Saturday, 8 November 2014

Hedeby Bow Performance

I've been away for a week due to family matters.
I shot the Hedeby bow at Avalon Archers field shoot last Sunday, it performed well. There were 5 of us in the group, a couple of horse bows, an American Flatbow, an English Longbow and the Hedeby which I shot as a Primitive (I couldn't decide if it was a Longbow or Primitive, but nobody was too worried). I shot pretty well and came 3rd in the group, I was let down by a couple of blanked targets where I just couldn't judge the range and grouped all 3 arrows an inch or so above the target.
I was expecting it to be sluggish and shocky  due to the extended handles, none of it!
It shot very much like any of my other Yew bows, smooth and fast. The draw weight felt a tad heavy by the end of the day and the handles give the full draw tiller a rather alarming appearance!
I shall reduce the draw weigh a little and try to even the tiller a little more. The stave was deflexed originally and it has taken a little set, I'm very impressed with how it shoots and have for some time believed that set isn't the evil some people would have us believe. All wooden bows will take a little set, even those that have say an inch of reflex... they probably started with 2" !
Anyhow, here's a couple of pics showing brace and full draw (showing 50# at 28")
Interestingly, I'd measured it moments before and had read 53# at 28", it's surprisingly difficult to accurately measure draw length and weight simultaneously. There is a fair bit of parallax depending on where you stand/film when reading the draw length.
I couldn't find any compelling reason for the handles, and to be honest I'd rather have had the bow the extra 7" longer nock to nock! It did keep the lower nock and string out of the mud I s'pose. The side nocks worked very well, but the string creaked alarmingly in them as it approached full draw!
I got a bit of news which cheered me up after a tough week. The bow I gave to "Pappy" my host in Tennessee has been blooded, an English longbow taking a deer! Excellent, Of course we can't hunt with bow and arrow in the UK, but it's nice to know the humble bow can still do the job its been doing for millennia.
Pic of Pappy trying the bow for the first time here:-


  1. Nice compass on a bit of a hinge. I really like this style-Hrothgar

  2. Hi,
    I just happened to stumble on your page while reading up on the Hedeby bow. I'm not quite sure where someone suggested it, or who he was for that matter, but he argued that the deflexed handles may have been a way to prevent damage such as limbs splitting resulting from high poundage shooting, since they didn't use horn tippings like English longbows. Hope that makes sense somehow, as I ahve no way of knowing myself.