Guns, guns, guns. They’re everywhere but as much as I love them, in all their different shapes and sizes. As much as I love all you can do with them. When the SHTF I’m of the opinion that having a good bow to hand is going to very useful to me.
You Can Make Your Own Bow (and Ammunition)
Whilst I’d prefer to have my hands on one of the best modern recurve bows you can buy there is always the DIY option where bows are concerned. Humans have been making the bow and using it since something around 9000 BC.
Wood is everywhere and you can make a bow from oak, lemon tree, hickory, yew, teak and many more hardwoods with nothing more than a sharp knife to help. For the string you can use rawhide, thin rope, hemp cord, fishing line or just ordinary twine.
If you’re surrounded by more modern materials you can use PVC pipe to make a bow. It isn’t going to be as powerful as the recurved limbs on a modern bow, or the pulley system on a compound.
But it’s going to work and be an effective ranged weapon. There are a ton of Youtube videos on the subject of making a basic survival bow, I think you’d be wise to check some of them out.
Never Run Out of Ammo
So obviously you can make a bow, and it probably goes without saying that you can also make ammunition. Wooden arrows aren’t a patch on modern carbon fiber shafts. They’re going to be heavier, break easier and they won’t be as stiff.
The upside is however that you can make them pretty easily. You can use pointed pieces of metal as arrowheads and you can harden wood in the fire. You can be pretty much assured that if you have time and a supply of wood you are never going to run out of ammunition.
That’s not going to the be same with the trusty firearm, one day your supply of bullets will run dry. Then there will be little you can do to replace them without modern infrastructure to help you.
Arrows are re-usable. Granted a wooden arrow will tend to break if you hit anything sold with it. But if you miss, or your arrow is only lightly embedded, you can retrieve it and use it again, and again. That reusability is another significant advantage over a bullet.
Hunting and Fishing
You can hunt many different types of game with a bow. From small rodents all the way up to deer and elk. Modern arrows fitted with broadhead tips are lethal. A modern broadhead is surgically sharp and designed to cause the maximum amount of wounding to a target possible. They’ve been used to take down elephants.
With a bow you can also fish. Bowfishing is a popular sport. Attach some line to an arrow, shoot a fish (or any other marine creature) in the shallows with that arrow and you can reel it in. The arrow will still be usable and your dinner will be ready to cook over the fire. Damage the arrow and you can use it as the spit.
With a bow and some arrows. Any kind of bow from modern to traditional, I’m a virtually silent hunter. The twang of a string and the thwack of an arrow impaling a target is always going to be a match for even the most heavily silenced firearm. Not to mention that there is no muzzle flash or propellant smell.
Silence is golden and whey you’re hunting, a miss with an arrow is sure to not scare away all the prey within several miles of you.
So I already mentioned that you can use your arrows as a spit to roast game. That’s one use for them. Sharpened sticks are useful when you want to light a fire. You can use them to help create shelter, lay traps, they’re a weapon in their own right. A bow also has other uses, you can use it to help lighting that fire (as a bow drill).
Arrows can be re-purposed. Fit a grapple head and some line to an arrow and you can more accurately attach a rope to something than you could by throwing it.
Fit a field tip for your target practice, a broadhead for hunting game, a barbed point for fishing, there are different tips for different tasks.
I don’t want to veer of too far into the realms of science fiction, but incendiary and explosive arrow heads are not impossible to create either.
There’s one other thing about archery that I love and that’s the fact that it doesn’t come with the stigma that gun ownership comes with. Whilst you might be just as deadly you aren’t seen as such wielding a bow and for that reason you can take your kids to the range and get them to learn the skill from a young age. You can have bows around the house and not be fearful of curious little people getting injured.
Bowhunting is a challenge, something I’d encourage you to try, and makes for a great family trip into the wilderness whether you’re successful or not.
The Ravings of a Madman?
Can you see some of the advantages to the bow? Can you see why it’s been one of civilizations staple weapons for centuries? Hopefully I’ve at least given you some food for thought. If you’re interested take a trip to your local range, try it out.
Get yourself a good beginner bow, they aren’t expensive. Re-invigorate an old passion. The bow is going to stick around for centuries to come and one day you never know. It may just make a big comeback.
Friendly Advice From The Author
I’ve been a lover of bowsports from a very young age. I’m a regular at my local archery range where I’m always competitive. I enjoy getting people interested in the sport and its various disciplines and passing on my knowledge, you can read more about archery over at my site, Targetcrazy.
About the Author: David James
I've had a love of shooting since I was a kid. My parents used to tell me I'd never stop bugging them to let me have a real bow and arrow! That desire never really went away and now I own lots and lots of different things you can shoot with, bows, rifles, catapults, you name it I've probably got one. and I still love to shoot them. Please let me know what you think of my work, comment, like, rant, speak up!