Home Forums Bows and Equipment Draw Lengths and Weights

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    • cfiles
      Post count: 20

      Hello everyone. Just to preface my post…saying that I am new to traditional archery would be an understatement. The entire concept to archery is new to me. I have been curious about it for a while now and picking up the latest edition of Traditional Bowhunter is what finally gave me the nudge to get involved. Until reading the issue I had no idea folks still used traditional archery equipment to hunt. Needless to say the discovery has made me extremely excited.

      In fact, I think it has made me a little too excited. I really wanted to get a bow and get started so I did what research I could to find out what size and weight I needed. My research led me to this how to build a bow project. According to the chart I need a 72″ bow. My wing span is just over 70″. I found a very reasonably priced new hickory bow on ebay that was 72″ and purchased it. The maker states that it is 50# at a 30″ draw. Awesome, it is on its way, but that is where I hit what I think is a snag.

      This past weekend I remembered seeing an old recurve in the storage building at my parents house when I was a kid. A few phone calls later, a drive across the state of Arkansas, and I was holding an old Indian Archery recurve. The bow is 56″ and has a 40/45# pull. I took the bow to an archery shop on the way back home. They looked it over, gave me a thumbs up, and helped me purchase some arrows. I was concerned about the bow being too short, and based on my research it was. The guy at the shop said it would be fine and would actually shoot a bit harder since it was shorter.

      The whole situation has me wondering if either of these bows will work for me. The man at the shop told me my actual draw length was 28″. Here are the questions I have…

      1) What will be the draw weight of the longbow if I only draw it 28 inches instead of 30?
      2) Since I am overdrawing the recurve what is the draw weight and will the overdraw effect accuracy? I am sure it will to some degree.
      3) Are either of these bows going to work (excluding the new archer variable) to cleanly take a whitetail?

      I know there are a lot of other variables to consider here. I am just trying to figure out if I need to look for a different bow or just chill and try to get comfortable with the two that I have.

      The longbow will be in my hands by the end of the week. I have shot the recurve almost every day since I got it. I can keep it on a pie plate at 15 yards, for the most part; every now and then I send one into the fence surrounding my target bag. Any help with these questions would be appreciated.

    • William Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      Cfiles,
      Your new longbow that is 50# at 30″ should be 46.67# at 28″ mathematically speaking. The best way to know for sure is to check it on a hanging scale and use a marked shaft.
      How do you know the recurve will be overdrawn? You mentioned your draw length is 28″ and since 28″ is usually the standard at which bow weight is recorded you should be OK. You might exerience a little string pinch at full draw with a 56″ bow but I would shoot it and have fun learning with it. If there is no string pinch at full draw it may be OK for you. Just may need a little tuning. There is plenty of tuning talk on this site! And welcome to the forum. I’ve been on since Sept 09 and so far it has been very pleasant.
      Duncan

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      Well first off welcome:D. In in a simple explanation, both will work. But it seems that you are one of those guys that are always looking for a better mouse trap, like me. And if that is the case. I dont know how you did it, but you seem to have found the outliers in the overall bowlength for both of them. The recurve is considered a short bow, and the longbow is pretty long, lol. But again they are both excellent as far as poundage for whitetails. Just from my experience, if you like the way the recurve feels, and you have shot it for about a week and gotten used to it, you will probably not like the longbow! And I am sure a ton of guys on here will disagree with that, but that is sort of what happened to me, except I had been shooting a recurve for a couple years before getting a longbow!

      I would say that you are probably a 28″ draw, most of us are. So I dont think you will be overdrawing the recurve. And I dont think overdraw effects accuracy, I used to overdraw my 60″ take down untill I changed my anchor, and I overdrew for about a inch, and my accuracy is the same! Welcome to the wonderful world of archery!

    • cfiles
      Post count: 20

      Duncan wrote: Your new longbow that is 50# at 30″ should be 46.67# at 28″ mathematically speaking. The best way to know for sure is to check it on a hanging scale and use a marked shaft.

      That is exactly what I wanted to know. I was just curious how to calculate the draw weight at a shorter draw than the one tested.

      Duncan wrote: How do you know the recurve will be overdrawn? You mentioned your draw length is 28″ and since 28″ is usually the standard at which bow weight is recorded you should be OK.

      Being overdrawn is just an assumption on my part. I figured a shorter bow meant that it was made for a shorter draw. The more I read the more I am beginning to understand that bow length has little to do with draw weight when it comes to traditional equipment.

      Duncan wrote: You might exerience a little string pinch at full draw with a 56″ bow but I would shoot it and have fun learning with it. If there is no string pinch at full draw it may be OK for you.

      What is string pinch? I am guessing I do not have that issue because it appears to be working just fine for me.

      Duncan wrote: And welcome to the forum. I’ve been on since Sept 09 and so far it has been very pleasant.
      Duncan

      Thanks for the welcome and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate it.

