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Introduction

This is a common enough feat, see Avengers, Kung Fu Panda 2, RWBY, etc that it might be worth a calc.

So here we go.

Calculation

My plan for this calc is to assume the average arrow catching feat involves the character starting with their hand and arm at resting position by their leg and catching the arrow at a distance equal to the length of the arrow away from their head.

I'll do a calc for a compound bow and one for a crossbow.

Average arm length of someone 177 cm tall is 73 cm

If I use that as the radius of the half circle created by swinging one's hand from their leg to their head, that gives the hypothetical circle a circumference of 4.59 meters

Half of which is 2.295 meters

Compound Bows

Compound arrows travel at 340 fps (103.632 m/s) and are 76 cm long

(2.295*103.632)/0.76 = 312.941368421 m/s or Mach 0.91 or Transonic

Crossbow

These bolts can travel 400 fps (121.92 m/s) and are 20 inches (0.508 meters) on average

(2.295*121.92)/0.508 = 550.8 m/s or Mach 1.6 or Supersonic

Conclusion

  • Catching a Compound Bow Arrow: 312.941368421 m/s or Mach 0.91 or Transonic
  • Catching a Crossbow Bolt: 550.8 m/s or Mach 1.6 or Supersonic
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