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Bad Youtube info: medieval weaponry.


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My wife showed me a video last night thinking I would be interested. It was about a person "testing" a siege crossbow, 1000# pull to see if it lived up to it's "hype" in earlier writings on it.   She was surprised at my screaming at the screen as the fellow made mistake after mistake and then ascribed the results he got to the weapon...

It had been stated that it's range was  reported to be 200 to 250 yards; but he only got about 130 yards.  Of course he was firing into the wind---nicely shown by the flag he posted as his starting point.  He was also shooting on the flat where the siege crossbow is STRICTLY designed to be used from atop a fortifications wall.  The string frayed after a few uses---indicating that the bowirons and/or prod were mis-aligned or the string was not correctly made or served---it's not supposed to touch the stock of the bow but ride just above it! And he kept harping again and again on the length of time it took to span it and how the armoured knights would be thundering down on the users.  I've ridden a bit and I have never found a horse that will charge a stone wall  at full speed!  A Siege Crossbow is designed to be used from atop a fortification!!! If they did manage it back then I would expect some villein to drop a sizable rock on the stunned knight... He also spoke about how hard it was to get a sudden shot off, I guess he confused medieval sieges with blitzkriegs instead of the often formal "starting discussions".    

I'd wonder if it wouldn't get the 200 yards if they fixed the glaring errors. Having him harp again and again on HIS stupidity does not make me feel that *any* of the multiple videos he has done on the topic of medieval weaponry have any validity!   "The Knights charging down on the bowmen!!!!! (Who were atop a fortification wondering why the idjits were doing that...)

I was so worked up that I ended up getting to bed an hour late...

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Their sponsors should be horsewhipped!  Spreading bad information is a bad, bad thing!   KoR was a clear example of Evolution in Action (ala "Oath of Fealty")!

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I've got no beef with experimental archaeology. The problem is (a) when the experimenters don't do their research first and set up experimental conditions that don't match the original situation and (b) when the experimenters don't reevaluate their setup when the experiment doesn't work.

There's another video making the rounds that shows someone "testing" a naval cannon by firing it at a "ship hull" that's little more than a stud wall with 1" boards nailed on the outside. Spectacular results, to be sure, but not exactly applicable to, say, the multi-layer live oak planking of the USS Constitution.

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Thomas,

Enthusiastic time spent on a subject can run parallel to rigorous study, without ever crossing into factual understanding.

I once met a nine and one quarter fingered owner of a gun store who went on and on about manufacturer accuracy guarantees being impossible.

For those that don't know, rifle accuracy is generally expressed in Minutes of Angle.  We all know there are 360 degrees in a circle, well each degree may be divided into sixty minutes of angle, which may be divided into sixty seconds of angle.

The practical application of which is to imagine a right triangle arranged such that one corner is the shooter, one corner is the impact point, and the right angle corner is placed at the bullseye.

The hypotenuse is the straight line between shooter and point of impact.

One hundred yards is 3,600 inches.  

The tangent of 1/60 degrees therefore equals (one minute of angle in inches)/3600

All of which factors out to 1.047"

Which means that for all practical purposes, a minute of angle is equal to approximately one inch per hundred yards of range.  Precision is a measure of repeatability, whereas accuracy is the capacity to hit the intended target.  There's an underlying assumption that a precise rifle can be adjusted to where it will repeatedly deliver tight groups on the point of aim.  For most people, the equipment is capable of better performance than their skills will allow.

Mr. 92.5% took all of that and added his own unique twist.  See in practical terms, all of these measurements are based on the resulting holes in the target. The size of those holes is obviously dependent on the size of the projectile.  He believed that you measure the largest outside to outside dimension of the group, then subtract half the projectile diameter.

The resulting dimension is what he compares to the minute of angle dispersion for whatever distance he's at.

I explained that it doesn't make sense to have an accuracy standard that is caliber specific.  He didn't understand.

So I offered the following example.

Let's say you had a rifle with a 1" projectile and you fired two shots that went perfectly through the bullseye at 100 yards.  He replied "That's a half minute rifle".

