Why not use Bows if Muskets are so inaccurate?
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Why not use Bows if Muskets are so inaccurate?

August 15, 2019


Well, let’s talk about bows and muskets. Now in my Napoleonic infantry video, many people noted, “why use muskets at all if they’re so inaccurate?” Well there are many different factors actually to consider here. First off, damage. A musket ball does tissue damage and inflicts a major shock on the person who’s wounded. And for an arrow actually, the main issue with an arrow is if it hits you, if it hits something important like artery or something it inflicts major damage, but without that the damage is actually limited. They are more for incapacitating the combatant later on, because the barb usually sticks in and it’s hard to remove. But, you can get hit with an arrow in battle and still continue to fight whereas a musket ball, this is rather difficult to handle. Now the next thing is of course, which is very often mentioned, is training. For instance crossbows were to a certain degree introduced because they were easier to train people with than with bows. Of course there’s some discrepancy because some people think okay, actually the training part is not that vital and also a musket is quite complicated to handle all the stuff, how to load and everything. But there’s another thing that’s very important which is attacked later on. It’s there’s a different methodology. Basically, arrows were, or bows were mostly used in indirect fire role verses muskets were used line of sight. So there’s a complete different training and approach to everything. Now another aspect is very important is logistics. Because arrows, mass-producing arrows is quite complicated. Arrows were made by arrow fletchers and this is a quite complicated process, whereas gunpowder and musket balls were way easier to mechanize, mechanize the production in large-scale and the same goes for supply. Arrows in bulk, they need a lot of space, whereas powder and musket balls can easily be put in less smaller spaces. So, supply and logistics is always an important factor in major scale warfare. For Robin Hood maybe that’s not so important. And, speaking of Robin Hood, let’s look at accuracy. The thing is, archers mostly fired volleys in indirect fashion in a large amount. The same goes for muskets, rows are firing in a large amount, but so accuracy is less important. You don’t go out like Robin Hood and shoot one soldier at a time. You firing at mass of enemy infantry or enemy archers. It’s just, it’s mass combat, so accuracy is less important. And it was also not very high considering that you fire in an indirect way with an arrow. Now the next is of course rate of fire. Bows have a higher rate of fire well theoretically. Because, over the stretch of a long battle, the exhaustion is probably quite high. The thing is with a bow you have in order to aim, even if you’re commanded to do so in volley fire, you have to hold it for a while. And this causes exhaustion whereas a musket, you can aim, quite long. It’s just the weight of the musket and not the whole form and we noticed that skeletons of archers usually were a bit disformed from the bone structure and everything so this was quite a heavy job. And, there’s also another factor here, which you can say, well it really depends. While you’re going for peak performance at a certain point for instance a high rate of fire for like a few minutes. If this is really what you’re going for you’re probably better off with archers. But if you want to have a consistency over a long time you probably better off with muskets. Of course there could be other factors I haven’t considered yet. But this is always the trade-off, you go in for peak performance for a certain amount of time, then how long? Or you go for consistency over a long time. And the consistency is, I think, more provided by the musket. And there’s of course then the effect of weather where many people note, “well, if there’s rain, then your musket will not fire.” That’s correct, but the sinew of your bow will also not work. Because, they don’t work if they are wet or they get damaged. So, and the same goes with wind. An arrow is more affected by the wind than a musket ball. And now the final point is morale. If somebody gets hits to you in combat. Next you have an arrow it, he probably screams and everything, but if it gets hit near musket ball, the shock and everything is way higher, and we also need to consider the time. We all know now, Fireweapons they’re quite common, but back then they were not that common there was no video or stuff. Suddenly the guy next to you drops, and you can’t see why, it’s probably also quite, has a greater impact on morale, than if just drops and you see the arrow or something. Then also is the passing noise. The noise is really important because we have, I think, a born fear of loud noises and arrow is pretty silent, worse, gunshots are not. So if you’re charging an enemy and suddenly they fire at you and a few people of your comrades drop and all you see smoke and loud noises; this is quite different than if you charge and there’s a few arrows coming, or many arrows, and a few of your guys drop. The morale impact is way different. The loudness, the passing noise, and when suppression fire. I don’t know if you can do suppression fire with arrows, because it’s about psychologically impact. But with a musket, I think, it’s at least easier to do. So I hope this cleared up a few questions that were ringing around in my comment section. Also be sure to check out my video on Napoleonic infantry warfare. Or, my video on the medieval archer. Note, those are a little bit older, but I think they still quite valid. Thank you for watching and see you next time.

