Archery…

more than men in tights…

So….tonight

I went shooting taking only my quiver, bracer, sling and tab out of the car. My back ached a little after a day which found me moving and building desks but I HAD to shoot.

Tonight I used a 28# club bow, as simple as it gets, a wooden riser, wood/glass limbs, cheap sight and a stick on rest. A set of immensely long club alloys filled my quiver to be my projectiles for the night.

Two of my first six ended up on the grass, passing to the right, hardly surprising as I’d just pulled it off the rack, strung it and walked up to the line and started shooting at 30yds. Those were the only two that missed, over time I was starting to group them. Without the shakes introduced by a bow that I struggled to draw, hold and keep on target, I found myself enjoying it more. The simplicity of the set up allowed me to concentrate on shooting, there was nothing to adjust but the sight, just me and a glorified stick.

I must have shot 4 dozen, maybe more, not as many as I’d hoped for, but more than I managed last week and more comfortably. Next time I’ll shoot the same bow, I’ll do so for several sessions, then up the limb weight, maybe add a longrod.

In time I’ll be able to use my own bows without struggling, without beating myself up thinking I should do better or feel like I’m wasting my time.

Right, time to do other things, all being well I’ll throw some down the field on Sunday….

Once more unto the beach, dear friends, once more!

Tonight I arranged to meet up at the club with a friend who has been out of the game almost as long as I had. In his case it was injury that kept him away – AKA a real excuse.

He got there before me and was waiting upon me when I arrived. flags were put out, a boss thrown up and a line measured 20yds back from it.

He wanted to see if he could shoot without aggravating his injury, and to measure up his draw length (25.5 – 26″ btw). I wanted to shoot my newly piled arrows.

I did so – along with a few of my allys – no, not at the same time. Firstly I learned why it’s best to remove the excess glue from the pile/shaft joint, this is because blobs of it catch on the clicker causing the arrow to bounce off the rest. I had a couple of dozen and then tried some of my X7’s. I shot 4 at a time – all I have fletched with my favoured fletching colours.

I discovered my second thing of the evening. That I could just as easily draw a 30″ X7 as I can a 29″ nav. There was no extra effort, I apparently haven’t been trying hard enough, pushing myself.

The third thing I discovered was that my 1914 X7s are horribly whippy. I shot a few ends of 4 with huge feathers and then shot a couple with a single bareshaft. The fletched arrows were impacting at about 7 O’clock red/gold, the bareshaft missed the boss on the right hand side by some distance. I think it’s safe to say it was outside the group by a good few feet! Now either the method of bareshaft ‘tuning’ is different with allys than with carbons or I may need to reconsider shooting indoors with them later in the year.

Yes, I know that my rest and button are both set up for the diameter of my Navs and not my X7’s. Yes, I know that this may cause the arrows to behave unpredictably. Yes, I know that because of these reasons I shouldn’t read TOO much into it, but, dammit, 3ft? 3ft round the riser?

I cannae really afford another handful of X7’s – despite their cheapness. I have more arrows than I need without buying more.

By the end of the evening my Navs – all 7 of them, were all within the gold including the bareshafts. that will do for me. My sighmark was noticably lower with 120gr piles than with 100, thank goodness the outdoor season is coming to a close….80yds won’t be an option much longer. The question is, do I stick with the thin ones or go with fat ones? I have a few weeks to decide yet, and to shoot..starting tomorrow evening.

Anyway, despite these failures/discoveries, or perhaps because of them, I had a useful couple of hours. With the company of a good mate, who shot a few of my arrows, learned a couple of things himself (maybe) and I think has gone away without aggravating his injury…so may be joining us.

Oh yes, I suppose I ought to explain the title. The school field has recently been sown with sand, no idea why, but a kicked up spray of sand does make spotting where a black, unfletched arrow impacts the ground easier :) .

Out came the match – Tuning part 3

Please see Part 1 and Part 2 of this saga..

On Thursday evening, after a thunderstorm in mid-late evening, I ventured to the club field in the hope that a hardy soul would turn up, I found that I was that hardy soul.

sightpinIn the hope that someone would show up I assembled my bow, and centred the sight pin over the the arrow shaft…after double checking the centreshot. By 7.30 I guessed no-one was going to join me so I wandered home. I had planned to replace my 100gr pile in some of my arrows with 120 gr to see if there was any noticable effect.

The first act of this evening was to shoot my 660 Navs – all 4 (3 fletched, one bare) of them. The first two ends at 20yds saw me put them into a group of about 2″ diameter. I liked that, despite them being on the blue/red border. One of my newly fletched arrows now has two lines marked down the white fletches the groups were that tight. The bareshaft was within the group on both occasions.

The first two I shot with the match still in place in the button, I removed this and replaced it with the medium tensile spring and set this at midway down the scale. The group moved to the gold/blue border and a further adjustment put this in the middle. Over the next few ends I added a few of my 610 Navs and found that they joined the group, though slightly lower than the 660’s.

The button was locked down and a couple more ends were shot at 20yds before moving on to 40yds. At this distance there was a noticable difference in the positions the two sets impacted the boss, although both were within the gold.

From this it can be surmised that the two sets of arrows tune approximately the same, though the lighter piles do affect the sightmark – this is much more noticeable at greater distances.

targetI later moved on to 80yds shooting solely my 610 Navs, and found that for the first few ends my arrows fell central, albeit in a vertical line, but over time this spread somewhat. On one of the later ends I decided I’d shoot one of the 660 Navs to see what the difference in sightmark was. The arrow sailed over the boss, landing somewhere near the 110 yd mark. In one sense this was good news, in another not so much so, in that I can reach 100yds, however I may need to use lower spine arrows and lighter pile to do so. However, this information is of little use as the probability of me shooting 100yds this outdoor season is slim, other than ‘to see if I can’.

I have a competition on Sunday, a double Long national..

I hope to get a chance to shoot tomorrow…

There is still stuff to do as far as tuning my bow is concerned, I’ll update as it occurs..next week.