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Recurve questions...draw length, anchor point....etc.

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  • Recurve questions...draw length, anchor point....etc.

    Hey Guys,

    I've been shooting and hunting with a compound for a long time, but am looking into getting back into the recurve game for small game, and getting some flu flu's out for ducks etc. and just spicing things up. But there are some likely basic things that I have questions about.

    So in a nutshelf here are some things that I need cleared up:

    Most recurves seem to be established for a certain poundage at 28 inches, however I have rather long arms and my draw is just about 30. Will these bows still shoot alright? (I presume some increase from the published weight but what else happens?)

    Also, there are lots o bows out there, however I am drawn to take down models for convenience and multiple weight possibilities. Currently I am looking at a Samick Sage model in 62" at 40# with thoughts of going up to 50 or 55# if I get a hankering to chase moose with it instead of the compound. Any one got pros or cons of these, and if so, suggestions of another good starter/intermediate set up. (They seem to get good reviews and the price is right...$130).

    This one may cause some eye rolls but, is there a sighting process when you shoot instinctive...or is it simply...instinctive? Is it akin to wingshooting or is that a poor analogy? I have the cross dominant issue mentioned in a recent thread but as the article noted, it may be to less of a degree than some as I can wingshoot ok righthanded, but am left eye dominant.

    Last one, I shoot my compound with fingers, and usually anchor at the corner of my mouth at full draw, can I expect with the stated 30" draw to be able to fully anchor there with a recurve? Or do those of you who shoot both end up anchoring differently?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I don't see any problems with the longer draw as long as your arrows are spined accordingly.It's a good idea to start with the lower draw weight until you get your shooting form down.As far as the sighting process goes ,that tough for me to describe.I highly recommend Fred Asbel's Instinctive Shooting 1&2,he describes it better than anyone.


    • #3
      Good morning, basically all bows that are put out commercially are measaured at the standard 28" draw with the stated weight being a close approximation, now for every inch over the standard draw weight at 28 it will roughly increase by two to three pounds depending on each bow. So say your draw is 30" and the bow states 52lbs at 28", at 30 inches you would roughly draw an approximate weight of 58lbs but like I said it could be a weight gain of just two pounds per inch. Now as far as draw some shooters actually lose up to an inch of their draw length when shooting stickbows because of the difference in held bow weight. As I'm sure you know when you draw fifty pounds on a recurve you hold 100% of the draw weight back and even as little as that sounds it will affect you all the way around since there is no let off. This means that your muscle groups will have to get used to the added strain put on them but with simple exercises and practice the memory in the muscle groups will occur and you will see your shooting improve. I used to shoot 68 pounds of weight in stickbows but due to bad shoulders and other problems my hunting weight is now from 46 to 58 pounds max with the lower end being the norm unless I am hunting really BIG boars down here with the thick shield that covers the shoulder and vital area. Even then I opt to shoot 52 to 55 pounds with a solid well built two blade BH. In the end only you can say where you would be comfortable to anchor but make sure that your shooting posture is correct, comfortable and consistant. Above all shoot a weight that you can consistantly shoot well. Shot placement and good sharp broadheads are the final say whether an animal goes down, now whether its a 48 pound bow or a 78 pound bow remains to be seen ultimately its up to you and what your regulations deem as minimum draw weight neccessary. I hope this has helped. If you have any more questions give me a shout. I'm not as well traveled as some folks but I have been shooting stickbows since I was very young down here in the brush country.
      All Gods best to ya.


      • #4
        Yes your anchor points should be that same but to a point, remember you don't have sights on a recurve. What STP said about your draw weight is correct the poundage is rated at the 28 inch draw so the more you pull the more weight the bow has. The biggest change will be the amount of time you pull till you shoot, you are not going to pull that bow and wait for your shot. You wait for your shot and than pull that bow. I went the other way I grew up using longbows and recurves and switched to a compound but there is a part of me that has been wanting a nice take down model for backpacking.


        • #5
          I've got the same bow you are looking at (Samick Sage 50#). I bought it in January and have put over 1000 arrows through it already. It is a VERY good bow for the money. I also draw 30" so you shouldn't have a problem there. I'm also looking at getting another set of limbs (35#) for indoor target shooting.

          A couple of recommendations. Take the time necessary to find the right arrows. I currently shoot full length Easton xx78's in 2413 with 145gr points. Shooting off an elevated rest they fly like darts. I'm also shooting 3-under which places the arrow a bit closer to your line of sight. My anchor point is the tip of my middle finger in the corner of my mouth and the fletching just touching the tip of my nose. If you go with 3-under, I found that having a nock point above and below the nock greatly improved arrow flight and tightened up my groups. You can find slow-mo videos on youtube that show how the nock end of the arrow will travel down the string when released if you don't have a second point installed.

