This year is going to be my year to shoot as much “Period” archery as possible. By that, I mean that I plan to use equipment that is more similar to what would have been used in my persona’s time. Of course, this change will be somewhat of a small step toward Period shooting in a global sense, but a large step for me personally. My wonderful Bear Montana longbow and my modern arrows with plastic nocks will take a break. I will be using one of my wooden bows. None contain fiberglass. Mostly, I plan to use my tri-lam longbow with horn nocks that was made by Joshua Albanese at Bowskin Archery or one of my 3 single-wood longbows that I’ve picked up from several vendors.
I’ve been working on my first set of self-nocked arrows. I’ve finished six 5/16″ arrows with a traditional self nock and green wrapping (lacing the fletches will have to wait until later!). I am working on six 11/32″ arrows with nock inserts. Three of them have horn inserts and three have purpleheart wood inserts. I still need to do a little stain touch up and seal them before I can fletch and install points. A couple of them may require a little more sanding and filing too. It may seem odd that I am making so many variations, but I consider this a testing phase to see which combination I like best. I tried putting inserts into 5/16″ shafts, but that diameter is pretty hard to work with.
In addition to the previously described construction parameters, I also selected some fairly light tips for installation. Last year, I shot one IKAC with my existing period equipment and found that by the time the 40yd ends were shot, my arrows were hitting the target at a pretty steep angle. I am hoping that lighter points and a slightly heavier bow will rescue me from what amounted to shooting 40yd clouts. 🙂
Allen Graham (Roderick de Graham in the SCA) has been very helpful to me with suggestions of equipment and technique for making the arrows with inserts. This first set is a bit rough. I learned a lot about what not to do. My goal is to make a more polished set once I get all the performance parameters figured out.
Let’s encourage folks to “shoot more Period!” Join the Academy of Historic Archery Facebook page and check out the AHA’s Mission Statement. The AHA also publishes a great newsletter, Quivers & Quarrels.