How to Choose Recurve Bows

How to Choose Recurve Bows

There are many types of bows to choose from for the archery enthusiast. The recurve bow is a good choice for those who prefer the traditional feel of the bow and arrow and enjoy fine tuning their skills. Recurve bows get their name from the way they are designed. The tips of the bow curve away from the shooter. When the bow is drawn and released, the curved tips lengthen the cast of the arrow, providing energy and increasing its speed. Even after deciding on a recurve bow, there are a number of options available to assure you have a bow that is appropriate for your strength and skill level. It is also important to consider the intended use of the bow when selecting accessories.

Parts of the bow

When discussing the parts of a recurve bow, certain terminology is used when referring to the various segments. The riser is the center part of the bow where the grip and arrow shelf are located. The limbs are the upper and lower parts of the bow. A nock is the place at the end of an arrow where the bowstring is placed when drawing the string to shoot. The belly of the bow is the part that faces the shooter when held properly and the back is the part that faces away from the shooter.One thing to remember when choosing a recurve bow is that a right hand bow is held by the left hand. The string is pulled back by the right hand. The rest for the arrow is located on the left side of the bow.

The AMO length is the standard bow length set by the Archery Manufacturers’ Association. Usually, strings with the same AMO length will fit the bow, but better performance can be delivered if the string is a slightly different length.Usually the bow will have specific information written on it such as the serial number, the AMO length and the bow weight. Recurve bows can be shot at any number of draw lengths. The bow weight can be changed by adjusting the draw length. Typically, the bow weight will change about 5 percent for each inch the draw length is changed. The distance from the string across to the farthest point of the handgrip is called the brace height. To adjust the bow, the string is twisted, which changes the string length and therefore, the brace height. Decreasing the brace height will also reduce the draw weight. In addition, the arrow speed is increased due to the extended period it is being pushed forward by the bow string. A reduced brace height normally makes the string hit your hand though.  Adjusting the bow is necessary to achieve optimal performance from the bow. This entails a combination of repositioning the nock set on the string, changing the length of the string, the arrow rest or the type of arrow used.

My new (to me) recurve bow and arrows.

What will you do with your bow?

The type of recurve bow you buy will also depend on its purpose. If the bow is going to be used primarily for target practice, you needn’t be as selective as if it is going to be used for hunting. A bow that is used for hunting will need to have a substantially high draw weight than one that is only intended for target practice. For hunting, the draw weight needs to be high to add enough force behind the arrow that it will penetrate the skin, tissue or bone of the prey at 20 to 30 yards. While a bow with a lower weight might suffice for hunting, it will decrease the distance over which you can effectively shoot. Usually a draw weight of 40 pounds or more is needed to hunting. A beginner is not always able to use a bow with a draw weight of 40 pounds. If this is the case, you can start out with a lower draw weight and build up with a little practice.

Another consideration is what types of accessories, if any, you plan to buy for the bow. Some bows come with pre-drilled holes for sights. Take-down bows are also available which are easy to transport and store. They allow the limbs to be disassembled from the riser. The recurve bow is highly recommended because it is manufactured from the highest quality materials and provides superior performance.  I always recommend getting a bow case to make your bow stay in better condition longer.

Choosing the Right Bow Strings

Choosing the Right Bow Strings

It’s very important to choose the right bow strings for your bow.  I say bow strings because the string is actually several strings put together.  These strings make your bowstring last longer and help prevent the string from failing at one time, which could be horrible.  Traditional bows are normally the ones with more bow-string problems.  With compound bows, you have the same problems, but you can use different materials that last longer so you’re lucky.

Compound bow strings

The compound bow-string is going to consist of two different parts.  You should have the cable that runs through the cams and is normally made of metal cable surrounded by rubber.  The other part is the one that you pull back on.  It will have the peep sight, silencers, serving, and clickers attached to it.  This is the part that you want to be strong, wear and tear resistant, and as element proof as possible.

Always check the string before you begin shooting.  It only takes a few seconds and can prevent bad things from happening.  You are looking for very frayed or broken strings, worn loops around the string connection ends, and debris that could affect performance.  If you need a replacement string, you can normally find one online or at a local Bowyer.  Here is a replacement string for the Genesis Bow.

Traditional bow strings

Traditional bows have a few more things to deal with.  First, the bow itself must be made so that it can handle the kinds of strings.  If you don’t know and you’re making the string, then stick with B-50 Dacron because it can be used on all bows.  You can get strings made for your bow or you can make them yourself.  If you want a replacement string, you’ll need to know the AMO of your bow.  The AMO is not the length of the bow, it is the lengths of the string plus 3 inches.  Sadly, this is a guide and not always the right string for your bow.  If you’re buying the string, take your bow and try putting on a few of the strings to see which works best.  Also, don’t forget that the strings will stretch up to a couple of inches possibly.

There are many different materials for bow strings and they offer different features.  Dacron is good for all bows, but it’s slower and can wear out if not maintained well.  Fastflight is also popular.  It is thinner, stronger, and is faster but this means that it puts more stress on the bow.  Only put it on a bow that is made for it, otherwise you could break the bow at the ends and that’s no fun.  There are more materials for the strings, but these are the two most popular.

