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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Traditional target arrow and replica medieval arrow.
Modern arrow with plastic fletchings and nock.

An arrow is a pointed projectile that is shot with a bow. It predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.

Contents

Structure

Schematic of an arrow with many parts.

A normal arrow consists of a shaft with an arrowhead attached to the front end, with fletchings and a nock at the other.

Arrow sizes vary greatly across cultures, ranging from eighteen inches to five feet (45 cm to 150 cm).[1] However, most modern arrows are two-and-a-half to three feet long (75 cm to 90 cm), similar to the length of English war arrows (which were made to be half the height of the man who shot them).[1] Very short arrows have been used, shot through a guide attached either to the bow (an "overdraw") or to the archer's wrist (the Turkish "siper"). [2] These may fly farther than heavier arrows, and an enemy without suitable equipment may find himself unable to return them.

A Shoshone man using a shaft straightener in traditional arrow construction.
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Shaft

The shaft is the primary structural element of the arrow, to which the other components are attached. Traditional arrow shafts are made from lightweight wood, bamboo or reeds, while modern shafts may be made from aluminium, carbon fibre reinforced plastic, or composite materials. Composite shafts are typically made from an aluminium core wrapped with a carbon fibre outer.

The stiffness of the shaft is known as its spine, referring to how little the shaft bends when compressed. Hence, an arrow which bends less is said to have more spine. In order to strike consistently, a group of arrows must be similarly-spined. "Center-shot" bows, in which the arrow passes through the central vertical axis of the bow riser, may obtain consistent results from arrows with a wide range of spines. However, most traditional bows are not center-shot and the arrow has to deflect around the handle in the archer's paradox; such bows tend to give most consistent results with a narrower range of arrow spine that allows the arrow to deflect correctly around the bow. Higher draw-weight bows will generally require stiffer arrows, with more spine (less flexibility) to give the correct amount of flex when shot.

Footed arrows

Sometimes a shaft will be made of two different types of wood fastened together, resulting in what is known as a footed arrow. Known by some as the finest of wood arrows[3], footed arrows were used both by early Europeans and Native Americans. Footed arrows will typically consist of a short length of hardwood near the head of the arrow, with the remainder of the shaft consisting of softwood. By reinforcing the area most likely to break, the arrow is more likely to survive impact, while maintaining overall flexibility and lighter weight.

Arrowhead

Obsidian broadhead
Various Japanese arrowheads
Native American arrowheads
20th century field points
Modern replicas of various mediaeval European arrowheads

The arrowhead or projectile point is the primary functional part of the arrow, and plays the largest role in determining its purpose. Some arrows may simply use a sharpened tip of the solid shaft, but it is far more common for separate arrowheads to be made, usually from metal, horn, or some other hard material. Arrowheads are usually separated by function:

  • Bodkin points are short, rigid points with a small cross-section. They were made of unhardened iron and may have been used for better or longer flight, or for cheaper production. It has been mistakenly suggested that the bodkin came into its own as a means of penetrating armour, but research[4] has found no hardened bodkin points, so it is likely that it was first designed either to extend range or as a cheaper and simpler alternative to the broadhead. In a modern test, a direct hit from a hard steel bodkin point penetrated Damascus chain armour.[5] However, archery was not effective against plate armour, which became available to knights of fairly modest means by the late 1300s.[6]
  • Blunts are unsharpened arrowheads occasionally used for types of target shooting, for shooting at stumps or other targets of opportunity, or hunting small game when the goal is to stun the target without penetration. Blunts are commonly made of metal or hard rubber. They may stun, and occasionally, the arrow shaft may penetrate the head and the target; safety is still important with blunt arrows.
  • Judo points have spring wires extending sideways from the tip. These catch on grass and debris to prevent the arrow from being lost in the vegetation. Used for practice and for small game.
  • Broadheads were used for war and are still used for hunting. Medieval broadheads could be made from steel[4], sometimes with hardened edges. They usually have two to four sharp blades that cause massive bleeding in the victim. Their function is to deliver a wide cutting edge so as to kill as quickly as possible. They are expensive, damage most targets, and are usually not used for practice.

