Bow and Arrow Science: Does Arrow Length Affect Accuracy? Salmon Creek Community School Teacher: Ben York By Jonathan Archibold 7th grade 2013

Did you know that if an arrow is too long it will bend when shot and be less accurate?  If it’s too short, it will go past the arrow holder and it will hit the bow and shatter. It is important to understand the accuracy and physics of a compound bow and its arrows and shooting them.  Learning bow safety, arrow safety, history, and physics are all important in archery.  The main point of archery is to hit the target. In order to hit the target, you must have a properly adjusted bow and the proper length of arrows.

The creation of bows and arrows goes back to 9,000 B.C. in Schleswig Holstein (northern Germany).  Scientist have discovered an iceman from that time period there in the European Alps that was mummified.  He had a simple bow and arrow that he was making. Then the technology advanced and helped Holless Wilbur Allen make the compound bow in  July 1967.  This made bows faster, deadlier, and easier to use.

Bow Safety
An excellent compound bow is the Apprentice 2 by Bear Archery. According to its owner’s manual, the Apprentice 2 is the finest compound bow available. It has adjustable cams on the end of each limb. The limbs are quad flared limbs. There is a continuous string that runs between the cams.  There is a buss cable running from one limb to the other. The bow string has a loop for placing the arrow and a sight bead for aiming. When you look through the sight bead, you can see red, green, and yellow lines on the sight gauge on the front of the bow.  The green is for shooting close targets and the red is for far away targets. There is also a whisker biscuit on the bow. If you’re curious what a whisker biscuit is, it is a ring with a whole bunch of hairs inside with a little gap so you can slip the arrow in and it holds the arrow.   The bow also has a bow handle below the arrow offset for your left hand.  A quiver that holds four arrows is attached to the side of the  bow.

After choosing a fine bow, you must know about bow safety. First, you need to make sure all parts of your bow are functional and are working properly. You also need to make sure not to dry fire your bow or fire underweight arrows  This would wear out your bow and maybe even break it. When you fire your bow, you need to point your bow away from people or anyone’s property.
Arrow Safety
You need to be cautious with your bow as well your arrows..  Some ways you can mess up are having too short of arrows and getting hurt.   If the arrow is too short, it will hit the bow when you shoot it. Then it will explode and shatter.  This would be very dangerous for the shooter. At full draw, the head of the arrow must be an inch past the whisker biscuit. According to my research, a little bit longer arrows can be safer. Each time after you shoot, you should inspect your arrows to see if they are broken, splintered, have loose parts, or if the feather is ruined. If so, you should throw away damaged ones and replace them for safety. You should make sure that no people or animals are around the target. Then you put the arrow into the notch on the string. You draw it back, then ARROW IN THE AIR!  Hopefully you hit the target. Your target  should be thick enough that no arrows will pass through it.

A compound bow uses carbon arrows.  Junior Hunter arrows with blunt tips are some of the best in the industry for kids.  The arrows should be cut and sized by experts like the ones at Pro Sports Center or Bucksport in Eureka. Compound bows cannot use fiberglass or wood arrows, only carbon fiber.  These arrows must be cut to the right length with a special saw.  Then the tips are screwed on and glued.  The weight of the arrow must match the bow.  Another way of messing up is having too long of arrows, and when you shoot them, they will bend. That makes it hard to hit the target. That is why arrows can be only one inch different in length and still be safe. Arrows can be damaged by hitting hard objects such as trees and other arrows. This is very dangerous according to the Bsafe website

Arrow Physics
The main point of archery is to hit the target. Arrow size and weight affects an accurate shot. The
weight that they measure arrows is grains, which is really small. There are four parts of an arrow. They are the tip, the shaft, the fletching, and nock. The tip of the arrow is the part that penetrates the target and weights the most. The shaft is the bod\spine that holds it together. The fletching is the fin of the arrow that makes it glide. The nock is what you put the string in. But  what makes an arrows accurate?  According to information on
the shorter arrows are going to be more accurate than the longer arrows but they did not explain why.  To find out how arrow length affects accuracy, I interviewed the archery expert at Pro Sports Center in Eureka, Dean Thomas who gave me awesome information. According to Dean Thomas, when you fire a bow with your hand, instead of a release trigger, the arrow will fishtail (fishtail is when the arrow flaps side to side). When you fire a bow with a  trigger, it will porpoise instead (porpoising is when the arrow wobbles goes up and down).  When you pull back the arrow and let go, the arrow is under a lot of pressure which causes it to fishtail and give you a less accurate shot. Your arrow will always fishtail no matter what you do. A short arrow will fishtail for less time. If an arrow is too long and heavy, it will drop sooner and fly slow, so the archer needs to aim higher. That makes it harder to hit the target.    Longer arrows flex more.  This means it is harder to get an accurate shot with too long of an arrow.

Not much research has been done on arrow length, and it needs to be done. This is a topic that needs to be researched more. Its important to know which length is best to hunt with and target practice with.


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