Home Forums Bows and Equipment Thinking of getting a custom bow

Viewing 15 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • fattony77
      Post count: 59

      Hello, all! I’m seriously considering having a custom bow made by a local bowyer. I’ve only bought factory made bows before. I’ve shot a couple of the guy’s bows briefly at the local bow shop, and really enjoyed shooting them. My question is, what kind of features should I be looking to be “customized”? I’m wanting a “hybrid” in the 50-55# @ 28 range. I assume some of the other things I should be looking at are grip style, and overall length. What else? This is a significant investment for me, so I want to make sure that I don’t miss anything! Any and all input and suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks.
      -Tony

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      One of the advantages of getting a custom bow made, is that you can work with the Bowyer. He isn’t expecting you to give him an order in the same way you would order a factory bow.

      Talk with him, and visit his shop. You should be able to shoot bows like the one you are interested in. And the bowyer will watch you shoot and make suggestions to help you answer all your questions.
    • Bounty Hunter
      Post count: 149

      Like Steve said, if you can shoot this bowyer’s bows then shoot all his different styles and find what you like. If there are aspects of a few different bows that you like talk with him and see if he can combine them all in to one bow for you. My bowyer added a thumb rise to the grip of my bow, by my request. He measured my hand, then took measurements while I was gripping a bow of the same style. So they can do a lot of things if you just ask. If you want to shoot fast flight stings you need to make sure he knows so he can build a bow that will handle them. Need to discuss the cut of the shelf, as the closer to center the shelf is cut the more forgiving the bow will be. I could likely keep going, but I’ll let some others jump in with ideas for you.

      Good luck!!!!

      Derek

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      Ditto to what the others said. It’s an adventure, in a good way. My bowyer, Leon Stewart, discussed the types of bows and advantages of construction, weight, length, etc. We also looked at wood choices and discussed advantages of performace with wood types. The process was a lot of fun for me and I picked up somethings about shooting that really helped. I ended up shooting my old Browning Wasp much better while waiting for my Slammer to be finished.
      I enjoyed the process so much, I’d be happy to do it again, except that this bow should last me a lifetime for what I am hunting. If I get a chance to hunt elk or other large game, maybe I’ll look into a heavier bow, but I’m probably set.
      Enjoy. dwc

    • fattony77
      Post count: 59

      I want to sincerely thank you guys for your input. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day (and huntin’ season) to help out a newbie. I will definitely be taking all of your advice to heart (and to the bow shop). It’s likely to be a few more months before I’ll even be placing an order, but when it comes around I’ll give y’all an update. I’ll even try to figure out how to post some pix from my phone! 😯

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Just ordered a custom myself. I would put grip and length (along with shelf cut, as mentioned) at the top of the list for considerations. Those three factors can make a huge difference, and are a large part of the reason to custom order a bow, imo.

      Out of curiosity, since the bow I just ordered is also a R/D hybrid, what are you looking at?

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Tony — While there are great advantages to working with a local bowyer, I suggest that you try to sample the field as well, as there are many superb bowyers working today. This will give you a better idea of possible features you may want included, and will also provide a price check on what your bowyer is charging. In my mind, a “custom” bow isn’t one that contains specific features I have requested, but merely a bow made by a qualified individual bowyer, even if off the shelf from bows he has in stock, as opposed to factory bows. Enjoy the process.

    • fattony77
      Post count: 59

      Smith- I’m thinking the R/D longbow style limbs, but more of a “recurve style” grip that’ll allow for a “high wrist” shooting style. The “brand” name is Black Hollow Bows. I don’t know the bowyer’s name (yet). My local archery shop’s owner has a Black Hollow hybrid & one of his recurves. He’s let me shoot both & I enjoyed shooting both. There was a WORLD of difference between them & my factory bows (Martin L-100 & Bear Kodiak Magnum both 50# @ 28″).

    • fattony77
      Post count: 59

      Dave- The local guy charges around $600 for his semi-custom (in-stock) bows and around $800 (& up) for his full custom. Is that a reasonable price range for what seems to be quality craftsmanship? I don’t know how I’d be able to “sample the field” around here, as my knowledge of any other local trad community is VERY limited at this time. 🙁

    • codger
      Member
      Post count: 131

      One point on having a custom bow built! its habit forming once I had my first custom built bow it was all downhill from there. I currently own about 11 custom long bows and recurves. just be forwarned.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Tony — I’d say that price range is pretty much right on the money these days. A new basic Shrew, for example, goes for $675 last I checked, a tremendous bargian if you can stand the long wait to have one made, while a new Black Widow can run nearly twice that much. I have about $1k and $1.2k in my two Shrews, respectively, thanks to extras such as snake skins, mammoth ivory and elk antler tips and handle inlays, take-down, special limb woods, etc. While all that stuff makes a pretty bow prettier and more personalized, it doesn’t help one white to make the bow, or you, a better shooter.

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      If you could go to the Kalamazoo show you could shoot bows by custom makers til your heart is content. But, if your like me and won’t get to the K’zoo show anytime soon you can check the different maker’s websites after the show for “show bows” that didn’t sell at the show. I got a very nice Super Shrew last year that way and waited all of 5 days for it to come in the mail. I didn’t get to have it “customized” but to me it is still a one of a kind custom simply because it was hand made by a great bowyer and that is good enough for me and of course the price was right too. So, check ’em out. Great Northern usually has some and I’m sure there are others too. Just look for the stock bows on their site.

      Duncan

    • fattony77
      Post count: 59

      Well the time is very near for me to meet the bowyer & check out the “in stock” bows. I hope to be the proud owner of my 1st custom bow within the next 2 weeks! Any last minute advice or suggestions?

    • lechwe
      Member
      Post count: 7

      fattony77 wrote: Well the time is very near for me to meet the bowyer & check out the “in stock” bows. I hope to be the proud owner of my 1st custom bow within the next 2 weeks! Any last minute advice or suggestions?

      Take your time deciding what you want. length, weight, wood combinations. Good luck. Getting a custom bow is tons of fun.

    • fattony77
      Post count: 59

      Well, I got my new bow on Tuesday. It’s a R/D longbow, 64″, 49# @ 28″. It shot well for me & is absolutely gorgeous! It’s made with diamond wood & leopard wood with a phenolic strip, bamboo & black fiberglass limbs.The shelf is cut to just a little past center. I’m going to have him reduce the size of the grip some to fit my big hands a little better. I’ll try to get a pic up soon. It “only” set me back $800 but he said if I decided I don’t like this one (fat chance!) he’d let me trade down & he’d make good on the price difference. This was a wonderful experience overall, and I’d like to thank you all for your help!

    • lechwe
      Member
      Post count: 7

      I would start saving now for the next one because you are in the beginning stages of a very serious disease. I’ve now got 3 custom bows and another set of limbs on the way and said I would never have more that one bow.

      Enjoy!

Viewing 15 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.