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Thread: Brace Height

  1. #1
    In the Green
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    Brace Height

    I've been shooting American Longbows since 1976 but most recently have fallen in love with the traditional English Longbow, no shelf rest and with the D Limb design rather than the flat bow. The American bows seem to range from 6 1/2" to 7" brace height whereas the Engish bows can run mostly 5" to 5 1/2". A dramatic difference and I am wondering why. The shorter brace height can really increase string slap but if you can cure that the string drives the arrow farther for a little greater cast and speed along with a good release. Any comments on why they are so different?


  3. #2
    In the White Tim_Archer's Avatar
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    Nov 2017
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    The recommended brace height for my Bickerstaffe ELB is 6.5". Which ones have you seen with shorter brace heights?

  4. #3
    It's an X I've taken part in an AIUK Ironman Shoot.The Fonz Award.AIUK subscriber. Timid Toad's Avatar
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    You're comparing apples with oranges. It's a radically different animal in so many respects that it isn't possible to expect BH to be the same. Still, unless you have a very short ELB (and therefore a very short draw length) 5 1/2" sounds a very low BH.
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  5. #4
    It's an X Del the Cat's Avatar
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    Harlow Essex
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    Obviously go to the bowyer's recommendation, failing that I use my fist with extended thumb (fistimelle) which is about 6 - 6 1/4"
    I'd say 6 1/2 is a safe maximum. 5 1/2" is fine and a low brace can give a longer power stroke but at the risk of string slap.
    Don't crank up the brace height in search of more power/distance etc, it won't help and will kill the bow. (Going lower on the brace height would be more effective! Yes I know it's counter-intuitive)
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  6. #5
    In the Red
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    there is a ratio between bow length and brace height and is to do with the arc formed by the strung bow. typically this will give you a brace height of 6" for a 72" bow. As said, a lower brace height will give you more distance.
    Also be aware that if you have a long draw length you will need a longer bow to keep the ratio the same. I have a 76" long bow and draw length of 30".

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