There are two main types of broadheads used by hunters: The fixed-blade and the mechanical types. While the fixed-blade broadhead keeps its blades rigid and unmovable on the broadhead at all times, the mechanical broadhead deploys its blades upon contact with the target, its blades swinging out to wound the target. The mechanical head flies better because it is more streamlined, but has less penetration as it uses some of the kinetic energy in the arrow to deploy its blades.[7]

  • Field tips are similar to target points and have a distinct shoulder, so that missed outdoor shots do not become as stuck in obstacles such as tree stumps. They are also used for shooting practice by hunters, by offering similar flight characteristics and weights as broadheads, without getting lodged in target materials and causing excessive damage upon removal.
  • Target points are bullet-shaped with a sharp point, designed to penetrate target butts easily without causing excessive damage to them.
  • Safety arrows are designed to be used in various forms of reenactment combat, to reduce the risk when shot at people. These arrows may have heads that are very wide or padded. In combination with bows of restricted draw weight and draw length, these heads may reduce to acceptable levels the risks of shooting arrows at suitably armoured people. The parameters will vary depending on the specific rules being used and on the levels of risk felt acceptable to the participants. For instance, SCA combat rules require a padded head at least 1 1/4" in diameter, with bows not exceeding 28 inches (710 mm) and 50 lb (23 kg) of draw for use against well-armoured individuals. [8]

Arrowheads may be attached to the shaft with a cap, a socketed tang, or inserted into a split in the shaft and held by a process called hafting.[1] Points attached with caps are simply slid snugly over the end of the shaft, or may be held on with hot glue. Split-shaft construction involves splitting the arrow shaft lengthwise, inserting the arrowhead, and securing it using a ferrule, sinew, or wire.[9]

Fletchings

Straight parabolic fletchings on an arrow.

Fletchings are found at the back of the arrow and provide a small amount of drag used to stabilize the flight of the arrow. They are designed to keep the arrow pointed in the direction of travel by strongly damping down any tendency to pitch or yaw. Some cultures, for example most in New Guinea, did not use fletching on their arrows. [10]

Fletchings are traditionally made from feathers (often from a goose or turkey) bound to the arrow's shaft, but are now often made of plastic (known as "vanes"). Historically, some arrows used for the proofing of armour used copper vanes. [11] Flight archers may use razor blades for fletching, in order to reduce air resistance.

Artisans who make arrows by hand are known as "fletchers," a word related to the French word for arrow, flèche. This is the same derivation as the verb "fletch", meaning to provide an arrow with its feathers. Glue and/or thread are the main traditional methods of attaching fletchings. A "fletching jig" is often used in modern times, to hold the fletchings in exactly the right orientation on the shaft while the glue hardens.

Fletchings may be straight or helical, i.e. arranged with a slight offset around the shaft of the arrow to provide a slight rotation which improves accuracy. Most arrows will have three fletches, but some have four or even more. Fletchings generally range from two to six inches (152 mm) in length; flight arrows intended to travel the maximum possible distance typically have very low fletching, while hunting arrows with broadheads require long and high fletching to stabilize them against the aerodynamic effect of the head. Fletchings may also be cut in different ways, the two most common being parabolic (i.e. a smooth curved shape) and shield (i.e. shaped as one-half of a very narrow shield) cut. Whenever natural fletching is used, the feathers on any one arrow must come from the same side of the bird.

With conventional three-feather fletching, one feather, called the "cock" feather, is at a right angle to the nock, and is conventionally placed so that it will not contact the bow when the arrow is shot. However, many modern target archers have no "cock" feather on their arrows, thus improving accuracy. Four-feather fletching can have the advantage of no cock feather, so making nocking the arrow slightly easier, though some four-fletched arrows are not evenly placed in order to make the fletches towards the bow closer to vertical.

A flu-flu is a form of fletching, normally made by using long sections of full length feathers, in most cases six or more sections are used rather than the traditional three. Alternatively two long feathers can be spiraled around the end of the arrow shaft. The extra fletching generates more drag and slows the arrow down rapidly after a short distance, about 30 m or so.

Flu-Flu arrows are often used for hunting birds, or for children's archery, and can be used to play Flu-Flu Golf.

