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Thread: Priorities in a New Bow

  1. #1
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Question Priorities in a New Bow

    Shopping for a new bow has got to be the most fun yet miserable process imaginable. I'm enjoying the fact that I get to shoot a lot of really nice bows, learn a bit while I'm at it, and spend some time with the fellas at the Archer's Den. That being said, making the decision is maddening. I'm not yet ready to buy, as there are one or two bows that I haven't tried yet, but I'm working through the winnowing process.

    Yesterday I shot three bows that I liked, but all have different strengths. My quandry is what factors to prioritize. Should smoothness be the primary factor? Speed? Noise? Yes, I know that it'll come down to a combination of all of these, but with a few bows that I like, which factors should rise to the top? I've asked this of Paul at the Archer's Den, but I'd like feedback from others as well.

    Bow #1 - Pros - smoothest draw cycle and release of the three, quietest, smallest (32")
    Cons - slowest of the three, heaviest (both not by much, but noticable)

    Bow #2 - Pros - fastest of the three (noticably so)
    Cons - Tough draw cycle (let-off very abrupt right at end), a bit more shock and noise on release, 2" longer (technically, though it appears more like 3-4" to me)

    Bow #3 - Pros - faster than #1, smoother than #2
    Cons - slower than #2, louder than #1, longest bow of the three


    Again, I'm still looking to shoot a few more, and there's one that really intrigues me on paper and from reviews I've read. Still, what are your priorities? If you can't have everything perfect, do you pick speed over smoothness or vice versa? Weight and size over forgiveness? Yeesh....too many good options. It's almost harder to pick a bow when they're all so nice.

  2. #2
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    My main things in a bow is how smooth it is, quite, and the forgiveness(brace height) and vibration.

    I see you have done allot of research on bows. And last how will does it fit me and what I'm going to use it for.

    SPEED don't be to concern with it. it you find a bow that shoots in the mid 280 compared to a bow that is shooting 310. An animal is going to duck the 280 arrow just as quick as a 310 arrow.

    With these differences in speed what will happen is your pins will be closer together


    I will be at the Archer Den tonight at 7pm for the ABA meeting then I will shoot if you want to stop by and chat.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Can't make it there tonight, but I appreciate the offer. Another time, perhaps.

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Where do you shop for them at in ANC (your choice that is)?

    I was thinking about heading to the shop in Eagle River as it has been years since I shot a bow and more than a decade since I hunted with one. I need to get the certificate in order to extend the hunting season as work always interferes with September.

    Thanks

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    Default my choices

    One of the first things I look at, or rather feel, is the grip. Does it fit me? Grips are not one size fits all. After a few shots, does the grip still come to mind when I shoot? Do I find myself "feeling" for the sweet spot, but not able to find it?
    Smooth, vibration free, and quiet are something that will always be there, or not. I do not want to start "listening" to my bow. The only time I need to hear it is if something changes, such as a part is getting loose.
    My bows are a max of 60% let off. Both are hard cammed, but neither pulls over abruptly per se.
    Is the bow forgiving? Does it feel good to shoot for the 1st time in several weeks or after a long practice session?
    Speed is not much of a factor for me. The other 3 items are.

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default smooth over fast

    Out of your three descriptions, I would go with #1, as long as weight difference wasn't substantial. I don't think it is a big deal if you are talking ounces, but if it is a half a pound, then i might reconsider. One thing that i didn't notice in your post was the brace height of the three bows. Forgiveness is one of the biggest factors to me, so brace height is one of the things I notice first. Good luck with your continuing search.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    AKFishOn - I've been shopping at The Archer's Den in Eagle River. I've had nothing but good experiences thus far.

    jake - #1 and #3 have about the same brace height (right around 7"), while #2 is closer to 6".

  8. #8

    Default bows new to them bought kodiak32

    I bought 2 kodiak 32 bows from archers den in december it came down really easy for me in that they were easy to shoot accurately , they were quiet, easy to change draw length as my son grows, most importantly i was able to hit my target and had no real shock shooting that why i chose kodiak they were also a little more affordable because i am going to be tree stand hunting blackies i like that they are short.

    I am by no means experienced but i have probably shot these 3000 times since i got them and there have been zero problems . this was a good choice for me its not a real well known name but i didnt find any bad reviews either. Good luck its a fun time finding the bow that fits your niche. Nick

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The #1 bow above is a Kodiak Titan 32. I haven't yet shot the Kodiak BowLogic 32, though I'd like to. Thanks for the feedback, blackbear. I've only read good things about the Kodiak bows, and I've been personally impressed thus far.

