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Using a bow in a post-apocalyptic world

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posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 12:52 PM
reply to post by mossme89

In the ancient world the bow was what the rifle is nowadays.
I think I could argue that bows have killed more people than guns overall.
I too had a longbow for a while there but was not terribly proficient with it, I could hit say a 2 foot target from 30 yards but never reliably, I would aim at center mass and hit the target somewhere N, S, E, W Etc.
So I had a buddy who was goodd...errr great with bows and does the rennaisance mock battles so I gave it to him.
So even though I have a hard time hitting a barn from the inside does'nt mean there aren't people out there who can't hit an apple off of your head at 30 yards.
I guess it is all in the preferrence.
Do what you like.

Now to read up on what everyone else had to say in the thread.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:14 PM
A bow or crossbow is a great deterrent. For it symbolizes danger just as much as a firearm.

I did a few Archery sessions at University and quite enjoyed it. Wondering if I could find a group here somewhere.

As for Post-Apocalyptic survival tool... I imagine that I'd rather have a gun if given the choice. Though I would ideally have both.

Say you are in an Urban Environment:

The bow/x-bow is bulky and large. A bow takes like two seconds to get into a ready fire position. Crossbow can be ready loaded but I would imagine prolonged tension is bad for the string. Extra bolts and arrows are bulky.

Bow has a fast reload, but a gun is faster. You might not kill whatever is threatening you with the first hit. If they have a gun they can probably get three+ frantic shots off at your in that time.

But my biggest issue is definitely range vs accuracy. A gun is a lot more practical in the sense that you can sit with minimal exposure next to a piece of cover and remain concealed while you can take your time to zero in. You can hit your target reliably at great ranges when you become familiar with your firearm.

A bow will have issues, unless you're a serious pro, hitting a target at bigger ranges.

Penetration: A gun is better and if your badguy is behind cover with minimal exposure, you're in trouble.

This is all assuming other humans are the hostiles, but there's a reason we're using firearms as the primary defensive weapon around the world.

In terms of ammo, I'm not sure how easy/hard it is to make properly smooth arrows/bolts that fly correctly. But until you learn how to do that, expect replacement arrows that you have to make to not be accurate.

Stealth is a big plus for the bow/xbow and something to really take into consideration. Especially in woodland areas where it's easy to hide, you can hit and run like a champ.

Silencers on guns do not make them silent. It's still quite a bang. But again, you're capacity to deal out pain is much greater, accurate and faster than the bows.

Just some points that sprang to mind.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:33 PM
after i ran out of ammo, or couldnt scavenge anymore..
-the 22 and bricks guy is right. (a toro sprinkler head stuffed with brillo pads
or a water bottle..will silence pretty well.) but- a bow?..
factor in i have nerve damage,messed up clavical etc.
i would about have the strength to draw a 35# double recurve bow.
kinda kid stuff, but with a tight little set-up and stealth i could ambush anything.
a crossbow is more expensive than a ruger 1022..
right thinking about precious ammo-the arrow/bolt..
.a standard composite is how much per dozen?
how many can you store /carry..
-ever try to make one from scratch-
how many left turkey feathers you got?..
So ok -i'm down to a bow..i have a couple dozen arrows.
a machete-tomahawk-couple knives..and bolt cutters.
looking for guns
and beer.

[edit on 6-9-2010 by p51mustang]

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:16 PM
I do not think that guns would fade out in a post-apocalyptic scenario. After all the factory made ammo ran out people would reload there own until that ran out than you would see a de-evolution of the modern fire arm. Cap and ball weapons would make a come back. Then flint locks would make a come back and then match locks. Gun powder has been home made for close to a thousand years. So the gun would not disappear from the field but would just reset to a simpler time.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:30 PM
I have thrown sticks for about 20yrs. and I would have to say if the SHTF Im taking both bow and firearm.

A firearm such as a 10/22 ruger or something in a 223 or 7.62x39 would come in handy to deter any uncivilized people and not used for food.

Now for the bow the bow, I would chose one some where in the 50lb draw range. That way if I am injured or weak from hunger I will still be able to bring it to full draw. I have 4 bows rangimg from 55 to 70lb draw 1 is a PSE Nova @70lb 1 PSE Bow Madness XS @70lb 1 Oneida Eagle Kestrel (my baby) @65lb and a Martin Jaguar recurve take down @55lb.

