Inexpensive Recurve/Long Bow


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rodwha
August 24, 2013, 12:44 AM
I had been shooting in the back of the shop with my boss different recurves that he had when the day was over or slow. I greatly enjoyed doing such, but no longer work there.

For now I'd want an inexpensive bow so that it doesn't interfere too much with the expenses of my other hobbies, but could be used to hunt with (50# +) if I find myself inclined and good enough.

What are some fair wood bows that should be considered, and which ones should be shunned? The same for arrows (I'd prefer wood, but am open to others)?

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Hunter125
August 24, 2013, 12:48 AM
A decent recurve can be had for a lot less than a compound. Like in the $150-200 range. If that's still too much, I'd scope out some pawn shops or thrift shops. Some archery shops might have some used ones as well.
Carbon arrows run about $40/6 arrows. I'm not sure about wood right now, but I imagine it's cheaper than that.
Long nows are a different animal, you don't see them as often. Long bows can be expensive, but I'm sure you could find them too

rodwha
August 24, 2013, 12:57 AM
That's reasonable! I thought they started around $300 for a cheesy bow.

Any cheaper brands to steer clear of or look for?

Bobson
August 24, 2013, 01:45 AM
If you're at all interested, you can actually make your own recurve bow with very few tools and minimal cost. My brother-in-law is 16 years old, decided he wanted to start making bows about a year ago, and is currently working on his sixth or so. His parents are anything but rich, and I think he uses about five or six basic tools (no power tools) from start to finish. Also, the bows are remarkably well made. He shoots just as well with his homemade bows as either of us can shoot with my Bear Charge compound. I can get you the info he uses (a professional bowyer posts a blog online with instructions, iirc) if you're up to the task.

Hunter125
August 24, 2013, 05:19 AM
That's reasonable! I thought they started around $300 for a cheesy bow.
That's true of compounds, but not recurves. Decent compounds stripped bare start around $300. By the time you add the components for a "ready-to-hunt" package you're in the $500 range just for the most basic of bows.
Recurves are much more economical.

Any cheaper brands to steer clear of or look for?
Not sure about any cheaper brands, but you're pretty safe if you stick with companies like PSE, Bear, Martin, etc.

Just FYI though, you mentiond 50#, which you'll be able to find no problem, but 60# is usually the top weight on recurves. Very different from compounds, there's no let off, so you hold the full weight for your entire draw.
I'm sure you know that already, having shot some recurves already, but if you weren't pulling 50# before, I'd definitely try it before you buy. That's a lot on a recurve. You still want it to be fun to shoot!

rodwha
August 24, 2013, 10:33 AM
My boss,being a much bigger guy than myself, has a recurve that's 58# IIRC, and it became a bear to pull and hold a moment after a while. I did OK with it for a while.

Isn't 45# about the least one would want to use for hunting medium game?

I knew PSE and Bear were considered very good bows many moons ago...

Building my own bow would be awesome! I've been enjoying DIY hobbies such as brewing beer, paper cartridges for my black powder pistol, making my own wads and lube for them, and maybe soon casting my own balls/conicals. There's something extremely satisfying about having done it yourself!

DDeegs
August 24, 2013, 10:41 AM
You might want to to look at "three rivers archery" they have pretty much any thing you need for traditional archery , including books on how to make your own bow, and both completed arrows and supplies to make your own.

Dan

Bobson
August 24, 2013, 02:54 PM
Isn't 45# about the least one would want to use for hunting medium game?

I've always been told that an ethical, skilled hunter could use a 30# recurve and have no problem with deer.

earlthegoat2
August 24, 2013, 02:56 PM
Samick Sage is the go to inexpensive trad bow of the day. They have been around for a little while and have a good reputation in their market area.

Bobson
August 24, 2013, 03:02 PM
Samick Sage is the go to inexpensive trad bow of the day. They have been around for a little while and have a good reputation in their market area.
That was my BIL's first recurve, the one that made him want to start building them himself. The Sage is a takedown bow, but it was very affordable (about $150-175 iirc), and its a very nice, accurate bow. It would be my first choice in a recurve if I was looking to get into trad archery.

AJumbo
August 24, 2013, 03:35 PM
Whenever I'm at a garage sale and there's a stick bow on the table. I black out until I'm five or six blocks away;when I get home, I find that the stick bow has stowed away with me, and my wallet is $40-50 dollars lighter. I've grabbed some nice Bears, Damon-Howetts, Pearsons, and always for less than either retail, or the 'tag' price.

