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Most recent revision 3 March 2003

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Turkish Bows

3 March 2003

I'm looking to start a dialogue about Turkish bows. I think they would make great hunting bows because of their maneuverability. Does anyone have experience shooting them? can anyone recommend one? WHat kinds of arrows work well? I'm just putting this out there so that I can learn more before I spend my money. I really want one!

Sean, I'm interested as well....I just read an article in the Primitive Archer mag about making Turkish bows w/o horn I think it was by the owner of Celticfury archery...I have to get back to you on where it is located (i'm at work)....Maybe you could make one....Also there was an article in the PA mag while back on cupid bows which are small sinew backed reflex deflex recurves short....50" that is another option.... I need my shop setup before I could attemp anything that involved in an apartment that is already to tight..by this summer I should have it all set....

Sean, Turk---The book 'Turkish Archery and the Composite Bow' by Paul Klopsteg is a valuable source for info on the Turkish composite..I am not certain if reprints are available..He quotes KANI, who was I believe bowyer for one of the Sultans..sort of a Turkish 'Roger Ascham'...:) One thing you will find sooner or later is that you will need to leard to shoot with the 'thumb-lock' & loose..maybe even the 'siper' and what amounts to a left-handed draw with short arrows/overdrawn..The short bows simply c annot be shot well with a mediterranean loose of three fingers..The short recurves made like the Super Kodiak will give you an idea how the Turkish composite bows would be..Hunt for a left-handed one and make yourself a hard leather thumb ring( or one of horn) and try shooting with the thumb-lock and loose..It is a very strong lock on the string once perfected..The Turkish composite was designed to shoot light arrows( artillery) long distances off battlements or for use at very close range by mounted arch ers..Makes a great 'closet bow'...:)..jim How noisy are they?

Try Cascade archery for a Turkish shaped boy that is made with modern materials. Very smooth shooter. Cascade has a catalog online

Sean: I have extensive experince building and shooting Asiatic bows. They are truly remarkable weapons! My friend and I have built numerous types of Asiatic bows (i.e. Turkish, Mongol, Chinese, Hindu, Persian, Turco Tatar, Crimean Tatar, Korean, Bas hkir, etc.). All of the bows shoot great. They are extremley smooth drawing, smoother than any fiberglass bow. They store tremondous amounts energy. When you first draw one you would be lead to belive you are drawing a much heavier bow than what you ac tually are. There is a large amount early draw weight while during the last several inches of draw they are VERY smooth (pulling anywhere from 2 to 1 lb per inch. Jim: The Turkish bows can be shot very accurately with the mediterranean release. They do not "stack" like the Bear bows. The way the limbs function provide a larger than normal string angle while providing a smooth draw. Also, they were made to shoot both light and heavy arrows. The Turkish war bows are longer than the target and flight b ows. The latter mentioned bows ranged from 42" to 48". Also, as Jim mentioned, the thumb ring is a great way to shoot one of these bows also. It provides a very smooth release while allowing you to draw the bow further. For example, I have a 42" Turkis h bow that I draw to 29" easily with my thumb ring. I also have a Crimean Tatar bow that I draw to 30"-31". Shooting with a thumb rind does take some practice though. There is a lot of information I have not covered regarding these bows, so if you would like to contact me at my email address, I'll be more than happy to talk further to you. My email address is ahorvath@monroe.lib.mi.us. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Sean, Turk---The book 'Turkish Archery and the Composite >Bow' by Paul Klopsteg is a valuable source for info on >the Turkish composite..I am not certain if reprints are >available.. The book can be found, with a little sleuthing. I was able to come u p with a 1940s edition, although a bit pricey ($75). I believe there were reprints even made this decade, although I could be mistaken. Try Advanced Book Exchange (www.abebooks.com). Thomas tduve@northlink.net http://www.ncmc.cc.mi.us/esl/korarch.html

Sean, I'm interested as well....I just read an article in the Primitive Archer mag about making Turkish bows w/o horn I think it was by the owner of Celticfury archery...I have to get back to you on where it is located (i'm at work)....Maybe you could make one....Also there was an article in the PA mag while back on cupid bows which are small sinew backed reflex deflex recurves short....50" that is another option.... I need my shop setup before I could attemp anything that involved in an apartment that is already to tight..by this summer I should have it all set....

