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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 8/23/2006 11:09:23 AM EDT
I want to get into archery.  About 15 years ago when it was 12-13 my grandmother bought me a longbow, which I believe was fiberglass.  No special sights or frills, just the bow and some aluminum arrows I got at wal-mart.  She set me up some hay bales in the back and I'd shoot until my arms were sore.  The bow broke years ago.

I'd like to get something similar but larger.  I know nothing about the pull weight or length.  I'm right eye dominant (shoot right handed) but shoot the bow left handed as I am left handed.  I just want something cheap that I can mess around with in the yard before I step up to a compound bow someday and really learn how to use it.

Also would you recommend the long bow over a recurve or vice versa?  Andy why?
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 11:23:20 AM EDT
[#1]
Go recurve first.  Easier to shoot, builds your proficiency with instinctive shooting.  You can find a good used Bear online, but you need to figure out your draw length.  Suggest you visit your local archery dealer, they can help you figure out what fits you and many have old or used bows for sale at good prices.

I still use my first bow, a Bear Grizzly, 32" draw, 50 pounds.  Good bow.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 11:30:51 AM EDT
[#2]
If you are really planning to go to a compound bow in the future Id say you would be better off getting a decent combound set to learn on.

I have both, and while the shooting is very similiar, it is not the same.  Id say sorta like the old 'stick vs auto' in cars.

I have an old Bear recurve in 65ish (I think) lbs (dunno how old it is, My dad bought it way way long time ago and Ive had it for 30ish years), and it is much different than shooting my 70 lbs compound.  I can draw and hold the compound for what seems like minutes, but the recurve I'll start to shake in a few seconds, especially if I havent practiced with it fairly regular.   Them bow muscles arent something most people use with any regularity.


As for 'longbow' over recurve, not too many places make actual longbows anymore (other than the cheap fiberglass 'kiddie' sets, 10-30ish lbs, IMNSHO not really a good start if you are serious).  Fiberglass reinforced laminate recurves are much more readily available.  
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 11:38:47 AM EDT
[#3]
You might want to check these out.

Horsebows

I bought one about a year and a half ago (Mongolian) and I couldn’t be happier. They aren’t cheap but they aren’t outrageous either. For target shooting get about a 40 pound pull. That should be plenty for target shooting. You might be able to pull a much heavier bow, but can you do it 50 times in an hour? Will you be able to control it at full draw?

And you will need a thumb ring to shoot one properly. But just buy some scrap leather, a small drill bit, and some upholstery thread/needle at a craft store and make your own. Leather rings are much more comfortable than metal ones and work just as well. (And just as historical.)
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 11:40:34 AM EDT
[#4]
This would probably be better in the hunting forum. You'd get more responses. Personally I like shooting traditional. I have a 70#recurve. I'm headed out for elk with it this friday. You could probably pick up a good hunting or target longbow or recurve for less than $300. Check Cabelas website. I had mine custom made so it's a bit more pricey. My first hunting recurve cost me $175, used.

Entry level compounds cost about the same. Compounds are much easier to get into but can cost a fair ammount with all the available accesories. Compounds are eaiser to draw as they have a 60% letoff when they are at full draw. They generally have sights, are very compact, and shoot remarkably fast. Add to that a mechanical release and you have a bow that is hard to miss with at known distances.

That being said. I like the feel and romance of shooting with traditional equipment. Instinctive shooting feels right to me. Just getting to the point where you can make a consistant accurate shot takes a fair ammount of work and is something to be proud of. Just yesterday when I was practicing in my yard a neighbor shouted from accross the street as he walked by, "Wow, not many poeple use a recurve any more." I could hear the surprise in his voice, he was obviously impressed. Good thing he didn't see me put an arrow into my fence.

