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George

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Reply with quote  #1 
[smile] Hello, guys.  I'm about to ask what some of you may consider a very lame question.  I may even have what I think is one answer in the back of my mind, but I'll wait for you pros to chime in.

To begin, I know very little about longbows.  I have never even shot a longbow, preferring to stay with the recurves I learned on.  I would like to have a longbow when I find one I can afford.  I have my eye on a couple of used bows.  

Having said all of that,  I was curious as to why longbows always seem to lean toward the heavier draw weights?  55#, 60#, 65 and 70# seem to be the norm. I'm looking forward to what is most likely a simple answer.

With Regards,
George


Sam

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Reply with quote  #2 
It used to be common belief that one should shoot as heavy a hunting bow as they could successfully handle. Some very well known hunters proclaimed this. Many still comply with that advice. Personally, I like relatively heavy draw weights, but as I have gotten older, it has been necessary to reduce that weight (yes, due to injuries that resulted from these heavy bows). I can shoot the same weight bows in recurves and longbows and would recommend using your recurve choice as a beginning point. I don't consider 55# and under as "heavy", but that will vary with each archer. I used to shoot a 78# bow, then a 65# bow and now shoot 53#. I am quite comfortable at this draw weight. I know some archers who are very effective at draw weights of 40 to 45#, both in the woods and on the 3D course. In short, shoot what is comfortable to you and remember that you can take some very large game with less poundage than you may initially think. There is nothing mystical about a longbow, but, generally, you need to grip it differently from your recurve. By the way (and I don't want to start any kind of debate), I have found that most new longbow shooters I have met that encounter great hand shock with the longbow are not holding it correctly. Get with an accomplished longbow shooter, and your transition will be relatively easy. Your question is not lame at all. You will encounter many points of view, sometimes in opposition to each other, as you explore the ways of the longbow. Consider them all, and adhere to that advice that suits you. Have fun.
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Sam McMichael

Gray, GA

"The spirit of the bow dwells in the heart of all young men" - Geronimo

Hill Wesley Special (2, both 65#)
Hill Cheetah (2, one 55# and one 40#)
Hill Big 5 (50#)
NM Shelton (2, both 53#)
Deathwish Longbow (59#)
Archery Traditions Bamboo Longhunter (3, one 56#, one 60# and one 78#)

James Donahue

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Reply with quote  #3 
for me 47-50# about perfect  55# and above I consider heavy but that is me   , confident that my NM american is easily up to anything I would ever want to shoot at 49#'s at my  26" draw
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Jacques Bonin

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Reply with quote  #4 
The original question asked why the longbows tend to be on the heavier side, simple a recurve stores
approximately 25 percent more energy through design!! A typical straight limb longbow has to be heavier in draw weight to have a reasonable shooting performance!!!
That being said I all of the afore mention has changed more recently, due to design and material changes!!! Carbon glass, fast flight strings, carbon arrows, ILF designs, making choices endless!! By picking the correct combination, you can have your cake and eat too!!! Sort of speak!!
Now all you have to do is pick your poison!!!
Ed njoy, humbly Jacques

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George

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Reply with quote  #5 
[comp]  Thanks for the advice and wisdom.  I have heard of numerous archers who claimed that they have stepped it down a few notches as the years have passed.  However, I don't believe that getting older automatically means that you have to go lighter, that is unless you have joint damage or have suffered injury.

George
timking

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Reply with quote  #6 
Danged Jacques, I WANTED to say that, but thought I better not!

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Dallas, Texas
62" #55 Fox High Sierra 
62" #58 Black Widow MA
64" #56 A&H ACS 
Widowmaker 350 Carbon shafts
200 gr. Iron Will 4 blade



silverarrow

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Reply with quote  #7 
Well Tim, that makes 3 of us.
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TAS, TBOT member, Buffalo Archery Club, Cypress, Tx.
Dryad/ACS Orion 53#
Great Northern Fireball JK 54#
Northern Mist American TD 51#
Howard Hill, The Big Five (Tim Meigs) 57#
Sovereign Sonoran 58#
Browning Wasp 52#
Ryan Gill Osage Hunter (self bow) 52#
Jacques Bonin

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Reply with quote  #8 
Well, Guys and Dolls, I still shoot as heavy as I can last weekend I shot the beast, Tim helped me obtain, a 90 pound, reverse handle by John Shulz!!!
No misses and finished second three points behind first!!!
TOO LEGIT TOO QUIT!!!!

