My race has evolved in huge flat plains that offered little camouflage (hiding), with the animals having some sort of super-vision much better than an eagle (with no natural predators as the lands didn't have tall vegetation). So early humans had to use bows to hunt, long-range and strong bow (like the English longbows) so I had them evolve into better archers (including stronger upper body muscles, tall with long arms for extra pull)

My question is does height and arms-length increase draw force dramatically? After millions of years of evolution of course, and would the tallest people with longer arms be able to shoot arrows to significant distances?

I do realize some things don't make much sense but i didn't want to explain everything when I'm asking about just one bit.

  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by significant distances? Without your arrows going supersonic, which requires really advanced materials, you'll reach range cap at about 3 km. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 6:16
  • $\begingroup$ yeah I meant like a mile of half a mile for armor piercing arrowheads $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 6:19

1 Answer 1


There is a balance between the length of the limb and the amount of force it can apply to draw the string. Longer than a certain point and the amount of force the limb can produce declines, shorter than a certain point and the length of the draw, and hence the time available to accelerate the arrow, will decline.

So probably what you want is a little less than average height/length of limbs (but not too much shorter than average ) with a very muscular build and a very powerful and heavy strung bow and string with a very high tensile strength. 500 pounds? How much can a stocky fellow pull? Does his arm have some sort of mechanical augmentation?

The reason I suggest a slightly shorter build is that shorter limbs have the capacity for greater leverage in the way the muscles attach to the bone and the length of the bone segments themselves. Power is your greatest ally up to a point, but as I said, it's a balance. Pulling 2000 lbs on the string but drawing it only 4 inches would not produce as much acceleration as pulling 100 lbs 28 inches.

  • $\begingroup$ but what i noticed from longbow users is that for a 160 lbs bow the only limit to why they can't pull it more is the length of the arms, they have the strength to pull more but beucase of their arms they cant pull it more. would a person pulling a 160lb bow to idk how long like twice as much as a normal person produce a stronger shot than a 400lb bow that isnt pulled as much? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 6:54
  • $\begingroup$ @HasanAlsudani The reason there's a 160lb limit on the long bow is the construction of the bow. But it's also true that it would be effective if the user had longer arms, in which case, even the tallest person could conceivably pull 400 lbs. But if you're thinking of someone abnormally tall like someone with gigantism, it is true that their strength would decline beyond a certain size, but I don't have specific information off the top of my head. $\endgroup$
    – Nolo
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 7:10
  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't going for someone extremely tall but more of a 220cm tall with arms that are 160 cm long(shoulders and arms extremely muscly to be able to handle the weight), with legs that have never evolved for running allowing for the arms power to shine. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, so yeah, just go to the limit of what such a person could lift. For an extreme body builder that would perhaps be 400-500lbs. And make sure you design the bow for that kind of power. It would probably be some kind of highly flexible titanium alloy. And the string would have to be also very high tensile strength, braided steel cable might do it. $\endgroup$
    – Nolo
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 7:42

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