Monday, 28 August 2017

New Arrows, Bolts and Stuff

I went to a 3D shoot at Aurora on Sunday with Mick the blacksmith, gorgeous weather,excellent shoot in good company with great catering. I was worst in our group of 5 only just scraping 406 over 40 targets, but my tennis elbow had flared up and I also felt like I had a 6" nail lodged under my left shoulder blade (note to self... please please use a stringer when making heavy bows). Feel free to use these excuses yourselves...
There was plenty of good natured banter... on one target I was up first, a longish shot with a big tree limb diagonally across about 6 foot in front of me. I thought the trajectory would be flat enough to just go under it... thud... the arrow smacked into it in spectacular fashion sticking in nicely, there was a suitable amount of cussing and witty remarks. I stepped forward and hit the target with the next arrow. Mick stepped up (he's a better shot, but his bow maybe has a slightly softer trajectory as he has a shorter draw)... I though he'd judge it right... nope... "thwack" he buried his first arrow right next to mine, and on digging them out we found a third arrow point buried in there between ours!
One other strange occurrence was on a relatively innocuous wolf target at a shortish range, Mark who was shooting in a very controlled and consistent manner proceeded to demolish 3 arrows by putting them all just over it and smashing them into the coppice of sweet chestnut just behind the target, he was as nonplussed as the rest of us.
I improved slightly near the end of the shoot, but just couldn't seem to get that confident feel of distance/trajectory that one has on a good day. I also managed to smash the points off 4 of my new arrows grrrrr.
Mick uses very long two part screw in points which seem to survive better (mind he misses less too!)

Meanwhile I've still been tinkering with the crossbow, I bought 10 commercial bolts (Aluminium alloy shafts, screw in points, plastic fletchings) and modified the crossbow to take them. I had to deepen the slot in the bow mounting for the cock feather and widen the slot in the nut of the trigger mechanism. The fingers of the nut are aluminium alloy, so I clamped it up tight and put it under the pillar drill with an 8mm bit in the chuck. Taking the drill down very very slowly I managed to mill it out, and a bit of work with needle files completed the job. A test shot showed it worked fine and it felt a bit smoother with the heavier bolts.
Talking of crossbows, a lady at the shoot on Sunday kindly let me have a shot with her Jandao crossbow (90# draw weight) it was good to try one with tele' sights and I made sure not to hit her bolts.
" 9 o'clock in the red" I said to her and promptly shot the bolt just there. I forgot to take the safety off initially, I didn't know where the damn thing was, and if you have to wave the bow around whilst looking for it, it is rather unsafe! She was about as old and grumpy as me and I don't think she really understood that I knew what I was talking about when I was saying I didn't think safety catches were really necessary (maybe some readers won't understand my view either). Anyhow that makes it even more kind of her to let me try it.

Thanks to all at Aurora for putting on an excellent shoot and importing the lovely weather.

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