Nocks

The nock serves to keep the arrow in place on the string as the bow is being drawn. Nocks may be simple slots cut in the back of the arrow, or separate pieces made from wood, plastic, or horn that are then attached to the end of the arrow. [12] Modern nocks and traditional Turkish nocks, are often constructed so as to curve around the string or even pinch it slightly, so that the arrow is unlikely to slip off. [13] In English it is common to say "nock an arrow" or "notch an arrow," when one readies a shot.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Stone, George Cameron (1934). A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times, Mineola: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-40726-8
  2. ^ Turkish Archery and the Composite Bow. Paul E. Klopsteg ISBN 1564160939 ISBN 978-1564160935
  3. ^ Langston, Gene (1994). "Custom Shafts". The Traditional Bowyer's Bible - Volume Three. Guilford: The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-087-X. 
  4. ^ a b Royal Armouries: 6. Armour-piercing arrowheads
  5. ^ Hunting with the Bow and Arrow, by Saxton Pope. http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/8hbow10.txt "To test a steel bodkin pointed arrow such as was used at the battle of Cressy, I borrowed a shirt of chain armor from the Museum, a beautiful specimen made in Damascus in the 15th Century. It weighed twenty-five pounds and was in perfect condition. One of the attendants in the Museum offered to put it on and allow me to shoot at him. Fortunately, I declined his proffered services and put it on a wooden box, padded with burlap to represent clothing. Indoors at a distance of seven yards (6 m), I discharged an arrow at it with such force that sparks flew from the links of steel as from a forge. The bodkin point and shaft went through the thickest portion of the back, penetrated an inch of wood and bulged out the opposite side of the armor shirt. The attendant turned a pale green. An arrow of this type can be shot about two hundred yards, and would be deadly up to the full limit of its flight."
  6. ^ Strickland M, Hardy R. The Great Warbow. Sutton Publishing 2005. Page 272
  7. ^ http://www.huntingblades.com/mevsfiblbr.html
  8. ^ SCA marshall's handbook
  9. ^ Parker, Glenn (1992). "Steel Points". The Traditional Bowyer's Bible - Volume Two. Guilford: The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-086-1. 
  10. ^ Gardens of War: Life and Death in the New Guinea Stone Age. Robert Gardner. Deutsch 1969. ISBN 0233961402, ISBN 978-0233961408
  11. ^ Ffoulkes, Charles (1988) [1912]. The Armourer and his Craft (Dover reprint ed.). Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-25851-3. 
  12. ^ Massey, Jay(1992). "Self Arrows" in The Traditional Bowyer's Bible - Volume One, Guilford: The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-085-3
  13. ^ Stone, G.C. "A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor"

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to arrow article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

An arrow symbol.
Two arrows (projectiles) in a target.

Contents

English

Etymology 1

Old English earh, ārwe, from Proto-Germanic *arhwō, from Proto-Indo-European *arku- (bow and/or arrow). Near cognates include Gothic 𐌰𐍂𐍈𐌰𐌶𐌽𐌰 (arƕazna) and Old Norse ǫr; further cognates include Latin arcus (bow)

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
arrow

Plural
arrows

arrow (plural arrows)

  1. A projectile consisting of a shaft, a point and a tail with stabilizing fins that is shot from a bow.
  2. A sign or symbol used to indicate a direction (eg. \to).
  3. (graph theory) A directed edge.
Synonyms
Derived terms
See also
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb

Infinitive
to arrow

Third person singular
arrows

Simple past
arrowed

Past participle
arrowed

Present participle
arrowing

to arrow (third-person singular simple present arrows, present participle arrowing, simple past and past participle arrowed)

  1. To move swiftly and directly (like an arrow)

Etymology 2

Representing pronunciation.

Adverb

arrow (not comparable)

Positive
arrow

Comparative
not comparable

Superlative
none (absolute)

  1. (obsolete) Contraction of ever a, e'er a.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 153:
      though he hath lived here this many years, I don't believe there is arrow a servant in the house ever saw the colour of his money.

Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Gilbert John Arrow article)

From Wikispecies

British entomologist (1873–1948).


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Arrows article)

From BibleWiki

At first made of reeds, and then of wood tipped with iron. Arrows are sometimes figuratively put for lightning (Deut 32:23, Deut 32:42; Ps 713; Ps 1814; Ps 1446; Zech 9:14). They were used in war as well as in the chase (Gen 27:3; Gen 49:23). They were also used in divination (Ezek 21:21).

The word is frequently employed as a symbol of calamity or disease inflicted by God (Job 6:4; Job 34:6; Ps 382; Deut 32:23. Comp. Ezek 5:16), or of some sudden danger (Ps 915), or bitter words (Ps 643), or false testimony (Prov 25:18).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Facts about ArrowsRDF feed

Simple English

An arrow is a shape used to point to something. Arrows look like this: -->. "Double-headed" arrows look like this: <-->.


An arrow is a projectile fired with a bow. A bow and arrow is a weapon used in medieval times and earlier. Nearly all cultures have used the bow and arrow in their past. Arrows have a sharp point at one end and usually a flight at the other end. The flight is usually made of feathers and helps the arrow go through the air straight.


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