Horn & Sinew--All I meant to offer was that the short composites have a very acute string angle for those who draw 28" or more..Some can shoot well with fingers even with such..but many will not..The siyahs of the well designed and constructed true com posite bow render a VERY good efficiency as you have said..much better than the short bows of Bear Archery genre..American Archers, with their european heritage for the most part, have sometimes had some 'prejudice' about the composite bow of the many eas tern civilizations...Such archery was /is really far advanced to the straight ended bows or 'crude' recurves we have seen in the past 100 years over here..Even with the advent of modern stuff for backing and facing bows such as fiberglass and graphite..th e Oriental Composite still had flight records that are hard to equal today.. I played around with several real composite bows years ago..got pretty good at the 'wounded archer'technique for bracing the highly reflexed bows..Sounds like you have great expe rience...I have built and designed recurve bows that are similar to what you describe as the longer 'war bows'...True recurve tho..no 'siyahs'..72 # recurve that gains only 2 # per inch for the last 8 " of draw to 29"...When one unfamiliar with the bow fi rst starts to draw it, it feels like a hundred pound bow...:)..But will shoot 630 grain tapered birch hunting arrows 230 FPS over the chrono...with fingers..I know what you are talking about!..What part of the world do you live in?jim

Jim: Your comments regarding the true composite are right on the money as is the rest of your last message. Archery in the middle east, asia, etc. was far advanced for its time and it still is compared to the "crude" bows we see here in the states, a s you mentioned. Everything about a composite bow is amazing. The construction, materials, the way the bow bends, etc. Each time I make a bow it still impresses me how it shoots and feels. Even though people publish all of these great "findings" on ho w to build a great self bow, it pales in comparison to the physics and ingenuity that went into composites. I live in that far-off world called the Midwest. Michigan to be exact. If you would like to talk more, I can be reached at ahorvath@monroe.lib.mi. us.

Horn & Sinew...I was concerned that I was being misunderstood., so my previous post..i am in no way offended by anything you said...Many folks have no cognizance of such archery tackle..and I am but a novice having read translations of the Arabic many years ago, what Elmer wrote in Target Archery, and Klopsteg in his book...I have never made a true composite bow such as the bowmakers guild in Constantinople might have made in the last milennium..when Sultan Selim shot those arrows and they set stones t o mark the records....but I DO understand about 'pre-loading' limbs...force draw curves...and have built and helped design some bows ( longbows and recurves) with remarkable efficiencies...my e-mail is fetrowj@squared.com ..and I am an eager studen t in such matters...I would love to know more of and actually see a thumb ring that FITS properly...that I might try more shooting in that manner...There are some very GOOD buys in left-handed bows occasionally... :) jim

I'm not sure if its relevent or not, but i checked the archery yellow pages here in my hometown of juneau alaska and there is a guy making mongolian bows.... have no idea about them other than i remember seeing him shoot once at the lanes and he used a thumb ring.... if anyone wants more info i can get his phone # for them, please email me at loki@micronet.net

Sean, if "Horn and Sinew" is who I think it is, take him up on his offer and email him. I bought a bamboo laminated longbow from him and his friend last year (no fiberglass) and it is a beauty. I also had the opportunity to talk with both of them exten sively and they seem to really know their stuff. Their composite bows are works of art!

I have just come across this conference and to my surprise people are actually talking about horn bows! I made a few such bows, they are very pleasant to shoot, no stalking thanks to the rigid siyahs etc. The thumb ring is the way to go, however, ther e is some finger pinch if three finger releae is used. By the way, Horn and Sinew is mistaken, the longest bows were not the war ones but target (puta). The shortest were flight, infantry bows were about the same length as target and cavalry bows were a little longer than flight but shorter than target. The lengths of all kinds of bows were 9-12 fists (fist=about 4.5"). Adam

Adam wrote: >I made a few such bows, they are very pleasant to shoot, no stalking thanks to the rigid siyahs etc Hi, Adam. Actually, the Korean horn bow siyahs are working, not static; still, no stacking or hand shock. Bluelake

Yes, Korean bows siyahs up to the ear bend, but much less than the main limb, plus the rigid ears, give the bow "static" siyah effect. In the Turkish, Persian, Indian and other Central Asian bows the siayhs are rigid. These are all great bows. Adam

Yes, Adam, I am here, too. While the ends of the Korean bow siyahs don't completely bend (need something to keep the string on :) ), they become about as parallel to the ground at full draw as any bow can possibly be. Wait 'til you toy with what I se nt you. Thomas

Thomas, I am impressed with the siyahs parallel to the ground at full draw, but siyahs of my 44" Turk bow go even beyond parallel. It is all the matter of the angle of the ears and the length of a bow. I am now tillering an experimental horn bow, 41" between the nocks with ears forming less than 90deg angle with the siyahs. This bow will have a pretzel shape when drawn. Efficiency is a different matter of course. Adam Yikes! Beyond parallel must be really something to see. I've found this thread to b e really fascinating! Beyond Klopsteg's book and a section of Payne's "Crossbow," what other reference books - magazines articles, etc., are there for this subject?

