Friday, February 18, 2011

Shooting Arrows isn’t a new Idea

Last week Steve at ‘The Firearms Blog’ wrote about a new product based on a very old idea. Texas based LaRue Tactical is preparing to market an interesting modification kit for the ever popular ruger 10-22. This is a special barrel that can be swapped out to allow the rifle to shoot special arrows.

The arrows will be propelled by a .22 blank cartridge at something over 400 FPS. and should have a range of at least 50 yards. It seems that even some states will allow them to be used for hunting, but in the regular firearms, not archery season. At a price of over $400.00 I doubt one will every join the HomePlace inventory, but the idea has some merit.

Arrows propelled by gunpowder are nothing new; in fact they go back to the early days of cannon and firearms. This Illustration is based on experiments with a ‘Springel’, an arrow designed to be fired from a cannon in the middle ages. Springels were also used in matchlocks early on but I was not able locate an illustration.

From all reports they did a great deal of damage if and when they connect with an enemy soldier or horse. On the down side springels, or sprites in some writings, were not terribly accurate. Their range was more limited than regular shot. Due to the weight of the springel when compared to shot the recoil was brutal. Their poor performance did not justify the expense of the springels so they soon disappeared from the battlefield.

The idea didn’t die there however. Firearms went to sea early on, both on military and commercial vessels. Merchant vessels had to chose between cannon and cargo, but most at least had swivel guns to protect them from boarders. Men with a lot of time on their hands tend to get ideas. Does anyone have any trouble figuring out where this idea came from?

Over time harpoon guns got bigger and more lethal. Monsters like this could throw a much heavier projectile further and eliminated the dangerous step of taking to the small boats.

Now, before the politically correct come to the conclusion this idea has never had a positive application I would direct your attention to the last illustration. This is a line casting rifle. The purpose is to throw a light weight line from one ship to another. The light line can be tied to a heavy rope or cable to allow transfer of cargo or personal. These are still in use and saving lives today.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I really like this! What fun for our whole family! Grandbabies are awfully good with rifles, think what they could do with this!