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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's interesting that people assume the archer would grab the arrow by the fletched end and pull the head back up through his belt. Why not grab the other end (near the head) and pull the fletched end through the belt? Seems simpler to me. Happy
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2008 6:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
It's interesting that people assume the archer would grab the arrow by the fletched end and pull the head back up through his belt. Why not grab the other end (near the head) and pull the fletched end through the belt? Seems simpler to me.


The trouble with pulling the arrow out point first is that your hand is on the wrong end of the arrow to noch, and you yould presumably have to take your bow hand off of the bow to flip it around, or perhaps there's some trick that I'm not aware of.
Of course if you have swallowtail arrows and you pull them out the other way you get hung up on your belt, so that's no better.

I always put my arrows in a stand that I hammer into the ground, but now I'k be curious to try the belt method.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2008 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gavin Kisebach wrote:
The trouble with pulling the arrow out point first is that your hand is on the wrong end of the arrow to noch, and you yould presumably have to take your bow hand off of the bow to flip it around, or perhaps there's some trick that I'm not aware of.
Of course if you have swallowtail arrows and you pull them out the other way you get hung up on your belt, so that's no better.

I always put my arrows in a stand that I hammer into the ground, but now I'k be curious to try the belt method.


But looking at how far behind the archer the fletched end sticks out, he'd have to shift something around to get everything in place if he pulled it that way anyway, right?

I'm just guessing on all this as it's been years since I've shot a bow. Happy

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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2008 7:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
But looking at how far behind the archer the fletched end sticks out, he'd have to shift something around to get everything in place if he pulled it that way anyway, right?


Oh I agree with you that grabbing the tip makes more sense in this setup, but it seems far from ideal to me having to flip the arrow around and i can't think of a fast, reliable way to do it. having some background in tactical shooting, the idea of having to take both hands off the weapon seems slow and dangerous to me, but I have no doubt that there is some ingenious trick to getting the arrow nocked quickly. Hopefully one of our bowmen friends will enlighten us.

I suppose you could pull it out by the tip, set the nock against your thigh and then slide your hand down to the nock. That would work without flipping the arrow around. Now I really need to try this.

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D. Austin
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2008 7:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gavin Kisebach wrote:
Oh I agree with you that grabbing the tip makes more sense in this setup, but it seems far from ideal to me having to flip the arrow around and i can't think of a fast, reliable way to do it. having some background in tactical shooting, the idea of having to take both hands off the weapon seems slow and dangerous to me, but I have no doubt that there is some ingenious trick to getting the arrow nocked quickly. Hopefully one of our bowmen friends will enlighten us.


Personally, I'd grab the arrow below the tip, pull it through the belt with the shaft in line with my arm, and bring it up to the bow. I'd hold it in place with the forefinger of my left hand, without releasing my grip on the bow, and bring my right hand back to nock the arrow and draw.

I can't say that this is what the archer pictured was doing but it seems to make sense to me.
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Stefan Toivonen





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PostPosted: Thu 11 Sep, 2008 12:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a link to a video of yabusame, japanese horseback archery and how they draw their arrows from under the belt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSrUC1Ir9OU
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Glennan Carnie




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Sep, 2008 3:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is only really an issue if you're shooting barbed heads. For more typical (non-barbed) bodkins you can just pull them backwards out of your belt.

You can come up with all sorts of complex and convoluted methods for drawing and nocking the arrow but if you want quick, easy access to your arrows, just take them out of your belt and stick them in the ground in front of you. This is what English archers did; and still do today.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Sep, 2008 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It may be difficult to tell in this lower-res image, but the arrows in the archer's belt have at least two different head types, presumably for different targets. To make the appropriate selection he would have to be able to tell at a glance or by touch or positioning which arrow he needs for a given target. And, in addition to the problem of withdrawing a barbed-head arrow from the fletched end, drawing an arrow out of the belt that way would most likely lead to drawing the incorrect arrow. For these reasons I think it makes excellent sense to draw down through the belt from the head end. That would be pretty efficient if your left hand is near waist level, with the bow tipped to the right. You'd be sliding the arrow onto the bow with a single movment versus at least two movements if drawing the arrow backwards out of the belt. Some of our archer friends should try both and tell us the results.

