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Thrand Godfrey




Location: Texas
Joined: 10 Jul 2015

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue 18 Aug, 2015 7:11 am    Post subject: 15th century Brest plate tested with 70lbs bow and Bodkin!         Reply with quote

We test a 70lb draw bow with bodkin point after many comments after spear defenestration video tested on 15th century breast plate. Many comments said the breast plate would not stop arrows and was not on standard with early century breast plates this was the results!

15th Century Breast Plate Vs. 70 Pound Draw Bow with Bodkin Point! Viewer Reply!
https://youtu.be/GzcffUxLiUU

This was the video that started the controversy and most likely becasue the early Celtic broad spear and a middle bronze age spear were able to penetrate to a degree with proper technique. Which I believe made many believe it was a weaker metal construction which does not appear to be the case and is about 15 gauge hardened about 1.75mm thick at thickest.

Iron Age Celtic Spear Tested on 15th Century Breast Plate! + Bronze Spear Reply to Arms and Armour
https://youtu.be/E8vFfDuG-iA

Looking forward to any opinions and yes I know the penetrations were not lethal but would have caused some injuries even through plate of this caliber and yes they had thicker and even better quality hardened steel.

I am a arms and armour tester and experimental archeologist trying to rediscover ancient and medieval combat methods and tactics.
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Will S




Location: Bournemouth, UK
Joined: 25 Nov 2013

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Tue 18 Aug, 2015 3:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You'll have to forgive me if I've missed the point but why such a light bow? It's hardly surprising that the plate stopped it, considering it was designed for bows easily double the draw weight as a starting point.

I'm not sure how relevant using munitions grade armour is, when pitted against a weapon that would never be used in opposition.
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,491

PostPosted: Tue 18 Aug, 2015 3:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The key factor for the bow/arrow isn't the draw weight, but the arrow energy. It's true that, all else staying the same, increasing the draw weight will increase the arrow energy, but things like draw length matter too. If you want to do more arrow tests, it's worth getting hold of a chronograph and measuring the arrow speeds you get (which, combined with the arrow weights, gives you the energy).

For the bow here, you might be getting about 65J. Which should be stopped (just) by about 1mm of mild steel. No surprise to see no penetration. Thicker armour (like 2mm breastplates) is to keep out arrows from bows that will deliver 120-150J at point-blank range. (Also, crossbows.)

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,111

PostPosted: Tue 18 Aug, 2015 4:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure I understand the point of all these videos. If you are just having some fun then go for it, but if you are trying to make some kind of statement about historical warfare then you are not helping at all.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Vasilly T





Joined: 02 Dec 2014

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed 19 Aug, 2015 2:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
I'm not sure I understand the point of all these videos. If you are just having some fun then go for it, but if you are trying to make some kind of statement about historical warfare then you are not helping at all.

I'm planning to do some tests in the future myself. And I'd like to know what I should do to make that statement with them.
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Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 574

PostPosted: Wed 19 Aug, 2015 5:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vasilly T wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
I'm not sure I understand the point of all these videos. If you are just having some fun then go for it, but if you are trying to make some kind of statement about historical warfare then you are not helping at all.

I'm planning to do some tests in the future myself. And I'd like to know what I should do to make that statement with them.


Use hardware to record velocity/impact
Use the most accurate reproductions available
Do a lot of research into what would be the best reproduction of what you're looking to test
Publish it in academic circles and have it peer reviewed (though the latter might be somewhat difficult seeing how obscure this field is)

Roughly that. Wink

Don't sweat it though, even documentaries pretty much fail all of the above.

Now I'm assuming your not a millionaire with a lot of spare time so time constraints and money could be an issue when attempting to do this the academic way.

If you want to do something as a backyard experiment then I suggest you try to keep it simple and really focus on one type of protection against a single type of weapon. Try to get those two right and it would really be of some value.

If you have a budget like most of us then I would try to test armor that can be made on a budget. To get an accurate reproduction of a gambeson would involved plenty of work but would interest a lot of people. You'd need to do some research to see what type of material was used and whether you can obtain those materials today.

If you need linen you need to ask yourself, what type of flax was used to make medieval linen, what kind of procedure was used to make a piece of linen, what kind of weave and thickness was used to make linen. Having answered all of those questions you need to find linen of similar "specifications" which can prove to be a challenge in itself.

Then you need to figure out how many layers of linen are used in a gambeson (multiple answers possible) and how they were constructed. Then you need to figure out how dense the quilting needs to be. On top of that the design of the gambeson deserves some attention, I often see people use a small piece of quilted material of say 30 by 30 cm (roughly a foot by a foot) I wonder if using such a small patch affects the protective capabilities in one way or another. Compare it to: would kevlar be as efficient if you only tested a small patch instead of an entire vest to absorb the shock?

If you really want to test a wide range of different textiles armors (in terms of number of layers) used you're looking at say 4 or 5 handcrafted quilted pieces made with authentic material with authentic methods and construction.

Now you need to chose one or two weapons that you're gonna test against it. You need to repeat the entire procedure to find the correct weapon and way of usage. So for a bow or crossbow you would need to figure out what shape the arrow/bolt head has, what type of material was used, how thick the shaft was, what kind of material was used for the shaft, what poundage is the bow/crossbow etc etc. Then you need to figure out the distance at which you would shoot the projectile.

Before shooting at the armor I would first test to see how wind and weather conditions affect the velocity of the arrow and how much natural variation in velocity occurs when shooting two arrows in similar conditions.

Having an accurate piece of armor and an accurate weapon you need a way to test if any damage was inflicted. A piece of armor might stop an arrow but what is to say the concussive force didn't crack the ribs of the fella wearing it?


All in all you're looking at a lot of work.
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Vasilly T





Joined: 02 Dec 2014

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed 19 Aug, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the response, Pieter. I now feel I need to do more research and gather a bigger budget. I might even make a thread when I'll feel that I'm ready to make sure I'm not missing anything.
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,491

PostPosted: Wed 19 Aug, 2015 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some questions are easier to answer than others. If you're asking "What happens when weapon X meets armour Y?", you need the best (i.e., most accurate) replicas you can get.

But if asking "Does armour Y stop weapon X?", then you can use something weaker than armour Y and something more effective than weapon X, and if the weaker armour stops the more effective weapon, then Y stops X.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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