Last week, I had another bow failure, this one on the range at Gulf Wars. Happily, this wasn’t a catastrophic failure, but was sad nonetheless. The bow had been shooting really well and I was pretty happy with it. This failure happened at the upper limb nock, actually. As you can see, I had chosen to go with the period appropriate longbow side nock, but as I don’t have any antler or horn to work with at the moment, I hadn’t tipped it with the period appropriate horn. The pressure of the string downward on the nock actually split the limb in half lengthwise, rendering it useless. The bow itself is still intact and that’s probably the least dangerous way a bow can break in use, but it was still a sad day. I didn’t even know that could happen! Lesson learned: In the future I would not recommend anyone using the period side nock style unless reinforcing with a horn tip. I’m aware of some non reinforced Native American style bows that have the side nocks and do just fine, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. On the upside, yay for proof positive of the practical purpose of horn nocks!
As per request, here’s a photo of the bow before it became all broken and sad. This was at our baronial championship shoot. I shot in a terribly mediocre manner, but with enthusiasm. The bow itself performed well. I’m actually holding the bow too high at center, because I put my nocking point on in a hurry five minutes before we were supposed to hit the range. 😛 #procrastinator4lyfe