Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shooting my Mongol Bow with Bamboo Arrows

Back in 2012 I bought this late Mongol, Manchu-influenced horsebow from "handmadebow" on eBay. It draws 50# @ 28". The riser and siyahs (limb tips) are wood while the limbs are leather-covered fiberglass.

I've posted pictures of this bow before but these came out better.

Closeup of the riser. As you can see, it has no arrow shelf. You shoot off the hand with this bow.

The top siyah, which is rigid. Essentially, Asiatic bows like this one are static recurves. The small block of wood on the belly side of the siyah is a string bridge, and helps to give the arrow an extra little pop.

About 2 weeks ago, I ordered a half dozen bamboo arrows from another Chinese eBay seller, "arrowmaker2013." They are 28" long and I asked the seller to send arrows spined for a 45 to 50# bow. I don't know if he did any special selection or not, but they fly very well from my bow.

The arrows are well made and straight. They have some kind of varnish or shellac finish and are nice and smooth.

You can get these arrows with field points or bullet points, but I went for the 150 grain "broadheads," which have three edges. They are very pointy but the edges are dull, which is fine for target shooting.

These points should work well on small game. Or zombies. ;)

The feather fletching is glued on and also secured at the leading edge with thread. The self nocks are reinforced with thread. The thread goes up to the back of the fletching but is just decorative at that point.

I've been wanting to try bamboo arrows for awhile now. Some people refer to them as "nature's carbon fiber." They fly very well from this bow, at least as good as my Port Orford Cedar shafts from 3Rivers Archery. At about 12 yards, this is how far they penetrate into my block target:

Not shabby at all, IMO. Remember, this target is designed to stop broadhead-tipped arrows shot from a modern compound bow like my Quest Rogue. I have no doubt that properly placed arrow with a sharp broached fired from the Mongol bow would shoot through a deer's chest cavity at up to 20 - 25 yards.

Edit 11/26/15:

I shot the bow this morning after adding Mountain Man Beaver Ball fur silencers to the string. Since the bow normally gets unstrung after each session, I used some artificial sinew to secure each end of the silencers, which are just narrow strips of leather tanned with the fur on, that you wrap into and around the string. They got rid of the twang and now it's silent.

Aside from shooting the bamboo arrows, I also shot some POC cedars tipped with bodkins. It shoots both types well, but so I have a larger quantity of a matched set, I ordered another dozen of the bamboo arrows today.

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