Talk:Archery/Archive 1

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I moved a discussion of technique to the front, because archery is a technique. I moved the sport aspects next, because it is also a sport. I put the history and multicultural stuff last, as it's interesting to an enthusiast, but far less important than doing the activity safely.

I would argue that if I wanted to learn how to do the activity safely, I wouldn't go to Wikipedia. I think history and sport aspects are more important *to an encyclopedia article* than technique.
However, since it's all in the article anyway, I don't think the order is that important. Just wanted to point that out, though. Acheron 18:58, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Article cleanup and improvement

Section order

Order really isn't that important, provided that there is a logical flow to the article. There are several different archery techniques. The anonymous author broke up technique, placing part of it at the front, and merged the remainder with history. I believe that this reduced the clarity of the article, and I recombined the sections to fix it.

  • In the technique section, I've put the Occidental/Oriental sections before the Recurve section. They're both short summaries compared to the more detailed Recurve/Compound sections. Occidental also classifies Recurve as Occidental; something I think would best be mentioned beforehand. Gertlex 02:41, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)


This wasn’t the first time that the hunting section of this article was swayed a bit by someone’s point of view about the humanity of bow hunting or the lack thereof. Thanks to Zeimusu for cleaning it up. I made an attempt to make the section even more neutral. Please understand that:

  • Some individuals and governments believe bow hunting is profoundly inhumane.
  • Other individuals and governments believe that bow hunting is more humane and sportsmanlike than rifle hunting.
  • Bow hunting is banned in certain countries (UK for example) 20:56, 1 December 2005 (UTC)MPD

If you disagree with this, please post your disagreements to the talk rather than the article.

Not a disagreement, but…
It's beyond me how any sane person can think it's less humane put an animal down with an arrow (which cuts deep and cleanly into your quarry) than with a bullet (which uses brute force to punch an ugly hole in your quarry). I suppose there will always be such ignorant people around. – NRen2k5 07:17, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
The counter-argument, of course, is that a bullet or shot is more merciful as it's more likely to kill the animal outright than leave it suffering before it dies. Blasting an animal with a shotgun is more likely to make a big mess of it than shooting it with an arrow, but it's also much less likely that the animal will suffer before it dies.
And that counter-argument is not well thought out. I’m not sure which misconception(s) led you to make it.
There are MANY factors which influence how “merciful” a shot would be. Off the top of my head,
  • Terminal ballistics of the projectile
  • Calibre of the bullet
  • Type of arrowhead
  • Draw weight and design efficiency of the bow
  • How well all of the above are suited for the game being hunted
  • Distance
  • Shot placement
  • Aim and skill of the hunter
  • Ability of the gun/bow itself to consistently hit the same spot
Some of these are regulated by law. Some of them are plain old common sense. To say that bow hunting is less humane than rifle hunting is to assume that the rifle hunter is doing everything right and the bow hunter is doing something wrong. — NRen2k5 23:25, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


  • "To score, each archer will call out his or her own score to be recorded (they must also be called out in descending order)". I know this to be incorrect. Check the FITA or NAA rulebook if you don't believe me. FITA requires descending order!! 20:56, 1 December 2005 (UTC)MPD
  • "The atmosphere at most clout shoots seems to be quite relaxed and friendly - a form of the sport which is very much recommended." While I have shot a clout and I don't disagree, this peacock statement adds little and should be omitted.
  • Technique: Adjusted to be consistant with olympic and FITA competition technique.
  • Tilting a bow is known as canting. Archery coaches quickly correct it.

--Casito 19:33, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Hmm. Canting is actually necessary with some longbows. And this has got me thinking... maybe we could improve the Shooting Technique and Form section with a few bow-type-specific details. — NRen2k5 14:40, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
  • "The bow should always remain vertical." See above - some longbows should be canted. — NRen2k5 14:43, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Canting is *not* necessary with any type of bow, especially longbow. I have shot bows for some years, mainkly English longbow and anyone who cants and tells you it is "necessary" is just kidding themselves that their bad technique is excusable.


