Discuss What speed is thought standard or fast for a longbow? at the English Longbow within Archery Interchange UK Forums; Originally Posted by Wode
Wood bows can be fast...here is a Holmegaard Hybrid I have ...
Originally Posted by Wode
Is that reading 429.1 f.p.s ? if it is I am intrigued, I can't believe that a primitive style bow such as the Holmgaard bow can shoot an arrow that fast !!
could it be a spurious result as speed meters can sometimes give spurious results, did you shoot through a number of times and get similar results. I notice that the snap shot captured the arrow in flight, at a supposed 429 f.p.s. it would need a very high speed camera to capture this ? The arrow also looks very big with large fletchings and certainly not a flight arrow. I would think that a bow of this type ( Is it a self Bow as I can't tell, not seeing the limbs from the side and what is the draw weight ? ) I seem to remember a program on a replica Holmgaard bow being shot for distance and I think that it did not make any where near 200yds probably somewhere around 150yds and hence probably about 130 fps. Could your photo of 429 fps actually be 129 fps ? Mmm not sure about your photo ?
It shot 5 times in the 420 range then dropped to 380 and finally down to 290 after 20 arrows.....looking at the bow afterward showed lots of compression fractures..... replaced the battery in the chrony and the bow was still shooting 260 to 290..tried another bow and it shot in the 160 range. It developed a crack across one limb so I stop shooting it. It was a 3 lamination bow and not a traditional Holmegaard. At tillering it was 87 pounds at 31 inches. The levers were so thin that they were bending slightly. I found it hard to believe it was shooting that fast also, but I could find no fault with the chrony. I have made 2 more in the 50 pound range and they both shoot in the 240-260 fps range. It might of been a fluke, but it was fun while it lasted. Below is the first Holmegaard I made from a piece of yew. It shows more normal speeds.
Whaaaaa... is that a clean reading?????
Oh, I've just seen the full posts above.... excellent stuff.
Makes my target of 200 from a self bow seem acheivable, mind I can't pull the weight these days.
Just finished a 60# Yew longbow and my shoulders are feeling it.
Health Warning:- These posts may contain traces of nut.
Hi Wode so the first 5 shots were reasonably consistent ( I think being from a scientific background ) I would try and calibrate against another Crono that has been calibrated just to make sure and satisfy myself that the readings are correct.
Originally Posted by Wode
But if this is correct Wowee that is an amazing and fantastic speed from a wooden Holmgaard designed bow, ( What wood did you use in the 3 laminates ? ) it is as fast as Barry Groves 40Kg Compound Flight Bow. Now to confirm this I would shoot it for distance, at that speed it should shoot further than Jeremy Spencers Unlimited English Longbow, his FITA World Unl English Longbow Record is 415yds.
As you were getting a lot of compression fractures and a crack , the bow was obviously very close to its stress limits. This is what I try to achieve in a World Record beating bow, and hope I can get at least 6 shots out of it !!!
I am not sure what Flight Class a Holmgaar bow can shoot in , It can't compete in the ''English Lingbow Class'', not sure if it could compete in the ''American Longbow Class'' possibly , it could shoot in the Recurve Flight Bow Class B as the rules state any bow other than a Compound Bow.
Anyway if the result could be confirmed by checking your crono against a calibrated crono that would be a fantastic result, I wonder if you could build another similar bow with the same performance ?
I built this bow as a test to see what I could get for this class in the United States National Archery Association Flight Class:
2. PRIMITIVE SIMPLE COMPOSITE BOWS
A. Primitive Simple Composite Bows: Shall be totally constructed of natural materials, plant or animal. Two (2) only wood laminations are allowed. In addition to the two wood laminations. A backing layer, other than wood such as sinew, snake skin, silk, etc. is allowed. Bamboo is considered as a wood lamination. The addition of wedges and fade outs are not allowed. Wooden handle build up blocks may be added and the handle may be wrapped with leather or other natural materials. Bow tip nock overlays may be added, back and belly, not to exceed 2 inches in length. Bows utilizing materials such as fiberglass, plastic, nylon etc. shall be disqualified. Metals may be used only for arrow points.
N.A.A. Primitive Bow Rules
The current world records:
Unl Prim. Simple Composite 351-2-4 / 321.72m Dewayne Smith 09/06/03
50lb Prim. Simple Composite 326-1-11 /298.67m Bert McCune 10/08/94
It is ash backed zebrano with a walnut handle....will post pictures.
Hi Again Thanks for posting the photos, the Ash has lovely straight grain, I can see that this type of bow has quite short working levers ,so that must be where it gets its power from, an excellent piece of workmanship. I wonder if Zebrano could be used ok in a laminated English Longbow. Excellent workmanship in your Holmgaard Bows.
