View Full Version : Info please: Martin Super Diablo...

03-17-2012, 05:13 PM
In an antique store today I found a Martin Super Diablo recurve bow for sale. I'm a noob at archery but I've been hunting for something simple to play around with and get started. Markings on the bow said it has a 46 lb. draw weight at 28 inches. It seems to be a shorter style of bow - it stood about as high as the bottom of my rib cage (I'm 6' tall) so maybe around 4' long. They're asking $150 for it with a 20% off sale, so $120.

Is this a good deal? And is this a good bow to whet my appetite a little?

Also, how would I judge whether the bow is serviceable and not worn out or something?

03-19-2012, 10:15 AM
Bump for the Monday crew.

03-19-2012, 10:19 AM
Never heard of it before. Have you done any google research?

03-19-2012, 10:22 AM
I'd see if you can talk 'em down a tad. I have a new "short" martin recurve not sure of the model, yours might be a good buy as mine new was close to 120.00 a few yrs ago but is a base model, your sounds "super" so it must be a higher end one?

03-19-2012, 11:49 AM
Did it look like this? (http://www.martinarchery.com/bows1999/supe.htm)

03-19-2012, 11:51 AM
That is one pretty bow! and worth 120.00

03-19-2012, 12:33 PM
Yes, Aven, it looks a lot like that! Didn't know they were still making them.

I did try some Google-fu on this. But as I said, I'm new to archery and don't really even know the terminology or what to look for.

So how would I judge whether this bow is in good shape? One think I did notice is that the finish on the bow is not shiny but rather a matte finish. Though I read somewhere that some of these were made this finish so they would not reflect light (in order to be more stealthy when hunting).

03-19-2012, 01:01 PM
Look the bow over and see if there are any lifting glass. Look down the limbs from one end to the other and see if they line up over the center of the bow. This is easier with a string on it. It doesn't have to be strung, just stretched from nock to nock. As long as the limbs are straight, no twist and there isn't any lifting glass, then yeah I think its worth the price.

03-19-2012, 01:21 PM
Cool, thanks, those a great suggestions. It does have a string on it, though it is not "strung" - the bow string is attached loosely to the nocks on the front side of the bow just like you described.

03-19-2012, 01:52 PM
This might be a bit much at 46 lb to be your first bow, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get it and hold on to it until your ready for it. It meets the minimum weight to hunt with for most states, if memory serves.

03-19-2012, 02:25 PM
Martin recurves have always been great. I have a Howatt bow from the 70s that is a favorite. Depending on the age, do not use a fast flight string unless it is made for it. Check and see if anyone has drilled any holes in it for sights, stabilizer, etc. Be sure to get the brace height right.

I was thinking the Super Diablo was just a little shorter than the Howatt Hunter (maybe 60"?). If the bow is truly 48" long, it may be tough to shoot until the correct muscles are built up a little.

03-19-2012, 02:42 PM
Thanks. I'm probably wrong about the total length. It's likely longer but I'll report back on that if I go for another look.

What is "brace height"?

03-19-2012, 02:55 PM
Brace Height is the distance from your brace point to the string. On a short recurve like the Martin S.D. it will probably be comparatively high, like 8-8.25". You can find the sweet spot of speed vs noise by twisting the string up or down.
That is a sweet bow and a good deal if its in good condition. Good find.

03-20-2012, 09:47 AM
Brace Height is the distance from your brace point to the string. On a short recurve like the Martin S.D. it will probably be comparatively high, like 8-8.25". You can find the sweet spot of speed vs noise by twisting the string up or down.
That is a sweet bow and a good deal if its in good condition. Good find.


Take a ruler and measure from the deepest part of the grip to the string. I agree that you should start it somewhere around 8" to 8.25" and then fine tune from there by twisting/untwisting the string.

I would say that once you get the bow, call 3 Rivers Archery and get a new string for it and what ever else you may need (glove, tab, arm guard, arrows, etc.). I live within 30 miles of 6 archery shops and only one has a very limited supply of items and even knowledge of traditional archery. One thing I will recommend too is a stringer by Saunders or similar. I was raised stringing them between my legs, but this makes it MUCH easier and with less chance of twist. Depending on your knowledge, you may want to venture over to tradgang.com and browse a bit.

Enjoy it!

03-21-2012, 04:12 PM
So did you get it?

03-21-2012, 05:19 PM
Have not had a chance to get back to that store yet. I'm not too concerned about missing out on it, as it's not exactly a place people go looking for archery stuff, and I know for a fact the bow has been in that store for over a month. But you guys have definitely given me a good nudge!

03-21-2012, 07:16 PM
That's okay then. I was just looking for the pictures if you had brought it home.

03-21-2012, 07:25 PM
string the bow and see if the string is centered where it contacts the limbs. If its off look to see if the limbs are twisted.
If you buy the bow string it with a bow stringer as this will put equal pressure on the limbs and prevent a limb from twisting.

also check the tips for wear and see if there are any fine cracks in the glass on the limbs

I have a Martin Rebel which is a short recurve. Martins are pricy now so 120 seems like a decent price.

03-21-2012, 08:29 PM
As you are 6 foot tall just remember that 46 lbs is at a 28" draw length if your draw is more than 28" the poundage will go up quite a bit with a longer draw. and also a bow that short will stack with longer draw lengths causing the performance to to be erratic at best. If the limbs are straight and there is no twist (look for limb twist unstrung and strung, it is possible for twist to be evident only in the strung position) and the finish is good with no splinters or cracks then I would say that $120 is a great deal for that bow.

Jetty Rat

03-21-2012, 08:42 PM
I've owned two Martin recurves (old X-200 and Hunter, still own the Hunter) and my brother has a Dreamcatcher. They are all fantastic shooters, and the risers always fit like a glove. Simple, well crafted, well designed. If it's in good shape, eat it up!

03-21-2012, 09:49 PM
Thanks for all the good info. Will definitely post pix if I bring her home!