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An arrow is a
fin A fin is a thin component or appendage attached to a larger body or structure. Fins typically function as foils that produce lift or thrust Thrust is a reaction (physics), reaction force (physics), force described quantitatively by Newton' ...

fin
-stabilized
projectile A projectile is a missile propelled by the exertion of a force In physics, a force is an influence that can change the motion (physics), motion of an Physical object, object. A force can cause an object with mass to change its velocity (e ...

projectile
launched by a
bow Bow often refers to: * Bow and arrow The bow and arrow is a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons ar ...

bow
. A typical arrow usually consists of a long, stiff, straight ''shaft'' with a weighty (and usually sharp and pointed) ''
arrowhead An arrowhead or point is the usually sharpened and hardened tip of an arrow s and nock. An arrow is a fin-stabilized projectile launched by a bow and arrow, bow. A typical arrow usually consists of a long, stiff, straight ''shaft'' with a weig ...

arrowhead
'' attached to the front end, multiple fin-like
stabilizer Stabilizer, stabiliser, stabilisation or stabilization may refer to: Chemistry and food processing * Stabilizer (chemistry), a substance added to prevent unwanted change in state of another substance ** Polymer stabilizers are stabilizers used s ...
s called ''
fletching Fletching is the fin A fin is a thin component or appendage attached to a larger body or structure. Fins typically function as foils that produce lift or thrust Thrust is a reaction (physics), reaction force (physics), force described q ...
s'' mounted near the rear, and a slot at the rear end called '' nock'' for engaging the bowstring. A container or bag carrying additional arrows for convenient reloading is called a ''
quiver A quiver is a container for holding arrows, Crossbow bolt, bolts, Dart (missile), darts, or javelins. It can be carried on an archer's body, the bow, or the ground, depending on the type of shooting and the archer's personal preference. Quivers ...

quiver
''. The use of bows and arrows by humans predates
recorded history Recorded history or written history is a historical narrative History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the History of writin ...
and is common to most
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
s. A craftsman who makes arrows is a '' fletcher'', and one that makes arrowheads is an ''arrowsmith''.Paterson ''Encyclopaedia of Archery'' p. 56


History

The oldest evidence of likely arrowheads, dating to c. 64,000 years ago, were found in
Sibudu Cave Sibudu Cave is a rock shelter in a sandstone cliff in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is an important Middle Stone Age site occupied, with some gaps, from 77,000 years ago to 38,000 years ago. Evidence of some of the earliest examples o ...
, current
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
. Backwell L, d'Errico F, Wadley L.(2008). Middle Stone Age bone tools from the Howiesons Poort layers, Sibudu Cave, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science, 35:1566–1580. Backwell L, Bradfield J, Carlson KJ, Jashashvili T, Wadley L, d'Errico F.(2018). The antiquity of bow-and-arrow technology: evidence from Middle Stone Age layers at Sibudu Cave. Journal of Archaeological Science, 92:289–303. Likely arrowheads made from animal bones have been discovered in the Fa Hien Cave in
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
which are also the oldest evidence for the use of arrows outside of Africa dating to c. 48,000 years ago. The oldest evidence of the use of bows to shoot arrows dates to about 10,000 years ago; it is based on
pine A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The div ...

pine
wood arrows found in the Ahrensburg valley north of
Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central (CET) , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central (CEST) , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal_code_type = Post ...

Hamburg
. They had shallow grooves on the base, indicating that they were shot from a bow. The oldest bow so far recovered is about 8,000 years old, found in the
Holmegård Until January 1, 2007, Holmegaard was a municipality ( Danish, '' kommune'') in Storstrøm County in the southern part of the island of Zealand (''Sjælland'') in south Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ), officially the Kingdom of Denmark, ...
swamp in Denmark. Archery seems to have arrived in the Americas with the
Arctic small tool traditionThe Arctic Small Tool tradition (ASTt) was a broad cultural entity that developed along the Alaska Peninsula and cottongrass meadow Image:AKPen4.jpg, 250px, Peulik Volcano and Ukinrek Maars The Alaska Peninsula (also called Aleut Peninsula or ...
, about 4,500 years ago.


