Home Forums Bows and Equipment Shooting bows with longer draws than your draw length

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    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      Kind of a lengthy title, I know.

      So aside from the obvious loss of draw weight, is there any downside to shooting a bow with a longer draw length than your actual draw length?

      My draw length is really only about 26″, is shooting a bow that’s 60# @ 30″ going to affect the bows performance that much, other than the obvious draw weight that’s lost?

      I know I’ve heard terms like stacking and things that take place in the limbs upon draw, but I’m not very familiar with these terms.

      Any of your expert knowledge is appreciated 😆

      Alex

    • wahoo
      Member
      Post count: 413

      I think I am just like you meaning I also have a 26″draw and I believe we are fortunate . Most of my bows are all heavy bows measured to 28″ so for us having short draws I take 3 lbs per inch off which puts them all in a nice range for me. As far as loosing performance I know of none and I just shoot and have fun. All the bows that I had built for myself are to my 26″ range but the used I pick up are not. I hope this helps a bit.

    • Arne Moe
      Member
      Post count: 147

      All trad bows are made to have ABOUT the marked draw weight at the marked draw length. That in NO way means that shooting the bow at less draw length is bad. As mentioned, you will have less draw weight and a shorter power stroke but the bow will shoot just fine (if you do your job).

      A bow that is marked 50#@30 inches, for example, just tells the owner that he can expect that drawing the bow to 30″ should reach about 50# and that he should NOT feel stacking.

      On the other hand, a bow marked 50#@26″ will PROBABLY exhibit stacking if drawn to 30″ AND a LOT more draw weight than marked.

      These aren’t compound bows that have a mechanically set draw length! The draw length marked is simply an indication that the bowyer has assured that the tiller will be smooth out to the marked length and what the expected draw weight should be at that point.

      Arne

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      Arne,

      I understand what stacking feels like, but what is it and what is it caused by? thanks, dwc

    • Arne Moe
      Member
      Post count: 147

      David,

      I have found 3 applications for the word “stacking” to be used. In my answer above, a bow being drawn in it’s designed draw length range will commonly increase draw weight by 2 to 3 pounds per inch. So it builds up to it’s rated draw weight at a given draw length.

      So the first ( and incorrect) use of “stacking” is usually by converted compound shooters who are not used to the weight build up as opposed to the let off of a compound. So they refer to the natural weight build up as stacking.

      So there are really two causes of true stacking. The first is caused by the string angle to the limb tip. Bows vary but as the string angle approaches 80-90 degrees you start to pull on the limbs (try to stretch them length wise) and loose the leverage required to bend them. This causes a very fast jump in draw weight from that 2-3 pounds per inch to something noticeably much higher like 5 or more pounds per inch. You are loosing leverage for bending and wasting effort on trying to stretch the unstretchable.

      Recurves (due to design) can maintain a much lower angle for a longer time than a longbow. That’s why most straight ended bows are generally longer than a recurve to serve a longer draw length.

      The second true stacking example is when the actual elastic limits of the limb are reached. There is a physical point where the limb material simply cannot bend any more and material failure is the next and only option. At this point draw weight increases really fast per unit of draw and if the draw is continued the limb will fail.

      Here is a simple experiment as an example. Take a piece of common wood lath – I think they are about 36 inches long (but doesn’t matter). Grab each end of the lath and slowly bend it. For a while, that bend will be smooth with just simple bending resistance. But you will get to a point where all of a sudden the bending feels like you hit a wall (it just doesn’t want to bend any more) — NOW bend it more — what happens? BOOM??!!

      Long answer to a short question. To determine which it is you need to look at that string angle at full draw and evaluate it. Over 80 degrees means you are getting too close to the designed draw limits of the bow. That’s the first check.

      The second is simply being practical and asking yourself if you are asking too short of a limb to bend too far and if you are reaching the material limits. This is why most bowyers have recommended draw ranges for given length bows. String angle and bending limb length.

      That help?

      Arne

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      Arne,

      Yes, this helps a lot. I appreciate you taking the time to write it down for me. It’s interesting stuff.

      best, david

    • Arid zone A
      Post count: 39

      The 28in draw lenth became a “standard” As the AMO system became the standard. [Archery Manufacture’s Organization]. Now you have a standard the all the guys making bows can build to. And all the people buying bows, can compare the bows to other brands,Companys, and even custom bow makers, with the same “standard”. This will not make each different brand shoot the same, look the same, weight the same, or send the same arrow down range at the same speed. No two bow shooters will pull the exect same lenth, so the makers, make a bow for “Joe” and “Jill” bow shooter. Just like buying a shotgun, over the counter, the stock is made for Joe & jill shooter. A custom stock will be made to fit you, and what you will use it for. Same for a Bow. Just keep shooting,,,,and learning ,,,really.

    • grumpygrumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Thanks Moe. Now I know why my bow works. Nice to know the science behind it, rather than just know “If I do it this way it works.” If I think about it I may want to make another bow.

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