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s and nock. 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, or provide the ability to steer or stabilize motion while traveling in water, air, or other fluids. Fins ...
-stabilized
projectile A projectile is any object thrown by the exertion of a force. It can also be defined as an object launched into the space and allowed to move free under the influence of gravity and air resistance. Although any object in motion through space (for e ...
launched by a 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, which contributes majority of the projectile mass and is responsible for impacting and penetrating a target, as well as to fulfill some special purposes such as signaling ...

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 sp ...
s called ''
fletching Fletching is the fin-shaped aerodynamic stabilization device attached on arrows, bolts, darts, or javelins, and are typically made from light semi-flexible materials such as feathers or bark. Each piece of such fin is a fletch, also known as a '' ...
s'' mounted near the rear, and a slot at the rear end called '' nock'' for engaging the
bowstring A bowstring joins the two ends of the bow stave and launches the arrow. Desirable properties include light weight, strength, resistance to abrasion, and resistance to water. Mass has most effect at the center of the string; of extra mass in the mi ...
. A container or bag carrying additional arrows for convenient reloading is called a ''
quiver A quiver is a container for holding arrows, bolts, 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 were traditionally made of leath ...
''. The use of bows and arrows by humans predates
recorded history#REDIRECT Recorded history#REDIRECT Recorded history {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
and is common to most
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups.Tylor, Edward. (1871). ...
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 of ...
, current
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 59 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities: e ...
. 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 Fa Hien Cave, also Pahiyangala Cave, is situated in the district of Kalutara, Western Province, Sri Lanka and according to a rural legend, named after an alleged resident during historical times, namely Buddhist monk Faxian (also Fa-Hien, or Fa ...
in
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, 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 an island countr ...
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 in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family Pinaceae. ''Pinus'' is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List compiled by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden accepts 126 species names of p ...
wood arrows found in the Ahrensburg valley north of
Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = CET , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = CEST , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal_code_type = Postal code(s) , postal_code ...

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. The municipality covered an area of 66 km2, and had a total popula ...
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, around Bristol Bay, and on the eastern shores of the Bering Strait around 2500 BC. ASTt groups were the first human occupants of Arctic Cana ...
, 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''A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times'' is a reference work written by George Cameron Stone. Contents ''A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All ...
'', Mineola: Dover Publications.
However, most modern arrows are to in length. Arrows recovered from the
Mary Rose The ''Mary Rose'' is a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. She served for 33 years in several wars against France, Scotland, and Brittany. After being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she saw her last action on 154 ...
, 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 trees and other woody plants. It is an organic materiala natural composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embedded in a matrix of lignin that ...

wood
,
bamboo Bamboos are a diverse group of evergreen perennial flowering plants in the subfamily Bambusoideae of the grass family ''Poaceae''. The origin of the word "bamboo" is uncertain, but it probably comes from the Dutch or Portuguese language, which ...
or reeds, while modern shafts may be made from
aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in American and Canadian English) is a chemical element with the symbol Al and atomic number 13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other common metals, at approximately one third that of steel. It has a ...
,
carbon fibre reinforced plastic Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (American English), Carbon fibre reinforced polymer (Commonwealth English), or carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRP, CRP, CFRTP, also known as carbon fiber, carbon compo ...
, or a combination of materials. Such shafts are typically made from an
aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in American and Canadian English) is a chemical element with the symbol Al and atomic number 13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other common metals, at approximately one third that of steel. It has a ...
core wrapped with a
carbon fibre Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (American English), Carbon fibre reinforced polymer (Commonwealth English), or carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRP, CRP, CFRTP, also known as carbon fiber, carbon compo ...
outer. A traditional premium material is
Port Orford Cedar ''Chamaecyparis lawsoniana'', known as Port Orford cedar or Lawson cypress, is a species of conifer in the genus ''Chamaecyparis'', family Cupressaceae. It is native to Oregon and northwestern California, and grows from sea level up to in the val ...
.


Spine

The
stiffness Stiffness is the extent to which an object resists 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 The stiffness, ''k'', of ...
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 The archer's paradox is the phenomenon of an arrow traveling in the direction it is pointed at full draw, when it seems that the arrow would have to pass through the starting position it was in before being drawn, where it was pointed to the sid ...
; 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, with or without an attached hull or fruit layer, harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes. After b ...
s per
inch Measuring tape with inches The inch (symbol: in or ″) is a unit of length in the (British) imperial and United States customary systems of measurement. It is equal to yard or of a foot. Derived from the Roman uncia ("twelfth"), the word ...
). The length of a shaft in
inch Measuring tape with inches The inch (symbol: in or ″) is a unit of length in the (British) imperial and United States customary systems of measurement. It is equal to yard or of a foot. Derived from the Roman uncia ("twelfth"), the word ...
es multiplied by its GPI rating gives the weight of the shaft in
grains A grain is a small, hard, dry seed, with or without an attached hull or fruit layer, harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes. After b ...
. 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. Footed arrows will typically consist of a short length of
hardwood is a popular hardwood Hardwood is wood from dicot trees. These are usually found in broad-leaved temperate and tropical forests. In temperate and boreal latitudes they are mostly deciduous, but in tropics and subtropics mostly evergreen. Hardw ...
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 from gymnosperm trees such as conifers. The term is opposed to hardwood, which is the wood from angiosperm trees. Characteristics Softwood is wood from gymnosperm trees such as pine ...
. 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 Turkish-speaking people of the Ottoman Empire ( 1299–1922/1923). Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks remains scarce, but they take their Turkish ...
.