Size

Arrow sizes vary greatly across cultures, ranging from eighteen inches to six feet (45 cm to 150 cm). Stone, George Cameron (1934). '' A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times'', Mineola: Dover Publications. However, most modern arrows are to in length. Arrows recovered from the
Mary Rose The ''Mary Rose'' (launched 1511) is a carrack 300px, The large carrack, thought to be the '' Santa Catarina do Monte Sinai'', and other Portuguese carracks of various sizes. From painting, attributed to either Gregório Lopes or Cornelis ...
, an English warship that sank in 1545 were mostly long. Very short arrows have been used, shot through a guide attached either to the bow (an "overdraw") or to the archer's wrist (the Turkish "siper"). These may fly farther than heavier arrows, and an enemy without suitable equipment may find himself unable to return them.


Shaft

The shaft is the primary structural element of the arrow, to which the other components are attached. Traditional arrow shafts are made from strong, lightweight
wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. ...

wood
,
bamboo Bamboos are a diverse group of evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in th ...

bamboo
or reeds, while modern shafts may be made from
aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in and ) is a with the  Al and  13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other common , at approximately one third that of . It has a great affinity towards , and of on the surface when exposed to air ...

aluminium
,
carbon fibre reinforced plastic Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (American English), Carbon fibre reinforced polymer (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), or carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRP, CRP, CFRTP, ...
, or a combination of materials. Such shafts are typically made from an
aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in and ) is a with the  Al and  13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other common , at approximately one third that of . It has a great affinity towards , and of on the surface when exposed to air ...

aluminium
core wrapped with a
carbon fibre Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (American English), Carbon fibre reinforced polymer (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), or carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRP, CRP, CFRTP, ...
outer. A traditional premium material is Port Orford Cedar.


Spine

The
stiffness Stiffness is the extent to which an object resists Deformation (mechanics), deformation in response to an applied force. The complementary concept is flexibility or pliability: the more flexible an object is, the less stiff it is. Calculations ...
of the shaft is known as its ''spine'', referring to how little the shaft bends when compressed, hence an arrow which bends less is said to have more spine. In order to strike consistently, a group of arrows must be similarly spined. "Center-shot" bows, in which the arrow passes through the central vertical axis of the bow riser, may obtain consistent results from arrows with a wide range of spines. However, most traditional bows are not center-shot and the arrow has to deflect around the handle in the archer's paradox; such bows tend to give most consistent results with a narrower range of arrow spine that allows the arrow to deflect correctly around the bow. Bows with higher draw weight will generally require stiffer arrows, with more spine (less flexibility) to give the correct amount of flex when shot.


GPI rating

The weight of an arrow shaft can be expressed in GPI (
grain A grain is a small, hard, dry seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album ...
s per
inch Measuring tape with inches The inch (symbol: in or ″) is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television s ...
). The length of a shaft in
inch Measuring tape with inches The inch (symbol: in or ″) is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television s ...
es multiplied by its GPI rating gives the weight of the shaft in
grains A grain is a small, hard, dry – with or without an attached or layer – harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are s and . After being harvested, dry ...
. For example, a shaft that is long and has a GPI of 9.5 weighs . This does not include the other elements of a finished arrow, so a complete arrow will be heavier than the shaft alone.


Footed arrows

Sometimes a shaft will be made of two different types of wood fastened together, resulting in what is known as a footed arrow. Known by some as the finest of wood arrows, footed arrows were used both by early Europeans and
Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
. Footed arrows will typically consist of a short length of
hardwood is a popular hardwood Hardwood is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the Plant stem, stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic materiala natural composite material, composite of cellulos ...

hardwood
near the head of the arrow, with the remainder of the shaft consisting of
softwood Scots Pine, a typical and well-known softwood Softwood is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or t ...
. By reinforcing the area most likely to break, the arrow is more likely to survive impact, while maintaining overall flexibility and lighter weight.


