Home Forums Bows and Equipment A Question of Draw Weight

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    • Dennis
      Post count: 52

      OK so we’ve had discussions on arrow weight (EFOC, FOC), favorite broadheads, favorite bows, favorite arrow material, etc. What’s the concensus on favorite draw weight?

    • Bloodless
      Post count: 103

      Bowyers comment on how in the last decade or so, draw weights ordered by shooters have been falling, on average from low 60s to mid or low 50s. As an older archer this has been the case for me. All my bows now range from low to mid 50s. That’s why Ashby’s research on arrow systems is all the more important, since the lower poundage we shoot, the more important the arrow part of the bargain becomes.

    • Fletcher
      Post count: 177

      I wish I could still shoot 60 comfortably as I really liked the way it performed, but I’m doing just fine in the low/mid 50’s now.

    • DAbersold
      Post count: 111

      A decade ago I shot a custom Bighorn that was #62@27″. Looking back, I think the higher poundage was the reason I got out of traditional archery and sold it. A few years later, when I just couldn’t stand it any longer, I bought a good recurve at #50. That seems about right for me now and is plenty for the animals I hunt.

    • Todd Smith
      Post count: 167

      For years I’ve shot bows in the 48# – 50# range. I’ve always shot them best. (Especially in the pre-panic days…)

      With the right arrow and broadhead that’s all I need.

      todd

    • Buzzard
      Post count: 66

      I shot a 63# recurve and a 64# longbow for most of my adult life. However, when i turned 50, i decided to back off a little to prevent possible shoulder trouble down the road. I’m now 53 and am shooting a 57# longbow with good results. Probably stay at that weight for a few years.

    • mswickard
      Post count: 34

      It will vary quite a bit, but it does seem that the draw weights are coming down to that mid 50’s or less. I’ve always shot 60-70# bows. This year finally got my Griffin and it is 53@28 and around 55 at my draw length. i must say that the lighter bow is a joy to shoot, but I never really complained much shooting a 60 or 70 # bow either.

      Mike

    • tom-wisconsin
      Post count: 239

      I am learning trad with my 40# recurve. I do have a urge to learn the art of the long bow also. When I scratch off harvesting a deer with my recurve I will move up to a 50 # longbow.

    • rod&bow
      Post count: 9

      I shoot both a compound and a longbow. Both are 50 pound and drive arrows well through just about anything outside of Alaska and Africa. I do think the trend is toward lighter drawweights. Just look at the used stuff for sale on Ebay:
      just about everything, wheeled bows and trad bows, tend to be high draw weights, typically 70 pounds for compounds, and 60 or so for trad bows. Low-poundage bows are tough to find. People seem to be unloading the heavy stuff.

    • Timbow
      Post count: 23

      Currently I am shooting in the mid 50’s but I would like to move up into the mid 60’s.:D

    • sharpster
      Post count: 91

      Brack Peerless.. 46# @ 28 but, I draw closer to 30″. Shooting CX Preditor 30/50s w/265 gr. up front and I have total confidence that this set up is more than adaquate for deer, bears and even Elk out to 25 yrds.

      Ron

    • Hank
      Post count: 20

      My favorite bow is marked as having a draw weight of 55# and draws 47#. My second favorite bow is supposed to be 55# but is 62#. I thought my favorite was the smoothest bow ever and the other one stacked. Even though I have killed a bunch of deer with my favorite this knowledge will forever mess with my head because I do not feel 47# is powerful enough contrary to the dead proving otherwise. I wish I never bought the bow scale.

    • Hank
      Post count: 20

      I guess bows are like women, they lie about their true weight and if you put them on a scale nothing will ever be the same.

    • kingwouldbee
      Post count: 44

      I really think it’s sad, that a lot of tradbow hunters are trying to shoot the lightest tackle they think they can get away with.

      Unless you have an injury or physical limitations, or are just to dang old to pull anything stronger than a rubber-band lol, I think it’s just laziness, ( don’t shoot me, it’s just my opinion ) a lot of guys shoot a lot of arrows at the practices butts, singing the song of,” I shoot better with a 45lb bow than I do with a 60 lb bow” well of course you do, every one does, ones good for targets and one better for hunting.

      If you exercise and work out to shoot a heaver draw weight, you can shoot a hunting weight bow quite effectively, can you pound the targets with a hunting weight bow? maybe, some guys can, but most cant.

