The record distance in the Ottoman period for an arrow shot was 845.5m

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For many years the excellence of Turkish bows could be seen from historical records. The record distance in the Ottoman period for an arrow shot was 845.5m. (Bows made only of wood have been much less suited to flight archery; the northern European flight archery record to 1910 was 340m, achieved with a long-bow of Osage-orange wood, and a force of over 700N or 157 lb was needed to draw the bow.) In 1910 an archery contest was held on the beach at Le Touquet, France, where Ingo Simon was able to shoot an arrow 434 m using an old Turkish composite bow requiring a force of 440N or 99 lb.

Zihgir is the Turkish word for the thumb ring used to draw the bow in the Ottoman Empire. Turkish thumb rings were made of wood, metal, ivory, bone, horn or leather. These rings signified that the person wearing them was a warrior. In time they became a symbol of prestige in Ottoman society, and some later examples have so much ornamentation on the surface from which the bowstring slides that they could not be used to shoot with. Surviving examples are often made of precious metals and richly decorated. Some are carved from precious stones.


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