Barreled arrow shafts

A barreled arrow shaft is one that tapers in diameter bi-directionally. This allows for an arrow that has an optimum weight yet retains enough strength to resist flex. A Qing dynasty arrow shaft was examined by archery enthusiast Peter Dekker and found to exhibit the following qualities: *Total shaft length: *Thickness at waist line: *Thickness at end of feather: *Thickness from end: *Thickness from end: *Thickness from end: *Thickness from end: *Thickness at end: The resultant point-of-balance of the arrow shaft was thus 38.5% of the length of the arrow from the tip. Barreled arrow shafts are considered the zenith of pre-industrial archery technology, reaching their peak design among the
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe and ...
.


Arrowhead

The arrowhead or
projectile point In North American archaeological terminology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archae ...
is the primary functional part of the arrow, and plays the largest role in determining its purpose. Some arrows may simply use a sharpened tip of the solid shaft, but it is far more common for separate arrowheads to be made, usually from metal, horn, or some other hard material. Arrowheads are usually separated by function: * Bodkin points are short, rigid points with a small cross-section. They were made of unhardened iron and may have been used for better or longer flight, or for cheaper production. It has been mistakenly suggested that the bodkin came into its own as a means of penetrating armour, but research has found no hardened bodkin points, so it is likely that it was first designed either to extend range or as a cheaper and simpler alternative to the broadhead. In a modern test, a direct hit from a hard steel bodkin point penetrated
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
chain armour. However, archery was not effective against
plate armour Plate armour is a historical type of personal body armour Body armor, also known as body armour, personal armor/armour, or a suit/coat of armour, is protective clothing designed to absorb or deflect physical attacks. Historically used to p ...
, which became available to knights of fairly modest means by the late 14th century. *Blunts are unsharpened arrowheads occasionally used for types of target shooting, for shooting at stumps or other targets of opportunity, or hunting small game when the goal is to concuss the target without penetration. Blunts are commonly made of metal or hard rubber. They may stun, and occasionally, the arrow shaft may penetrate the head and the target; safety is still important with blunt arrows. *Judo points have spring wires extending sideways from the tip. These catch on grass and debris to prevent the arrow from being lost in the vegetation. Used for practice and for small game. *Broadheads were used for war and are still used for hunting. Medieval broadheads could be made from steel, sometimes with hardened edges. They usually have two to four sharp blades that cause massive
bleeding Bleeding, also known as a hemorrhage, haemorrhage, or simply blood loss, is blood Blood is a body fluid Body fluids, bodily fluids, or biofluids are liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally ...

bleeding
in the victim. Their function is to deliver a wide cutting edge so as to kill as quickly as possible by cleanly cutting major blood vessels, and cause further trauma on removal. They are expensive, damage most targets, and are usually not used for practice. :There are two main types of broadheads used by hunters: the fixed-blade and the mechanical types. While the fixed-blade broadhead keeps its blades rigid and unmovable on the broadhead at all times, the mechanical broadhead deploys its blades upon contact with the target, its blades swinging out to wound the target. The mechanical head flies better because it is more streamlined, but has less penetration as it uses some of the kinetic energy in the arrow to deploy its blades. However, hunters recommend mechanical broadheads for hunting big animals like
elk The elk (''Cervus canadensis''), also known as the wapiti, is one of the largest species within the deer Deer or true deer are ed s forming the Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the , including the , the (wapiti), the , a ...

elk
,
moose The moose (in North America) or elk (in Eurasia) (''Alces alces'') is a member of the New World deer subfamily and is the largest and heaviest extant Extant is the opposite of the word extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of ...

moose
,
american bison The American bison or simply bison (''Bison bison''), also commonly known as the American buffalo or simply buffalo, is an American species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic ...