Inspect such bows carefully before buying, since you don't know whether they were abused or damaged in a previous life. Buy up any gear that might be on the table too, if you can get it cheap enough.

bainter1212
August 24, 2013, 03:59 PM
I bought my Bear off of Ebay (it is a 70's vintage model). I found a seller who wanted a fair price, had good feedback, and was willing to send me lots of detailed pics.

If you buy a newer bow, you can put a more modern string on it. I know some of the newer strings are not recommended for older bows.

I like the old Bears because not only were they well made, they are easy on the eyes as well.

jmr40
August 24, 2013, 05:15 PM
I have a couple of older Brownings that I picked up in pawnshops for next to nothing, around $40. Both work fine. Georgia was the last state to leagalize compound bows, so into the 1980's recurves or longbows were the only option here. I didn't own anything but a Ben Pearson 45# bow I got for Christmas when I was 16. At that time 40# was the legal minimum weight. They don't even list a legal minimum now in the regs.

While I have a couple of modern bows, I still prefer using the old Brownings. They are at least 40-50 years old but work fine.

Zeke/PA
August 24, 2013, 05:38 PM
Many older Archers, myself included, still possess the bows that they started with. With this in mind, find a guy willing to part with his "first bow". When I started serious archery, compounds were merely a pipe dream and bow makers were few and far between. My Bear Grizzley still hangs where I see it most days and I made my first ever archery kill with this bow and a cedear arrow that I made. There are lots of bows around an Archery Shop, because they take bows "in trade". There would be my first place to start looking.

rodwha
August 25, 2013, 12:58 PM
I'm typically leery of buying used as I don't know how it's been taken care of.

I know that a bow needs to be unstrung, and stowed horizontal.

Are take down bows sturdy? I'd think it would be a weak point. I had never seen one in a traditional design. I'm kinda partial to a solid bow I think.

I've recently joined tradgang as a member here recommended it. Nice site! Thanks!

Nice to know about Samick Sage bows. At first glance I figured them likely one to avoid, as the cheapest tend to lack quality.

I also checked out 3 Rivers. Thanks! I found how to get an estimated draw length (27.7"), and so I see the average (28") will work great.

bainter1212
August 25, 2013, 08:00 PM
I'm typically leery of buying used as I don't know how it's been taken care of.

I know that a bow needs to be unstrung, and stowed horizontal.

Are take down bows sturdy? I'd think it would be a weak point. I had never seen one in a traditional design. I'm kinda partial to a solid bow I think.

I've recently joined tradgang as a member here recommended it. Nice site! Thanks!

Nice to know about Samick Sage bows. At first glance I figured them likely one to avoid, as the cheapest tend to lack quality.

I also checked out 3 Rivers. Thanks! I found how to get an estimated draw length (27.7"), and so I see the average (28") will work great.

I believe that it is a toss up, as far as opinions and experience goes, as to whether a recurve needs to be kept unstrung or strung. I keep mine strung almost always, as I have talked to people and read accounts of folks who keep their bows constantly strung with no loss of draw weight or twist in the bow. Just like a magazine spring, it seems that bow twist has a direct corrollation between the number of times a bow is bent/unbent. Keeping a bow in the same position all the time shouldn't hurt anything at all. YMMV.

BLB68
August 25, 2013, 09:09 PM
Can't get much cheaper than DIY. Appropos of nothing, here's a YouTube channel for a guy that makes his own PVC bows. If nothing else, it's entertaining:

http://www.youtube.com/user/BackyardBowyer

Cosmoline
August 25, 2013, 09:39 PM
I've been wanting to get back into archery (last did it as a teen) and have been wondering the same thing. Specifically I'd like a long bow for less than the $800+ range of the yew self bows. Maybe something that has a long bow style but is made of more durable and cheaper fiberglass? I am worried about breaking something that expensive, for sure.

Bobson
August 25, 2013, 11:02 PM
Regarding take-down bows' durability, I would expect that to be a weak point too. My BIL's Samick Sage (takedown) is nearly two years old. He shoots it on a weekly basis and has since he bought it. I've not heard him mention any issues at all, and I haven't noticed any myself. The locking bolts still go on tightly and haven't loosened at all. Seems as good as the day he bought it.

exospex
August 26, 2013, 01:25 PM
I have a Samick Sage. It's a great bow. the nice thing about them is you can start with lower weight limbs then upgrade as your skills progress. the limbs you've outgrown will sell quickly on eBay.

snakeman
August 26, 2013, 01:31 PM
there's the samick sage and the martin jaguar that I know of. I'm sure there are others from fred bear and pse. medievalcollectibles.com has some other off brand stuff that's pretty interesting. It all depends on what you want.

