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Bow shooters?

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Old 07-01-2010, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default Bow shooters?

On a lot of the GA gun swap forums I'm always offered archery stuff whenever I list a gun for trade. I'm thinking it may be fun to actually try out archery and the wife has indicated she might enjoy it as well.

No I am not a hunter nor do I intend to become one.

I haven't touched a bow in 40 years and it was a cheap fiberglass one with wooden "box" arrows back then. A bunch of us had these cheap bows but I remember having a lot of fun shooting at cardboard boxes filled with crumpled newspaper as targets.

Anyway, anyone that could share the basics of getting into non-hunting archery is welcome to join in here. I know nothing so I welcome all knowledge...
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:39 PM   #2
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I bought a hand made long bow seven years ago. Don't hunt either, but it's loads of fun!
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:12 PM   #3
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I used to have a compound bow a ways back and just grew out of it. To get back into shooting a bow again I would probably favor getting a long bow instead for target shooting.
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:13 PM   #4
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Like Dune, I am no bow hunter. But I was given and old Browning compound bow a few years ago, and once I got it fit to me for length of draw and got the weight set right. . . . . . . . . . . . whew, fun for days!

Id be careful if I were you though, flinging arrows is addicting!
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:25 PM   #5
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I love archery as well.

I shoot a compound (Mathews) and I have been VERY happy with the Mathews name.

It is a lot of fun, and its pretty cheap once you get the equipment (as long as you arent losing/breaking arrows).

I would reccomend going to an archery store or sporting goods store that has an archery range, get measured for the right draw, and shoot a few bows until you find out what you like.
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:35 PM   #6
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I have a good time shooting my bow. I got into for hunting reasons but if I can't make it to the range I can always set up the target in my back yard.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:39 AM   #7
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I love archery, my dad got me into it when I was a little boy and I've never stopped since. It's a beautiful sport with lots of fun variants.

NGIB, much of the advice you give people who are new to guns applies to bows. Especially that bit about not overdoing it with the gadgets.

First try to get an idea of what type of shooting you'd like to do and the kind of bow that appeals to you the most. Do you want to shoot olympic style recurve at 90 yards? Does a tricked out compound bow appeal to you more? Or perhaps you like the elegance and simplicity of traditional bows.

Some people know what they like right away. I've never needed to try out a compound or a modern FITA competition recurve, traditional bows have been my one true love since I got started. I love everything about them, the style, the light weight, the challenge of being accurate with no sights or compensators. Custom traditional bows are not that expensive, since you don't need to buy any accesories for them.

I like hunting and my practice style at the archery club is quite informal and playful. I love to set up 3-D targets at different ranges, sometimes a bit hidden behind a bush, shoot at them from trees and stuff like that. We've got these goofy tournaments at my club that I enjoy a lot, we dress up in different costumes and come up with all sorts of whacky scenarios. I also got one of my horses used to me shooting from the saddle and playing mongol horseman is ridiculously fun. I always keep safety in mind, of course.

Try to find a club with a good introductory course for novices, that way you'll be able to try out different bows and learn the basic terminology. Once you find what you like, don't make the mistake of buying a bow with a super heavy pull.

Get something a lot lighter than the maximum you can handle, beginners can develop all sorts of nasty habits if they're struggling to pull on that bow string. Start light, polish your technique and then move on to something with a heavier pull. Buying a "starter" bow might seem like a waste of money, but trust me you'll get a ton of milleage out of that bow. It's like having a basic rimfire pistol, you can always find some use for it (training other people, shooting in your backyard, etc.).
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:12 AM   #8
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I love to shoot my bow, mine is fairly old but it shoots very well.

I would suggest, as mentioned already, to find an indoor range, take a couple of basic lessons and have fun.
I will throw out a couple of basics as they were told to me. This should get you onto the target.

Just like in shooting a gun, breath control is important, since there is really no rapid fire archery, take your time with it, breath in , let out half and hold, release the shot. This will help to steady you.

Form is everything, and consistancy in your form is most important. The grip is just thumb and index finger loosly wrapped. After you draw( if you aren't using sights) sight down the arrow, take a guess, if you are at 20 yds you shouldn't have to hold very high from bullseye.
When you release, only the fingers holding the string move,nothing else. Make sure that your draw hand remains at your anchor point. VERY important, the hand holding the bow must not drop untill after the arrow has left. I always try to hold in position till the arrow hits.

In a nutshell, thats it. Unless you have plenty of $$ to throw around, I would consider a used bow to get started. Make sure you get it set up to your draw length, and the draw wieght is not so heavy that it wears you out in a short time. Compounds are nice due to the let-off. Makes it less like work to shoot. Have fun and let us know how you like it.

Oh, if you have some room in your yard to shoot, some bales of hay for a backstop and a cheap styrofoam target is all you need to get started. I like to have a backstop, if you miss the target and the arrow skips, well I have lost a couple arrows here and there,they CAN go quite a ways.

Hope this helps.

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Old 07-02-2010, 10:44 AM   #9
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I recently accquired a PSE Stinger (about $500 package deal with biscuit, sight, quiver and string dampeners) I have been interested in archery for a long time and I went to the Bass Pro Shop and finally picked one up for my self last christmas. The important thing is if your like me and are taller than around 6' or have a large "wing span" more than say 70 inches, it may be a little difficult to find a used bow or even a new bow that can be adjusted for your size. I am very pleased with my PSE, its a compound btw, and I have hit dinnerplate sized targets at 120 yards, its a very fast bow too supposedly shooting at ~320fps. Just make sure you can handle the draw weight, and if you get a compound bow I would suggest getting a quick release, it saves your fingers alot of pain and is extremely similar to firing a gun, after all a quick release is basicly a clamp with a trigger. Unlike with ar15's all the fancy gizmos they sell really do help and are actually functional. A good biscuit and sight goes a long way, the biscuit especially as I have first hand experiance of my biscuit saving my forearm from a new piece of jewelry. Stay away from the bows that have the 2 little prongs instead of a biscuit, they are harder to keep the arrow on and take more time to properly knock another arrow ( just in case you need to shoot them fast for some reason) they also dont provide much protection if you arrow is unknocked when firing with your fingers (which is what happened to me) when you buy a bow make sure you find out what size vanes it needs, this is very important when purchasing arrows and arrow heads as having the wrong grain head or wrong vaned arrows can have catastrophic consequences. As for holding over on targets it feels natural, almost instinct, maybe its the thousands of years of our ancestors using them. Good luck and have fun, im going to have to go shoot my bow now.


Last edited by Cory2; 07-02-2010 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:10 AM   #10
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Thanks to all, especially Francisco. One of the big questions I had for myself is does it make sense to get a lighter draw beginner's bow. Based on Francisco's guidance, this is the route I'm going to take. I'm also about convinced that I will get a basic recurve bow and leave a compound for later - if I decide I want to "step up". My wife has expressed some interest in trying this out and with a light regular bow we can both shoot. Also, I'm not sure how my gimpy shoulder will stand up to bow shooting but if I start light I probably won't hurt it any more than it is. Again, thanks all...
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