• Will

The big video!

This is the film that Tod, Dr Toby Capwell, Joe Gibbs, Kevin Legg and myself made.

The purpose of the film was to show what happens when truly authentic, historically correct arrows are shot from a historically correct bow (160lb) into historically correct armour (replica of the Churburg #14 breastplate)


The goal was not to get through the armour - we could have used heavier hardwoods for the arrowshafts, shot into flat sections of thinner plate etc but that wasn't the point. It was to pit only the things we know against each other. It was also to try and put to bed the endless myth that the English longbow was a super weapon - that arrows could go through armour, through oak doors etc. This film clearly shows that wouldn't happen - yes they will go through maille, yes they will go through textile armour and yes, probably, they will go through lesser quality plate, or particuarly thin sections if shot directly at them.


The arrowheads were exact copies of a 15th century head (not, as many of the comments are stating an earlier Crecy-period head) and most importantly of all were forged from wrought iron. There are countless tests (and written reports of tests) of arrows going through armour, but in almost every single one the arrowheads are made of modern steel (and sometimes even high carbon steel). We had to use wrought iron heads, as this is the material used for arrowheads at the time. The arrows were copies of two specific Mary Rose arrows, down to the length, diameter, profile and timber used.



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© 2017 by Will Sherman