Originally Posted by Wode
I had forgotten about the NAA Primitive Simple Composite Classes, I first competed at the Flight Championships in the USA in 1995 and saw Don Brown shoot the NAA Unlimited Primitive Complex Composite World Record of 619yds 1ft 7in, the same time I achieved my first World Record in the Unlimited Recurve Target/ Field Bow Class of 594 yds with my 96lb Border Black Douglas, beating Bert McCune shooting a 120lb Drake bow of 120lb by over 100yds ,a testament to Border Bows ! I competed in 1995,1997,1999,2001,2004 & 2010 where I achieved 12 Drake Flight Medals for my World Records shot at the Championships. In 1995 I had the honour of meeting Harry Drake, Don Brown & the charismatic April Moon , Legends of Flight Archery
I didn't shoot there in 1994 0r 2003 so missed Dewayne Smith & Bert McCune shoot their Prim. Simple Composite world Records.
When were you thinking of competing in the USA Flight Championships
I would suggest you need to have your machine tested, I frankly don't believe your results, they are so far above anything reported by others throughout the world to make them unbelievable. As are the velocities you calculate for the flight shots, look around the place, people are delighted if their bows make 200 ft/s. Read the other posts on this thread and look at the reported speeds, yet you think you have produced a bow that shoots an arrow twice as fast. Mate take your bow to a club or shop with a different machine and see what you get.
I would also suggest you look at the way you have the chronograph set-up, in the photos the chronograph slopes in the opposite direction to the arrow path, thus shortening the distance between the two sensors. The first rule of their use is to ensure the slope of the chronograph is the same as the flight of the missile being measured, that is you want the arrow to pass each sensor at the same height.
Now WRT your claimed 400+ft/s, take a look at the blurb from compound bow sites such as:
They are talking of the almost impossibility of 400ft/s yet you claim to have shot it with a primitive bow.
By the way my understanding of the reasons for the massive distances attained in flight shooting is that it is as much due to the shape and balance of the arrow as it is sheer speed. Good flight arrows plain or glide through the air vastly increasing the distance shot, the Turks were the first to realize this hence their radical flight arrow design. Hence you cannot use distance attained to calculate initial velocity and you cannot use simple ballistic formula to calculate anything with any degree of accuracy, even using an adjustment for drag is full of errors and pitfalls, where did you attain the coefficient(s) used and were they different for each arrow?
Last edited by CraigMBeckett; 23-05-11 at 10:15 AM.
Reason: added compound bow article.
As I said, I honestly did not believe the results either Craig, I have just bought a new computer controlled chronograph that can record 100 shot strings and then send the data to a desktop for analysis. The bow settled in at 280-290 fps, for the last 10 shots, after I replaced the batteries. I am building another bow of the same design. I would be very happy to have it shoot in the 250 fps range. I am looking into building a machine release for testing my bows also.
Check out this web site... Turkish bow tests ... and you will see that the old turkish flight bows tested there, on a machine, tested in the 290-348 fps range.
And as for the 400 fps limit.....I'll let a guy who broke it talk:
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Registered User Join Date:Apr 2008
Posts:14,484 Originally Posted by Kevin Strother1
I set the World's Fastest bow record with a 180# bow shooting 588 fps.
Yes you have to draw the bow by hand with NO assistance.
My World Flight record was a 195# bow, shot a 132 grain arrow a distance of 1320 yards 1 ft and 3 inches. The fletchings are actual razor blades!!! "
588 fps, that is slightly more than half the speed of sound.
Companies do not sell their fastest bows because of the legal problems they would have. 99.9% of people would not buy a fast bow that could blow up after a few shots.
I'm sorry but there is no way on earth that the bow pictured shot 429.1 fps. What is the unbraced side profile like? To make these bows fast you need a lot of reflex in the bending sections to increase string tension at brace.
I have made many of these style of bow and I know their potential - they can be fast, indeed very fast but they don't store enough energy to really excel at flight shooting.
Also you will get faster speeds if the 'levers' don't bend. I have done quite a few experiments and have proved this...at least to myself!
Again as I said earlier when quoting speeds for a bow you must know 1. The draw weight of the bow 2. Arrow weight 3. String weight for the speed to mean anything.
Also cutting through the backing to make your nocks is a risky buisiness.
Originally Posted by Wode
I fear this gentleman also used ballistic formula to calculate his velocity, which, for the reasons I stated above, gives erroneous results. If he actually shot through a chronograph or had some form of Doppler radar measurement system then I stand by to be corrected, otherwise I do not believe the claim.
Will have a look at the site you posted and get back.
