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The Crossbow   >  Chapter 5   >  Range of the Medieval Crossbow  >  p.27

Table of Contents List of Illustrations Index Appendix


warfare, or even for target-shooting, as it would break to pieces on striking any material that was more resistant than sand or soil.

' London 1795.

Dear Brother, - I have just been to see the secretary of the Turkish Ambassador shooting with Waring1 and other famous English bowmen. There was a great crowd, as you may suppose, to see them. The Turk, regardless of the many persons standing round him and to the amazement and terror of the Toxophilites, suddenly began firing his arrows up in all directions, but the astonishment of the company was increased by finding the arrows were not made to fly, but fell harmlessly within a few yards. These arrows the Turk called his " exercising arrows." This was an idea that was quite new to the bowmen present, and they began to have more respect for the Turk and his bow. The Turk's bow is made of antelopes' horns and is short, and purposely made short for the convenience of being used in all directions on horseback.

The Toxophilites wished to see the powers of the Turkish bow, and the Turk was asked to shoot one of his flight arrows. He shot four or five, and the best flight was very carefully measured at the time. It was 482 yards. The Toxophilites were astonished, I can tell you.

Waring said the furthest distance attained with an English flight arrow, of which he had ever heard, was 335 yards, and that Lord Aylesford had once shot one, with a slight wind in his favour, 330 yards. Waring told me that he himself, in all his life, had never been able to send a flight arrow above 283 yards.

The Turk was not satisfied with his performance, but declared that he and his bow were stiff and out of condition, and that with some practice he could shoot much further than he had just done.

He said, however, that he never was a first-class bowman even when in his best practice, but that the present Grand Seigneur was very fond of the exercise and a very strong man, there being only two men in the whole Turkish army who could shoot an arrow as far as he could.

The Turk said he had seen the Grand Seigneur send a flight arrow 800 yards.

I asked Waring to what he attributed the Turk's great superiority over our English bowmen ; whether to his bow or not. Waring replied he did not consider it was so much the result of the Turk's bow, but rather of his strength and skill, combined with the short light arrows he used, and his method of shooting them along the grooved horn attached to his arm.

Neither Waring nor any of the Toxophilites present, (and many tried,) could bend the bow as the Turk did when he used it.

1 T. Waring, author of a Treatise on Archery, 1st ed. 1814, last ed. 1832. Waring was an accomplished archer and a well-known manufacturer of bows and arrows.

The Crossbow   >  Chapter 5   >  Range of the Medieval Crossbow  >  p.27


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The trebuchet kit includes fully precut and drilled frame parts, pins and axles, sling cord and sewn pouch, projectiles and fully illustrated assembly and firing instructions. 

Unlike the flimsy, snap together plywood trebuchet kits, our all hardwood trebuchet kit does not require additional cutting, trimming or shaping.

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Inspired by the great war machines and siege catapults of Leonardo da Vinci , this all Red Oak hardwood trebuchet features an open counterweight cabinet for range and trajectory adjustment. 

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