Cyclops, Although it isn't exactly Turkish archery (it's a relation, however), I wrote articles for Instinctive Archer magazine (several, starting with the premiere issue)about Korean archery. You might like to contact them about back issues; they als o had other articles, such as the one on Chinese archery by Stephen Selby (my counterpart in Hong Kong, archery-wise). Rik Hinton, the editor is a great guy. The Traditional Bowyer's Bible had some good chapters as well. You might like to look at the A sian Traditional Archery Network (ATARN) web site; Stephen has some articles on it (including mine): www.atarn.org Another mag that had many good articles in the horn bow genre is Primitive Archer; the editor, Gary Ellis, is also a really great guy. Thom as www.ncmc.cc.mi.us/esl/korarch.html

Thank you very much BlueLake! I will check into your recommendations. Do any of these references describe what the differences are between some of the oriental bows? What I mean by this is Horn & Sinew mentions different bows (Turkish, Mongol, Chine se, Hindu, Persian, Turco Tatar, Crimean Tatar, Korean, Bashkir, etc). My interest was peaked by this. How do we know the different characteristics? Are these from references or from museum holdings?

Cyclops, the most comprehensive book on various styles of horn bow archery in the Middle East and Central Asia is "Saracen Archery" by Latham and Paterson. Another good source is the Society of Archer-Antiquaries and their Journal. Adam

Wow, have you guys gottem me interested in this type of bow. Are there US bowyers making these types of bows currently? How do they work for someone with a 32" draw? How does a thumb ring actually work?

Jim in Oregon- I tried your email and it came back undeliverable, something about not a unique address. I am very interested in the Asian recurves. The physics of these suggest draw length is a design issue almost as important as on a compound (is tha t the case? I only draw 24"). Hope to make it to Denton Hill, maybe see some there? Was real interested in the Korean bows after articles in IA. I am lefty.

Cyclops wrote: Do any of these references describe what the differences are between some of the oriental bows? How do we know the different characteristics? Are these from references or from museum holdings? I write: You may find that some of them desc ribe differences (as the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words; in this case, it's absolutely true). Adam wrote: Cyclops, the most comprehensive book on various styles of horn bow archery in the Middle East and Central Asia is "Saracen Arch ery" by Latham and Paterson. I write: I've had a hard time (read: no luck) finding that title, even with a search of Advanced Book Exchange. I was able to find Klopsteg's book, which I have (very nice), but Saracen Archery and another book, Arab Archery were a no-go.

mikey wrote: Wow, have you guys gottem me interested in this type of bow. Are there US bowyers making these types of bows currently? I write: Yes, there are. Horn and Sinew and his partner make very beautiful bows. Also, you will find Jaap Koppedraye r (Yumi) in Canada; his bows are, likewise, very nice. There are very few Asian bowyers still making these bows (ten in Korea; none in China, for example). Unlike traditional bows common in the States (such as selfbows), making a composite bow is very c omplex and requires many years to learn to do properly; on top of that, it requires at least a year to make one bow. mikey wrote: How do they work for someone with a 32" draw? I write: Excellent. In the case of the Korean horn bow, the usual draw length (with thumb ring) is 33-34". mikey wrote: How does a thumb ring actually work? I write: I just posted a message on the archery ng about this. I'll repeat it here. Thumb rings are ancient releases used by many Near/Far Eastern cultures. They came in many shapes and materials; horn being the most common in Korea, both then and now (jade, bone, metals, etc. being others). The typical Korean shape is like a teardrop. The main object is to protect the thumb from the string. It is a very smooth release, as you only have one surface for the string to leave, as opposed to three in a three-fingered draw. You can also have a longer draw, as you won't get finger pinch at long draws. I will, briefly, outline the steps, as I have them in a brochure I give people (the brochure has pics, which help). I am looking at a Korean style thumb ring from the side the thumb is inserted in. To begin with, the thumb is put through the thumb ring from the rounded side at a ninety degree angle to the thumb. The ring is positio ned just in back of the thumb's knuckle. The ring is turned ninety degrees, so that the ring protects the pad of the thumb. The string is positioned where the ring and thumb meet. The index finger wraps around the thumb, like you are going to flip a coin. The arrow will rest and be nocked just above the thumb and next to the index finger. With your feet at a 2 o'clock (right-handed) position, nock your arrow and sight your target. Raise your bow and prepare to "push the mountain and pull the tiger's tail. " Draw the string straight back and anchor when the back of the tip of the arrow touches your bow-hand thumb. The bow should be slightly canted toward the arrow side. Release smoothly. A fraction of a second after release, let the lower limb of the bow dip in toward your bow-arm armpit. I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to let me know. Thomas http://www.ncmc.cc.mi.us/esl/korarch.html

