Partly because of the cost of ammo, I'm considering giving archery a try. I haven't handled a bow since the 1960's and because the technology has changed so much, can anyone give me some advice on gear? Y'know, compound vs. re-curve, vs. long bow. I've been pricing bows lately and find it hard to believe some of the prices I've seen. One off the shelf at Wally World is $250.00, and I'm wondering if archery would really be less expensive. I likely won't hunt with one, but mainly stay with target shooting.
well lets see if you go compound which i shoot you have the price of the bow which can get really expinsive. Then your arrows you have to decide on carbon or aluminumum.
Carbon arrows are more expinsive. Starting out at about 60.00 bucks for a half dozen. But then you dont have to go to the gun shop to buy ammo all the time to buy ammo. Inless you lose them.
Then you have to decide if you are going to use finger or trigger release. they can be expinsive but are the better choice i think. Then you have your sights which range in price.
When you get that all figured out you have spent a few hundred dollars your ready to shoot. But its a very relaxing fun activity.
I hunt with a recurve, I dont see how people hunt with them compounds with all that chit attached to it
Of course it would be cheaper , you can't walk down range and get your bullets and shoot them over and over all day long now can you ?
Cabelas and Bass Pro shops both have a PSE bow that would do just fine for fun and hunting if you changed your mind and it's only $220 .
If you're skilled at wood working you can build yourself a top quality backstop/target for next to nothing other than the wood and your time and make it as big as you want .
Here's why , at the indoor ranges I have shot at their "Wall" or backstop is actually made out of old telephone books .
You place the books in two rows laying with the pages opening facing you and then stack more on top as many wide as you like . When you shoot your arrow goes between the pages and they will stop without going all the way through .
Basically make a book shelf deep enough for two books laid down one in front of the other and as wide and tall as you desire .
If you use aluminum arrows making them by finishing bare shafts is very easy , to cut the shaft back to what length you want you can use a simple pipe cutter and a plain bare rod from a hardware store to support the shaft from collapsing . Take in a shaft and find a rod that fits snuggly inside of it , the rod might cost a whole $5 and a pipe cutter about the same at an auto parts store .
With a fletching jig you can replace your feathers or Vanes easily and can make yourself a color scheme completely unique so you don't get arrows mixed up with a friend who might be shooting with you .
The basic Bohining jig runs $30 and works fine "I have one" .
The great thing about archery is you can often even do it in your backyard in the city , I've had cops drive by and just slow down and watch me fire a few arrows into the target and just keep on going .
Like every hobby it can get real expensive if you are one of those that constantly upgrades to newer, better equipment. Some top of the line bows can run you over $600. If you go to an archery pro shop instead of WalMart, you won't find anything new under $300. But you can get a good used bow fairly cheap, and the side benefit is that at a pro-shop you can be "fitted" correctly rather than buy a bow and shafts "off -the-shelf" incorrectly sized for your draw weight and length. You need to determine your draw length BEFORE you purchase a bow and shafts. I still shoot a Bear Whitetail Legend I bought in 1992. I upgraded to carbon shafts and shoot with a mechanical release, allowing shorther shafts (shorter shafts= lighter weight=higher speed). The bow shoots plenty fast now. With aluminum arrows and shooting with fingers (no release) you could almost run faster than the arrow was travelling! One of the best inventions to come along IMO is an arrow rest called the "whisker biscuit". If you're seriously going to get into archery check one out - they are faster and easier to tune than any other rest, and will hold arrows securely even in a tree stand, eliminating the need to hold the arrow down with your finger as on a typical "shelf" style rest.
I plan to start out as inexpensively as I can. Mainly because we are taking a Mediterranean cruise this fall :D and I have to pinch my pennies for a while, but I want to make sure it's something I want to do before upgrading. I've been prowling Craig's List for used gear, so that may be an option for a "starter kit."
My only archery experience was in the 60's while in high school, using a long bow to shoot at straw targets. I got pretty good with it, but when I went into the Navy and discovered handguns, the archery gear was handed down to my kid brother.
Keep those suggestions and recommendations coming in folks, I need all of the help I can get.
"I suspect everyone, but I sus-pect no one."
--Insp. Jacques Clouseau
I would love to buy a nice long bow or recurve and learn to shoot nice cedar shafts instinctively. But that costs more than a compound set-up these days! Back in the 60's my uncle used to shoot recurves - he has several Bear's that were very nicely made and very cheap - not so these days.
I shoot a recurve, instinctively. I purchased an inexpensive 45# PSE Impala. When you're starting out find someone to help you that shoots that kind of bow. I was taught to shoot my recurve by a man who shoots a compound with all the fixin's. When I was shooting at the range one day a man came up to me to make a suggestion, shoot like a real archer... Keep an open mind and as with anything let people tell you what you're doing wrong. He retaught me and the next year I got my 148# 8pt buck. Of course I'm going to advocate recurve or longbow, but some people's physical abilities limit them.
