A shortbow is a two-handed martial ranged weapon of the bow family.[3]


The shortbow is a flexible shaft of wood (or horn or bone) about 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) long with the ends connected by strong cord or a gut string that is a little shorter than the shaft, causing the wood to bend and keep the string under tension. For a composite shortbow, the shaft is made from laminated materials (again, horn, wood or bone) and fashioned with a recurve, meaning the bow remains bow-shaped even when unstrung.[4] A typical shortbow costs 30gp and weighs 2lbs (0.9kg). A composite shortbow costs around 75gp and weighs about the same.[3]


Unlike longbows, shortbows may be used while mounted. Composite bows are stronger than normal bows and therefore can translate more of the archer's strength into range and damage. Bows require two hands to fire and a good amount of practice in order to hit a target. Therefore, the shortbow is considered a martial weapon.[5]

Notable shortbowsEdit

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