Throughout history there have been a variety of accuracy measures applied to the act of throwing, hurling, launching and/or firing of objects. These include string measure, mean radius, extreme spread, closest to center, probability of hit and score.
There are two objectives of the present contribution. The first is expository in nature, to describe the use and relative merits of these measures. Historical data will be examined to estimate the accuracies of such weapons as the trebuchet (a technologically advanced form of a catapult), longbow, smooth bore rifle, “Kentucky” muzzleloading rifle, early breech loading rifle and turn of the century schuetzen rifle. Data related to modern military and sporting firearms will also be discussed.
The second objective is to illustrate the use of such measures by evaluating actual data from firings of a scale model of a trebuchet. The model was designed using computer simulations and optimization techniques developed by others.