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Aiming a long bow


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It's been decades since I picked up a bow. I bought a 50 pound traditional Long bow without an arrow rest.

 

I see these compound bows with sites these days. It got me to thinking. What would stop me from making a pencil reference mark on my bow to aim for shooting at a prescribed short distance. Then I could move my point of aim to shoot at longer distances. What do you think?

 

Crayfish

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When I got my first bow as a kid the booklet that came with it said something about taping a matchstick to it to use as a sight. You'd attach the match so it was perpendicular to the bow with the head above the arrow when it's in the rest, then adjust it up and down to "zero" it at range.

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When I got my first bow as a kid the booklet that came with it said something about taping a matchstick to it to use as a sight. You'd attach the match so it was perpendicular to the bow with the head above the arrow when it's in the rest, then adjust it up and down to "zero" it at range.

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When I got my first bow as a kid the booklet that came with it said something about taping a matchstick to it to use as a sight. You'd attach the match so it was perpendicular to the bow with the head above the arrow when it's in the rest, then adjust it up and down to "zero" it at range.

I used a bent paper clip taped on with black tape as I recall it worked quite well

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Thanks for the replies. I will use one of the tape on sights till I get happy with my shooting.

 

What with having instant info over the Internet I have been reading about the pinch. The Mongols and Chinese using pinch release thumb rings. Fun historic culture!

 

Crayfish

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I shot traditional 3D archery matches with flatbows that I made back in the 1990s.

The old saying practice, practice, practice has value.

The Zen Book of Archery by Eugene Herrigul was extremely valuable. 'Imagine the arrow in the bullseye as you raise the bow and bring the string to full pull.'

The traditional bow can hit soda can size targets out to 30 yards with effective practice.

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What ever happened to raising and lowering your hand and adjusting where the head points?

 

Sights? On a stick bow??[/quote

 

I'm thinking masking tape and a tooth pick till I can make a mark or cut a small notch.

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Sights on a longbow? That's like putting a plastic stock on a Garand. Blasphemy!!

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The long bow is most effective shot as a true instinctive weapon. To shoot in such a manner requires the bow to be canted a bit. With sights to be effective the bow must be held perfectly vertical. Practice with a canted bow, select the exact point where you want the arrow to strike, with a split finger placemnt on the string, draw the bow until the index finger touches the corner of your mouth and release. Make sure you follow through by holding the bow in position until the arrow strikes. At no time in this sequence of events should you be "aiming" "sighting" or "pointing" the arrow. Let the same instinct that tells you how to throw a baseball tell you how to hit with an arrow.

It sounds much morre difficult than it is. You just have to lose the desire to take a short cut and use sights.

Frankly if you want to use sights you are better off with a compound bow.

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Want sights, get a crossbow.

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You guys are such experts please send us a video of you shooting instinctively with any accuracy.

 

No pictures of a target you have stuck arrows in with your hands, please.

 

Are you guys old and bored or what?

 

Crayfish

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Expert? At one time maybe. Age and too heavy weight of bows has put the long bow and recurves to rest. I tried a compound but decided that if that was my only option I would quit archery hunting. Crossbow? don't even go there.

In the mid 90s I shot one tournament a week through out the year. I never placed lower than 4th. I went 8 years in Missouri's 1 deer season, killed 8 deer with 8 shots, one per deer, no misses.

All with a Bear Kodiak, a Bear Custom Kodiak Takedown a Homemade osage orange longbow and a Roberson Stykbow. The Robertson ruined me. It was 72 pounds at 28 and I was drawing 31. I averaged 900 arrow per week in practice and my shoulder finally gave up.

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I'm learning traditional archery. Currently, at 20 yards, I can hit a coke can probably 70% of the time. I've tried several different aiming methods but the problem with taping a stick or something on is, What happens when it gets wet? It's not a solid aiming point. Instead I use the tip of the arrow. If I keep it directly below my target I know that it will at least go straight towards it. From there, all I have to worry about it aiming up and down.

 

Oh, I'm usually shooting a 55# 1958 Bear Polar. I also have a #35 Samick Sage but I don't like it. My draw is too long for it.

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Sights on a longbow? That's like putting a plastic stock on a Garand. Blasphemy!!

They wouldn't dare! Well, maybe some misguided soul would, I guess.

