It’s very hard to find a real horn recurve bows for sale from the market as a traditional horn bow takes more time and material to be prepared than the self bow. It is made of wood, sinew and horn laminated together. The horn is on the belly of the bow which faces the archer while the sinew is on the outer wooden core. When the horn bow is stretched it stores far more energy than a self bow and is thus more powerful than it even if smaller in size. However, the details of its manufacture like the materials used varied from one culture to another which used such bows. Every race had their own method to build a horn bow and bows came to be known after the people who used them.
History of Horn Bows
The origin of horn bows is not very clearly known as no archeologists mentioned the type of bows used by ancient man. However, it is believed that horn bows existed in the Before Christ years and originated from the nomadic culture in Northern Asia who modified earlier bows to form them. Later when Aryans invaded them they also adopted this skill of building and using horn bows. In China horn bows are known to exist since the Shang Dynasty which existed around 1100 BCE. They were also adopted by other cultures that came into contact with these nomads from Asia such as the Egyptians and Assyrians.
The bow consists of a wooden core which provides shape and rigidity to the bow. It is usually made up of many small pieces joined together by animal glue in V-splices so that the glue keeps the wooden pieces firmly together. This type of pieced construction helps in providing the desired shape to the arrows making different bending and non bending wooden sections along the length of the bow. The inner side of the bow consists of denser wood for having greater strength and the horn is glued to the belly while the sinew, soaked in glue, is then laid in layers on the outer side of the bow.
Advantages of Horn Bows
The advantages of horn bows include the fact that they are more powerful than self-bows and are more easy to use for an archer where he is in motion for example on a horseback or a chariot. It helps store more energy for the final draw which is due to its unique design. The horn bows are very useful for horsemen and have been specially designed for the skill of flight archery during wars.
Disadvantages of Horn Bow
It is more difficult to make than self bows as it requires a variety of materials. It is more vulnerable to damage by the weather specially rainfall. When compared with a self bow for an archer who is not in motion the superiority of the horn bow cancels out and it is in no way better than the ordinary self bow. Even the feature of being more powerful than a self-bow is cancelled out by the fact that the density of horn and sinew is greater than simple wood.