      What I see is, a lot of guys hunting with there target bows, justifying there decision, with stupid statement like ” 45 lb has always worked just fine “, I know a guy how killed a Elk with a 40lb bow “, “there was a guy who shot a moose with a 40lb bow”, a lot of animals have been killed with 40-45lbs and lighter bows, does that mean it’s the best for everyone ” no ” if that’s all you can do, then that’s all you can do.

      Shooting a lighter draw weight hunting bow comes with a lot more limitations, both in the angles and shots you can take, because of the tackle I choose to hunt with, it gives me a lot more shot opportunity’s, both in angle and distance.

      If my setup can consistently shoot through the pelvis girdle and exit the off shoulder on deer size animals, why would I not take that shot, first you have to know that your setup is capable of achieve this level of penetration, I have tested my set up, and used sold information from others.


      I would be a knuckle head if I did not try and keep improving my equipment, getting stuck in the rut of, ” it’s always worked for the Indians ” I don’t have a week for it to die, I have to go back to work.

      Just because theirs an outdoor writer, who happens to bowhunt and wright articles does not make them an expert, use your own brain, it is not that hard, as Forest Gump said; “Stupid is as stupid does” — How stupid you are should be judged by what you do, and not by your “cover” (appearance).

      I have to ask my self: if everything go’s right, a buck at, let’s say 15-20 yards, relaxed broadside, can a 40-45lb kill this buck, I would have to say yes, there is a high percentage it will get the job done.

      I also have to ask my self:

      What will happen if I mess up the shot?

      What happens if it spins at the shot?

      What happens if it jumps the string?

      What happens if ” Murphy’s law” shows up?

      I already know the answer to these questions, poo-poo happens, how do I know? it’s already happened to me, I’m an above average shot, and all of the above has happened to me.

      I broke both shoulder bones on this buck.

      The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, expecting different results, if you want different result, some thing has to change.

      All things being equal, am I better served with less cast or more? less kinetic energy or more?, less momentum or more?, less penetration or more?.

      If 40lbs works, will 60lb work less? is it about my favorite draw weight, or is it about, what will give me the highest return with the least chance of failure, we all have limitations, however, don’t I have a responsibility to shoot the absolute best tackle I possibly can, with in our chosen limitations.

      Most hunting shots are less than 20 yards, with a lot under 15 yards, I need to be able to consistently place my arrow into the vitals ( that’s like hitting a volley ball ) I am not shooting 10, 20, or 50 arrows, like at a 3D shoot, I am only shooting one or two arrows, surely for bowhunting, I can shoot a little more hunting weight, and still maintain good accuracy.

      For me, I want more of every thing, if my arrow blows through everything I hit, is that a bad thing or a good thing?

      This is the scapula of a buck I shot through at around 5 yards on the ground

      If the buck I shoot at, drops at the shot, and I hit him in the scapula, I want more than I need to get through the rib cage, what do you think will happen if you blow through both shoulder blades? verses stopping in the near side scapula.

      Shot this hog right through his scapula

      There has never been an animals lost because the bow hunter got to much penetration, however, there has been a lot lost, because of lack of penetration.

      Around 17 yards, head on, on the ground, that’s a lot of penetration.

      We get to Piggy back on the experience of those who have gone before us, we don’t have to guess, there are laws of physics that have to be obeyed, if you choose to violate them, you will suffer the consequences of you ignorance.

      Just my 2 cents, you can do with it what you want.

    • Hank
      Post count: 20

      How many #’s is your bow?

    • sharpster
      Post count: 91

      Dave buddy,

      How the heck are ya??? Now since I posted the lowest draw weight…. If I didn’t know better, I’d think your post was directed at me… 😥 I shoot 46# @ 28″ but again I draw close to 30″. I shoot this weight because I’ve had two back surgeries and niether went well. But beyond that I think you, Ed, Dave Petersen and the rest of us all must conceed that the single most important aspect of game recovery (because that’s what we’re really talking about) is shot placement. Yea, I can shoot a 60# bow… just don’t expect me to hit what I’m shooting at with it. Just havin some fun with ya,:P

      BTW, weren’t you gonna call me about 4 months ago???

      Ron

    • kingwouldbee
      Post count: 44

      Um… ring ring…. 😉 so sorry Ron, I haven’t even been here in months, just been working all the time trying to dig my self out of this economic meltdown.

      I am not pointing out anyone, just generalizations, however, we all will fit into one or more categories.

      Ron you would fall under this category ” Unless you have an injury or physical limitations, or are just to dang old to pull anything stronger than a rubber-band lol”

      You are also pulling around 52lbs, even with your physical limitations, and if that’s all you can do, that’s all you can do.

