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Home > Books > A Study of Bows and Arrows > Conclusions


The conclusions derived from these experiments are:

  • The aboriginal bows are not highly efficient nor well made weapons.
  • The greatest flight shot achieved by any aboriginal bow at our disposal is 210 yards.
  • The greatest flight attained by any bow in our experi­ments was 281 yards. This flight was made by a replica of a Turkish bow.
  • The flight arrows made by Ishi are superior to all that we tried.
  • The English longbow is a superior weapon to any other bow tested. The old English broadhead arrow a yard long really existed.
  • The striking force of a 50-pound bow with a 1-ounce arrow at 10 feet is 20 foot pounds.
  • The striking force of a 75-pound bow with a 1-ounce arrow is 25 foot pounds.
  • The velocity of a target arrow from a 50-pound bow is 120 feet per second; from a 75-pound bow, 135 feet per second.
  • The heavier the arrow, up to a certain limit, the greater the striking force.
  • The larger the feathers on an arrow, the sooner it loses velocity and striking force.
  • The red wood of the yew has more cast than the white wood.
  • Backing a bow with rawhide does not increase its cast; it only prevents the bow from breaking.
  • Obsidian arrow points penetrate animal tissue better than steel points the same size.
  • Linen is stronger and better for bow strings than sinew.
  • A Tartar bow, though the most powerful to draw, is a failure as a weapon to shoot.
  • The California Indian makes the best aboriginal arrow of all the specimens examined.
  • The English target arrow of today is the highest scien­tific development of the arrow.
  • A steel broadhead arrow, shot from a strong bow, can pass entirely through a large animal and produce instant death.
  • A bodkin-pointed arrow, shot from a heavy bow, can penetrate steel mail.
  • The bow is a more sportsmanlike implement than a gun because it requires more skill and personal strength, and in hunting it places the man and his quarry on a more equal footing. It fosters the preservation of game.
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