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Analyzing the Paradox
Part 2 of 6

We have now traced the string and nock to a point beyond the point of rest and have seen no evidence of the slap on the wrist which many of us thought was caused by the scrape of the string as it traveled toward the bow. I had been plotting this curve by measurements taken with a small wooden indicator about three inches long by half an inch wide pivoted at one end to the arm of the machine so that it projected across the path of the string at right angles. Having the distance marked in inches for the full length of the arrow I had been setting this indicator every two inches marking the point where it was touched by a string stretched from the center of the bow to the center of the string in the trigger at full draw. I would set the arrow and by means of a little paint on the string would be able to show on the pointer how much off center the string was traveling at any distance. As this curve again crossed the line (a) I began taking readings every half inch, then every quarter inch, shortening the pointer each shot in order to clear the lower feather. As the next shot was made which would show the point of impact of the string one inch beyond the point of rest—something happened. This little indicator which up to this reading had just been flipped around, now was knocked completely off its perch, hit the ceiling and landed eight or ten feet behind the machine. The string had been carried around the end of this piece of wood, still engaged in the nock of the arrow and then suddenly snapped out traveling sharply to the left and backward with a decided upward swing, else the pointer would not have bounced off the ceiling. Next a piece of wood was placed on the machine in the position of an arm guard, the string painted and another shot showed two distance markings, one ending about two inches beyond the point of rest as the string travels and the other slightly behind this point. In order to further check this peculiar twist I removed the bow from the machine and used the same arrow in this test. A sheet of plain white paper was placed around the left forearm as an arm guard, the string painted, the point of rest marked and the arrow shot in the ordinary manner. I received the usual slap on the wrist and the markings of the painted string showed very beautifully the movement of the string at this point. This was repeated with different bows and showed little variation from the reproduction shown in Fig. 4 (1). The point of rest is shown as (a), (e) the first Impact and (f) the second, corresponding to these letters in Fig. 1 with the arrows showing the direction of the string. It was evident that the impact at (f) was the harder and also more of a blow than a scrape, undoubtedly being the cause of the bow swinging around in the hands of some archers who shoot with a very loose grip. I wondered what was happening at this point to augment the force of this impact over the first one and came to the conclusion that either the tips were swung to one side or that the handle was forced much more to the right than was generally supposed. This was found to be the case as is shown in Fig. 3. Note the handle is fully one inch to the right while the tips are very slightly to the right of the line. There has been many an argument about the point at which the arrow leaves the string. I am convinced that the string does not simply follow through, gradually slowing up as the arrow gains momentum, but is carried forward more or less firmly engaged in the nock by the angle of the arrow and the fit of the string in the nock. Remember that the bow, hand and forearm, arrow and string are all moved over to the right as a unit. Fig. 3 shows the extreme point to which the bow travels with the arrow shown against the bow to better illustrate the point. We know the arrow leaves the bow before it reaches this point, but just how far the bow and arrow travel in contact here is more than I can say at this time.

Fig. 3 also shows the tips and string performing a curve just the reverse of the string at the nocking point, due perhaps to the resistance of the centers of gravity of each half of the string.