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  2. Muskets are not less accurate than bows. You can hit a man at 70m without problem. You need a good amount of training with a bow to achieve the same. Musket tactics of line warfare just made aiming less imprtant. The musket fitted with a bayonett also serves as spear. You need no extra melee weapon. The bow is useless in close combat and also very cumbersome, if you dont drop it in melee. Btw. strong war bows wer also often used in direct fire, but they couldnt defeat the best late medieval armour. Thats why early fireams, beside all their shortcommings, became more and more prominent.

  3. I have,handled these weapons for twenty years . Trust me at 50 yards you can hit a man with ease with a,musket. its certainly not a rifle ! some times hitting something makes it think o perhaps I should be some other place. 😃

  4. Yes the thing is it takes many years to learn how to fire a bow , wile a village fool can learn how to fire a musket in less than a weeks times. The thing that takes about 6 weeks would be formation marching in mass . say you have 500 men you can fire 1500 rounds a minutes with that,many soldier's. Of course your constraint would be number of rounds carried by each man .

  5. I still think a small unit of elite archers operating as light infantry would have kicked ass in napoleonic combat. Sort of like a higher rate of fire version of the rifles. The main reason I can think of for it not being feasible is the logistics of keeping a small unit supplied with arrows. They'd use a lot and arrows are very bulky and extremely expensive to make

  6. ahahaha an arrow will go over a hill… 1000 men with crossbows can be devastating over any obstacle

  7. ahahah mortars use line of sight.. arrows can too..arrows have better range and 1000 archers can hide behind a hill , shoot over 2 hills and never be hit

  8. youre insane.. bows are deemed archaic or primitive.. if youve ever been under fire by a 1000 archers , you would always be in fear

  9. Also, if bows were used in any significant number, armies could quickly give their troops some mail armor or something similar, or even something simple like squares of sheet metal sewn onto shirts, that would make arrows much less effective. muskets would still punch through that in most cases though.

  10. One advantage of firearms is that even early on they could go through armor at close range. This put armored men and armored horsemen out of business. Killing became democratic.

  11. Going off Lindebeige's video on how many people were actually able to shoot to kill, and his research on the civil war, where muskets were used, but apparently 99% of the soldiers didn't fire directly. I'd say this is where arrows come in handy, because when firing a volley, you aren't actually aiming at the enemy, which would completely eliminate this, and you also won't know whether it was your arrow that did the killing either, so you're effectively increasing your efficiency from 1% to 99% just by using bow and arrow.

    As fir arrows being affected by wind, this is rather negligible if you're shooting in volleys.

  12. So that's how the English made their colonies. They were firing muskets against people with bows. Clever chaps…

  13. Not quite sure you're right about this. Damage. A bodkin tipped Longbow shaft has enough kinetic energy to drive through three inches of oak. Its weight is not far off a musket ball of the Napoleonic wars. Thats a lot of force and you only have to kill a man once. A musket was designed to pierce armour, when the armour was removed the power wasn't reduced so much of shot thrown around Napoleonic battlefields was over kill.

    Napoleonic soldiers had no protection whatsoever. So now the musket is largely redundant and that arrow coming in at a ballistic angle its hitting heads and shoulders, brains and lungs, which is man down or out of the fight.

    The main advantage of using Longbows at Waterloo lets say is rate of fire, range and cover. 1,000 Archers @ 12 rounds a minute = 12,000rpm. Thats equivalent to an AC47. 1,000 musketeers @ 3 rounds per minute is 3,000 rpm. Not bad, two MG42s worth.

    However only the first three ranks can really fire muskets so either you have a long thin line with all its attendant mobility issues and vulnerability or only 1/3rd of you men can fire on the enemy. So thats 1,000rpm, or one and a half BARs.

    A Solider lying down is almost invulnerable to musket fire, not so the Longbow. A musket is short range line of sight, accurate to 50 yards and lethal to maybe 100 yards. If you could see that far after two volleys. A Longbow arrow (powered by a lifelong practiser of the art) can reach out to 400 yards, and can be fired from a reverse slope, cover from view or breastwork.

