Author Topic: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute  (Read 23116 times)

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Offline Ian.

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #45 on: February 01, 2012, 09:07:10 am »
Reply Received - they have said that the information I requested is not easy to find and will need an independant researcher to look into it. So two options, One I will request the whole document make it avaliable to others and we will find the reference. Or if someone is close to the Kew records office where the document is kept if that person doesn't mind spending a little time looking at records the national archives staff would be willing to give free advice.

Thoughts?
ALways happy to help anyone get into heavy weight archery: https://www.facebook.com/bostonwarbowsbows/

Offline bumppo

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2012, 02:11:26 pm »
We went over this topic in October 2010 in another post. I found a reference to the ten rounds a minute in Juliet Barkers "Agincourt", 2005, page 303.

"two days before the departure from Harfleur, his numbers had been reduced to eighty men-at-arms and 296 archers (four of the latter had been struck off because they could not fire the required minimum ten aimed arrows per minute." This refers to the Duke of York

I contacted Ms. Barker about the remark, and she gave me the National Archive reference number. I cannot say if the record was accurately interpreted or not and it would be great to see the original records. I contacted the National Archives and was given an estimate for the researcher to find the records. I can't remember what the exact cost was, just that it was pretty darn expensive.

Ian, if you get an estimate, I'd be willing to chip in towards the expense to see this to a conclusion. I can't make it to Kew any time soon, its a long way from Alaska!

There are so many questions in that one line, I don't think we will ever know. What did "aimed" mean, what does "minute" mean, why being so short of men, would the Duke of York send anyone home? It seems he had already lost almost half his men at Harfleur..... Did those archer deliberately fail the test guessing what was ahead of them?


Offline Ian.

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #47 on: February 01, 2012, 02:39:14 pm »
Yeah I have requested copies of everything, there may be more good stuff hidden there. Nit picking here but if she has said 'fire' then it hasn't been translated perfectly.  ;D

Although it seems like a small amount Richard Wages book does have some interesting figures about how much the crown requested and how much was sent. It shows that there was some very accurate accounting going on, I will have to find the page again.

Thanks for the offer as well.
ALways happy to help anyone get into heavy weight archery: https://www.facebook.com/bostonwarbowsbows/

Offline peasant1381

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2012, 04:02:18 am »
Rate of shot is just the tip of the iceberg, ten aimed arrows in a minute, aimed at what and at what range? Now imagine trying to replicate it. What poundage of bow, what arrow? what target?

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2012, 07:28:56 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.


My son has finally got around to going to uni, starting in a week or so, and is going to study archaeology as one of his subjects, so I would think that there should be someone in his department or elsewhere at his university that reads the language, so if you post it or send it to me I may be able to persuade him to find someone to translate it.

Craig.

Offline Ian.

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2012, 10:15:07 am »
That's good to know Craig thanks, I have requested all the pages of the document so we will just have to wait and see what that entails.
ALways happy to help anyone get into heavy weight archery: https://www.facebook.com/bostonwarbowsbows/

Offline bow-toxo

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2012, 12:41:59 am »
Rate of shot is just the tip of the iceberg, ten aimed arrows in a minute, aimed at what and at what range? Now imagine trying to replicate it. What poundage of bow, what arrow? what target?
To list the obvious; Warbow poundage, 100-150 pounds. Warbow arrow 30-31 inches long, tapered 1/2" or 28" parallel 7/16" with tapered shaftment. Mark [target] 4" disc.
Attempted accuracy as described in a 1557 intelligence report to Venice ;"there are few among them, even those who are moderately practiced, who will not undertake at a convenient distance, either aiming point blank or in the air [as they generally do that the arrow may fly farther], to hit within 2 inches [un mezzo palma] of the mark". Better get started. Good luck.

                                                                                        Erik

Offline peasant1381

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2012, 03:16:39 am »
Why are you telling me to get started and wishing me good luck Erik?

