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Arrow Guides (Read 2252 times)
english
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Arrow Guides
Aug 18th, 2005 at 10:51am
 
Leeds_Lobber posted ages ago about the "solenarion", a missile weapon used by the Byzantines.  I knew about it, and I concluded that it is not really that safe.  However, I made another one recently.  I used a fairly short (58"), recurved, decrowned ash bow and a long hazel "arrow guide", as they are commonly called.  The arrow guide has a loop of string at the end you draw the dart in, and that is so you don't let go of it after a shot; the groove in it is quite deep, about a centimetre of so, and about the same width; it is about 32" long.  You pass the small loop of string around your thumb, and hold the bow string with the "mediterranean release" (two fingers).  The dart is nocked onto the string, and the whole guide is drawn back like an arrow.  (If you draw it vertically or even more to the left, then the chances are more likely that you will hit your wrist with the dart, or it will come out.)  It should be drawn slightly to the diagonal.  I used darts with blunt heads (tack hammered in for weight) so as not to hurt myself, and they were about the length of the end my outstretched thumb to the end of my outstretched middle finger (that's about 8 and a half inches).  They were double fletched, and had deep nocks.
  All I can say is, I've changed my attitude completely.  I was really scared of it to begin with, which was stupid.  I put some heavy, quilted fabric over my hand from my wrist to my thumb, (it's a hot summer's day!) and I drew about half way.  Gradually, my confidence with it grew, and I ended up at full draw, without my fabric cover, shooting happily.  It is probably not safe if you aren't sure what you are doing, so don't just read this and go out and make one.  Do lots of research.
  It shoots fast, and it is quite accurate.  The cardboard box I was using for a target has a lot of giant holes made by the blunts in it.  I think I'll keep an arrow guide in my quiver now - it's about as long as a long arrow and it is fun.  I can see how it might be a kind of medieval sniper rifle.
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Leeds_Lobber
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its ok, they couldn't
hit an elephant at aaaaargh

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Re: Arrow Guides
Reply #1 - Aug 18th, 2005 at 10:54am
 
That seems to have been the idea - they called the Darts 'Mice', and they were used for potting at targets at extreme Bow Range.

Go English!

Pat
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english
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Re: Arrow Guides
Reply #2 - Aug 18th, 2005 at 11:07am
 
I didn't do any flight shooting, for some reason.  I suppose it should have occurred to me that the smaller, lighter, "mice" would fly further, but I didn't test it.  I'll do that this evening or tomorrow, if I have time.


Anyway, here is Bede Dwyer's advice on the use of the arrow guide (Arabic: Majra)
"Guide arrows are hard to follow in flight. Make sure you are shooting somewhere with an adequate area for the darts to land if they miss the target.
Don't have people standing next to you or in front of you when you shoot. The dart can leave the guide and bounce of the belly of the bow at an unpredictable angle.
Make sure the dart is full in the guide and no part of your bow hand is in the way of its flight. You can shoot yourself with a guide, which is a rare feat in any other form of archery. "
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english
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Re: Arrow Guides
Reply #3 - Aug 18th, 2005 at 11:18am
 
Yet another thing I forgot to say:  It helps to have string wrapped around the handle above and below where the solenarion goes on the bow, to maintain it's position in shooting.  I was thinking of carving a little notch or something, but I can't think of how it would be done.
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Re: Arrow Guides
Reply #4 - Aug 18th, 2005 at 12:39pm
 
could you post some pictures Grin
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english
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Re: Arrow Guides
Reply #5 - Aug 18th, 2005 at 3:39pm
 
I will do ASAP.  I've got a a few weeks left of just sitting around, so I'll see what I can do.  I'll try and jazz it up some.

In the meantime, if you want more and better info, go to this site:   http://www.geocities.com/svenskildbiter/Archery/solenarion.html
It's got good information if you want to make one.  And another:
http://www.caama.ca/kitab2/s43.html
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« Last Edit: Aug 19th, 2005 at 11:51am by N/A »  
 
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