AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow" *Update 18 May 2012*

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AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow" *Update 18 May 2012*

Post by angelofwar » Mon May 07, 2012 8:20 am

UPDATE 18 May 2012 (See Bottom of post)

Alright, didn't see this posted anywhere else, but wanted to give you all a simple, no BS, "Build a bow" for worst case scenario hunting. All you need is a A) Stick and B) 550 Cord (yet another use!). I saw David Cantebury build one on a Season-1 Dual Survival, and then read up on it in the Army Survival manual, but here's a DIY with pictures!

Before I start, and all the haters lay into this, this is a no frills basic "get 'er done" bow. With a decent arrow, and little practice, you can kill plenty of small game with this thing at close range. Rabbit, Fish, Racoon, etc. I know there is an art dedicated to this stuff about "you should do this, you should do that", blah, blah, blah. This is for the people that want to give this a whirl and not make a living making and selling hand crafted bows. This is just a simple bow you can easily craft in the wild to survive off if necesary, and, it makes a great Boy-Scout project, or something to do with yer little 'uns.

Ok, start off with a ~6-7' stick, roughly 1" diameter. It should be dead (i.e. not green), but not rotted. Anything you can find/cut in the woods will work...try gradually bending it first for durability. Measure about 6-8" in the center, and this will be your hand piece. From there, gradually whittle/chop/skin the back side of the bow (if the stick has a natural curve, use that), gradually tapering it off, getting skinnier as you get to the ends. You will be leaving the bark on the out-side of the curve (facing away from you)

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Once it has been skinned off, you need to create "notches" at the ends, perpendicular to the length of the bow (a heavy knife/light axe will work fine)

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Once your notches have been cut, tie your 550 cord (~ 6') off to one of the notches (a square knot will work fine); Best done with the bow between yer legs, sitting on a chair)

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Next, flip the bow, and run the 550 cord up to the next notch, going around to the front of the bow:

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Next, wrap the free end UNDER the taught end, and pull it tight, to your left, or right (this keeps tension on the line, and keeps it from slipping)

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Now, here's where you need to "Get it right". Slowly tighten the rope, as you're pushing the handle out with your foot. Get it as tight as you can, with out breaking the stick. Then, secure it with a couple of wraps and a knot, and your bow is essentially done. (If you have too little or too much pull, you can easily undo the 550-cord, loosen or tighten it as needed)

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Next, give it a little test to make sure it will hold up to the pressure:

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Now you have a bow, that with a decent arrow, will easily kill small game 30-40-50 feet away.

I made one for my boys first, and finally made one for myself. 15 minutes, and $.50 of 550 each. Even if you don't make one for your self, they make great "natural" toys for the kids. Let me hear what you think, and please share any photos of your creations! Heck, just let me know if you found this useful!

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Thanks for looking, AOW out.

UPDATE: For flsgear, here's some pics showing what the bow can do with some cheap store bought arrows:

The fence at the back is about 70' away, and here are the arrows in the fence:
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Nothing fancy...the arrows ran me $5.99, and a pack of 5 basic arrow tips $1.59. Here's a few more pics that show, while not the most accurate bow, it still can provide pleny of punch:

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(Notice the one in the 4x4)

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This cooler could easily be a large coon/rabbit...and yes, if you got hungry enough, you'd eat coon...I know I would
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Last edited by angelofwar on Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:09 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow"

Post by flsgear » Mon May 07, 2012 10:37 am

Pretty good post, thanks for the info. Never seen one like this before. Can you get some shots of shooting an arrow/video to give an example of say penetration/accuracy?
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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow"

Post by Raven927 » Mon May 07, 2012 1:10 pm

Tagged for later viewing. Nice topic gonna try this sometime this week.
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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow"

Post by Ad'lan » Mon May 07, 2012 6:13 pm

There was an excellent cartoon in the NFAS Magazine, 'Ultra Primitive' with a guy, saw hanging off his belt, shooting with a raw sapling.

I also have an Anecdote from a member of my old club; who forgetting for his bow on a trip to the Nationals ( :roll: ) made a survival bow, and placed middling in the final scores. Of course, he did this with his matched, hand made, championship arrows...

...and he's an amazing barebow archer anyway.


But, while I think making survival bows is awesome, and both a great skill as well as fun, unless you are packing arrows, or can make 'survival arrows', it's lacking as a survival skill.

I say this because I can make a survival bow, but I'm very rusty on making survival arrows. I think I'll have to get some practice, maybe do another Ad'lan's Guide this summer.



great rough Guide to Survival Bows though, Dave Canterbury's videos are excellent, as is his bundle bow.
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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow"

Post by angelofwar » Tue May 08, 2012 2:03 am

flsgear wrote:Pretty good post, thanks for the info. Never seen one like this before. Can you get some shots of shooting an arrow/video to give an example of say penetration/accuracy?
Thanks. I will try to get a video up for you as soon as I get some decent arrows crafted, or buy an arrow. I've been practicing with tent poles ( :lol: ), but will try to get my hands on some bamboo, or will be on the look-out for decent sticks on my walks.