          As far as "sighting" or "instinctive", I don't know what issues you will encounter being left eye dominant... I shoot with both eyes open, but you may have to close your left to conquer the dominance thing. Instinctive shooting is very much like pointing your finger. When I shoot, the only real "aiming" I am aware of is lining the arrow up right/left with the target. Trajectory is the biggest issue and is simply developed after hundreds of shots and learning how the bow feels. Actual yardage doesn't matter and is simply adjusted for instinctively. I'd recommend getting a "kicker" target that you can toss around the yard and shoot from various angles and yardages. I have this one by Rinehart which works really well.

          Good luck and let us know how the transition goes!

          The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....


          • #6
            Thanks for all the input thus far, very helpful.

            Regarding arrows and spine, I currently have a strong supply of 2117's which I usually shoot with 125 grain heads through my compound. But, with a recurve, does better consistency come from stiffer/softer or heavier/lighter arrows....or is this a work in progress that will be particular to the equipment.

            I am leaning toward either 35 or 40 pound limbs for now, as was suggested so I can shoot more and develop form without issues of higher poundage, and to compensate for the extra draw and its increased weight.

            And on to another question. I'd really like to shoot flu flu's for ducks this spring, and thus far I'm leaning toward the spiral pattern feathers with either the snaro points, or some have suggested a field tip or blunt wtih a fender washer between it and the insert to increase impact area (if I actually impact anything ...) What have been others experiences with wingshooting set ups.

            Thanks again


            • #7
              You will have to play with your bow to find which spine works well with your arrow length. Looking at Easton's spine selector, 2117's would need a 100gr point for your setup. Check out the spine selector here - Easton

              Flu flu's don't fly worth beans past about 15 yds. I have several of the snaro points (both 6" and 3") and simply use them with regular fletchings when I hunt grouse. Difference would be I'm in the trees and can usually get some large branches or the trunk of the tree to stop my arrow whereas with ducks you will be out in the open. If you are inclined to do your own glueing, I'd use the flu flu feathers (4-5") but glue them up straight or with just a slight helical and put 5 or 6 per arrow. This will allow the arrow more distance, but combined with the snaro, it will still slow down quickly.

              BTW, the 3" snaro flies much better than the 6".

              The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....


              • #8
                Byron Ferguson's book Become the Arrow is a great teaching book as well as Asbell's books. They are different shooting styles, but you should see which style works best for YOU anyway. A great video series is Masters of the Barebow 1-3 which covers all the shooting styles. They are all available at 3Rivers Archery.
       is the best tuning advice I've read.
                Tradgang and Stickbow have many forums that you may search for specific questions.
                I changed from 3 piece takedown recurves to a 2 piece longbow that I like better because it is lighter,assembles/disassembles in about 20 seconds w/o tools or hardware to lose. I can't change limbs but I don't intend to. Try to shoot other guys bows to see what feels best for you. Some bowyers have a trial period test drive if you ask.
                I had to use these resources because I only had compound guys and shops available w/o good trad info. It worked out well long term because I had to keep an open mind and develope patience to figure it out. A good traditional coach would speed up the learning curve if you have someone available. Just stay away from "my way or the highway attitudes" because you nead to develope your own shooting style details based on your own "feel".
                Trad archery is worth the effort and great fun.


                • #9
                  I second masters of the bare bow, While i was bare shafting my black widow in my backyard and was running into problems and those guys were very helpful.


                  • #10
                    You have been given a lot of good advice. You will find it takes awhile to find the method that works right for you. When I went back to recurves it took me a good 2 years of constant practice & experimentation before I found the bow type & shooting style that worked for me, but it was fun the entire time. I shoot three fingers under and have a sort of instinctive/gap hybrid style, I don't see the range to a target, I see a sight picture and I let my head & hands put the bow at the right place to hit the target. No two guys shoot alike, you need to find your own style as well. Masters of the BB 1 & 2 are a great help. Eichler is a freaking recurve shooting machine...

                    I can add a couple pointers...

                    Don't go cheap with your glove. A proper fitting glove is vital to consistent release. I highly recommend American Leathers Big Shot glove. They will make them to fit your hand if you like or can buy them pre-sized. I have them in both elk hide & buffalo hide, I like the elk hide a bit better. Absolutely the best gloves I have ever used.

                    I found using a simple elevvated rest rather than shooting off the shelf to have a number of advantages, not the least is it allows me to shoot both vanes and feathers equally well. Much as I like feathers theres no question they are much more costly than vanes and don't hold up as well. Don't have to worry about wet weather with vanes, either. I'm not talking a complex rest, just a simple elevated rest that sticks to the side of sight window. I have tried a bunch and settled on the T-300 rest set 3/4" above the shelf, which gives adequate clearance for vanes. The old style rubber Bear Weather-Rest we used when I was a kid in the 60's were about unbeatable.

                    Probably the best place to get your trad tackle is 3 Rivers Archery. If it's made for shooting trad, they have it. Great catalog too, right up their with Cabelas for paging through on the throne.