Offline CraigMBeckett

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #53 on: February 03, 2012, 07:28:00 pm »
We went over this topic in October 2010 in another post. I found a reference to the ten rounds a minute in Juliet Barkers "Agincourt", 2005, page 303.

"two days before the departure from Harfleur, his numbers had been reduced to eighty men-at-arms and 296 archers (four of the latter had been struck off because they could not fire the required minimum ten aimed arrows per minute." This refers to the Duke of York

I contacted Ms. Barker about the remark, and she gave me the National Archive reference number. I cannot say if the record was accurately interpreted or not and it would be great to see the original records. I contacted the National Archives and was given an estimate for the researcher to find the records. I can't remember what the exact cost was, just that it was pretty darn expensive.

Ian, if you get an estimate, I'd be willing to chip in towards the expense to see this to a conclusion. I can't make it to Kew any time soon, its a long way from Alaska!

There are so many questions in that one line, I don't think we will ever know. What did "aimed" mean, what does "minute" mean, why being so short of men, would the Duke of York send anyone home? It seems he had already lost almost half his men at Harfleur..... Did those archer deliberately fail the test guessing what was ahead of them?

Hi bumppo,

Hopefully we will finally see if the quotation is in anyway accurate. One other thing that I find puzzeling and is one of the reasons that I doubted the varacity of the claim is that, as I understand it, the archers went through tests and training when they reported to the place of muster, this would have happend prior to embarcation in England, now if the men passed muster as they must have done to be accepted and transported to France, why then did they fail a test that must have been similar to those that they passed in England?

Craig.

Offline bow-toxo

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2012, 01:00:18 am »
Why are you telling me to get started and wishing me good luck Erik?

I thought by your question that you wanted to revive the old time shooting. To do that, you would have to begin as soon as possible. In the old days they got started at age five or six. Good luck would be helpful in accomplishing it.

Offline peasant1381

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #55 on: February 04, 2012, 05:27:58 am »
I take it Erik that you don't look at every post in the Warbow section. Either that or it's is an excellent attempt at a wind up. Anyway 10 arrows a minute. So there is  a primary source which states that fact. You can bet your backside it won't say what draw weight the bows were. You said 100- 150lbs. I think that's being rather generous. Any half decent modern war bow archer could manage 10 in a minute at 100lbs (and I include myself in that). What I was actually trying to say in my previous post was that even though 10 arrows a minute has been proved to be a benchmark for selection, would there have been other criteria as well? And if we were to try and replicate this selection test without that knowledge what other standards would we include, like the arrow for instance 1/2" - 3/8" like you said but what wood?- ash shaft? poplar shaft? Type 10 head ? Heavy plate cutter head? 7 inch fletch square cut or with the trailing edge left on ? Or the bow, 120lbs plus or 130lbs plus?
I do hope this is a little clearer than my previous post.

Best Regards
Keith Collier
Chairman of the English War Bow Society New Zealand
And one of the few people to post videos of himself (and others) actually shooting a heavy draw weight longbow) on this forum

Offline bow-toxo

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2012, 04:16:12 pm »
I take it Erik that you don't look at every post in the Warbow section. Either that or it's is an excellent attempt at a wind up. Anyway 10 arrows a minute. So there is  a primary source which states that fact. You can bet your backside it won't say what draw weight the bows were. You said 100- 150lbs. I think that's being rather generous. Regards
Keith Collier
Chairman of the English War Bow Society New Zealand
And one of the few people to post videos of himself (and others) actually shooting a heavy draw weight longbow) on this forum

 There was no need for the primary source to state draw weights as we have a pretty good idea what they were from the Mary Rose find. Congratulations on your duplication of the skills of the Agincourt archers. Mark Stretton considered seven seconds to be the maximum that he could manage from a powerful warbow. Concerning your other questions, please dont expect me to make the arrows for you . Im sure you can do your own research.

