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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 02 Aug, 2006 8:19 pm    Post subject: Making a safe practice arrow ?         Reply with quote

Oh, I'm getting a 100lbs Horsebow and I'm thinking of making some sort of practice arrow that won't go through stuff or get buried deep in a backstop ! I wonder how one would make a very durable arrow for very very short range practice indoors ?

I'm thinking using heavy doweling and using a .45 cartridge case for a flat point and then duct taping it into a bigger size + some sort of improvised fletching: Like I said a durable and safe practice arrow with minimal penetration in a soft target even with a heavy draw. ( No arrows though walls or out the kitchen window is the goal. Eek! Seriously, I would shoot in the basement with a cement wall behind my backstop just in case! )

The reason would be to practice draw and shooting as I get used to the draw weight and loosing at a heavy draw weight.

I guess this is the exact opposite of trying to get as much penetration as possible.

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Thimo Savbotta




Location: Virginia
Joined: 30 Jul 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 02 Aug, 2006 9:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What you describe would be fine. However i'd also wrap a few layers of ducttape around the blunt as well. J

ust for kicks the other day I had an arrow that broke right at the bodkin. The end was totally flat, but when I shot it into 4" foam board out of a 115# bow it still went cleand through. Placeing old pillows or furniture cushions drapped in heavy blankets behind your target would be a good act of insurence. Just in case. Arrows striking concrete from that heavy of draw would put you out of arrows quick.

These are tips from a rainy-day indoor shooting fanatic. And yes I've had to break out the wall spackling more than once. he he
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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 12:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Archers in the SCA in the USA use things called Baldar Blunts. I've never seen or used one myself, since down in the antipodes we use a much smaller/lighter blunt and equip fighters on the field with mesh faceguards instead.

Anyhow, the Baldar blunts probably compromise the handling characteristics of your arrows a bit but unless you've got a really long indoor range you probably won't notice.

You can find them at http://houseasgard.com/BaldarBlunts/

Having a heavy hanging backstop with some space behind it is also a really good idea. Fixed backstops will take a lot of damage, and your risk having things bounce off them, but a hanging backstop, say a couple of heavy blankets or something similar will move enough to absorb the energy from the arrow. A big curtain of chainmail would be perfect Big Grin

--
Al.
http://wherearetheelves.net
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 2:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The simplest thing is to get Redhead rubber blunts. Originally made for hunting small game without destroying the fur, they are the standard tips in european reenactment.
They are much smaller than baldar blunts, and available from most vell stocked archery shops.


"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 3:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions the idea is for it to not selfdestruct the first time it's used and making a target backstop soft and bouncy and deep that also won't be a one use thing: The combination of arrow and target is what will do the trick. If I make a great practice arrow but shoot it at cement wall it will be a one shot thing no matter how clever I try to be with the arrow materials.

If I figure out something that works I don't need many of them if they last a reasonable amount of time.
( Not real archery practice: just call it pre-practice practice. Razz Laughing Out Loud )

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 10:36 am    Post subject: Re: Making a safe practice arrow ?         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Oh, I'm getting a 100lbs Horsebow and I'm thinking of making some sort of practice arrow that won't go through stuff or get buried deep in a backstop ! I wonder how one would make a very durable arrow for very very short range practice indoors ?


Difficult. You can choose between broken arrows or deep penetration. Rubber butts make arrows impossible to handle from the saddle and from the shorter distances a lot of the wooden arrows get broken as the stop is too abrubt.

My bows are a lot lighter but I do use the max. draw length and this gives speed to the wooden arrows.

I use standard field points and shoot at a target stuck on a straw bale from horseback.
For practice shooting I hang an old tarpaulin in front of the hay-stack behind the bale with the target. The loose cloth slows down the arrow considerably and all but a few can be recovered from the bales in the stack with ease.
Just make sure the feathers have a contrasting colour.

