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slings & arrows (Read 6690 times)
Hobb
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slings & arrows
Apr 5th, 2004 at 12:31pm
 
I know we've discussed this before, but...

Some friends and I took our slings out my favorited slingin' spot, along with a couple of bows and some 'ninja' stars.  My friend shot a couple of arrows from his 40lb bow to gauge the distance.  He was getting about 2 1/2 times what I can do with a sling!  Admittedly, the stones I throw are all sorts of odd shapes, and I'm no Yurek when it comes to range, but still...  We've always talked about slings out-ranging bows, and that seems to be what the historical texts suggest.  What's goin' on? 

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mgreenfield
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #1 - Apr 5th, 2004 at 1:04pm
 
I think it's this:

1/ The bow and arrow your friend used were commercial items, optimized for performance.
2/ Modern bows and arrows are an improvement on ancient items.  The modern compound bow is absolutely dynamite!
3/ Ancient slingers had a lot of practice, and had built up a much strength in the needed muscles
4/ Wartime slingers often used very long slings.  They sometimes even stood on platforms to have room to swing the sling.
5/ Finally, they used optimized lead or stone ammo.

I dont know if slings will ever out-shoot modern bows.  The problem is that with slings there's little opportunity to store energy "at leisure" in the device, to be later transferred almost instantaneously to the missile.  This ability collect and store energy is the great advantage of the bow.     mgreenfield
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Johnny
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #2 - Apr 5th, 2004 at 1:33pm
 
Hobb
Get a copy of the "Anabasis" by Xenophon. The Rhodian slingers outranged the Persian archers(who were considered the best in the world at the time)who kept harassing the Greeks as they tried to get back home to Greece. They were slinging lead and kept the Persians at bay. The ancient slinger could easily hurl a projectile at a quarter of a mile with ease.
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english
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #3 - Apr 5th, 2004 at 3:11pm
 
Well we know it is possible to easily outrange a bow.  The sling world records far outreach the range of nearly every type of ancient bow.  And we know it was true in the past, too, although of course the Greek writers may have been exaggerating Greek slinging achievements.  Anyways, does it really matter?  I am a total convert to slinging over archery.  I don't care whether it can't outrange a bow, just get fairly close, and what bow can you knock up in a shed with a bit of fabric and some shoelaces?
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Chris
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #4 - Apr 5th, 2004 at 7:02pm
 
Training and strength is important, but I think proper ammo is vital.  If you had a Roman lead projectile and he had a crudely fashioned stick for an arrow, you'd out range him.  You have to compare apples to apples, it's not so easy with vastly different weapons.

Chris
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Hobb
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #5 - Apr 6th, 2004 at 5:16pm
 
So I guess it's fair to say that ancient archer were out-distanced by ancient slingers when both had good equipment and ammo and ideal conditions, but it's a bit ambitious for a novice like me to go up against modern bows.  I can live with that. 

Don't get me wrong, English.  I'm not about to give up the sling!  I wouldn't mind some degree of proficiency in both, but the sling's got my loyalty.  I was laughing as my buddies 'geared up,' unloading an SUV full of stuff, placing a special target, stringing bows, donning archery gloves and braces... then they had to retrieve their arrows every 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, I was slinging away, happy as a clam -- if clams could sling.
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english
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #6 - Apr 7th, 2004 at 3:10am
 
When practising archery, all I have with me is three extra strings, a basket quiver of decent homemade arrows, the bow (similarly homemade), and that is about it.  I think archery is great, I like the noise of the arrow hitting wood, and I would trust my life to my proficiency, but I prefer slinging.  I am definitely not as good, in any way, but it is nicer because it is simpler and the amount of skill required is higher, and so there is more satisfaction gained from a good shot.  And yeah, with my homemade bows, I think I can outrange my homemade slings, but that is not the point.
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nathan_gill
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #7 - Apr 19th, 2004 at 7:09pm
 
I think the reason acient text seem to say that singers out ranged arrchers is not because they could throw farther but because of differing cost in amunition. Let me explain,arrchers could shoot farther but did not have good acuracy at that range. Because arrows are expensive they could not aford to miss. rocks are much cheeper thus slingers could take "pot shots". At least thats what I think
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David_T
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #8 - Apr 19th, 2004 at 7:54pm
 
Distance is distance, so unless someone shows me that "out-range" means "more accurate", Il'' go with the  meaning that it could land the projectile further then the bow.

Shouldn't this be easy to settle? Surely someone can find the world distance record of a modern bow?
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Matthias
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #9 - Apr 19th, 2004 at 8:27pm
 
Uh Oh... not sure if we're going to like this one:

http://www.usarchery.org/results%20&%20records/records/National%20Regular%20Flig...

They have the "intermediate" and "juniour" titles reversed I think but still... outranged by a 12 year old girl?  Grin

Also note than Don Brown's record is often given as 1336 yards 1' 3" (1,222.01 m)...

The good news is that self-bows look to be limited to about 300 yards - which we _can_ beat without much trouble or training. Not much scope for technology improvements in slings (techstuf not withstanding). I'm actually surprised that an '87 record has held up. Lots of composites improvements since then.

Seems that once the human limit is reached, and bow energy recovery is pegged (not much room for improvement in current designs) the only thing left for them to play with is projectile design (barreled arrows etc...)

We've got a definite aero advantage over an arrow, so all we really need is a way to store energy more effectively (how 'bout that compound sling video?)  Wink


Matthias
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nathan_gill
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #10 - Apr 19th, 2004 at 8:33pm
 
1,336 yds 1' 3" (1,222.01m) , shot by Don Brown with an unlimited conventional Flight bow in 1987.
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Chris
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #11 - Apr 19th, 2004 at 9:38pm
 
You've got to keep in mind that bows in ancient times were considerably worse, both in material and engineering.  We know the range of archers from historical texts, which is less than 350 yards,.

Chris
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nathan_gill
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #12 - Apr 20th, 2004 at 7:41am
 
I looked it up,turkish arrchers were said to have shot 874yr. in the 18th cent.,using a composite bow(horn,wood,and sinue).However it was with a flight arrow(179gr.)not a war arrow(300gr.+)

Nathan
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Chris
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #13 - Apr 20th, 2004 at 10:32am
 
18th century is still very modern.  I'm talking about pre-roman times, when the sling was still a vitally important weapon. 

Chris
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Matthias
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Re: slings & arrows
Reply #14 - Apr 20th, 2004 at 1:23pm
 
Sometimes the page rollover hits in just the right place....

Quote:
Uh Oh... not sure if we're going to like this one:

http://www.usarchery.org/results%20&%20records/records/National%20Regular%20Flig...

(chopped)


Looks like a pretty comprehensive list of current records with different types incl. turkish / composite / self / compound... interesting to see the different age/sex classes too.

I suspect that the definition of the classes allows modern arrows though, and I can guarantee that a 3mm solid carbon barreled arrow will fly a whole lot farther than a goose quill fletched willow one...

Matthias
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