Mike Dudley Weapons
Mike Dudley Weapons

Bows, Arrows, and Crossbows

Prehistoric arrow - bone-tipped point lashed to shaft with deer sinew soaked in hide glue. Bone point is 2.25" long x 1.25" wide. Bone points were less fragile than stone points, but stone produced sharper edges. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley.
African Bushmen bow, arrows, and quiver. Bow is 43" long, and steel-tipped cane arrows are 23" in length. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley.
African Bushmen bow, arrows, and quiver- closeup view.
African Bushmen arrows- closeup of cane arrow shafts showing barbed steel points wrapped with sinew. The Bushmen used a toxin derived from the Diamphidia leaf beetle to poison the arrow tips directly behind the points.
Laminated wood English longbow with horn nocks. Medieval bows were primarily made of yew, and strings were normally made from hemp. Reproduction English longbow arrows crafted by Mike Dudley

English Longbow 

 

The English longbow ruled medieval Europe and helped determine the outcome of numerous battles fought by the English with their neighbors. The most famous of these was the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 during the Hundred Years War. In this battle, King Henry V’s army was greatly outnumbered by the French, but he fielded a force of English and Welsh archers whose longbows quickly decimated the French ranks and sealed the English victory.

 

The six-foot English longbow was an effective war weapon because it could accurately cast relatively heavy arrows several hundred yards, and was thus used as a form of early artillery to target massed enemy troop formations. The longest recorded shot using one of these bows was 345 yards. Usually made of yew, the bow’s stave was worked down to a single growth ring on the back, leaving sapwood on the back and heartwood on the bow’s belly. Much like a modern laminated bow, the sapwood on the back of the bow resisted tension and the heartwood on the bow's belly resisted compression. These characteristic worked together to reduce the wood's tendency to take a set and produced a bow with superior performance and reduced chance of breakage. 

 

Medieval archers were required by English law to practice with their bows on a daily basis. Skeletons of archers retrieved in 1982 from the English warship “Mary Rose”, which sunk off the coast of Portsmouth in 1545 while fighting the French, were easily identified by their thickened arm bones and stress fractures resulting from a lifetime of shooting these powerful bows. Archers were considered the elite athletes of the Tudor Age because of the strength required to draw and shoot these deadly weapons at a standard rate of twelve arrows per minute.

 

English archers used arrows which were made of poplar, ash, and other hardwoods which averaged 31” in length. The feathers were usually 6” in length, and made of goose wing feathers, although swan feathers were also used. Horn nocks were often attached to the tips of the bows, as is the case with the bow shown in this photo. The horn protected the relatively soft yew bow tips from breaking. Medieval bowstrings were normally made of hemp, and archers carried backup strings in battle for quick replacement in case of breakage. Bowstrings made of flax and silk were used later, although silk did not appear in England in significant quantities until the 16th century. English longbows did not utilize modern arrow rests - arrows were shot directly off the hand. Draw weights of these bows ran anywhere from 50 lbs to over 100 lbs. The six-foot laminated wood bow pictured here has a draw weight of 50 lbs at 28”.

 

The demand for yew to build these bows was so great that English ships were required by law to harvest suitable staves whenever they were in a foreign port and transport these back to England on their return trips to help replenish the King’s armory. The resulting deforestation of this valuable wood was a source of contention between England and the rest of Europe.

 

English Longbow - closeup of horn nock. Horn nocks were used on these bows to protect the ends of the relatively soft yew normally used for constructing these powerful bows.
English longbow arrows with 3/8" diameter shafts, 2 1/2" bodkin points, horn nock inserts, and 6-inch feathers lashed with English linen. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley

English Longbow Arrows 

 

English longbow arrows were mostly made of aspen (white poplar), although ash, birch, hawthorn, walnut, and other hardwoods were also used. The standard shafts were 3/8” in diameter, and some had inserts of horn laminate properly positioned relative to the shaft's grain to help strengthen the nocks and prevent them from splitting from the heavy force of the bowstring. Shafts of the heavier hundred pound draw weight war bows were normally made from ash as thick as ½”, and had sufficient cast to knock a man off a horse. The feathers were approximately 6” in length, and made from mostly goose wing feathers, although swan wing feathers were also used. The feathers were glued to the shaft using a type of green glue prevalent at the time, and many were also spirally-wrapped with linen to ensure a tight fit to the shaft. The feathers were often treated with a special preparation designed to prevent feather mites from eating ragged holes in the feathers.