I’ll go over making your own bow-string in another article, but if you’re getting started I like to go with the motto of “keep things simple.”  You’ll have a lot more fun if you just get the bow-string you need so that you can get out and go shooting.

How to Pick Bow Sights

How to Pick Bow Sights

Shooting a bow and arrow without knowing where it will end up is a scary thing to do.  You can greatly increase your aim and skill by using good bow sights.  I’m focusing on compound bows, but you can apply many of the principals to a traditional bow as well.  There are several different types of sights and many of them have several features.  It’s not necessary to use all the features in a sight, but it’s nice to have them there just in case.

 Start with the bow

First thing to do is look at the bow you’re shooting and see if it has mounts for a sight.  You might not have the same mount on every bow or you could have some damage that might need to be addressed first.  If there is any damage and you’re not sure about being able to fix it, you should find a local archery shop that can handle repairs.

Archery Lessons

Check the peep

The peep sight is the little loop that you have placed in your string which you look through.  This piece will go close to your eye and needs to line up correctly.  You will be looking through this same peep every single time you make a shot.  it’s also important that it doesn’t turn or move up and down the string.  You can install this yourself or take it to someone.  The important thing is to make sure that it ends up doing the same thing every single time you draw your bow back to you.  You might also see some bows that have a string attached from the peep to another point.  This is to keep the peep lined up every time you draw back.

Different features in sights

Pins are the small parts that stick into the middle of the sight tube and is the end point of the sight apparatus.  You can find pins that are vertical or horizontal and with different features.  One feature that most people like is the illuminated sight.  These pins normally use fiber optics to bend the light into the pin and make it glow.  This feature can come in really handy when you are in a low light condition.

Most sights will come with several pins in them.  When you are sighting in the bow, you’ll spend a lot of time on each pin so many people choose to only use a couple pins.  The important part is to pick a sight pin that isn’t too big.  You don’t want the pin to cover up your target so much that you can’t see the target when you’re aiming.

Another feature you will find is a small level that you can see.  You want your bow to be level when your shooting.  This is important for compound bows and will help you have more consistent shooting results.

For me, a great value and price for a good sight is the Trophy Ridge Punisher 5 Sight.  You get a sight with pins that aren’t too big and they are fiber optic.  You can also replace these while you’re out shooting if you need.  The other plus is that it’s made for either right or left hand.  That means it comes in handy if you decide to upgrade your sights and want to give it to someone else.

Choosing your First Bow and Arrow

Choosing your First Bow and Arrow

Choosing your first bow and arrow as a young child is a lot like looking for a new best friend.  Not any one would do.  No, you needed to be sure that you could shoot arrows like Robin Hood and save the day or go hunting in the wild woods, which was just some open land behind your house.  Whether you’re young or old.  Choosing a bow that’s right for you is very important.
Archery Range

Be Excited for your child

If the parent enjoys something, then the child will normally enjoy the sport as well.  It’s important to be happy that your child is taking an interest in a good sport that they can enjoy for the rest of their life.  That being said, now on to finding the bow for you.  There are several different ways that you can go, but it’s probably best to tailor the choice down to what the youth is interested in.  If they are very young, then a toy bow and arrow might be a better start for them until they develop the muscles to shoot stronger bows.

Go see what choices you have

When you pick a bow, you should start with taking your child to a store and letting them look at the different options.  There are lots of options and it will be the most helpful to just show them.  Many archery shops are really kid friendly and will have a place so that you can try out a bow before you buy it.  You don’t have to get the bow there, but it will help your child decide which direction they want to go in.

Different types of bows

Children grow fast and so it’s important to find something that can grow with them.  There are a couple good ways to go about this.  The first is to find a compound bow that has variable settings and allows you to grow with it, such as the Genesis Bow.  A compound bow has two or more wheels, called cams, which make the bow more powerful while keeping it easy to use.

Another good option that you can choose is to find a recurve or long bow that is made for youth.  The nice thing about these types of bows is that you just pull back what you can handle..  A bow similar to the PSE Razorback for youth would fit this category well.  You can find one that your child is able to pull back and then let them try different bows until they find the one that suits them best.

Let’s recap real quick

  1. Be excited – Archery is a great sport and you can enjoy it for your entire life
  2. Go look at the options – There are several choices and the best way is to go take a look
  3. Try them out – Try out compound bows and traditional bows to find which suits you best.
  4. Have fun – After you made your choice, have fun enjoying your new bow.

As you’re shooting things through the air, don’t forget to take the time and make sure that your child is safe about this great sport.  Proper accessories will protect them and help them to enjoy shooting more.  These include arm guards and a release aid.  An arm guard will protect their arm from the string accidentally hitting it when they shoot an arrow.  You don’t to hurt when your shooting, that’s no fun and might make you stop.  There are many release aides from gloves to mechanical devices.  These protect your hand that is pulling back on the string.  There are many other things you can get to have fun with archery, but these are basic things that will help you to enjoy this sport.