      As I said, you just have more limitations, than, say me shooting a 60 or 70lb bow, you must pick your shoots and your angles to make sure you get the penetration you need to get the job done.

      The problem with just relying on shot placement is, I only have so much control of the shot, after I let go of the string, a lot can happen and a lot of it can be bad.

      If my shot stays true, I just pick up my arrow 20 or 30 yards on the off side, if something go’s bad, my extra per-cations and added bow weigh, with added arrow weight, pays huge dividends, usually in a recovered animal.

    • kingwouldbee
      Post count: 44

      Hank wrote: How many #’s is your bow?

      Hi Hank, I shoot between 55-70

    • sharpster
      Post count: 91

      kingwouldbee wrote: I am not pointing out anyone, just generalizations, however, we all will fit into one or more categories.

      Ron you would fall under this category ” Unless you have an injury or physical limitations, or are just to dang old to pull anything stronger than a rubber-band lol”

      I’m getting pretty close to fitting into both of the above sub-catagories Dave. 😆

      Your point is well taken,

      Ron

    • kingwouldbee
      Post count: 44

      Hank wrote: I guess bows are like women, they lie about their true weight and if you put them on a scale nothing will ever be the same.

      Hank, I have always compared bows to women, if you give them the time and attention they want/need, they will treat you good, but they can be real temperamental.

      I would be guilty of abuse lol, I treat my bows like I do a hammer, it’s a tool to get the job done, lot’s of dents dings and scratches.

      My last Habu looked like I drug it behind the truck from Colorado,lol

    • Hank
      Post count: 20

      I have been working out quite a bit with the goal of increasing my draw weight. I want to buy a bow in the 65-70# range but would like to shoot a bow that heavy first. I have been looking for a Grayling Bear recurve in that range for 4 years. I want a Super magnum 48 if it exists. I am also looking at a Rodney Wright Stalker 65-70#. I want to shoot the heaviest bow I can.

    • 3blades
      Post count: 58

      My hunting bow is 50#@28″ but I do have a 75# @ 28 that I can shoot but need to shoot it more. I really like the flight as the aiming is virtually the same from 10 yards to 30 it seems.

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      Bloodless wrote: Bowyers comment on how in the last decade or so, draw weights ordered by shooters have been falling, on average from low 60s to mid or low 50s.

      These things go in cycles. A few years ago when I did the Kustom King interview for TBM, the topic of draw weight came up. Tim and Gabby said that many years ago they had a hard time selling 45# bows. Now, they don’t stock anything 60# or over (special order only).
      30 years ago, 40-50# was pretty much average for whitetail hunters. As a matter of fact, the best deer hunter I ever had the pleasure of walking a trail with shot 42# @ 26” and had no problem blowing through Midwestern whitetails year after year. Of course, he was very accurate and understood proper shot placement.

    • Brock63
      Post count: 15

      I never ever considered having two different weight bows for target and hunting…maybe because I only saw 3D shoots as a way to practice FOR HUNTING later…so I wanted to shoot my hunting setup and take hunting shots no matter the scoring circles…so would give myself +5 for kill shots, -5 for anywhere on animal that was not in vitals, 0 pts for miss.

      My first recurve as adult was 60# at 28″….then I have one 60# @29….but lately due to injured shoulders and old age been getting bows arond 57@29….but this year shooting 60@28 Jeffery Royal Hunter…first bow bought as an adult that did not have wheels…from early 90s.

      I agree with shooting what you are most accurate and confident while also giving the best penetration on the game you hunt. There are compromises in everything….compromise draw weight and you lose a flatter trajectory, energy, etc…..compromise practice and you lose arrow flight, accuracy, confidence. I also agree that in perfect situations there is a very broad list of workable solutions…but when the shit hits the fan…you are left with the good solid ones as the others fail to perform.

      I have always been advocate of prepare for worst and hope for best.

      keep em sharp,

      ron herman

    • Str8arrow
      Post count: 32

      Brock63 wrote: I never ever considered having two different weight bows for target and hunting…maybe because I only saw 3D shoots as a way to practice FOR HUNTING later…so I wanted to shoot my hunting setup and take hunting shots no matter the scoring circles…

      You really should consider it. I have a 58 lb longbow and a 71 lb one. I shoot them both side by side when practicing. I use the light draw to work on form, I use the heavy one to build holding strength. I end up hunting with both since the practice has made me good with both. My shooting accuracy has gone way up since practicing with both draw weights and my holding strength is good enough from the 71 lb bow, that the 58 lb one feels like I could shoot it the whole day for many hundreds of shots.

