A long time ago, on a board thread far, far away...
But we digress. Start me on longbows you'd need a whole new thread.
Oky dokey then.Why don't you do one? I'd be interested to learn about that subject from an actual user.
If you have a bit of time, a bit of patience, and a very small amount of skill, you could make and own your very own, virtually authentic, ELB (English long bow).
A longbow is a bow with a single curve, as opposed to most modern and horsebows where the limbs recurve at the tips. There are other qualifications, materials, nocks, shape etc, but generally its just a bent stick. And bent sticks are EASY.
You can make one from virtually any wood. The very best are made from yew, and a stave (the stick before you make it into a bow) can set you back $300. During the hundred years war there was a law that ANY ship wishing to trade in an English port had to supply a number of these yew staves and EVERY person had to shoot on sunday. In fact, later on, all other sports were BANNED on sunday to force people to practice.
The last bow I made however, was made of a piece of pine from the DIY store which cost me all of £4. And it shoots just fine.
What else. Well, recurve bows tend to weigh at about 30 - 40lbs for a man and 20 - 30 for a woman. Compound bows, the modern ones with all the knobs and whistles, often measure higher because the design means you're not actually holding that strain at full draw. Longbows, although one can make them at any weight, tend to measure up much heavier. 60, 70 or 80 lb draws are common and most people cannot physically draw much past 60 on an ELB. The bows of the time started at about 110 and went up much, much heavier. The difference might seem small but as anyone who does weights knows, an extra 10 or 20 lbs can make a lot of difference.
Modern archers pull to the nose or mouth (as a rule). Longbow archers pull to the ear or jaw. This adds another 3 or 4 inches to your draw but means that you cannot sight down the arrow because you are pulling to beside your eyes rather than in front of them.
Its all great fun. If anyone is interested, I'll do a build along with the next one I make. They really are fun to make and shooting with something you've made from a block of wood is sublimely satisfying.