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Thread: The effect of weather on arrows

  1. #1

    The effect of weather on arrows

    Someone was grumbling about the weather, after a very bad end, his half dozen six sticks were chucked into the boss very low. It was a hot day.

    Id have guessed heat means less dense air and arrows might cut through that air better. And that the opposite was true, cold weather = denser air, and arrows landing very low. This fellas comments were the opposite way around...

    What effect do weather temps etc have on arrows in real terms, and at what distances? Im hardly going to bother myself with weather, except perhaps wind, at this early stage - Im more curious than anything

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  3. #2
    Top Meerkat! I've taken part in an AIUK Ironman Shoot.AIUK subscriber. babylon5's Avatar
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    It's true that colder (= more dense) air will cause more resistance/drag, warmer (= less dense) air will have the opposite effect. Heavy rain can also have an effect on arrow trajectory, which is understandable. The degree of effect will vary according to the speed/power of the bow used and hence the speed that the arrow has as it leaves the bow.

    As to whether many archers would actually notice any significant difference on anything but a perfectly calm still day is perhaps debatable, though I've no doubts that it does cause a small variation in sight mark at longer distances. That said, I personally don't really tend to give it much thought, as the majority of days have at least some breeze making any adjustments for air density difficult to predict. A tail wind for example is likely to carry an arrow farther, causing it to strike high, which could negate any air density-based adjustment.

    More likely in the example you've given the individual was suffering from the heat - probably through lack of hydration - and it was causing him to slump; less power out of the shot, form issues creeping in etc.
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  4. #3
    In the Gold Phil Reay's Avatar
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    if it's a perfectly still day with sun, BLAME THE MOLES
    Will admit, shot at the national disabled championships a few years ago and at 90 mtrs, 4 archers (2 compounds) scored 6 points BETWEEN THEM. it was absolutely tipping down and all the arrows went low and right. They stopped it at the end of the 90 round as no one was hitting the target any more (i actually couldn't see it as my glasses were sort of damp)

  5. #4
    In the Black
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    I was shooting on Friday night in a steady rain, after about half an hour my ACG's started almost passing through the boss! Don't know if it was wet arrows or a soaked boss though......

  6. #5
    It's an X I've taken part in an AIUK Ironman Shoot. Raven's_Eye's Avatar
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    I think it depends more on the bow type on whether the weather effects the arrows. A light rain isn't really going to effect a compound arrow, and not much effect on a recurve, but can effect a longbow arrow, esp the feather fletchings, as once those get wet and start flattening it can effect your arrow because of the shift in weight at the end plus its not being shot at the same speed as a recurve so can be effected more.
    Whether can effect longbow arrows though how much depends on the archers skills, and the strength of the bow. for example a very strong wind may cause a strong compound of aim off centre, a recurve slightly off centre, maybe the edge of the boss, if the distances are long 80/100yds a longbow could be aiming at the next boss, or even further over to compensate for the wind.
    One end (unless its a particularly gusty wind) wouldn't probably be down to the weather, you'd be able to notice it over the shoot.
    Longbows, the real bows.

  7. #6
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    I think the effect of very hot weather on the bow limbs (making them less "stiff" - i.e reducing draw weight) is more likely to be the reason why he was shooting low in the heat. The effect of heat on wood laminates, in particular, was the reason why Hoyt developed their "syntactic foam" limbs (found in all "Carbon Plus" models) in the late 80s/early 90s.

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