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Walks with dogs
21-10-2008, 20:09
I've dabbled with archery in the past and have a lovely flatbow that I really enjoy shooting in the garden and very, very occasionally at my local club.

Now that Christmas is approaching I have a hankering for a scythian / hungarian / mongolian type bow . Has anyone tried one/ got one ? I've heard differing reports re how easy they are to shoot accurately and I know some of you lot are into the old arrow flinging so thought I'd ask here.

Dave Budd
21-10-2008, 20:21
I bought a mongol years back and I still shoot it sometimes. I have to say that it's my toy, my little play thing. It is easy to shoot as the siyahs act like levers and give a slight let-off effect (like the cams on a compound), but it is still a very short bow with all of the weaknesses there. I.e it is critical of technique, so these days I can't hit the broad side of a barn with it :rolleyes: darn good fun though :D

JimN
22-10-2008, 09:26
I know a few people with these style of bows and they all say how smooth, fast & FUN they are :) Grozer (http://www.grozerarchery.com/) seem to be a recommended manufacturer.

Dave Budd
22-10-2008, 10:08
yep, Grozer is what I have ;) Mind you, when I bought mine they were the only ones in teh country and the only people that imported that sort of thing were Eagle classic Archery. Nice bloke there, sadly no longer with us :(

Grooveski
22-10-2008, 10:36
I have a Grozer scythian and my dad has an Internature, both 55lb. The Grozer is more attractive but I'd say the bulked up grip of the Internature makes it easier to shoot.
Neither of them like heavy arrows much and are happier with about 7 grains per pound. They both feel "light" to draw, with less weight being pulled at the early stage of the draw than a modern recurve.
They're light in the hand as well, making them slightly jittery and harder to shoot in high winds.

I enjoy using mine but if I'm after a short bow I usually grab a Bear Kodiak Magnum instead which is similar in size but is a cut shelf recurve. Reckon I just prefer shooting off the shelf to shooting off the hand.
My dad uses his every time we play round-the-clock on a dartboard face.

Walks with dogs
22-10-2008, 11:22
Thanks for the replies. My budget is pretty tight and I don't want to waste it on a bow that I can't hit anything with.

How difficult are they to shoot accurately?

JimN
22-10-2008, 11:50
Thanks for the replies. My budget is pretty tight and I don't want to waste it on a bow that I can't hit anything with.

How difficult are they to shoot accurately?

That really is a 'how is long a piece of string' question I'm afraid. Any bow made from purely natural materials (i.e. wood and bone) is going to be more affected by environmental conditions than bows including man-made materials. Practice & experience will limit the effects of these on shooting but they will always be there. There are Hungarians bows that include glass-fibre backing, similar to that found in American Flatbows, which makes life easier. It depends how 'trad' you want to go.

You also need to consider the arrows being used and how the bow is set up (i..e nocking point).

Sounds like your best idea would be to try and use one before committing yourself. Some shops stock these and you may be able to try before you buy (although your usage will probably be limited).

Jim

Walks with dogs
23-10-2008, 11:56
Thanks Jim.

trail2
17-12-2008, 03:52
A bit late but try using a thumb ring to shoot with. It makes accuracy and shooting a little easier.
Jon R.

HillBill
17-12-2008, 08:45
The REAL Mongolian bows were the best bows in the world bar none. The English longbow was the best bow to emerge from europe.But it didn't even come close to the Mongolian bow. The bows you can buy now would have been childrens bows back in the day. A real mongol bow took over a year to make. Longbows averaged between 70/90 lbs where as the mongol averaged 160/200 lbs there are many reports of mongols shooting a stationary target 500m away, The only thing that came close were firearms.

http://www.coldsiberia.org/monbow.htm

SimonM
17-12-2008, 09:25
If you can get to Preston, Lancashire, Archery World have a short range at the back of their shop and would probably let you test shoot one to see if you like it.

http://www.archeryworld.co.uk/

You have to a member of a club to use the range for insurance purposes, but the guys that work there know their stuff (but can be a little tetchy !)