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    As you can see, everybody places importance on different things. My suggestion is to shoot ever available bow (sounds like your are) and go with the one that shoots the best for you.

    Personally, I'm not much of a speed freak but it comes into play when deciding on bows I'm interested in. Grip is a biggie. I'm glad to see most manufacturers getting away from the fatty grips. Hoyt, Elite, Bowtech and others have it figured out. Smoothness is a factor but I don't mind a slight amount of "bump" for the added speed but some are way too harsh for me.

    I'm sure you are aware that the only way to comapre apples to apples is to shoot the same draw length and poundage when comparing the different bows.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    What a miserable experience bow shopping is. The problem? There are too many good bows. As I told Paul today, it would be way easier if there were only one bow that I liked.

    I thought I had it picked out. I was pretty set on the Kodiak Titan 32, but then Paul sends me a PM today telling me that he had a Bowtech Guardian for me to shoot. Being the fool that I am, I went in after work today and shot a few arrows. Now I'm back to square one...or square two at best.

    They're both smooth, both reasonably fast, both feel nice to shoot, both relatively short axle-to-axle, and both within $80 of each other. I'm hopelessly stuck at this point. My next move is to shoot the Titan with the 70 pound limbs, as up to this point I've been shooting a 60 pound Titan next to the 70 pound Guardian. I may as well compare the exact bows that I am considering buying, but at this point I can't make up my mind.

  12. #12
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Brian

    It has been a long time since I bought a new bow - about 10 years or so. I have also been back in the market for a new for a bit over a year now, but certainly not to the extent you have been going at it. But I occasionally try new bows when over at Backcountry Archery, and have tried a few at SW too. So certainly take this advice with a grain of salt, but here is what I have figured it in my search:

    Grip is very important. If they all feel good, it is not a huge issue. But if you do not like one, don't buy thinking you'll grow into it. I tried some Parker bows at SW and absolutely hated the grips. Couldn't imagine owning one.

    As for weight - consider what you'll be doing with it. Hiking for sheep and goats? If so, weight would be an issue. But, consider that people add heavy stabilizers to the front of their bows. As the name implies, this is for stability. A super light bow, in my experience, is harder to keep steady than one with some weight to it, but you can also get too heavy. It sounds like all the ones you've tried are within an acceptable range.

    Smoothness of the draw cycle, IMO, is pretty important. A hard break on the left off I don't really like. It may not seem like a huge deal while shooting paper targets standing up at Archer's Den, but might be uncomfortable when staring at the ram while on your knees. Which brings up another point. If you are fairly comfortable with shooting all of these bows, or narrow down to two, it is time to get on your knees. Shoot them from there. Sit down as if on a log and shoot off to your side. Do what you can to imagine your shooting positions and practice from them. There might be something you don't care for in one, say from your knees, that might help you decide. A hard let off from different positions might affect how you feel about the bow.

    Draw weight - do you really want a 70 pound bow? If so, why? Will it be comfortable to pull back when you climb the last hill on your belly and have to shoot from an awkward position? I think you will get used to practicing with it, but some people don't. A shooting partner of mine shoots at about 58 pounds. He has trouble pulling mine back, which is more like 65. While you will get used to it, a lighter pull will allow you to shoot more often I think, with more shots. While an 80 pound bow is super fast (seen a few people shoot 'em), I think it tends to have the Tikka T3 .338 syndrome where it will hurt badly to practice over and over with.

    Speed - my bow, being so old, does not come close to approaching speeds of today's bows. It has been a long time since I've run it through a chrono, but I think it was around 250. I don't know what speeds you are looking at, but it seems to me that a bow shooting 290 will kill just as dead as a 315. I think pretty much all bows today are plenty fast, and your pins will be very close out to 40-45 yards no matter what. If you want to shoot 80 yards, the speed might make a difference, I don't know. Never taken even a practice shot that far out.

    As for sound, what do they say at Archer's Den about the sound? If string vibration, can you add dampeners to knock this down? I don't know if you are shooting a bare bow or not, but there are dampeners of all kinds these days to cut down on those issues to the point they will all be so quiet.

    All this is a long way to say I would go with:

    Comfort of grip
    Smoothness of draw/letoff
    Sound
    Weight (as long as it is not a huge difference)
    Speed

    Good luck. You make it sound miserable, but many of us would love to be in the position you are in. There are certainly a lot worse things you could be spending your time on. Of the three bows you mentioned, I would not take #2.

  13. #13

    Cool

    shoot, speed I may hit 190 fps lmao! Sorry just had to comment .

