1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Recently Bought a Recurve Bow and Need Help

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by ATBackPackin, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Well-Known Member

    I recently bought a recurve bow and with the exception of seventh grade gym class I have absolutely zero archery skills. I did a Google search and obviously there was a lot, but I am just looking for some recommendations for sites (preferably) or books that can teach me some of the basics. Mainly form and aiming.

    My Bow

    All help will be appreciated.

  2. floorit76

    floorit76 Well-Known Member

    Just go out back and shoot the thing. Shoot it till your fingers hurt, then shoot it some more. It will teach you tons more than google, or a book could. Although, a quick youtube of stringing/unstringing over your leg might help. And store it un-strung, flat, not leaning in a corner.

    Looks just like the PSE Razorback I gave my son. It's 35 lb draw. Just sight down the arrow shaft, and practice.
  3. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    Not really familiar with archery or any bow like that sorry. :D
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    Basic things are to use the same arrows unless it is just for fun. Arrows are selected based on draw length and bow draw weight. I would start with a dozen arrows and make sure you have a safe place to shoot. Loosing arrows is not fun, so I will usually mow the range with a law mower (just in case you are shooting in tall grass or weeds).

    Use a shooting glove and protection on the weak arm from string burns. Once you experience the burns, you may become a little uncomfortable about consistant shooting form.

    Always draw the arrow back to the same point each time. I generally draw until my fingers reach my mouth.

    Basically sight down the arrow (sort of) and you will develop a consistant aiming approach. A lot of the precision with archery shooting has to do with muscle memory and being consistant to train yourself.

    I don't think you need a book to learn the basics. A few diagrams should be sufficient.

    Shoot and shoot some more. Have fun.
  5. Sky

    Sky Well-Known Member

    I will second by saying a few youtube vids will kinda get you started. Several large Archery shops have posted vids on just about everything. If you are shooting bare bow or with some type of sight you can learn a little or a lot by some of the posters there.

    Congrats on your purchase and hope you have fun. The bow is a great tool and exercise that beats being a couch potato.
  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    If it's a powerful bow don't use wood shafts pretty much. They can flex and break, sending the broken shaft into your arm/hand.
    You'll probably want a finger protector/guard.. I like one with hair on the string side so it slips off nice..


    and perhaps an arm guard if it's half powerful.
  7. Bikewer

    Bikewer Well-Known Member

    Wooden shafts were the standard for many hundreds of years, and frequently fired from very heavy bows indeed... 100 pound plus "warbows".

    One needs to match the spine of the arrow to the draw-weight of the bow, which should be marked prominently on the bow.
    If not, any archery shop should be able to furnish a scale to determine same.

    I would not go with the fellow advising you to "just go out and shoot it". Just as with most activities, there's a right way and a wrong way. Archery is a refined activity that's been done since pre-history, and there are well-established techniques for shooting that will maximize success.
    Stance, draw, form, release, follow-through... All essential to good shooting.

    You'll need a tab or shooting glove, an arm-guard, perhaps a new string. You want a string made for this type of bow, using old-stye B-50 Dacron which has a little "give". Modern stretch-free materials can be very hard on a traditional bow.
  8. zorro45

    zorro45 Well-Known Member

    Archery basics

    The Boy Scouts put out an Archery Merit Badge book which is pretty good and covers the basics. It is important to have all you arrows match and the proper length. Once you learn on a proper target, it's fun to use blunt tip arrows vs. Old bleach bottles tied to a tether. Sort of like a reactive target. If you have a good archery shop it is worth taking a class or some lessons, and getting your gear checked out. It is easy to get discouraged if you just "wing it"
    It is also amazing to watch what a really good archer can do.
  9. jbkebert

    jbkebert Well-Known Member


    From what I can see in the description of the bow this is not a heavy weight by any means. So do not worry about arrows breaking up upon release. This can be a problem especially with compound bows. Compound bows store so much more energy than a traditional bow. Although don't get me wrong traditional bows can be very very effective at killing game.

    Start with your feet shoulder width apart and your feet perpendicular to your target. So if your left handed the target will be to your right and the opposite for RH. Nock your arrow cock feather out. If you are wanting to shoot in a traditional manner no sights. I would strongly suggest placing three finger under the arrow rather than one above and two below. By using three fingers below when you draw the arrow will naturally come higher on your cheek. By doing this the tip of the arrow can be used as a aiming guide. It is very important to find a anchoring point. Each and every time you draw the bow anchor the same place. Your elbow needs to be inline with the arrow shaft when you come to full draw. So your forearm to your elbow is an extension of the arrow shaft. Keeping a clean line and a consistant anchor point will establish good shooting form.

