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Thread: Bow noob needs advice...

  1. #1
    Scout Supporter WoodGnome's Avatar
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    Default Bow noob needs advice...

    Hey guys,

    my wife and me are both interesting in starting to practice archery. While she likes longbows and doesn't have any problems getting herself a bow, it's a different story for me as I'm getting totally different information on what to get.
    I would like to get myself a take down recurve bow. This having said, I'm 6'2'' and that is why I was told to get a bow of 70'' length. However, as I'm not the weakest one on the planet and this is what happened to a 50lbs longbow when I pulled it (btw exactly the way the owner wanted me to because he thought I couldn't pull it out...)...


    IMG_0285
    by DerWaldschrat1, on Flickr


    IMG_0283
    by DerWaldschrat1, on Flickr

    I was told that 55lbs and higher would suit me better. Now the problem is that I cannot find a bow meeting those criteria. They're either too short or too weak.

    My question is now:

    Would it really make that much of a difference to get a bow that's shorter than 70''? Let's say about 64'' or so?

    Thanks for your help.

    Greetz,
    WG
    There's no rain, just liquid sunshine!

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    Mighty Korean Hunter Supporter mangkukhan's Avatar
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    Now you do realize that recurve bows typically (always) have a maximum safe draw length at which point they should reach their listed draw weight, and you should stop pulling. That particular bow is likely not going to remain intact if you draw it much further. This is why most people will have arrows cut and/or marked to length specifically for their bow to ensure they don't overdraw. My longbow is 55lbs at 26 inches, I typically draw it around 24 inches naturally but my arrows for it are marked to about 25 inches. Also for what it's worth pulling a bowstring until the bow breaks doesn't sufficiently prove your ability to properly draw a bow, it just shows you can pull really hard. You need to be able to pull the bowstring to around its max draw and hold it steady so you know you will shoot straight. Assuming any of this is news to you then you may want to reconsider going to a stronger bow until you know what you can handle safely/correctly.

    As for bow length, I am 6'2 and my longbow is around 56 inches I believe and that is very comfortable for me, I don't think I'd like a longer bow. I prefer something easy to move around with and transport, one of the reasons I'm fond of asian recurves.

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    Scout Supporter WoodGnome's Avatar
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    Thanks alot. I know that pulling the bow till it breaks doesn't tell anything I just put that in for fun. Anyways having shot a couple of bows I feel quite comfy with 50-55 lbs. You just don't find that in a 70 inch take down.
    There's no rain, just liquid sunshine!

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    WG,

    There are a few things you'll need to tell us before a realistic recommendation can be offered. First, and most important, what is your draw length? If you don't know it, take a yardstick and with one end centered on your chest, clasp the other end between your palms directly in front of you. The measurement to your middle fingertip will be very close to your drawlength with a 3 finger hold to the corner of your mouth anchor. Adjust as needed for your anchor point.

    Second, what kind of shooting do you intend to do? For target or stump shooting, a lower poundage is really nice for a full day of shooting. It also let's you perfect your form if you intend to shoot instinctively.

    Having said all that, so long as a bow is tillered to your drawlength, it won't break. Over drawing any bow is dangerous. The selfbow that you show above, obviously wasn't made for your drawlength. All wood bows are generally made 2 X drawlength + handle & fades. So,if I was making a long bow for a 32" draw and the bow had an 8" stiff handle, I would make it 72" NtN. You can go a bit shorter (and I do), but you have to know how to compensate properly. Personally, I draw 29-1/2" and my favorite bows are around 63" NtN.

    Ken
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    Just an " FYI " on Commercially available, Standard ( 28 Draw Length ) Bows.

    Take down * RECURVE * 62 " : $139.99
    Bow weight at a 28" draw length: Available in Right or Left hand in 25#, 30#, 35#, 40#, 45#, 50#, 55#, and 60#. Please specify http://www.3riversarchery.com/Samick...riablekit.html

    Take Down * Recurve *: $799.99. Available AMO bow lengths of 60" (short limbs) or 62" (medium limbs) in right or left hand in bow weights of 35#, 40#, 45#, 50#, 55#, 60# and 65#. Please specify.
    http://www.3riversarchery.com/Fred+E..._baseitem.html

    Your choice on how much is in your budget left for accessories: Quiver / Arrows / Shooting Glove or Tab, Armguards / Extra Bow Strings, Wax , etc.