Simon

trail2
17-12-2008, 21:54
[Heres the one I shoot.
Made by Spitfire bows in Canada.42" long.Draw weight 50# at 30". This is pulled to the ear using the thumb draw method.
You can get a better idea here
http://www.spitfirehorsebows.com/sassinidbow.asp
Jon R.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v484/jonWR/tn.jpg

helixpteron
21-12-2008, 23:54
The REAL Mongolian bows were the best bows in the world bar none. The English longbow was the best bow to emerge from europe.But it didn't even come close to the Mongolian bow. The bows you can buy now would have been childrens bows back in the day. A real mongol bow took over a year to make. Longbows averaged between 70/90 lbs where as the mongol averaged 160/200 lbs there are many reports of mongols shooting a stationary target 500m away, The only thing that came close were firearms.

http://www.coldsiberia.org/monbow.htm

Thank you for that excellent information and link, I had no idea that these bows possessed such power and were the result of such long term construction.

trail2
22-12-2008, 00:14
If you have more than a passing interest in all forms of Asian archery,dig around in this site. It has some of the best informed fellows on the subject around.
http://www.atarn.org/frameindex.htm
I got a lot of info and help from them when I started to get really interested in the subject.
Jon R.

Walks with dogs
22-12-2008, 10:45
Some great information there! No wonder old Ghengis did so well for himself.

Looks like I'll be waiting till the New Year now, maybe the pound will pick up a bit in the meantime.

Robbo
22-12-2008, 20:00
I shoot a samick SKB, its a modern interpretaion of the traditional korean bow, The korean bow was the pinnacle of composite bow development primarily for target use, they were unstable and frgile and had to be handled carefully but the ranges started at around 160 yards IIRC.

The SKB is a modern fibreglass, wood laminate and there are two versions one with rigid siyahs and one with more regular bow tips (i shoot the latter). the SKB is around 110 i think. its a very narrow handled bow and I added a leather grip to pad it out, it does however look like a modern fibreglass bow, albiet with a composite style braced and draw profile but one I'd recommend. though unless your willing to pay 1500 ish any mongol style bow you buy will be a fiberglass interpretation dressed up to look the part, (unless you make your own - as a few have on paleoplanet)

As far as accuracy goes I find it comes down to finding the right weight and spine(stiffness) of arrows and practising good technique (I can hit a barn door FITA reg targets are another matter though),

BTW the mongols shot off the other side of the bow i,e. for a right handed archer the arrow sits on the right hand side of the bow resting on the thumb, though I shoot mine as I would my olympic recurve.

I've seen grozier and other makes of composite bow in Eb@y for what its worth

HillBill
22-12-2008, 20:34
BTW the mongols shot off the other side of the bow i,e. for a right handed archer the arrow sits on the right hand side of the bow resting on the thumb, though I shoot mine as I would my olympic recurve.



Eh??? I've always fired a bow that way. Left hand on bow, right drawing the string, arrow resting on left thumb. Am i doing it wrong?? I don't shoot much, mainly when i was younger and i was never in a club.

Snufkin
22-12-2008, 21:26
Eh??? I've always fired a bow that way. Left hand on bow, right drawing the string, arrow resting on left thumb. Am i doing it wrong?? I don't shoot much, mainly when i was younger and i was never in a club.
There is no "wrong" way. The most common draw is three fingers on the string with the arrow resting on the index finger of the bow hand, as the fingers gripping the string pull the arrow slightly to the right (if you are right handed). If you use the thumbring you are gripping the string with your index finger and thumb and would be pushing the arrow slightly to the left when drawing (if right handed) so resting the arrow on the thumb of the bow hand will push the arrow into the bow. But whatever style you find comfortable and accurate is good.

trail2
22-12-2008, 21:48
If you want to shoot an Asian bow I would suggest to take a look at these two sites.
I first carries bows from several bowyers and the fellow who runs it is a really nice guy.
I have got a couple from him.:rolleyes:
The next is Korean bows. Thomas is one heck of a guy and a very knowledgeable fellow when it comes to Korean archery. Both myself and my wife have bows from him.
Nice thing is he is supporting local Korean bowyers.
For the money its hard to beat.
http://www.eastern-archery.com/eubowframe.html
http://www.hwarangarchery.com/
While using a Mediterranean release from the off side of the bow works. A thumb release is much better once you get the hang of it.
With a thumb release the thumb is around the string just below the arrow nock. The index finger is placed across the thumbnail locking
the string behind the first joint of the thumb.
Hope this is helpful.
Jon R.

