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Using a bow in a post-apocalyptic world

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posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 02:54 PM
So, recently i've had an urge to go out and buy a longbow, so i did. It's a 54" bow with a 36# (pounds) pull. I've been practicing with it, and i'm finding that i'm quite good with it, almost natural

With all the stuff around me hitting the fan, I was thinking, in a post-apocalyptic world (like after an EMP or something), would a bow like this be good enough to kill someone? I'm not arguing if there will be a post-apocalyptic world, just hypothetically. The reasoning for a bow as a weapon is because things like guns would be useless after a year or two without an incoming source of ammunition. Plus they are very noisy. I doubt most people have a silencer or a sniper rifle, atleast not in my area. And with bows, i could just go into the woods to find decent sticks to mold them into arrows.

So would a bow like the one i have be a good enough defense against a cannibal trying to kill me and steal my food, assuming i have the high ground? I watched some videos of people hunting game with bows and one of the thing i noticed is that the arrow doesn't go very deep, only a few centimeters at most (but still kills them). Would this be a problem against a human?

Again this is all hypothetical...

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 03:00 PM
I'm all about the bows although I dont know much about them. If your worried about penetration just buy a better bow with more kick to it or a crossbow for that matter. Then again will an arrow penetrate a bullet proof vest? Idk. Either way bows are relatively silent and have advantages when it comes to making or retrieving ammunition. I don't think I'd rely only on a bow for self defense though. I would say use the bow for hunting, buy a gun n save the ammo for close encounters with cannibals
, when your out of ammo revert to bow, when out of arrows use a knife, when your knife is gone, kiss your a** goodbye. Overall I would recommend staying away from peeps you dont know or who you think might want to take your things by force, not worth the fight.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 03:01 PM
Man has been using long bows to kill for food and self defense for ages. I have a compound bow and I am sure it would be a great survival tool if I need it to be. I think I have my bow set around 65 pounds of draw. That makes my arrows pretty deadly to a human even at well over 50 yards.
The great thing about bows is that they are silent, and arrows can be homeade. The problem is their limited range. Probably better for hunting than self-defense.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by mossme89

Assuming you are using the type of arrow I'm thinking of (Think Robin Hood), if I was coming after your stuff, I'd think twice if I saw that you had a bow raised in my direction.

From what I know, those things hurt more being pulled out.

But here's a tip in case the SHTF: I had a boss who would bow hunt back in the day. He had a doctor friend that he got some sort of sedative that he said was used in open heart surgery. It stopped the heart temporarily or something like that. He would rub the arrow tip in the stuff, and it killed most game almost instantly. He did this because he wanted to hunt to eat, but not cause a lot of harm to the animal (he's a really nice guy).

I'd imagine a similar thing would work if you had to defend yourself.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 03:19 PM
Bows are awesome deadly weapons.
Tehre was a show on Spike tv yesterday.
it was Samurai vs Viking Warriors.

They showed a "modern day samurai" making 2 kill shots right to the eyes of a ballistics gel encased skull with some fake eyes in it.

At a range of 30-40 feet. the archer was able to hit 1 eye then the other with no retries. he was dead on accurate. and probably pretty accurate at longer ranges too.

Now it would be harder to hit a moving target. but with practice you could manage it.

Maybe a small bundle of hay on a rope swinging from a tree could be good for moving target practice.

[edit on 19-4-2010 by grey580]

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 03:23 PM
I don't know much about archery, but it's something I'd like to know more about. It seems like a person couldn't know too much about the subject in a SHTF situation. Does anyone know what the advantages of a longbow vs. a crossbow?

Now, what I wish is that this particular arrow head came in human size.

Gobble Guillotine

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 03:28 PM
Bows are great and carbon arrows can be shot over and over again without breaking or bending.

For long term SHTF I would rather have a traditional recurve over a compound due to less maintenance and better durability

A few extra strings would be nice to have also.

[edit on 19-4-2010 by Gibbon]

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 03:33 PM
Long bow draw of 36# is pretty light for human sized game, unless you can take out an eyeball! lambs to lions draw weight of 65# is much more lethal for bigger game. Self defense in close quarters wouldn't be a good idea, but an accurate archer makes an excellent sniper asset.


posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 03:43 PM
reply to post by mossme89

With all the stuff around me hitting the fan, I was thinking, in a post-apocalyptic world (like after an EMP or something), would a bow like this be good enough to kill someone?

With all the problems of survival you are wondering if you have enough to kill a man? Well a bow and arrow would be a bad choice, unless you are planing to sneak up and shoot someone for no real reason besides a gut feeling that they are going to kill you.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 03:54 PM
You might want to read this article before considering Bows and crossbows in a SHTF scenario:

Crossbows and Other Useless Survival Weapons

Excerpt: "How many bolts for the crossbow do you own 12-24-? It doesn't really matter. Sooner or later you are going to lose them then what? Make them? You have the skill to make a wooden arrow strong enough for a 150 pound crossbow, that will support that kind of pressure, fly straight and kill an animal? If I have to I could, is not an answer. How many bow strings do you have put away? 1-2-3? How are you going to make them when you are out? Sinew, oh really have you ever done it? I am not attacking anyone I am simply pointing out the problems with the crossbow."