                    BTW, if you are like the rest of us, you will now trade & buy bows like crazy looking for your perfect bow. If your wife/GF gets perplexed, assure her this is normal trad behavior. Myself, I just decided although I have a favorite go-to bow (mine is a gorgeous 60" 53# at 28.5" Chekmate Hunter 2 I call Big Mo), like my rifles, I need a bunch so I can match the weapon to the situation. So being, I have a bunch.

                    Welcome to the brotherhood.


                    • #11
                      Well like everything else in trad archery there are lots of ways to do things. I used to shoot with high dollar gloves but honestly I use a pair of soft driving gloves now or nothing. Yes I frequantly practice shooting my 65+ pound takedown without a glove. The reason is simple I will not allow the lose of a 12 dollar pice of equipment to ruin a hunt, it will if you havent practiced without a glove. And I have yet to see a native hunter waring one glove from any area of the world. I also strongly disslike elivated rests and shoot off a bare shelf 90% of the time. Again adhesives fail the shelf isnt going anywhere.
                      BHA Member
                      Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
                      The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.


                      • #12
                        Thanks again for all the input(s)

                        Taking all to heart, but also taking to heart that there will be a lot of personal preference, trial and error, and practice to it all. That's part of the fun of getting back into this aspect of Archery. I pulled my compound out last spring after not shooting for a few years, and I'm not gonna say I'm Robin Hood, but it came to good groups the very first day (and I even got to take a decent bull moose with it in Sept), so I"m looking forward to the challenge of a more difficult piece of equipment and tinkering until it gets better.

                        Rick I hear ya on not having the glove and it affecting a hunt, I shoot bare fingers on a triple served string on my compound for the very same reason (but the first few weeks hurt til the callouses build), but will probably start with the glove so I can shoot more without sore fingers, and perhaps customize the string later on.

                        Another question, what sort of quiver is preferred, I've used a 3 arrow kwikee for years on my compound and don't find it distracting, but with the lighter weight of a wood bow, is it a deterrent, and if so, what kind of quiver (economically) works well for hunting.


                        • #13
                          Another question, what sort of quiver is preferred, I've used a 3 arrow kwikee for years on my compound and don't find it distracting, but with the lighter weight of a wood bow, is it a deterrent, and if so, what kind of quiver (economically) works well for hunting.

                          I use a Safari Back quiver for both compound and recurve, I just like the bow being light, I also use an ace in the hole 1 arrow quiver in case I have to take a quick 2nd shot.

                          I also shoot finger tab and carry 2 spares, in case i misplace 1.

                          LAstly I thought I so a left eye dominant comment I shoot right handed but am lefty eye dominant and I found I shoot better when i close my left eye at 25-30 yards but 20 I can shoot with both eyes open.


                          • #14
                            Personally I prefer a side or hip quiver for both trad & compound shooting. Like bows I have a bunch, but the two I used most often are a G. Fred Asbell Side Quiver (commonly refered to as a GFA Quiver in the trad world) and a Chuck Adams Arrow Holster (hip quiver) I bought back around 1990. The Arrow Holster has been discontinued a long time but they occasionally pop up on ebay or one of the trad site classifieds. If you see one, snap it up. There are a number available that work equally well, I keep eyeing the one made by Thunderhorn with covetous eyes. One of these days I might just have them make me one up... The GFA is an amazingly versatile quiver. It is a side quiver that can be worn/carried a number of ways. I like to carry it high up under my arm on my left side (I'm left handed), if need be I can quickly shove it around to my back so it's ppositioned like a back quiver...

                            I'm not a huge fan of bow quivers as for me they change the feel & balance of my recurves but there are times they are the best option. I've tried a bunch and settled on a 4 arrow Thunderhorn Boa. This is a two piece type uses rubber straps to attach to the upper & lower limbs. The cool part is that the rubber straps allow swapping between all my bows. The laced leather hood looks really cool & trad, too.

                            Speaking of which, a word of personal advice. There is a faction in the Trad world known as the Trad Police, who have taken upon themselves to define what is & isn't Traditional. I've said this before elsewhere, but about the time you figure you are pure Trad because you are wearing buckskin and shooting a longbow hewn in the 1700s, some guy hunting buck nekid & smeared in wood ash and carrying a self bow he whittled himself with a flint knife and cat gut string for which he raised & butchered his own cats, will deride you as a clothes wearing pansy modernist.

                            The point being, you have to find your own way but rest assured that as long as your bow doesn't have wheels at the limb tips, you are on the Trad Path. Doesn't matter one bit if you are shooting an alum riser TD recurve like a Hoyt Dorado (I have one, a very sweet zippy bow tough as can be, but cold as hell in the hand when hunting late season deer in 10 below or so, like it gets down here) a production or custom recurve or longbow, or a selfbow you built yourself over a long winter and shoot the most modern carbon arrows (way more folks shoot carbons or alums than the Trad Police like), you are Trad and welcome at my campfire.

                            Pull up a camp chair, pour yourself a cup of bad coffee, and lets talk about hunting & bows...


                            • #15
                              Might be helpful.
                              I'm going to get a Safarituff quiver to try as I don't really care for attatched quivers but thats all I've used.... pure preference.


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