This may not seem like much of a development over where I was a couple of months ago, but at least the wheels seem to be turning again.  Several readers of this blog have contacted me to express their concern for my health and welfare after so long an absence.   Thank you,  I just needed to hide under the covers for a bit.  These madcap projects can take a toll if you let them.

96 Responses to “Well look what just crawed out from heat treat……..”


  1. Captn harpoon says:

    Great to see you happening again Nick!

    My “Orsova” manuballista has a new build and new arm length to axle to axle ratio of 1:4 – Yikes!

    Whereas your new build may be constructed to grab another 15 degrees of rotation, I have double that.

    While Firefly arrow weight to power is 1.5 grains per lbs of pull, my little machine is pulling 5 grains and more.

    Does the new build cough up improved velocities? I’ll have to reserve that for chrony testing, BUT penetration has increased at least 60% over the “stock” Orsova configuration and arm position of 12 oclock.

    Pat B did the math for arms 2/3 normal length, and I have recorded velocities. I will let you know the numbers soon.

    Last testing with a 400grain and just right about 50lbs pull over 20″ got me 175fps chronied. If the new build gets med 200fps using the same spring, I think its fairly safe to say that shorter arms may be the way to go.

    In as much, I’ve eliminated the need for any pulleys and a compounding design. The shorter arms provide the compounding effect in a more effeciant way, and without halving the draw weight.

    I do have to have a new string six inches longer than the old now axle to axle increased from 18 to 22″ resulting in a three inch draw loss with the same string.

    I’d like to send my manubalista down to ya when Firefly is ready to test and have its picture taken next to her. Watch your email for the chrony and target testing vid. Hoping to match whatever performance you can coax for Firefly so that 400fps better be there LOL!

    BTW I’ve opted to give up a few fps in order double the arrow weight capacity for the superiour KE of the shorter arms.

    Chrony testing will be with arrows from 244 grains up to 1280, 20″ draw, approx 50lbs pull. Based on previous testing I get a gain of 25fps for 50 grains of arrow shed.

    Hoping the testing looks like this;

    400 grain 200fps
    350 grain 225
    300 grain 250
    250 grain 275 (4-5 grain per lbs of pull)

    The 1280 grain I should be lucky got get 100fps.


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