“This bow is so accurate” – really?

I’ve often heard product reviewers of traditional archery bows, or enthusiastic new bow owners, exclaim “… this bow is so accurate …“. I’m guilty of the same thing myself. But recently I’ve been mixing up the bows I shoot on a rapid rotation, and it has prompted me to question what appears to be the underlying assumption or suggestion – that some bows are much more accurate than others, for any given archer. Really?

Shooting the Szimeiszter Tatar bow #43@29

I confess, for a little while I’d been thinking that provided the bow and arrows you have in hand are passably well made and matched (to each other and to you), surely they’re all mais ou menos accurate if your shooting technique is solid and consistent. What changes though from one bow to another is that some seem to make being accurate feel easier. In other words, archers are accurate, bows are just tools …

Grozer Biocomposite Short Turkish bow #48@28

I have six different bows in regular use, and I certainly have favourites! But it feels to me that on most occasions if I’m taking care of form when I shoot, and practising a lot, that at least in the 20-40m range I’m about as accurate with any one of those bows. [And before you say “… that just means he’s lousy with all of them …” 🙂 … don’t be cheeky.] It definitely feels easier with some more than others. Some are just easier to shoot, but they are all capable of producing accurate shots in my hands. It might take a couple of ranging shots to adjust if I’m moving from a 47″ Turkish bow to a 71″ Viking longbow (and I thumb shoot both), but it doesn’t take too much adjustment. Though make sure you stand well back, because I do side-down khatra with the longbow too …

Shooting the Vegh Sipahi bow #34@28

That’s how it feels anyhow, but is it true? Sounds like an arbitrary, non-scientific experiment is called for! Six different bows over the same distance with the same arrows. Bow shape varying from Ottoman Sipahi to Assyrian, Tatar to longbow. Poundage from #34 – #48, mostly in the mid 40s. How much will the accuracy vary? And will it be according to my bow bias, or something else?

Planning to set up a test this weekend if the weather is cooperative. Watch this space …

And harking back to an earlier blog post, the presence of a camera sees me short-drawing in both those images above 🙂 https://mikrokosmfotos.art/2021/10/29/making-videos-is-bad-for-my-archery-form/

On the list for evaluation, the following:

Most likely I’ll use some Sarmat 30″ bamboo arrows, or maybe the Kelemen’s pine arrows, or both. Probably either a leather Ottoman thumb ring by Bekir Büyüksındır or a bronze Ottoman ring by Zack Djurica – that’ll depend on the conditions and how inflated my thumb gets …

Published by MikrokosmFotos

Dad | Ecologist | Photographer & trad archer every other chance | Here I mix snapshots with intentional fine art. Landscapes, buildings, dogs.

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