Home Forums Bows and Equipment 1960’s Vintage Ben Pearson Bow outperforms new OMP Takedown Recurve

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    • Todd Reeves
      Member
      Post count: 2

      Hello all

      Last year I bought my first recurve bow at an estate sale for $25.00 a Ben Pearson 1960’s Vintage one piece recurve bow.  The bow is 60 inches and has a draw weight of 50 pounds at 28 inches.  After being a compound bow hunter for the last 30 plus years, I decided to hunt with this old bow exclusively in the 2020/2021 season.  I was able to harvest 2 nice bucks and a 2 hogs this past season.  So to say the Traditional Archery bug has got me hooked is the understatement of the year.

      So my wife decided to get me a Take Down recurve for Christmas because I was talking to her about how nice it would be to breakdown my bow when I hunt for traveling.  So I kept dropping hints the last few months of 2020, leaving magazines open to take down bows and even a mail order catalog opened to a bow I wanted, and that bow was an October Mountain Products Takedown recurve at 50 pounds same as the Ben Pearson I have.

      Well Christmas morning arrived and under the tree was the very same bow, she was a beauty, I wanted this bow because I had spent many months researching it and reading reviews and all were good.  Also the price at under $150.00 was hard to beat.

      So I opened it up and assembled the bow and grabbed my arrows and started shooting it that day.  Right away I knew something was not right the bow just did not have the zip or the reassuring thump when an arrow hits the target like my Ben Pearson did.  I was scratching my head in confusion.  So the first thing I did was check the limbs and yep they were listed at 50 pounds at 28 inches.  SO I grabbed my handheld bow scale and checked the poundage the bow came in at 49.6 pounds at 28 inches and at my draw of 29 inches just under 53 pounds.  Ok Check bow limbs are good for poundage then I decided to shoot it some more and brought out my Ben Pearson for a side by side comparison.  Both bows are the same poundage and the Ben Pearson was for sure faster and hit the target with more authority.  I then took out my Pro Chronograph to check actual arrow speed.  Using a 520 grain  Arrow with 5 inch feathers and shooting the same arrow through both bows I got an average over 5 shots with the Ben Pearson at 174 FPS with the OMP Take Down I got and average over 5 shots of 148 FPS.  How could this be the newer bow was slower than a 50 year old dinosaur Ben Pearson.  I next looked at the string of the OMP which is your standard b50 that ships with the bow, I thought ok new string so I ordered from OMP website a fast flight string and waited a few days for it arrive and strung up the Takedown with the new fast flight and then headed back to the range with my chrony and bow and this time the same 5 arrow average was 152 FPS.  so I picked up a whopping 4 fps with a new string.  I again checked over the limbs in case I missed somethin but no there was nothing no cracks no twists no nothing the limbs looked perfectly fine.  I checked the brace height and it was within manufacture guidelines.

      So I am at loss.  I called OMP customer service and to say the person on the phone was of no help is an understatement.  All he said was “well we do not speed test our bows”  I asked him if I could swap out the limbs for another set of 50 pound as that is the only thing I could think of why the bow was performing so poorly.  He told me he could not because they had no replacement limbs in stock and were not expecting any until late March or April.  This guy had no clue what could be issue, only to say that he could send me an RMA to return it and it would be several months before I could get it back if the limbs were bad.  I told him that would not work for me as I was heading out west on a Turkey hunt next month.  So October Mountain was no help.  Looks like I am still going to be using my Ben Pearson bow for a while longer anyway.

       

       

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Hi Todd

      Welcome to the forum… Congrats on your great trad bow hunting success this year. Well done. The Ben Pearson seems like a lucky bow for you … maybe it should be the one for turkey?

      Sorry to hear about the new take down bow problems , hopefully the company will work it out in your favor. I am not familiar with that company or its bows, so can’t really give a realistic appraisal.  That being said ; how fast a bow flings an arrow is dependent on many variables  — materials, design, manufacturing process, string type ( as you mentioned)– etc. They may all say 50lbs on the limb ( sometimes that is a ” ball park” figure), but they don’t all shoot the same ( speed) as you have seen.

      I too like takedowns and have two. They usually cost more than the std bow of the same model ( harder to build). You might look at bows made with the ILF ( International limb fitting system). Bowyers who make risers with this system give the archer a lot of options and are held to an excellent std.

      Let us know how the turkey hunt goes , what state?

      PS – you got a good deal on the Ben Pearson bow…

      Scout aka Ray

      • Todd Reeves
        Member
        Member
        Post count: 2

        Thanks Ray

        I will be hunting Osceola Turkey here in Florida then heading out to meet up with an old Navy buddy who has invited me to hunt Merriam Turkey in Colorado.  He to hunts with Traditional Bows mostly long bow.

        I am coming from the compound bow and everything in that world is speed.

        Thanks for the advice and I will let you know how the hunt goes,

         

    • richard roop
      Member
      Post count: 250

      Todd;

      Greetings and Salutations from South Eastern Arizona.

      First of all ……………….. My standard advice; If there’s an archery club within 100 miles of you with Traditional members … Join it. The exchange of ideas alone is worth it.

      Second; Back in the years of B.C. (before compounds) the major and some of the not so major manufactures had brought bow-making to a fine art. A lot of these bows will still hold their own today. Maybe not head to head with a high dollar custom model but still fine shooters with a lot of miles left in them. A couple that come to mind are the Damon Howatt Super Diablo and the Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter.  Old catalogs (found on eBay ) such as Robin Hood or Kitterage Bow Hut are a good place to look at what was. Old Bowhunter Digest books, also.  A bit of time spent cruising ‘recurve bow’ on eBay or one of the used bow sites might turn up something that turns you on.

      Bear in mind that speed isn’t the whole picture. A bow has to have a certain degree of ‘panache’ (to you).  If it does, you will shoot and learn the bow and this builds confidence. Without confidence, all we’re doing is getting fresh air & exercise.

      Good luck & let us know how it works out.

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Todd

      Good luck in Florida and Colorado …let us know how the hunts go.

      Accuracy and razor sharp broadheads are first considerations as always. Either of your bows would be fine for deer/ turkey.  Although as Mr Roop says, the Ben Pearson has more Panache..

      Scout aka Ray

    • richard roop
      Member
      Post count: 250

      Awe ………………………. You’re making me blush.

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