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Old November 23rd, 2017, 10:58 AM   #11

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ichon View Post
On that inventory slip what is the point of repeating Imperial Owned, and if it wasn't Imperial Owned where did it belong?
Heavenlykaghan thinks that imperial owned means the weapons were sent from the capital.

We talked about it here: Han Dynasty Donghai Military Inventory

Anyway, late Ming crossbows, due to their low powerstroke, seem to deal with armored opponents by the use of poison and aiming for the unarmored parts:

If one were to meet enemies who are wearing heavy body armour, then one must examine for unprotected gaps at the face, armpits or flank areas, and aim these spots to kill. -Chen Zong Yang

Earlier crossbows with longer powerstrokes seem to 'pure force' the problem by simply penetrating the armor.

《皇宋中兴两朝圣政》卷53:
步司诸军弓箭手,带甲六十步射,一石二斗力,箭十二,六箭中垛为本等。弩手,带甲百步射,四石 力,箭十二, 五箭中垛为本等

"For military archers, against those wearing armor shoot at 60 paces (90 meters), with draw strength of 1 shih 2 dou (71.04 kg), have 12 arrows with 6 being normal arrows. For crossbowmen, against those wearing armor shoot at 100 paces (150 meters), with draw strength of 4 shih (236.8 kg), have 12 arrows, 5 being normal arrows."
-Edict of Song emperor's revival of Two dynasties, scroll 53

From the Han era comparison of Han and Xiongnu military advantages over each other, made by the official Chao Cuo:

Now both the country and the tactics of the Xiongnu are different from those of the Chinese. Their lands are nothing but mountain-slopes with ways going up and down and winding through gorges in and out; in such regions our Chinese horses cannot compete with theirs. Along the tracks at the edges of precipices still they ride and shoot; our Chinese horse archers can hardly do the like. Rain and storm, exhaustion and fatigue, hunger and thirst, nothing do they fear; our Chinese soldiers can in these things hardly compare with them. These are the merits of the Xiongnu.

On the other hand, on plains light chariots can be used and cavalry charges made; in such conditions the Xiongnu are readily thrown into confusion. The strong crossbow (劲弩) and the ballista shooting javelins have a long range; something which the bows of the Xiongnu can in no way equal. The use of sharp weapons with long and short handles by disciplined companies of armoured soldiers in various combinations, including the drill of crossbowmen alternatively advancing [to shoot] and retiring [to load]; this is something that even the Xiongnu cannot face. The troops with crossbows ride forward and shoot off all their bolts in one direction; this is something which the leather armour and wooden shields of the Xiongnu cannot resist. Then the [Chinese horse-archers] dismount and fight forward on foot with sword and halberd; this is something that the Xiongnu do not know how to do. Such are the merits of the Chinese.
-Records of the Grand Historian, Simaqian

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; November 23rd, 2017 at 12:03 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 12:11 PM   #12

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I forgot to mention quotes from the Revolving Shooting Machines. The earliest mention of these are in the Mozi, so here it is.

In the book of Mozi (written around 200-300 years prior to the Han dynasty) revolving shooters were described as thus:
52.7 Set up a bamboo fence. In all cases extend it to join the parapet. Make it 6 chi high with spaces 4 chi wide where all those armed with crossbows can take their positions. There should be “revolving shooting machines” which are 6 chi high and buried in the ground 1 chi. Two pieces of wood joined together are used to make protective shields (wen) which are 2 chi long. Through the centres of these drill a hole to accommodate a connecting arm straight against the wall. Every 20 bu there should be one of these (i.e. a “revolving shooting machine” plus its protective shields). [Put someone in charge of it and] order skilled archers to assist him. Not one person is allowed to leave his post.

52.8 [In regards to sallying out of cities against enemy dams] Boats are joined together [in pairs] to make 10 approachers (lin), each approacher having thirty men. Each man is in charge of a crossbow and four of every ten men have a youfang. It is necessary for those skilled in boats to make fenwen (“tank vessels”). Twenty such craft constitute a “squadron”. Thirty men, capable and strong, are chosen for each craft. Of these, twelve men wield a youfang and wear armour and leather helmets whilst the other eighteen men have a miao. Before training these capable soldiers, their parents, wives and children are held as hostages at a different place and provided for. When it is seen that the waters (dikes) can be breached, use the approachers and tank vessels to break the outside (enemy) dikes, assisting them with rapid fire from the “shooting machines” on the wall.
As for the power of these revolving shooting machines, none was passed down to modern day. We know that handheld crossbows could go up to 8 stone, or 516 lbs in draw weight. The lightest "Great Yellow Crossbow" would have draw weights of 10 stone, or 645 lbs. Assuming these are just big enough to necessitate a prop except when wielded by particularly strong men, revolving shooters (which certainly weren't handheld) should be somewhat stronger, at perhaps 12 stone, or 774 lbs. Of course, these are based off of assumptions. At the very least revolving shooters would have draw weights over 516 lbs, or else there would be no point in creating them as 516 lbs could be the draw weight of handheld crossbows.

Now there is no way for us to interpret the units of measurement used in the Mozi, but based on the information given by Mozi on door height, people height, etc.... I was able to make a rough guess and create this:

Click the image to open in full size.

So these would be the rough dimensions of defensive trebuchets and revolving shooters during the time of the Warring States period.

Click the image to open in full size.

^Ratchet system of the Warring States era. Needham thinks that it's for winched ballistas (such as revolving shooters) so that when you take you hand off the windlass, the string won't slip back to its original position. Personally this could also be used for other things, such as a windlass for taking buckets out of a well.

