Questions about bow poundage/draw length & arrow specs

Hi all,

I’m new-ish to empire and 100% new to Archery at Empire (though experienced archer IRL) and have a few questions about bow poundage/draw length & arrows.

Regarding draw length, the weapon checking wiki states “The draw of a bow must be less than 30 lbs at 28” draw”, but does not explicitly say a draw length of 28” can’t be used. The wiki also says that “Arrows must have a maximum draw position of 28” clearly marked…” which seems to suggest draw lengths of longer than 28” aren’t allowed, but as it’s a little ambiguous I wanted to check if a draw length of greater than 28” is allowed as long as the poundage of the bow at that draw length is lower than 30 lbs at that draw length. For example, would use of a 29” draw length be permitted if the poundage of the bow at this length was 27.5 lbs?

For arrows, under the new arrow rules are the IDV Flat head arrows compliant and able to be used? I’ve found some specification information from vendors (New forum users, so prevented from adding links) that I believe means the flat heads meet the requirements though for some daft reason the specs aren’t on the manufactures site (that I can find at least). As I don’t know for sure I wondered if someone was in a position to confirm?

I’d prefer ones with round heads for accuracy at further distances but since the IDV round heads are not allowed did some digging, and found possible alternatives called simply ‘LARP arrows’ by ‘Beier Germany’ ( Again, I can find no official specs on the main site but the webstore page for individual heads lists the diameter as 55 mm (LARP - Safety Cushion Head | Shop Bogensport Beier) but no info on the depth. Again, wondering if anyone knows if these meet the current arrow requirements?

Alternatively, does anyone know of any manufacturer or vendor of arrows that meet the current requirements for arrows?

Thanks in advance for any help :blush:

Maximum draw is 28".

A good rule of thumb for arrow designs is that only flat heads are allowed. Those golf-ball style definitely went out of permissibility at Empire a few years ago.

In general, larp archery isn’t really about long distance - even with round headed arrows like IDVs or the golf-ball heads, the low poundage and large arrowheads means that sniping against moving targets is really difficult. Effective archers will normally do most of their shooting at pretty close range, picking targets of opportunity who are distracted by other happenings on the battlefield.


Yeah archers in battle are best sneaking round the flanks and taking the legs out of the enemy battle lines that are watching the shield wall in front of them, and then legging it before their mates get you. You rely on inattention to get most shots, larp arrows aren’t great for accuracy or speed. An aware target can easily get their shield in the way.

I have over long arrows (32") but that allows a bit of space between bow and arrow head that you don’t need with real arrows with points. I also very rarely do a full draw, and my bow is only 20lb which works fine for LARP.

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Also it is generally not recommended to go for maximum poundage as event conditions, temperature, humidity and so on can vary your values, and take you over the limits.

You don’t need it in most cases either.

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Thanks for the info both! :slight_smile:

I’ve seen fearsome archers on larp battlefields using a 15lb bow.

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See this thread: Arrows
For a rounded-front arrowhead to meet PD rules, it has to be conceptually like a flat-front head with a hemisphere of extra foam on its front (with the soft foam being all one piece, of course: if you were to glue a dome onto an existing flat-front arrow, the glue would be a harder stiffer layer that would raise the injury risk).
I think I might have seen some like that in use, and anyone who makes LARP arrowheads to order (rather than selling from stock) would probably be willing to make them that way.