Whatever you get, good luck. It's tons of fun.
There are actually so many variables to consider here it's hard to make a single solid recommendation .
First off while RL is correct that you need a correctly matched setup there are variables that will change this .
As examples , if you will be confining your shooting to shooting indoors and outside only when the weather is nice you will be wearing lighter thinner clothing and will be able to stretch out giving you a slightly longer draw length .
However if hunting or shooting outside in cooler weather might be in the future no matter how remote you will be wearing heavier clothing requiring an adjustment in your shooting style and a slight decrease of your draw length . You will find that to make sure the string clears heavy clothing that leaning slightly foreword will give you some more Clarence .
Then there are slightly different shooting styles if you use a compound bow , there are two things which are called "Shooting in the Valley and Shooting off the Wall" what these mean is this , when you draw a compound bow and roll over the cams there is an optimum point in which you will be at maximum draw weight let off , yet you could still actually draw the bow farther , this is called the "Valley" it is like a sweet spot that will have a variance of about 1/2 of an inch of draw where your let off is at maximum .
Now if you fully draw the bow until it is impossible to draw anymore you have hit a Wall or "The Wall" and your let off has slightly decreased because you have drawn the bow past the optimal point and out of the Valley . Some people shoot "Off the Wall" because they feel it gives them more consistency in their shooting style and accuracy due to a consistent amount of force applied to the arrow , which any variance will effect velocity and vertical shot placement at known ranges .
Another thing to consider for maximum enjoyment of even target shooting especially for a beginner is what is called the "Brace Height or simply the Brace" what this is is the distance from the bows handle to the string .
The reason this is important is the shorter the Brace height is the more difficult the bow is to shoot accurately . Whether using fingers or mechanical release once you release the string you need to remain perfectly still and maintain your sight of the target until the arrow is completely free of the bow , any tilt , wobble , wiggle , any movement at all will cause an inaccurate shot . So you need an excellent shooting form for a bow with a low Brace height something that beginners rarely have and will take time to develop .
For a beginner a brace of about 10 inches is ideal although if you are a very steady person you might be able to get away with 8 but don't even think about a 6 .
I don't recommend buying a used bow from Craiglist or ebay at all and here's why . To many people have gotten to caught up in speed of the arrow to the point they have ruined bows by using way to light an arrow . When you shoot a bow the arrow is suppose to absorb the bows energy , and when that arrow is to light it wont absord all of it leaving extra energy to be absorbed by the bow which will damage limbs just as if you dry fired it which is a major NO NO . If you buy a damaged used bow with small cracks in the limbs it just may come apart in you hands one day and you get a trip to the hospital for some stitches and if your lucky you wont lose and eye by parts flying ever where .
There are two standards for finding the correct weight of arrows the oldest being AMO , The Archery Manufactures Organization and IBO , International Bowhunters Organization .
The AMO recommends a arrow to draw weight ratio minimum of 6 grains per Lb vs the IBO's of 5 , while that doesn't seem like much with a 60 lb bow it is a difference of 60 grains per lb which will make a huge difference in the amount of energy the arrow absorbs rather than the bow which can damage it .
Hunters are all about speed to make range calculation less critical in the field .
A few things to consider when it comes to Recurves and Longbows , the bow weight is listed at a standardized 28 inch draw length , if you are very tall person with longer arms you will have a longer draw length and draw the bow farther than that and have to deal with a heavier draw weight , also those bows are suppose to be stored in the resting position or unstrung and you will have to restring the bow when you want to shoot it .
If you don't do this , over time the bow becomes weaker and draw weight drops .
When it comes to arrows I strongly recommend you start with aluminum and cut them at least two inches longer than what you think you need or some Proshop recommends for the following reasons .
Even if just target shooting you find yourself getting lucky or unlucky depending on how you look at it and shooting one arrow with another one . This will result in broken nocks and perhaps a slightly split arrow on the end .
With the new replaceable and tunable nocks replacing one is as simple as pushing it into the insert , no tools no nothing needed . If the shaft is only damaged a little bit and cut a inch or two longer than you need all you have to do is cut off the damaged section of shaft and replace the nock insert and nock and perhaps refletch the arrow for consistent flight . Maybe all of this will cost a couple of bucks and you have a perfectly good arrow , Carbons when they break tend to shatter which means even if your arrow is cut a bit longer you will need to cut more off to get to a usable section of the shaft , and either you will have to take it to a shop with a highspeed saw for cutting them or you can buy a special saw for about $100 . As stated in my first post Aluminum shafts can be cut with a pipe cutter and something inside of the shaft to support it , cost is next to nothing .
If you want to browse at some archery stuff try
They use to called Bowhunters Warehouse and I have bought from them before with 100% satisfaction .
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