[English Longbow] Warming the bow

Del the Cat

Well-known member
I regularly shoot outside at home, so the bow goes from about 20deg inside to 5 or 6deg at this time of year outside, you defo notice the difference.
Yes, I'd expect a bow to be a tad stiffer in the cold.
This all rather begs a couple of Qs
1. What if the bow was originally tillered in an unheated garage in the winter, it's then actually built for shooting at that temperature!
2. Does anyone actually have a source for the practice that is say, pre 1950 ?


Eddie Edmunds

New member
All I do, regardless of temperature, is string the bow 5 - 10 minutes before I start shooting (usually a little longer in competitions) and then give it a few tugs (the bow that is :) ) before shooting. So far this year the temperature has been tropical compared to roughly the same time last year. On quite a few occasions I have been shooting with frost on the ground and as low as -5 with no problem. One day it was reaalllllly cold and I did actually put my bow in the car between ends (probably didn't make much difference but sort of made sense)

Now if it starts to rain that's a different story and I will go to the pub :beer:


New member
Not a sherry drinker here either;)

Having started this thread because of comments from a fellow archer on the line, I chatted to him today and he says he actually cant remember what his bowyer told him!


Active member
Thats why at our longbow shoot we'll be having Port :p

Only reason you have Sherry before the shoot is so your consistant throughout the day.

Phil Sheffield

New member
I did not know whether it was most appropriate to open a new thread or revice this old one.

It is related to warming a long bow more specifically preparing to shoot under the rules of most competitions I have encountered.

Invariably at my club, before any competition or even before setting out to score for the 252s or any other of the rounds that people record their scores for to submit for some achievement or other, we are allowed 6 sighters. 6 arrows before the recording or competition starts ..to get one's eye in assess wind effects whatever.

My longbow on any occassion does not seem to settle into how it is going to consistently continue to shot uintil I have shot several ends and I am told by others that the same is generally true for most longbow users but archers using other types of bow say the same is true for them too. Certainly I have noticed the same can be said for my American Flatbow and take-down Recurve bows. There is probably something to be said for achnowledging that one also has 'warm-up' the Archer too.

So, with all that now said, to the question.

Why is it that only 6 sighters are allowed and not even the provision to shoot a few ends even if at a different distance to get both the bow and the archer warmed up?

I honestly don't know but is the same true with national events or even Olympic ones? It does seem a little like going in unprepared if both the bow and the archer have not settled into their best shooting ..feel.. or state of readiness.

I was asked this same question by a beginner and to frank the response "because that's the way it is" is not an intelligent or informed response ..I wouldand do not accept that kind of answer to questions in life and most certainly would by far rather only offer the response "I have no idea" than use one that if we're honest reflects ignorance or stupidity.

So... what is the justification or the thinking behind only allowing 6 sighters and not say up to 6 ends?


Well-known member
I think it's a perfectly good question against a perfectly daft AGB regulation and I have no idea where it comes from. It cannot be to warm up the archer as you should not be shooting to warm up. I have filed it alongside numerous AGB/GNAS oddities but it would be interesting to find out the real reason.


Well-known member
My guess would be that it isn't a warm up at all but rather a courtesy gesture which allows the archers to confirm they have set their first sight mark correctly before commencing a competitive round.



Active member
Have you tried stringing your bow a little while before shooting and giving it some increasing draws? Personally I find the bow is fine after the sighters if anything it's me warming up.

Like previously said this is probably just a courtesy thing of letting you know your initial set up is correct, or get used to an unknown field. If you look at traditional longbow rules, you weren't even allowed sighters. Your first arrows were your scoring arrows.