It seems to me that the article has some flow problems, I've noticed/fixed the following.

  • In the Equipment sub section of History, the English armies are suddenly mentioned. I'm almost certain they weren't the only ones who supplied their soldiers with arrows. (not fixed)
  • "Now release the arrow by relaxing the fingers of the drawing hand." The last paragraph of the Recurve sub section of Technique, from out of nowhere, sounds like an instruction guide. (fixed)
    • Same section, removed a redundant statement at the end.

Gertlex 02:41, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

History of Archery

North America was settled by Paleo-Indian peoples during the late Pleistocene (about 20,000 years ago) who did not possess the bow and arrow. Was archery then developed independently by Native Americans? Jay Gregg 18:11, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Seems like it was. Here is a reference from University of Iowa State Archaelogist: "American Indians did not always have the bow and arrow. It was not until about A.D. 500 that the bow and arrow was adopted in Iowa some 11,500 years after the first people came to the region." -- 17:01, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

I've reordered the article. It makes no logical sense for an article about archery to immediately jump into modern competition archery with no historical context. Accordingly the sections now run History --> Technique --> Hunting --> Competetion. Djbrianuk 22:46, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm a rifleman, not an archer, but am interested in the history of marksmanship. I do not find mention of the selfbow here (made of one piece of wood, unlike compound, etc.) Shouldn't that be explained? BT, 24 April 2006

Selfbow is a pretty broad description. You could try searching for Longbow and Flatbow. And there is a discussion board by the name of PaleoPlanet which has a section devoted to traditional archery. I would bet that somebody there could tell you more than you would ever want to read. ;) — NRen2k5 14:48, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

I noticed there was little or no discussion of range or stopping power in the evolution or comparison of bows throughout history. I think this is something that is of great interest to laymen historians or writers like myself. For instance, the English longbow was said to be able to penetrate plate armour, but a Hun's recurve bow probably couldn't. Also, how would the range of a longbow compare with, say a crossbow? Or perhaps this is covered more in the articles on bows... Ben Ranson 05:13, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Late military use

Crossbows were used by special forces in Viet Nam when stealth was required and suppressed pistols were either not quiet, accurate, or lethal enough. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

When was the bow and arrow invented?

I've tried to determine when the bow and arrow was invented via internet search but haven't succeeded to my satisfaction. The oldest number I've seen is 40,000 years ago, but the information is only cursory. The timeline of evolution says 30,000 years ago in the Sahara. This archery page has a much smaller number. Any better numbers, and links to sources? Kaimiddleton 09:13, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Impossible to say for certain. Archery is definitely millennia old, but how many millenia? The problem is that after so many thousands of years, bows and arrows are not always reliably identifiable as such. An arrowhead could just as easily be a spearhead; you can't tell if the shaft and binding have completely rotted away and left no imprint in the ground. — NRen2k5 17:57, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

It's interesting to me that the bow and arrow appeared in so many cultures without any contact among them. For example, native Americans were using the bow and arrow long before they had contact with non-native Americans who were also using the bow and arrow. Is there some science that has studied the nearly simultaneous discover of technology in cultures who otherwise have no any contact? I'm thinking also of the wheel...

