Performance

Alright, we've got some early numbers for you! Ralph Leitloff bought one of our Manchu bows at Paderbow '14 and put it to the test with a variety of arrows. for the German readers among us, Ralph wrote an impression report of his findings here at www.fletchers-corner.de. Here's a short summary of the numerical data he shared with us.

Ralph tested our 55# @ 36" bow, currently our heaviest model. He used it with a 32" draw length, at which it is around 50#, shot with a Manchu style cylindrical thumb ring. Arrow velocities given are based on a multitude of shots with each arrow to rule out exceptions in release.

Arrow 1 - 192.5 fps
Shaft: Aluminium Easton XX 75 Legacy 2216, length 32´´, diameter 11/32
Point: 175 grains insert point
Fletchings: 3 feathers 26 cm long in Manchu style
Total weight: 40.7 gram / 634 grain
Experience: Arrow too light, loud, handshock.

Arrow 2 - 184.6 fps
Shaft: Aluminium Easton XX 75 Legacy 2219, length 32´´, diameter 11/32
Point: 175 grains insert point
Fletchings: 3 feathers 26 cm long in Manchu style
Total weight: 44.74 gram / 684 grains
Experience: Not so loud, you can feel the speed like an Kaya KTB, less handshock.

Arrow 3 - 177 fps
Shaft: Ash, Spine 80-85, length 32´´, diamater 3/8, symmetric barreld to 23/64´
Point: 125 grains glued point
Fletchings: 3 feathers 26 cm long in Manchu style
Total weight: 48.5 gram / 784 grains
Experience: Handshock reduced to a minimum, but felt slow.

Arrow 4 - 173 fps
Shaft: Birch, Spine 55-60, length 32´´, diameter 323/63, not barrelled
Point: 125 grains glued point
Fletchings: 3 feathers 26 cm long in Manchu style
Total weight: 47 gram / 724 grains
Experience: Not so noisy, you can not feel the speed like arrow 2, shaft not stiff enough.

Thanks Ralph!

Although the speeds given are pretty good for the draw weights, Manchu bows are not designed to be fast bows. Instead are a highly specialized bow design that is developed to propel heavy arrows for high impact hits. This focus becomes apparent when we look at the kinetic energy produced per arrow, which is theoretically the highest of any traditional bow design for a given draw weight:

Arrow 1: 634 grains at 192.5 fps: 70.7 joule.
Arrow 2: 684 grains at 184.6 fps: 70.2 joule.
Arrow 3: 784 grains at 177 fps: 74 joule.
Arrow 4: 724 grains at 173 fps: 65 joule.

For comparison, in the warbow trials where Mark Stretton shot various military arrows with his 140 pound longbow at 32" they reached average kinetic energies of 75, 86 and 92 joule with three different types of arrows. For more information on these tests, see: "A report of the findings of the Defence Academy warbow trials. Part 1 Summer 2005" by Paul Bourke of Cranfield University and David Whetham of King’s College, London in Arms & Armour, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2007.

We encourage other users to also put our bows to the test, even pit them against other Manchu bow replicas in chronograph testing and share the results. We are as curious as you guys at what kind of speeds the different releases and arrow types of practitioners all over the world can produce from our bows!