You probably think firearms are always better than bows and arrows. But not according to these 1960s Special Forces.
Well into the age of firearms, these soldiers prove the good old fashioned bow and arrow still had some deadly applications.
In this clip from the 1961 documentary “Silent Warriors,” these Special Forces archers demonstrate the hunting bow’s timeless potential in warfare.
As the narrator points out, the bow and arrow still possesses plenty of power and accuracy to rival that of a firearm. It’s most apparent advantage is its ability to be nearly silent compared to the loud report, muzzle flash, and smoke of a firearm, which can betray your position and ruin the element of surprise.
The soldiers can also use the bow for its intended purpose, hunting game, allowing them to sustain themselves behind enemy lines without giving themselves away. In addition, the bow and arrow can be customized with specialized explosive heads for added destruction.
But where the bow and arrow really outshines the firearm is its pentrating power. Using a target filled with dirt, the soldiers show how an arrow can penetrate further than a .45 caliber handgun, .30 caliber carbine and even an M1 rifle, typically chambered in .30-06.
Of course, firearms are far more lethal and practical than a bow in most applications, but the video is nonetheless a surprising look into how the bow and arrow still had its uses, thousands of years after it had been introduced into warfare.
There’s only one record of a bow and arrow being used in WWII, by a legendary British soldier named Jack Churchill. But there’s no evidence that a hunting bow was actually used in warfare after that. Then again, for good reason, we don’t hear much about what Special Forces do, so you never know.