    • cfiles
      Post count: 20

      Greatreearcher wrote: Well first off welcome:D. In in a simple explanation, both will work. But it seems that you are one of those guys that are always looking for a better mouse trap, like me. And if that is the case. I dont know how you did it, but you seem to have found the outliers in the overall bowlength for both of them.

      Not sure about finding a better mouse trap 🙂 I just want to find a bow that is right for what I want to do, and that would be to cleanly and humanely take a whitetail in the least complicated way possible. Seems like I have the right gear, I just need to learn how to use it well.

      Yes it does appear that I found the two extremes of the spectrum. I seem to be one of those people that is predisposed to doing that.

      Greatreearcher wrote: The recurve is considered a short bow, and the longbow is pretty long, lol. But again they are both excellent as far as poundage for whitetails. Just from my experience, if you like the way the recurve feels, and you have shot it for about a week and gotten used to it, you will probably not like the longbow! And I am sure a ton of guys on here will disagree with that, but that is sort of what happened to me, except I had been shooting a recurve for a couple years before getting a longbow!

      That is interesting. I cannot wait to get the longbow and try it out. I do enjoy the recurve but I love the way longbows look. I also want to venture into making my own one day and I figure longbows are easier to make than recurves.

      Greatreearcher wrote: Welcome to the wonderful world of archery!

      Thanks for the welcome and for taking the time to answer my questions.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      cfiles wrote: What is string pinch? I am guessing I do not have that issue because it appears to be working just fine for me.

      String pinch occurs normally in short bows. I suppose it could happened with a “normal” sized bow with a fellow with big hands? But it is when the angle of the string is more acute, and it squeezes your fingers.

    • cfiles
      Post count: 20

      Greatreearcher wrote: String pinch occurs normally in short bows. I suppose it could happened with a “normal” sized bow with a fellow with big hands? But it is when the angle of the string is more acute, and it squeezes your fingers.

      Got it! Fortunately, I do not have that problem with this bow. I am using the three finger under the nock firing method, and it is working fine.

    • William Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      cfiles,
      If your fingers are not bunching up at full draw you are not suffering with string pinch.

      GTA is right that short bows sometimes cause this problem with folks who have long draw lengths. 28″ I think is a fairly average draw length. Should be OK with that bow length. If it shoots straight and is comfortable to shoot that is what counts.

      Duncan

    • tom-wisconsin
      Post count: 239

      Welcome cfiles. I have a Indian archery 40# bow which I bought new in about 1965. It did not have the bow length written on the bow. If your bow has the length written on it then it is a 56 inch bow. However if it is not written I think we need to make sure you measured it correctly. Mine is 62 inches long. We measure a recurve by measuring along the curves of the limbs instead of just the distance from tip to tip. My draw lenght is about 28.5 inches. My bow actually is 38 pounds when pulled back to 28 inches. So what is marked on the bow is not necessarily the actual poundage. My bow shoots great. I am glad to find someone who also has an old Indian Archery bow. As far as practice try focusing on holding the bow hand as steady as you can. Hope my tips help.

      Tom

    • cfiles
      Post count: 20

      Tom-Wisconsin wrote: Welcome cfiles. I have a Indian archery 40# bow which I bought new in about 1965. It did not have the bow length written on the bow. If your bow has the length written on it then it is a 56 inch bow. However if it is not written I think we need to make sure you measured it correctly. Mine is 62 inches long. We measure a recurve by measuring along the curves of the limbs instead of just the distance from tip to tip. My draw lenght is about 28.5 inches. My bow actually is 38 pounds when pulled back to 28 inches. So what is marked on the bow is not necessarily the actual poundage. My bow shoots great. I am glad to find someone who also has an old Indian Archery bow. As far as practice try focusing on holding the bow hand as steady as you can. Hope my tips help.

      You made me curious so I went and re-read the markings on the bow. It is actually marked 58″ instead of 56″, huge mistake on my part, sorry about that guys.

      Thank you for the info, I have done some research on the bow and came up with very little. The bow belongs to my dad, though he said I could have it. He said his folks bought it for him when he was younger so I am guessing it was purchased in the mid to late 60s, like yours. The model is a Seneca. The only info I have found is from people trying to sell them on eBay.

      It looks like it is mostly made with maple with green fiberglass on the front and back of the limbs. I am even using the original string. The only thing I had to replace was the felt on the vertical part of the shelf. It would have been cool to still have the Indian head silhouette there, but it is no big deal.

      I learned the hard way that the bow hand must be steady and the elbow locked. I kept having wild accuracy and discovered it was because I was bending my front elbow. Thanks for the tip, it is excellent advice, wish I had seen it sooner!

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      Ahh that is just like my first bow. I was given a old 40# galaxy mars!:shock:, which is worse than your old indian archery recurve, because at least people know of that company, lol. But I tried to find some info on it, and eventually found a year but I cant remember it. Even though it was old, still did the job, that bow is kinda slow, like my old shakespeare, it looks like there is not any glass on the bow, i think they just have thin veneer strips as backing?

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