Archery And Bow/String Breakage Question


February 26, 2009, 09:25 PM
A question for all you archers out there. Has anyone ever had a string or a limb on their bow break while drawing it? Just curious as to the effects (dangers) if this were to happen. Just asking because my daughter is interested in learning to shoot a bow, but being an overly cautious parent....well you get the idea.

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February 26, 2009, 09:30 PM
I had a traditional hardwood bow break on me one time.The string scraped my forearm [not at all serious,but STUNG like crazy] and the arrow wobbled out about fifteen feet,and stuck [lightly] in the dirt.

February 26, 2009, 10:24 PM
How old is your daughter if I may ask. I might be able to steer you in the direction of a appropriate bow for her age. I started shooting archery at the ripe old age of 6. Both of my sons shoot 3-D tournements with me and my oldest son is proving to be quite good at it. Bow strings are incredibly strong yes they can break but is very very rare. The biggest problem people get into at least with the compound side of archery is trying to loosen a bows limbs to make them easier to shoot. That is fine they are adjustable. But a certain amount of screw needs to engage the riser to keep the whole thing stable. Depending on age a Genesis bow is a excellant bow to start on. The draw length and poundage has a very wide adjustment range to fit a variety of shooters and grow with them. Find a archery pro-shop in your area. Not Cabela's not dick sporting goods but a pro-shop. The will be able to fit your daughter with a age appropriate bow and arrows ect. They will tailor the bow to her. Not just hand you one and say yeah this should work.

February 27, 2009, 01:06 AM
I had one break on me in high school, and pretty much nothing happened except it was my science teachers bow and I don't think he bought that I didn't somehow break it on purpose.

I honestly don't know if there is danger involved, but can only say from my experience that it was really no big deal.

February 27, 2009, 10:14 AM
I've had a couple homemade wooden longbows and a child size fibreglass bow break on me... And some strings.

A string break is a non-issue. The bow springs straight, and that's it.

Wooden bows were no big deal either. Just cracked wood. Maybe a limb flails about a bit, but no biggy.

Fibreglas breaks with very sharp shards. No big deal unless you insist on handling the broken ends.

Fairly benign tech, actually. Please teach your daughter to shoot!

Basic range safety, of course, applies.


February 27, 2009, 10:28 AM
Basic range safety, of course, applies.

It has always boggled me that people can actually not be safe with a bow.

I can see (though I do not appreciate nor find acceptable) how someone unfamiliar with a firearm could make a mistake. Hey, if you don't understand how a semi-auto pistol functions and your instructor isn't paying attention, it isn't hard to sweep someone or let a shot go without meaning too, you know? With a bow, there is no possible way to not know it is loaded, and you have to consciously and physically pull back the large string with the pointy stick on it to shoot it. Outside of just being stupid and shooting at your buddies, it boggles me that it could somehow be unsafe.

But then there was archery in high school...

February 27, 2009, 12:12 PM
I've seen bow strings break on the bow press, and its loud. I've seen cams break, but thats the extent of the damage.

February 27, 2009, 12:47 PM
Teaching my nephew to use a bow, he had a tendancy to swivel around to look at something, with an arrow knocked and half-drawn.

There is also knowing what's behind what you're shooting.

I'm talking the REAL basics... Kids can catch you by surprise sometimes....


February 27, 2009, 01:15 PM
A bigger concern to me is cheap wooden target arrows.

They can get cracked from repeated shooting and go unnoticed.

If one lets go coming out of the bow, you may end up with the rear half of a broken arrow shaft sticking through your left arm.

Use aluminum or CF arrows and there is zero chance of that happening.


February 27, 2009, 05:14 PM
Yep. I've never seen anyone injured by a broken bow or bowstring. I have seen someone injured by trying to shoot a broken arrow.

February 27, 2009, 07:23 PM
Have been involved in one limb failure incident(watching,not shooting) and two string failures(shooting in one case) Have seen no injuries.
Know exactly where you're coming from..When "our" kids are involved..going overboard is never a bad idea.
IMO.Far safer than "them" driving to the mall to shop!

February 27, 2009, 07:43 PM
Have not had a breakage while drawing, but was shooting FITA (look that one up) during the 70's when Kevlar was an experimental string material and made and used them regularly. The material was great and my target bow was routinely clocked at 200+ fps which was an obscene speed for a recurve in those days. The strings would last about 200 shots and if you didn't keep track they would let go. So I probably broke dozens. They always broke on release at the end of the shooting cycle (that sudden stop). Made quite a bang when they let go and the limb couplers would slide partially out. Had spare limbs for the bow (several sets) and never broke limbs. Still have all sets.

Did crack a limb once on a compound on draw. Let it down VERY gently and cut the cables in pieces and bandsawed the limbs (old bow, replacing parts not cost effective) so no one else would try to get it out of the trash and try to shoot it.

March 1, 2009, 02:45 PM
I've had two linen strings partially break. One of the two plys would break, but there was no damage to the bow since the strings were immediately replaced. B50 and fastflight plus strings are stronger and much longer lasting. I had a bamboo backing splinter on a highly stressed, high weight bow, but it held together and I was able to replace the bamboo.

I've made dozens of bows, so I've seen more failures that your average person will come across. As long as you make sure that there aren't any cracks or signs of stress you should be fine. Replace strings and arrows when they show wear. If she plans on shooting off the knuckle, wrap the ends of the feathers.

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