Gailainne
23-12-2008, 14:51
The REAL Mongolian bows were the best bows in the world bar none. The English longbow was the best bow to emerge from europe.But it didn't even come close to the Mongolian bow. The bows you can buy now would have been childrens bows back in the day. A real mongol bow took over a year to make. Longbows averaged between 70/90 lbs where as the mongol averaged 160/200 lbs there are many reports of mongols shooting a stationary target 500m away, The only thing that came close were firearms.

http://www.coldsiberia.org/monbow.htm

Hmm not sure I agree with the longbow draw weights your quoting, I've seen text about the long bows found on the Mary Rose and they were in the 140/160 range. Also do you really think a longbow man who was brought up drawing bows could only draw a 70/90 lb bow ! I can draw a 50 lb bow with no problem, those guys had been practicing since they were kids.

However from an engineering standpoint I fully agree the mongol bows were an amazing peice of work. If anyone would like to see a traditional horn type bow being made there are some wonderful videos on youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3cjk3-AHcI

Stephen

Snufkin
23-12-2008, 18:39
Hmm not sure I agree with the longbow draw weights your quoting, I've seen text about the long bows found on the Mary Rose and they were in the 140/160 range. Also do you really think a longbow man who was brought up drawing bows could only draw a 70/90 lb bow ! I can draw a 50 lb bow with no problem, those guys had been practicing since they were kids.

However from an engineering standpoint I fully agree the mongol bows were an amazing peice of work. If anyone would like to see a traditional horn type bow being made there are some wonderful videos on youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3cjk3-AHcI

Stephen
Have to agree with you on the longbow draw weights. Early warbows were in the 90lb range but in their heyday they were well into the 150+ range. And I think a reproduction of the largest Mary Rose bow pulled 220lb.

HillBill
23-12-2008, 18:52
Ok fair point guys, I know longbows can be very powerful but the average one wouldn't be up in those figures.Plus they were very prone to the weather which made them a little less effective, the archers used to carry their strings under their hats or they got wet and stretched reducing the power.

At the battle of crecy the longbowmen were credited with practically winning the battle by themselves, and they did.....but only partly with their bows. It was the mud that scuppered the French. Their armour got stuck in the gelatinous mud and made moving practically impossible both for mounted and dis-mounted knights. The archers wore leather/cloth clothes and boots so the mud didn't really impede them, most of the french army died to daggers and swords as opposed to bodkins

The mongolian bows were practically weather proof in comparison and averaged higher poundage which made them better and more reliable. Its a shame really because in the UK's climate the mongol bow would have excelled.

Snufkin
23-12-2008, 20:05
Ok fair point guys, I know longbows can be very powerful but the average one wouldn't be up in those figures.Plus they were very prone to the weather which made them a little less effective, the archers used to carry their strings under their hats or they got wet and stretched reducing the power.

At the battle of crecy the longbowmen were credited with practically winning the battle by themselves, and they did.....but only partly with their bows. It was the mud that scuppered the French. Their armour got stuck in the gelatinous mud and made moving practically impossible both for mounted and dis-mounted knights. The archers wore leather/cloth clothes and boots so the mud didn't really impede them, most of the french army died to daggers and swords as opposed to bodkins

The mongolian bows were practically weather proof in comparison and averaged higher poundage which made them better and more reliable. Its a shame really because in the UK's climate the mongol bow would have excelled.
Actually, mongolian bows are far more suseptable to weather variations, being a highly stressed design held together with water soluble glue. Sinew loves nothing better than to absorb water, losing power, or in extreme cases delaminating with potentially lethal effects. Turkish archers used to heat their bows in special ovens before shooting. Longbow strings were waxed but would stretch if the became saturated with a loss of performance but would still function. The two weapons aren't really comprable. The longbow was a low stress, design that was cheap and easy to produce in large numbers, sacrificing some performance for durability and simplicity. The asiatic composites were all about performance, hang the expense. Kind of like comparing a Lambourgini to a family saloon car.

HillBill
23-12-2008, 23:00
Actually, mongolian bows are far more suseptable to weather variations, being a highly stressed design held together with water soluble glue. Sinew loves nothing better than to absorb water, losing power, or in extreme cases delaminating with potentially lethal effects. Turkish archers used to heat their bows in special ovens before shooting. Longbow strings were waxed but would stretch if the became saturated with a loss of performance but would still function. The two weapons aren't really comprable. The longbow was a low stress, design that was cheap and easy to produce in large numbers, sacrificing some performance for durability and simplicity. The asiatic composites were all about performance, hang the expense. Kind of like comparing a Lambourgini to a family saloon car.