    As far as the fear factor comes in. Desertion during battle is very rare, the discipline and instant retribution of officers and NCOs too brutal. What instills fear in soldiers has to be greater than that threat from their own. Sound does not come into it, what stops men is failure to make progress.

    Our two 1,000 men battalions facing each other. The Musketeers have to survive 300-350 yards of killing ground at 12,000 rpm before they could get to grips with the Archers. Who can pop behind cover and keep up their fire when engaged. I wouldn't want to face those odds.

    So why not use Longbows? They were unable to pierce armour from the late 1300s. They Still had a confuse and suppressive capability up to the late 1500s, but when the firelock dismounted the armoured knight the game changed, and they were discarded. Very quickly the skill and strength was lost. It took a lifetime to rebuild, and that wasn't available in 1815.

    If Wellington had had Henry Vs 5,000 archers at waterloo. It would have been over in a few hours.

  14. Nah, my man, I am pretty sure that the principle reason why Muskets and not arrows can be seen in Europe when gun power weapons were slowly taking prominence over arrows. IE, it because STUPIDLY EASY for the opposing gunpowder force to notice that their enemy is using arrows, and like wise to swiftly fashion large mobile shields, pavasives (can't spell and spell check wants to kill me) for example such as was using historically by crossbowmen, and carried by early musket men for similar reasons.

    This observations becomes even more so the case when you realize that bows suck a dick in forested terrian and urban fighting, making it even easier for a suprised force of musket men to find some cover and smarten up (make shields) rather quickly.

    Furthermore, in early gun-power times, similar tactics where used where gun-powder units were combined with Pike men, pavasives, and a think "go fuck yourself" breast plate. Mostly to counter enemy Calvary and archers still common place in European warfare at the time. With the need for such armor and the "buddy" system of "tank and spank" disappearing as guns got better and better.

    Point being: Even if an enemy army could theoretically snap its fingers and convert its conscripted mass produced troops into elite, highly trained, bowmen who could sustain for hours maximum fire rare and who had unlimited ammunition… such an army would be just a little back tracking in tactics and kit away by a full musket army from a major defeat. IE, all such an army would have to do is back the fuck up, find some woods or housing, rip off the doors / fashion some shields out of what is at hand, reform the old buddy system, and smuck such an archer force as it was done so effectively in the past… all be it this time with MUCH better guns.

    Thus IMO it is far more to do with the easy of counter + difficulty of supply / training that are the key factor in why guns beat bows. And while we laugh at seeing a mass of men with no armor or shields marching slowly around in a tight formation firing their weapons 3 times a minute and marvel at how rapped they would get to massed long-bow fire… bounce back a couple hundred years when such armies where marching around with armor and shields smucking archers and you go "oh… right…". Just my thoughts.

    Other fun things of note, cross-bows had already proven their superiority over bows for similar reasons and using similar tactics. And no one is arguing "why not crossbows over muskets" 😛 because objectively the musket is a just a WAY better crossbow.

  15. The most important thing this german has forgotten is indeed that the haeviest arrow could not penetrate armour but any musket ball could penetrate the heaviest armour. Pistol rounds were still stopped by heavy armor as shows cap 'n ball on youtube.
    Bleigeschosse aus einer Muskete durchdrangen immer jede Art von Ruestung und Pistolen durchdrangen auch ab und zu schwere Ruestungen.
    Armour was no longer effective against muskets and severely damaged by pistol lead balls.

  16. wtf training with a longbow is a lifelong lesson. learning how to operate a musket would take a couple weeks max

  17. Bows would still be more efficient on horseback. For instance, Manchu horsemen used bows while defeating Dzungars armed with muskets according to some contemporary paintings. Wonder why Dzungars switched to muskets. Seeing some youtube video, skilled archers seem to be able to shoot 10 arrows in a minute or even more while galloping.

