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Thread: Brown Bear Recurve???

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Default Brown Bear Recurve???

    So I have a Raspberry Brownie tag for this spring in my pocket, well in the mail anyway. Decided I only want one brownie and it's getting taken with my recurve. Right now I'm shooting a 55lbs, 31" Goldtip Carbons with 100grn 3 blade G5's, about 380grns total. I know that's way light for brownies. I'm wanting a 2 blade for sure. 150gr area would put me in the ball park or should I be looking heavier yet, say 200Grn? I don't plan on settign any distance records, 20yds max. I've had the grizzly blade mentioned, thoughts?

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    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Great question (and one every bowhunter of large game asks) I would opt for the best flying (tuned) arrow you can get while maximizing total mass. A ballpark number would be perhaps 10 grains of total projectile mass per pound of draw weight. In your case that would be 550 grains of projectile. Get your hands on a chronograph and test a variety of arrow/point weights to find the point of diminishing returns in regards to projectile weight. This will tell you how heavy an arrow/broadhead combination you can shoot to maximize KE and MO until adding more weight doesnít boost KE and MO.

    The goal is to maximize lethality so the more KE and MO you have coupled with a quality 2 blade head and weight forward FOC and you will have done everything in your power to deliver the hardest hitting arrow you can. Follow that up with practice for accuracy and you cant go wrong.

    So how do you get to 550 grains (or more)

    Heavier broadheads

    Brass inserts instead of aluminum

    Slightly longer arrow than you need

    Weight tubes or cord or weed wacker line inside the shaft

    In terms of a good penetrating head, look for a high length to width aspect ratio. Also consider a single bevel head. The only part of your gear that actually does the killing is the broadhead. Never skimp there.

    I help people tune their gear and optimize and maximize the performance energy they can get from their setup. I also build arrows for people seeking improved performance. Yours reminds me of a job I did for a guy heading West to hunt Very large bull bison in the dead of winter with his compound. Getting through that ice matted carpet that covers the shoulder and 3 feet of bison and coming out the other side is perhaps a bit more that what your planning but for him we arrived at a 700 grain arrow with Wensel woodsman heads from a 70 pound bow. He killed a bull at 35 yards with a single shot that passed through both sides.

    I used brass inserts, Steel BH adapters and weed wacker line to get him to 700 grains (the weed wacker line does not affect arrow spine)