This is me with my son. He does the retrieving and has put on his safety gear Laughing Out Loud

http://www.mijnalbum.nl/GroteFoto=QCMFRWKA

I am shooting the 38# Kassai mogolian here. That is both the biggest and heaviest I have.
I also have a dream of an incredibly light and small 35# Grozer composite turkish that is featherlight and lightening fast with a 34 inch draw from a 48 inch (strung) bow. A work of art to look at too.
From horseback l like best a dead cheap and basic 20# only scythian from Grozer that is extremely forgiving and with wich I can loose a dozen arrows in a single gallop pass. Ok, so it cannot pierce the armour of a guy on top the castle walls at 50 yards, but hey I am shooting at straw bales, they do pierce those and it sure saves arrows. These small bows can be ordered up to 60# and must be the best buy in horse bows.

Peter
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J. Bedell




Location: Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,
Those blunts look like a good idea for what you want.

Peter,
Do you have a website for where you get your bows?

The pen may be mighter, but the sword is much more fun.
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Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

Posts: 598

PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.grozerarchery.com

www.horsebackarchery.com
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Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An english language site for Kassai is
http://www.horsebackarchery.co.nz/bear.html and I choose this page on purpose.

Kassai is commercial to the extreme. Nothing wrong with his bow, method and schools. He is the Pat Parelli of horsearchery and THE horsearcher himself.

Peter
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter;

What happens to regular field point practice arrow shot at the typical indoor archery target range when bows are in the100lbs range ? I wonder if ranges allow this power of bows to be used ? ( Usually? Might vary from place to place. )

I just wonder if the arrows get buried down to the fletching or worse disappear in the backstop completely ?

If I remember accurately my 80lbs recurve would leave no more than half the arrow sticking out: It's been a while since I did some archery.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jason Daub




Location: Peace River, Alberta
Joined: 14 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 9:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,

I haven't had a problem with any of the soft bag style targets stopping my shafts. Most of the guys up here are composite bow hunters winging slim little shafts at high speed, and the new targets have no trouble with them.

I personally have a Kassai Vazul from Horsebows with a 92lbs draw and the Morrell's YellowJacket bag I picked up at the local outdoors shop works fine. The only problem that I have run into is that a 90-95 spine shaft leaves a big hole in whatever you shoot at, which is wearing the bag out relatively quickly.

I would also say that the doweling idea isn't worth your time, you will have a bugger of a time finding something of reasonable diameter that will have the correct spine, and one of the easiest ways to miss is to have your arrows do whatever THEY feel like.

I don't know about traditional archery supply in Quebec but anything out here in western Canada is geared more toward the traditional hunter crowd and I have given up trying to find shafts spined heavier than approximately 75-80lbs. I personally order from 3Rivers Archery, they have a nice website and everything that I have ordered has shipped right away with no backorders and no mistakes.

As for the local ranges letting you shoot I don't know if they would have a problem, at every range I have been to in Alberta most of the guys were more interested in checking out the equipment than anything else. At most of them it is very rare to see anyone shooting traditional. Hope this is of help.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 10:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason;

Yes it does help. Cool Big Grin

And like I mentioned in the first post I don't expect an improvised arrow like this to do much more that let me practice pulling the bow and my release without dry firing the bow: Any " extreme close range " accuracy would be an extra but I don't expect any, thus limiting the value of this as practice. It might even be a way to acquire bad habits if it became the main or dominant form of practice.

Might even use a half inch diameter dowel to get enough spine ? When I get my bow with the right arrows I should have a better idea what diameter would be too much ! Again this wouldn't actually be a real or normal arrow for real target practice.

if I can find a closeby archery range and have no problem getting in regular practice this project would loose it's appeal.

As to arrows, custom made arrows are about the only way to go from what you said and I am going to get a handful of Bodkins and period type broadhead at the very least for display and get my replacements target arrows from customs sources. At the cost of these custom arrows my practice arrow(s) would also save wear and tear on my real arrows at least initial when I will want to just get used to the pull.

Finally, you may be very right that this may not be worth the effort and I am not so attached to the idea that I am stubbornly clinging to it: It just that I am still enjoying the ideas + or - about it.

At this point I think the topic is almost at the point where everything useful has already been said: Thank everyone who gave me their input. If anyone has some ideas not covered, so far, obviously I would still like to hear them. Cool Big Grin

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Peter Bosman




Location: Andalucia
Joined: 22 May 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Aug, 2006 11:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
I just wonder if the arrows get buried down to the fletching or worse disappear in the backstop completely ?


