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Differences in Using a Longbow vs. a Compound Bow?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Kestrel, Sep 12, 2008.

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  1. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

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    Can some of you with experience with both, give me some thoughts on using a longbow vs. a compound bow - for target shooting, as well and hunting?

    What are pros and cons of each platform? What are the pull weights that are common to each? Is either easier to maintain? Easier to shoot?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    huge difference beyond the basics of pulling a string and releasing an arrow.
    I like both for different reasons.
    longbow= traditional +/or "primitive", lighter weight, instinctive shooting, simplicity, greater satisfaction (I made mine myself from osage orange wood I cut on my farm), requires more practice to train muscle groups and develop hand eye coordination.
    compound bow= more mechanically complex, possibly a better killing machine, generally longer effective range, heavier weight to carry around.
    cost on either can be from cheap to outrageous.
    both can be addictive.
     
  3. Phelptwan

    Phelptwan Member

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    My long bow is much more quiet than my compound bow. It's also much lighter, much heaver draw weight, and much...longer.

    Overall I get more gratification using a longbow and sighting down the arrow than I do from using fiber optic sights on my compound.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Severe Bursitises of the shoulder, (Long bow) or not so severe! (Compound)

    It meant the difference for me between being able to practice enough to continue to hunt or not.

    The other thing is with a compound, you can easily hold at full draw while waiting for a deer to step out from behind that bush!

    rcmodel
     
  5. Mosey

    Mosey Member

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    To me it is the difference between function and art. The compound is much more functional. As was mentioned, you can hold it on target for a long time at full draw while you wait for your target to appear. I personally can shoot much tighter groups at greater distances with a compound. That does not mean that I shoot my compound more often than my longbow (or my recurve). I enjoy the simplicity and aesthetic qualities of the wood bows and the sense of history that they bring to my mind. Some people are the opposite; they like the technology and speed of the compound. It really depends on what you want to get out of the bow, function or art.
     
  6. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

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    I shot FITA and field over the years and all of the above are very true and accurate, and I'll add one more. Longbows and recurves tend to be more forgiving with fingers. The letoff of the compound and the reduced holding weight tends to make for a spongier release. Think increased locktime in a firearm. When I switched from recurves to freestyle limited (compound with fingers) I found I traded one problem (holding weight at full draw) for another (more demanding of release).
     
  7. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

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    I realized I should have also added recurve to the mix. I was referring to non-compound bows and forgot there were a couple of types.

    Do all the comments about longbows also apply to recurves? Is there a benefit to recurves over longbows? (IE: greater power, etc.)
     
  8. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

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    Recurves will generally have more energy storage per pound of draw weight, hence higher velocity for the same weight arrow. This will not be that dramatic. The limbs are slightly more fragile on a recurve than a longbow and more sensitive/suceptable to twist or warpage. In the higher poundages (around 100# and up) recurves have a short limb life. The draw weight/draw length graph of longbows is relatively smooth. Recurves may also have a tendancy to "stack" or have a dramatic increase in draw weight in very short limb styles or long draw lengths. Also it's easier to design removeable limbs for takedown in recurves due to the mechanics of bow construction. Also good longbows tend to be more expensive, generally speaking, than good recurves. Simple reason is that it's a lot harder to find a good bowstave to cut a longbow from than a couple of thin pieces of maple veneer and some fiberglass to laminate a recurve limb from. And carving and shaping and tillering a stave for a longbow involves more handwork and time than layering materials and hitting the button on the press and shaping the limb on a belt sander. It's just all about materials and time.
     
  9. Jason_G

    Jason_G Member

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    If you're adding recurves into the mix, then they get my vote. I get a lot more satisfaction out of shooting a recurve (or a longbow) than I do from a compound with sights. I like instinctive shooting.
    I like longbows as well, but they're... long :). A recurve is generally a little easier to get around with in the woods.

    Jason
     
  10. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Traditional (Recurve or Longbow) vs. Compound:

    My thoughts after a fairly recent induction into the traditional world:

    1. For *me*, traditional is a complete no-go, due to the numb fingers I get from shooting with fingers. I was using both a tab and a thick glove, and I still got permanent (until I quit shooting for several months) numbness in my fingers and along the outside of my palm. BUT FOR this fact, I loved traditional archery.

    2. Traditionals don't have any set draw length. So they can be much much faster to quickly shoot accurately, both because (a) you don't have to come to a full draw before releasing, and (b) you shoot instinctively, so no sights to line up. Albeit with the caveat that for ME to shoot instinctively with any accuracy, this necessitated a slow measured hold at full draw where I looked down the arrow for several seconds and made adjustments.

    3. Traditional bows are far more aesthetically pleasing.

    4. Traditional bows are typically lighter weight

    5. Aside from 2, 3, and 4, compound bows have the advantage in every other category, most notably in (a) power and thus trajectory (b) ability to hold for a length of time at full draw due to letoff, and (c) accuracy, due to sights.

    But traditional bows are a hoot, and better to learn the young'uns on. :)
     
  11. NoirFan

    NoirFan Member

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    The sighting method of the two types is very different. With the longbow you focus your eye on the target while positioning the bow and arrow in the lower right of your vision. You don't sight along the arrow or anything. Also, the bow angle is more canted to help keep the arrow from slipping off the top of your hand. With a compound you have a sight that you line up with the target, as with a rifle. The bow is also held more vertically.

    A longbow is meant to be drawn and released in one smooth motion; this means no holding the bow at full draw while you aim. Focus on the target, start your draw, touch your right hand to your anchor point for just a second, then release. A compound can be drawn, held for a long time, and aimed precisely, because of the let-off. Compounds are more accurate and more powerful for a given draw weight, no question.

    My bow of choice is an ash-backed walnut flatbow. The compound bow is a more efficient weapon, and if we still used archery in warfare and survival hunting it would be the better choice. Since we don't, I prefer the traditional wood bow for aesthetics and fun of shooting.

    Hope this helps
     
  12. Jst1mr

    Jst1mr Member

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    Accuracy is in the shooter, not the weapon...although it may be easier to achieve in one type than another. I remember watching an episode where some American bow hunters went to Africa on safari and engaged in some friendly competition with some native tribesman. The Americans(compounds cranked up to 90-100lbs) were generally out-shot by the natives with wooden bows and handmade arrows(certainly NOT guaranteed to .001" straightness!). Guess you get good when survival depends on it! Also would guess that your typical modern sportsman would be humiliated by a medieval archer (recurves, for the most part, with extremely high draw weight). Another "traditional" advantage lies in taking moving shots or even at flying birds...the forgiving arrow shelf and instinctive sighting being key.
     
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