Arrowhead

broadhead bronze arrowhead, 4th century BC, from
Olynthus Olynthus ( grc, Ὄλυνθος ''Olynthos'', named for the ὄλυνθος ''olunthos'', "the fruit of the wild fig tree") was an ancient city of Chalcidice, built mostly on two flat-topped hills 30–40m in height, in a fertile plain at the head ...
,
Chalcidice Chalkidiki (; el, Χαλκιδική, Halkidhikí, ) also spelled ''Chalkidike'', ''Chalcidice'', ''Khalkidhiki'', or ''Halkidiki'', is a peninsula and regional unit of Greece, part of the Region of Central Macedonia, in the geographic region of Mac ...

Chalcidice
an arrowheads The arrowhead or
projectile point In North American archaeological terminology, a projectile point is an object that was hafted to weapon that was capable of being thrown or projected, such as a javelin, dart, or arrow. They are thus different from weapons presumed to have been ke ...
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_seal = Flag_of_Damascus.png , seal_type = Flag and Seal , map_caption = , pushpin_map ...
chain armour. However, archery was not effective against
plate armour Plate armour is a historical type of personal body armour made from bronze, iron, or steel plates, culminating in the iconic suit of armour entirely encasing the wearer. While there are early predecessors such as the Roman-era lorica segmentata ...
, 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 escaping from the circulatory system from damaged blood vessels. Bleeding can occur internally, or externally either through a natural opening such as the mouth, no ...
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 family, Cervidae, and one of the largest terrestrial mammals in North America, as well as Central and East Asia. It is often confused with ...

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 species in the deer family. Most adult male moose have distinctive broad, palmate ("open-han ...
,
american bison The American bison or simply bison (''Bison bison''), also commonly known as the American buffalo or simply buffalo, is an American species of bison that once roamed North America in vast herds. Its historical range, by 9000 BC, is described as th ...
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
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, 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 Tang or TANG usually refers to: * Tang dynasty * Tang (drink mix) Tang or TANG may also refer to: Chinese states and dynasties * Jin (Chinese state) (11th century – 376 BC), a state during the Spring and Autumn period, called Tang (唐) befor ...
, or inserted into a split in the shaft and held by a process called
hafting Hafting is a process by which an artifact, often bone, stone, or metal is attached to a ''haft'' (handle or strap). This makes the artifact more useful by allowing it to be shot (arrow), thrown (spear), or used with more effective leverage (axe). W ...
. Points attached with caps are simply slid snugly over the end of the shaft, or may be held on with
hot glue Hot melt adhesive (HMA), also known as hot glue, is a form of thermoplastic adhesive that is commonly sold as solid cylindrical sticks of various diameters designed to be applied using a hot glue gun. The gun uses a continuous-duty heating element ...
. Split-shaft construction involves splitting the arrow shaft lengthwise, inserting the arrowhead, and securing it using a
ferrule terminated with a thimble and a ferrule Image:Piccopipe.jpg, upPicco pipe with nickel silver ferrule A ferrule (a corruption of Latin ' "small bracelet", under the influence of ' "iron") is any of a number of types of objects, generally use ...

ferrule
, sinew, or wire.


Fletchings

Image:DFRArrow (1).jpg, Straight parabolic
fletching Fletching is the fin-shaped aerodynamic stabilization device attached on arrows, bolts, darts, or javelins, and are typically made from light semi-flexible materials such as feathers or bark. Each piece of such fin is a fletch, also known as a '' ...
s on an arrow. Fletchings are found at the back of the arrow and act as airfoils 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. Some cultures, for example most in
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu: ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the world's second-largest island, and with an area of , the largest island in the Southern Hemisphere. Located in Melanesia in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, it is separate ...

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, on dinosaurs, both avian (bird) and some non-avian (non-bird) and possibly other archosauromorphs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures ...

feather
s (often from a
goose A goose (plural geese) is a bird of any of several waterfowl species in the family Anatidae. This group comprises the genera ''Anser'' (the grey geese and white geese) and ''Branta'' (the black geese). Some other birds, mostly related to the s ...
or
turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the Black Sea to the north; Georgia to the northeast; Arme ...
) bound to the arrow's shaft, but are now often made of
plastic Plastics are a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic materials that use polymers as a main ingredient. Their plasticity makes it possible for plastics to be moulded, extruded or pressed into solid objects of various shapes. This adaptability, ...
(known as "vanes"). Historically, some arrows used for the proofing of armour used
copper Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orang ...

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.George Cameron Stone, Stone, G.C. "
A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times''A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times'' is a reference work written by George Cameron Stone. Contents ''A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All ...
"
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 varnishes or lacquers. 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 * Arrow poison * Bowfishing * Early thermal weapons * Fire arrows * Flechette * Flu-flu arrow * Quarrel (projectile), Quarrel * Signal arrow * Swiss arrow


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 Arrow types,