Barb wrote: Hope to make it to Denton Hill, maybe see some there? Was real interested in the Korean bows after articles in IA. I write: You will see many there, without a doubt. I'm sure Horn & Sinew and his partner will be there, as will Jaap. Also, I will be there again with Korean bows. Barb wrote: I am lefty. I write: No problem, really. In the case of Korean horn bows, you simply buy either a right or left handed bow.

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge BlueLake! I've been searching for over two years for "Saracen Archery." I found it offered ONCE for $250 on interloc (now albris). I passed at that price but have never seen it since. However, I did ma nage to find "Arabic Archery" for $20. The number of collectors of archery literture has grown to the point that prices are now quite high and desirable works are REALLY difficult to find. In regards to "Arabic Archery." I believe a person of your intere st should have it in their personal library but I must warn you that it doesn't go into much depth on the bows construction. It's been suggested that this was done to prevent angering the bow making guilds (at least for Aschams book, which is somewhat co ntemperanious). This book does describe the returning arrow and is probably the source for creating questions relating to this subject? Do you happen to know anything about a book titled, "Self Bows from King Tut's Tomb?" (Title is something like that?). The reason I wonder is Bas-Reliefs I've seen of Egyptian and Assyrian archers shows them using a style that looks like they are using a thumb-ring? Also, the Assyrian bows (what I saw from the same Bas-Reliefs) are not analogous to todays recurves nor are they of the cupid bow form but they do have a reflexed curve on the very ends - siyahs? This make me wonder if these early bows, from these regions, were the percursor to the composite asiatic bows?

I am very interested in archery from the biblical era, especially among the Israelis. If any of you have any info, please pass it on. This is a very interesting thread. As for Egyptian bows, it was my understanding that they used a reflexed design due to the dryness of the climate. Perhaps the bow design you mention was actually strung up the other way? I am not an expert, but from what reading I have done on the subject, it was thought that their bows were deflexed, not reflexed. I would like to know if you have any more info on this. Thanks.

Les, I have no knowledge about ancient Israeli archery? I would imagine that you are all ready in the best location for researching this topic. It would be a shame if you are unable to find any information but then again from the result of the Y1K bu g, civilizations went into the Dark-Ages and whole libraries with vast amounts of literature were destroyed. Who knows what ancient archery description and facts were forever lost? As far as the Egyptian bow being strung backwards; No, this is from a bas -relief dated sometime in the BC▓s?

Cyclops wrote: Do you happen to know anything about a book titled, "Self Bows from King Tut's Tomb?" (Title is something like that?). The reason I wonder is Bas-Reliefs I've seen of Egyptian and Assyrian archers shows them using a style that looks like they are using a thumb-ring? I write: Unfortunately, I've not heard of that title (although I will now take a look on ABE). I really don't have great knowledge about Egyptian and Assyrian archery; I've seen some pics, but that's about all. I remember o ne pic of an Egyptian bow (I think it was in Trad. Bowyer's Bible). I believe both cultures you mentioned used a thumb ring, however. I'm not quite sure where those cultures' archery traditions fit in the time line in comparison to Asia; I'll have to br ush up a bit.

Thanks BlueLake. Also, there is a book out there called, "Indian Archery." I've never seen the book but I was told (on stickbow actually) that it is supposed to be about archery of India - not Native America! I've never persued it as the cost is $11 0 from Amazon. You might want to check if this book is available via inter-library loan to verify if it worthwhile before purchasing?

Has anyone got opinions or information on the composite bows made by Kassai? Within another group, the Society for Creative Anachronism, I have heard both good and bad about these bows. I dearly want to get an Asiatic composite bow and I naturally want to get the best for my money.