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 04:02 PM
reply to post by hawkiye

The same is true for bullets, and you can shoot a good carbon arrow over and over again.

While a bow may not be suitable for all situations, the stealth and quietness makes it great for some. I wouldn't consider it useless.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 04:10 PM
I saw an interesting bow technique in the movie
"King Arthur".

For more destruction, the bow was turned over
to a horizontal position and 3 arrows were
laid on top to make a wider spread in short
distances. This basically has a shotgun effect
at close range.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 04:20 PM
A .22 rifle with a cheap 3x9 scope is way better for survival. You can buy 500 round 'bricks' of ammo all day long at Wal-Mart.
With a little imagination they are easily suppressed. Bows are cool, and have some uses, but if you have hunted with one then you would know that you better be good at tracking, and tracking a wounded deer across possibly a mile of someone else's property is kinda sketchy...especially if it's a post-apocalyptic scenario. Bows are more of a hobby type thing IMO.

Native Americans switched to firearms for a reason...they're better at killing.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 04:32 PM
reply to post by iamsupermanv2

Not to mention a quicker death so the need for tracking a wounded animal is minnimized. Believe me; tracking a wounded buck for hours on end is no picinic

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 04:33 PM
A 36# draw wieght bow is not a very powerful weapon. Yes, you can make kill shots on large animals at ranges perhaps as far as 25 yards but that's about the limit.
Would you be willing to get closer than that in a conflict with another person? Particularly if they have a gun?
Others have pointed out that you would need extra bowstrings and the knowlege to fabricate arrows in the wild. Steel arrowheads cannot be made in the wild however, so it would be wise to pack extra arrowheads and fletches rather than extra arrows.
In answer to your question, yes, it would make a fine survival tool though not neccesarily for self-defense. A handgun would serve you better than a bow and rifle even more than a handgun.
But you can't pack everything so whatever choices you make you will have to stick with.
If you cannot make your own arrows from scratch don't bother. You can lose 2 dozen arrows in just a couple of days of hunting. I should know, I've done it several times.

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 04:34 PM
If you aim well and hit it in the heart lung area you shouldn't have to track it more than 50 yards. I've never had a deer fall out of eyeshot of my tree stand.

Granted your gonna want a draw weight that'll blow clean through the animal.

[edit on 19-4-2010 by Gibbon]

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 04:49 PM
Sometimes I chuckle at myself when I go off the deep end thinking of really bad SHTF scenarios like having to worry about making arrows and strings. I mean, that would have to be some hard core SHTF. Whew!!!

Time to go to the park and play with my 19 month old boy and calm down a bit. LOL

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 04:58 PM
Some interesting replies here so i would like to put my two pence worth in.

As a former member of the British field archery squad i have shot with people using all manner of bows and many types of arrowes.
I won't go into the maintenance or reliability aspect of bows but i have a good idea what i would use in a survival situation.

Its a case of swings and rounderbouts when choosing a bow, Take the longbow for instance. I have entered competitions and shot with people using them to the best of thier abillity and to be truthfull they are the least powerfull and inacurate.
Yes, you can can get very powerfull ones but you can't keep them on aim for very long and wooden arrows seem to have a mind of thier own, each one will have different characteristics. So the longbow is out.

A recurve bow is the one i have used all the time and they are a very accurate weapon being made of modern conposite materials.
One thing you cant do with a longbow or recurve is leave them strung, ready to use at a moments notice. that being said, the arrows you will use will be made to match the draw weight if the bow. the stronger the pull the stiffer the arrow. you only have to watch the olympics to see the capabilities of these bows in the right hands.

Now for the compound bow. If you ever have the opportunity to see one of these in action, go have a look.
The power from these things is remarkable and the accuracy has to be seen to be believed.
Because of the power you get a very flat trajectory compared to any other bow, so if you are a little out in estimating the distance to your target it won't be so critical and you have more chance of a hit.
The bow is also smaller than the others so is easier to handle in a woodland environment, that is a big plus in itself.

So, what chance is there of killing a rabbit at 30 yds with these bows and my skill level.

Longbow = 40%
recurve = 75%
compound = 95%

This is without using sights, as i am a barebow archer. using a sighting system would give me a better hit rate.

the bow for me then would have to be a compound bow, a few extra strings and as many arrows as i could carry..

hope this helps

posted on Apr, 19 2010 @ 05:14 PM
having seen my son use his 150 pound draw weight crossbow, its looks easier to hold on the target, is small, and at 15 feet the bolts go through inch thick chipboard. its alleged to be accurate up to 50 metres, okay in urban and woodland I would think, and brakes down into less that a metre 'package', the bolts are a lot shorter than arrows too.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 10:45 AM
reply to post by jon1

Sorry to resurrect an old thread , but You seem to be rather well informed so I wondered about your conclusion . Thinking of a SHTF situation , what about maintenance of a compound bow ? Wouldn't the recurve one be a better choice when it comes to longevity ? I mean where will You get the pieces for a compound bow when something (anything ) breaks ? With a recurve you only need string if I understand it correct .

Just to clarify, I am not attacking You , I am trying to decide what bow to buy just in case (I have been shooting from my GF's classical bow so I know a bit about shooting but not allot)

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