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; November 23rd, 2017 at 12:31 PM.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 02:43 PM   #13
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How do handheld versions of the Roman manuballista compare to Han crossbows?
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Old November 28th, 2017, 04:45 PM   #14

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The efficiency of torsion weapon replicas seem to be pretty bad, at around roughly 25%, but these are using modern ropes instead of sinew. Authentic ones would probably be better. If the manuballista was drawn in any way like the gastraphetes (which is how most manuballista replicas are made), then its draw weight would be around 90 lbs. This is because its draw weight is limited by the body weight of the user (and not all of the body weight could be used to draw the string back). After a certain point it would be akin to trying to fly by grabbing ahold of only yourself and pulling upwards..



For efficiency, the only replica I know of that's not a random claim on the internet:

Two shots were made before the light faded. The stats on the first shot are: bolt weight 6991 grains, draw length 38″, draw weight 4500 lbs., velocity 333.1 fps, energy 1722 foot lbs. Specs on the second shot with the same bolt, are: draw length 40″, draw weight 4700 lbs., velocity 337.9 fps, energy 1772 foot lbs. -http://wattsunique.com/blog/1772-foot-lbs/

Note that the above is talking about a giant sized torsion field artillery, definitely too big to be handheld. Since it's an outswinger (unlike the manuballista), brace height is zero.

Potential energy: 4,500 lbs * 38 inches * 0.5/8.85 = 9,661 joules
Projectile energy = 453 grams * 103 m/s * 103 m/s * 0.5 = 2,402 joules
Efficiency = 2402 joules/9661 joules = 24.87%

Click the image to open in full size.

Again, this weapon is more than big enough to be field artillery. If he made one suitable to be handheld, with the likewise toning down of draw weight and draw length, I wouldn't be surprised if efficiency would get better. Big versions suffers from a lot of friction and limb weight that the machine have to deal with. Of course, handheld versions would also be way less powerful by magnitudes upon magnitudes, despite the increase in efficiency.

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; November 28th, 2017 at 05:50 PM.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 05:21 PM   #15

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In comparison, CCTV did make a giant sized multi-prod ballista too, but unfortunately the draw weight was made waaayyyy too low at a measly 390 lbs. This is the draw weight of the average Han handheld crossbow. More authentic draw weight should multiply that number by around 10, not to mention the prod would be composite which makes the energy transfer more efficient than that of the replica. The replica's powerstroke is at an impressive 61 inches though. The quarrel is big enough to be a long, thick spear. This means it's way too big for the draw weight. They didn't say how heavy it is, but it looks to be at least 2 kg in weight. The velocity is a measly 28 m/s but would be way higher if not for the draw weight.

Click the image to open in full size.

Retrieving the projectile after it was shot into a cliffside.

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; November 28th, 2017 at 05:39 PM.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 06:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HackneyedScribe View Post
In comparison, CCTV did make a giant sized multi-prod ballista too, but unfortunately the draw weight was made waaayyyy too low at a measly 390 lbs. This is the draw weight of the average Han handheld crossbow. More authentic draw weight should multiply that number by around 10, not to mention the prod would be composite which makes the energy transfer more efficient than that of the replica. The replica's powerstroke is at an impressive 61 inches though. The quarrel is big enough to be a long, thick spear. This means it's way too big for the draw weight. They didn't say how heavy it is, but it looks to be at least 2 kg in weight. The velocity is a measly 28 m/s but would be way higher if not for the draw weight.

Click the image to open in full size.

Retrieving the projectile after it was shot into a cliffside.
I think the CCTV replica is a failure cause it's much weaker than the recorded Chuang Zi Nu siege crossbow. The biggest problem IMO is the prod, cause the CCTV replica's prod is made out of several thin slips of bamboo, while the authentic one would be made out of composite materials, similar to how a composite bow is made. And the projectiles that they used was way too heavy; a weak prod plus heavy projectiles equals low velocity and low range. I think the historically accurate one would have a much stronger prod plus lighter projectiles.

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Old November 28th, 2017, 06:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HackneyedScribe
《皇宋中兴两朝圣政》卷53:
步司诸军弓箭手,带甲六十步射,一石二斗力,箭十二,六箭中垛为本等。弩手,带甲百步射,四石 力,箭十二, 五箭中垛为本等

"For military archers, against those wearing armor shoot at 60 paces (90 meters), with draw strength of 1 shih 2 dou (71.04 kg), have 12 arrows with 6 being normal arrows. For crossbowmen, against those wearing armor shoot at 100 paces (150 meters), with draw strength of 4 shih (236.8 kg), have 12 arrows, 5 being normal arrows." -Edict of Song emperor's revival of Two dynasties, scroll 53
I think there's a problem in your translation. I'm not exactly sure what "本等" means, but judging from the context I think it means out of 12 arrows an archer needs to shoot at least 6 on target in order to be qualified for a certain level; and similarly, for the crossbowman, he needs to shoot at least 5 arrows on target out of 12 in order to be qualified for this level or rank.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 07:09 PM   #18

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Yes, I think your translation makes sense. I asked heavenlykaghan for his input.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 09:06 PM   #19
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I think 本等 here means standard.

So 箭十二,六箭中垛为本等 means that "there are twelve arrows, with six landing on target being the standard."
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Old November 29th, 2017, 02:48 AM   #20
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I also think it means standard.

Or at least the expectation.
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