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    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    I will try to explain further the concept of maximizing lethality and efficiency of your bow to find the sweet spot in term of Kinetic Energy and Momentum. Iím an admitted bowhunting tinkerer. Iím always looking to learn more.
    By more I mean efficiency from the bow and increased penetration. I talking in terms of the Kinetic Energy (KE) and Momentum (MO) outputs compared to draw weight and arrow weight so I started messing around with my arrow weight. For this test I used an older Bowtech (2006 Justice) set at 64 pounds. I used a variety of tip weights and arrow tubes and weight washers to hit the grain weights exactly. I used a ďChronyĒ brand Chronograph. I started with an IBO arrow weight of 5 grains of total arrow weight (all components) per pound of bow draw weight. This is the arrow weight that advertised speeds are derived from. I then experimented with increasing arrow weights. The following results were achieved.
    Arrow wgt: 5 grains per pound of draw x 64 Lbs = 320 grain arrow.
    Arrow speed (5 shot average): 277.5 FPS
    KE: 54.5 ft/lbs
    MO: .393
    Efficiency factor (KE divided by draw wgt): 54.5 divided by 64 = .843
    Next I tried 6 grains per pound
    Arrow wgt. 6 grains per pound of draw x 64 = 384 grain arrow.
    Arrow speed: 256.1 FPS
    KE: 55.9 ft/lbs
    MO: .436
    Efficiency factor (KE divided by draw wgt.): 55.9 divided by 64 = .874
    Next I tried 7 grains per pound of draw
    Arrow wgt. 7 grains per pound of draw x 64 lbs = 420 grain arrow.
    Arrow speed: 238.3 FPS
    KE: 56.4 ft/lbs
    MO: .473
    Efficiency factor (KE divided by draw wgt.): 56.4 divided by 64 = .883
    Next I tried 8 grains per pound of draw
    Arrow wgt. 8 grains per pound of draw x 64 lbs = 512 grain arrow.
    Arrow speed: 226 FPS
    KE: 58 ft/lbs
    MO: .513
    Efficiency factor (KE divided by draw wgt.): 58 divided by 64 = .908
    Next I tried 9 grains per pound of draw
    Arrow wgt. 9 grains per pound of draw x 64 lbs = 576 grain arrow.
    Arrow speed: 214 FPS
    KE: 58.5 ft/lbs
    MO: .547
    Efficiency factor (KE divided by draw wgt.): 58.5 divided by 64 = .915
    Next I tried 10 grains per pound of draw
    Arrow wgt. 10 grains per pound of draw x 64 lbs = 640 grain arrow.
    Arrow speed: 203 FPS
    KE: 58.5 ft/lbs
    MO: .576
    Efficiency factor (KE divided by draw wgt.): 58.5 divided by 64 = .915
    Next I tried 11 grains per pound of draw
    Arrow wgt. 11 x 64 = 704 grain arrow.
    Arrow speed: 190 FPS
    KE: 56.4 ft/lbs
    MO: .593
    Efficiency factor (KE divided by draw wgt.): 56.4 divided by 64 = .881
    Seeing I crossed the point of diminishing returns in efficiency and KE, I didnít go any farther.
    At the bottom of this you will find a graphical representation of the above data.
    As far as this test goes, as expected, heavier arrows provided more power and efficiency but only to a point. It would appear that the sweet spot that can obtained from this bow comes from using a 9 grain per pound of draw weight arrow even though momentum continued to increase. Regardless of the bow you use, there is an arrow weight that will provide the maximum impact performance and efficiency. That being said, arrow lethality is not any one single factor but is a combination of several factors.
    1. Shot placement (no amount of math will make up for a poorly placed shot)

    2. Broadhead sharpness and design.

    3. Impact force (KE and MO)

    Provided you can hit your target, having all 3 will maximize arrow lethality with shot placement trumping all but in the real world of bowhunting, things happen that are beyond our control. There will be times when shot placement is not what we would have hoped for and thatís we rely on broadhead sharpness/design and impact force to bail us out of a less than perfect situation. Since we as bowhunters have control over the efficiency of our bow arrow combination and broadhead selection, we would do well to maximize those aspects of our set-up. Are you getting the most out of your bow/arrow combination? Would a heavier arrow/broadhead combination give you that edge when things donít go exactly as planned? You no doubt paid top dollar for your hunting rig so why not get the most from your investment by squeezing every ounce of killing power out of your investment? You bought your broadheads based on a combination of hunter recommendation, hunting shows and magazine ads. You bought your arrows probably based on name and what the spine charts told you to use but neither of these are customized to you and your bow to perform at optimum bowhunting conditions.

    None of this will come as a shock to traditional bowhunters using a stick and string. They have long known the advantages of high arrow weight to draw weight for penetration but the modern compound bow market is stuck in the speed fad and all advertising seems to be based on feet per second as if that were the end all and be all of bow performance. Speed is only one part of the equation. But the current fad is speed and from a bowhunters perspective we consider speed when thinking in terms of things like yardage estimation but rangefinders have all but negated that. Another consideration for arrow speed is the effect of speed in regards to a deerís ability to jump the string but please consider the following. If your bow provides the maximum in performance with a heaver arrow at 250 FPS vs 300 FPS you are still better off with a more efficient performing bow/arrow because a few FPS means nothing to a deerís ears since sound travels from your bow to a deer at 1,126 feet per second. A few feet per second of bow speed pales in comparison to the speed of sound. Even with the fastest bows on the market at 360 FPS, the sound of your intentions will reach the deer more than 3 times faster than your arrow will.

