Dutch's Improvised Bow

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Lflank

Well-Known Member
We all remember the scene in P1 when Dutch sits in the tree and lashes together a bow from sticks, and makes an explosive arrow from grenade powder. Well, here is my version of Dutch's improvised bow:

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Dutch's bow is actually a real improvised weapon that people are taught to make in survival courses, called a "bundle bow". It's made by binding together different lengths of straight thin tree branches to form a tapered bow that bends evenly on both sides. A bundled bow made from sticks won't last long, maybe a few dozen shots before the sticks begin cracking and losing power.

My version is permanent, though. Instead of sticks, it's made from thin fiberglass rods that I got from Home Depot by cutting the reflector heads off the driveway markers in the "home" section. These rods are advertised as 48" long, but in reality they're only 44"--a bit short for a workable bow but usable anyway. If you can find fiberglass electric fence posts or something similar that are longer, I'd suggest using them instead.

You can adjust the strength and draw weight of the bow by varying the number and arrangement of rods. The version pictured here is an early test version that ended up being stiffer than I liked, so I removed some of the rods--I also moved the bowstring notch out further to be closer to the end of the bow. After a bit of experimenting by assembling and disassembling, I ended up using seven rods total. Three of these I kept intact, and bundled together at each end using duct tape covered with a layer of twine. Then I cut three more rods and placed the center of these around the center of the bow, so the ends were several inches down from the first layer at both ends. I taped and twined these into place. And then I took one rod and cut it in half to give two 2-foot pieces, which I placed centered at the front of the bow and taped/twined into place. At each end of the bow, I cut off about half an inch of one of the three rods to make a notch for the bowstring to rest in.

The bowstring was made by braiding together several pieces of jute twine.

The finished bow draws, I would guesstimate, about 40-45 pounds. A couple test shots showed that at 10 yards it shoots flat and hits hard.

Since lengthening a bow decreases its draw weight, if you make it the full 48 inches long (using longer fiberglass rods), you can add back the lost draw weight by bundling another short rod with the third layer, to the belly of the bow.

If you would like a lower draw weight, start by removing the two shortest pieces, then if necessary remove the second-layer pieces one at a time until you hit the draw weight you want. It's best to hold all the rods together temporarily with duct tape, and do the final twine covering only after everything is set the way you want it to be.

WARNING: This bow is, as built, a fully-functional lethal weapon that is entirely capable of killing. Don't build it unless you are ready to use it responsibly.
 

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Guan Thwei

New Member
Dutch's bow is actually a real improvised weapon that people are taught to make in survival courses, called a "bundle bow". It's made by binding together different lengths of straight thin tree branches to form a tapered bow that bends evenly on both sides. A bundled bow made from sticks won't last long, maybe a few dozen shots before the sticks begin cracking and losing power.
Huh? You learn something new everyday I have always wondered about what kind of bow he was making and if it was even possbile to make a bow that equal in power to his based on the footage used in the movie? Now I know (and knowing is have the battle )
 

Lflank

Well-Known Member
Huh? You learn something new everyday I have always wondered about what kind of bow he was making and if it was even possbile to make a bow that equal in power to his based on the footage used in the movie? Now I know (and knowing is have the battle )

Hollywood took some license with this. A bundle bow that was really as thick and big as the one in the movie would have an enormous draw weight. While Arnie could probably draw 125 pounds (and ancient English longbowmen routinely had bows with draw weights over 100 pounds), no mere mortal like us could ever even string such a bow much less shoot it.

And in the movie we see one of Dutch's arrows passing completely through a tree trunk. That is artistic license---not even a crossbow with a draw weight of 1200 pounds could do that.

We'll leave aside the fact that a real grenade doesn't have nearly as much actual explosive inside it as shown in the movie, and it's not impact-sensitive so in reality Dutch's explosive arrow would have no way of detonating. Movie magic.
 

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Guan Thwei

New Member
Yeah this is true I also know the way the arrow left the bow was too weak to even travel to where the Predator was even standing and for the explosion yeah there was a small barrel on the tree trunk that went BOOM!!!
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Lflank

Well-Known Member
Yeah this is true I also know the way the arrow left the bow was too weak to even travel to where the Predator was even standing and for the explosion yeah there was a small barrel on the tree trunk that went BOOM!!!

Movie bows are usually made deliberately weak, for safety reasons. I remember a scene in "Sheena" (the really awful Tanya Roberts movie) in which her arrow barely leaves the bow at all. Nowadays, most movie bows don't even have an actual string or arrow--they are added in post-production as CGI.
 

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