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ancient slingers training? (Read 3013 times)
Bill Skinner
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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #15 - Aug 5th, 2017 at 11:22am
 
He's bragging about the archers, too.  It's rather difficult to get a self bow, which is a bow made of one piece of wood, to actually shoot an arrow 200 meters.

English long bows, with their enormous draw weights, start to drop off a lot at about that range, most max out around 200 to 225 or so.  And they shot really heavy arrows so that when they hit at those ranges, they would still do some damage.  So, as there is no evidence that they used composite bow, I think he may have been exaggerating a bit.  Move it back to 185 and I think a lot of archers with heavy bows may have been able to hit, move it back to 150 and the archery part becomes a lot more believable.

And if I am pretty sure he is exaggerating about the archers, then the same holds true for the slingers.  Unless they were using lead, in which case, getting the range wouldn't be much of a problem.  The problem will come in the form of the cost of the ammo.  Just how often would a slinger be able to practice with lead so that he could get accuracy at those ranges?  Because I doubt you would recover much of your lead.

Could the ring have been in front of a heavy canvas backstop?  They had sails back then, maybe an old sail for a back stop?  You would only be able to patch it so many times before it would need to be replaced.  It would still work to stop a lead glande at long range.
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Thearos
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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #16 - Aug 5th, 2017 at 6:47pm
 
Roman archers could have used reflex bows (which their auxiliary units, in the high empire, did use)
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Bill Skinner
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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #17 - Aug 6th, 2017 at 12:27pm
 
Reflex or recurve bows are not as efficient as composite bows.

The tips cannot bend as much without breaking.  The further the tips move, the more the arrow accelerates.  The faster the arrow, the further it goes.

Due to its fletching, an arrow starts de accelerating as soon as it leaves the string.  The more you can bend a bow, the longer the arrow stays on the string.  That's why English longbowmen and Persians and Mongols and a bunch of other famous archers draw past their head.
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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #18 - Aug 6th, 2017 at 1:16pm
 
Add to that, that a reflex bow and even a composite bow for that matter will not necessarily shoot further than a well made longbow. It's all design. The Chinese hornbows were unwieldy and just based on the design I would bet a well made longbow could out shoot it, all other things being equal. The Korean was very well designed, and especially once you get into war bow weights it would probably easily out shoot an English longbow.

I didn't read the article but if he's saying that about their archers I guess it's fair to say he was exaggerating a bit all around. You bring up a lot of good points. I had not considered the lead aspect either. How exactly did slingers afford to practice with lead to get that good? (Well, they probably were not that good right?  But to get as skillful as they were at least.) Or is it possible they practiced with stones and once the muscle memory was achieved they could fairly easily transition to lead?

Hmm... so much they took for granted as part of life and we will likely never know.
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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #19 - Aug 6th, 2017 at 2:54pm
 
Aologies, I meant a composite bow. Here's a bit of Trajan's column.
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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #20 - Aug 9th, 2017 at 1:37pm
 
read the sources
in de re military, the drilling of the troops it also writes
Quote:
The younger soldiers and recruits went through their drills of every kind every morning and afternoon and the veterans and most expert regularly once a day.


and this is probably the reason we may never witness that kind of accuracy
how many of us train 1 time a day ? let's not talk about 2 times a day..... Tongue

the last 5 days i did some distance target practice @ 100m ,target: bushes

( usually i practice @20-30m target 10-20cm with 0-5% accuracy)

after this i believe that accuracy from long ranges may be transfered to close ranges but the reverse cannot

aerodynamic effects @30m affect flight path very little in contrast to 100m which a lot more factors change the point of impact

those factors mean that you must be more focused which improves your sharpness


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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #21 - Aug 9th, 2017 at 2:09pm
 
@Bill Skinner
i don't think de re militari has exaggerations
the other source may have.

i'm not an archer but what is stated about the accuracy seems to me very possible . we have extremely accurate guys in our era.

don't compare english longbows and arrows with ancient bows , its like comparing a balearic slinger throwing heavy stones with a rhodian throwing lead

Quote:
  "Even though you are viewed as the son of the heavens," said Magnagt, "I still have doubts about the combat prowess of your people. If any one of them hits with a single arrow a tiny red flag from a distance of 100 num (one num equals the length of a bowstring, or nearly 1.5 metres), I will be your ally and friend – if not, I’ll be your enemy."

On hearing this, Taitsuu, one of Chingis’s generals, began to laugh: "You offer us the warrior’s standard exercise." On his order, archery marksman Chuu Mergen stepped forward and, hardly aiming, hit the target. Shortly afterwards, another sharpshooter, Khavt Khasar, said, "It’s no challenge to hit a motionless target." He raised his bow and with a single arrow pierced the neck of a drake flying high in the sky. No sooner had the falling bird touched the ground than Khavt Khasar hit it with another arrow.


source:http://www.atarn.org/mongolian/mn_nat_arch/messenger.htm

the accuracy of the archers may be exaggerated here but it clearly writes :it's "the warrior’s standard exercise."
what do you think?

you have a point about lead projectiles for practice, it would be a trouble to use lead once or twice a day . so we must assume they used stones.

and yes canvas backstop is a good idea.
maybe a target in the form of jellyfish net with canvas instead of net? noidea
still i find it too unnecessarily elaborate when compared to a bundle of twigs



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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #22 - Aug 9th, 2017 at 3:19pm
 
Good point about long distance and short distance accuracy.
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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #23 - Aug 9th, 2017 at 4:36pm
 
I would like to hear Bills thoughts on this as well. The accuracy stated here, if indeed the flag was tiny and the archer barely trying, is far better than anything seen by the best modern day olympic archers using space age equipment. 
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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #24 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 9:17am
 
i'm currently reading a book " the longbow" by mike loades

first an interesting thing i read:
page 26
Quote:
On june 1 1363, Edward III wrote to his sheriffs and commanded a
...proclamation to be made that every able bodied man on feast days (including sundays)when he has leisure shall in his sport use bows and arrows,bellets or bolts, and shall learn and practise the art of shooting,.....

at page 27 the author writes:
Quote:
Edward III's order was not restricted to longbow archery; practice with the sling or the crossbow('pellets or bolts') were alternative pursuits that received equal approval.

who can imagine a slinger among the archers ranks? Tongue


page 28
Quote:
Targets set against the backstop of the butts wre improvised and might consist of an oyster shell or a garland- a wreath of brushwood.Another popular target was the wand : a narrow stave of wood set in front of the butt, the idea being to split it with the shot.


at page 30 there is a picture of the butts with a garland set as target .http://warbowwales.com/communities/0/004/009/712/490/images/4558211777_462x173.j...

this target might be a descendant of the targets we are discussing (rings or bundles of twigs)

the question still remains: why aim at a ring and not a wand,buckler,pelt or anything with a better feedback?
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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #25 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 2:02pm
 
I wonder if it's the sling or the pellet-throwing crossbow ("hunting" crossbow)
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Re: ancient slingers training?
Reply #26 - Aug 18th, 2017 at 2:24pm
 
Pellet crossbows were pretty weak. Usually used for birds and the like. If this was military training it was probably slings.
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