[Horsebow] Draw length

chuffalump

Member
So....draw length on a horsebow.

I have a relatively long draw length (around the 30 mark Olympic recurve) and I'm interested in a horsebow as my 'trad' archery plaything. Trouble is, I would like to be able to use a thumb draw some/all of the time. I think this means a draw length of at least 32" or 33" is required.

While looking I've found that many bows show a DL of less than 30" or don't mention it at all.

I'd rather have modern materials so the SKB/Mind50 style is what I've been looking at but I can't, for the life of me, get definitive info on how far I can draw one safely. Also on where to get a Mind50 in the UK.

Anyone with longer DL use these? What do you think? Any other suggestions or resources?

It's more for a change of pace and the ability to shoot in our club fun comps than anything serious.😁
 


Del the Cat

Active member
Being blunt I don't think you'll get definitive info as many of these bows are very much mass produced.
All you'll do is get frustrated or end up with an off the shelf one that someone has pulled to 33" , written 33" max on it and then charged you a premium!
Were it me I'd just buy one of the more reputable (and longer) ones and go for it.
The design lends itself to a huge overdraw, and if it fails it's not going to hurt you.
(It will de-laminate or buckle rather than breaking into pieces)
I made one using f/glass lams that had been previously used. It got re-built a second time as it was too high a draw weight first try. It was pretty much thrown together as an experiment, (you'll notice the levers are prob' too short) eventually I blew it by drawing to 32" but the failure mode was safe.
Bowyer's Diary: How to Smash a Horsebow
I'd suggest a decently made one would cope with little problem, same as a modern target recurve (I've seen video of them over drawn to ridiculous length during test)
If you want to test it you could easily build a test rig and pull it repeatedly to slowly increasing distances to work it in and satisfy yourself... say take it to 1" over your draw length.
Del
(All just my opinion of course, other opinions may vary, terms and condition apply, contestants must be 18 years or over. Peoples opinons rarely effect reality... etc ;) )
 


BillM

Member
I mainly shoot recurve but also shoot longbow and horsebow (at field). My experience and observation is that the DL is about 1" shorter with longbow and horsebow because they are 8# and 10# higher than the recurve and you don't effectively have the same DL. The longbow will stack and that is detrimental to the wood and the horsebow will tire you quickly if you try the same DL as the recurve. With the recurve the scapula continues to move when the string gets to reference point - the nose/chin, and the point goes through the clicker. You do not have a clicker on the other bows so when the string gets to the nose/chin the arrow is loosed. Aim-draw-aim-loose is the sequence I have adopted and it seems to work. My horsebow is marked with a max DL of 30" so a slightly longer one should work due to the slightly shorter DL compared to a recurve.

BillM
 


BillM

Member
Cheers. Would a thumb draw not be to the side of the face, so longer than a front of face anchor?
Don't know as I stick to meditereaninan draw with all my bows and never tried thumb draw. My reference point is the same place so maybe somebody else can answer that.

BillM
 


Del the Cat

Active member
I think with a thumb ring you can draw to almost anywhere.
Doesn't matter where you anchor as long as it is consistent.
If you end up at the back of your jaw or on your right shoulder you could end up with a lovely long draw (Think Yumi or Warbow draw :) )
It's a huge shock when you first shoot with that sort of anchor, but you slowly zone in as if by magic (prob' even more of a shock if you usually use sights)
First time I tried a warbow style 32" draw I could barely hit a 3' square boss at 10 yards, but after about a dozen arrows I started grouping.
Del
 


chuffalump

Member
Well, it's all very tempting. Seems that Aardvark are now ordering the Mind50 in. With the comment that the SKB can be drawn to 33" (in which case the Mind50 certainly can).

Now all I have to do is find a non-split tab and arrows......and maybe a bow hand glove......and a different quiver.....a thumbring..... Hang on! This is starting to sound expensive....😁
 


So....draw length on a horsebow.

I have a relatively long draw length (around the 30 mark Olympic recurve) and I'm interested in a horsebow as my 'trad' archery plaything. Trouble is, I would like to be able to use a thumb draw some/all of the time. I think this means a draw length of at least 32" or 33" is required.

