Three flight bows menzil , two war bows tirkesh and two target bows puta were tested for arrow velocity and efficiency. Water buffalo horn from East Asia was used for the bellies of bows and sinew from moose legs for the backing. The glue was a combination of fish bladder glue and tendon glue. Hardwoods and yew were used for the cores.

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One of the bows is 48" cm , the other 49" Such lengths may surprise readers who read the popular books on Turkish archery by Klopsteg and Payne-Gallwey, where Turkish bows are shown as extremely short, up to 44" cm.

However, the bows in the books are flight bows, a very specialized, sporting design, made to shoot very light arrows at extreme distances. Only some war bows, used on horseback, approach the flight bows in length, other bows, such as the target style, were longer for comfort and stability.

Note the straight-through-grip limb shapes, fairly abrupt reflex at the beginning of shoulder kasan sections, the relatively straight kasan and another abrupt recurvature of the tip bash. The ends of tips are shaped to resemble the more square, indented "Bayezid tip", unlike the better known, rounded "classical tip".

The grips are relatively large and rigid. There are no string bridges which were never necessary in this style. The string is silk with silk loops. I made the bows according to the usual methods. The cores are hard maple, the bellies horn and the backs covered with sinew.

Since I was aiming for stability, the bows were not given the extreme reflex during sinewing, as it is done with flight bows. The tips do not have horn inserts or bone overlays, as the lighter draw weights did not require such reinforcements. The bows were covered with leather on the back side of arms and at the edges.

Both bows are about 64 lb at 28" draw. I measured the velocity of arrows with one of the bows: fps with grain arrow and fps with grain, a good performance for a regular longer bow. All decoration is done in gold, period paints and lacquers, copied from 17th c.

Gilded ornaments on the back are known as "hatayi" flower buds. On one of the arms there are two sentences by the last Turkish bowmaker and calligrapher Necmeddin Okyay : "skill is subject to praise, merchandise without clients is lost". A very fitting thought for a traditional bowyer! Back of arm Hatayi pattern on a different bow Belly.


ISBN 13: 9780981137209



Ottoman Turkish bows, manufacture and design: second edition


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