Compound onions are an improved version of regular onions. His man used for hunting and battles since ancient times. Initially, bows were made of solid wood, but the strength and tension of the bowstring was insufficient. In addition, large bows were inconvenient, and small bows could not provide a sufficient boom range.
It was then that some people came up with the idea of making onions from several components. It was done in different ways - somewhere it was simply additionally glued with a horn or more solid layers of wood, somewhere in it a handle and shoulders were separately made, and sometimes both of these methods were combined. To glue the components of the onion, a special fish glue was used, which was made from bones cooked for a long time.
First of all, such weapons appeared in Asia, and in Europe for a long time they continued to use ordinary solid ones. Now classic bows are made only for fun, and almost all modern ones have long become composite.
Benefits of Compound Bows
They have a number of significant advantages. The first advantage is that such a bow provides similar combat power at a much smaller size. This makes it more comfortable to wear, when hunting and in combat conditions compared to bulky conventional devices. Such a bow makes it easy to shoot with a horse and a wagon.
Another advantage is much greater power. Composite bow can shoot arrows much further, and they are easier to pierce the armor.
Disadvantages of Compound Bows
If you plan to buy onions, then do not feel the special disadvantages of composite onions. However, ancient people constantly had problems with them, because it took a very long time to produce such complex weapons, and this process was extremely complicated. In addition, traditionally such bows were glued with animal glue, which in conditions of high humidity lost its adhesive properties and resistance. Because of this, onions had to be dried constantly.
Now these shortcomings are not very relevant, since it will not be difficult at all to purchase a composite bow in a store.
Particularly widely composite bow, photo of which is below, was distributed in Asia. There they were worn by foot archers. Such bows had a length of not more than 150 centimeters. Most often in Asia, light arrows were fired - either by a canopy over a distance of about 150 meters, or sighting no further than 50-70 meters. Heavy arrows were rarely used, but with them the bow was already dangerous at a distance of about 225 meters, which was a very serious distance for those times.
Composite Scythian onion deserves special attention. You can see his photo below. Many have heard of the existence of Scythian bows. Opponents were afraid of Scythians with such powerful weapons. Historians say with accuracy that in those ancient times there was no weapon that could compare with the Scythian bow in power. At the same time, it’s even difficult for many at first glance to understand how he could shoot at all.
The design of this type of onion is strikingly interesting, but at the same time very complex. So it will be very difficult to make Scythian onions with your own hands - it consists of many parts and is made from fairly rare materials. On the whole, if you are not directly interested in reconstruction, then you hardly need a Scythian weapon specifically, and the traditional composite bow will completely replace it.
The length of the Scythian bow was only about 70-80 centimeters, and its arrows weighed only 15-25 grams. Due to the small size and light arrows, he could only shoot at three to four tens of meters, although in principle the arrows flew away at 100-120 meters, but it was already less aimed and very weak. Not aiming to shoot from such a bow was pointless, so before the shot, the Scythians always slowed down or even completely stopped to aim better.
The device of a composite bow these days is actually not so much different from its structure in ancient times. Today, the romance of antiquity and the Middle Ages is very strong in people, and they are increasingly paying attention to ancient weapons - swords and bows. However, the former for exercises necessarily require a partner, special uniforms, etc., while you can have fun with a bow alone, having only him, arrows and a set of targets.
Almost all modern bows have a composite, composite, design. This is due to the fact that whole ones are significantly weaker, therefore, making them simply does not make sense. Modern bows are made from various metals and plastics, that is, modern materials that are resistant to moisture and external irritants.
Of course, some craftsmen now make bows from wood, however, using usually not fish glue, but modern adhesive materials. Such devices are more interesting not to athletes, but to true lovers of antiquity. Olympic bows, of course, are not made of wood.
Block bows have also become popular recently, however, they do not belong to composite bows, and it is worth talking about them separately. Such bows have no analogues in ancient times.
Olympic, as the Olympic bow is also called, is a sports equipment, which is as close to traditional as possible in design. They are made of modern materials, and interesting modern elements are added to their design - stabilizers, and sometimes even sights. Modern Olympic bow is always completely disassembled. Its construction is simple - the handle, shoulders, bowstring, stabilizer and sight. Everything can be easily combined together and get a throwing gun.
Olympic is used in the Olympic Games, as well as in such popular sports as beam biathlon and field shooting. It is worth noting that the skills required from the athlete are slightly different than when shooting from a regular bow, without a stabilizer and sight, but the accuracy of Olympic bows is much higher.
How to make a compound bow yourself
Ready-made composite onions are quite expensive, and not everyone can afford it. In addition, to do something with your own hands is always very pleasant, and a self-made bow will ideally suit you in all respects, from size to string strength.
In general, if you know how to work with wood at least a little, or at least work with your hands, then you can do the manufacture of composite onions, and resorting to the services of craftsmen and weapons stores is not necessary.
If you want to make a bow similar to what some ancient tribes used, then you will have to try. The fact is that such a bow should be as close as possible to the original, that is, it should be made of wood, preferably of that which grew in those places, and of the horn. For braiding, it is recommended to use birch bark, animal veins and skins. Well, you have to glue the onion with the same fish glue - and it needs to be slowly digested from fish bones for a whole day. Clay, by the way, smells terrible during cooking.
In addition, the bow will have to be made either according to drawings from the Internet, or in general from images reconstructed by historians from ancient descriptions. In general, the matter is quite long and troublesome, but the result will be amazing.
Making a composite bow yourself is much more difficult than a regular solid wood bow. For the ordinary, it’s enough to just pick a suitable board and branch, while a composite bow will require the manufacture of three parts and their strong connection.
Composite onions should be made in several stages:
- First of all, you will need to cut the handle of the bow - its middle part, which you will hold with your hand and where the arrow will rest. This part is sawn from a single piece of very strong wood with straight fibers. It is imperative that it is strong in bending. For additional strength, this part can also be composed of several layers of solid wood, after gluing them together. Sometimes the handle is additionally reinforced with metal plates. You need to cut the part out of a strictly dry material.
- Then you need to make the shoulders of the bow - two absolutely identical parts, which will bend when pulling the bowstring. For the manufacture of shoulders, many people recommend using old skis - they bend well and are made of solid wood. However, you can cut the shoulders and separately, giving them the necessary shape. They can also be glued from several layers of wood and strengthened with metal plates. In the shoulders will require drilling a groove for putting on a bowstring.
- Then you will need to connect the handle and shoulders. This can be done with very strong glue, or with bolts, if the appearance of the finished product is less important to you than its functionality.
- In the end you will need to pull the bowstring. You can weave it yourself, or take a finished rope - a 3.5 mm thick Kevlar climbing sling is suitable.
- Finally, the onion should be sanded again, soaked in oils, coated with wax or varnish - in general, give it a beautiful appearance and protect it from external influences.
How to shoot from a composite bow
The shape of the bow must be correct, this is important, but you also need to be able to shoot from it. Instructions for right-handed people (left-handed people should just swap their hands):
- Take the bow with your left hand.
- Grab the bowstring with your thumb, and lock it with your index finger, palm should look out. At that moment you are already holding an arrow
- Raise the bow above your head and sharply lower it with both hands. So you will overcome the strong tension of the bowstring.
- Take aim one and a half seconds and open the index finger, loosening the big one. The arrow will fly off to an amazing distance.