Author Topic: Beginner bow?  (Read 23161 times)

Offline BadgerAngel

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Beginner bow?
« on: August 04, 2011, 07:59:35 PM »
Hi all,

I am wondering, what would a good, affordable, beginner's version of a compound bow be for a middle-aged, overweight and not as strong as she'd like to think she is female?  Yes, it's me.  Also, a good, affordable, beginner's compound or even a longbow, I guess, for a ten year old boy.  I grew up around guns, but I just think that being able to handle two weapons is smarter than having to rely on just one.

Thanks for your help,

Badger
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Offline Bolomark

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2011, 08:17:06 PM »
check out the cabelas archery page for kids and smaller frames,use their star ratings as a guide on which bows to research.and if you have one close drop in and try shooting one.or if not cabelas try your local bow shop,they won't have as large of selection but maybe can point you in the right direction
and don't forget about finding some local clubs.some around here teach "intro archery" so you can see if you like it.
another good resource is state archery assoc.
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Offline Steve Cover

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2011, 09:47:27 PM »
Hi Badger,

One MAJOR consideration..... 1st bow, go very light draw weight.
The reasoning is that archery muscles are not normally well toned by normal every day living.
Sure you can pull 35 pounds.... How many times?

Let me tell you from experience, when I tried to get my new bride into shooting, I bought her a 30 LB bow.
It was too heavy for her to shoot very much... She quit.
When I realized my mistake and bought her a 20 pound draw bow, it was too late.
She never shot with me again.
My wife is 5'2" and was about 118 pounds at the time, you may be larger.

But, start very low with an inexpensive long bow and develop some skill without having to fight the draw weight.
Once you have some positive experience with archery, you can progress up in weight as your archery muscles get stronger.

Why the straight bow?  Easiest to learn on... (String finger pinch is least)
After you get into it, you will have a better idea of what you want in a bow... 
Why put out a bunch on money now for a bow that may not be what you want later when you can handle it?

Also +1 on finding a club.  Having someone experienced watch you shoot and make corrections is worth way more than the price of admission.

Good luck,

Steve
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 09:57:03 PM by Steve Cover »
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Offline BadgerAngel

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 10:26:05 AM »
Thanks, Steve and Bolo.

I'm sure there's an archery club around here somewhere, as I know bow hunting is big in the area.  (NW Georgia, right outside of Chattanooga TN.)  Yeeeah...at least I'm woman enough to admit that I'm not as upper body strong as I used to be.  So a 20 pound pull, you think?  I actually saw a child's beginning archery set at Wal-Mart that I thought about getting for my son and myself to learn with, but I gather from your post that you're recommending a longbow and not a compound bow, and I believe that's what that was.
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Offline Steve Cover

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2011, 12:47:13 PM »
Thanks, Steve and Bolo.

I'm sure there's an archery club around here somewhere, as I know bow hunting is big in the area.  (NW Georgia, right outside of Chattanooga TN.)  Yeeeah...at least I'm woman enough to admit that I'm not as upper body strong as I used to be.  So a 20 pound pull, you think?  I actually saw a child's beginning archery set at Wal-Mart that I thought about getting for my son and myself to learn with, but I gather from your post that you're recommending a longbow and not a compound bow, and I believe that's what that was.

Yes, I recommend an inexpensive very light weight adult length (60+") long bow to learn on.
There are several reasons. 
The most important is that learning proper technique requires lots of repetition to train your muscles.
This training is hard to do if your muscles are straining against the bow draw weight.
Naturally this will not be close to your final "real" bow's draw weight.
Speaking of weight, the long bow will physically weigh much less than a compound.
Your arm is not used to holding weight at arms length for any length of time. 
(Try holding a 2 pound book out at arms length for a while... You will soon learn to appreciate a physically light weight bow to learn on)
Another consideration is finger pinch.  This is caused by the string angle to your hand when the bow is at full draw.
Because of a long bow's design, the string has the minimum angle to the hand at full draw.
Compound bows tend to have such an extreme finger pinch, that mechanical triggers are used that attach to the string instead of your fingers.
So, even a child's compound will really not be the best learning bow for you.
Another important reason is cost.... Right now you just want to learn how to shoot.  An inexpensive straight bow is the way to go.
Why put out a lot of money for equipment that may not be what you actually want or need after you get some experience?

