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Simon Bridge
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Nov12-12, 04:21 AM
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There are a lot of variables here - what is this for?

Bows store the energy from drawing your arm back.
Thus energy from your arm is stored in the spring.

Swords increase your reach - a thrust delivers energy from your arm directly.

Guessing that the energy from pulling the arm back is about the same is pushing it forward, then a simple bow can be expected to introduce the same energy to the arrow as the thrust does to the sword. ##p=\sqrt{2mE}## so the more massive sword gets the more momentum. (wow!) You already know you want a heavy weapon in melee if you are interested in delivering damage. But that's making a lot of assumptions.

However - the sword thrust has to be quick -while you can take your time on the draw.
So there would be an upper limit to the sword thrust that is lower than what you could store in a bow.

Then there are compound bows which can vastly magnify the stored energy.
For a random bow vs a random sword - I'd bet on the bow having more momentum than the sword, for the same arm... assuming maximum draw weight is being used.

Short answer: it depends.
You sound like someone with access to archery and fencing equipment ... so you can do an experiment.
You can measure how fast the rapier thrust and the arrow flight is and weigh both.