 

The arrow points varied in design, depending on use. The four-sided wedge-shaped narrow bodkin points were designed to pierce enemy chain mail and armor. The wide bladed leaf and barbed points were designed to wreak havoc on enemy troop formations. Barbed points could cause gruesome wounds, and attempts at their removal would inflict additional trauma on their victims. Archers not only targeted mounted enemy soldiers, but their horses as well. The large “swallow-tail” points were designed for this purpose.

English Longbow arrow- closeup showing 1 1/2" long black horn insert used to strengthen nock and keep it from splitting from the force of the string when shot. Goose wing feathers were normally used to fletch medieval arrows.
English longbow arrows - large curved broadhead points (top) and "swallow tail" points (bottom) were used in battle to shoot the horses out from under their riders. Points are 2.63" and 2.5" long, respectively.
English longbow arrows - two barbed points. Top point is 2.75" long, bottom point is 2.5" long. These inflicted horrific wounds going in and also when they were withdrawn.
English longbow arrows - two "leaf" style points. Top point is 2.75" long, bottom point is 3.75".
English longbow arrows - showing closeup of 2 1/2" tempered chiseled long bodkin points designed to pierce enemy chain mail and plate armor.
English longbow arrows showing variety of points used. Larger points were designed to disable enemy horses. Bottom two points are bodkin chisel points designed to pierce enemy armor.
Early Native American Eastern style flat bow - side view. This 62" long hickory bow has a 44 lb draw weight. This style bow has a non-working handle, meaning it doesn't bend in the handle/grip area at full draw. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley.
Early Native American Eastern style flat bow - showing back of bare grip slightly narrower than limbs. There was no arrow rest on these style bows - arrows were shot off the hand.
Early Native American Eastern style flat bow - view of back. This self-bow was crafted from single piece of hickory, with a rawhide string. Hickory, ash, elm, mulberry, and black locust were favorite bow woods used in Eastern North America
Native American Eastern woodlands bow made of hickory - with 60" long 1.5" wide painted limbs, twisted rawhide string, buckskin grip sewn with deer backstrap sinew. Draw weight 51 lbs. Reproduction made by Mike Dudley.
Native American Eastern woodlands bow - painting the back of the bow like this helped camouflage the limbs when hunting in dark woods. Sudden movement of light colored bow limbs in the dark forest could easily spook deer.
Native American Eastern woodlands bow - side view. Back of limb and both sides are painted. Belly of bow (part facing archer when shooting) is left unpainted. Bow is made from single stave of hickory, and does not bend in the handle at full draw.
Native American Plains style sinew-backed bow, arrows, fully beaded and fringed elk hide quiver and bow case. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley

Native American Plains Style Bow and Arrows

 

 Native American Plains tribes such as the Cheyenne, Sioux (Lakota), Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche used a short sinew-backed “horse bow” for mounted warfare and buffalo hunting. These compact weapons measured anywhere from 36” to 54”, and were short so that they would be easily maneuvered from horseback.

 

The bows were generally made from ash in the Northern Plains and osage orange in the Southern Plains, and were backed with layers of sinew soaked in hide glue to prevent the highly stressed short bows from breaking and to provide added power. The sinew backing acted like a primitive form of fiberglass. In addition, the sinew possessed "memory" - after it was stretched while the bow was in use, it would shorten and slowly return to it's original length when the bow was unstrung. This characteristic of sinew-backed bows helped prevent them from "taking a set" and losing power over time. Their arrows were also short, ranging in length from 24” to 29”, and usually tipped with long steel points they bartered from traders or crafted themselves from tools provided by the white man. The feathers (fletching) on their arrows were unusually long and low-cut, with some measuring up to 9”.

 

The bow and arrows were carried in a quiver and bow case slung across the back, and normally opening on the left side for a right hand shooter. The quiver and bow case were often highly decorated with beaded panels and fringe drops. In use, the mounted warriors would sling the quiver and bow case around and position them across their lap, which provided easier access to the arrows.

 

These weapons were so formidable that the Plains tribes preferred them for mounted warfare over the single shot muzzle-loading rifles carried by the settlers and troopers, and only switched to firearms in significant numbers with the development of revolvers, breech-loaders, and repeating rifles. These short sinew-backed horse bows were the weapons carried by most of the combined force of Cheyenne and Sioux warriors who fought Lt. Col. Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876.

