Bow Poundage


I had to shoot with 40# OTF for a while when a new bow did not measure up as expected. When you have a 32” draw that is not ideal. (I had been shooting 49#). However, I proceeded to shoot a bunch of PBs, including an 1100 York and won a bunch of shoots. So ended up with 43# when they sent me the right limbs. That was back in the 1990s. Did end up at 46 to 47 a few years later but I was shooting every day. Any more than that and I needed to go up spine which in theory wasn’t a bad thing but in practice was.

Unfortunately a lot of folks hear “Brady is shooting 53” and seem to think that is a reasonable goal because they shot a nice group in the 10 with it once. Or maybe they thing 47# as a reasonable compromise... nuts, unless you are shooting 1000 good arrows a week.

With my current bow I reckon I *could* be competitive with 38# if I put the time in. It’s pushing out a spine that I would have needed 43# to tune even ten years ago.

Unfortunately for strong folks a higher draw weight can mask some terrible technique flaws so they will argue that they shoot better on 47# while smashing a solid 520 18m :unsure:


Brady is currently shooting 47. He said that he has learned to settle for what he can manage well rather than shooting what he thinks he ought to.


Interesting subject this, I’ve not really seen the macho poundage thing at our club but can relate to it from martial arts where someone would get a wall bag and start punching as hard as possible right away tearing the knuckles up and then not being able to do anything for a few weeks, rather than starting light and letting the fists get conditioned.
I started with 28lb limbs shooting something like 25 otf in July and now have 30lb limbs roughly 32lb otf which I can definitely feel after a 3 hour shoot, with no target draw weight in mind I’ll just move up as and when I feel ready.
Oh yeah also own a 48lb longbow but that doesn’t really count as it’s a different draw technique, but I do want to try warbow poundage eventually