Dave Markowitz
August 31, 2013, 09:39 PM
There are a number of online vendors of "U-finish" longbows. I got this 50# hickory longbow last year from gibow.com. I just had to do some light final sanding and then finished it with a couple coats of Watco Danish Oil topped with Sno-Seal. I also made a leather arrow rest and added the strike plate, and served the string with some artificial sinew.

http://flintlock.org/pics/var/resizes/Hickory-Flatbow/finished1.jpg?m=1353604871

It's a very nice shooter and dead silent. It cost about $65. :)

22-rimfire
August 31, 2013, 10:24 PM
I have a 40# Ben Pearson and 45# Bear recurves that I have had for a long time. I hunted with the 40# years ago. I was 14 then.

Armor Snail
September 1, 2013, 01:21 AM
I have a #45 Bear Kodiak Magnum I got free from my uncle bought in the 80's.
Very nice bow for me. I don't know how much they can be found for though.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

snakeman
September 1, 2013, 01:24 AM
Nice bow dave markowitz

TimboKhan
September 1, 2013, 03:06 AM
By the time you add the components for a "ready-to-hunt" package you're in the $500 range just for the most basic of bows.

Uh, close. The Bear Legion and the PSE Brute X are legitimately great performing compoounds and both are $399.00 ready to hunt. Now, after arrows and releases and a case, yes.

Back to the question, you can find good deals on used recurves and longbows, and I will echo that the Samick Sage is a great first choice. I shoot an old Bear Grizzly that is old but 100% servicable and I paid nothing for it. My dad, on the other hand, paid $15.00 for it at a garage sale twenty years ago, lol. You can buy a new Grizzly for around $350.00 or so, which if cared for.

Hunter125
September 1, 2013, 04:42 AM
Uh, close. The Bear Legion and the PSE Brute X are legitimately great performing compoounds and both are $399.00 ready to hunt. Now, after arrows and releases and a case, yes.
Yeah I meant from nothing to hunting. I was including arrows, broadheads, release, etc. Now that I think about it, all that would probably run more than the extra $100.

22-rimfire
September 1, 2013, 04:56 AM
I'm typically leery of buying used as I don't know how it's been taken care of.

I know that a bow needs to be unstrung, and stowed horizontal.

My two bows have been stored unstrung and horizontal since the 1970's.... that's 40 years. Amazing really. If I get back into archery hunting now, it will be with a crossbow. Thanks for reminding me about them.

Personally if I were going non-crossbow, it would be a very good compound bow.

You know. Sometimes you just have to take a chance. Even if you bought a brand new recurve, it could break the first time out or the next year. I've had that experience after a summer of practice. The difference is you might be able to get your money back depending on how much time elapsed. No guarantees in life.

rodwha
September 1, 2013, 04:59 PM
I'm likely moving soon as SWMBO just got a virtual job. Not knowing what regulations or animals may be in store for me, what would be a minimum draw weight for an animal the size of a mule deer (not bare minimum hoping on the best)?

22-rimfire
September 1, 2013, 07:40 PM
45# or higher is a generally accepted draw weight on deer. With mule deer, you might want to consider a compound bow as just sometimes you may well be shooting at the limit of your comfortable shooting distance. You can get a stronger draw weight with a compound and it is easier to manage than a recurve in the same weight due to the let off. You also add velocity with the stronger draw weight.

rodwha
September 1, 2013, 10:49 PM
There's just something more with a traditional bow. Not to say I don't like compounds or crossbows, but it's just not the same.

Geno
September 2, 2013, 12:00 AM
Plus 1 for Bear (Grizzly I think was the model). I had a 55 pound recurve, and loved it! It got destroyed, shattered actually, when we were moving some years ago. My steel weights fell down and well, it "broke" the fall. :o I replaced it with a compound. It's okay, but I learned to shoot with a recurve. Anyhow, these are running currently right around $339.00, which as I see it, for the quality, it's a good price.

