I have come to realize that there is much more material in the Mk. VIII limb irons than there needs to be. The cross-hatched portions, in the photo below, will be omitted on the new Mk. IX limbs.

It is hoped that this reduction in the weight of the limbs will boost velocities into the 350+ fps range (from our current 300 fps) with a 7,000 grain bolt or glans, all while still using our customary 33 1/2″ draw length. Keeping in mind that Firefly has 63 inches of draw length available in her current format, there is plenty of room to experiment so long as we are able to keep the overall draw weight within a range suitable for her framework.

Part of the reason we have taken up glans testing again, other than as a counter to Campbell’s dismissal of Dr. Rihll’s theories re: ballista launched glandes, is that bolt manufacture is a costly endeavour, especially when it is used in the tune-up stage after new limbs are installed. Shooting lead glans will allow us to try a variety of projectile weights and torsion settings for the bundles, with minimum expense. It is most disheartening to be continually breaking Dura style bolts when they are fired out of a powerful ballista. Even when shot into a soft sand backstop, they very often yaw or twist as they penetrate, and then snap goes the shaft.

Our experiments indicate that effective glans projection from normally bolt shooting torsion engines, is a relatively easy feat to master, requiring nothing more complicated than a properly designed slingstring. While Mr. Campbell’s point by point refutation of Dr. Rihll’s arguments for the use of glandes in ancient torsion engines may make sense to some, this experimenter finds his arguments somewhat hollow in the face of the significant success we have had shooting glandes on our test range.

In the military, effective dual use is usually a big plus. It is hard to imagine how the Ancient Greeks and Romans would not have developed all possible avenues when it came to the ammo their torsion engines were capable of shooting. I see no evidence that their imaginations were limited to a set of ancient texts when it came to weapons development. It takes more than just forever fussing over some incomplete writings to understand what these machines were capable of.

But, enough chit-chat! I am off to try our new glans mold. Report back later…

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