Longbow draw weight?

I’m thinking of getting a longbow bout mainly shoot recurve with a draw weight of 40lb on the hand. I’ve also got a long draw length of 30.5”. How do I get around most of those being for sale having a maximum draw of 28 or 29 and big warnings not to pull any further? I’m shooting well with recurve up to 100yards and would be target shooting only but still want to reach that distance with a longbow. Should the longbow be the same draw weight as my recurve. I don’t want to get something that is too hard to pull but want to get decent distance. It’s really hard to find any info online about choosing longbows compared to recurve. Also, I’m told that you have to have certain features to qualify to shoot in competition, horn nocks etc? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 


Del the Cat

Well-known member
The following is just my opinion:-
Best advice is visit to a bowyer, either professional or amateur. (Or at least talk to them).
(Don't make the mistake of thinking the professional is necessarily better! The amateur is less constrained by time considerations).
Don't buy off the interweb and do try before you buy.
I'm not after any commissions, but to give you an idea of what I do. I only make 'em for people who can take the trouble to visit and shoot a few bows, because people often don't actually know their real draw length or what is a suitable draw weight!
You'll have to check the regulation of the organisations you shoot with for their definition of ELB. Most share common features like a minimum width to thickness limb ratio and obvious things like no cut away arrow pass (bow must not be narrower at the arrow pass ). Some allow some recurve as long as it isn't evident when the bow is braced). Some organisations allow bamboo as a backing and some don't. It is a very good backing and gives a fast and long lasting bow.
Some insist on horn nocks but don't even understand the difference between horn, bone and antler! :rolleyes:
Self bow vs laminate or backed bow?
Laminates are easier to make, but need to be made of suitable materials not just some random stuff that is lying about. My personal preference would be a simple backed bow (e.g 2 laminations) or a self Yew bow.
Unfortunately a self Yew bow will be more expensive and for your long draw a laminate is probably a better bet. The bow will also need to be fairly long (at least 6' , probably 74-76") for longevity.
In terms of performance I'd suggest Yew backed with Bamboo, Hickory, or Ash.
Ipe backed with Bamboo is also V good ( but Ipe is heavy and can benefit from a lighter core wood, e.g 3 laminations back, belly and core).
I'd advise against a self bow of woods other than Yew, Osage or maybe Elm as the performance will likely be mediocre.

As you are target shooting I'd suggest sticking to 40# draw weight as you will be shooting a lot of arrows. Having said that, you could go up to 45# if your bowyer is willing to reduce the weight by 5# if you find it too heavy. Not all bowyers will want to do this and reducing by more than 5-10# becomes a right pain.

I hope this has been some help.
Del
 


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Mark D

New member
I’m thinking of getting a longbow bout mainly shoot recurve with a draw weight of 40lb on the hand. I’ve also got a long draw length of 30.5”. How do I get around most of those being for sale having a maximum draw of 28 or 29 and big warnings not to pull any further? I’m shooting well with recurve up to 100yards and would be target shooting only but still want to reach that distance with a longbow. Should the longbow be the same draw weight as my recurve. I don’t want to get something that is too hard to pull but want to get decent distance. It’s really hard to find any info online about choosing longbows compared to recurve. Also, I’m told that you have to have certain features to qualify to shoot in competition, horn nocks etc? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Hi,
I have a draw length of nearly 32" and shoot longbow. It was made for me by Adrian Hayes. Fantastic bow, my shooting isn't yet doing it justice! The bow weight is 45lb at 32". Drop him an email or give him a call, I am sure he will be able to help you out.
Mark
 


you will definitely need a bow made to fit you, a 74"-76" bow will give you a draw length of 30"-32".
Drawing a llongbow of the same draw weight as your recurve will seem easier and being lighter in weight less tiring to shoot a full round. you also hold at draw for a short time so my advice would be to have a bow that is slightly higher in draw weight as that will make for a flatter trajectory and a high arrow arc is a bane for decent scores at distance.
so a 45# bow will deliver the arrow speed you want without tiring you out, any heavier and the flatter trajectory is negated by the increased fatigue, much less and the arc of the arrow wil be a huge disadvantage.
Longbows also suffer from set after a while so the draw weight will drop a little in time.
There are many bowyers who will make you a suitable bow, a 3 or 4 wood laminate being the common construction but I have had 2 Ady hayes bows and am very happy with his work and he is affordable.
Horn nocks are needed in only acouple of comps but they are anyway more common than antler, bone etc and self nocks are not that common on multi laminates
 


you will definitely need a bow made to fit you, a 74"-76" bow will give you a draw length of 30"-32".
Drawing a llongbow of the same draw weight as your recurve will seem easier and being lighter in weight less tiring to shoot a full round. you also hold at draw for a short time so my advice would be to have a bow that is slightly higher in draw weight as that will make for a flatter trajectory and a high arrow arc is a bane for decent scores at distance.
so a 45# bow will deliver the arrow speed you want without tiring you out, any heavier and the flatter trajectory is negated by the increased fatigue, much less and the arc of the arrow wil be a huge disadvantage.
Longbows also suffer from set after a while so the draw weight will drop a little in time.
There are many bowyers who will make you a suitable bow, a 3 or 4 wood laminate being the common construction but I have had 2 Ady hayes bows and am very happy with his work and he is affordable.
Horn nocks are needed in only acouple of comps but they are anyway more common than antler, bone etc and self nocks are not that common on multi laminates
That all makes a lot of sense, thanks. Any got views on Bikerstaffe bows, they look ok, but no reviews online?
 


They have a good reputation but they do cost more than most of their competitors other than their basic range. If budget is a factor there are still plenty to choose from. I also have a couple of Nick Toy bows that I use for clout and you dont have to wait an age to get your hands on one and cost the same as a Hayes bow.
You would be wise to do as Del suggested and to chat to a couple of the bowyers via email or over the phone to see what they can offer as very long bows have problems such as normal stringing jigs cant cope so replacing a string could be an ordeal in itself.
Like horn nocks there are a couple of events that dont allow the use of bamboo so bear in mind what you might want to do before choosing your woods for laminates. if it is purely target then the choice is all yours
 


4d4m

Member
Out of interest which events/organisations disallow bamboo backed longbows? I've recently got a nice laminate bow which is boo backed.
 


Corax67

Active member
Shoot a recurve at 40# OTF for 100yds but my longbow is a Gary Evans Artemis (superb) 52# @28” for the same distance. My aim point is 12 o’clock white at 100yds but that’s as much to do with arrow selection (Carols archery - amazing) as it is the bow weight.

Is a triple lam bamboo backed bow and I’ve yet to fall foul of anyone re: bamboo.

Brother in law shoots an Artemis too and has a 30” draw length - speak to the guys at Wales Archery, Gary is a legend.



Karl
 


Del the Cat

Well-known member
Out of interest which events/organisations disallow bamboo backed longbows? I've recently got a nice laminate bow which is boo backed.
Maybe it's just the warbow community as the English Warbow Society doesn't allow bamboo and I know one other specific shoot where boo isn't allowed and that is the ILAA Mary Rose shoot.
Read the rules for the organisation or organisations that you belong to, or wish to belong to.
It's the only way to be certain of the information.... no point me saying "I think AGB are ok with boo"..
Del
 


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4d4m

Member
Thanks Del, post was prompted just by curiosity. My LB is just for casual shooting at the moment, not really looking to compete with it. If I was, the only comps I'm likely to shoot it in the future are NFAS and possibly GNAS which it should be fine with.
 


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