Here are some answers: As to the draw lengths of horn bows, it varied between 26 to 33". There are 17c. Turkish arrows 25"-26" long, but these would be used with the siper (an arrow guide for overdraw). When the limbs of a horn bow bend, at a certain draw length they become suddenly longer once the string lifts off the bridges. One wants to have this draw length not too early, otherwise the draw force would raise too quickly at the end of the draw, nullifying the advantage of the static siyahs. Most b ows seem to have the lift-off point at about 18-24". If one wants to have a bow with a shorter draw, say 24", then the lift-off point should be adjusted by proper recurvature of the ears, heigth of the bridge, etc. to be a few inches less. This is not to say one could not shoot bows with lift-off at, say 12", but this would not be optimal for smoothness and energy storage. The book "Saracen Archery" can be ordered by the interlibrary loan, and passages copied, this is what I did. The book will not tell yo u how to make a bow, but will show different styles, measurements and gives very detailed description of using the thumb ring, posture, discusses errors, etc. Definitely the book to have. There is a Chinese publication "Bow and arrow manufacture in Chengt u", if you read Chinese you can order it through a library from Taiwan, English version is out of print. Bluelake sells a video of a Korean bowyer too. I am not an expert on Egyptian archery, but there are some publications by McLeod. The bows were reflex ed or so called angular, where the handle section was sharply and deflexely bent and the limbs were approx. straight as strung. Both types were composite horn bows. I bought the book "Indian Archery". It is not worth buying, the author is no expert on bow s, many repetitions, very little on horn bows. I would rather borrow it. Adam

The Assyrian bows you see on the stone carvings either are being carried over the shoulders of the bowyers, or being shot, where the describe an extreme letter "C". I've read that they were heavily reflexed. Also read that the ones you see carried on the shoulders were unstrung bows, or to be more preciese, strung with the strings on backwards to hold them. And this seems beleivable if you look at the way the nocks are turned on these bows. I'd think that for such a bow to achieve both the drawn pro file and to stand the extreme pressure of all that reflex that they'd have to be sinew backed.

Thanks Gene, that makes good sense! Adam - Is "Bow and arrow manufacture in Chengtu" a book or manuscript? Sounds intriguing! Also, I appreciate your comment on "Indian Archery." This thread had sparked my interest to the point that I was considerin g ordering it. I am curious also about McLeod's Egyptian publications, what references are these and are they worth seeking out for those that are trying to but together a personal library of historical archery?

I haven't ever shot or handled one of Kassai's bows, but the promotional lit and web page imply they are not really composites. They are either all fiberglass or a traditional wood-in-fiberglass, not horn or acacia or anything. This is actually a goo d thing for SCA and horse archers, as they are sturdy, serviceable and not nearly as expensive as the "realdeal" horn bows. Wouldn't want to take a tumble or get clobbered with a four-digit$$ museum quality piece in your hand. As a hunter and habitual gr oundpounder who is a little leery of riding large herbivores with their own agenda (I don't get on ATVs either. I'll walk), I kinda want something where I can enjoy looking at the materials that cast the arrow...Kassai covers his bows in suede. Definitely want to shoot some of these things before making a buying decision, still don't hear an answer to the draw length question. I only draw 24", do I need a custom built bow to get the benefit of the Asian designs?

Barb wrote: Definitely want to shoot some of these things before making a buying decision, still don't hear an answer to the draw length question. I only draw 24", do I need a custom built bow to get the benefit of the Asian designs? I write: Barb, I d on't think so. In Korean archery, we have people of all different stature, draw weight, draw length, etc.; the people use the same basic bow. The only thing being, you would have to make sure you have the right draw _weight_ at your length.

Barb, For a 24" draw you can buy any of the existing bows, imitations or not. Siyahs on the "Mongol" bows as sold by Kassai or Gozner are not reflexed too much, much less so than on real horn bows, probably for stability. I know of someone who put on a bridge to such bow to add some reflex. With less reflex your short draw is actually better, you get better efficiency, more pleasant draw and less finger pinch. The problem is the draw weights, you would need to ask if they come in your desired weight a t 24", maybe too light for you. Adam

Cyclops, the Chengtu book: "Investigative report on bow and arrow manufacture in Chengtu" by T'an Tan-Chiung, Soochow Univ. Journal of Chinese Art History, Vol.XI, July 1981. It is worth having as one of two known texts on making horn bows (the other is Kani (Klopsteg). It was once available through the Society of Archer-Antiquaries, now out of print. I will have to look up the McLeod articles, they appeared in one of the archaeology journals. Adam

