Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pueblo Side-Notch Vs. Meatbeast

Here's what we have to work with
This project took a little while to put together but it's finally finished and I'm pretty happy with it.  Remember when your mother would spend hours cooking a meal and you would slam it down your face in 3 seconds?  Same idea here...except I'm not your mom.

I've also uploaded a super low-fi video 

Walnut Canyon, PSN, PSN, Bonito Notched, PSN

The idea behind this one is to test those little points that were used so frequently by people living in pueblo communities (ca. A.D. 950-1300 in this case).

I wanted to see for myself how the shape of the point, things like a concave base or placement of the notches, affected the function of the arrow as a whole.  I've touched on this before but it needs another mention; the subtle differences in how people combine the necessary attributes of a projectile point directly affect the function of the arrow as a whole.  When you are looking at a projectile point, remember that it was only one portion of a complex weapon system that has seen hundreds of different interpretations over the last 1,500 years or so.  An average date of about A.D. 500 is a commonly accepted age for the rise of widespread bow and arrow use in the Southwest.

On to the test! 

Bonito Side Notch compared to scale illust.
I made five arrows: Bonito Notched (ca. A.D. 950-1150), Walnut Canyon (ca. 1150-1300), Pueblo Side Notch Straight Base (ca. A.D. 1150-1400ish) and two different sizes of the PSN Concave Base from the same period as the other Pueblo Side Notched. 

I used wooden shafts with feather fletching.  I shoot a simple recurve bow with a draw weight at about 45 lbs.  Traditional style shooting requires you to face front on a little more than other bow styles and thereby decreases your draw length and associated arrow shaft length.  All of my arrows were cut to my draw length for traditional shooting at 67cm (26.5in).

Frankfurter's Monster

For the Meatbeast I sandwiched about two pounds of sausage between two racks of pork ribs.  The Sausage is there to simulate the organs within the chest cavity.  I'll shoot the arrows from a distance of 15 yards.  Problem #1: I can see that the thick, closely spaced ribs of a pig will pose a problem.  I'm guessing that the spacing and giant size of the ribs will set me back an arrow or two at least.  Either way, it will be cool to see how these things break.  Impact fractures are awesome and amazingly variable so I keep all broken points cataloged with damage type and cause of breakage for a type collection.

Ohhhh, the Results!
Ummm...nope, it came like that
I'll go ahead and get it out there, all five points are no longer with us.  But! that's a shame that occurred after multiple shots on each arrow.  Well, that's a lie, the larger PSN Concave Base glanced off the hay on the first shot, blew a hole through my deck chair and turned to dust on the leg of another.  That was a bit of an annoyance but still plenty cool to watch.  Is this even legal? ...Meh. 
Oh, see there's your problem right there

The smaller PSN straight base did great.  The stubby sharp blade got through the gristle a few times but then broke after a rough shot through bone and sinew.
look at the before picture, it's in all the way to the sinew!!
The smallest point was made on Edwards Chert from here in TX.  This little thing buried itself about half an inch into a rib and decided to stay in there.  I'm still sort of shocked by how deep that point went into the bone.   

Walnut Canyon finally broke after passing though again

Bonito Side Notched with impact fracture on the tip
The Walnut Canyon Side Notched is my personal favorite out of all this.  The point has a deep concavity along the base with the notches placed high along the blade.  This combination seats the point low in the haft and creates barbs due to the deep concavity.  The high notches create more cutting edge on the back end of the arrow.

This approach is great...the deep concavity makes strong barbs without having to corner notch them in and the high notches create a cutting edge that is securely sandwiched between wood, love it. As far as performance goes, this point did great, someday it might even be able to fell a piece of yard furniture.

Lessons Learned:

1) I'm digging the deep concave base and high side notch combo.  I'll try this again to see if my mind is made up.

2) Remove yard furniture because yes an arrow will go through a hay bale

3) Pigs have thick and wide ribs that make things difficult, notice I did not say impossible.

4) Obsidian points will often splinter and send little bits of shrapnel into the material at hand.  This is a good thing as long as it has already created a decent primary wound. 

And the final lineup: I put these in the same order as the image at the top.


Battle of the Barbs: Foreshafts of Doom.

No comments:

Post a Comment