    You could order a " Custom Bow " a little longer, but it's going to cost you a bit more $$

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    Draw length, and finger "pinch" are the only things you may need to consider.

    I tend to anchor the bottom "knuckle" of my thumb at the corner of my mouth, so tend to draw about 25 or 26 inches.

    There are bows that can be drawn to 30" easy enough to find or make.

    You might google "board bow" and look at some of the tutorials you find.

    In addition to shortining a bow to increase draw weight, you could consider backing a self bow with something. I have used a large rawhide bone that I soaked and unwrapped, then use plain knox gelliten from the grocer as a hide glue to attach it to the back of the bow, sand it smooth and it will make the bow stronger and higher draw weight. Sinew will do so also. (Haven't tried the synthetic sinew, but that might also work. To just strengthen a bow I have seen them backed with silk.

    Fiberglass is of course a option for function over beauty (JMHO)

    You might consider a "flat bow" around 72 inches with rawhide backing as I have made and had good luck with those pulling around 50 - 60 pounds.

    A bow (well arrow) kills by hemorage, not shock, so after sufficient power to drive the broad head to the vital organs, the extra power is mostly to increase range or decrease the arc of the arrow on the way to the target. Practice compensates for that.

    If I remember right Fred Bear hunted a lot of things with a 35# bow.

    I tend to like 45 - 55 # bows myself, but I hear a lot of bragging on those 70 or 80 or 90 pound bows.

    I never fail to get a pass through on our little Alabama deer, and always hit heart / lungs on most hogs I have hunted, but they tend to be a bit harder to penetrate in my experience.

    The big advantage to making your own board bow is that you don't have a lot invested, and in the end it is your bow, made your way. To me that matters. Up to you how you choose to play, but that's my thinking.

    Thad

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    Scout Supporter WoodGnome's Avatar
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    That is a lot of useful info. Thanks alot, guys.
    My draw length is pretty much exactly 28'' any I seem to anchor my thumb knuckle right under the cheek bone, leaving the middle finger pretty much at the nose tip.
    There's no rain, just liquid sunshine!

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    Guide Supporter mjh's Avatar
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    Most modern bow are going to be fine for you then at a 28inch draw. The Samick take downs are a nice intro bow, I prefer a 62 inch bow, but do own one 60 inch bow, that is recurves, with longbows I prefer 66inches but have owned 68 and 70 inch longbows. If you want a high end takedown take a look at Blacktail Bows. I own a couple of older ones, a one piece and a takedown. Enjoy getting into archery!

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    Most everything seems to be generally covered---
    If you take a look at my screen name it stands for "Stringwalker" a method of aiming.
    Although the battle will be lit and there are literally TONS of articles and speeches both ways...

    IMHO only- the lighter the poundage of bow (early in shooting) the better off you are. Fewer bad habits will creep up (I have taught traditional archery for years -since 1978). As well as fewer physical problems (blown shoulder etc)

    As to hunting---whilst an argument can successfully be made for heavier bow draw weight for larger game---an equally strong argument can be made for shot placement and accuracy.

    I am 5'8", weigh 220lbs and can accurately hold and shoot a 100lbs draw weight.... However, I hunt (and pretty darn well- I've yet to not drop a least one deer per year) with a 50lbs bow and only own 1 heavy weight (Black widow) -

    Best of luck-
    PS-my neighbor is an Olympic coach---he teaches the same thing. His son is absolutely scary with a recurve

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    A selfbow or all wood bow as this one needs to be tillered well. Tillered meaning the limbs are trimmed until the bow curves evenly when drawn. This bow also seems to be a snake type bow or a bow having "curvy" limbs which makes tillering even more important. Another consideration is the type of wood used. Some woods are not good options for some bow types. One thing to remember is an all wood bow fully drawn is considered 90% broken. Draw the bow and shoot quickly but smoothly. Try not to hold for very long. You'll shoot it better and place less stress on the limbs. Good Luck

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