They were made using fish glue, made by boiling fish swim bladders down. Its very waterproof. Thats why they spent up to 5 days making the glue and applying it( the sinew was coated in this up to a couple of cm thick, along with birch bark which was also covered in the glue)). As the saying goes " nothing good ever comes easy"

To quote the article i posted

As we understand, a composite bow by definition has several layers. We have mentioned the birch frame, and the layer of horn/bone. In addition to this, there is a layer of specially prepared birch bark whose purpose is to protect against penetration of moisture. In addition to this again is a layer of sinew, which is taken from deer, moose or other game animals. The tendons of domestic animals may also be used, but Mongols feel that tendons from wild animals like deer, moose and mountain sheep are the strongest and best. Naturally, the bow has to be glued together. The preferred and traditional substance used for the impregnation of both leather as well as their bows is fish glue. As a matter of fact, fish glue has been proven through millennia to be highly capable of resisting moisture. Moreover, it is durable and lasts longer than modern epoxy resins, which are prone to molecular fatigue. Above all, fish glue is available in all the waters of Siberia where fish is living, among them the greatest of them all, Lake Bajkal.

How is fish glue made? The process that yields the highest quality is to take swim bladders from freshwater fish, soak them into hot water to extract the protein substance, and then boil the resultant soup for a prolonged period. If sufficient quantities of swim bladders cannot be obtained, it is also possible to make hide glue by boiling animal skins. This latter method however results in a glue of inferior quality, because it absorbs moisture, whereas glue made from ichthyic air bladders is highly moisture-resistant.

Snufkin
23-12-2008, 23:39
Water soluble glues aren't all that water resistant, hence the birch bark backing. Although fish glue is, by all accounts, better than hide glue. Never used fish glue myself though.

stijnb
24-12-2008, 09:41
try www.bowshop.eu ordered my mongolian there, they have pretty much everything and not to expensive

Snufkin
24-12-2008, 18:34
Getting a bit OT. Grozer bows are smooth and fun to shoot, and because their unstrung profile doesn't mimic the original bows they are a bit less temperamental to shoot.

Walks with dogs
24-12-2008, 21:15
Actually mate, that is totally on topic, exactly the sort of information I was after- though I have to say the whole thing has been fascinating.

Some diverse areas of knowledge on here no doubt about it.

trail2
24-12-2008, 23:57
One thing with the Grozer type bows is they are easier to string. You can get by with the step through method(horrors) With my horn bow you really need two people to string it. It can be done by yourself but the processes takes some time to learn.
Another thing is you don't need to warm and re-balance them when you want to shoot.
That and about $1500 price difference.
I used a lot of different styles of fibre glass and laminates before I felt comfortable ordering the real thing. But the wait and price were worth it.
That said I still shoot my Grozer's Early Avar when its cold(below freezing) or honking down with rain.
Belated "Happy Christmas" to you all.
Jon R.

wattsy
13-01-2010, 23:29
Have to agree with you on the longbow draw weights. Early warbows were in the 90lb range but in their heyday they were well into the 150+ range. And I think a reproduction of the largest Mary Rose bow pulled 220lb.

they found skeleton's on the mary rose of archer's who's spine's were twisted and with enlarged left arms and bone spurs on shoulder, wrist and fingers because of the difficulty of drawing back a bow of that power, and at the siege of abergavenny in 1182 welsh arrows penetrated an oak door 4 inches thick. longbows also take at least 2 years to make including seasoning the wood.

wattsy
13-01-2010, 23:32
Ok fair point guys, I know longbows can be very powerful but the average one wouldn't be up in those figures.Plus they were very prone to the weather which made them a little less effective, the archers used to carry their strings under their hats or they got wet and stretched reducing the power.

At the battle of crecy the longbowmen were credited with practically winning the battle by themselves, and they did.....but only partly with their bows. It was the mud that scuppered the French. Their armour got stuck in the gelatinous mud and made moving practically impossible both for mounted and dis-mounted knights. The archers wore leather/cloth clothes and boots so the mud didn't really impede them, most of the french army died to daggers and swords as opposed to bodkins

The mongolian bows were practically weather proof in comparison and averaged higher poundage which made them better and more reliable. Its a shame really because in the UK's climate the mongol bow would have excelled.

the mongol bows weren't weather proof in fact they were the exact opposite because they used animal glue which is soluble in water they had to be protected from rain and damp or they'd have fallen apart.

HillBill
14-01-2010, 10:55
the mongol bows weren't weather proof in fact they were the exact opposite because they used animal glue which is soluble in water they had to be protected from rain and damp or they'd have fallen apart.

They used fish glue made from the swim bladders of freshwater fish. Which is water resistant