Miniatures Talk

Bowmen and arrows

Posted by Jesse on 30 Mar 2020, 20:57

I have been following a debate between people shooting with historical bows and arrows, concerning on which side of the bow the arrow needs to be when shooting. Seems the general wisdom previously has been that the arrow need to be on the left side, if you hold the bow with your left hand. Now the HEMA-youtuber Shadiversity and others have shown that it is fully possible to have the arrow on the right side as well, and that perhaps even has some advantages. I think this debate has some implications in regards to miniatures. The often stated "arrow on the wrong side" is propably not a problem at all!
Cheers!
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Jesse  Sweden
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 30 Mar 2020, 21:42

I was taught in archery to hold the bow with my left hand and the arrow on the right side (inside) of the bow. Seems pretty natural to hold it that way. What do contemporary sources say?
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Ben90 on 30 Mar 2020, 22:14

I think we had this debate in other topics before... I can only say that I´m glad shadiversity has proven my point. I think there was both (both ways of arrow positioning are depictet in medieval artwork). In a battle, where it was vital to shoot as many arrows as you can, as quick as possible, the arrow was mostly positioned on the right side. That is what I (!) think. But... this debate was a hell of a discussion before, if I remember correctly...
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Ben90  Germany
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Posted by Alex on 30 Mar 2020, 22:46

I hold the bow with my left hand and the arrow on the right side. This is more convenient if you do not just shoot at the target, but must maneuver with the arrow placed on the bow, holding it with your fingers. The bowstring is certainly not stretched at this time, since I can not hold 60 ctlograms for a long time with 3 fingers of my right hand.
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Alex  Russia
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Posted by FredG on 31 Mar 2020, 11:14

Left



Left - bow is notched on left to take the arrow



Olympic bows are set on the left
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FredG  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Ben90 on 31 Mar 2020, 12:05

But here starts the problem. These are modern reenactors, most of them learned to only shoot with the arrow on the left because of the twist of the bowstring. They never stood on a battlefield with thousands of french Knights charging towards them. Getting the arrow on the left side of the bow is more complicated and time consuming. It may be more accurate (it may!) but you need less accuracy if there are hundreds of archers next to you, firing their arrows on those knights as well. But now I think it is proven that both is possible. Schadiversity and some others showed on video that you can minimalize the twist and adapt your aiming. And seeing so much medieval artwork with the arrow on the right, I think this was a possible and often used way to shoot the arrow. Maybe let´s call it the "dirty war way of shooting".

And an interesting addition: One youtuber claimed to have issues with his back since he constantly shot a warbow. When positioning the arrow on the right, he made a full draw without any pain. He stated it to feel more natural...
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Ben90  Germany
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Posted by FredG on 31 Mar 2020, 15:54

Ben90 wrote:Getting the arrow on the left side of the bow is more complicated and time consuming.


That would depend on where you are getting it from.

Also remember that the skeletons of Longbowmen are deformed.
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