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Compound Bows and Arrow Velocity

04/15/2009 12:09 PM

The average compound bow speed today is about 320 feet per second (Matthew and PSE have bows that does about 365 feet per second). I was told that they cannot really make it much faster because the arrows cannot handle the speed. What can you do to the arrow, to allow it to go faster?

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#1

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/15/2009 12:48 PM

That sounds like complete tosh to me.
Turkish flight bows have shot wooden arrows over half a mile over 100 years ago.
A modern compound bow can be made to be a true centre shot (so the arrow doesn't need to flex around the bow), the acceleration can be tailored by the cam shape to be smooth.
Modern composite tubular materials can be very stiff, and there is no necessity to make the arrows small diameter. (You could easilly go upto 3/8" if necessary)... think about golf club shafts! The arrow can even be 'barrelled' (fatter in the center) for extra stiffness.
In conclusion, there is no reason you can't make an arrow take the force if you really wanted to.
Maybe they mean 'standard off the shelf' arrows don't like the acceleration.

The more I think about it the dafter it sounds.
There are other reasons for not wanting the extra speed, longevity of the bow and the archers fingers springs to mind (the cams, pivots, string etc must take one heck of a load).
The very powerful Turkish flight bows all used a thumb ring to release the string. I know many compound archers use release aids, it all smacks of too much technology to me. Dunno why you need that velocity unless you are flight shooting (distance).

Out of interest, one of the guys shooting a 'Warbow' (Heavy weight longbow about 130lb draw weight) was shooting fat wooden arrows, he bought a high speed camera which revealed that his arrows were too stiff and instead of flexing around the bow there arrow was flying virtually sideways for a few yards before straightening out.

Del

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#2

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/15/2009 1:50 PM

This link gives some speeds/distances for Turkish flight bows (modern ones).
The figures suggest that the claimed 365fps is rather extreme and would be for a flight bow which would propel an arrow well over half a mile.
However I still stand by my previous comments.

With these velocities I'd think the problem is controlling and stopping the bow limbs which are probably relatively heavy when you consider the added tip mass of the cams.

Del

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#11
In reply to #2

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/16/2009 3:22 PM

That is an impressively rich link there!

Good to see the mongols pick it back up, now if we ship horses will Afghanis go back to buskashi? (I didn't bother with the sound)

we seem to have a sudden surplus of horses here in the states...

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/16/2009 3:50 PM

We seem to have a surplus of horses here in the states!

No doubt, our wild horse population is more than abundant, but that result can be nothing less than interference from animal lovers who haven't a clue, pressuring the BLM to save them all, and the Govt. using this as an excuse to employ hands to care for them who might other wise find work else where.

BUT; said horses are not bred to stand up to the rigors of war, and would quickly be turned into horse meat to feed those folks. If we are to adhere to your suggestion then we should cull said horses just as we would range fed livestock, pay some federal contractors to process the meat and ship that to the war zone!

Well fed populations are less prone to give up their lives for wars that will gain them little in return for loss of lives!

THINK ABOUT IT!

TMF

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/16/2009 4:06 PM

We are singing the same song

I was actually horrified as a child to find out no one ate the un-adopted animals at the pound. Didn't they know people were (at the time) starving in Bangladesh? So I was OK with putting "wild" horses in cans.

But I was actually referring to the current trend of dumping more recently domestic horses that can no longer be supported on government land because they know there is a wild horse program. Unfortunately most will starve before they get rounded up.

But short of herding them across a land bridge (or putting them in a can) I cannot think of an affordable way to get them to asia.

But the last two wars have to have been hard on the horse population, and the Afghans used to be terribly proud of their horses.

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#15
In reply to #2

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/17/2009 12:15 AM

Hi there

I've been searching for wooden arrows spined for a 100# longbow. All the manufacturers in the Pacific Northwest can only get them in very limited quantity. Maybe 2 dozen in a year of manufaturing. What were the turks shooting for their 150# bows and/or do you have any suggestions for finding 100# spined arrows?

