How to make an English longbow
Bow & arrow: the longbow
The modern longbow
Today the longbow is primarily a piece of sports equipment with a significantly lower pulling weight than the war bows back then. Longbows are available in a wide variety of designs, both traditional and modern, and with or without a shot window. Traditional archers like to use longbows in combination with traditional wooden arrows.
Depending on the design, the same precision can be achieved with modern longbows and appropriate arrow material in intuitive archery as with other bows in modern construction.
What to consider when buying a longbow
When buying a longbow in a modern design, of course, the same principles apply as when buying a bow in general. While the traditional longbow naturally “closes” strongly towards the rear and causes a very pronounced hand shock, the use of modern materials and construction methods enables significantly softer pull-out and shooting behavior. Compared to the recurve bow, a shot with such a longbow still feels different, of course, because the counter-bending of the limbs is missing and the tendon does not hit the limbs when fired, with the longbow. The difference between the recurve bow and the longbow disappears more and more in the design of the hybrid bow *.
Longbow purchase criteria, ancient knowledge:
If you buy a traditional longbow, what you can read about in Toxophilus - The School of Archery still applies today:
Tox: So I'm going to list some of the features of a bow for you so that you are less likely to be fooled. If you come into a shop and find a bow that is slim, long, heavy and strong, dead straight and not twisted, unencumbered by knots, cracks, stains, cracks or bruises, I advise you to buy it. The best color of a bow is, in my opinion, such that the front and back are mostly made the same, which in practice mostly turns out to be light wax colors or golden, with fine long fibers from one end of the bow to the other. Although the short fiber sometimes proves to be good, it is usually very brittle. I'm not going to spend too much time building bows so as not to give the impression that I'm in an area of which I have little idea. Nevertheless, I ask all bow makers to dry their blanks well, to work them well and to reduce them, to harden them sufficiently with heat and to till them well.
Ashamed, Roger. Toxophilus, The School of Archery (German Edition). Wiethase Verlag. Kindle version. *
Buying a traditional longbow is of course always a matter of trust. Of course you can also build a longbow yourself ...
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