american bison
etc. *Field tips are similar to target points and have a distinct shoulder, so that missed outdoor shots do not become as stuck in obstacles such as tree stumps. They are also used for shooting practice by hunters, by offering similar flight characteristics and weights as broadheads, without getting lodged in target materials and causing excessive damage upon removal. *Target points are bullet-shaped with a conical point, designed to penetrate target butts easily without causing excessive damage to them. *Safety arrows are designed to be used in various forms of reenactment combat, to reduce the risk when shot at people. These arrows may have heads that are very wide or padded, such as the large foam ball tip used in
archery tag Combat archery, sometimes known as battle archery, is a sport similar to dodgeball Dodgeball is a team sport A team is a
._In_combination_with_bows_of_restricted_draw_weight_and_draw_length,_these_heads_may_reduce_to_acceptable_levels_the_risks_of_shooting_arrows_at_suitably_armoured_people._The_parameters_will_vary_depending_on_the_specific_rules_being_used_and_on_the_levels_of_risk_felt_acceptable_to_the_participants._For_instance,_
._In_combination_with_bows_of_restricted_draw_weight_and_draw_length,_these_heads_may_reduce_to_acceptable_levels_the_risks_of_shooting_arrows_at_suitably_armoured_people._The_parameters_will_vary_depending_on_the_specific_rules_being_used_and_on_the_levels_of_risk_felt_acceptable_to_the_participants._For_instance,_Society_for_Creative_Anachronism">SCA_combat_rules_require_a_padded_head_at_least__in_diameter,_with_bows_not_exceeding__and__of_draw_for_use_against_well-armoured_individuals. Arrowheads_may_be_attached_to_the_shaft_with_a_cap,_a_socketed_Tang_(tools).html" ;"title="Society_for_Creative_Anachronism.html" ;"title="roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by ...

archery tag. In combination with bows of restricted draw weight and draw length, these heads may reduce to acceptable levels the risks of shooting arrows at suitably armoured people. The parameters will vary depending on the specific rules being used and on the levels of risk felt acceptable to the participants. For instance, Society for Creative Anachronism">SCA combat rules require a padded head at least in diameter, with bows not exceeding and of draw for use against well-armoured individuals. Arrowheads may be attached to the shaft with a cap, a socketed Tang (tools)">tang, or inserted into a split in the shaft and held by a process called hafting. Points attached with caps are simply slid snugly over the end of the shaft, or may be held on with Hot melt adhesive, hot glue. Split-shaft construction involves splitting the arrow shaft lengthwise, inserting the arrowhead, and securing it using a
ferrule A ferrule (a corruption of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through th ...

ferrule
, sinew, or wire.


Fletchings

Fletchings are found at the back of the arrow and act as
airfoil An airfoil (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Englis ...

airfoil
s to provide a small amount of force used to stabilize the flight of the arrow. They are designed to keep the arrow pointed in the direction of travel by strongly damping down any tendency to
pitch or yaw
pitch or yaw
. Some cultures, for example most in
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
, did not use fletching on their arrows. Also, arrows without fletching (called bare shaft) are used for training purposes, because they make certain errors by the archer more visible. Fletchings are traditionally made from
feather Feathers are epidermal growths that form a distinctive outer covering, or plumage Plumage ( "feather") is a layer of feather Feathers are epidermal growths that form a distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on dinosaurs, both avi ...

feather
s (often from a
goose A goose (plural geese) is a bird of any of several waterfowl Anseriformes is an order of bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised by feathers, toothless beaked ...

goose
or
turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...
) bound to the arrow's shaft, but are now often made of
plastic Plastics are a wide range of syntheticA synthetic is an artificial material produced by organic chemistry, organic chemical synthesis. Synthetic may also refer to: In the sense of both "combination" and "artificial" * Synthetic chemical or s ...