                                                                       Cheers,
                                                                       Erik

Offline peasant1381

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #57 on: February 04, 2012, 09:45:08 pm »
I'm sure when Mark (I will ask him to clarify that) was referring to heavy draw weight he would've talking about bows in the 140lb plus range. Do you seriously believe that 10 arrows in a minute from a 100lb bow  is not attainable by a modern archer?
And why would I want you to make arrows for me. I make my own and I have more than enough thankyou.
Perhaps I still haven't made my point clearly enough yet. So I'll give it another go.
The point that I'm trying to make is the difficulty in trying to replicate the test that resulted in the sending home of those archers in 1415 (maybe they were too sick to draw effectively). I presume that they would've had to shoot at a distant mark but how distant. The distance would (for the modern archer) determine what sort of arrows to be shot.
The main problem for the modern archer however is the draw weight. If it's around a 140lb average then there isn't anyone who can do 10 in a minute in the first place.

Offline Ringeck85

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #58 on: February 04, 2012, 11:25:19 pm »
I suppose that even with a 10 arrows per minute "test", we don't know enough of the particulars to accurately replicate such a test.  We can try (emphasis on try with all possible humility involved)  based on the limited information we do have to extrapolate such a test, but the results would doubtlessly be in some form of contention.

We don't know for certain what draw weight was used; it's not obvious.  The Mary rose bows, our best evidence but still a hundred years removed from the period in question, vary considerably in draw weight, do they not?   isn't it about 80-180 lbs, with the average being around 130? that's still a huge range.  I personally think it varied considerably according to the archer's capabilities.  I don't think all archers back then, even if they trained from early childhood, would have cared much about draw weights because this isn't something they measured with a modern scale.  The archer's skill in delivering the results (relative accuracy at different ranges, and perhaps to a lesser degree rate of shooting) would have mattered more than the draw weight.  A higher draw weight would have assisted in power and range, but not necessarily in speed of discharge. I suppose the question is, which is more important?  Volume of arrows (rate of shooting), concentration of arrows (volley unity and accuracy) or the range and power you can send? (draw weights, et all) If an archer is more skilled at about 100 lbs. draw weight, he likely would have used a bow he was comfortable with than a 150 + heavy weight, and shot to the best of his ability.  So in order to replicate a modern test, you'd need several archers shooting at different weights to try to get as much information as possible, and that would require getting a lot of archers together and for a long time.  Time, accommodations, and  probably a lot of money, to get the experts to participate in such a test.

We don't know for certain what arrows were used in tests back then and how much these arrows varied, though we can approximate and extrapolate based on what information we do have.  So again, we'd have to shoot with a variety of arrows from each bow to get an idea of what might have delivered the best results.  I suspect for a military archer, they would have used some sort of arrow intended for military use, but how standardized was this arrow?  We could use the three types of arrows by EWBS standards and try them out, say 4 of each for each individual test.

And we are also not absolutely sure what kind of target was used. "Pricks" (I think that's Ascham's term for target butts?  I could be wrong) perhaps would have been fairly simple to set up, and perhaps a 4" target may have been used, but I think this is unlikely at a very long range (due to the difficulty of hitting such a small target at anything greater than 50 yards/meters what have you).  Still, challenge! 

So, if we were to try to get a test together of this magnitude, it would be a big deal:

1. Several archers (I'd say 4-5 minimum) with a variety of bows (yew and meane wood) and draw weights likely available or average at the time (say, 90-150 lbs. or so).  Each archer would have a different skill level, each bow would have different qualities.  You'd then make a statistical analysis of the results, but for such results to be conclusive you have to repeat the test as many times as was humanly possible. 

2. Have different ranges and different targets for the archers to shoot at: say a man-sized target or a targeted area at 200 meters (higher range can be achieved, but we're trying for accuracy and this would be a challenge enough) or so; 150 meters, 100 meters, 50 meters, and maybe 20, with the closer ranges (50 and 20) having smaller targets to aim at.

