Gun vs bow...

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Many Klatch

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One writer discussing accuracy of the Plains Indian Archers said he watched about 20 of them compete. They stuck a D handle shovel in the dirt at about 60 yards. All but one of them was able to shoot clean through the opening in the handle. The "miss" bounced off of one side of the inside of the handle.
 

LawrenceA

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One writer discussing accuracy of the Plains Indian Archers said he watched about 20 of them compete. They stuck a D handle shovel in the dirt at about 60 yards. All but one of them was able to shoot clean through the opening in the handle. The "miss" bounced off of one side of the inside of the handle.
That says it all.
 

Tom A Hawk

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Mongolian horse archers conquered a large portion of the world armed with the amazing Asiatic composite bow. A lamination of horn, wood and sinew.
 

sussexmuzllodr

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I started with #70 compound down to #55 and #45 with a recurve....geez im getting old!
 

azmntman

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I will add, one of my favorite hunting lines is walking back into deer camp after the afternoon hunt. "Did you see anything?" "Yeah, didn't you hear me shoot?"
Jane and her man joe were out hunting deer and became hopelessly lost. Jane stated to Joe she heard from her father to always shoot three time in the air fast when lost as this was the international sign of needing help. Joe did so. In 20 min he repeated the three shots. Another 20 minutes and Joe says to Jane, "you better shoot this time, I'm almost out of arrows"

ya, I know we need the head slap emoji back
 

sussexmuzllodr

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We all love our Charcoal burners....but nothing beats a concealed and clean kill on the ground. I never hunt from stands. The key is to smell worse than what your aiming at....
 

ugly old guy

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More shots with the bow, compared to a ML, but the bow and arrow have zero hydrostatic shock value.

A ML and unmentionable guns have hydrostatic shock to help down the critter, they don't require or rely on bleedout to drop the critter like an arrow does.
 

hogslayer

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that is a pretty cool photo! Is that your anchor point? Do you still shoot that bow?
i did have an ancestor, John Cole, at Agincourt.
Yes for distance I shoot a standard arrow 32.5 inch bodkin which is longer than my normal draw length of 28 " for hunting ( I use a three bladed broadhead ) works a treat on Texas hogs.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Hydrostatic shock require high velocity. There are different opinions on this; they range from 2000 to 2600 FPS.
Actually the current theory is that not only does the impact speed on the living target (not the beginning muzzle velocity) needs to exceed 2000 fps..., but the bullet also has to hit by luck when the heart is at full compression and thus the impact over-pressures the cardiovascular system. This theory has come about to explain the inconsistency of the phenomenon, when other factors are equal.

The much slower velocity of black powder launched projectiles DO rely on tissue damage and overwhelming the nervous system. A lung shot damages and collapses both lungs when done right, a heart shot damages the heart and shuts down the cardiovascular system, and shoulder/neck/head shots damage the nervous system. Shoulder or neck shots when done right either actually impact into the spine or transmit damage to the spinal column.

LD
 

rickpa

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For anyone wanting more info on the English long bow I'd recommend Longbow by Robert Hardy. Historical data as well as building and shooting a modern longbow. I shot 3D competition for about 10 years using a 1965 Bear Kodiak Special recurve, no sights, stabilizer or other junk on it. Cedar arrows fletched with turkey feathers from birds I shot.......... If you want a good historical novel, Bernard Cornwell has written several, Agincourt, 1356, The Archers Tale, Vagabond, and Heretic. Cornwell is also the author of the Richard Sharpe series, set in the Napoleonic Wars era.
 

Kmcmichael

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Actually the current theory is that not only does the impact speed on the living target (not the beginning muzzle velocity) needs to exceed 2000 fps..., but the bullet also has to hit by luck when the heart is at full compression and thus the impact over-pressures the cardiovascular system. This theory has come about to explain the inconsistency of the phenomenon, when other factors are equal.

The much slower velocity of black powder launched projectiles DO rely on tissue damage and overwhelming the nervous system. A lung shot damages and collapses both lungs when done right, a heart shot damages the heart and shuts down the cardiovascular system, and shoulder/neck/head shots damage the nervous system. Shoulder or neck shots when done right either actually impact into the spine or transmit damage to the spinal column.

LD
Yes, but how does a round ball differ drastically from an arrow with a large three bladed broadhead in upsetting the nervous system?
I cannot comprehend the heart theory.
 

Tom A Hawk

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More shots with the bow, compared to a ML, but the bow and arrow have zero hydrostatic shock value.

A ML and unmentionable guns have hydrostatic shock to help down the critter, they don't require or rely on bleedout to drop the critter like an arrow does.
Actually, a hole poked in front of the diaphragm causes the lungs to collapse rather quickly. I've had deer shot with a round ball travel further before collapsing.
 