    • USMC 82-86
      Post count: 54

      I have a 55# and a 56# longbow and I am getting ready to buy a Abbott recurve retro style 59#. I shoot my 55# and 56# bows at least 3-5 days a week and almost always between 150-200 arrows. I have practiced holding drills to help with these weights. I pull hold 2-3 seconds let down repeat and on the 3rd time release the arrow.

      I have shot bows in the low to mid 60# range and found that they are not very difficult to shoot especially if I am only shooting 50-100 shots. I can manage this number of shots with good control. I do agree that a bow for target and hunting are different. If you can manage heavier for hunting do so 5-10#’s is not so much for the limited shots needed, if you can shoot the heavier bow 10-20 times with control you can manage 1 shot when it counts. Good Hunting.

    • Kegan
      Post count: 43

      Heaviest I’ve ever shot was 85-90#. I began lowering the draw weight as I built better, faster bows, in the hopes of maintaining the amount of power while increasing my accuracy. Lately I’ve settled in at around 65-75#, which I can shoot very comfortably but still get my 600 gr. arrow moving very quickly.

      I think the biggest reason I didn’t pursue heavy bows over 75# was because I have/had alot of toruble getting my arrows much over 600 gr. without screwing up the tune. At 90# a 600 gr. arrow left alot of handshock.

    • RedTape
      Post count: 51

      My favorite draw weight is 50#. It’s easy to shoot and if you can easily control the bow, you can focus on form and accuracy. It’s plenty of weight for whitetails/bears and with the proper arrow and broadhead selection I’m confident it would work on elk.

      That being said, I have heavier bows that I use to keep my shooting muscles in shape and would certainly use those for larger game.

      Ultimately you should shoot the heaviest bow you can control and shoot accurately. Its a compromise. A heavy bow might make up for a bad shot in a shoulder. On the other hand, if you’re over-bowed and can’t control your shots, you could just as easily make a poor hit wounding the animal. Accuracy and shot placement are essential.

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      RedTape wrote: Ultimately you should shoot the heaviest bow you can control and shoot accurately.

      That, in a nut shell, is the very best answer on bow draw weight for hunting. The one overwhelming thing the Study has shown is that arrow design is a far bigger factor in terminal arrow performance in tissues than is the draw weight of the bow.

      A penetration maximized arrow from a lower poundage bow out-performs a ‘typically used’ arrow from a bow of substantually heavier draw weight. Conversely, with arrows that are equally performance enhanced the heavier draw weight bow will out perform the lower draw weight bow (assuming the bows are of equal efficiency; and that’s a whole ‘nother issue).

      Ed

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      Ed,

      Glad to see you back on the board, at least a bit. How’re things going? Hope you’re recovering from everything you’ve been through in the last year or so. Seems like you’ve had quite the long journey as of late, between coming back to the states and your medical issues. Get well. Look forward to more posts from you.

      Michael.

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Thanks Michael. It’s been over 2 years now, since the back injury. Hopefully this next knee surgery will be the last surgery for a while and I can start trying to build back up again.

      Ed

    • John Carter
      Post count: 71

      I shoot a 50lb recurve and a 45lb longbow.
      In the past I have shot up to 70lb,but more due to my now focusing more on purely shooting as well as I can I’ve settled on these wheights as the best over all for me.

      John.

    • stefan 1984
      Post count: 25

      for hunting i take my hoyt with 60#.. and for fun like 3d i take a 55#.. but now i wants to change from 60#- 65# by hunting. i think you feel right poundage in your back.. when you go to high you cant hold the bow straight.. i try to shooting clean groups of 5cm2 at 20 meters… and this for 10 time.. it makes no sense when you go to high. a good shoot right to the kill with a clean sharp broadhead is more important then you can fall a tree with your bow… i think you can make more mistakes with the joice of the right arrow..

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      stefan 1984 wrote: i think you can make more mistakes with the joice of the right arrow..

      Dr. Ed Ashby wrote: The one overwhelming thing the Study has shown is that arrow design is a far bigger factor in terminal arrow performance in tissues than is the draw weight of the bow. – Ed

      Right on, Stefan.

      Ed

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Hey Ed — you had that “final” (we hope) surgery yet? How you doing? Dave

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Hello Dave. Probably doing better than I deserve to. The next surgery is scheduled for November 4th.

      Ed

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