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/17/2009 3:36 AM

I'd have thought a 100lb longbow would be fine with the stiffest 11/32 Port Orford Cedar (POC) shafts you can find.
You need a reasonable amount of flex with a longbow to get around the fat grip.
The table in DG Quicks catalogue suggests that a 75/83 lb longbow requires the same spine as a 50/55lb recurve. They sell 11/32 POC shafts up to 60/65 lb spine, I'd think they would do you fine.
Of course Quicks is in the UK, they do export, but maybe you can find supplies locally, or buy in one big batch for you and any fellow longbow shooters.
They have a nice downloadable pdf catalogue.
www.quicksarchery.co.uk
Maybe you could try making you own from Ash or somesuch... it's rather laborious and wouldn't really excite me... I do make my own golf balls tho'

Good shooting
Del

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/17/2009 8:40 AM

I do make my own golf balls tho'

Just looking for a place to hide feathers?

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#19
In reply to #17

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/17/2009 4:15 PM

Clever subtle and funny... a tin of my finest Tuna for you!

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/17/2009 4:18 PM

You are too generous - (he says accepting quickly)

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/17/2009 11:40 AM

Thanks for the response:

I shoot a 72#@28 longbow (the 100#er is a future bow pending on arrows) and I pull @30.5". My POC arrows are spined 80-85#s and shoot great. I also have a 65# recurve and get a much different performance when I loose arrows spined for this bow with my longbow.... and even more so when I shoot arrows spined for my wifes 52#er. I had assumed that POC arrows in the 80-85 range for a 100# bow would not be acceptable. I gues they'd be fine for flight shooting... not my goal though, I shoot for accuracy. I know I can always go with carbon as a couple of POC arrow manufatures have suggested. So, as two local POC manufaturers said, I can get 100# spined arrows, it'll just take 6+ months to get a dozen and I shoot alot (roving is hard on arrows), so I go through more than that. What wood did the Turks use? The Cedars of Lebanon? I love all aspects of traditional archery, but as a working guy I'd rather spend my spare time shooting shafts than making them. Thanks for the information.

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#21
In reply to #18

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/17/2009 4:24 PM

Dunno what wood the Turks and other Asiatic peoples used for arrows. Problem with the Turkish bows is they used special short arrows for filght shooting which rested on a long extended curved horn support (sipur?) tied to the left thumb (assuming the left is holding the bow) That way they could shoot an arrow which was shorter than the draw length! So I'm not sure that their arrow materials will be relevant.

Chinese prob used bamboo?

Here's another good link which may have more stuff...
' ... I'd rather spend my spare time shooting shafts than making them'
I'll agree with you wholeheartedly on that although fletching arrows whilst sitting watching TV is a calming activity...until Mrs Cat gets a ball of wool out and all hell breaks out.
Del

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#3

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/15/2009 2:33 PM

I fire a 65lb recurve 6' long, and while I haven't actually clocked it - we ended up using aluminum shafts almost 3/8" in diameter.

I smell piffle.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Compound bow arows.

04/15/2009 3:14 PM

ooooh... don't use the 'F' word....
Shooot.... we shoot them thar bows... b'aint be no 'fire' involved
Del

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#5

Re: Compound Bows and Arrow Velocity

04/15/2009 4:02 PM

Really?

When I release that b*stard *fire* is the word that comes to mind.

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#6

Re: Compound Bows and Arrow Velocity

04/15/2009 8:13 PM

Gottah figure that there is a limit to every technology.

At some point I'd figure drag would limit the speed of an arrow.

Aluminum shaft arrows are desirable from what I know, for they are light, and if bent will not splinter, as can happen with wooden arrows.

I do not doubt that arrows will have from bows a lower fps average than bullets from a gun.

My suspicion is that you may make a bow and arrow combination that could push an arrow to a tops of around 420 to 530 feet per second. P.S. I knew someone who shot a bent arrow that splintered into bits that took a doctor a long time to pull out of his arm.

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#7

Re: Compound Bows and Arrow Velocity

04/16/2009 12:48 AM

Hello Quobaldt,

I don't hold myself out to be the most knowledgeable individual regarding bows and arrows tho I do have a little more than the basic knowledge regarding the subject. I enjoy hunting with all of the allowable equipment that is legal here in the USA.

Regarding arrows, I find that properly spined (modulus in bending) cedar arrows are quite fast when the feathers are kept to a minimum size as is needed to stabilize the shaft in flight, and the shaft diameter is also minimized. This shaft variety should not be any longer than is suitable for the individual archer.

