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Home > Books > A Study of Bows and Arrows > Different arrowheads and their penetration
Arrows

Different arrowheads and their penetration

Part 1 of 3

The character of the head on an arrow must also influence its penetration. For tests from this standpoint, a series of arrows with different shaped heads was employed. These are shown in plate 13, and may be described as follows:

No. 1, a 28-inch arrow, 5/16 of an inch in diameter, made of ash; weight, 1 ounce; feathered with standard hunting type of feathers; blunt point; used principally in the paraffin penetration test.

No. 2, a blunt hunting arrow, ⅜ of an inch in diameter, 28 inches in length; a 1¼ inch round headed screw for point; bound with soldered iron wire. A very useful and durable arrow for killing small game.

No. 3, a blunt hunting arrow, 28 inches long, 11/32 inch in diameter, hickory ; weight, 1⅓ ounces; feathered heav­ily with balloon-shaped feathers; empty 38 caliber pistol shell for pile.

No. 4, a standard English target arrow; 5/16 inch diameter; snakewood footing spliced on end ; stele of red pine; small balloon target feathers; weight, 5 shillings, or approximately 436 grains.

No. 5, target or roving arrow. Birch dowel, inch diameter; 28 inches long; aluminum nock; small balloon feathers; weight, 1 ounce; conical point, made of a U. S. army Springfield 30 caliber bullet jacket.

No. 6, small bodkin hunting arrow; 5/16 inch diameter; birch dowel; 29 inches long, shaft feathered by Ishi in typical shape; weight, 1¼ ounces; point made of tapered square spike set in a piece of brass tubing. Is copy of small Greek bodkin.

No. 7, heavy bodkin point; shaft has ⅜ inch diameter; 28 inches long; heavy hunting type of feathers; point is a very heavy tempered steel reamer set in steel tubing of ⅜ inch diameter by a shank and rivet. This is almost an exact copy of the old English war bodkin point taken from the drawings made by Hastings.[17] The entire weight of this arrow is 2½ ounces, and it represents the most formidable missile in the group under considera­tion. The bodkin point was devised to penetrate steel armor, and in England it supplanted the broadhead after protective devices came into general use. Such a heavy shaft can be shot only from the most powerful bows.

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