  18. The consistency over a long time argument is wrong because the most effective tactic for Napoleonic era musketeers was to fire one volley and then charge, just shooting at each other across a field wasn't much of a thing

  19. All true points, but I agree most of all with the noise and morale aspect. As described by a chronicler, the sound of 1-3 thousand muskets will eliminate the noise of all the cannons on the field. Additionally, the sheer power of the shot boosts your own morale, even though a group of grenadiers with bayonets for example, or cavalry with sabres, is superior in purely combat prowess aspect alone. Even in modern day, though a bladed weapon will be more effective at ranges of up to 30 feet(contrary to popular imagination) according to police research, the gun remains a preferred choice due to the perceived power it gives you more than actual reality of it's ineffectiveness at close range in real practice away from video games. Similarly, even though a bow in skilled use can potentially/in theory inflict greater casualties, it will not win you battles where morale is more important than skill, just like in any combat situation in real life, be it war, or street fight. And since logistically speaking, the musket can be more mass produced than bows, this means, you can field far more troops for battle, further increasing your own moral and decreasing theirs. Furthermore, additional troops fielded means more shots being fired and more arrows that are required to be made to counter it, improving kill rate for your troops while increasing "tankiness" of your army. Overall, a very superior weapon strategically, even if tactically not so much.

  20. Is there anyone think of this reason, the mass production, by the level of production in 18th century they can produce guns and ammo in very mass production also the militia can practice and use it easier than bow.

  21. This was a pretty good explanation I think, I commonly hear that muskets have higher penetration than arrows but that is in fact not the case, even with modern guns, arrows have higher penetration, there are a few videos that showcase this as well, essentially the heavier the projectile the higher it's penetration is going to be relative to it's velocity. If you use steel bolts rather than arrows, you'll get ridiculous penetration; modern archers will sometimes use such 'steel arrows' with compound bows.

    I think the main factor that makes the musket superior to the bow in combat is the stopping power or as you called it, tissue damage. Arrows don't have very much stopping power, they pierce you kind of like a knife, but a musket ball or bullet will not pierce nearly as deep, and by itself doesn't do much damage, but the stopping power will deal damage to all the surrounding organs whether they were hit or not in a certain radius.

    Thus an archer can only kill with an accurate shot in a critical area, but a musket can kill with only a 'close enough' shot near the critical area, you don't need to actually hit the heart with a bullet to damage it, you just need to hit somewhere really close to it, but the arrow needs to be dead on. The bows are essentially precision instruments when compared to guns which are weapons of brute force. Unless you get armor piercing rounds, then it's the best of both worlds.

  22. Could have added the fact that during the age of the bow there was alot of armor that could negate its effects while when the musket came around this made all heavy metal armor obsolete.

  23. Well, cossacs in siberia were obligated to use 50/50 muskets and bows in some places even untill the end of 19th century. Maybe it could be just an outdated standard, but still.

  24. Another factor, sometimes overlooked, is that some European armies despised the bow as a coward's weapon. The gun was a peasant's weapon, often shunned by nobles on the battlefield, but the peasants thought they were cool. It was easier to get (some) generals and infantry to agree to use guns once systems were though out to do so.

    I think it would be interesting to do one of those "thought experiments" about an all-archer army during the early gunpowder era: could it be done? Probably.

  25. A factor often overlooked is that of social change. With the expansion of towns and industry shifting from rural to urban fewer people were being trained in the making and use of bows. The bow was primarily a hunting weapon which was less important in a growingly urban and industrial economy. You say a musket was complicated but actually, training to use a bow effectively could take many years which is why it was law in England to train in its use from a young age it was so important for Englands defense. However, with the evolution of metal working and the shifting in population from country to towns and cities you could train large numbers of men over a short period of time to use muskets where people no longer had access to the skills or had the time to train in the use of bows.

  26. Big missing point. Shield which is cheap and easy to make is adequate protection from arrow. There was no technology capable of stopping musket.

  27. Armour plays a big part too, the coats the musket men wore were usually designed to offer basic protection from Bayonets. This armour was also effective against arrows at ranges further than about 30m. Muskets are simply better in every regard except rate of fire.

  28. Lifelong archer and bowhunter (30+ years) – From zero to 300yds, a long bow is more accurate than an era muzzle loader. I've regularly shot 400+ arrows from my 73lb longbow in an hour long session and that's walking to and from the target and pulling my own arrows. In my 20's I could shoot like that for hours on end without fatigue, the way you might talk a walk or ride a bicycle. At the distances and density that early muzzle loader armies faced off, I know what weapon I would have preferred.

