Homemade Arrows and Question regarding Dowel

Hi, fairly new to Empire, but have done Larp Archery in the past.
I was wondering , why does the rules regarding arrow materials ban wood dowel for the shaft, but allow arrows made from the exact same type of wood. e.g. pine ?

I dont recall exactly but i think its certain types of dowel that are the problem, being intended for hidden pegs they dont stand up to the stress of being fired well and splinter.

But yeah all i remember is going “aaaah yeah ofc” when it was explained to me helpfully :smiley:

If you’re handmaking arrows in wood, it was easier when I did it to buy training arrows, saw off the point and add a larp safe head than start from the shaft alone. Also has the benefit of having the fletching and nock already done too.
Although if you’re going to be buying training arrows to add heads you may as well buy fibreglass ones. Takes a little more care to take the points off but adding the head is the same, and the arrows will survive being stepped on a bit unlike wooden ones.


ok thank you, would there be anybody you’d recommend for training arrows or just amazon?

Mine came off Ebay. I tend to buy them in lots of 40+ and as long as you can find as the heads take up some of the length. I only tend to do a dozen at once so only have to order every 3 or 4 years.

I’m also using plastidip to coat them instead of latex as that removes the need for isoflex and is therefore much nicer to handle in small numbers. Also means you can pick a colour other than black which makes finding lost arrows a lot easier!


ok, thank you, and a completely unrelated question but how do you measure draw weight? like we (as in my local University Larp group) just sort of eyeballed it with “yeah that feels like less than 30lbs”, is there some sort of equipment they’ll use at the weapon check?

Yes there is a tool to test draw weight.

Might be worth getting one for the university group perhaps, or asking if you have an archery team, they’ll have one.

The mechanical ones seem to be about £30 to £50 which is what Weapons check have, but it looks like Amazon will sell you a digital one for about the £10 mark, with I suspect the caveats on accuracy, but it might give you a ball park estimate.
Just search for “Archery Draw Weight tester”


Hi you plasti dip the safety foam heads? (The spray?)
Where do get the safety heads from?
Is it more cost effective than buying the arrows for ten pounds each? (Or is it for the more authentic look than the plastic flights)
Any chance you could point me to the larp archery group/ page on Facebook, tried searching, can’t find it.

I make my foam heads from off cuts. You need LD45 for the back of the head, upholstery foam for the impact surface. Also either 3mm thick leather or rubber for the stopper plate in the middle, and something to be a stopper on the end of the arrow - in my case about an inch piece of broom handle.

I use the tins of plastidip, and apply with wooden coffee stirrers as it ruins brushes. It takes 4-6 layers to get a good coating on the outside this way, I think you wouldn’t get a thick enough layer with the spray.

It’s more cost effective for me as I have access to most of the materials as offcuts from other projects, I buy in training arrows and evostick. I suspect if you are willing to make quantities of them, it’s probably cost effective, allowing for your time, with curing between layers it takes 4 days to a week to make a batch.

I don’t worry much about the look of them, mine have blue heads and bright orange and green fletching but at least you can spot them, especially if they have ended up in the hedge!

I don’t think there is an Empire specific Larp Archery group on FB, if there is I’m not a member!

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I believe this is the Empire LRP: Archery group, but I have no idea how active it is.