The Effect of Bow and Arrow Type on Archery Accuracy

This experiment intended to find the appropriate type of arrow for each bow to achieve the greatest accuracy. Many different bow and arrow types are available for purchase, but there exists no definitive best type for any given bow; archers may be purchasing arrows that are inefficient for their setup. To further understand this, three types of bow: small longbow, large longbow, and recurve bow, each with greater power respectively, were paired randomly with five types of arrows of varying lengths, material, and subsequently flexibility. A device was constructed to hold the bows and arrows at full draw in an effort to minimize bias possible with a human archer. Arrows were then shot at a target 46 feet away and their horizontal distance from the center of the target was measured. The low draw weight small longbow performed equally well with 28 arrows made of softwood that had 9/32 diameter and 100 grain tip (1 grain = 0.0647989 grams), 31.75 arrows made of hardwood with a 11/32 diameter and 145 grain tip, and hollowed aluminum arrows that are 31.75 with a 5/16 diameter and 125 grain tip. The larger longbow found it advantageous to use the hollowed aluminum arrows that were 31.75 with a 5/16 diameter and 125 grain tip. Additionally, a recurve bow saw the best accuracy with 28 arrow made of softwood that had 9/32 diameter and 100 grain tip. However, it can still shoot smaller, more rigid arrows fairly accurately. Recurve archers should avoid arrows that are too flexible, like the hollowed aluminum, because the increased power of the recurve makes it inaccurate. In general, more flexible arrows should be shot from less powerful bows, and less flexible arrows from more powerful bows for best accuracy.

Research Conducted By:

Jacob Shereda
Cousino High School

Boston Suhr
Warren Mott High School