The Archery Library
Old Archery Books, Articles and Prints
Home > Articles > Arrows and Arrow Makers > The Arrow in Modern Archery
The Arrow in Modern Archery
By Weston Flint
Part 3 of 3

The weight of the arrow of course depends somewhat upon the length, as whatever the length, it must be of sufficient size to prevent bending, and these weights are given in English silver shillings, from 4s. 3d. to 5s. 6d. for gentlemen, and from 2s. 6d. to 3s. 6d. for ladies. The proper balancing of the arrow is secured by weighting the point. In the case of target arrows the center of gravity is made to fall about one-third of the distance from the point. The flight-arrow for long-distance shooting is made lighter, much longer, and of different shape, often being smaller towards the nock, because distance, not accuracy, is the end desired. The balance is much nearer the head; the pile is rather blunt, more like a bullet, and the feathering is very light, some of the best arrows for distance having no feathering at all.

The one I used at a contest in 1883 was made from an ordinary reed with a weighted head, no feathers, and about 32 inches long. With this a flight shot of 272 2/3 yards was made. Mr. L. W. Maxson, of this city, an expert in archery, made a distance of 296 yards, in this city, in 1884. This was with an unfeathered reed 33 inches long, with a leaden pile.

Some very practical lessons have been learned from the arrow in these later days. Four or five years ago, while the Archery Club was practicing in this city, General Meigs was much interested in the practice scores, and with Captain Bartlett, a member of the club, made a study of the practical use of the arrow in throwing over buildings fire-escape arrows with lines attached; and it was partly from experiments like these that the dynamite projectile, nearly like an arrow, was planned by Captain Medford and others. The projectile carrying the dynamite was made of various shapes, but all were modeled upon the plan of the arrow. They were constructed with a large stele with frustum-shaped base, or an oval head with small stem and a flanged, blunt cone at the base, which answered the purpose of the feather in guiding the missile through the air.

There has always been a great fascination in the use of the arrow, and the late revival of archery is not strange. Even as late as 1816

a silver arrow was shot for at the famous Harrow school, in England, founded by John Lyons, and an arrow was sculptured upon the old school-house and used to be stamped upon all the book covers provided by the foundation.