This lackluster  8″ group at fifty meters,  is not up to our usual standards.

I suspect the worn string serving, seen below,  is having a deleterious effect on Firefly’s precision.    On another note:  the string appears to be down on the deck in this photo, however, that is only because I am pressing down on it as it gets twisted around to show the serving wear.   Ordinarily there would be a  3/8″ gap here —  and that probably is not a good thing.

I believe I have noticed this degradation of accuracy before when wear on the serving was this noticeable.  It seems reasonable to test this hypothesis by putting on a new serving.    What material the Romans may have used in this area is unknown, but it seems likely they would have needed to keep it in good repair if the orders of the day called for some precision sniping.  If my intent were to figure out what authentic material would make a decent protective wrapping for this very high wear part ,  then using Kevlar webbing like this would be clearly ridiculous.  However, that is not the question I seek to answer this time around.  It will be enough to know, once and for all, what effect a worn serving might have on the group size.   Definition is everything.

Report back later after the serving has been replaced  ………………..   I need to disengage from all this bollocks for a while ……………

…. I find myself with a paint brush in my hand.  ………… Two hours go by as several acts of decorative amusement occur.

…………… Forget to clean the paint brush, but do manage to take a nap. …………………. Coffee.

……… Okay, it’s later, and I feel sufficiently motivated to try for a three shot group on the 50 meter range.  It goes well.  The new serving has brought us back to where we were before  with a nice 3″ cluster of shots at 50 meters.

This kind of precision only seems achievable if the bolt has a pronounced up-pitch to it as it sits on the bolt groove, i.e. the front of the bolt sits higher than the tail.  To test this I  tried a new bolt that did not have a larger than shaft diameter head on it,  and it did not fly well at all.  It seemed to pitch down in flight and hit low on the target.  I suspect that the 3/8″ gap between the string and the deck of the bolt groove is causing the tail of the bolt to lift upwards during the power stroke.  I will try and get a slow motion video of all this tomorrow.

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