While looking I've found that many bows show a DL of less than 30" or don't mention it at all.

I'd rather have modern materials so the SKB/Mind50 style is what I've been looking at but I can't, for the life of me, get definitive info on how far I can draw one safely. Also on where to get a Mind50 in the UK.

Anyone with longer DL use these? What do you think? Any other suggestions or resources?

It's more for a change of pace and the ability to shoot in our club fun comps than anything serious.
I have a Mind50. (60lb)

Drawlength is basically as long as you can get it, 30" wouldn't be a problem at all.

When you use thumbring, you don't HAVE to draw to your ear - yes it's the traditional way but it's not necessary unless you absolutely must have that extra little bit of oomph (you're not hunting and you're not shooting to kill, so the answer is no).


Also remember that your thumb is not as strong as your fingers! I can't actually draw my 60lb Mind50 all the way, the string rips itself out of my hand (thumb) just as my hand reaches my face. I'm still tempted to buy a lower-poundage SKB to practise.
 


Well, it's all very tempting. Seems that Aardvark are now ordering the Mind50 in. With the comment that the SKB can be drawn to 33" (in which case the Mind50 certainly can).[/QUOTE]


Are they? I had heard that Samick had folded, good news to hear that they're (possibly) still going.

Now all I have to do is find a non-split tab and arrows......and maybe a bow hand glove......and a different quiver.....a thumbring..... Hang on! This is starting to sound expensive....
Bow hand glove isn't necessary if you use feather fletches and lift the nock point on the string a fraction. I've used my Mind50 for about 2-3 years now, never needed a glove.

non-split tab? why? Med loose works fine if you're using fingers. :) I'd suggest a horsebow probably wouldn't react well to stringwalking (they're too short).


If you go for a Mind50 or an SKB, remember the weights are measure at 30" not 28", so it'll initially feel low-powered until you draw it full length. (I think it's why some people used to think they were just toys).
 


chuffalump

Member
Cheers Riceburner. I was thinking a non-split tab for three fingers under as my cavalier elite can feel awkward but have no problem using med.

I've seen the recommendation that you get 5lb more than you are used to because of the difference in the way they are measured so I was thinking of the 45lb version. Not sure I'd fancy 60 😂.

Anyway, it'll have to wait a couple of weeks before I can organise owt.
 


chuffalump

Member
Postman delivered a new Mind 50 this morning. Not sure if I haven't made a mistake. My arrows are 31". The official DL for the M50 is 29". So I should be able to pull till only 2" of arrow show outside the riser. Feels like it hits a wall at least two inches before even this point.

Don't know if this is just a steep part of the DFC or a sign not to go any further. At the moment I can't even get a front of face anchor. Am I being chicken? Any of you horsebow fans have the same draw feel?
 


Postman delivered a new Mind 50 this morning. Not sure if I haven't made a mistake. My arrows are 31". The official DL for the M50 is 29". So I should be able to pull till only 2" of arrow show outside the riser. Feels like it hits a wall at least two inches before even this point.

Don't know if this is just a steep part of the DFC or a sign not to go any further. At the moment I can't even get a front of face anchor. Am I being chicken? Any of you horsebow fans have the same draw feel?

seems odd, I'm sure the Mind50 will just keep bending until the limbs are virtually parallel (obviously that's a slight exaggeration!).

Mine gets heavier as I draw, obviously, but it seems to be a pretty smooth increase, all the way to my max draw (my ear). Not sure what that distance is though as I've never measured it.

Are you using Med or 3 under?
 


chuffalump

Member
seems odd, I'm sure the Mind50 will just keep bending until the limbs are virtually parallel (obviously that's a slight exaggeration!).

Mine gets heavier as I draw, obviously, but it seems to be a pretty smooth increase, all the way to my max draw (my ear). Not sure what that distance is though as I've never measured it.

Are you using Med or 3 under?
That was 3 under. I don't have a thumb ring yet so the pain was a bit much to try thumb draw. Maybe I should try it with a tab. The string digging into my fingers might make a psychological difference.