  29. A tidbit from the hunting fields:
    Dull arrows are miserable wounders.
    Truly sharp arrows + torso hits = extremely lethal.

  30. A 10 year old can strip, assemble and fire an AK with a few hours training. Guns are lowest denominator weapons. Was law for all Englishmen to own and train with bow. So gun not the first weapon of the masses. Peasant revolts in England always had enough archers to scare off nobles bent on teaching peasants a lesson. But they trained every Sunday from 16 to 60. Wellington asked for bowmen but not enough existed or could be trained in time.
    An illiterate pre-teen can effectively use some of the best military weaponry available to common soldier.
    Same illiterate pre-teen would be a young adult before being truly proficient with a bow.

  31. Because a bowman is a highly specialized position in an army, unlike popular conception, it takes years, and up to a lifetime to master and use effectively in war, where as with muskets you can levy every able bodied male in your city, or sweep the countryside, press them into service, arm them, and then get your Prussian Mercenary task-master to train them up within a few very long, and stressful days, and you will have men able to at least line up, and use their weapons semi-competently. It was about mass production and population growth, the cities boomed, and with them had lots of surplus man power, so the aristocrats formed their Gigantic Armies, and went to war with each other. The musket was a weapon anyone could learn to use decently in a weekend, a week or two learning how to stand and march and fight in rank, then march off to our destiny!!!!!
    ON a totally unrelated topic, look up the Bayreuth Dragoon's, and what they did at the battle of Hohenfriedburg. And you and your friend's aspire too the same!!!!!

  32. Muskets are better at piercing armor than bows. Also arrows might have had more of a psychological effect if they were on fire.

  33. if muskets never came about bows would eventually become generally useless anyway as the average soldier was becoming very well armored in the late middle ages

  34. Broadheads kill by puncturing the chest cavity and lungs causing them to collapse usually withing 20 seconds or so. A 170lb longbow throwing a mini spear as they did was just as or more lethal than the early firearms of the day but it was just much cheaper to have the troops use muskets in the long run. Cheaper to train, cheaper and much more compact ammunition that also took no skill to remanufacture in the field if needed. Fletching, sharpening, binding etc all replaced with simple casting anyone can do.

  35. simple: harquebusiers and later musketeers were paid less. cross-bow men charged usually 5 times more for their services.

  36. If u think of it the heavy mg of ww2 and Ww1 is sort of the machine version of a bunch of archers, indirect fire that can shoot over the heads of advancing infantry

  37. actually if you're talking about psychological Arrows had a worse effect than musketry British troops recorded this fact when fighting in India

  38. Cool video they also fired arrows with gun powder ouch.imagine that i think even better than a musket ball and todays tank amo uses a similar technique to a arrow and its flechers from one of the vids i saw.

  39. muskets do more morale damage than bows

    when your enemy's morale reaches zero you've won the battle without having to kill every single last of them!

  40. 1. Muskeets were especially effective against heavy armoured units such as heavy knight cavalry.
    2. Different amount of time of training an archer and a musketeer – years in first case and probabky a few weeks with a musketeer.

  41. "Why not use Bows if Muskets are so inaccurate?" because muskets WEREN'T that inaccurate. The myth that they were less accurate than they really were, was started by rifle dealers. Rifle manufactures in the 19th Century wanted to promote their new products and convinced gullible people that smoothbore muskets were extremely inaccurate. Most people don't even bother looking at tests, and just glibly tell you how inaccurate muskets were.

    Test done by the Prussian army in Napoleonic wars on muskets showed:
    Target= 6 foot high 30 feet wide
    @160 Yards 32% hits
    @320 Yards 21% hits

    It would take YEARS for an archer to learn to be that good. Being strong was only important for archers that fought armoured enemies, because they needed more powerful bows to beat their armour. But 18th century armies fought archers in Asia and America several times, and none of them said anything about them being good weapons.

    It was mainly stress related human error that cause such bad accuracy in Napoleonic battles, and that would be just as bad for the longbow.

  42. basiclly this bows vs musket is the same as 7.62 vs 5.56
    7.62 kills the target
    5.56 incapacitate the target

    edit: dmg wise only

  43. Were muskets really inaccurate? Watched a video showing how soldiers were deliberately not aiming at each other, leading to a serious drop in acc vs training were accuracy was much better.

