The Turkish Bow - Construction
Length of bow, measured, before it is strung, from end to end along
its outer curve with a tape, 3 ft. 9 in. (AAAAA fig. 1., opposite page.)
Span of bow, measured between its ends when strung, 3 ft. 2 in. (BB
Length of bow-string, 2 ft. 11 in.
Greatest width of each arm of bow, 1 1/8 in.
Thickness of each arm, at a distance of 6 in. from the centre of the
handle of the bow, 1/2 in.1
Circumference of each arm, at a distance of 6 in. from the centre of
the handle of the bow, 3 in.
(The arms of the Persian, Indian, and Chinese composite bows have a
width of from 1 1/2 to 2 in.; and though the span of these bows, when strung,
is from 4 to 5 ft. and more, they do not shoot a light arrow nearly so
far as the shorter, narrower, and in proportion far stronger and more elastic
The strength of the bow, or the weight that would be required on the
centre of the bow-string to pull it down from the bow to the full length
of the arrow, is 118 lbs. (This is without taking into account the additional
two or three inches the point of the arrow should be drawn within the bow
along the horn groove.)
Weight of bow, avoirdupois, 121/2 oz.
Though I have carefully examined over fifty of these small Turkish bows,
I have never seen one that exceeded 1 1/4 in. in width at its widest
part, or if measured with a tape along its outer curve, when unstrung (AAAAA,
fig. 1), was over 3 ft. 10 in. in length. Bows that are 4 or 5 in. longer
than the dimensions here given are invariably of Persian or Indian manufacture,
and are inferior in the elasticity that is requisite for long-distance
shooting, though in decoration and construction they often closely resemble
1 In the very powerful bows, such as the one
shown in Fig. 15, p. 21, the thickness at these parts is from 5/8 to 3/4