Author Topic: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute  (Read 25527 times)

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Offline Dag

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2012, 04:57:59 pm »
Yeah its great to see a strong representation of younger archers enjoying this sport.

That triathalon is something I would be extremely interested in! I am a part of the SCA and have some of that type of sword skills. I know that live steel is a lot different from rattan weapon fighting but for what its worth i can say I have some training. But yes, archery contest, falchion/messer combat would be so much fun!

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2012, 05:02:39 am »

      It is reported that archers were expected to shoot at least ten aimed arrows a minute. [a minute was first recognized in the 15th century]. The Duke of York struck off four of his 300 archers who failed the test following the 1415 siege of Harfleur that began Henry V's French campaign. This is of course with a powerful warbow, and modern warbow archers have not been able to better it. It is a different story and a much easier feat with a light weight bow.  Standard minimum issue was a sheaf of 24 arrows, sometimes two sheafs or even three sheafs have been reported. Concerning accuracy, a Vevetian visitor reported that any decent English archer, whether shooting level or with elevation, would hit within a half palm of his mark. Good luck on your project.                                                                                                                       

                                                                     Erik   

Good day Erik and a happy new year to you, I have not read the posts from here on yet so forgive me if I ask a question already raised.

I have often read various reports of the "test" you refer to yet have never seen the actual text of the report quoted or managed to source it, and because the usual quote takes the form of "failure to attain the required rate of fire" a term not used then and although as you say the minute was recognised by the 15th C. there were few instruments that could display such to any form of accuracy, and therefore the general populance would have had difficulty counting out a minute as they had no referance to what constitutes a second, remember we have been exposed to accurate timepieces that show seconds since we were children and were taught to count in approximate seconds in junior school. So I am doubtful of the veracity of such claims. Do you actually have a copy of the letter in which the failure is mentioned?

Craig,

***EDIT*** It seems that the question was asked!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 05:31:45 am by CraigMBeckett »

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2012, 05:23:26 am »
I don't know about the "armor was almost all iron", I'll see if I can find any articles or research that might debunk that.   

About that, brief q: do you all think that plate armor was designed primarily to defend against arrows, or against edged weapons like swords? 

would the arrow have more or less penetrating force depending on how long the archer held the arrow at full draw?

Does this improve the energy/speed of the arrow (and thus improving its range), or would holding it at full draw for that long make the arrow lose stored kinetic potential?

"He should be trained to shoot rapidly on foot, either in the Roman or Persian manner.  Speed is important in shaking the arrow loose and discharging it with force.  This is essential and should be practiced while mounted.  In fact, even when the arrow is well aimed, firing slowly is useless."

("Maurice's Strategikon; translated by Geoge T. Dennis, pg. 11)

Now, do you think that his advice regarding rapid draw/loosing is completely unrelated to warbow archery centuries later?  Or does Maurice have a point here?

At what point of time does aiming an arrow become counter productive to the speed at which the arrow is loosed?  And if this is a case of comparing apples to oranges (which it likely is, I just want to see what you guys think about the quote), why are the shooting mechanics of warbows so vastly different to their composite ancestors/contemporaries in the East?

Ringeck85, Happy New Year to you.

Taking your points in turn,

I look forward to the result of your research on armour, iron or steel but think you will be disapointed.

Regarding plate armour and what was it designed to counter sword or arrow, I lean towards the latter as it can be shown that as bows (both Longbows and crossbows) became more prevalent on the battle field and as the crossbow increased in power then plate armour was developed and improved while swords and other edged weapons remained the same.

Regarding rapid release and not holding bows at full draw, The longer a bow made of natural materials is held at full draw the more the hystereses with its subsequent loss of available energy. I am trying to remember where I read an article on this so I could point you there but so far have failed. So to answer your question a rapid release provides for a more powerful shot, all things being equal, so Maurice had a point.

As for "At what point of time does aiming an arrow become counter productive to the speed at which the arrow is loosed?  I have no idea, but remember that the English used their archers to put large numbers of arrows into the mass of the enemy, I doubt that most were aimed at particular persons rather than a pont where the enemy were or were likely to be, but as the enemy got closer the need to shoot accurately became paramount, otherwise you probably died on the weaponds of the man you missed. A Slow miss is as bad as a fast miss.

Craig
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 05:33:25 am by CraigMBeckett »

Offline bow-toxo

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2012, 12:21:59 am »
[
                             


 there were few instruments that could display such to any form of accuracy, and therefore the general populance would have had difficulty counting out a minute as they had no referance to what constitutes a second, remember we have been exposed to accurate timepieces that show seconds since we were children and were taught to count in approximate seconds in junior school. So I am doubtful of the veracity of such claims. Do you actually have a copy of the letter in which the failure is mentioned?

