|“||An ordinary archer practices until he always gets it right. A Ranger practices until he never gets it wrong.||”|
–Traditional Ranger saying
Longbows are simple, typically wooden bows that are often sixty to a hundred inches tall, (about 1.5 to 2.5 meters or 5 to 8.3 feet) and consist of a simple shaft of wood with the ends tied with a thin, strong piece of linen or other type of string. Longbows in the Ranger's Apprentice series are based off the same English weapon, which has been used since about 1000 AD, and was put to use during the War of the Roses, as well as the Hundred Year's War.
Longbows are generally seen as yeoman's weapons and nothing special or significant. Will Treaty himself says such things to Halt before he has started training, he quickly changes his mind however when he sees Halt's talent and marksmanship. Longbows are powerful weapons in the hands of those who know how to use them.
Typically, despite their wide use by the English, longbows's strengths are still measured in pounds. Halt's bow is about 90 (about 40.8 kilograms) pounds and Will's favorite longbow has a draw weight of 80 (about 36.3 kilograms) pounds.
The Longbow is the primary weapon of the Ranger Corps, though younger Ranger Apprentices use recurve bows as they are easier to draw and fire. The longbow is a weapon made mainly for long distance fighting. Rangers are trained to shoot very accurately and can hit their targets from almost any distance and elevation by the time they end their training. Longbow arrows are much bigger than recurve arrows. Rangers carry two dozen arrows in their quiver, as well as extras in their pack; the basis of the saying "Araluen Rangers carry the lives of 24 men in their belt."
Halt was known as the best archer in the Ranger Corps, with Will inheriting some of this talent. Halt is quite gruff and rude to Will about his mediocrity with the bow during The Ruins of Gorlan, but will not admit that he knows Will will be better than he is, which is later confirmed in The Emperor Of Nihon-Ja when Will knocks an arrow out of the air by flicking it with his bow, much to the astonishment of Halt.