 

Closeup view of Native American Plains style bow, arrows, quiver, and bow case. Quiver and bow case beaded using five lanes of glass beads applied using traditional "lazy stitch'. Eleven inch fringe drops decorate quiver, bow case, and carry strap.
Native American Plains style sinew-backed bow. Grip is made of elk hide stitched with elk sinew. Bow string is two-ply twisted rawhide. This 46" reproduction was crafted by Mike Dudley
Native American Plains style sinew-backed bow - view of tip of bow showing string grooves and sinew backing.
Making a Native American two-ply sinew bow string using two plys of 4 strands each of elk backstrap sinew.

Making A Native American Sinew Bow String

 

Making a Native American sinew bow string - this is how you do it. Native Americans used both twisted rawhide and sinew to make bow strings. Both worked, but sinew was stronger and lasted longer. Shown in the photo above is a two-ply sinew bow string in the process of being crafted. Backstrap sinew from a large animal like a deer, elk, or buffalo worked best because the strands were longer and the thickness more even throughout the length.

 

The completed portion of the string is to the left. To the right you can see the two separate plys of four strands of sinew per ply, each ply clamped with either a yellow or purple paper clip. The four strands of the ply clamped with the yellow clip are twisted clockwise between the thumb and index finger, then rolled counter-clockwise over the top the other ply clamped with the purple clip. Then the four strands of sinew clamped in the purple clip are twisted clockwise and then rolled counter-clockwise over top the first ply clamped with the yellow clip. And so on until the string is finished.

 

Additional strands of sinew are fed into the string as other strands give out. The ends of the new incoming strands are staggered so that they overlay the ends of the existing strands that are running out. When finished, the string is rubbed with hide glue to seal all the strands. Then it gets rubbed with wax or animal fat to waterproof the whole affair. A two-ply string using four strands of sinew per ply will produce a bow string approximately 3/8" in diameter. Now that's strong!