    Having bowhunted for 37 years and knowing many many bowhunters I can say with great confidence that bowhunters are some of the cheapest hunters on the planet. We are always trying to do the most by spending the least but is saving a few bucks robbing you of a few big bucks or does or antelope or bear? Arrows are not cheap but weight tubes and broadhead weight collars are so you have the ability to maximize (or at least improve) your bowís performance without breaking the bank. We tend to spend a boat load of money on a bow but scrimp on the things that kill game (arrows and broadheads) Perhaps after spending all that money on the broadhead delivery system, there is little left for the one piece of gear that actually kills the deer. After experimenting with the performance of your bow you have to ask yourself some questions. Is the 100 grain broadhead market where you should be shopping? Will your rig perform better with a 125 or even 220 grain head? Are 7.8 grain per inch arrows better penetration or would 9 grains per inch perform better? The off season is long but it gives bowhunters the opportunity to refine and experiment to put the odds in their favor.


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    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    Rancid provides some sound advice. I too agree that your set up is way to light for its intended use. I would suggest that you look at the Alaska Bowhunters Supply website and in particular arrow weight and broad heads. I'd also recommend calling them to discuss your set-up. They have a nice system for testing shaft weights and tips that can easily be translated into a hunting set up. I've had lots of conversations with them and find them to be very open to helping and discussing options because they specialize in what you're intending to do. It's worth a look. http://www.alaskabowhunting.com

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    I certainly think that is light for a Brownie, however I know a very successful hunter who used a lighter bow and took many large animals. Is that the weight at 28" or at your draw? When I hunted large hogs in Texas I used a recurve with 2116's inside of 2219's and 2 blade Zwickey Eskimo's and had excellent penetration. No I didn't need the extra weight but brush was thick and it helped at times with getting through it.

    Regardless- please keep an update of your hunt! That is a beautiful area!

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    Member AKRecurveAssassin's Avatar
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    Alaskas bowhunters supply products huh? You should go and ask Ed Schlief of AK bowhunting supply where he got the idea for his arrow. they are overpriced pieces of junk anyway. i wouldn't give you 2 cents for a dozen of them.

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    The only thing I would change is the broad head. Put a cut on contact Bh and you will be just fine. Too many people over think their set up. Make sure your arrow is flying true and your BH is sharp and you can kill almost anything in this world with that setup.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBEE View Post
    Is that the weight at 28" or at your draw?

    Ya, I'm at 28 or just a tad over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKRecurveAssassin View Post
    Alaskas bowhunters supply products huh? You should go and ask Ed Schlief of AK bowhunting supply where he got the idea for his arrow. they are overpriced pieces of junk anyway. i wouldn't give you 2 cents for a dozen of them.
    Please tell us how you really feel...

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    Member AKRecurveAssassin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    Please tell us how you really feel...
    If you would like the truth, then I would be more than willing to PM it to you.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    Ya, I'm at 28 or just a tad over.
    You didn't say what recurve you're shooting but 55# out of just about any recurve is plenty weight. It's really about the arrow, broadhead and tuning. If you are limiting your shots to 20 yards then go as heavy as you can. You won't notice the weight but you will notice the penetration and it will quiet the bow. Look at Carbon Express 350s Traditionals or Gold Tip 55-70 and maybe 75-90s Traditionals. Normally these might be too stiff but if you go up a spine then you can really add weight to the front end. A 125gr steel screw in broadhead adapter with a 200 grain Kodiak head will net you about a 750gr arrow. You can also use the same 125gr steel head with a 75 or 100 gr Woody Weight and then a 125 Zwicky Eskimo.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKRecurveAssassin View Post
    If you would like the truth, then I would be more than willing to PM it to you.
    I would like to hear what you have to say. I shoot cedars and the taught of heavy carbons has crossed my mind.

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    rancid crabtree...(pat is one of my favorite authors by the way) your tests clearly demonstrate what is pretty much being thrown around in most of the traditional archery hunting talk about arrow weight and kind of having a sweet spot weight of...well i guess ive been hearing everything from 8-10gpp. its great that you did your own research on this and i liked how well you displayed your results. im at around 8.5 gpp with my recurve but i would like to do a little more tinkering like you. ive never shot a brown bear with a bow abel but i think you are on the right track to go up to a little heavier head for sure. is your bow noisy? that kind of weight might be putting a little bit of strain on your bow with so light of an arrow looks like you are around 6.9gpp...that would void most manufacturers warranties. i was just curious, if it shoots great who cares anyways best of luck to you

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    I would like to hear what you have to say. I shoot cedars and the taught of heavy carbons has crossed my mind.
    i was actually thinking about ditching the 10gpi carbons and going up to some heavier aluminiums myself.

