceived impact to another human fighter.  
> Does it suck?  Yup.  But if we give up in disgust, then we let the "enemies
> of CA" win!  Those "enemies," are mostly (not entirely) the dukes and other
> hot sticks who feel their years of training, and their amazing god-like
> skill should not be vulnerable to a weapon that a newbie can learn in a day.
> We all know the arguments: how effective archery would have been in our
> period, presumed armor, plate armor, arrows and bows used at different
> times, archery is unchivalrous, blah, blah, blah.  That is pure doggy doo.
> If ANYONE brings that argument up, all we have to do is say, "yeah, and a
> single hit with a 1-handed broadsword to a steel helmet would barely make a
> dent.  And wrap shots?  Shyaa!  Oh, and I love the
> "fighting-from-your-knees" part after someone slices one of your legs open
> (or off)."  Almost nothing we do as fighters in the SCA is "realistic."  But
> one thing is for sure, archers were an integral part of medieval battle, and
> there is no way I foresee a day when combat archery disappears from the SCA.
> Anyway, this has been my 2-pence (OK, maybe a more like 9 or 10) on the
> situation.
> Kenneth   
>   _____  
> From: Paul Thorne [mailto:paul.v.thorne at gmail.com] 
> Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 8:49 AM
> To: Archery within the Kingdom of Ansteorra; mm at lists.ansteorra.org; Missile
> combat in Ansteorra
> Subject: [Mm] Society Changes
> Greetings Archers of Ansteorra,
>    With much discussion the Society Combat Archery Marshal has revised the
> recent rule change to allow the maximum padding to be 1.25" now.  This means
> that all of our current ammunition will be legal with the simple addition of
> a sidewrap to increase the blunt diameter to 1.5".  So as of right now the
> Society standard for padding is 1/2" minimum to 1.25" maximum.
> HL Jean-Paul de Calmont, CAO
> Kingdom Missile Marshal, Ansteorra
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