Completed two-ply sinew bow string made of elk backstrap sinew. The sinew will be rubbed with hide glue to seal the strands, then rubbed with bees wax or animal fat to waterproof the whole affair. This string is 3/8" in diameter.
Native American Plains style sinew-backed bow - closeup of two-ply twisted rawhide bow string. These were easier to make than sinew bow strings. Twisted single ply rawhide bow strings were also used.
Native American Plains style quiver and arrows, with bow case detached. Quiver is elk hide, fringed and decorated with traditional lazy-stitch bead panels. Carry strap and oak stiffener are lined with red trade wool. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley.
Native American Plains style quiver and arrows - closeup of 24" arrows fletched with 9" wild turkey wing feathers, crested in white and red, tipped with 3" steel points, and lashed with elk sinew. Glass seed beaded panels and 11" fringe drops.
Native American Plains style arrows - fletched with 9" wild turkey wing and tail feathers. Paint cresting designs helped to identify arrows of individual warriors after a hunt or battle. Reproductions crafted by Mike Dudley
Native American Plains style arrow- 3 1/2" hammered steel point lashed to hardwood shaft with elk backstrap sinew. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley.
Native American Plains style compound arrow- hammered steel point lashed with sinew to hardwood foreshaft inserted into hollow cane arrow shaft. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley.
Native American Plains Style arrows- unfletched shafts showing various nock styles used. Shaft 2nd from bottom is cane shaft with hardwood nock insert. Bottom shaft is cane with nock carved at node septum.
Native American Plains style arrows with 9" fletching and 3 1/2" steel points. Wild turkey wing feather fletching is lashed with elk sinew. Various paint cresting styles. Reproductions crafted by Mike Dudley.
Native American Plains style arrows - 3" hammered steel points lashed with elk sinew. Reproductions crafted by Mike Dudley.
18th and 19th century American fur traders carried strings of steel arrowheads like these to trade for beaver furs with the Indians, who quickly abandoned their fragile stone points once steel arrowheads were available. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley
Traditional Korean bow - this modern reproduction is a 50" Samik SKB model with fiberglass backed maple limbs and walnut/rosewood grip (riser). Originals Korean bows had limbs built with a bamboo core, sinew backing, and horn belly.
Traditional Korean bow - view of heavily recurved gull wing design. This is a very lightweight smooth-drawing bow with little stacking. It has a draw weight of 45 lbs, with a 6.35" brace height.
Traditional Korean bow - view of belly. This modern version of the traditional Korean bow is layered with black fiberglass on the back and belly, which substitutes for the sinew and horn used on early specimens.
Traditional Korean bow - view of belly side of grip (riser). The grip was normally bare without an arrow rest. The arrow was shot off the hand. The same bow could be used for right or left hand archers.
Traditional Korean arrow - 2.25" x 3/4" steel point, bamboo shaft, soft steel reinforcing band around base of shaft, green-painted parchment glued to shaft. Based on original arrows. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley.
Traditional Korean arrow - bamboo shaft, low-cut 5" pheasant feather fletching glued to shaft; self-nock; nock end of shaft lashed with sinew and covered with green parchment glued to shaft. Based on original arrows. Reproduction crafted by Mike Dudley.
Modern traditional longbow - Ben Pearson Model "Ol' Ben 5000" longbow - 70" length, 55 lb draw weight at 28", limbs 1 1/2" wide at fadeout. Limbs are maple and black fiberglass.
Modern traditional longbow - Ben Pearson Model "Ol' Ben 5000" - view of leather wrapped grip and rug-covered arrow shelf.
Modern traditional longbow - Bear Model "Montana Longbow" - 64" reflex/deflex design with maple core limbs and black fiberglass back and belly, 64", 45 lb draw weight at 28", limbs are 1 13/16" wide at fadeout, with fiberglass limb tip overlays.
Modern traditional longbow - Bear Model "Montana Longbow" - view of leather wrapped grip, arrow rest, and strikeplate.
Modern traditional recurve - Mike Dudley Archery "Shoshone Stalker" - 52", 55 lbs @ 28", 1 3/4" wide limbs at fadeout. Bubinga, maple, walnut, & black phenolic riser. Maple & black fiberglass limbs. Phenolic limb tip overlays. Built by Mike Dudley.
Modern traditional recurve - "Shoshone Stalker" - 52" , solid Bolivian rosewood riser. Draw weight 55 lbs at 28", limbs 1 3/4" wide at fadeout. Maple limb core, black fiberglass belly and back, red/black phenolic limb tip overlays. Built by Mike Dudley.
Modern traditional recurve - Mike Dudley Archery "Shoshone Stalker" - closeup of solid Bolivian rosewood riser, rug-covered arrow rest, and leather arrow strike plate. Built by Mike Dudley.
Modern traditional leather back quiver - this is the 'Mike Dudley Archery' Shenandoah back quiver. It is designed for field or target work, and will hold over 20 arrows. Built by Mike Dudley.
Modern arrow points - shown here is a Stos 130 grain broadhead, 2 1/2" long and 1 1/8" wide. This is an excellent broadhead.
Modern arrow points - shown here is a Zwickey 140 grain broadhead, 2 13/16" long and 1 3/16" wide. This barbed broadhead was originally designed by Cliff Zwickey in 1939. Because of its barbed design, it is not legal for hunting in some States in the U.S.
Modern arrow points - Zwickey "No Mercy" broadhead, 2" edge, 1 3/16" wide, 130 grains.This is a very popular hunting point. Zwickey has been making arrowheads since 1938.