 

Somewhere down the road I saw an M1A with a make over to look like a Mattel rifle. :(

 

I am not sure that I could pull a 50# bow at this stage of life. I marvel at the stories of some

of the archers in Merry Ole England that had 100# long bows. They must have had arms like a

gorilla. I doubt that they had sights on them though.

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I had a guy on my team in the Army who was a bowman. A real bowman. He had an English made longbow. I couldn't even string the dang thing, much less shoot it. I used to shoot a re-curve long before compounds came out.

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I had a nice little Bear target bow back in the day. No way near a hunting bow. Gave it to my daughter

but I have no idea of where it is now. She may have stashed it.

My Bear bow was stolen when somebody broke into my car trunk while I was away in Vietnam. My wife thought all they got was the spare tire. They also got my archery equipment and all my fishing gear. :(

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You guys are such experts please send us a video of you shooting instinctively with any accuracy.

 

No pictures of a target you have stuck arrows in with your hands, please.

 

Are you guys old and bored or what?

 

Crayfish

Dang. Who put a burr under your saddle. This is the Saloon remember? Smartalecky comments are the norm. ;)
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Dang. Who put a burr ubnder your saddle. This is the Saloon remember? Smartalecky comments are the norm. ;)

 

+3 :lol::lol::lol:

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The best part about longbows is not having sights. The closest I ever came to using a sight was the tip of the arrow. If all your arrows are the same length and you always have the same draw, it's plenty consistent. I only use that when I was struggling because shooting traditional archery can be a mind game sometimes.

 

I tried the mongolian method with my bare thumb, didn't like it. Maybe one day I'll get the proper thumb ring and try again, but the release just didn't seem crisp. I also tried the english method of pulling to your chest (or was it shoulder) instead of your tooth and didn't like it but I could probably get used to it with practice. Maybe if I was shooting the same weight bows they used and trying for the same distances it would be different.

 

For those who like traditional archery, try some japanese archery. To hit the bullseye you soul must be pure. If I remember correctly, they measured their bow's power in the number of men it took to string it up.

 

Only comment I'll make about my mastery is that I bet I could run a SASS stage with my longbow and do about as well as I do with the guns. Draw whatever conclusions you like about my mastery of SASS. But I'm only doing 1 stage because I don't expect any of the arrows to survive hitting steel targets.

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Howard Hill, who was the guru of the longbow back in the 30's and 40's and did all the trick shots in the Errol Flynn Robin Hood movie including splitting the arrow, said the only way he could keep his edge was to shoot a dozen arrows a day. He called it his daily dozen, personally that wasn't enough for me. The English Long Bowmen shot every Sunday after church. All games were banned and Archery was the only sport allowed. You started with a light bow when you could draw it and moved up in weight as you grew. The practice of archery was required by law and to serve as an archer in combat you had to be able to put three arrows into a three foot dia, circle at 100 yards in under a minuet. I was never that good!

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Is Hill still the only man to kill an elephant with a longbow? Or has someone else done it too?

I know he was the first.DSCF2098.jpg

Well, maybe the first white guy.
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Is Hill still the only man to kill an elephant with a longbow? Or has someone else done it too?

 

I know he was the first.

 

DSCF2098.jpg

He wasn't the first, nor last. IIRC it took him 4 arrows at 1400gr each out of his 115# bow to take it down. I saw a video of it a while back.

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The long bow is most effective shot as a true instinctive weapon. To shoot in such a manner requires the bow to be canted a bit. With sights to be effective the bow must be held perfectly vertical. Practice with a canted bow, select the exact point where you want the arrow to strike, with a split finger placemnt on the string, draw the bow until the index finger touches the corner of your mouth and release. Make sure you follow through by holding the bow in position until the arrow strikes. At no time in this sequence of events should you be "aiming" "sighting" or "pointing" the arrow. Let the same instinct that tells you how to throw a baseball tell you how to hit with an arrow.

It sounds much morre difficult than it is. You just have to lose the desire to take a short cut and use sights.

Frankly if you want to use sights you are better off with a compound bow.

Exactly right

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For about 10 years I used a Martin longbow of 75# draw for shooting in matches in the SCA. When I first got it I used some dots on the riser just above my hand to get the feel for it. As they wore off I didn't bother replacing them. I usually did reasonably well, in the top 8 out of 35 or 40 shooters. My downfall was always the speed round - too slow on the reloads.

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PRACTICE TIME many of you referred to it.

 

Practice time is what I have in a limited quantity. I might use masking tape and a toothpick to get started. Then I would just make a mark more notch

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