Have had a look at the page you posted, Adam Karpowicz did these tests using Turkish style bows, bows known to have far faster limb speeds than simple wooden bows, his fastest shots used arrows of less than 2 grains per pound of bow weight and are in the 310 to 350ft/s, with bows ranging from 92lb to 125 lb. With something of the order of the amo standard speed test weight of 7 grains / lb the speeds dropped to 197 ft/s for the 92 lb bow, and interpolate to approximately 200ft/s for the heavier bows.
The gentleman who claims to have shot at over 500ft/s used arrows weighing 0.67lb/lb draw.
You have not mentioned either the weight of your bow or the weight of the wooden arrow you used, but by the look of the arrow it must have been in the 600 grain range or more as the length seems to be greater than 28 inches judging by the "anchor position". So if my supposition is correct to match the sort of speed Adam Karpowicz demonstrated you would need to be shooting something like 2 grain per pound, however I doubt that your bow was of the order of 300lb or anyway near it.
Mike5, sorry I did not notice your post and have only now discovered it, shots in the region of 400ft/s with a compound shooting very light weight arrows I can believe as they have been measured on a number of times, shots over the 400ft/s I have great difficulty believing in, none of the recorded records have been measured the quoted velocities are always someones calculation based on distance achieved and use simple ballistic formula with some form of correction for the losses due to friction etc, usually lumped as a single coefficient. Now while I can see the use of such in developing your equipment I do not believe in their veracity when used to claim speeds.
Originally Posted by mikes5
You as a world record holder would spend a lot of time adjusting the balance of your flight arrows as well as looking to reduce their drag, now if the only thing that was important is the drag why do you bother playing with the balance when the speed only theory implies it has no value? Or am I wrong in assuming this?
In the Green
I just registered to this sight here and enjoyed reading all seven pages of this thread. Particularly I am interested in Mikes Ballistic calculator for estimating arrow distances based on speed. I have done some extensive testing on all wood bows and fiberglass bows as well. Yhe first thing to recognise about testiing is that every aspect of your set up as well as your release influences the speed of the arrow, so without stringent guidelines to go by most test results are basicaly worthless. I like to take the human figure out of the equation and do most testing using a shooting machine. Many humans can outshoot the machine but most will be from 5 to 10 fps slower. 1 strand of fast flight type string will make about 1 fps difference in a shot so when testing I always use 10 strands of fastflight type string and machine shoot the bows at exactly 28" draw with an arrow weighing 10 grains per pound of draw weight. I find self bows that hit at about 172 fps or better to be in the top 90th percentile for performance with few exceeding 180 fps. I find that laminated bows exceeding 182 fps will be in the top 90th percentile with a very rare 190 fps recorded. I have recorded a 192 fps with a very fresh bow that quickly broke down to a more resonable 184 fps. I recently tested one of Mark St Louis bows that he sent out at 189 fps. I was very impressed with this as the bow was not particularly fresh and had been drawn to full draw many times prior to testing. Fiberglass longbows and recurves in the last couple of years have both surpassed the 200 fps mark, not sure if they had 10 strands of string or not. 199 is the fastest I have seen with a longbow using 10 strands. I haven't personally tested any recurves hitting that mark but I understand their are some doing it.
Reaping the rewards of a fastbow when flight shooting is an alltogether different science than building bows. I have had my best results flight shooting with very mediocre bows. This tells me I have some problems with building my arrows and tuning them to the bow so I won't offer any advice of flight shooting. I have had the pleasure of holding the 50# broadhead world record in the selfbow class for a few years.
When it comes to getting the most out of lightweight elbs 50# or less shooting lightweight arrows for flight the secret for speed is in the elyptical tiller. I developed a mass principle that was primarily based on the elb design. Once you get to know the mass principle you can learn to design the bow around the density of the wood you are using. The two main things to keep in mind when building an elb or the bows ability to store energy and how efficiently the bow cn deliver that energy to the arrow. The very things that allow a bow to store more energy will also make it less efficient. The lighter the arrow you will be shooting the greater the need for efficiency and the heavier tha arrow the greater need for stored energy. When shooting 10 grains to the pound of draw weight you will want a good cross between stored energy and efficiency. Steve
Welcome to the Forum Steve.
For those of you who don't know who Badger5149 is, his name is actually Steve Gardner, he is the originator of the Mass Principle method of assessing bow design. You can read about it in volume 4 of The Traditional Bowyer's Bible. Steve is also I believe the holder of some records in flight archery. So has "a little" knowledge about the subject.
Steve, for the sake of understanding I would suggest that when writing on this or any other British Forum you use the term AFB or American Flat Bow for the American type bows you are talking of because to the British the term "Longbow" is reserved for the English style bow.
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