I'm new and don't know how to edit the atricle, but the online Encarta intry on archery verifies the 5000 year estimate. Could someone put that up? I found it at

Equipment section

I have done the admittedly controversial and arbitrary action of removing the "Equipments" section, since it seems to refer only to a specific epoch in Western European military history, thus making it an oddity in an article that is meant ot be a global introduction to archery. Currently I'm searching for a better place for that block of text--perhaps in the English longbow article, perhaps in some other article on English military history. Lay 14:52, 12 January 2006 (UTC)


The "second string" and "Parting/Partian shot" etymologies need sources in this article... as well, is there something more specific we can point to in time than "classical times" for the origin of the crossbow? Whose classical period is that? -- nae'blis (talk) 16:02, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

See Also heading

I'm going to add a see also heading soon. Please tell me whether this is approiate or not. Also, I'd greatly appreciate it if you help me out on it, and add extra links, delete inapproiate links, provide reason for deleting links e.t.c. Ka34 15:39, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Civilisations notable for archery

Surely the English or Welsh? Their history of using the longbow in battle is well documented. Not to mention the fact that there are several references to English archery in the article.Bowen 01:07, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I've added a comment to the discussion of this page, in agreement with your statement about the English, plus recommending a more sensible categorisation of historical eras. Ben Ranson 05:04, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

New Post

WHere can I find a article on Chinese Archery, or has one not yet been made. I can't make one right now since I'm not logged in, and don't wanna. Also, why isn't there a link to familis named "archer, bowman, zhang (which in chinese could mean "long bow" or "bow master") " and other families derived from people who had a relation to the bow?

Is there a link to Rambo movies? He uses the bow. WHere can I find it (I can't semmta).

Message by User:Shenshuai 0852 HRS ZONE EST 0353 HRS ZULU THURSDAY 05.11.AD2006CE EARTHSIDE.

External Links

I have removed external links to discussion forums as they are a violation of WP:EL. -- MakeChooChooGoNow 17:20, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I can see that forums are listed under "normally to be avoided", but archery forums tend to be more reliable than most. I think they should be reinstated. Mr Barndoor 10:20, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

That argument could be made for many topics, such as bridges. However, the guidelines as set forth in WP:EL still stands as pertains to Wikipedia. -- MakeChooChooGoNow 20:15, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Was it necessary to remove every single external link that existed, previously? ~Gertlex 19:19, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Expanding the Article

I know that it is a long article already, and I agree that it should be split up, but the article seems to be very focussed on the FTIA rounds and distances - should we include something about the traditional imperial distance rounds from GNAS?

I know not thia "GNAS". My experience is limited primarily to US field archery. I agree that the article needs to treat these difference neutrally - either discuss the subject without regard to them somehow, or mention the variations equally. I think the direction we're currently going, that of simplifying this article and splitting out sections into their own detailed articles, will help here. — ChristTrekker 21:01, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

The primitive Archery has been merged to this page.


I have noticed what looks like vandalism in Field Archery topic

Field Archery

Field archery involves shooting at the target's ass varying if it's marked brown(and sometimes unmarked) distance, often in rough terrain.

I highly doubt this is valid description of Field Archery but am not qualified enough on the subject to rewrite.

I've shot at an archery butt, but never at an ass. ;) — NRen2k5 12:36, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

More clean up and Target archery split

It has been proposed that Target archery gets it's own page, and that a brief summary of the sport should be mentioned here with a wikilink to the more in depth article.

agree: I noticed that field archery has it's own page but this could be due to the popularity of field archery in the United States. Since target archery is the other famous competition (internationaly as well), I believe it should get it's own page. Perakhantu 05:39, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

disagree: What's the point? You would just be trying to make up something grand out of one paragraph. The point of Wikipedia is not to make it look nice with lots of pretty pictures and pretty text, it is for information and one paragraph of info under apretty banner won't do much good, it will just waste time. Spottedleaf 16:06, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I don't think you quite understand what I am proposing. Target archery has much more information than just one paragraph if you read the section describing target archery. I'm proposing the creation of a page to be devoted to target archery with a brief introduction to the sport on the MAIN archery page here. This seperate page would include more info on the rules and background of target archery. I would put in this template:
on the main page so the reader can click on it, if he/she wishes to find out more on the sport. Perakhantu 04:50, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Agree. (That's why I suggested it. ☺) This article is getting extremely long - I'm getting a length warning when I edit now. There are several sections that are an entire page long between headings at "typical" browser window sizes. Perakhantu, I'd even recommend the

