Outdoors blog


What is the Difference Between Longbow and Shortbow?

Short bows are lightweight, easy to aim, and portable, while longbows are heavy and have a longer drawback. Lonbows are heavier and can shoot farther. A short bow can fire faster. Longbows have been in use for an extended time in movies and even in actual life. They differ in range, speed, portability.

Although the longbow is the most common, especially the English bow, it is essential to note that short bows exist and have their advantages for their use in warfare. Genghis Khan horse riders commonly used small bows. These bows were used in guerilla warfare to do traps, captures, and other mobile forms to attack.

The large and small bow is better and good, but it depends on the situation and purpose. Be it target shooting or weapon hunting. It is challenging to know the better arrow unless you know the intended use. So let’s compare the two in the following categories, speed, range, draw length, power, hunting practicability, portability, and cost.

Longbows-what are longbows

Lowbows are primarily portrayed in old films as weapons for archers defending the palace gates from the torrent of attacking troops. Although seen in movies, the sentiments are true because the longbow was the archers’ weapon of choice during medieval Europe until the introduction of firearms.

So what is a longbow?

A longbow is a single bent measuring around 1.5 meters or about five feet in length. The bow was designed to fit an average-sized person to draw back an arrow with less than half of the wingspan. However, the English longbow used in battle during the medieval period was somehow more extended than the ordinary longbow.

The Japanese also came up with their longbow different from that of Europe. Still, the bow is almost similar to the European bow, only that the Japanese’s is longer. It measures around two meters and above and is primarily used in the Kyudo combative arts.

This Japanese yumi had a ridiculous flex as it was made from bamboo. Initially, Japanese and European longbows were made from various wood types, but nowadays, there are longbows made from glass, wood, and fiberglass. There are others made from multiple materials in the form of covered or composite bows.

Short bows – what they are

Short bows are technically not supposed to be longer than 5.5 inches and usually measure six feet long. They have shorter draw lengths than longbows; therefore, they can’t fly far but still were useful in warfare. Shorter bows allowed users to shoot multiple projectiles pretty fast and allowed them to form from protected areas like behind trees.

Range refers to how far one can shoot an arrow accurately. Modern longbows have a range of around one hundred meters, equivalent to two hundred yards. While the modern-day short arrow with a draw weight of eighty to one hundred pounds has an effective shooting range of between fifty to one hundred and fifty yards.

Shooting speed is how fast a user can get a shot off and how many shots they can fire in a specified time. The small bow is always the best for shooting speed because it takes a shorter while to draw. Longbows are slow as they’re clunkier, heavier, and not simple to maneuver.

When it comes to pointing and shooting, both short and longbow have their perks. Each of the two has its pros and cons in archery. For the longbow, it is heavier and, therefore, less movement after shooting, which alters the arrow’s aim. This heaviness can make it hard for the archer to maintain a common purpose for an extended period.

On the other hand, a short arrow has a more effortless drawback and lightweight hence more straightforward to hold constant while pointing at a predetermined target. But, though the drawback is more effortless, it does not go far than a longbow.

A longbow always has a longer draw length than a shorter arrow. This draw length makes the longbow accurate but again slower. A short bow has less draw length hence easy to fire quickly.

Short bows have smaller sizes and are easily portable, while a longbow is large and heavy on carrying.

The cost of these two arrows is almost equal, but the shorter ones are a bit cheaper.