Anyways, with-out fletchings on the tent, I can easily hit a 1'-1.5' circumference tree from 30-40' away. You can easily sneak up on a rabbit to with-in 15', so I don't see any issues with-it as far as it's intended purpose. But yes, I will try to get a video up, demosnstrating it's usefuleness (or you can check out the dual survival episode from season where they're in Panama, IIRC?). I didn't really watch or read anything to learn how to make it...I saw it once, read about it in the Army Survival Manual, and just kind of free-lanced it.
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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow"

Post by angelofwar » Tue May 08, 2012 2:10 am

Raven927 wrote:Tagged for later viewing. Nice topic gonna try this sometime this week.

Please share your build! Once I start on arrows, I will try to post a basic "How-To" as well, to add to the thread.
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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow" *Update 18 May 2

Post by angelofwar » Fri May 18, 2012 8:30 am

Here's an update at the request of flsgear (note: I did build a couple of home-made arrows...while not the best, by far, they did manage to do there job...the fletchings are the hardest, with the lack of natural bird feathers in my yard...)

The fence at the back is about 70' away:
Image

And here are the arrows in the fence:
Image


Nothing fancy...the arrows ran me $5.99, and a pack of 5 basic arrow tips $1.59. Here's a few more pics that show, while not the most accurate bow, it still can provide pleny of punch:

Image
(Notice the one in the 4x4)

Image

This cooler could easily be a large coon/rabbit...and yes, if you got hungry enough, you'd eat coon...I know I would
Image




If anyone has pic's of there builds, I'd be glad to see them!
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts..."
http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/view ... w#p2141127

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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow" *Update 18 May 2

Post by Tommy345 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:01 am

GREAT! angelofwa
you really a arrow and bows collector.. :awesome:

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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow" *Update 18 May 2

Post by TacAir » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:24 pm

Another resource is "Primitive Archer" magazine. They have a detailed build of some kind of bow every month, and the magazine also has a herbal medicine section each issue as well.

All in all, a fun magazine.

(http://www.primitivearcher.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) and in checking the URL, I find the magazine itself is now available on line. I still buy mine at the news stand.

They currently have a free article posted on making arrows - how congruent.
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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow" *Update 18 May 2

Post by Jeriah » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:45 pm

Fletching for survival arrows is as easy as duct tape. Take whatever you're using as your arrow shaft, whether it's a tent pole, a piece of river cane, whatever, and three strips of duct tape about 6" long. Lay one strip lengthwise along the shaft, at the back where you want your fletching, so that it's centered. About 1" of sticky duct tape should show on either side of the shaft. Then take your second strip, and lay it along the shaft, not opposite the first one but more like (okay, exactly) 120 degrees offset from it. That's "about a third of the way over" for non math types like me. One side of the first strip and one side of the second strip should stick together, face-to-face. So now what you've got is two strips of tape, stuck lengthwise to the shaft, stuck together to create a long rectangular vane that runs the length of the shaft, each strip leaving a sticky piece exposed on its outboard edge. Now take your third piece, run it lengthwise like the other two, and it should stick face-to-face with the sticky strip on either side, leaving you with three, lengthwise, rectangular vanes of duct tape, stuck face-to-face. Trim the vanes into a more "fletching like" shape, whatever you like; I usually do a "half teardrop," round part to the rear. Fletching done.

I know, this is kind of a long explanation for a simple process, but there ya go. It works for atlatl darts, too, if you prefer flight to mass stabilization for those. Oh, and there's obviously other ways to make duct tape vanes, but this is the way I've used.

So bring some duct tape along with your 550 cord.
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AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow" *Update 18 May 2012*

Post by tmoore409 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:56 pm

Dave Canturbery has a videos on his YouTube channel. I think he calls it "The
Witchery Of Archery". It's got several parts to it. It's covers construction, accuracy, and penetration. It also covers different bows he has bought and he's made.

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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow" *Update 18 May 2

Post by angelofwar » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:09 am

Thanks for the link tac-air...interesting stuff. Never thought of duct-tape Jeriah, but come to think of it, I had heard of it before, just never recalled it...now to acquire some bamboo. I plan on watching a few more D.C. videos for some more ideas and to improve a few things. But, all in all, the 15 minute survival bow idea isn't bad.
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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow" *Update 18 May 2

Post by angelofwar » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:00 pm

For the ZS:SC 045 folks, I'll be teaching this during the Congaree Recondo march tomorrow.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts..."
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Re: AOW's "15 Minute 550-Cord Survival Bow" *Update 18 May 2

Post by Zerve » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:27 pm

This is awesome info. Sore something very similar on a website awhile ago so already got some branches to have a play with this. Could someone post something on making survival arrows please? Used the forum search but couldn't find any posts on it if it's already been posted.

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