They will go straight through a strawbale like I use. This is why I suggest the tarpaulin free-hanging a few inches off the backstop.
The arrows will pierce it but over half the speed will be gone as the mass of the free hanging cloth absorbs most energy.
Freak arrowss that go trough a hole and between bales I will encounter later in the year as the horses eat the straw Big Grin

Peter
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David Ruff




Location: Denton TX
Joined: 18 May 2006

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Fri 11 Aug, 2006 1:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean


Have hammered out the laminations that i will be using on this bow. I am creating a new form as my old one has seen better days. I need to finish up this other longbow i am making for a poster here and i will start the process of building yours. will most likely start next week. This other longbow is now on the tillering stick and coming down from 85lbs at 19" to a target of 60lbs at 25" - should take afew days.

I honestly would NOT use blunts off this bow, its a heavy weight and will require hevy arrows BUT it will also hit hard. It will break any baldare you send thru it and you will have spine problems as baldares are made to shoot out of lighter bows. The redheads are great to use - but again your gonna be hitting things hard and will snap shafts or create a condition where the wood will vibrate on contact and can induce stress cracks (not good on the next arrow use) as it could lead to failure on release.

I would go with a heavy free hanging back stop like arrow netting or a heavy rug and fire into a burlap sacj lightly stuffed with plastic bags with field points.

I am going for 80 to 105lbs on this bow - hope your muscles are tuned Happy


PS - great talking to ya on the phone the other day, feel free to call anytime Happy


David
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Aug, 2006 10:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks David, my best bet will probably be finding an archery range close to home and use the " real " field points.

I can " experiment " with stuff but something that might work once might be a health hazard if stress become cumulative. Eek! I would certainly want to avoid catastrophic failure of a homemade shaft inches from my face ! Eek! Eek!

I think full face protection might be a good idea using improvised arrows and even more when one is just guessing about what would work or be safe.

Yeah, that was a nice talk. Cool

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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Aug, 2006 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,
Patrick Doiron is still making longbows out in Ste-Anne des Plaines, and he also makes arrows properly....tied-on fletching, proper feathers and so on, he will be one of the re-enactors out at the event in St-Colomban over the labor day weekend. He"ll be in charge of the range so you can't miss him. By the way, for others in the neighbourhood, they do give a fine jousting show, although a bit limited in scope.
A un de ces jours,
Jean-Carle

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Aug, 2006 4:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean-Carle Hudon wrote:
Jean,
Patrick Doiron is still making longbows out in Ste-Anne des Plaines, and he also makes arrows properly....tied-on fletching, proper feathers and so on, he will be one of the re-enactors out at the event in St-Colomban over the labor day weekend. He"ll be in charge of the range so you can't miss him. By the way, for others in the neighbourhood, they do give a fine jousting show, although a bit limited in scope.
A un de ces jours,
Jean-Carle


Thanks, Jean-Carle. Big Grin Cool

Any contact information or web site for Patrick ? Always good to know of local sources of supply for arrows or other supplies or places to shoot.

I wonder if the " Centre Claude Robiliard " still has an indoor archery range available as part of Montreal's recreational program: Used to go there around 1980. I looked at MTL city web site and couldn't find anything about it ? Either I didn't look at the right place or the MTL site is badly designed i.e. Not user friendly. Wink

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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2006 10:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Salut Jean,
sorry for the delay. Patrick Doiron has no web site, but can be reached at home at 450-478-6503, he also makes saddles for his reenactment group which can be seen at the event in St-Colomban.
Jean-Carle

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2006 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean-Carle Hudon wrote:
Salut Jean,
sorry for the delay. Patrick Doiron has no web site, but can be reached at home at 450-478-6503, he also makes saddles for his reenactment group which can be seen at the event in St-Colomban.
Jean-Carle


Thanks for the info I have taken note of it and may call him at some time if I find it difficult to find a place to shoot and get some info or advice about hte local reenactment scene: So far my interests in arms and history has been more reading and collecting than joining any local groups.

Oh, I will forward Patrick's number to Gordon Frye who lives in Washington State and who does early 16th century cavalry
reeinactments and is currently also practicing jousting: At the very least he should be interested in the work of a saddle maker making period saddles to at least talk to ( Assuming Patrick speaks English ? ) Gordon would also know people who would also be interested in the saddles.

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