The Archery Library
Old Archery Books, Articles and Prints
Home > Books > Arab Archery > Appendix 8. Sighting and Range
8. Sighting and Range

The paragraph on page 79 suggests one very great advantage, which lies in the Oriental manner of shooting past the right side the bow; a technique which is possible only when the string drawn by the thumb. When the arrow is shot past the left side the bow, as is always the case in America, where the string drawn by the tips of the fingers, a distant target is obscured by t bow hand. So, because the mark is thus hidden from his eye, the archer must aim empirically at something above it, like a tree cloud, or hill. To avoid this source of inaccuracy, many archers now depart so far from the simple principles of pure, archery as affix a prismatic lens sight to the bow in order to bring the target into view by deflection. In the Oriental method all this is avoid and, as the text indicates, the archer can look at the target by direct vision between his fingers and can use them as an ascending descending series of sighting levels.

We American archers must also remember that the Oriental draw was to the ear, or near it, and not to the chin or neck as with us. This gave a direct sight on the target at the short rang whereas in our method of holding the arrow lower than the eye, sight over the arrowhead will fall on the ground if the shaft is anything like a horizontal position.

The weight of the bow in this instance is 82 pounds, which quite within reason, and the ranges of 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, and 25 cubits are approximately equal to 177.6, 148, 113.6, 88 74, 29.6 and 14.8 yards. However, the lay reader should real: that all such passages as these in the text, which purport to give the relations between weights and casts, are to be interpreted very loosely. Practical shooting is never as simple as such generalized rules would indicate. Bows may weigh exactly the same and vary enormously in their shooting qualities.