Don't try to progress too fast.  Until you can come to the same draw and get a consistant release every time, don't worry about accuracy.
You have to walk before you can run... (We've ALL started where you are now)

If possible join a local club.  The social interacting is worth it... Archers are good family oriented people.
(Some of my fondest childhood memories are when I attended meetings and shot my bow there with my father.)
Like I mentioned before, having someone watch you shoot and make corrections to techniques and other suggestions will get you up to speed much faster.
Also, when you are ready to upgrade your equipment, your club members will have lots of opinions and probably will let you try their equipment.

Down the road....

Once you get comfortable with shooting and are starting to see some respectable accuracy, what do you move up to?

Well, that's a loaded question.... Do you want to stay traditional like Robin Hood or are you interested in the advantages of technology?

While I'm a stubborn old traditional type that still shoots a bent stick, in your case I'm going to suggest getting a compound.
The major advantage to a compound is that it peaks it's draw weight and lets down to a lighter hold weight.
(This will still be greater than your 20 LB long bow... don't try to skip a step and go straight to a compound)
Here again club membership will expose you to lots of varieties. 
After you decide what you want in a bow, check the used bow market. 
There are lots of near new bows for sale by people who bought too much bow to learn on, got frustrated and quit.

Good luck, and welcome to a new world.



Steve
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 01:05:31 PM by Steve Cover »
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Offline JarHeadTed

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 10:55:31 AM »
Take a look at a Mathews Craze and at the PSE Nova.  Both are great bows for the price.  The Mathews is variable in draw weight and draw length so it can grow with a kid.
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Offline LdMorgan

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2011, 11:23:13 PM »
From my experience, Steve's advice about starting out with a very low power conventional bow is dead on.

Even big strong manly men with strapping thews should start out on 20-pounders.

The whole point is that you will have more fun, shoot more often, and learn better form if you are not constantly fighting your bow.

For survival shooting, I'd go with a traditional bow because they are simpler machines and less likely to fail in a time of need.

What you "lose" in performance you can more than make up with better hunting skills--the kind you tend to develop when not relying on super technology.

How many three-hundred yard scope-squinting sharpshooters ever learn to get close to their prey? To stalk effectively up close?

Most don't--they let their Magic Boomstick do all the work for them.

Line of sight = lunch!  (What could be easier?)

But what happens if they wind having to hunt with a pistol that has iron sights and a six-inch barrel? To survive?

They will probably not live long & prosper.



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Offline arrowbreaker

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 07:57:55 PM »
Yeah after not having picked up a bow in almost 15 years starting over again with a 45 pounder was challenging thats for sure -  I was sore but happy ;)


Offline arrowbreaker

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 07:19:13 AM »
I'm trying out the PSE Snake - 22 pound recurve - made of some kind of hard to break plastic but it's cheap ($40 US) and cheerful, nice and smooth draw.
You can shoot it left or right handed

Offline DEZLN

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2012, 10:50:38 PM »
I'm new to archery and got a pse firestorm of Craig's list for 100 $ shot it for a couple weeks with 72 pound draw went out and got me a nice billy goat with it. Sorry just had to Bragg im supper excited

Offline arrowbreaker

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2012, 11:01:04 PM »
$100 - wow great deal!
fine to brag about bagging a goat - that's what its for

Offline flinttim

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2012, 08:14:29 AM »
New to the forum, but think I can add some incite here. I agree with the ones suggesting a traditional bow first. You can learn on a compound but in an emergency if you were to break a sight or it's pins or a release or whatever, you'd be in a pickle. Yes you could re-teach yourself to shoot instinctively with it eventually, but why bother ? Just start with a recurve or longbow and go with it. In a worst case scenario, the simple tools are the best.

