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Thread: Arrowheads

  1. #1
    It's an X I've taken part in an AIUK Ironman Shoot. Raven's_Eye's Avatar
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    Hello All,

    For those that shoot warbows, what arrow heads do you generally use (style and weights, for various purposes) and where do you get them from?

    Longbows, the real bows.


  3. #2
    In the Gold WillS's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
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    Couple of options, really.

    Option 1: (for general roving, target and field shooting etc) Machine made or drop forged heads, such as the "warheads" sold by Richard Head. Cheap and cheerful, do the job but don't look like medieval heads.

    Option 2: (for official flight records, display arrows or arrows that you want to be fully traditional) Always need to be hand forged. Many places to get them - Hector Cole obviously, but they're a bit fancy and are so highly polished that they don't really look "medieval munitions grade" so probably better for display arrows. Couple of highly skilled smiths in eastern Europe make exceptional heads that look just right, weigh the right amount and are probably as close as you'll get to the "real thing"

    As for the styles, while there is a huge range to choose from, you want to avoid all the silly Hollywood styles, like the great hunting swallowtail heads. They'd never be used for warfare. Also, the long needle bodkins that you can find dotted around various longbow websites. These are very period-specific and were designed purely to puncture maille. If you're interested in the High or Late Middle Ages (Agincourt, basically) then you'd never see a needle bodkin. Armour had developed far beyond maille over linen and was a combination of plates and padded jacks. A needle bodkin (or type 7 as it's categorised) wouldn't be much use, so would be pretty inaccurate in a historical context.

    The three most common medieval war heads would be the Type 10/16, the plate cutter lozenge and the Tudor bodkin.

    Type 10 is a short bodkin and genuine finds pop up everywhere, both in half inch and 3/8 socket sizes. It was probably the most common head of all.

    Type 16 is a barbed head that was found on the Westminster arrow and is very aerodynamic with the barbs forged close to the socket. There is some debate on whether or not it would be used for war, or whether it was just a hunting head. Some even believe it was more swept but squashed over time.

    Plate cutters are the big monster heads, weighing as much as 40g. Specifically shaped to punch a square hole in plate armour and leave a gap large enough for a half inch shaft to follow it in. You need a bow of around 140lbs to do anything serious with them, as they're just too heavy for much else.

    Tudor bodkin is the type found at Portchester castle from around the period of the Mary Rose. Most likely to have been used on warbows of that time. Short, stumpy and light, with a cutting edge.

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