The difference of bolts and arrows

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by FIAAO, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. FIAAO

    FIAAO Failureisalwaysanoption

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    Hello fellow catapultologists (and thank you Onnod for that great term!)<br>I think I sometime heard Joerg saying that an arrow is, well, an arrow and a bolt is an arrow, but without the fletching. Not too long ago I had an E-mail conversation with the president of the Swedish Crossbow Union, SAU (Svenska Armborst Unionen). He said that in terms of competitions and stuff, worldwide they use the word bolt for arrows for crossbows, wich means they have fletching. He tought, and so do Wikipedia, that a bolt is in fact a more streamlined thing, with most of the material in the front of the bolt (you can find a pic on the Wiki-page).<br><br>So, can we together make some decision of what to call a bolt and what to call an arrow? Or maybe just have what I remember BTW call a "Coffeshop engineering-talk"? <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_smile.gif" alt="Smile" longdesc="2"><br><br>//Failure
     
  2. onnod

    onnod Im from Holland, isnt that weird?

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    I've allways used bolts for crossbows and arrows for bows, fletched or unfletched <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_scratch.png" alt="scratch" longdesc="33"><br>The wiki shows an interesting bolt too, i wonder how that shoots, might try to make one just to test.
     

  3. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossbow):<br><br><br><table width="90%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="0" border="0" align="center">
    <tr><td><span class="genmed"><b>Quote:</b></span></td></tr>
    <tr><td class="quote">Bolts do not have fletching, i.e. feathered ends like those commonly seen on arrows.<br><br>Most modern crossbows are designed to shoot arrows instead of bolts. Crossbow arrows are of similar construction as ordinary bow arrows, just shorter in length because of reduced power stroke.</td></tr>
    </table>
    <span class="postbody"><br><br>That is exactly my definition. <br><br>Crossbow bolts are heavy, and most of the weight is in the massive tip. This means they will fly very straight without any fletching. Fletching "simulates" a front heavy projectile by adding wind resistance. <br><br>Bows need a longer draw, because the draw weight is always lower than on a crossbow. A longer draw needs a longer, but ideally lighter arrow. Hence the tip is lighter, too. This means you have to employ feathers/fletching. </span>
     
  4. zwillie

    zwillie New Member

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    Hi Jörg,<br>you mean a bolt is stabillised by the weight distribution and the arrow by aerodynamics?
     
  5. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    Aerodynamics is important in both cases. But the weight distribution works in favor of front heavy projectiles. <br><br>A straight wooden rod with NO metal tip flies 100% perfect with nice fletching. Without fletching, the flight is erratic and unstable. <br><br>A front heavy projectile flies perfect without any fletching. <br><br>Look at the video of my "plungers" (Pümpel). The worst aerodynamics ever. Basically a half sphere with the bowl side to the front. But it flies perfectly well - simply because it is front heavy.
     
  6. Bert the Welder

    Bert the Welder New Member

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    In the spirit of Coffee shop engineering, I'm thinking the slightly turned fletching on some arrows I've seen would produce spin that would also aid in keeping the arrow flying straight. The fletching also provides drag to keep the tail flat. Same affect as with the SS missile ammo with the tufting.
     
  7. pelleteer

    pelleteer Middle Aged Delinquent

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    <table width="90%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="0" border="0" align="center">
    <tr><td><span class="genmed"><b>onnod wrote:</b></span></td></tr>
    <tr><td class="quote">I've allways used bolts for crossbows and arrows for bows, fletched or unfletched <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_scratch.png" alt="scratch" longdesc="33"><br>
    </td></tr>
    </table>
    <span class="postbody"><br><br>Same here. Joerg is correct in an historic sense, but in modern common parlance a bolt is just a short arrow fired from a crossbow. If we're talking about settling on a uniform definition for this forum, then I'm fine with either one. In other words, if we want to refer to fletched crossbow and regular bow projectiles as arrows and super-tip-heavy unfletched crossbow projectiles as bolts, that's cool. Standardization of terminology is always helpful. <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_cool.gif" alt="Cool" longdesc="6"></span>
     
  8. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    Well, a distinction that only refers to the arrow length seems superflous to me. Arrows always come in different lengths. You can actually shoot 32" arrows from most modern crossbows. <br><br>What we do need is a distinction between fletched arrows and unfletched front heavy bolts. <br><br>Plus the wikipedia definition sets the standard. "Common parlance" may differ greatly on a global scale.
     
  9. pelleteer

    pelleteer Middle Aged Delinquent

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    <table width="90%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="0" border="0" align="center">
    <tr><td><span class="genmed"><b>JoergS wrote:</b></span></td></tr>
    <tr><td class="quote">Well, a distinction that only refers to the arrow length seems superflous to me. Arrows always come in different lengths. You can actually shoot 32" arrows from most modern crossbows. </td></tr>
    </table>
    <span class="postbody"><br><br>Very true. <br><br></span><table width="90%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="0" border="0" align="center">
    <tr><td><span class="genmed"><b>Quote:</b></span></td></tr>
    <tr><td class="quote">What we do need is a distinction between fletched arrows and unfletched front heavy bolts.</td></tr>
    </table>
    <span class="postbody"><br><br>I agree. <br><br>Arrow: a fletched projectile fired from a bow, slingbow, crossbow, or slingshot crossbow.<br><br>Bolt: a short, non-fletched projectile fired from a crossbow or slingshot crossbow that relies upon its extreme front-heaviness for guidance.<br><br>I think those are pretty clear definitions and distictions. Perhaps a new sticky in the slingshot crossbow section with definitions similar to those above is in order? <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_scratch.png" alt="scratch" longdesc="33"><br></span>