plastic
(known as "vanes"). Historically, some arrows used for the proofing of armour used
copper Copper is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

copper
vanes. Flight archers may use razor blades for fletching, in order to reduce air resistance. With conventional three-feather fletching, one feather, called the "cock" feather, is at a right angle to the nock, and is normally nocked so that it will not contact the bow when the arrow is shot. Four-feather fletching is usually symmetrical and there is no preferred orientation for the nock; this makes nocking the arrow slightly easier. Natural feathers are usually prepared by splitting and sanding the quill before gluing. Further, the feather may be trimmed to shape, die-cut or burned by a hot electrically-heated wire. It's crucial that all the feathers of an arrow have the same drag, so manual trimming is rarely used by modern fletchers. The burning-wire method is popular because different shapes are possible by bending the wire, and the fletching can be symmetrically trimmed after gluing by rotating the arrow on a fixture. Some fletchings are dyed. Two-toned fletchings usually make each fletching from two feathers knit together. The front fletching is often camouflaged, and the rear fletching bright so that the archer can easily track the arrow. Artisans who make arrows by hand are known as "fletchers," a word related to the French word for arrow, ''flèche.'' This is the same derivation as the verb "fletch," meaning to provide an arrow with its feathers. Glue and thread are the traditional methods of attaching fletchings. A "fletching jig" is often used in modern times, to hold the fletchings in exactly the right orientation on the shaft while the glue hardens. Whenever natural fletching is used, the feathers on any one arrow must come from the same wing of the bird. The most common being the right-wing flight feathers of turkeys. The slight cupping of natural feathers requires them to be fletched with a right-twist for right wing, a left-twist for left wing. This rotation, through a combination of gyroscopic stabilization and increased drag on the rear of the arrow, helps the arrow to fly straight away. Artificial ''helical'' fletchings have the same effect. Most arrows will have three fletches, but some have four or even more. Fletchings generally range from in length; flight arrows intended to travel the maximum possible distance typically have very low fletching, while hunting arrows with broadheads require long and high fletching to stabilize them against the aerodynamic effect of the head. Fletchings may also be cut in different ways, the two most common being ''parabolic'' (i.e. a smooth curved shape) and ''shield'' (i.e. shaped as one-half of a very narrow shield) cut. In modern archery with screw-in points, right-hand rotation is generally preferred as it makes the points self-tighten. In traditional archery, some archers prefer a left rotation because it gets the hard (and sharp) quill of the feather farther away from the arrow-shelf and the shooter's hand. A flu-flu is a form of fletching, normally made by using long sections of full length feathers taken from a turkey, in most cases six or more sections are used rather than the traditional three. Alternatively two long feathers can be spiraled around the end of the arrow shaft. The extra fletching generates more drag and slows the arrow down rapidly after a short distance, about or so. Flu-Flu arrows are often used for hunting birds, or for children's archery, and can also be used to play Flu-Flu Golf.


Wraps

Wraps are thin pre-cut sheets of material, often vinyl or plastic, used to wrap the nock end of an arrow, primarily as an aid in bonding vanes and feather fletchings to the shaft. Wraps can also make the eventual removal of vanes and vane-glue easier. Additionally, they add a decorative aspect to arrow building, which can provide archers an opportunity to personalize their arrows. Brightly colored wraps can also make arrows much easier to find in the brush, and to see in downrange targets.


