Gun vs bow...

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Musketeer

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There are two videos pertinent to this discussion, but they don't exactly fit in with traditional muzzleloading directly, so I won't link to them. Search youtube for:

"Why ballistic gel works and caliber arguments are dumb"

and

"Clayton Coyle elk"

The first is some excellent discussion of how and why bullets work (including velocity thresholds) and the second is an excellent example of how effective a sharp and well-placed broadhead can be. Granted, it was accomplished with modern tackle, but well-made ancient tackle in the hands of a skilled archer could have produced similar results. :thumb:
 

rickpa

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So, how did you do in the 3D competitions?
Not bragging but I had shelves full of first, second, and third place trophies. At that time my wife was a Girl Scout leader so for their summer camp activities which included archery, I took off all the name plates and donated the trophies to the Scouts so that every girl had a trophy for doing the archery activity. I saved the plates and mounted them on plaques. A quick count of the plates shows 57 of them.
 
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Presuming they open as designed.
Here in Idaho and neighboring Oregon, expanding broadheads are specifically prohibited when archery hunting. Regardless of if using a longbow, recurve, compound bow, or crossbow.

For what it's worth, after checking the hunting regs in all 50 states, all Canadian Provinces, Mexico, South America, and random European, Asian, and African nations, Idaho and Oregon are the only two places on this rock that require fixed blade broadheads and prohibit expanding broadheads.
Note that some, but not all, African big game require the archer to use a fixed blade. The "Big 5" for example, all require a metal fixed blade broadhead if you're ... umm ... crazy ... enough to hunt them with a bow...
(personally, I wouldn't go after a bear of any kind with a bow, either.)
I've bear hunted with a bud that had a history of hunting bears with a bow. He recalled one rather large black bear that he shot from a tree stand in Eastern Canada. The bear saw him in the tree, stood up on his hind legs, and woofed at him. He let fly, straight through the chest/heart for full pass-through into the dirt. The bear ran off. His guide showed up later... "I've never shot one that well with full pass-through and have it run off like that". They tracked it to the edge of some really thick brush, with a hole/cave going through. Comment to the guide "I think this is what I pay you for...". The guide crawled through with his backup rifle - dead bear. I would hunt with a bow (but would like some kind of backup. At least a 22 - to shoot my guide in the leg...
 

elkslayer

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I have often wondered why early 19th century armies didn't adopt the use of bows as their supply of gunpowder and lead ran low. Maybe it is as simple as there not being a good supply of bows and arrows or time to train soldiers.

It sure seems like firing volleys of arrows at rank upon rank of Union Soldiers at a rapid rate would have been at least as devastating as rifles. Same for American patriots firing at advancing rows of British soldiers.
 

Boston123

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I have often wondered why early 19th century armies didn't adopt the use of bows as their supply of gunpowder and lead ran low. Maybe it is as simple as there not being a good supply of bows and arrows or time to train soldiers.

It sure seems like firing volleys of arrows at rank upon rank of Union Soldiers at a rapid rate would have been at least as devastating as rifles. Same for American patriots firing at advancing rows of British soldiers.
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/6kx1uq
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/4l72sn
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/18984h
AskHistorians is one of the better subreddits to get info from, because sources have to be cited or supported in some fashion, or answers will be deleted

Regarding the American Revolution: Benjamin Franklin actually suggested it. People with actual military experience did the 18th century equivalent of "pfft, no"
 
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Or were the “butts” the archery target range? I hope.
Butt was the straw targets used then. They were the size of a barrel bottom.... the butt of the barrel.
Target was a small shield. Often seen at the time in a steel circle on the chest, in a body of mail. Bulls eye was literally the size of a bulls eye
 

Sam squanch

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I think musket fire had more shock value against farm lads who were not used to loud noises. But seeing a cloud of arrows descending would really suck!
 

LeadShark

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I have often wondered why early 19th century armies didn't adopt the use of bows as their supply of gunpowder and lead ran low. Maybe it is as simple as there not being a good supply of bows and arrows or time to train soldiers.

It sure seems like firing volleys of arrows at rank upon rank of Union Soldiers at a rapid rate would have been at least as devastating as rifles. Same for American patriots firing at advancing rows of British soldiers.
Making arrows takes skill and time. They can't be mass produced like bullets and powder can. You also would have to basically retrain your soldiers to use this different weapon. It would be a logistical nightmare. Not to mention the fact that you would put yourself at a disadvantage to a foe with firearms at their disposal.
 

Eterry

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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.
Have you personally SEEN a deer killed by a broadhead? I've taken 3, hunted with guys who killed dozens.
The wound channel is Unbelievable! I've never seen ANY shotgun or rifle wound that compares to it.
I've actually saw a deer take a broadhead and never take a step, it bled out that quickly.

From what I've seen, not heard or read, I would rather get shot with a gun than a broadhead.
 

LeadShark

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The "gun vs bow" questions is always a very funny one because history has basically answered it already.
 

smoothshooter

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I have read several books on English archery and I always wondered how British archers were able to handle such heavy bows? I managed to shoot a 60 LB. bow fairly well but in tournaments I dropped down to a 55LB bow. I was in good shape and being 6' 1" had a draw of 29". The archer of the fifteenth century were very short therefore their draw would be short as well, possibly only 25"s on an average. Could it be the ancients bows were never pulled to the poundage the bows were capable of due to their short statue?This question has plagued me for a long time.
Most English archers did indeed shoot bows with heavy pull weights to the point that they are identifiable when their skeletons are unearthed today because of serious deformities in the upper arm bones, shoulder blades, and upper back. This from a lifetime of shooting very powerful bows regularly and the tendons distorting the bones.
 

waksupi

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I think the reason firearms surpassed archery in combat, was range. Many assume engagements were at close range, whereas even during the Revolution, most engagement was at around 200 yards,
 
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Butt was the straw targets used then. They were the size of a barrel bottom.... the butt of the barrel.
Target was a small shield. Often seen at the time in a steel circle on the chest, in a body of mail. Bulls eye was literally the size of a bulls eye
In both military ranges and ranges where NRA High Power Rifle matches are held, they still call the area where the targets are located as "the butts."

Gus
 
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I sure would like to see the data that established that for the AWI

LD
Most information I have come across mentions 50 yards to 100 yards, as per this example:

Major George Hanger, an eighteenth century authority on arms, stated, “a soldier’s musket, if not exceedingly ill bored (as many of them are) will strike … a man at eighty yards; it may even at a hundred. But a soldier must be very unfortunate indeed who shall be wounded by a common musket at 150 yards; and as to firing at a man at two hundred yards, you might as well fire at the moon.”
 

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