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Home > Books > Arab Archery > XXVIII. On causing the arrow to move on itself, or wag, in its flight
XXVIII. On causing the arrow to move on itself, or wag, in its flight
Part 1 of 2

THE arrow is moved on its flight by one of thirty-five things; six are imparted by the archer, eight by the bow, nine by the string, and twelve by the arrow itself.

The six imparted by the archer are: pressing against the nock of the arrow with the base of the index finger from the commencement of the draw to the moment of loosing; removing the bottom of the nock away from the string during the draw and the loose; a bad loose; shooting against the wind; a loose hold on the grip; weakness of the archer and excessive weakness of the bow.

The eight imparted by the bow are: disparity in the two siyahs of the bow, the one being of hard wood and the other of soft wood; the intrusion of the lower limb upon the upper limb;[29] a crooked grip; a crooked limb, whether the upper or the lower; thin and crooked siyahs; too long a bow for the archer; too strong a bow for the archer and too light an arrow; and too light a bow and too heavy an arrow.

The nine imparted by the string are: too long a string; too thick a string and too narrow a nock; too thin a string and too large a nock; disparity in the size of the eyes of the string, the one being too small and the other too large; oversize of the two eyes of the string; thickness of the upper part of the string and thinness of the lower part; thinness of the upper part of the string and thickness of the lower part; and the string's being too light for the bow.

The twelve imparted by the arrow itself are: disparity in the weight of its feathers, some being heavy and some being light; some of the feathers being too high and others being too low; too much feathering; too little feathering; the loss of some of the feathers; too large a nock; a split or hole in the body of the arrow; a heavy stele and a light arrowhead; a light stele and a heavy arrowhead; a crooked arrow; too light an arrowhead and too many feathers; too heavy an arrowhead and too few feathers.

The arrow may move on itself in one of seven ways: it may wag from the moment it leaves the bow to the moment it alights on the target; it may leave the bow wagging until it reaches half the range, when it will become steady and travel the remaining half of the range straight until it falls on the target; or it may wag in exactly the opposite fashion, namely, it may leave the bow straight and accurately pointed until it reaches half the range, when it will swerve and wag until it falls; or it may swerve and gad toward the right; or toward the left; or it may leave the bow and travel straight until it reaches the end of the range, when it will swerve and wag; or it may swerve throughout its flight.

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