3. Have the archers try for accuracy at each target within a time limit for each (so, give them a minute or so with twelve arrows available, and they try to loose all of these arrows at each target).  Naturally, due to the strenuousness of this task (and arguably nigh impossibility with heavier draw weights), there would need to be a considerable break of time between each test of range so that our testing archers do not get too tired.

4.  summary: 4-5 archers with a range of draw weights and bow types against some form of target agreed upon; 12 arrows (4 of each different replica type) allowed within a minute at 200 meters (repeat a few times); 12 arrows allowed within a minute at 150 meters (repeat); 12 arrows allowed within a minute at 100 meters (repeat); 12 arrows allowed within a minute at 50 meters (repeat); and for fun, 12 arrows allowed within a minute at 20 meters.

Anyway, you all will probably agree that something like this (note: I am probably a little off on the numbers)  would be an absolutely insanely challenging and expensive undertaking.  And what would the results even say about historical archery?  What would be the point?  All we'd be doing is comparing a few modern archers' abilities based on the limited information we have and having fun with it by challenging ourselves, by seeing what we could do.

That said, something like the above would be insanely awesome to try and videotape, too.  Maybe one day. . .

Anyway, hopefully a good translation of the latin text will provide a few clues to such a rate of shooting test, but I suspect it's probably vague or cursory information at best. 
"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 bumppo

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Re: Questions concerning Rate of "fire" per minute
« Reply #59 on: February 05, 2012, 01:42:34 am »
We went over this topic in October 2010 in another post. I found a reference to the ten rounds a minute in Juliet Barkers "Agincourt", 2005, page 303.

"two days before the departure from Harfleur, his numbers had been reduced to eighty men-at-arms and 296 archers (four of the latter had been struck off because they could not fire the required minimum ten aimed arrows per minute." This refers to the Duke of York

I contacted Ms. Barker about the remark, and she gave me the National Archive reference number. I cannot say if the record was accurately interpreted or not and it would be great to see the original records. I contacted the National Archives and was given an estimate for the researcher to find the records. I can't remember what the exact cost was, just that it was pretty darn expensive.

Ian, if you get an estimate, I'd be willing to chip in towards the expense to see this to a conclusion. I can't make it to Kew any time soon, its a long way from Alaska!

There are so many questions in that one line, I don't think we will ever know. What did "aimed" mean, what does "minute" mean, why being so short of men, would the Duke of York send anyone home? It seems he had already lost almost half his men at Harfleur..... Did those archer deliberately fail the test guessing what was ahead of them?

Hi bumppo,

Hopefully we will finally see if the quotation is in anyway accurate. One other thing that I find puzzeling and is one of the reasons that I doubted the varacity of the claim is that, as I understand it, the archers went through tests and training when they reported to the place of muster, this would have happend prior to embarcation in England, now if the men passed muster as they must have done to be accepted and transported to France, why then did they fail a test that must have been similar to those that they passed in England?

Craig.

Hey Craig,

I'm skeptical myself whether anything meaningful will come out of the records or that its true in the first place. You're right, they were in the Duke's retinue as archers in the first place, sent across the channel at great expense, now he decides to test them again and they fail? Doesn't make sense. Maybe they had dysentery or were sick in another way, could they have been recruits from another profession, porters maybe, who wanted to be archers? They must have known marching to Calais would mean fighting the French, and that every able bodied man was necessary. Which brings me to what I think is a really important question: How bad did you really have to be to fail this test? So what if they could only loose 8 arrows a minute, or even 4? Wouldn't they still have some sort of value on the battlefield? I know from my own very poor efforts, its a "relatively" easy matter to shoot eight to ten rounds a minute with the arrows on the ground next to you. I am not hurrying in any way and still manage to shoot 4 in 35 seconds from a 100lb bow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgMBwbnBH7s

The only explanation I can think of for the Duke to get rid of anyone seemed to be that he was strapped for cash and couldn't afford to keep anything but the best in his ranks. Didn't he have to take out a 2nd mortgage, and a 3rd and a 4th  ;D on his castle to afford the venture in the first place?

Walt (bumppo)