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See F. Bear, The Archer's Bible (rev ed. 1980).
(1) Until the widespread use of firearms, the principal method used to hit a target at a distance in hunting and war.
(2) One of the oldest forms of shooting for sport. A modern sports bow consists of the shaft and a bowstring. The shaft is made up of two wooden limbs reinforced with fiberglass and a wooden or metal handle equipped with a movable sight, a rest for supporting the arrow, and not more than four stabilizers. The string is made of strong synthetic filaments 3 mm in diameter. Bows average 1,580–1,770 mm in length. The force of the bow corresponding to the maximum allowable effort needed to draw the string is 14–23 newtons (14–23 kilograms-force); this range covers the three sizes established by the International Archery Federation. Special alloys of Duralumin and plastics are used for arrows—shaft, tip (head), and fletching. Arrows are 600–800 mm long and 6.4–8.0 mm in diameter. Bows weigh 1.5–1.6 kg; arrows weigh 15–32.5 g.