# At what speed does an arrow leaves an average longbow?

Update:

I searched the web much further:

I have the followings:

- between 66 and 100 m/s (206 and 310f/s)

- record: 200 pounds strength, average 60-80 pounds nowadays (we are getting weaker!)

Thanks!

Update 2:

Knowing the mass of the arrow, I wanted to know the kinetic ENERGY at the end of the "fly", but, then, since mass is "light", speed is "slow", air resistance needed to be considered (not negligeable). Interesting maths!

Relevance

Most people at the range that shoots longbows, also shoots heavy wooden arrows. At the range I shoot at, there are only 4 people shooting longbows, one shoots carbon shaft out of his and the other three wood shafts, one of them with heavy bodkin point. The person shooting the carbon shaft shoots a 45 lbs bow, it's moving at 195fps. The person shooting the wood shaft with bodkins, has a 56 lbs bow arrow is going at 186fps +/- 4 fps. The other two, I haven't measured yet, but from what I can see, I'd say theirs were going at around 190fps.

300fps, is outside of the longbow realm, specially when you're using traditional arrows. A 200 lbs longbow also need very heavy arrows, there's always a point where the poundage vs speed graph start to plateau. The poundage vs KE graph will keep going up, but the speed will eventually flatten out.

Another factor for speed is the longbow limb design. Most english longbows have limbs that tappers into a point at the tip, even so, the tip is still considerably more massive than say a recurve tip. This weight distribution will cause the limb to not accelerate as quickly as a recurve limb tip.

• Anonymous
4 years ago

Arrow Speed

• 6 years ago

The long bows on the Mary Rose were found to be in the range of draw weights between 100–185 lb using a 30 inch arrow which was the length of the arrow found on board the ship. So all the bows in the above example are to weak.

Hard to answer because it depends on the draw weight of the particular bow.

In modern times a bow with a draw weight above 60lbs could be considered high, try holding 60lbs at full 32 inch arm extension and see what I mean.

My bow is 28lbs draw weight and my husband's is 45lbs...but we aren't trying to pierce armour.

Medieval archers would routinely have draw weights around 150lbs but then it was all they did and it deformed them to do it.

I think the world record draw weight is something around 200lbs.

I can tell the difference in flight speed from my husband's bow and mine due to the different draw weight and would guess that a good speed would be 200ft per second +.

I don't think that either of the bows we have manage that because that's getting up there with a 150lb draw weight crossbow for speed at 240ft per second and there's no way either of our bows throws an arrow out as fast as my husband's crossbow.

So like I say, depends on the draw weight. If you can manage a big bow then around 200ft per second.

• 5 years ago

The bows found on the Mary Rose range from 60Ibs-160Ibs .... with the majority of them averaging between 90Ibs-120Ibs.

Heavier bows were designed to 'disrupt' armies at a distance, the average draw weight bows (90Ibs-120Ibs) were for precision targeting.

• Anonymous