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axe bow

sharpen bows and do melee combat with them
  [vote for,

It occurs to me that without carrying an extra weapon or weight a longbowman can be made a much deadlier melee fighter should it come to that.

The attachment of a sharpened steel implement to one end of a bow should allow such activity without impeding the arrow- firing part of things at all, as long as the user is trained with that style.

Voice, Jan 16 2013

I knew I'd heard that word before. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axe_bow
Nothing to do with this idea of course. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 16 2013]

Possible visual for [bliss] http://www.lushgrass.com/bow_axe.jpg
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 16 2013]


       I need a visual aide.
blissmiss, Jan 16 2013

       You could probably put a pointy end on it without too many unintended consequentualities.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 16 2013

       Maybe, just maybe, this is valid for something like a steel bowed crossbow, where putting a point and/or edge on it is not completely impractical. It definitely results in a worst of both worlds result for any traditional bow. As [21] said, adding extraneous weight to one limb is a bad idea, and it would be impossible to wield as a spear [per MB] when strung. (And unstringing a bow is a non- trivial operation, even for a long or re-curve bow).   

       You'd be better off trying to use a spare string as a garrote, or, you know, drawing the short-sword that most archery forces carried.
MechE, Jan 16 2013

       Make it pointy on both ends for better balance. Then you might have a combination quarterstaff, spear, javelin (note the difference; spears are often used only for holding/poking, while javelins are always thrown), and bowstave (after attaching the bowstring).
Vernon, Jan 16 2013

       Yeah, because so much of modern life is hand-to-hand combat...
DrCurry, Jan 16 2013

       What's wrong with just running away?
pocmloc, Jan 16 2013

       //What's wrong with just running away?//   

       Cavalry. Tends to run right over unmounted troops if they break formation.
MechE, Jan 16 2013

       Ah, but of course you realise that the taper and mass (or rather inertia) of the limbs is critical to the performance of the bow, right? Heavy limbs, or rather ratio of limb mass to arrow mass means more force, and ultimately kinetic energy goes into accelerating the limbs thus less goes into the arrow.   

       The only analogues I can think of for this would be bayonettes on modern rifles, and perhaps to a lesser extent, the "gunstock war club" - although there appears to be little evidence that they were ever used with both functionalities fully intact at the same time.   

       There's a reason archers used to carry a backup weapon (often a large dagger, sometimes a club) rather than try to bludgeon someone with their fragile, expensive and difficult-to-replace bow.
Custardguts, Jan 16 2013

       Maybe an axe on both end? That converges on that Klingon thingy. This reminds me to post my concept for a bow mounted on the archers helmet, with the string drawn by both hands behind the back.
bungston, Jan 16 2013

       I'm trying to figure out the last time bows and cavalry were used to wage war. Bloody long time ago, I'd suggest. Maybe late 19th century but one side would have had firearms.
UnaBubba, Jan 16 2013

       Cavalry were used in WWII by the Soviets. They were comprised of some ethnic minority... Cossacks? They were rare and effective, but short-lived.   

       I remember this from some war games I used to play years ago. They moved three times the speed of infantry, attacked strongly, but were weak defensively.
Kansan101, Jan 16 2013

       The Polish army used cavalry briefly in WWII, too. German machineguns were very effective against them. The last effective cavalry charge was at Beersheba, in north Africa, in WWI, by the Australian Light Horse, as I understand it.   

       Bows and axes? Tudor times?
UnaBubba, Jan 16 2013

       If you tipped the end of a longbow with points at either end, it might serve the twin purposes of providing a stable grounding point in the earth, providing additional stability and a greater range, as well as meaning the bow could be quickly repurposed as an "Archer's Stake" to repel cavalry such as those used to great effect in the battle of Agincourt.
zen_tom, Jan 17 2013

       //grounding point// given that the bow flexes when the string is released, that's not going to do much unless it's grounded from mid-bow. A bayonet might work well on a crossbow though, except for the usual lack-of-length problem.
FlyingToaster, Jan 17 2013

       Thanks [fries], got it now. + I like the idea.
blissmiss, Jan 17 2013


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