Nocks

In English it is common to say "nock an arrow" when one readies a shot. A nock is a notch in the rearmost end of an arrow. It helps keep the arrow correctly rotated, keeps the arrow from slipping sideways during the draw or after the release, and helps maximize the arrow's energy (i.e. its range and lethality) by helping an archer place the arrow at the fastest-moving place on the bowstring. Some archers mark the nock position with beads, knots or wrappings of thread. The main purpose of a nock is to control the rotation of the arrow. Arrows bend when released. If the bend hits the bowstave, the arrow's aim will be thrown off. Wooden arrows have a preferred bending-plane. Synthetic arrows have a designed bending plane. Usually this plane is determined by the grain of the wood of the arrow, or the structure of a synthetic arrow. The nock's slot should be rotated at an angle chosen so that when the arrow bends, it avoids or slides on the bowstave. Almost always this means that the slot of the nock must be perpendicular to the wood's grain, viewed from behind. ''Self nocks'' are slots cut in the back of the arrow. These are simple, but can break at the base of the slot. Self nocks are often reinforced with glued servings of fiber near the base of the slot. The sturdiest nocks are separate pieces made from wood, plastic, or horn that are then attached to the end of the arrow.Massey, Jay(1992). "Self Arrows" in ''The Traditional Bowyer's Bible - Volume One'', Guilford: The Lyons Press. Modern nocks, and traditional Turkish nocks, are often constructed so as to curve around the string or even pinch it slightly, so that the arrow is unlikely to slip off. Stone, G.C. " A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times" Ancient Arab archery sometimes used "nockless arrows". In shooting at enemies, Arabs saw them pick up Arab arrows and shoot them back. So Arabs developed bowstrings with a small ring tied where the nock would normally be placed. The rear end of the arrow would be sharpened to a point, rather than slit for a nock. The rear end of the arrow would slip into the ring. The arrow could be drawn and released as usual. Then the enemy could collect the arrows, yet not shoot them back with a conventional bow. Also, since there was no nock, the nock could not break, and the arrow was less expensive. A piece of battle advice was to have several rings tied to the bowstring in case one broke. A practical disadvantage compared to a nock would be preserving the optimal rotation of the arrow, so that when it flexes, it does not hit the bowstave. The bend direction of the arrow might have been indicated by its fletching.


Finishes and cresting

Arrows are usually finished so that they are not softened by rain, fog or condensation. Traditional finishes are
varnish Varnish is a clear transparent Transparency, transparence or transparent most often refer to transparency and translucency, the physical property of allowing the transmission of light through a material. They may also refer to: Literal uses ...

varnish
es or
lacquer Lacquer is a type of hard and potentially shiny coating A coating is a covering that is applied to the surface of an object, usually referred to as the substrate Substrate may refer to: Physical layers *Substrate (biology), the natural e ...

lacquer
s. Arrows sometimes need to be repaired, so it's important that the paints be compatible with glues used to attach arrowheads, fletchings and nocks. For this reason, arrows are rarely protected by waxing. Crests are rings or bands of paint, often brightly colored, applied to arrows on a lathe-like tool called a cresting machine, usually for the purpose of personalization. Like wraps, cresting may also be done to make arrows easier to see.


See also

*
Archery Archery is the art, sport, practice, or skill of using a bow Bow often refers to: * Bow and arrow, a weapon * Bowing, bending the upper body as a social gesture * An ornamental knot made of ribbon Bow may also refer to: Boats * Bow (sh ...

Archery
*
Arrow poison Arrow poisons are used to poison arrow heads or darts for the purposes of hunting and warfare. They have been used by indigenous peoples worldwide and are still in use in areas of South America South America is a continent entirely in t ...
*
Bowfishing Bowfishing is a method of fishing that uses specialized archery equipment to shoot and retrieve fish. Fish are shot with a barbed arrow that is attached with special line to a reel mounted on the bow (weapon), bow or crossbow. Some freshwater sp ...

Bowfishing
*
Early thermal weapons Early thermal weapons, which used heat or burning action to destroy or damage enemy personnel, fortifications or territories, were employed in warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society ...
*
Fire arrows#REDIRECT Fire arrow#REDIRECT Fire arrow Fire arrows were one of the earliest forms of weaponized gunpowder, being used from the 9th century onward. Not to be confused with earlier incendiary arrow projectiles, the fire arrow was a gunpowder weapo ...

Fire arrows
*
Flechette A flechette is a pointed steel projectile with a vaned tail for stable flight. The name comes from French , "little arrow" or "dart (missile), dart", and sometimes retains the acute accent in English: ''fléchette''. They have been used as balli ...
* Flu-flu arrow * Quarrel * Signal arrow *
Swiss arrow A Swiss arrow (also known as a Yorkshire arrow, Dutch arrow, Scotch arrow, or Gypsy arrow) is a weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used ...


Notes


External links

*
What's the Point?: Identifying Flint Artifacts (OPLIN)Dr. Ashby's reports on broadhead penetration
{{Authority control Lithics Archaeological artefact types Archery Projectiles Projectile weapons Hunting equipment