Geno

Pete D.
September 8, 2013, 06:45 AM
I own about a dozen bows....not one of which is a compound.
Most of them, I made myself...out of cherry, black locust, osage orange. They are fine shooters......and there is the satisfaction of making your wn stuff.
That being said.....I got interested in horsebows earlier this year and am sold on them as useful, powerful, accurate, etc.
Some of the fun discoveries - if you are looking for an inexpensive bow - are various Chinese horsebows available on eBay. Many/most can be had for less than $100. They ship quickly, are quite nicely finished and shoot well. I have three in 45#, 50#, 60#. The 60 I bought for one of my sons. I also have a Korean Kaya horsebow from Three RiversbArchery....it is my favorite.....more $ than the Chinese bows. It is only 48" long when strung (50#)....looks like a toy but it ain't.

rodwha
September 8, 2013, 12:11 PM
I've not heard of a horse bow. What is it?

I'd prefer not to give any more $ to the Chinese if possible. Everything I've had from them has been inferior in many ways, and just not a good buy.

Pete D.
September 10, 2013, 12:42 AM
Horsebows....I understand about the not buy from China attitude.
In any case, here is a link to one of many sites about horsebows.
The bows are a product of societies that fought their wars on horseback, as opposed to longbows which were weapons of foot soldiers by and large.
They are generally short for their pull weight, designed to be handled by a soldier riding on a horse and shooting while doing so. They are generally very heavily recurved....an unstrung horse bow may well look like the letter C (my Kaya does)
http://www.horsebows.com/index.htm

or try these videos of Lajos Kassai......12 aimed shots (and hits) in seventeen seconds at moving targets
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLFqZSWjbZg

The trouble with non-Chinese horsebows is that the European versions of the bow are more than the $100 that the OP wants to spend.
At least the Chinese versions are related to their history and not stolen technology that they have acquired.
These are a few in the price range - by Toth:
http://www.eastern-archery.com/tothframe.html
Pete

nmlongbow
September 10, 2013, 02:04 AM
I have a dozen or so bows without wheels that I hunt with and shoot various types of targets with. Also have owned several short horsebows that I shot with fingers and a thumbring. Thumb release allows for a longer draw and faster loose but it's difficult to master and hard for me to switch back and forth with fingers.

I have several Saluki's (salukibow.com) and they are second to none in performance and craftsmanshsip. Wood/glass bows and hybrids start at about $1000 with a year wait. True Saluki horn bows start at $2500 and have a 2 year wait. They're expensive but on another entirely than the Chinese bows or Kassai bows. I don't have a horn bow yet but it's on my wish list.

Chinese made Samicks are a good value but hey are made in China and owned by a Korean company. Plenty of old Bears and Martin/Howatts are available on Ebay for good prices. They hold their value and are better bows than most archers will ever notice.

I hunt everything from rabbits to elk with my bows and usually have an elk or muley in the freezer from a trad bow. They are all fun but take a lot more practice that a compound or crossbow.

rodwha
September 11, 2013, 05:37 PM
Pete: Great archer! And one who researches his bows first! Cool! And he has a few interesting bows that are inexpensive enough (under $300). Thanks for the links!

nm: I've never heard of a thumb ring. I saw watched a video of a guy using a Turkish thumb ring in two different styles. Very interesting! Thanks!

dagger dog
September 12, 2013, 01:51 PM
I could never warm up to a compound, tried one in the early 80's, they're just not for me.

I bought a Bear Montana 45# long bow< 350$ a dozen carbon arrows from BassPro 80$,and retaught myself to shoot.

Don't over bow yourself (draw weight) they all will differ by the length arrow you shoot and your release point, so those numbers on the side of the riser are just a rough guide.

If you shoot a 45# bow long and often enough ,you will find a bunch of muscles you didn't know you had !

A 45 # bow will shoot a cut on contact tri blade broad head through both sides of a white tails boiler room at 25 yds.

I have cedar arrows now that are 355 grs with a Wensel Woodsman broad head. But the carbons are great for practice especially with flu flu blunts or Zwickey Judo points for small game , squirrel, rabbit.

I also have an old Locksley (as in Robin of Locksley) recurve in 45#, that bow was the cheap line produced by Pearson. I found it setting in a flea market stall with a $9.00 price tag:D. Took it home and after a little TLC and a new Flemish string got it shooting.

I thought it would be an easy task to go from the longbow to the recurve, but I found myself challenged and am not confident in my ability to shoot the recurve at deer.

3 Rivers Archery's web site and catalog have several quality entry level bows and a wealth of knowledge. Check them out.

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