Monday, 11 June 2018

Long Rambling Post

I've been busy doing loads of random stuff mostly around flight shooting and the crossbow.
I made up some 30" flight arrows for "Il Bastardo" the short Yew ELB flight bow, to check our observation that, last week, at a 30" draw it out shot the 120# Warbow.

I made the arrows similar to the 32" ones we'd used in the first test. I kept 'em almost as fat in the centre (9mm) but added a footing from some tough dark reddish hardwood I had lying around from some defunct garden furniture about 25 years ago (I knew it would come in handy one day!) Researching on the web, it looks like Cumaru, a wood I'd not heard of before, but it sounds eminently suitable).
The heavy tough footing meant I could make the front end much slimmer ~6mm with a much smaller brass tip. I left the back end tapered more sharply to make it stiffer. Overall they were almost as stiff as the 32" but only 3/4 of the weight! I also used a shorter fletching but increased their height about 1mm.

The results were very good, the 120# shot 3 arrows all pretty much in line at the same distance +/- a yard or so. Il Bastardo shot 2 arrows one being 25 yards further on and the best being 30 yards.
Actual distance was only 300 yards, but one has to allow for prevailing conditions, which is why the comparison was so useful. There was probably another inch of draw available and with the elusive clean loose there is probably more distance to be had.

My trusty test pilot JT was vastly more confident with Il Bastardo at the longer draw and it's stopped biting his bicep (that's where it got the name).
One of the 32" arrows broke at the point and I took a pic to show how they break. I'm currently making the points much smaller with a shorter smaller diameter tang. Pic top right shows the broken point, the spliced footing being glued and a triple start acme screw threaded rod and nut.

While we were over at Now Strike Archers I also shot my little Yew stick bow it's probably only about 35# but it was fun to shoot at a pile of earth and wood chips so that I could find the point on range. It turned out to be about 25 yards. I also tried it with a flight arrow and it got past the 180 yard target that the lads were shooting at!

I couldn't resist buying the screw and nut as it will get used to make a rise and fall adjustment for the crossbow scope mounting. One rotation of the nut gives 8mm of travel, it only cost £2 plus £3 delivery, I don't know how they can do it at that price. Anyhow it will give me something to play with.

Talking of the crossbow, I added a cheek piece to get my eye lined up with the scope, it's rather tall, but when you allow for the cover over the trigger mechanism and the scope mount, that's how it is.
I sawed it out with a curved lower edge where it is let into the top of the stock. I marked out the stock to suit, but sawed it on a slight angle so that the cheek piece leans over, I couldn't resist sculpting it a bit even though the rest of the stock is a bit plank like.

I had a bit of a go at 20 yards and found the effort of cocking the bow left me a little unsteady of aim. It's apparent that for any serious sighting up I need to be sitting so that I can rest my elbows on my knees and get a good solid reproducible shot. It's also obvious that for longer ranges I'll need to be able to elevate back of the scope', hence the need for the adjustable mount.

Back to the arrows and horn inserts for the nock of Warbow and flight arrows...
There has been some discussion about water-buffalo horn vs cow horn etc. I think there is some confusion as to the nature of water-buffalo horn, it is hollow where it is of a larger diameter, it does have a grain/growth rings and will split with craft knife when it's given a tap with a hammer, same as cow horn.
The tips of water-buffalo horn, as sold for horn nocks are solid and the grain is less apparent so any splitting may not be on the desired line.
Cow horn and water-buffalo (both Bovids) are equally suitable. Some may argue about authenticity, but maybe they should investigate the distribution of water-buffalo, oxen and cattle in the middle ages?

I've tried the crossbow at 20 yards again seated, much more consistent having to aim 3 divisions high on the graticule. I noticed that after 2 shots the string was riding over the left string catcher again, added a few twists and it settled down. Oddly I found that shooting off hand (standing) I had to aim 4 divisions high.

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