Craig,

***EDIT*** It seems that the question was asked!

Happy New Year to you, Craig.  I don’t have a copy of the original transcript. Concerning the accuracy of mediaeval timepieces, I have owned wooden copies of 14th century weight driven timepieces with weighted balance as used by monks for prayer time. Adjusting these weights produced perfect time matching my Timex for the 13 hours it ran without resetting. Marks for the hours soon became further subdivided into quarter hours. A clock with a dial indicating minutes was illustrated in a 1475 manuscript by Paulus Almanus, and larger clocks predate my wall clock.

  @ Ringeck85  Roger Ascham, writing in warbow time advises that the loose must be so lytle that it may be perceyued better in a man‘s mynd when it is done, than seene with a man‘s eyes when it is in doing. and no hanging on the string. Ascham practiced at the butts with other Englishmen training for war and his words are valid. Please, no more silly claims that he was describing idle rich sport shooters.

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2012, 09:54:37 am »
Happy New Year to you, Craig.  I don’t have a copy of the original transcript. Concerning the accuracy of mediaeval timepieces, I have owned wooden copies of 14th century weight driven timepieces with weighted balance as used by monks for prayer time. Adjusting these weights produced perfect time matching my Timex for the 13 hours it ran without resetting. Marks for the hours soon became further subdivided into quarter hours. A clock with a dial indicating minutes was illustrated in a 1475 manuscript by Paulus Almanus, and larger clocks predate my wall clock.

Erik,

As you say you have done it I accept your premise that a medieval type clock could be adjusted to be accurate. However you would need an accurate timepiece to perform the adjustment, something lacking back then. However that aside even if all the clocks in Europe around the time of Agincourt (not that there were that many in relation to populace) were as accurate as modern ones they generally only displayed the hour with some possibly displaying minutes. A check on Wikipedia (yes I know the probity of some of the things published there is highly questionable) however according to the font of net knowledge the first appearance of a clock face displaying minutes is (as you point out) in an illustration dated 1475 , some 59 years after Agincourt the campain from which the slow archers were supposedly either returned to England or not taken to. Now even if there were clocks around that displayed minutes (something that even in the 16th Centuary was rare with the majority aparently only displaying 15 minute intervals), there were none that accurately displayed seconds, and it is the exposure to accurate second displays that enables people to "accurately" count minutes.

Craig.

Offline bow-toxo

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2012, 06:42:19 pm »
Erik,

 the first appearance of a clock face displaying minutes is (as you point out) in an illustration dated 1475 , some 59 years after Agincourt the campain from which the slow archers were supposedly either returned to England or not taken to. Now even if there were clocks around that displayed minutes (something that even in the 16th Centuary was rare with the majority aparently only displaying 15 minute intervals), there were none that accurately displayed seconds, and it is the exposure to accurate second displays that enables people to "accurately" count minutes.

Craig.

Not "the first appearance of a clock face displaying minutes" but  the oldest available illustration of one.  You really don't need seconds to know that a quarter hour contains
15 minutes, and a further division , possibly off by ba second or two, is [like a fistmele] enough for non industrial measurement.

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2012, 11:12:39 am »
Not "the first appearance of a clock face displaying minutes" but  the oldest available illustration of one.  You really don't need seconds to know that a quarter hour contains
15 minutes, and a further division , possibly off by ba second or two, is [like a fistmele] enough for non industrial measurement.

It apparently is the earliest indication of such a clock face, or do you know of an earlier one? Clocks are not my thing but I do know that to be a clock the mechanism must chime the hours or more, if there are no chimes then the mechanism is a time piece so it is probably wrong to call the early dials "clock faces".

Craig.

Offline Steve H

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2012, 08:35:58 pm »
Just a quick note on armor and hardness

Tests on armour from the castle Sherbourg 34 samples taken from 21 armours
1 iron
8 low carbon steels of which 4 had been hardened
25 medium carbon steels of which 16 were hardened

Of 108 specimens tested produced during the 80 year period between 1435 to 1515
9 were of iron
61 were low carbon steels of which 9 had been hardened
38 were of medium carbon steels of which 25 had been hardened

From the Rhodes specimens 22 samples
2 were made from iron
11 were of low carbon steels of which 3 had been hardened
9 were of medium carbon steels of which 5 had been hardened

Many of the armours tested contained inclusions ferrite /perlite and slag

NB modern medium carbon steel contains 0.5% to 0.8% carbon this is what the samples were compared against for the above.

References

Willims AR 1986 Fifteenth Century Armour from Churburg a metallurgical study Armi Antiche 3-82
Walter J Karcheski, Thom Richardson, The Medieval Armour from Rhodes ISBN 0 948092 41 6 Royal Armouries Museum in conjunction with the Higgins Armoury Museum Appendix 3 Alan Williams 150-151

I hope this helps put into context how durable the armour of the time was.  Please bare in mind that these existing examples were possibly of good quality hence they haven't been broken down and reused hence why they survive today and are possibly of superior quality when compared to the mass produced munitions armour of which very little survives today.