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    Marshall,

    If you want heavy grab some ash, and a good head. You'll have plenty of heavy, almost as durable as carbon, only bamboo is tougher. I regretted going back to cedar. Got talked back into it from Paula at Rogue River. Been shooting doug fir the past number of years and its ok. Its not ash.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boud'arc View Post
    You didn't say what recurve you're shooting but 55# out of just about any recurve is plenty weight. It's really about the arrow, broadhead and tuning. If you are limiting your shots to 20 yards then go as heavy as you can. You won't notice the weight but you will notice the penetration and it will quiet the bow. Look at Carbon Express 350s Traditionals or Gold Tip 55-70 and maybe 75-90s Traditionals. Normally these might be too stiff but if you go up a spine then you can really add weight to the front end. A 125gr steel screw in broadhead adapter with a 200 grain Kodiak head will net you about a 750gr arrow. You can also use the same 125gr steel head with a 75 or 100 gr Woody Weight and then a 125 Zwicky Eskimo.
    Goldtip 5575's cut @ 29", not 31 like I said earlier. Shooting a Samich Sage 3 piece . Shoots fine and as far as I can tell is real quite, but only thing I have to compare it to is my friends shooting training wheels, and it's quiter that thiers.

    As far as range, 20-25yds is my max, especially considering I don't want to chase a wounded Brownie anywhere.

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    Abel:
    You seem humble in your posts and I appreciate that! I have shot quite a few animals with compound, recurve and longbow- like you I limited myself to shorter ranges with traditional bows. I know a man who shot elk, and moose with a 50 lb recurve- he told me that he just did not take long shots. I hunted on his ranches in Texas and I saw the pictures- quite a hunter. I also met a man who hunted extensively in Africa in the early 70's with a recurve and had shot lion, rhino, elephant, etc. He told me he limited his shots to 30 yds (he let me in his trophy room and it was impressive). My closest animal was a mule deer in Idaho at 5 yds. with my Berry Longbow.
    I personally don't have the stones to shoot a brownie with a traditional bow- but sure look forward to your post on the experience and wish you best of luck.
    BEE

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    So after some more researching and talking, and more looking and listening.... I'm doubting my current shafts being able to chuck 175-200gr heads. Instead of getting heavier carbon shafts I'm going to make the switch to wood. So for a start, and I'm trying to keep this as simple as possible.


    70-75, 29" cedar shaft (depending on brand are around 400grns), 5 1/2" left wing feathers with an eclipse 145 on the pointy end. Keep in mind, I'm not shooting anything outside 25yds. That should put me in the ballpark of the 10gpp.

  19. #19

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    That may or may not work for your bow. Wood arrows take some time and effort to get right. I've made my own for 20+ years or I buy a gross and separate them out with a spine tester. You can buy a dozen wooden shafts at 70-75. Three might be 70, five might be 75, one might be 69, one might be 76 and two might be in between. There is a difference in the impact of a 70# shaft and a 75# shaft. Even if you shoot a good group the 75 could fly perfectly straight and the 70 could hit the same spot but show a kick. That kick means the shaft is not flying true and will not penetrate like a shaft flying true. This may not be as huge deal if you're hunting deer or caribou but it's a very big deal at 20 yards from a Kodiak bear. Before you buy a dozen wooden arrows you should get some bare shafts between 70-85 and see which stick in the the target the straightest at about 10 yards. I've been shooting wood for a long time. I've found that a heavier shaft and heavy broadhead up front works better for traditional bows. The Eclipse is a good broadhead, a little spendy but good. If I was in your shoes then I would go with douglas fir, ash or maple. I'd bump my point weight up by 100 grains with a Woody Weight behind your Eclipse and I would bump up a spine to a 75, 80 or 85 pound shaft. Don't cut all your shafts until you figure out what flies better. 30" might be too long and show weak. 29" might turn out to be too stiff. 29 1/2" could be the magic length. It sucks to cut first and then find this out.

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