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Different arrowheads and their penetration

Part 2 of 3

Nos. 8 and 9, Ishi arrows; birch shafts 5/16 inch diam­eter; 30 inches long; feathered hunting style. The points are flaked obsidian 1¾ inches long and ¾ inch wide, set in resin and bound with sinew. Their weight is 420 grains.

No. 10, spear-pointed war arrow. Shaft of ⅜ inch birch; 28 inches long; heavy hunting feathers; point of heavy lance-shaped steel, 2 inches long, 5/8 inch wide, 1/16 inch thick, set in a heavy brass tubing for a socket, with solder. It is built on the lines of Greek and Japanese war arrows. Weight, 2 ounces.

No. 11, blunt barbed arrow; called a squirrel arrow; ⅜ inch birch shaft; 28 inches long; hunting feathers; weight, 1½ ounces; point a blunt lance shape with short barbs. An instrument useful in shooting rabbits, squir­rels, and game that tend to carry off a shaft. The barbs hold the quarry until the hunter secures it.

No. 12, an Ishi steel head. In all respects the same as Nos. 8 and 9, only having a steel head of his modem adaptation, 1¾ inches long by ¾ inch wide; bound on the shaft with sinew. Weight, 1 ounce.

Nos. 13 and 14, deer arrows, or heavy hunting shafts of my make, of ⅜ inch birch, 28 inches long; hunting feathers; steel heads barbed; 1½ to 3 inches long by 1 to 1¼ inches wide; riveted and soldered in a shaft of steel tubing. They are a counterpart of the English broad- head; weight, 1½ ounces. The head alone weighs as much as half an ounce.

No. 15, a replica of the English war arrow shown in an old painting (pl. 1) in the Museum of Anthropology, San Francisco. The subject is probably St. Sebastian, painted in Italy about the fifteenth century. It represents an English crusader with his longbow and broad-headed arrow. Taking comparative measurements of the picture with the assumption that this archer shot a 6-foot bow, the dimensions of this arrow are as follows: Length of shaft, 35 inches; diameter, ½ inch; length of head, 3½ inches; breadth, 2½ inches; length of feathers, 9 inches; height, 1½ inches. The weight of the copy is 3 ounces, and it probably represents the famous English broad head, a yard long. The weight of the head alone is a trifle over 1 ounce. It seems likely that such miniature javelins actually were shot by exceedingly long-armed and strong men, but as a rule three-quarters of the standard (as referred to in the Fifth Act of Edward IV, chapter 4, as follows) was the average arrow of the times:

Every Englishman, and Irishman dwelling with Englishmen, and speaking English, being between sixteen and sixty years of age, is commanded to provide himself with an English bow of his own length, and one fist mele at least, between the nocks, with twelve shafts of the length of three quarters of the Standard.[18]

No doubt many men tried to shoot arrows far too long for them, even as Ishi made great heavy shafts for show and war purposes that he could not properly discharge from any bow he ever shot. It was probably considered a sign of prowess to shoot a long shaft. This English war arrow is too heavy and cumbersome to shoot from any bow I can command. Even with an 85-pound bow, its flight is only 112 yards. The bow in the picture does not pull over 75 pounds, and being apparently not over 6 feet long, it is incapable of having a 36-inch arrow drawn to the head without breaking.