I said, no, it's perfect accuracy because the center of the projectiles are perfectly and repeatedly coinciding with the point of aim.  You're supposed to subtract the full projectile diameter from the measurement.

We were at a bit of an impasse, so the subject changed to some really small handguns in the case.  He removed one from the case.   I watched him cleared the action with the stump of his left index finger right at the barrel crown, and the index of his right on the trigger.  Speaking as he did so, he remarked that "This is just like the one that took my finger..."

Right around that point I realized how things "added up" with this gent and made my exit.

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22 minutes ago, Steve Sells said:

remember King of Random, from before he got himself killed?

That channel is still operating. Thompson had brought on a couple of co-hosts before his death (in a paramotoring crash), and after his widow inherited ownership of the channel, a few more hosts were added as well. I have no idea what the quality of videos is these days, though.

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I remember watching a channel of old weapons (not crossbow old, but like WW1) and he showed a weapon called the tankgewehr. It was a rifle that was known to injure the person firing it due to the large amount of recoil. The guy was surprised when he fired it from a tripod and it knocked him over as the rifle flew backwards. The round did punch through the steel plate he fired at though.

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I have to think a lot of stuff like that is done to "increase viewership" like all the stuff done on "reality TV" to increase stress on the participants.  "Now while Thomas goes for the forge weld we will chill his anvil with dry ice and hit him about the head and shoulders with squid!...Aww it didn't weld and---wait! I thought you said that the belly-quench was an urban legend!!!!!!"

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3 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

I was so worked up that I ended up getting to bed an hour late...

  I usually toss and turn all night when I feel like that. :) The question is where will it all end, with the crazy internet do it yourself, misinformation and lies.  I wonder how many people get hurt or destroyed by other idiots posting dangerous stuff that nobody hears about.

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The internet is a wonderful tool. It has caused so many advancements you probably couldn't even begin to list them all. It has also brought knowledge to nearly everyone with the touch of a button. 

As a downside, we now have what I believe is referred to as "false knowledge" where you read/watched something, so you think you know it and understand it, but you actually don't know it and understand it. That plus Dunning Kruger thrown into the mix makes it worse.

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4 minutes ago, SinDoc said:

The internet is a wonderful tool. It has caused so many advancements you probably couldn't even begin to list them all. It has also brought knowledge to nearly everyone with the touch of a button. 

  I would not dispute that.  It is indeed a wonderful tool for many things.  I use gps to get to work everyday as I just moved here and the roads are like sphagtti.  The benefits are too numerous to mention.  My comment was on the the blind leading the blind aspect of it. There are a lot of people out there that know no better.

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"

"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again."

-Alexander Pope, 1709-

In Classical Greek mythology the Pierian Spring was sacred to the muses and would confer inspiration and knowledge to anyone who drank from it.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I think that one thing I find horrifying is that people can't look at their "experiments" and see the gaping flaws in methodology---shooting against the wind, on the flat when it was designed to be shot from a wall.   These are clearly issues you don't need to know much about the subject to see as an issue for how far it will travel. I'd mark down a middle school science project that didn't at least note these issues in their write up.

That the string is supposed to ride above the stock and not touch is more of an in-depth knowledge item.  Now I will say that he does mention that bolts need to be matched for the crossbow to get the most power from it---a very good point.

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The internet is like any tool. The more effective it is, the more dangerous it is. Some people reap great benefits from a tool, others ruin or kill themselves with it. I don't think anything has changed since the first hominid used a stick to knock fruit from a tree and another one brained himself with a stick when it slipped.

I've known people I wouldn't trust with a stick.

Frosty The Lucky.

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A friend of mine once compared the internet to a big city.  There are commercial districts where you can shop, there are entertainment areas, there are museums and live concerts, schools and other educational opportunities. IFI is like a corner bar or a social club, and there are places where you wouldn't let you kids go and places you shouldn't go except in large, well armed groups.  There are great, uplifting things and there is also danger.

I've always thought it was a particularly apt analogy.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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