The hazel arrow is slightly tapered from one end to the other, its bluntly
pointed thick extremity forming the head, or part which travels forward
when the arrow is thrown. The pith of the hazel forms the longitudinal
centre of the arrow. The arrow is, in fact, formed of pith with a thin
shell of wood outside it.
The length of the arrow is 31 in. Its diameter at its small end 3/16
in. ; at its centre of length, 1/4 in. ; near its head, 5/16 in.;
see fig. 177, p. 246.
Its weight is a little over 1/2 oz., or equal to 3s. 6d. in silver coin
of the realm.
The balancing point of the arrow is 13 in. from its head, A, fig. 176.
The arrow-throwers are so particular in regard to the balance of their
arrows, that they may sometimes be seen inserting a common pin up the pith
of the small end of an arrow, or else perhaps extracting one.
The trivial difference of the weight of an ordinary pin will aid or
retard the flight of one of these hazel arrows by several yards, and may
be the cause of a match being lost or gained as the case may be.
To Throw the Arrow, Fig 176
1. Make a pencil mark round the arrow at 16 in. from its head, B, fig.
2. Take a piece of hard strong string, 1/16 in. in diameter and 28 in.
long. Tie a double knot at 1/2 in. from one end of the string, C, fig.
3. Hold the head of the arrow towards you in your left hand, and hitch
the knot firmly round the pencil mark, as shown at D, fig. 176.1
4. Next, and still holding the head of the arrow towards you in the
left hand, twist the loose end of the string round the first joint of the
first finger of the right hand, until the inside edge of this finger is
3 in. from the point of the arrow along its shaft. Keep the string meanwhile
tightly stretched from the finger to the knot. The knot will not slip if
the string is kept taut, E, fig. 176.2
5. Now grip the arrow close to its head between the thumb and the second
and third fingers of the right hand ; (the first finger keeping the string
tight,) and turn it from you in the direction of its. intended flight,
F, fig. 176.
6. Hold the arrow at arm's length in front of you, then draw it back
1 Remember that the knot is merely hitched
to the arrow and not tied to it.
2 During the process of winding the string
on the forefinger of the right hand, the left hand should grasp the arrow
and the string tightly together a few inches below the knot, so as to prevent
the latter from slipping. The part of the string (about half its length)
which is wrapped round the finger may be unravelled so as not to cut the
skin. The unravelled portion may be stopped by a knot from unwinding too