Top 5 Medieval Arrowheads

Medieval Arrowheads

The medieval arrows war had at least one contact point to its target of 100 yards (91 meters) for achieving efficiency is necessary to use heavy and slow arrows. A heavy, slow arrow loses much less energy at a given distance than a fast arrow with the same initial kinetic energy.

It is also true that the penetration of an arrow into an armature is not simply a function of the kinetic energy, it is also a function of the power and shape of the point . For a given initial force of the arc, the momentum (force of the impact of the arrow) is complemented by the weight of the arrow. Little effort was made in the Middle Ages to lighten the weight of the arrow, unlike the current standards on arrows and their weights. Likewise the feathered of these was larger than the current canons. Depending on the type of sleeving or fastening to the shaft, we find three types :

1) By stinger or punch that was stuck in the wood shaft with the tip to red, then reinforcing the wooden rod with thread of the type that was, very this system used in Eastern towns.

2) The knife-type tip ends in a flat surface that is inserted into the shaft (like the handle of a knife), reinforcing the shaft with thread.

3) As the last system would be the insertion of the shaft in the body of the tip itself.

What is also known for sure is that all the tips were used very well greased (fat of Ox, goose, etc.), oiled or waxed . This was done to increase its penetration power and not to prevent its oxidation since facing the enemy is more dangerous a wound with an object or rusty edge.

Bodkin Tips

Mainly they were used to perforate the armors , the bodkin took a great variety of forms and measures. The bodkin of the needle took a thin and long form, designed to penetrate the mail and was used early in the medieval period for example in the Battle of Poitiers. I have found some references on hollow needle bodkin, probably to lighten something its weight the back and end that is attached to the shaft of the arrows would be hollow made by crushing the blacksmith the metal forming a cone of sheet metal that later would mold and close to perform the crimp for the wooden stem / shaft.
They were conical, fluted, square and triangular.

These models worked well against the armor of the Roman plate that was converted from time into rings. These models were not generally used for hunting, since they were designed to pierce the armor and man inside and were not specifically the best to immobilize a hunting prey.
They were used at great distances 300/250 yards (275/225 meters).

Broadhead Tips

Broadheads in general are characterized by a broad and flat profile with long cutting surfaces, intended primarily to slice and cut through the meat. The early broadheads used by the Anglo-Saxons were not "barbed" and were used for large hunting animals such as boar, deer and elk as well as against men in times of war.

Broadheads latest models were more often "barbed or wings" so that once the arrow penetrated with movement by the prey, regardless of man or beast, it would cause the continued cutting of tissues and organs through its penetration. When it came to removing a barbed broadhead , one would have to break the stem and the part of the feathers and to push the arrow through the body or the limb to reduce the tearing of the tissues when trying to pull it out in the same direction in the that I enter, by the harpoon effect of its spines or wings of the tip.

The variety of these tips was very broad. Small straight broadheads were used for small-medium parts sizes in hunting and human targets during war. This type was used in the Battle of Bosworth . Practically the hunting tips of today come from these models but without barbs or wings.

Barbed Tips

The wings or barbs of the Broadheads were curved and made longer and curved, thus increasing the cutting surface. These tips flew well, since their wings exert a wide plane of sustentation. The large curved edge cut more easily the muscle and flesh which allowed more bleeding and immobility or block the prey. These were used against horses to severely reduce the mounted advantage of the knights in combat and were used in the Battle of Agincourt.

As mentioned before, they were intended primarily for cavalry, were used against the legs of animals and damaged as much as possible, throwing the horses to a wild panic, to trample possibly the surrounding troops and derive their rider that would be possibly blocked by his armor and equipment. It must be remembered that in the medieval war no target or target was thrown, if not the mass formed in this case by a charge of cavalry, (example 2000 horses x 4 legs = 8,000 legs, a forest practically)

This is one of the reasons why medieval English armies rarely fought on horseback, a variant of the barred swallows is the swallows with longer edges and were used over distances of 200 yards (180 meters).

Horse Galling Head Tips

The bifurcated head is rarely mentioned because its use was not widespread and its use is somewhat confused and imprecise. They were formed with two points that extended forward, the inside of the head was the sharp and cutting surface. There are different theories in its use, including the use in the English ships for the cut that rigging and rope ends for its wide cutting surface, as well as in assaults etc. It is also believed that they were used for the hunting of small birds, and probably their use against horses , to inflict pain on the beasts by producing a double wound, in the hope that they would throw the rider. This type head was used in the Battle of Tewkesbury.

Firebox Head Tips

The incendiary arrows used since ancient times, as you can imagine, were used to light fortresses, urban centers, buildings or wooden buildings. Basically any type of tip or arrow was used, perhaps more importantly flammable or burning material that dragged: Wool, flax, dry grass etc. soaked in oil for example they would be tied behind the point or around it and would allow to light wooden structures. But everything is perfected.

Another model would be the modification of a bodkin including a small cage that allowed to place linen or wool soaked resin (the tip that appears in the image). These arrows were also heated until they were hot, so when thrown and stuck in the dry woods it would start to burn.

All these make great colectors items as well as fun arrow to try out on a range!