It really is a matter of personal taste. I'd say go to the local range and see if they have a couple bows for you to try out. Then get a longbow or recurve (ok, so I'm biased)

This is the guy who built my bow, he makes Recurves and Long Bows:

Wes Wallace Bows

Some other useful places to visit:

StickBow

Three River's Archery
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 1:12:38 PM EDT
[#5]
Not to hijack, but where do you guys get inexpensive LONG arrows?  I've found affordable 31" arrows and they're just not long enough - I have monkey arms.  32 should probably work but it might be close.  I have a 41# Hunter recurve that I haven't shot in a while because my arms out grew it.  I haven't shot it in close to 20 years.  I've considered a compound with an overdraw (I guess that's what they're still called) so I can use shorter and available inexpensive arrows, but can't justify the $ outlay.  Oh, I just want to fart around with it - target shooting into hay bails.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 1:25:23 PM EDT
[#6]

Quoted:
Not to hijack, but where do you guys get inexpensive LONG arrows?  I've found affordable 31" arrows and they're just not long enough - I have monkey arms.  32 should probably work but it might be close.  I have a 41# Hunter recurve that I haven't shot in a while because my arms out grew it.  I haven't shot it in close to 20 years.  I've considered a compound with an overdraw (I guess that's what they're still called) so I can use shorter and available inexpensive arrows, but can't justify the $ outlay.  Oh, I just want to fart around with it - target shooting into hay bails.

Thanks!


I have a very long draw as well. The only good option I've found is making my own arrows.  I use 36" poplar or ramin dowels and cut them down to 34" or so.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 1:40:11 PM EDT
[#7]

Quoted:
Not to hijack, but where do you guys get inexpensive LONG arrows?  I've found affordable 31" arrows and they're just not long enough - I have monkey arms.  32 should probably work but it might be close.  I have a 41# Hunter recurve that I haven't shot in a while because my arms out grew it.  I haven't shot it in close to 20 years.  I've considered a compound with an overdraw (I guess that's what they're still called) so I can use shorter and available inexpensive arrows, but can't justify the $ outlay.  Oh, I just want to fart around with it - target shooting into hay bails.

Thanks!


If you need arrows that long go traditional and get some "cloth yard" shafts. These are 36 inches and are drawn back to the ear out of an English longbow. This is the same set up that was used in medieval times and with proper conditioning and the right bow you can easily put a shaft thought plate armor. Most modern archers don't like to admit it but a good medieval archer was able to put at least four shafts in the air in under a minute. They were also able to hit area targets at ranges of six hundred yards. Yep, that last statement was not a typo. I am not sure of what battle it was "maybe it was Poiters?" but it is a historical fact that Archers won that battle at those distances.


Omni

ETA: Also I should point out that they had been shooting bows since they could walk and most draw weights were way over 100#.

Omni
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 2:18:02 PM EDT
[#8]
make your own. its easy.

Link Posted: 8/23/2006 2:22:42 PM EDT
[#9]
Put a WTB on craigslist. I have two recurve bows from my grandfather (incl. one he never used), and if I saw a WTB local in craigslist I'd probably sell it because it has no sentimental value.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 2:25:20 PM EDT
[#10]
Make one.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 2:27:11 PM EDT
[#11]
Compounds are fairly cheap.  I got a PSE with sight, rest, 6 carbon arrows, and a quiver for $250.00 with tax.  I have shot deer with it and it works great.  I am proficient out to forty yards.  Lots of fun.
Link Posted: 8/24/2006 10:38:51 AM EDT
[#12]
Thanks for the replys, and sorry for the hijack.  I'll start looking around for information on making my own.

Thanks again!
Link Posted: 8/24/2006 10:39:54 AM EDT
[#13]
Ebay
Link Posted: 8/24/2006 11:09:01 AM EDT
[#14]

Quoted:
Ebay

+1 on Ebay.

I had really good deals on ebay on old bows.  Make sure your arrows do not have plastic vanes but have feathers.

I had 25 pound and 50 pound.  I enjoy far more with 25 pounder.  The 50 pounder just sits on the corner with string unstrung.  
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