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Tom M

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Reply with quote  #9 
Still remember an article in my old Bowhunters Digest comparing LB and recurve written by Doug Kittridge. At that time he claimed you needed a LB 10# heavier than the recurves weight to obtain the same performance. In my limited archery circle then that was accepted as gospel. He was making a comparison Howard Hill bow to Smithwick Citiation which was a top of the line recurve.
Being young and “full of pi.. and vinegar “ we strived to shoot the same weights as our mentor HH at least for hunting anyway. Part of the lure was a flatter shooting arrow. Shots at Deer where we lived were not easy to come by. Missing cause your arrow was low was unforgivable. But times change, equipment changes, people change as well.

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Sun City, Az. by way of San Diego, Ca. Bear TD's Wes Wallace Royal LB, ILF risers and various limbs, Vintage Works 1962 Kodiak reproduction made to my specs

I hunt public land.
longbow

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Reply with quote  #10 
I used to shoot pretty heavy longbows back in the 80's and 90's.  Then I quit shooting pretty much for years and lost the muscle memory and mass to do so now that I am near 65.  But still on occassion I'll grab a 70# longbow and fling it for a good bit.  I'm getting back into golf again too so that will take a bunch of time up between fishing excursions this summer.  keepem sharp
Clydebow

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think the question shoot be =Having said all of that,  I was curious as to why longbows always  "used"  to lean toward the heavier draw weights?   Some do still shoot heavy weights, but I think most now shoot weights comparable to recurves. 

David Mitchell

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Reply with quote  #12 
I believe Tom M hit on one big reason, the "heroes" we looked up to shot heavy longbows.  
MStyles

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Reply with quote  #13 
For me, I prefer a heavier (70-80#) ASL or an old Bear semi recurve, bc I shoot heavy, Hickory or vintage POC arrows. The ASL seems to correct my not-so-good form.
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RonG

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Reply with quote  #14 
Mr Bonin hit the nail on the head, I had a 60 pound longbow that was made with Yew and Bamboo, but couldn't hold a candle to my actionboo longbow with two layers of carbon @40lbs.
Ldumm

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Reply with quote  #15 
I have one thing to say....shoulders, shoulders, shoulders. I used to shoot a English longbow made in England. I still have it and shoot it once in a while. It is a 70# bow. I know I don't pull that weight out of it anymore. I now shoot a Hummingbird longbow. It is 47#@28", and I know it shoots flatter than the old English longbow ever did. It's a wood vs fiberglass and design thing. At 70 years old, I really try to preserve my shoulders so that I don't have to quit shooting or go through surgery and a long time recovery period, just to shoot a weaker bow yet. I do love the steadiness of Hummingbird longbow over my recurves. 
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Lester A. Dumm
longbow

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Reply with quote  #16 
Well I started shooting heavy bows just because initially it just gave me good exercise.  You know was a work out.  Initially only for targets and working on form too.  But then I noticed a few things along the way.  I got a very clean release with no hangups on my fingers.  My distance for shooting increased and I was able to shoot a very heavy weight arrow and all things being equal shooting a heavy bow and arrow was just better as I saw it.  Truth be told though as I look back I didn't kill anymore animals than I did when I shot lighter equipment but I think I had more fun with the heavier weight stuff.  Also it kind of got to be a matter of pride too and no one wanted to try and shoot my bows.  keepem sharp
Orion

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Reply with quote  #17 
Certainly was a tendency for longbows to be built heavier until fairly recently for the various reasons mentioned above.  

Nowadays, there are more builders and folks want lighter weights and lighter weights are a lot more common.
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