I have also shot fiberglass arrows, the variety that was popular way back in the middle 1960's. I found them to be much slower than the cedar shafts. They were also heavier, tho durable. I didn't like these arrows as they were costly, about three times the price of cedar shafts when sold in matched dozens.

Aluminum shafts have been popular since the early 1970"s. The problem with them is it is difficult to get the flexibility matched perfectly for some particular bows. They are also slower than the well made cedar shafts which are a lot easier to match to almost any bow, even those with heavier draw weights.

Carbon fiber shafts are "all the rage these days". They are light weight, flexible, and durable. They are not cheap, about 50% more expensive than the aluminum shafts offered by Easton Archery Equipment.

I have read that the bamboo arrow shafts are light and very fast, but one can search through a lot of shafts to create a well matched set. I will leave the bamboo issue to those who are better informed than I.

As for the speed issue, cedar shafts with minimal sized feathers, not plastic vanes are hard to beat, and compare favorably with the very fast carbon fiber shafts.

I have owned several compound bows, and the only one that I like is not manufactured anymore. I have a Browning compound bow that is constructed of laminated wooden limbs and what appears to be a walnut center section. I found it in a pawn shop. It was in perfect condition, clearly only lightly used, it originally sold for about $350.00 when new, I bought it for $50.00.

I also have a bow that is very special to me, as I took my first deer with it. It was manufactured by the Damon Howatt Co. In Northern Washington State. The Howatt company was a premier bow manufacturing facility back then. I bought a Howatt Huntsman model, it is a short re-curve model about 52 inches long, is more accurate than the archer, and I only shoot cedar shafts with this bow, and I don't use any of the modern sighting equipment. I relate this kind of hunting to the enjoyment we got as kids like buck bathing in a local creek. I bought this bow new way back in 1965, for $45.00. I would not sell it for ten times that figure now.

Again regarding speed, where are you clocking the speed of the shaft. On a horizontal shot the greatest speed will generally occur at about 15' from the point of release as the shaft is generally stabilized at this distance, unless it is a cedar shaft. They may flex three times before stabilizing down range. In the end the fast speed may be achieved from a shaft that is shot almost straight up, and then clocked just before it hits the ground.

I hope that you are not confused by my response.

TooMuchFun PS, Del the cat is likely the most, right on, regarding this subject so I give him a GA for his post.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Compound Bows and Arrow Velocity

04/16/2009 2:39 AM

Howatt Huntsman model, it is a short re-curve model about 52 inches long, is more accurate than the archer,
That sounds like a real sweet bow...

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#9

Re: Compound Bows and Arrow Velocity

04/16/2009 8:25 AM

The difficulty is the rate of acceleration. No one wants to pay for titanium arrows that are a little heavier. The heavier arrows will cause more recoil in the bow so current desighns would be useless and the new bows, while more pwerfull, would be heavier. Most of the archery world thinks that going to new extremes would take the fun and sport out of it.

If you have a need for more speed. range and, accuracy in something that is nearly silent, buy a cross bow and matching bolts that are fitted to your application.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Compound Bows and Arrow Velocity

04/16/2009 8:44 AM

The heavier arrows will cause more recoil in the bow .

Depends what you mean by 'recoil'.
A heavier arrow will shoot smoother and more efficiently as a greater proportion of the energy will be transferred to the arrow.
E.g As a simplification, if the limbs and arrow weigh the same then roughly half the energy goes into the arrow and half stays in the limbs, giving shock to the hand/string/limbs etc.
A lighter arrow will go faster but is less efficient, there will be an optimum mass for an arrow/bow combination for maximum efficiency vs speed.
A further example, I have a crossbow with steel limbs (275lb draw weight) which shoots about as far as my longbow and kicks like a mule if I shoot a light bolt as the most of the energy stays in the steel limbs. If I shoot a very heavy bolt it shoots the same distance but much smoother.
This phenomenon of power matching applies to many areas of engineering.

Del

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#14

Re: Compound Bows and Arrow Velocity

04/16/2009 8:54 PM

Although the max speed reached by the compound may equal the speed of a recurve, the time-to-target from the instant of release will be faster from the recurve.

Try it.

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