Cvkotvkse

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The distance shooting by English longbowmen of the 15th-16th centuries was NOT limited to massed volley fire at massed targets. The standard proficiency test for professional archers was to loose 12 arrows in 60 seconds at a 2'x6' wooden plank at 240 yards, and to at least cut wood with all 12.
Similar long-distance accuracy training occurs in other cultures. Traditional Bhutanese archery consists of 2-arrow rounds, at a 2'x2' target, at ranges from 140-180 yards.
Cherokee cornstalk shoots are done using 2' wide ricks filled with horizontal layers of cornstalks, usually at about 120 yds. Scoring is based not only on accuracy, but also on the number of layers of cornstalks penetrated.
To bring the accuracy issue back around full-circle, the English competition of "shooting the peeled wand" consisted of shooting at a 2" wide debarked sapling, 6' or so tall, from 60 yards.
As stated earlier, this kind of proficiency with bows averaging in the 120-130# draw weight range had its costs. Archers whose remains were recovered from the Mary Rose had their spines displaced laterally as much as two inches between the shoulder blades, under the rhomboid muscle.
These bows were NOT short-drawn, either. The "clothyard shaft" was 40" long, and drawn to the back of the "pile," or point.
While the typical Eastern Woodlands native hunting bow was ca. 5' long and 40-50#, war bows for some nations were much closer to the English longbows in length and strength. Cherokee warbows were 6' long, and 70-80#. The Apalachee of N. Florida were almost a foot taller than the Spaniards, used bows described as 100# in draw weight, and were well-documented as shooting cane arrows with stone points completely through men in chainmail armor from a hundred yards out.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Yes, but how does a round ball differ drastically from an arrow with a large three bladed broadhead in upsetting the nervous system?
I cannot comprehend the heart theory.
The broadhead, no question causes different wounds than a round ball or conical bullet. In fact the broadhead delivers in most large game cases, a 7/8" blade, which is a wound that is larger than the diameter of a 10 gauge round ball. 😶 The round ball delivers in some cases blunt force trauma to the deer when it hits the spine or transfers impact through bone to the spine (So could a person if they tip-toed up the the deer and hit it where the spine and shoulders meet using a 2 lb. hammer. ;) )

The heart theory is from the fact that hydrostatic shock was observed to simply be inconsistent, even when the impact speed was up to 2000 fps or faster. Then the hypothesis came about that if the target's heart, be it man or beast, IF at full compression during a single heart beat, AND the impact of the bullet at 2000 fps happened simultaneously..., perhaps THAT impact at THAT moment was what was causing the hydrostatic effect? For a brief moment the cardio system was at max compression pressure and BAM the bullet hit at the same moment....

Very tough to test, but would explain the inconsistency..., but if true, then not only does the shooter need a bullet impact faster than 2000 fps, but also needs luck 🍀to hit at the perfect time.

Since the impact speed isn't really going to be good enough in the vast majority of traditional muzzleloaders, let alone other things called "muzzleloaders"... it's kind of a fun thing to look at but doesn't really apply to us here.

LD
 

Boston123

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Native Americans wouldn't have dropped bows for guns like last years New Years Resolution if bows were "better". The fact that many-if-not-most Native Americans did so suggests the opposite is true.

Even a smoothbore musket is going to be more accurate, at longer ranges, with greater "power", than a bow. At least on paper.

From what I have read over the years, the various Plains tribes were slow to adopt guns not because guns were inferior to bows in general, but because guns were inferior to bows on horseback, usually involving issues with loading. European dragoons tended to have the same issues

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/6kx1uq
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/6l8n82
 

sussexmuzllodr

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a through shot on my last deer this season almost pulled some of the lungs out the exit. 30 yards and down
 

beardedhorse

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Both English longbowmen and Native American archers began in their youth and had a life time of training. Mounted archery programs and events in modern times are a sport. I've handle bows for sixty three years shooting instinctive and with target sights. It is amazing the accuracy possiblye. More than one archer in modern times shows up shooting aspirin thrown up in the air. The competitions and programsat National ML rendezvous for archery that I ran revealed some retty darn good shots and 10-12 arrows loosed in 15 seconds. I can make black powder from raw materials, cast my own lead and knap my gun flints but not forge a barrel from scratch. It takes me a lot less tie with steel tools to fashion accurate and deadly bows and arrows. I teach how to do it with stone age tools. When push comes to shove, bows and arrows are weapons not wisely set aside. Paraphrasing something Benjamin Franklin said during the Revolutionary War.
 

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