As for arrows I use carbon express arrows. But if the SHTF and I am short of arrows a lot of limbs and or sticks can be use (maple, cedar and willow are my favorites) and can be turned on a bent willow foot lathe. Vanes can be made from ductape.

Broadheads can be made from any thing imaginable (glass, hard plastics metal and stone) and if you need a blunt point just thread a nut on to the end of the arrow shaft (with no broadhead) witch comes in handy for small game to prevent from blooding up the meat.

For the string for a light draw weight any small diameter nylon cord would work just remember to coat it in some wax or it will be rough on your fingers.

If I had to chose witch bow it would be the recurve just for the ease of maintenance.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:37 AM
Long bow of at least 50# would be good.

But a compound bow would be not as good.

You have to have special tools to string and repair a compound bow.

You only have to relax a long bow for a few hours a day like over night.

If you break the bow string on a long bow it only takes a couple minutes to put a new string on it.
You can not do that with a compound bow.

I will have guns but also have a long bow for hunting and night work.

Some one trying to attack my camp at night would likely never hear the arrow that got them.
A group would likely not know where to fire at, and if they did fire the mussel flashes would give me a aiming point.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:42 AM
reply to post by mossme89

Bows are gonna be one of the best options ...if /when things get rough...police state, need for stelth...and such..

As far as 35# drawis fine...... most all native amercan bows were 25-30#
draw weight, its arrow place ment that will count, and you not gonna be squared off gunslinger style having a draw to say...
You need to lay in wait...for prey...

I have shot an arrow completely through a deer, and the doe beside the buck, both deer turned and looked at the arrow that had stuck in the ground after passing through deer#1......never knew he had been hit!

A smart hunter with a bow, that knows the area and propper ways to stay hidden and has patience, will come out ahead in the end!

As far as compounds and cross bows..
Compounds=good...but you can't go carve a new one out of hedge or osage wood.
Plus a cross bow...has a real bad mechanical takes a 150# draw crossbow "because the limbs are short make the same power as a good recurve or longbow....and the longbow don't sound like an .22 when you let it slip away into your game/enemy/dinner...
Arrows for a long bow...I make mine from rose stems...when dried they are straight, and can be sorted to get many that have the same "spine" to match the draw of your LB....

I have never understood why "crossbows" are so talked about.
Guess its because of TV and they look cool, they are really a fussy fussy tool, and very noisy.
Ask any real Archery shop owner.....they are not faster than modern compound bows...not much easier to tote around, and besides looking cool...have about ZERO practical use for a sitX or SHTF sit...

The only reason I could see having one, is if I lived where guns are not legal....but there again, a modern compound will out shoot it! hands down....speed and distance!
Instead of only haveing 12-16"s of bolt length "for accelleration" a regular bow has an average of 30"s to gain momentum and speed, you can have a 70# longbow, and a 100# recurve and when you chronograph them two side by side....the long bow will prevail....also with accuracy, and distance.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 01:18 PM
reply to post by grey580

It's called Kyudo.. Thats the japanese art incase you're curious. Very deadly.

As for a bow? I think it would make an ideal weapon, especially if dealing with a group. Ever seen those scene in war movies where soldiers just start dropping like flys as a sniper gets them? Kind of like that.

A bow and a sword of some sort would be effective.

posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 11:48 PM
I think the largest problem will be ammunition, even if you manage to dispatch a group of enemies with silent and well placed shots your intent is likely to get out of there. You're not going to go run in blind afterwards into danger to search for and retrieve your arrows, you're going to wanna high tail it out of there and get to safety.

posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 02:01 PM
Compound Bow for more draw weight.
Use the right kind of arrow head for the right kind of job.
Stock up on spare bowstrings and arrowheads (variety for different tasks, combat/hunting/target, etc.)
Learn how to make your own arrow shafts and fins. (the tips will be the hardest to fabricate, but easy enough to carry).

Would definitely be part of my SHTF arsenal.

posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 02:17 PM
I have a long bow, too. It's great...just no place to shoot it here. Anywho, I'd say they make great weapons. Got to make sure that the arrows are right for the bow, though. Too short, and you run the risk of shattering the arrow on the bow and injuring yourself. Too long, and accuracy may suffer.

posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 02:19 PM
A 22lr does more damage than an arrow, has a longer range, and damn tough to dodge even at 100 yds.
cheap in bricks (as mentioned previously), and easy to store and carry in large quantities. You could pack 10 years worth of ammo in a small suitcase (may be a bit heavy to carry) for a couple hundred $$.