  44. That indirect shooting by archers thing is a myth that had been debunked numerous times. It is repeated a lot in 1950s British movies about the 100 years war, but it is proven to be untrue.

  45. essential reading Sir John Smythe ,Certain Discourses 1590. Discussed this very issue then. So to add some more snippets. A musket man can be in a state of semi starvation and" still load and fire his piece if he still hath enough strength". A semi starved weakened archer could not .I hope I do not clumsily insult any readers by pointing out that soldiery were often poorly fed. Musket balls will go through armour, arrows will bounce off. At very close range muskets will shoot in a straight line, arrows deviate in a curve away from a straight line, prior to returning to the aimed line(if someone reads this please explain the physics, my maths is useless). A musket man can carry quite a lot of ammunition powder and shot for about 60 rounds seems typical for a British Napoleonic period infantryman, 60 arrows is dungeons and dragons territory. A musket ball has a good chance of bringing a horse down an arrow is unlikely to. An unpleasant aside. During the age of linear musketry tactics common injuries (often fatal following infection) were soldiers being hit by flying bone shards and teeth from their fellows near them being hit in the head or face by ball or shot.

  46. It's pretty obvious – when they shoot arrows at you – what you do? You cover yourself with some kind of shield, and you're safe. I guess it's not that easy to cover yourself from musket bullets.

  47. It's also worth noting that Native Americans also quickly adopted muskets in lieu of the bow, not for reasons of training or logistics, but because one on one against a bow it was a superior weapon.

    We have a first hand account from a skirmish between two Native American forces, one with a musket and one with a bow:

    "The War Chief was close to us, anxious to see the effect of our guns. The lines were too far asunder for us to make a sure shot, and we requested him to close the line to about sixty yards, which was gradually done, and lying flat on the ground behind the shields, we watched our opportunity when they drew their bows to shoot at us, their bodies were then exposed and each of us, as opportunity offered, fired with deadly aim, and either killed, or severely wounded, every one we aimed at."

    https://bowvsmusket.com/2017/04/30/saukamappee-plains-indians-use-guns-in-battle-for-the-first-time/

  48. You also have to think the factor in training of ease of Entry. People nowadays really underestimate the upper body strength required to use a "war" bow with any amount of competence. I have a 60 pound recurve bow and it's quite humbling to know that a bow used for war starts at twice the draw strength as mine.

    In comparison you could take a green recruit and in an hour or two he will be able to at least competently be able to shoot a musket.

  49. Why not have a mix of both trained archers and riflemen to take advantage of the effectiveness of mass arrows at longer ranges and then close with the muskets. Even with coordinated barrage fire. Muskets still had to close to a range shorter than that if an effective arrow barage.

  50. Benjamin Franklin lobbied the Continental Congress to create battalions of bowmen, noting that a bow had about the same range as a musket and could be fired much faster. In the end they rejected his ideas, but consider the Battle of Trenton, where the colonials could not use muskets because their powder was wet and were reduced to their pikes and bayonets. The Germans did surrender in the end, but I think 100 bowmen would have convinced them much faster.

  51. I have watched many of your videos. I was disappointed by this one, it definitely wasn't up to your usual standards of research.

    1. Speaking as one who has worked in law enforcement, specifically in ballistics, your assessment of the comparative damage of musket balls and arrows was way off. The difference it not how much tissue damage is inflicted or any kind of shock to the biological system. The difference is the ability to penetrate the armor. The arrows from longbows were able to penetrate the armor of the French knights at Poitiers and Agincourt. After that however the armor became thicker and longbows lost their effectiveness. By contrast, steel armor thick enough to stop a bullet would be heavy enough to prevent the knight from walking, riding or even mounting a horse. Short bows had even less effectiveness against armored opponents.

    2. The other major issue is training. There is no dispute about that. It is simple historical fact. The strength training alone to pull a longbow, with 100 to 150 pound pull, required months or years to accomplish. Don't forget, to fight a battle the archer had to draw the bow repeatedly, all day long, sometimes as much as ten or twelve hours. That's even before we consider training them for accuracy, close order drill, etc. Historically, a company of musketeers could be trained in eight to thirteen weeks, about the same as modern boot camp for the various armies of the world. How long would it take you to train to do several hundred reps over the course of twelve hours with a weight of 150 pounds? (about 68 kg) How much time would you have to spend in the gym to accomplish that? And remember, once you've completed the strength training then we have to do boot camp to learn accuracy, marching (close order drill) etc.

