On the subject of accuracy and precision, this graphic just about says it all.


Firefly’s long range shooting has so far been typified by that sketch on the upper right.  While it is true that on a calm day she has enough precision to repeatedly hit something the size of a Volkswagen bus at half a mile,  it is doubtful she could do so unless the driver first parked his rig in the middle of an established pattern.  The Romans would have had to engage in some clever maneuvering to get their foes into a pre-determined kill zone for this type of long range ballista fire to be effective.  Pre-sighted artillery would be the trick.  High-precision machines like Firefly could act similar to long range booby traps, just waiting for someone to step into their “beaten” ground.  Half a dozen machines trained on the same spot might well nobble Otto….. if he could just be persuaded to pause by that big oak tree….

On our fifty yard shop range, where Firefly’s peep sight can be utilized, the performance is much like the sketch in the lower right.  Accuracy and precision makes all sorts of trick shots possible. For example, back in October of 2011,  we had good luck juicing apples perched atop pumpkins. (Unfortunately, Firefly remains hidden in the shop because we had no way to move her back then.)  Click for video:  2011102711243911


When she is dialed in, Firefly can do this kind of duty with monotonous regularity.  Such is the nature of precision and accuracy when they are combined.


And not to forget the coconut balanced on top of a wine bottle.   That is, a full wine bottle, certain to incur the wrath of the Rebecca if it gets broken.

Click for chunks of flying coconut:   201110221249222


Center shot,  just like in the movies.  Except, of course, this is real.


2 Responses to “Accuracy and precision.”

  1. Charles W. Fink says:

    How is the build going? I’m trying not to comment too much, give someone else a chance, but its not like I’m stopping them. This might sound dumb, but I wonder if the torsion bundles of natural fiber could be fine tuned by moisture content?

  2. nick says:

    The build is going along fine. I’ve just finished the field frames and am fixing up my old forge so I can tackle the forks on the Kamerion. I try and and do a bit everyday.

    I have wondered before if a lot of the pre-tensioning could be accomplished with shrinkage from natural fibers drying out. I think it was the ancient author Philon who advised soaking the bundles in oil of some kind. The excess is squeezed out and what remains helps lubricate the fibers as they rub against one another. Of course this is a different thing than moisture regulation to control the pre-tension. If I had another lifetime to fool with it all that might be an interesting exploration.

    No worries on your comments. My tone gets a little smart-alecky sometimes so I suspect that is fairly off-putting for most folks. However, it is a necessary psychological catalyst to keep things moving ahead. I appreciate your contributions.

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