Home Forums Bows and Equipment The Bow that Surprised You

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    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Have you ever had a bow that, at first, you didn’t think would be anything all that special? Or simply one that you thought might be an “ok” bow, but you didn’t necessarily expect it to bowl you over? And then it turned out that something “clicked” and it’s now the bow (or bow style) you keep coming back to?

      It’s good to surprise ourselves now and then, isn’t it?

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      unfortunately, no, Bruce, I haven’t.

      My experiences were always the opposite.

      Great talking from the maker, ‘yeah, I can make a bow that won’t do that when you shoot…”

      But it didn’t pan out…

      That is until this last one… My Sassy Lady LB fits how I hold and shoot, thanks to some studying by the bowyer of my grip and release in videos, and now I have that one bow in my life that actually makes love to my hand… not that fights me like some ugly marriage…

      but compared to most of you, I’ve only tried and owned perhaps a dozen or so, where some of you are in much higher numbers and the odds are in your favor…Most were customs, but nobody nailed the grip like Kirk.:lol:

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Yup. I have a 47# Osage longbow made by Gerald Johnson of Yellow Jacket Longbows that when it hits my hand we’re both home.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      Maybe. Like falling in love at first sight I bought a Jim Reynolds Thunderstick (made in Mi.) in the early 2000’s. It’s light and shoots well. For all I’ve learned since and the bows I’ve slobbered over, I feel great with my first pick. Besides looking at the eye candy out there, I’m happily married to this bow!

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      Ah, you guys of multiple loves! I started with my Browning Wasp, graduated to my Leon Stewart Slammer Special and here I stay. Though, I have to say, I was wowed by both when I first picked them up and I’m still wowed by the Slammer. I’m amazed how flat it shoots a 630 gr. arrow within my circle of influence. peace, dwc

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Good to read there can be “love at first sight” that LASTS!

      I’ve shot, and have many experiences with better heeled friends who found a sweet shooter at a shoot, had the money, took it home and the honeymoon wore off and it became an UGLY STICK (not the fishing rod) in short order.

      The blush came off the rose… 😕

      Glad to read those “first love” things can actually work into long term relationships!!!:D

      Took me years of shooting a LOT of bows at shoots to find one, including a number of bad deals with ‘customs’ that weren’t… to find what I now have that I’m sure gets buried with me…

      well, no, since I want to be toasted, I can’t do that to the bow, but someone might not find the grip to their liking like I like…

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      For me, it’s been the Robertson ‘Primal Styk.’

      Since I first got started in traditional archery, I’ve always had a fascination with Dick’s longbows, for some reason I couldn’t really put a finger on. I guess I just had a lot of admiration for the guy, and his long history of building exceptional bows. But along the way I got sidetracked by various recurves and D/R bows, and only finally decided to get a Primal Styk last year. It’s funny, because even though I had this notion of wanting one for a long time, I really wasn’t sure how I was going to like it – ASLs have a reputation for being slow, I didn’t know if I’d like the grip, which is quite different than the more pronounced locator grips on all the bows I’d owned previously, etc.

      All of which is to say that I was a little tentative about this bow when I first got it. There were times when I struggled with it, and went back to my familiar D/R bows for a while, only to return to the Primal Styk again. As I adapted my shooting style to suit this type of longbow/grip, one ‘light bulb’ after another started to go off, and my accuracy improved. While I still have my ‘off’ days, when I’m ‘on’ this bow it is the most fluid, natural and intuitive of any bow I’ve ever shot. So much so that when I pick up any of my other bows now, they feel weird and it takes me a while to adjust to them again. And even then, I don’t think I shoot them any better than the Primal. It’s no slouch in the ‘speed’ dept. either. Learning to shoot this type of bow has taught me a lot.

      I really never imagined I would like “ASL-style” longbows so much, and now they are pretty much all I want to shoot. Go figure…

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      SWEET,Bruce!

      It’s sooo good that we all do NOT like the same thing, or I could never afford anything! Supply and demand would kill my ability to purchase most anything!

      I have tried those straight grip things for decades and my wrist tendons SCREAM at me… I just cannot shoot a low wrist grip…

      Then I smile and say the Lord couldn’t figure out if to make me be 6’2″ or 5’10” so he allowed some parts to be each size!

      Ending up the prior size, with short tendons and such, life has been interesting, as they say!

      I shot RC for that reason, but then as time went on, more and more folks created the RC style (locator?) grip on LB and I LOVE the lines on a LB…

      attached file
    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Thanks, Doc. I just think it’s interesting to observe how sometimes the bow that catches our eye, or the one we think we’ll like, isn’t the bow that ultimately connects with what works best for your hand and your brain.