Barb, if you like to have a Kassai's bow, I would recommend the shorter ones for your 24" draw length since the shorter ones are more efficient than the longer ones at your draw length. The shorter bows(which have a 50" string) are designed for 28-30 inch draw which is better for you than those longer bows that are designed for 32-40 inch draw. Can you imagine shooting a bow that is designed for a 40 inch draw at a 24 inch draw? I have one that has a maximum draw length of 33" which I draw 33" with a thumb ring. ,,Thank you very much Adam! I'll see what I can find. This has been a very interesting thread! ,, For those interested in composite bows there is a whole list of refs at rustam.uwp.edu/biblio.html. Everything is there, from Turks to Egyptia ns. Good luck. Adam

Cyclops wrote: Do you happen to know anything about a book titled, "Self Bows from King Tut's Tomb?" (Title is something like that?). I write: Yes, It's called Self Bows and Other Archery Tackle from the Tomb of Tutankhamun : Tutankhamun's Tomb Series; Book IV by W. McLeod Price: $51.50 (Amazon.com) There is another one called "Composite Bows from the Tomb of Tutankhamun"(Tutankhamun's Tomb Series; Book III) which is probably still available through Quicks Archery in UK.

I have begun to build a turkish bow from the plans in the "PA". It is without horn, but has string follow to compensate. The author does not give the angle the recurves are supposed to be bent to. From his sketches, it appears to be slightly und er 60^. Could anyone tell me what the initial curve should be for one of these bows? Currently, the plans call for a 48" bow, with limbs that are 1.5" wide. Limb thickness is 3/8" constant with epoxy-applied riser and siyahs. I have osage billets ready for steaming, and ash riser and siyahs at this stage, but I don't want to mess up the recurves. Any information---even on string building would be helpful. Take care. Dale

Dale wrote: Any information---even on string building would be helpful. Take care. I write: Dale, I think you will find that strings on a Turkish bow would be similar to other composite bow strings (at least in their basic construction); however, I can only speak for the Korean bow. The string is made in three parts; the central part is a continuous loop, while the outer loops are tied onto its ends. The Korean bowyer shows how it is done in the video I made of him making a horn bow. If you are goin g to be at the Kalamazoo event, Three Rivers Archery will have copies of the tape (I believe they will be playing the tapes at their booth, also, so you could stop by and see it). Thomas

Dale, if the PA bow limbs you describe are 3/8" thick and with no taper, 1.5" wide, the bow would either brake or pull 200lb! I assume it has the usual Bo-Tuff glass back and belly. Are the siyahs and riser made separately and glued onto the glass? On real Turk bows the siyahs have a reflex curvature of about 8" radius, for about 6" length and then the 3" ears come off at 50-60deg or so for even more reflex. The PA bow must be severely deflexed in the limbs to allow for such shape and not break. The s tring tension must be zero at the beggining of draw. As to the string, it is like bluelake says in three pieces, main string (endless loop) and two loops at ends. The loops are separate pieces tied to the main with a special knot (different than Korean). Do not bother with this, just make two small (endless) loops and slip through the ends of the main string. The knots are useful for adjusting the length with stretchy strings like silk, you do not need this with Dacron or FF. The points where the end loop s meet the main are exactly where the ears end (on bridges if you have them). Adam

Bluelake and Adam---thanks for the string info. Sounds easy enough to create a dacron string. Adam, the bow design in "Primitive Archer" is not fiberglass backed. It is backed with sinew(the author suggests a minimum of 3/16") The author puts a deflex(around3") in the limbs and claims the "no horn belly" deflexed design makes a good shooter. I don't know. I have made plenty of self bows, but never an Asian composite. I saw this design as a good starter for me getting into this type of bow. The limbs do taper at the siyahs. Any information on creating this bow would be helpful---and I greatly appreciate your input! Holmstrom@worldnet.att.net .Dale

Dale, now I understand the PA bow. I once made a sinew backed, osage/yew bow (outer halfs of limbs were yew spliced to osage centre). There was no deflex, only about 4" reflex at the base of ears, then the ears at about 30deg. Limbs were only 1" wide, nock to nock length 48". The bow was something like 50lb at 29". Siyahs could bend to some degree. The PA bow looks good, I'd say more total reflex could be ok. The sinew layer should be thick, 3/16" min sounds good. I found the bow was funny to string ( I used the step-over method), if one limb was overbent too much during this, it stayed that way which required some forced flexing in the other to compensate. I did not like it, kind of unstable, maybe the PA bow with deflex and thicker limbs will not do that. Horn bows can have this problem too, but not nearly as bad. Adam

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