As for his headdress: This is common in German artwork of the period, especially in depictions of knights with their helmets removed. It clearly does serve as a hairnet (and sometimes literally is a hairnet) but might also have served as a way to add cushioning under the helmet. After all, the hair could simply be tied back in order to keep it out of the eyes. Gathering it on top of the head might serve a secondary purpose. On the other hand, there's no indication of a helmet in the depiction of our archer, and Dürer shows men in a public bath wearing such caps. It can't really be considered a form of arming cap, I don' think.

Speaking of Dürer, here's his famous painting of St. George. Note the typical headdress.



 Attachment: 86.8 KB
george.gif


-Sean

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Curt Cummins




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Sep, 2008 7:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen Foster wrote:
The back of the bow (facing the shooter) seems to be square. If it is square, that is a significant difference from the English long bow of the same period as the English made "D" shaped bows. Flat on the front (side facing the opponent) and rounded on the back (side facing the shooter).


Your description of the cross section of an English longbow is correct, but you've got your terminology reversed. The side of the bow facing the archer is the belly, and the side facing the target is the back.



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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Sep, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't checked out the yabusame video and I'm not familiar with Japanese archery, but I can attest that continental Asian archery makes extensive use of "closed" quivers that store the arrows point-up and that this kind of quiver allows for a very quick nocking action that allows me to nock without looking at the arrow. Basically, this action consists of grabbing the arrow like a pencil just below the head, then bringing the head over to the bow hand where it will be held in place between the bow hand's thumb, forefinger, and middle finger. Then the other hand slides up the arrow until it meets the feather or the nock (depending on personal preference), grabs the shaft there, and pushes the arrow forward through the "tunnel" formed by the three fingers of the bow hand until the arrow goes far enough forward for the nock to meet the string. The final step is simply fitting the nock against the string--often with the help of a gentle push from the three fingers of the bow hand (which still retain their hold on the arrow until shortly before the draw). No need to flip the arrow around or to butt the nock against the thigh.

I've only managed to make the technique work with Eastern-style placement of the arrow at the thumb side of the bow hand (to the right of the bow when the bow is held in the left hand)--in fact, I still can't nock in the European-style knuckle-side arrow placement without looking at the arrow. However, I'm not closing my eyes to the possibility that maybe the technique could be modified to work with knuckle-side placement.
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Glennan Carnie




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PostPosted: Fri 12 Sep, 2008 12:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just found this. It shows a typical nock and draw with an English Warbow.

FYI: The bow is Italian high-altitude yew; only a lightweight (about 115lb); the arrow is 33" shoulder to nock, and 1/2" diameter; fletchings are 8.5" x 3.4"




Please excuse the arty music and editing - it's part of a larger test-piece video.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Sep, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There has been a fair amount of discussion about the awkwardness of drawing the arrows from belt quickly, but I would assume that the chap is out hunting and so generally has plenty of time to draw out and select the arrow for the game.

However there are many depictions of English archers beseiging castles etc with the arrows in an arrow bag stuck through the belt and again these must be drawn out point first and although Glennan is right that they were often stuck in the ground prior to shooting, they also seem to have been drawn directly from the belt in this manner.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 7:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ran across a reference that mentioned the similarity between the German and English longbow, and which also noted that the English imported yew from Basel. The implication was that design flowed along the same trade channels as the wood.
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Eric Myers




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. Austin wrote:
Personally, I'd grab the arrow below the tip, pull it through the belt with the shaft in line with my arm, and bring it up to the bow. I'd hold it in place with the forefinger of my left hand, without releasing my grip on the bow, and bring my right hand back to nock the arrow and draw.

I can't say that this is what the archer pictured was doing but it seems to make sense to me.


That is what I do - it's quick, simple, and I can usually do it all by feel instead of looking around. There are two variations on this theme that I use. First, if the heads are only slightly projecting from the belt, I grab the shaft near the head and reach past the bow with it so the forefinger of the bow hand can hold the shaft closer to the fletching, which just minimizes the amount of adjusting to nock the arrow. On the other hand, if the belt is near the fletching, then I can nock the arrow without shifting my grip on the arrow, though I do have to look at what I'm doing in this case.

Seriously, once you get used to this method of pulling forward through the belt, I think you will love it.

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