      Another thing I’ve learned in this proces – I used to think that it was possible to shoot any bow basically the same way. Shooting ASLs has taught me that this isn’t true across the board. While everyone might not agree, I really do think these bows require a specific shooting style to take advantage of their virtues. But once that style is learned, it’s a very quick, instinctive style that I believe works quite well for hunting. Which is probably why Hill, Schulz, etc. adhered to it over more static, ‘target’ styles of shooting. Just some randon musings…

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      I bought a Thunderstick MOAB at a bowhunting organization banquet several years ago. I was genuinely surprised by its speed and stability. In the end, I still prefer recurves, so after a few years I sold it to someone else.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Et al,

      I HOPE that I’ve bought my LAST bow… can’t see the %age in another one at this age/stage of life…

      I admit, Bruce, I’m too ignorant to know what an ASL style bow is!! ❓

      But if you’re happy, that makes ME happy.

      I love hearing how so many different bows are so unique to varied shooters!

      Keeps our creative bowyers in the forefront making bows and feeding the cat!8)

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Doc Nock wrote:

      I admit, Bruce, I’m too ignorant to know what an ASL style bow is!! ❓

      Doc –

      ASL = American Semi-Longbow

      Also referred to as a “Hill-style” longbow.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Doh!

      There ya go, then. I’ve just been edumacated! :lol:8)

      Bigfoot makes a hill style without the inherent hand shock… think he calls it the Flatliner.

      I’ll take what I’ve got and smile…but glad for all you who explore and find satisfaction!:D

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Bruce if you would have referred to it as an “H-SL” bow, Doc & I would’ve known right? 😀

      Doc, I didn’t know either. These young’ns!!!!!!!:wink:

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Ahem…. speak for yourself, John! Er…Ralph!:lol:

      I still wouldn’t have had a clue…never heard that term before, or read it or …

      ….maybe I just forgot along with so many other things?:oops::roll:

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Age!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:roll:

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      AMEN, Brudder, Amen!

      Ummm…what were we talking about again…?:?

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      You clowns need to get out more often…

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      So says you, PUP!

      At my age, getting out carries the risk of never finding my way home again…emergency kit or not! 😯

      attached file
    • grumpygrumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      The Bear Super Mag 48 came out in ’66. I was 16 and wanted one. It was out of the question, and in the fall of ’66 we moved to the city. For some reason I never had the urge to get involved in archery till s few years ago. Besides I had bad memories of bows that were too big for me. But whenever I thought archery, the image of that bow, those curves, came to mind. That is the image I was working toward building my own bows. Always thought It would cost too much, not enough time (remember I am a single parent for the second time), blah, blah. Now that I finally have it I’ve noticed that Fred Bear has the same exact grip on the bow that I do. Don’t know how long his arms are, or how tall, but his bow fits me to a T. Now that I have it, I think I should have passed on one of the fly rods I bought 15 years ago and bought this bow. Not saying all of them, just one of the fly rods (Orvis 8 wt, parabolic). On the other hand I am being told that God’s timing is perfect.:D

      Have to get an 11 year old off the phone and into bed.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Single parent? Second time? Granddaughter?

      Good gravy, no wonder someone nicknamed you “grumpy”…I’d think! I’d be comatose! or ballistic at best!:shock:

      Good luck with the 11 yr old… more power to ya, Hoss!:roll:

      I don’t know but Fred was a fairly tall chap me thinks, but what I remember most was he had huge feet! Sz 12 I believe! According to St Clare.

      Anyway, sounds like you made a find and love what you found… that is what it is all about. We’re not all built, shaped or configured the same, so how could a few bows fit us all perfectly?

    • wojo14
      Post count: 325

      I am relatively new to trad, but over the last year I shot a bizillion bows. Long and recurve. I always go back to my Striker Stinger TDL. It is a r/d long bow with a pretty defined locator grip. I love shooting longbows most of all, but the flat grip hill style do not agree with me. I like locator types better.

      I love my Striker! I have a new one on order!

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      You guys with multiple bows! 😯 I must not have lived right… I finally found ONE design I like, with a custom grip (not just an ala carte menu of wood choices, but custom fit to my shooting style).

      It took me a long time to build up the funds, and sneaking around a lot at night stealing alum. cans from recycle bins before the AM crews picked up to afford it, but I cannot fathom why I’d need another…

      I did shoot Kirk’s SS RC static Tip, which he now makes in ILF, but I’d rather not be messing with all that tuning and tillering…let him do it on a 3 piece…alas, good thing is at this point in life, one is enough.

      I’m with you, though, Wojo, on the locator grip… and medium wrist!

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      I’m not sure I could limit myself to just one bow (unless I truly had to), but I do find that over time I’ve gravitating to one type of bow, and one type of grip, in various poundages:

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Got to

      Has to

      Can’t afford NOT to

      Oh, I have other bows around… old, old bear I drilled for a stabilizer bushing for a bow fishing bow

      Another old Bear with silver medallion a friend gave me with the promise to not sell—it was his dad’s.

      a Heritage RC riser that the bowyer is out of biz, limbs broke and a hobby bowyer friend tapered riser and made some longbow limbs, and a Lost Creek I won in a drawing that is only 56″ long and 48#…

      But I only shoot my Sassy Lady anymore.

      Besides having to keep track of different arrows for all those draw weights you got, Bruce ole man, would make me nuttier then I is now!

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      But then again, it ain’t too hard to switch from those above to these:

      and the difference in smoothness and speed are hard to deny.

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