  52. Well if we're talking psychology and fear, wouldn't it be more effective to fire clowns and spiders at the enemy? Or spiders dressed as clowns.

  53. Basically Bow n Arrow needs more training. But that’s why they fire in mass groups.
    But thanks to Muskets, it advance weapon technology by switching to gunpowder.
    We had Bow n Arrows for 2000+yrs and only moved up Crossbows and Long Bows.

  54. Great video I didn't realize the psychological effect a musket has on the opposing Army and also I didn't think about the conservation of energy a person firing musket versus somebody shooting arrows, a lot less training a person needs to fire muskets, and also much more faster to raise and train an army

  55. Because you don't need to be able to judge distances, have strong muscles, stand up straight or conserve arrows with muskets.

  56. Good points! But you also forgot that muskets allow you to put bayonet and use them as melee weapons too especially anti-cavarly while bows are useless at melee the bowman will have to carry extra weapon to defend himself which affects the combat effectivness and mobility

  57. Muskets cheaper than bow I think, and can be mass produced easier more efficient.
    Plus learning musket is way easier than learning how. That way you can arm literally a peasant with a musket and get a proper soldier

  58. Before watching:
    Training for Bows takes way too long. The requirements for body strenght in particular are massive.
    This is part of the reason we started using crossbows. And muskets are really just crossbows that use explosions to move the projectile.

    In retrospect, humanity likes to add explosions to stuff. Ranged Weaponry. Movement. Somehow that made both of them better.

  59. Looking purely at the tactical value, a bow would be less effective against cavalry due to the slower velocity, and muskets with bayonets would be more effective fighting off cavalry should they charge the line than whatever an archer may carry.

    However, if you gave me the choice of the two for plain ranged attack… archers, no contest. I would put the reasons archers fell out of fashion down to training, mass manufacturing, and greater consistency of range/damage within a unit, plus of course ever-improving gun technology.

  60. The whizzing sound of musket balls being touched on is great: this had been the whole point of whistling arrows that were more for hurting morale then flesh.

  61. I've been a field archer for 40 years. Exhaustion is a factor but it is of course a Holywood myth that bows were held at full draw to aim or to await a command to shoot in a volly. You draw and shoot a heavyweight warbow almost in one action, like throwing a ball.

  62. I think you glossed over the ease of use/training issue. This is by far the greatest factor. To use a bow with a draw weight significant enough to potentially penetrate armor takes years of training to attain proficiency; you even mentioned the deformed skeletons of archers. It took weeks to train someone to be proficient with a musket. Suddenly, you could round up the least productive members of society, including the nobility, and have basically an instant army. This allowed the creation of larger armies.

  63. Well, this whole thing is BS…A Brown Bess had a muzzle velocity of around 600-650 fps, which means at around 150 yards, the velocity of the ball was under 500 fps and at 250 yards around 350 fps. Now, the average soldier would be lucky to hit a barn, and even if he did not too much catastrophic damage would be done. Battle arrows did not necessarily have barbed arrowheads but instead had 1/3 inch diameter spikes on the tips that were about 4 inches long and even at 200 yards would penetrate all the way in. An archer could loose12-15 arrows per minute and well trained ones much more than that. With a long bow, a killing shot could be made out to 350 yards or so, or at least a shot that could cripple a foe with a head, shoulder, arm or chest shot. No, they didn't use bows because they thought of them as archaic and anachronistic and so not worth their time as they were a "modern army". Big mistake. Many times our frontiersmen would use bows to great effect against the French, British and native Americans. You see, they were more concerned about effects than political correctness. And used arrows could be retrieved and reused a number of times, unlike musket balls. Just sayin'…

  64. They're not even that innaccurate. 100m effective range with the early colonial era brown bess, around 200m with a kentucky long rifle, and around 300m with the civil war era muskets. Pretty damn good for the time if you ask me

  65. As The Iron Bull put it " Long bows are better no question about it , but it takes years to get good with one. Any idiot who can point can do damage with a C̶r̶o̶s̶s̶b̶o̶w̶ "

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