Modern arrow points- shown here is a 125 grain field point used for both target shooting and small game hunting.
Modern arrow points - Ace Classic point. This elegant 125 grain point is reminiscent of those used by English longbow archers. It makes a good field point for small game hunting, and can also be used as a target point.
Modern arrow points - Hex "Hammer" 125 grain field point. This point is excellent for small game hunting or field shooting. Scalloped hammer design is devastating on small game, and also prevents the arrow from burrowing under leaves when field shooting.
Modern arrow points - Zwickey "Judo" field point - this 130 grain point is designed for small game hunting or stump shooting. The four forward-facing prongs dig into the ground and prevent the arrow from traveling under leaves or ricocheting out of sight.
Modern arrow points - brass target point, 125 grain. The smooth bullet shape of this point minimizes wind deflection and planing and also keeps if from doing excessive damage to archery targets, both when it hits the target and when it's removed.
Modern fishing arrow -modern fishing arrows are made of fiberglass, which is heavy enough to provide good penetration in water. From the nock end they are attached to the bow by fish line which plays out on the bow-mounted spool when the arrow is shot.
Modern fishing arrow - this is a 2 3/8" AMS "Chaos" fish arrow point. To remove the point from the fish, unscrew the tip, and rotate the barbs backwards. When shooting, always aim below the fish to correct for light diffraction in water.
Modern fishing arrow - fishing string from the bow reel is attached to the orange plastic rotating "safety slide" near the nock end of the arrow, and the line is reeled in to retrieve the arrow and fish after it's hit.
Modern bows - Mission "Ballistic" compound bow , 50-70 lb draw weight, 7" brace height, AVS cams, 4.18 lb mass weight, 80 % let-off, 26-30" draw weight, 30.5" length axle to axle. Arrow speed: up to 330 fps.
Mission "Ballistic" compound bow - view of grip with "cat whisker" arrow rest and fiber optic pin sights. The mechanics of compound bows employ "let-off" which makes it easier to draw the string.
Mission "Ballistic" compound bow - view of lower limb and AVS cam. Arrows are Easton Bloodline carbon fiber arrows with 1.987" Blazer plastic vanes and Swacker 100 gr 2" cut broadheads.
Modern compound bow trigger string release - most compound bow shooters today use some version of a trigger-activated string release like the one shown above. The strap goes around the wrist, and the string is released by finger pressure on the trigger.
Modern screw-on hunting arrow points - points shown here are 2" long with three blades. Individual blades can be removed and replaced by unscrewing collett ring at base of point.
Modern screw-on hunting arrow points - Swacker 100 grain two-blade chisel tip broadhead mounted on an Easton Bloodling carbon fiber arrow. Shown with blades rotated out after striking game. Blade width: 2".
Modern screw-on hunting arrow points - Swacker point before it is shot with blades rotated forwards and held in place by small rubber band. Blades are 1" wide at this point, and rotate open to a width of 2" when arrow hits game.
Modern hunting arrow - view of Easton Bloodline carbon fiber arrow with Blazer 1.987" plastic fletching vanes. Most arrows shot with modern compound bows use plastic vanes instead of traditional feather fletching.
Modern crossbow - Excalibur Exocet 200 crossbow. Top view. Draw weight: 200 lbs; velocity: up to 330 fps; power stroke: 15.5"; overall length: 38.5".
Modern crossbow - Excalibur Exocet 200 crossbow - closeup of limbs, arrow channel, and foot stirrup used to brace bow when cocking.
Modern crossbow - Excalibur Exocet 200 crossbow. View of trigger and optional scope. Trigger has a 3 lb pull. The safety must be manually engaged after the bow is cocked.
Modern crossbow - Excalibur Exocet 200 crossbow. View of pistol grip stock with rubber buttplate. Raised cheekpiece provides a better cheek weld for improved accuracy. Camo pattern is "Realtree Xtra"- don't set it down on the leaves or you might lose it!
Modern crossbow arrows - Excalibur Firebolt 20" carbon fiber arrow with 4" plastic vanes, flat nock, and 150 gr. "Bolt Cutter" broadhead.
Modern crossbow arrows - shown here is an Excalibur "Bolt Cutter" 1 1/16" wide chisel tip three-bladed broadhead.
Modern crossbow arrows - shown here are 20" and 22" modern carbon crossbow arrows tipped with 3-blade 2" long hunting points and fletched with three 3 3/4" plastic vanes.
Modern crossbow arrows - showing wide shallow string groove nocks typical of crossbow arrows, or crossbolts.
Man Kung Mini Cobra Pistol Crossbow - this modern pistol crossbow has an 80 lb draw weight, 5" power stroke, 160 fps velocity, and uses 6 1/4" bolts. This crossbow is manufactured in Taiwan.
Man Kung Mini Cobra Pistol Crossbow - view of grip, trigger, bolt hold-down clip, cocking bar handle, and rear sight.
Man Kung Mini Cobra Pistol Crossbow- view of fiberglass prod (bow limbs), cocking bars, cocking stirrup, and front sight.
Man Kung Mini Cobra Pistol Crossbow - view of rear and front sights, and bolt hold-down clip. Rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation.
Man Kung Mini Cobra Pistol Crossbow- view from above. Prod (bow limbs) measures 16 1/2" from string groove to string groove.
Man Kun Mini Cobra Pistol Crossbow- 6 1/4" aluminum shaft bolts with target/field points. These are fun to shoot.

Contact

Mike Dudley

Mike Dudley Weapons

 

Email: mikedudleyarchery@

gmail.com

 

Print Print | Sitemap
© Mike Dudely Weapons