    When you are ready to release the arrow just relax your hand nothing else. The string will pull away from your shooting glove. Everything stays anchored until the arrow is in the target. Your bow hand needs to loosely grip the bow. No death grip this caused torque on the bow. Once you learn to be consistant your arrows will start to group. Just like when shooting a rifle you have to shoot groups before you can adjust your sights. Or in this case the relationship of your arrow tip to the target. If your shot are all over the place there is no reason to move aiming point. I know I am spelling this out a little to much but it is important. Learn to group then worry about the 10 ring no other way.

    If you have any questions let us know.

    Have fun

  10. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Well-Known Member

    I shoot a 45lb Bear recurve regularly, and most of the advice on this thread looks just right, especially the advice about going to an archery shop and seeking a little help. Archery shops are more widespread than you would think, and I'm willing to bet there is one in your local area. If you spend a little money, like on arrows and tips, the shop proprietors would probably willingly give you 10 mins of good advice on appropriate shooting form.
    I would also add that you don't have to necessarily store your bow in the "unstrung" position. I leave mine strung 24/7. I would avoid unstringing it unless you buy the special tool to perform this task. It can be done by looping the end behind your calf (kinda hard to describe) but doing this all the time can cause "twist" in the bow (a common problem with recurves). My Bear is a vintage 1970s bow that has been strung for about 95 percent of its life. No twist and no loss of poundage. Good luck and good shooting.
  11. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    I shoot a vintage Ben Pearson 709 Hunter made in the late 1960's. It is only strung during use.
  12. Check out the "Traditional Bowhunter's Handbook" by TJ Conrads. It is for sale at www.3riversarchery.com

    This book is great, I bought it when I started shooting a trad bow about 3 years ago, it covers everything

    Becoming proficient shooting a trad bow takes practice, practice and more practice, it will not happen overnight, but once you get decently proficient it is very rewarding, as you must shoot by feel and hand-eye coordination...you will seriously "become the arrow."

    I've shot a recurve and longbow for 3 years, and am just recently becoming what I'd call "hunting-capable." Some days you'll shoot good and some days you'll think it's all for naught, this is all part of it, stick with it, it is so very worth it.
  13. heron

    heron Well-Known Member

    I found this the other day; it's got a whole lot of stuff that I hadn't seen before. Very worthwhile.

    Attached Files:

  14. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Well-Known Member

    do it like this..

  15. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Well-Known Member

    One other suggestion that can increase consistency on the cheap is to find a scrap of foam door weather seal, the strip style with adhesive on one side. Adhere that to the front of the bow (the side not seen when shooting) and use straight pins with those colored plastic ball heads as sight pins. Simply push the pins into the foam so they're visible in the sight window and adjust as necessary.

    I've been shooting recurves since '87 or so without sights and without an armguard. Being right-handed, I simply pivot my left elbow keeping it parallel to the ground. I prefer split finger with a glove and shoot home-made cedar with Mercury nocks (don't pinch string). I have tried 3 under with carbon and a hard tab which, while smoother simply wasn't for me. Same with compounds and longbow, not my cup of tea.

    Good luck and enjoy it.
  16. Pete D.

    Pete D. Well-Known Member

    Good shot

    JL: Great pic. Looks like that arrow is headed right for the center bull.
  17. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Wow, I'm watching a show called "Ancient Discoveries/Ancient Super Ballistics" on the History channel.
    Some guy just shot 12 arrows in 17 seconds, hitting all 12 thrown targets (distance about 20 yards and target about 8"). He can shoot about that fast and accurate from horse also. He was using a Mongolian laminate bow.. those are pretty strong. Pretty cool.
  18. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the help guys. I didn't even think of You Tube, but found some on there that were a big help. I am going to try to get out in the next couple of days and get some practice so I'll let you know how it goes.

  19. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    I am not an expert by any means. I shoot recurves every winter with a friendly league of fellow hunters/shooters. One thing that helped me was to draw with three fingers on the string below the knock. For me, this put the arrow shaft nearer to the same plane as my eye.

    Oh, and concentrate on the exact center of the bullseye. Try to look a hole through it. (aim small, miss small)

    shoot, shoot, shoot

    recurves are the muzzleloaders of the archery world. the essence of archery.
  20. Buck13

    Buck13 Well-Known Member

    Go here:

    The sixth sticky "Form-erect shoulder..." I found really helpful.

    Anything written there by Viper1 is gold. ArcheryTalk probably has a few kooks, but overall it's great and helped me a lot.

    A quick couple tips to avoid learning bad habits immediately:

    Get someone to stand behind you and look at your back. BOTH shoulders, your bow elbow and bow wrist should form a single line. Your bow hand will almost certainly need to be farther back than you expected.

    Get or make a wrist sling or finger sling and use it. If you can shoot with your fingers open and let the bow drop to the sling rather than grabbing the bow as you fire, you'll get a lot less right-left variation due to "bow torque." Notice that in the 'form' video, you can't see his fingers in the first minute? The hand is essentially flat (fingers in the same plane as the palm), with the bow only touching a narrow vertical strip at the base of the thumb. It's kind of a big deal...

Share This Page