Product: Weapon: Ice and Snow
Pykrete Arrows   (+6, -1)  [vote for, against]
Make archery projectiles from newspaper and water

On the television show Mythbusters, newspaper frozen into a block was roughly 100 times stronger than regular water ice. They then put soaked newspaper stacks into a freezer to simplify the production process while building a boat.

You might be able to roll a newspaper page into a tight cylinder and soak it, hanging it to freeze. You could make the shaft thinner than you would using ice, since the material is stronger. This hanging might produce a fairly straight shaft, and drips on the end might make a sharp point. For fletching, small newspaper fins might be attached with string while the arrow freezes.

Fiberglass arrows are .1g/cm^3, and I expect Pykrete arrows to weigh roughly 1g/cm^3. Pykrete arrows will lack the flexibility that real arrows have, which will probably destabilize the flight. For these and other reasons, I expect the final arrow to have significantly reduced range and accuracy. But they are cheap, biodegradeable, and easy to make.
-- Ketchupybread, Apr 22 2009

strong is a word with many meanings....
-- WcW, Apr 22 2009

If you used rice paper and flavoured water you could also end up with completely edible arrows so your Heroic Archer could feed the starving after he heroically rescues them from Evil Sheriffs.
-- Aristotle, Apr 22 2009

Nit: the stuff called "pykrete" is made out of ice and wood shavings; the material on Mythbusters was an improvement on pykrete, and didn't really get a name. Mythcrete, maybe?

Why are we trying to do this again?
-- jutta, Apr 22 2009

Also, it would revolutionize the "tie a message to the arrow" trope in movies, as well as the "shoot the messenger" one. Make an arrow from the message, and shoot the messenger!
-- loonquawl, Apr 22 2009

"Why are we trying to do this again?"
It's a set up for a murder-mystery where the detective finds the victim killed by a seemingly innocent piece of rolled-up paper sticking out of his chest.
-- phoenix, Apr 22 2009

This woodwork, but you would need a suitably low temp. quiver (aka the freezer).
-- 4whom, Apr 22 2009

Arrows could be made at the point of firing. A compressed air gun fires the arrow, and the rapid expansion of gas freezes the next arrow. All you need to carry is the newspaper or sawdust and an air compressor, and fire from near a source of water.
-- Srimech, Apr 22 2009

I could see this being useful for besieged defenders of Vladivostok in the winter.
-- bungston, Apr 22 2009

random, halfbakery