In addition I have information on Rockwell hardness scores for most of the armour indicated above and for later 16C armour if I get chance I will post this also.

Regards

Steve



Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2012, 10:55:02 am »
Steve H,

Thank for the info, look forward to your info on hardness.

Do you have dates for the armour from castle Sherbourg and Rhodes?

Craig.

Offline bumppo

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2012, 03:11:25 pm »
Reference for 1415 exchequer records for the Duke of York, reporting an incident in which 4 archers are removed from the rolls for failing to shoot the necessary ten arrows a minute.

The manuscript is in the National Archives, in the exchequer records (E) and the call number for the manuscript is E101/45/19. You can get copies through the National Archives website either sent to you via e-mail or as photocopies. A word of warning - you need to be able to read exchequer script and latin to be able to decipher it!

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/recordcopying/default.aspx

As far as what a minute was, its very doubtful it matches our understanding of 60 seconds. Musicians did keep time, oarsman on ships kept time, astronomers measured time very accurately with various mechanical clocks. One of the most important functions of timekeeping in the middle ages was for religious purposes, signaling times for prayer etc. and a variety of devices were used to keep track of the hour.... candles, sundials, clocks..... and its very probable Harfleur had a clock tower in 1415, but most certainly would not have had a minute hand.

My way of thinking leads me to the simplest solution, somebody just counted a simple cadence, or maybe sang or played a short song at a certain tempo, probably an older archer skilled in this test. He was probably taught how to do it the way a musician would have been taught to play a song, or monks to chant....... by ear. This to me means there had to be some variation to the length of this test, and was not exactly 60 seconds. However it probably served to be good enough or accurate enough to designate which archers were deemed worthy to keep in the army.



Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2012, 10:01:25 am »
Reference for 1415 exchequer records for the Duke of York, reporting an incident in which 4 archers are removed from the rolls for failing to shoot the necessary ten arrows a minute.

The manuscript is in the National Archives, in the exchequer records (E) and the call number for the manuscript is E101/45/19. You can get copies through the National Archives website either sent to you via e-mail or as photocopies. A word of warning - you need to be able to read exchequer script and latin to be able to decipher it!

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/recordcopying/default.aspx

As far as what a minute was, its very doubtful it matches our understanding of 60 seconds. Musicians did keep time, oarsman on ships kept time, astronomers measured time very accurately with various mechanical clocks. One of the most important functions of timekeeping in the middle ages was for religious purposes, signaling times for prayer etc. and a variety of devices were used to keep track of the hour.... candles, sundials, clocks..... and its very probable Harfleur had a clock tower in 1415, but most certainly would not have had a minute hand.

My way of thinking leads me to the simplest solution, somebody just counted a simple cadence, or maybe sang or played a short song at a certain tempo, probably an older archer skilled in this test. He was probably taught how to do it the way a musician would have been taught to play a song, or monks to chant....... by ear. This to me means there had to be some variation to the length of this test, and was not exactly 60 seconds. However it probably served to be good enough or accurate enough to designate which archers were deemed worthy to keep in the army.

Doubt that the service is available for a "Foreigner" such as I so why don't you get a copy and post it on here, something written in 15C is no longer in copyright.

Thanks for the info by the way.

Agree with you over time keeping.

Craig.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 07:18:20 pm by CraigMBeckett »

Offline Ian.

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2012, 11:18:04 am »
I have requested the document, its not available online it seems. I think it would be interesting to get some value as this question is quite common.

Its estimated to take a week so I will keep you posted.
ALways happy to help anyone get into heavy weight archery: https://www.facebook.com/bostonwarbowsbows/

Offline Ringeck85

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #42 on: January 31, 2012, 02:34:09 pm »
Excellent, that source in public access would be enlightening to be sure.  Thank you, Ian for requesting that document!
"It is how we choose what we do, and how we approach it, that determines whether the sum of our days adds up to a formless blur, or to something resembling a work of art."
-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

(Ren', in Wytheville, VA)

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2012, 12:51:04 am »
I have requested the document, its not available online it seems. I think it would be interesting to get some value as this question is quite common.

Its estimated to take a week so I will keep you posted.

Thanks for doing this Ian, I look forward to seeing it. If what Bumpo says it correct then my belief that this document did not exist was wrong. Do you read medieval Latin?

As a matter of interest is there a charge for this service from the National Archives?

Craig.

Offline Ian.

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2012, 07:13:57 am »
I must admit I dint think anything like this existed. I think there will be a charge but I have to wait for the Archives to E-mail me.

I don't read the language, but I know some that do and I am prepared to spend some time translating it. I do want to be able to read it one day. I may post it on a few armourer forums as I know many of them can read it.
ALways happy to help anyone get into heavy weight archery: https://www.facebook.com/bostonwarbowsbows/