[Ansteorra-archery] [Mm] Society Changes

William Black Dragon hlironwyrm at sbcglobal.net
Thu Sep 4 17:36:07 PDT 2008

Below is a email that's been sitting in my draft file for a while written right after our last Steppes bowyer & fletchers guild meeting.  Since then we did get an opportunity take the re-fitted missiles to to the archery range at Eastfield try them for distance in a light head wind with my 585lb. draw crossbow.  Using a large Sanders butt as the target at forty yards all shots did fly reasonably straight but began to lose energy and drop at about thirty yards out falling just in front of the 40 yd. butt.  Increasing the elevation did help them fall beyond the butt "fall" being the key word there, I don't think they had any real energy left.  So I'm guessing our most effective range with these re-fitted missiles is going to be between 10 & 30 yards.  Can't add anything as to what the impact is like, haven't tried to shoot anyone nor have anyone shoot me with one yet.



I decided to reserve comment on this subject until we had an opportunity to do the refit on some of our combat bolts and got to use them.  Using Darico "FOAMIES" 2mm foam sheets sold in the craft dept at Wal-Mart, we cut 2" x 9" strips for the un-tapered uhmw heads & 1.5" x 9" strips for the tapered uhmw heads and wrapped the strips around the existing foam/uhmw combat bolt's head to where the ends met above & below the wrapped layer using a small piece of strapping tape to hold it in place.  Then re-taped the head from shaft to over the face of the bolt to the opposite side of the shaft.  Using 3/4" strapping tape it required 4 pieces to completely cover the added foam.  We then wrapped strapping tape around the gathered tape ends on the shaft and added three pieces of tape around the un-tapered foam/uhmw head (tapered uhmw only required two).  

Our first observation was summed up by a combat archer "want-to-be" as the archery guild members seated at the table had gone silent in disbelief staring at the bolt I was holding up.  The exclamation "That's a spearhead!" broke the silence, "Well not quite but it's getting close!" I retorted, a more disgruntled combat archer suggested "Why are we bothering with this?  Let's just jump ahead and put tennis balls on the end of our bolts!" and the comments just degenerated from there.  

Opinions exhausted we began to note the changes it made in the bolts properties: First considered was how many bolts you could fit head down in a combat quiver, we're guessing we'll be carrying a 1/4 to 1/3 less bolts on the battlefield using our current quivers.  Next was noted how much the balance point of the bolts had changed to about three inches forward and this raised questions as how that would effect the flight.  In hindsight we should have tried to weigh the bolts but I doubt the increase was more than an 1/8 ounce, foam & tape likely didn't add more than a few grams to the bolt.  So the next question was how much wind Resistance the increased diameter would create?  That prompted the "Well let's go see!" response so taking crossbow in hand we stepped out into Jacques large backyard and picked a few trees as likely targets. 

The firing tests:  First the larger head was notably end heavy while loading the bolt, however once clipped in place it wasn't a problem.  As long as your crossbow has a strong clip you should not have any trouble.  At about 20-30 yds. we didn't seem to have any real problems coming off the crossbow.  I expected to see a considerable increase in the bolt dip as it cleared the bow but it was hardly noticeable from behind the crossbow at that range.  Admittedly I did aim a bit higher in anticipation but the bolt smacked the target right where I expected it to.  Jacques was watching off to the side and commented that the bolt did have a pronounced drop toward the end of it's flight.  About thirty yards was all the range we had at that location so I'm looking forward to testing the bolts at the extreme end of their range which I suspect will be a bit shorter and more susceptible to wind due to the larger diameter.  

We did discover that the bolt which the foam had not been secured to old head by tape seemed to have a piston like action as the added foam would slide up & down as it was compressed.  Didn't seem to effect the bolt in the short time we were firing it, but I wouldn't think it would be very good in long term use.  We're going to mark that bolt and keep a close eye on it.  To prevent this I'd suggest using a small amount of spray adhesive on the old bolt head prior to adding the new foam to keep it from slipping, or you can purchase the same foam product listed above with a sticky back for just a few cents more per sheet.

The most unexpected side effect of the increased diameter combat bolt head was the sound they made upon impact with the target.  I used the word "smacked" earlier to describe the resounding sound it made even against the rough bark of the trees.  If there's plus to the mandatory re-fitted combat missile it has to be the increased audibility of the missile's impact.  I should decrease the fighter's "looking around to see if anyone saw it hit them before acknowledging it" factor.  Everyone around them is likely to hear the missile's impact.

We'll post anything else we learn when we can.


--- On Fri, 8/22/08, Paul Thorne <paul.v.thorne at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Paul Thorne <paul.v.thorne at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Mm] Society Changes
> To: "Archery within the Kingdom of Ansteorra" <ansteorra-archery at lists.ansteorra.org>, mm at lists.ansteorra.org, "Missile combat in Ansteorra" <ansteorra-missile at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Date: Friday, August 22, 2008, 6:48 AM
> 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
> _______________________________________________
> Mm mailing list
> Mm at lists.ansteorra.org
> http://lists.ansteorra.org/listinfo.cgi/mm-ansteorra.org

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