Fletchings

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Julia
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Fletchings

Postby Julia » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:13 pm

Historically how many flights did arrows have during various periods of history? Primarily I reenact 850-1217AD in the UK, but I am curious about other periods as well.

I am thinking of making up my next batch of arrows with 4 fletchings rather than 3, so that I don't have to faff about on the battlefield hunting the cock feather...

Thoughts?

J



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nathan
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Re: Fletchings

Postby nathan » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:24 pm

A fourth flight will slow the arrow down and ensure that there will always be a flight running across the top of your finger (requiring you to wear cloves or get cut) or two flights interacting with the stave (likely to throw your aim off to the right). Historically I would expect 3 to have been common throughout, I am not aware of any evidence supporting any more/less during the early medieval period.

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Re: Fletchings

Postby jamesclark » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:10 pm

From what I know it was always 3 due to the fact you need to use the flight feathers from which ever bird your takign the feather example sack a gosse and they only have 3 flight feather on either wing and you cant mix feather fron the left and right wing as it will through off your aim as the arrow wont fly straight cause the flecthings wont all be curved in the same direction




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Re: Fletchings

Postby RodBrown » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:44 am

I agree with James it was always 3 flight feather of goose.


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gregory23b
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Re: Fletchings

Postby gregory23b » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:46 pm

Nathan, xbow bolts can have two flights.


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Re: Fletchings

Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:47 pm

'faffing' can be avoided by the following.

Marking the cock feather in some way.

Not shooting so fast, your life doesn't depend on it after all.

practice


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nathan
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Re: Fletchings

Postby nathan » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:45 pm

gregory23b wrote:Nathan, xbow bolts can have two flights.


Valid point gregory, i had of course instantly gone to self bow when the word fletching was used.

2 or 3 flights are possible with a crossbow and when talking about flight stabilized darts or spears (such as those projected by an Atlatl) 4 (or more) is possible. Practically however the more flights the more drag.


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Re: Fletchings

Postby Langley » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:11 pm

My fletcher mate Tony always held that having a cock feather of a different colour was something for beginners. I use fletchings all of one colour but I also put an identifying mark on arrows so I can easily recognise mine and I put that - a simple black dot, behind the cock feather and that helps no matter how fast or slow I shoot.



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Re: Fletchings

Postby Grymm » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:03 pm

Langley wrote:My fletcher mate Tony always held that having a cock feather of a different colour was something for beginners. I use fletchings all of one colour but I also put an identifying mark on arrows so I can easily recognise mine and I put that - a simple black dot, behind the cock feather and that helps no matter how fast or slow I shoot.



Plenty of period pictoral evidence for coloured cock fletchings & banded shafts, prob'ly for matched target/hunting sets rather than general issue ammo, take a butchers at this thread on t'subject;
http://livinghistory.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=29134


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