template - we're not suggesting a closely-related article, we're pointing to the full version that the current section summarizes. — ChristTrekker 18:49, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, ChristTrekker, for cleaning up that article. I'm really into archery and when I read this article, all I did was wince. What a mess. I myself have rudimentary editing skills; I'm just glad someone came along and really cleaned it up. As for splitting off those "archery games" into a seperate article, I'm all for that. Perakhantu 05:05, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Nice to find a fellow enthusiast. ☺ I was a competitor for about 7 years, won a couple championships and set a few records in my state. I haven't shot for many years now, though. My dad has been shooting for over 40 years. I'd like to do more with this article, but my knowledge is limited primarily to American field archery and bowhunting - archery history, FITA stuff, and the physics involved are all beyond me. Maybe I'll just try to establish the organizational aspects, and let others fill in content? — ChristTrekker 15:51, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

bowshooting split

The section on the actual shooting of a bow is getting long as I expand and reorganize. I think that, once it seems fully fleshed out here, we should split it off and leave a summary. What say ye? And should it be "bowshooting" or "bow shooting"? I've found both forms online. — ChristTrekker 21:27, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, another way to say it could be technique or practice. You could also look at other sports and see how they break up the "how to..." section. Pole vault is one example. But yeah, a split might be necessary especially due to how the compound bow section has only a few sentences and I know there is much to be filled in.
As a side note, I'm creating a section for archery equipment and moving it up right after history. I think, personally, that describing the basics first would be beneficial to the reader. Perakhantu 16:12, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Very nice; I like that better. I've removed the split suggestion. Whenever there is a main article for a section, link it, and keep the section tight and informative—the expanded details can go in the main article rather than here. I'm starting to be pretty happy with how this article is shaping up! ⇔ ChristTrekker 15:13, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

related, see also

I think many of the entries here can be removed. If they're of central importance, they'll be mentioned and linked in the article body. If not, they can be found by virtue of being in Category:archery. Maybe "notable cultures" could become a list article of its own. ⇔ ChristTrekker 15:44, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I've gone ahead and done this. ⇔ ChristTrekker 19:06, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Types of bows

What the??? Compound is the only type listed. What happened to Longbow, Recurve and Crossbow - or were they even there to begin with... ? — NRen2k5 17:24, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I see they're covered well enough in their own article... so my question now is, why do we have a "types of bows" section in this article at all, let alone incomplete as it is? — NRen2k5 18:03, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
It was the only one covered at the time of reorganization. Though planned for expansion, nobody has had the time yet. Feel free to do so. ⇔ ChristTrekker 18:09, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
We do need to come up with (or adopt) a classification system. Are bows primarily classified by shape? Material? ⇔ ChristTrekker 18:25, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Depends on the circle you are in. In some circles, because of the bows which are not permitted, it becomes more logical to classify the ones which are permitted differently. Generally, bows are classified first by shape (e.g. longbow, flatbow, recurve). After that comes material and/or details of design (e.g. Yew, Osage) and/or culture of origin (as historically, many cultures "invented" the bow independently of one another). A few examples: I think that most of us would call a Martin X200 a "recurve" rather than a "laminate", and the English Longbow is usually called the "English Longbow" rather than the "English Yew Bow". So I think the classification should be: Longbow, Shortbow (maybe), Recurve, Composite, Compound, and last but not least Crossbow. Finally, for better detail, we could always cover materials in their own section or even split the article between "traditional" archery and "modern" archery. — NRen2k5 14:24, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Then I believe we should mention both/all types of classification systems. Material (solid, laminate/composite), shape (straight, recurve), mechanism (traditional, compound, crossbow)… I think we have to simply decide which systems, and which labels within those systems, are useful. A 2-D matrix would then be helpful to depict how the various bows relate in features. Although, that much detail would probably be more appropriate in the bow (weapon) article than here. ⇔ ChristTrekker 19:45, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I was just thinking of putting in the major types of bows: Recurve, compound, barebow, crossbow. If I remember correctly, a longbow is a type of barebow. Doesn't FITA have some set rules about types? I've been to a couple of tournaments, and I'm fairly certain the classifications were written down in the rulebook. Perakhantu 22:57, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Sorry Perakhantu, I'm actually not familiar with the term "barebow" and WP and Google haven't helped me. Could you please shed some light? TIA — NRen2k5 14:24, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
AFAIK, "barebow" is a competitive division where one does not use sights. (I shot in that category for my entire archery career.) If there is a different usage of the term, I am unaware of it. ⇔ ChristTrekker 20:55, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Basically what ChristTrekker said. A barebow does not have any sights, stabalizers, or other such attachments. I guess you could refer to it as the "purest" form of a bow. Sorry for not repsonding earlier; been busy. Anyway, I look into the FITA rulebook and poke around USA Archery to dig up more material on this subject. Perakhantu 21:02, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
 Okay, so barebow seems to me to be much too broad of a classification to be of much use outside of competition. Also seems to be a very minor design consideration - you could drill a hole in the riser of a recurve like my X200 to allow attachment of a sight (though I would never recommend doing so), and presto, it's no longer a barebow. One would also have to wonder whether traditional attachments such as fur string silencers would disqualify a bow from "barebow" classification.
 Not to say that it isn't worth mention, though. It's definitely worth noting when talking about competition and "modern" archery, just not so important to archery as a whole. That's my two cents, anyway. — NRen2k5 10:41, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