    Oh also have 2 new bows on the way. A pair of take down longbows cocobola risers, figured yew for the limbs. Both are spares to the current bow I'm shooting....well of the three identical bows one will be my go to, the other two will be backups. now what about the other 16..or was it 17.

    Oh did we say bowshopping? Sorry I like bow buying cough cough.

    OK to be more serious, definatly comfort. Speed is not of concern. And really noise generally can be worked out of any set up. If basic tuning doesn't get it out, a heavier arrow will! It's amazing to hear how quiet some of the new bows on the market are today compared to say my longbows or recurves.

    Weight? I can factor weight in for a forgiving, shooter bow that I really like so I dont consider a couple pounds much here to be sensitive about. Sure it's nice to be light, but really lets be honest, your typical compound is just to dog gone heavy anyways for this wuss .

    Just remember this when shopping. These bows are likely not tuned, and definatly are not set up how you're going to do it. So a little shock, or a little noise etc usually is nothing to get fussy over. Then again a bow that is maintence free is always less of a headache...well usually. Basically if you like to tinker a bit, a bow that needs some tweaking that may have more gooder features but lacks say noise, vs something that shoots very nice is quite, but just doesnt quite feel right out of the gate might be the better option.....then again, if you dont like tinkering, stay away from them.

    Nothing you dont know already. But really just buy one and stop sissying up, bear seasons getting to close to be farting around with the purchase cough cough........

  14. #14
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmg View Post
    Draw weight - do you really want a 70 pound bow? If so, why?



    All this is a long way to say I would go with:

    Comfort of grip
    Smoothness of draw/letoff
    Sound
    Weight (as long as it is not a huge difference)
    Speed
    OK, so miserable might have been too strong of a word. Actually, it's a lot of fun to try so many bows, but it's still tough to make a decision. When I'm laying down this kind of coin, I'd sure like to be 100% certain of my decision. I can't go wrong either way, ultimately, but somehow that frustrates me.

    As for the 70 pound bow, I just want that option. It's either 50-60 lb. limbs or 60-70. Realistically I'll be shooting more in the 62-65 lb. range, so the latter is the obvious choice.

    Thanks for your list of priorities. Again, it's almost a draw. I like the feel of the grip on the Kodiak better, but the Bowtech has a narrower grip and I understand that it can help with hand torque. (It's not uncomfortable at all, by the way.) The Kodiak is smoother to draw and release, but only by a minimal margin. Both are relatively quiet, with the slight edge going to the Bowtech. The Bowtech is just slightly lighter, but it's also longer and less manueverable in tight spots. Lastly, the Bowtech is faster, but I haven't shot comparable weights side-by-side. On paper there is less than a 10 ft/sec difference.

    Thanks for the recommendation on shooting from my knees. I haven't done that at the range yet, so that may be in order.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    Nothing you dont know already. But really just buy one and stop sissying up, bear seasons getting to close to be farting around with the purchase cough cough........
    Thanks for the wise advice.

    Yeah, yeah...I'll get to buying soon enough. I'm a bit miserly to just throw down the cash without being certain, though.

  16. #16

    Default Blondes, brunettes or redheads?

    Nothing really constructive to add to the equation - I appreciate the dilemma. No bad choices here and if it comes down to it, there's nothing really wrong with going with your gut and picking the one that feels right even if you can't reduce the decision to all it's variables.

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    ..... .....

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    Member akula682's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Nothing really constructive to add to the equation - I appreciate the dilemma. No bad choices here and if it comes down to it, there's nothing really wrong with going with your gut and picking the one that feels right even if you can't reduce the decision to all it's variables.
    The deciding factor for me was the fact that the Hoyt has limbs that can change out easily. I bought my Katara with 60-70 pound limbs, when I am ready to move up to 80 pounds it’s a trip to the shop to swap them out and im only out a couple hundred bucks for the new limbs, (not a grand for a new bow). I also get to keep the same bow that I have been shooting… no need to relearn the whole thing, just the new draw weight.
    Josh
    Back in Afghanistan, I hope for the last time.

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    When you are shooting them I would recommend that you dress like you would for most of your hunting to see if there is any interfence with your clothing.

  20. #20

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    Boy I tell ya Brian. Remind me never to take you to sportsmens, cabelas, or really anywhere else or we'll have to set up refuge in store so you can allow time to make your purchases Become part of the stores fixtures hehe.

    OH I mean have you bought the bow yet???? Mine should be arriving....oh monday tuesday. My 2 backups that is.

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