Do these bows ease up with use? The draw is very smooth until 'the wall' and it looks gorgeous. Apart from the weird rubber grip which I probably wouldn't use.

Maybe I just need to man up and accept the risk of binning 150 quid. Draw to the max and see what happens.
 


chuffalump

Member
(With safety goggles. Del's experience might give him the confidence that it's failure mode isn't explosive but.....)
 


Del the Cat

Active member
(With safety goggles. Del's experience might give him the confidence that it's failure mode isn't explosive but.....)
Just had a bow go BANG this morning, got a nice whack on the pap for my trouble.
Bowyer's Diary: "TakeDown" Explodes!
Back onto your topic, I think a lot is down to 'feel' and mental fortitude... your bow doubtless feels odd, but If you pull the long draw with the right hand coming back at brow/eye level and then down to anchor it may feel a bit easier/smoother. Finger pinch doesn't help.
If you are unsure of the bow, get it on a tiller (I'm sure you can jury rig some sort of thing) and pull it to 1" over your draw length. Confidence makes a huge difference...
Mind I was confident that my bow wouldn't explode! :shocked:
Del
 


chuffalump

Member
I think you're right about the mental side of it. I've had people at have-a-goes act like the bow is going to snap and those are titchy little 20lbers.

With the horse bow I think that there is a mechanical aspect too. A couple of places recommend a brace height of 5 to 5.5". With the string untwisted mine is still 6.25" at its lowest (where do they measure it???). A longer string would allow a slightly longer draw for the same limb deflection. I think it'll take 8125 so I can make a new string with my recurve stock.

Might try your Mongolian draw suggestion too. Basic thumb ring ordered because the finger pinch is fairly fierce.
 


chuffalump

Member
Shot the Mind 50 for the first time today. Surprisingly flat trajectory. Some serious hand shock compared to my usual. Ended up with a weird hybrid of two and a half under but anchored in the middle of my chin. Until I get those extra inches on the draw....

My old 2016 xx75s flew pretty well. Arrow pass by IKEA.

One unexpected benefit was changing to recurve after half an hour or so. It was so easy to hold I over came the impulse to loose as soon as the sight got anywhere near the gold.
 


That was 3 under. I don't have a thumb ring yet so the pain was a bit much to try thumb draw. Maybe I should try it with a tab. The string digging into my fingers might make a psychological difference.

Do these bows ease up with use? The draw is very smooth until 'the wall' and it looks gorgeous. Apart from the weird rubber grip which I probably wouldn't use.

Maybe I just need to man up and accept the risk of binning 150 quid. Draw to the max and see what happens.

Shot the Mind 50 for the first time today. Surprisingly flat trajectory. Some serious hand shock compared to my usual. Ended up with a weird hybrid of two and a half under but anchored in the middle of my chin. Until I get those extra inches on the draw....

My old 2016 xx75s flew pretty well. Arrow pass by IKEA.

One unexpected benefit was changing to recurve after half an hour or so. It was so easy to hold I over came the impulse to loose as soon as the sight got anywhere near the gold.


I shoot mine totally naked (the bow that is... calm down!) no grip, no tape, I did have an arrow pass on, mainly to assist me in placing my hand. But now I'm more accustomed to the bow I can just 'feel' the correct position in my hand.

They do shoot VERY flat yes - one of the reasons I love it! If you're getting hand shock, it could be that the arrows aren't quite heavy enough? Also - you don't need to grip it tight, just tight enough to keep hold of it. I think for me it's easier because that's the way I ride my motorcycle - I'm accustomed to holding something without 'gripping' it (if that makes any sense!). On a bike that can translate to over-sensitivity on steering movements, and tired muscles over time. I think it's a bit like fencing - they say to grip the sword 'like a small bird in your hand - with control, but not a crushing grip'. archery/fencing/biking ... all very similar. ;)
 


chuffalump

Member
It won't ease up with use. It's not like wood.
Del
Yeah. I thought that after. The construction is more or less the same as modern recurve limbs.

I'm getting there though. Already replaced the stock brass nocking points with serving material. Just that last little bit of courage required....:D
 


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