The "short bows" used by the west coast native americans were both recurved and sinew backed. These features gave them more power and range than longbows, not less. a longbow is simply a bow so simple in construction that it needs to be 6 freakin feet long to compensate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:13, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Power no, range sometimes. West coast bows are oftentimes slower and weaker than longbows, on top of being less accurate (paraphrasing from The Traditional Bowyers Bible, Volume1, design and performance by Tim Baker). Their advantage was in the size; it's the only type of bow that can be comfortably used from almost any blind while hunting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:11, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Given the same arrow, power and range are the same thing. One bow can't have more range than another without having more power. — NRen2k5(TALK), 07:15, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, but as you said, given the same arrow. Oftentimes, shorter bows use shorter arrows, which make them lighter. A lighter arrow will travel farther, as has been demonstrated with flight arrows, but a heavier arrow has more power, as is demonstrated with hunting arrows. Shorter bows store less energy, so to match a longer bow's range, they can be matched with shorter and therefore lighter arrows. This comes at a cost to power. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

sections with main articles

Note this edit by Archaalen only lengthened this article (which we've been trying to trim down) but there was no accompanying edit to History of archery. How can we deal with this sort of thing effectively? Article+section means extra work for editors to maintain both, but you can't simply point every section to an article or many articles will be nothing but a collection of links. Anybody have ideas how expansion of main articles can be encouraged while requesting that summaries be kept brief?

It would be really nice if, in addition to the <includeonly> and <noinclude> tags in templates, there were a <previewonly> ability. Then Template:main could be used as a editor-to-editor reminder in this way all over. Maybe I'll have to suggest that to the developers. ⇔ ChristTrekker 19:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Physics of Archery

The Physics of Archery section is poorly written, non-informative, and non-scientific at the moment. Words like 'obviously' should not be used to start encyclopedic sections. There is currently a stub tag on the section, but I see no real point to having it at all. I'm not going to straight away delete it, either, but I think the section should be considered for removal. Schnabeltier Angriff 15:56, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Please retain the section. It is a topic that should be covered in this article. Someone just needs to step up and do it. ⇔ ChristTrekker 19:31, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I have expanded the section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by GodCheatsWithQuantumPhys (talkcontribs) 08:17, 6 July 2008 (UTC)