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The silhouettes show the main types and shapes of these bows. There are, of course, many variations of these, and they all argue great ingenuity in overcoming the problems of design and cast. That the bow was, to a large extent, a success was due to its high recurvature and thin cross-sectional limb construction.

Basic shapes

To simplify the study of this weapon, here are the six main forms of construction:
1. Of one piece of steel.
2. Of one piece of steel with wooden, horn, leather or ivory grips.
3. Two-piece, with the upper limb screwing into the lower limb and grip (although some bows of this type allow both limbs to be unscrewed).
4. Two-piece; the stave of continuous metal with a separate handle rivetted to the back of the bow.
5. Five-piece; grip, limbs and ears rivetted together.
6. Wire-limb type.

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