Though arrows are fairly easy to manufacture---if you have skill and lots of free time---they are pretty useless without POINTS. Better hone up on your stone chipping skills.

Even with an expert bowman, I am positive I could out shoot 20 to 1.
Thats 20 bullets to each arrow.
See, I only have to aim once, not each shot.

posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 02:25 PM
To answer your question OP, the bow would be an invaluable commodity in a post-apocalyptic scenario. While you are as good as dead if you bring a bow to a gun fight, it is the perfect weapon for hunting. The most important benefit would be that ammunition is reusable and can be replenished anytime. Crafting your own arrows is far from being an impossible feat. Perhaps the greatest advantage is its stealth ability. You can take down animals from squirrels to bears without alerting anyone in the vicinity that you are there. It would also be useful in a SHtF scenario for the same reason. If you absolutely have to kill another human being, this would be a silent and effective method. If anyone with firearm gets a jump on you, however, I would be prepared to go to a sidearm or to disappear into the wilderness.

I've done a good bit of bow hunting, and while range is always going to be an issue, it is a great tool in the hunter's arsenal. While everyone likes to think of a mad max-esque apocalypse, the biggest challenge for everyone will be food gathering. A bow allows you to kill your prey, gut it and skin it without anyone in the area knowing you've done so.

and gotrox, the .22lr does not always inflict more damage than a bow. I've got a good friend who takes people out in Alaska on bear hunting excursions, and apparently he killed a bear last season from about 40 yds out, one arrow. I think you would be stupid to even attempt to shoot a bear with a .22, stupid or extremely fast!

I am a proponent of the .22 though. It is light-weight, ammunition is widely available and you can carry a ton of it.

edit on 16-9-2010 by Shark VA84 because: I spell like a child sometimes

posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 02:26 PM
This is something i've been thinking of for ages, but still haven't got round to buying a bow yet. I was given an old longbow which needs a bit of work, but i'd like to buy a sarecen style bow. If you want to steer clear of guns, i know i do (illegal in uk anyway) you could consider a sword as well.

posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 03:10 PM
In the UK you have to have a licence for firearms. I trained in target archery and field archery. I have an indian flatbow 50lb a Kassai Bear 70lb and my little favourite a Grozer Sythian 50lb. Horsebows provide more power in relation to size...accuracy in all things it takes lots of practice.

I had a friend who was into archery and survival and he always said " so long as you can hit a torso at a distance".

A firearm will always beat a bow anytime.. but one on one with stealth and concealment...the bow does have its advantages. Hunting ..well the first bang and you miss won't be seeing any game about for a while!!

Compound bows...they are the sniper in the archery world ...highly accurate and powerfull...BUT...if something goes on the bow ...its buggered!...far too much gadgetry for me!!

Arrow and bolt making takes a lot of practice and knowledge...if anyone is thinking of the bow as a good choice should the really need to get a lot of practice in.

Thats my two penneth!! lol..and my opinion!!

posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 03:35 PM
Consider your time loading a new arrow/bolt also, especially the crossbow. What are you going to do when your target is within 20 yards and you miss? I'd prefer a combination..

posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 03:54 PM
Run like hell.!!..I am in a remote area of Scotland ..know the area and thankfully in the UK automatic weapons are very few.....

And 20 yards ..if I can get a chance to knock an arrow..I will make my shot count!!..might even be lucky and hit the bugger!!lol

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 02:53 PM
Here are a few videos that may be of help if you ever need a bow.

Quick bow aka bundle bow

Another bundle bow Part 1

Part 2

Now, for arrows. Here are a few methods:
First, info on arrows

Making the arrow

Making broad heads

Making the string

Here's one for using a slingshot as a bow

I'm not in any way involved with the people making the videos. I just thought they'd be interesting and informative. I hope these help.

edit on 17-9-2010 by Skid Mark because: Added a video.

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 08:52 PM
reply to post by Skid Mark

Thanks skid, enjoying the videos so far. Some really good basic information in there. Definitely never hurts to know how to make your own hunting tools. Doesn't matter if its for a SHTF apocalypse or just getting stranded in the woods.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 02:37 AM
reply to post by Shark VA84

I'm glad you found it helpful. I like the bundle bow. I have to try that.

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