Offline arrowbreaker

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2012, 12:28:58 PM »
Welcome aboard flinttim!
totally agree with you

Offline flinttim

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2012, 07:21:24 PM »
I've got some high end bows, both longbow and recurve, but the one in my avatar is a good entry level bow. Made by Samick, available thru Lancaster Archery, it's a 3 piece take down recurve in 45 #. Some pointers to newbies and trad archery-- A lady will likely have a shorter draw length than a man. A 45# bow is measured at 28inches (well , all bows are ). If a lady has a 25 inch pull say,she might only be pulling 38-40 pounds on a 45 pound bow. These are things to watch for. That bow in the pic you can start with say, 30 pound limbs, and once becoming effective with it, buy a pair of 45 # limbs.I think we sometimes push the ladies toward too light a bow.If you can find a Trad 3D archery club, go out and pay them a visit. Most of us will let you shoot our bows.Find out what you need that way. My 10 year old grandson has been shooting with me for 2 years. He's a small kid. He has a 22 " draw, but he can pull all of my 50 pound bows back to his ear. It's different muscles and they need to be developed but a too light bow will soon become a problem. We are not shooting on manicured lawns at a straw target. It takes some "oomph"  to bring down a whitetail. Not saying a 35-40 won't do it but a 45-50 will do it better.

Offline arrowbreaker

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2012, 06:32:56 PM »
Yeah my first bow is a 45# Martin Jaguar, very affordable (and you can use Samick Sage limbs on it I'm told) - my draw is about 30" so yeah it packs a real punch

Offline CARREANNJOE

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2012, 08:25:23 AM »
Hi Badger,

One MAJOR consideration..... 1st bow, go very light draw weight.
The reasoning is that archery muscles are not normally well toned by normal every day living.
Sure you can pull 35 pounds.... How many times?

Let me tell you from experience, when I tried to get my new bride into shooting, I bought her a 30 LB bow.
It was too heavy for her to shoot very much... She quit.
When I realized my mistake and bought her a 20 pound draw bow, it was too late.
She never shot with me again.
My wife is 5'2" and was about 118 pounds at the time, you may be larger.

But, start very low with an inexpensive long bow and develop some skill without having to fight the draw weight.
Once you have some positive experience with archery, you can progress up in weight as your archery muscles get stronger.

Why the straight bow?  Easiest to learn on... (String finger pinch is least)
After you get into it, you will have a better idea of what you want in a bow... 
Why put out a bunch on money now for a bow that may not be what you want later when you can handle it?

Also +1 on finding a club.  Having someone experienced watch you shoot and make corrections is worth way more than the price of admission.

Good luck,

Steve

Hi Steve,

I am stumbling across your posted response here while looking for a good beginner's bow for a 12 year old. I am clueless! You obviously are not ;) I am curious if you could recommend a good longbow with the 20lb weight that your suggested?

Thank you!!

Carre.

Offline Steve Cover

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2012, 07:11:18 PM »
Hi Steve,

I am stumbling across your posted response here while looking for a good beginner's bow for a 12 year old. I am clueless! You obviously are not ;) I am curious if you could recommend a good longbow with the 20lb weight that your suggested?

Thank you!!

Carre.
OK Carre I'll give it a try,

Not having actually shopped for a bow for some years now, I did a little looking around to see what was still out there.
STICKER SHOCK!!!!

I shoot a top of the line Bear takedown.
I have two sizes of risers and three sets of limbs.
They cost me less at the time I bought the set than just one riser does today!!!
My ideas of what is an inexpensive bow have "evolved".

Here are just a few for you to check out.

PSE Chief   $29.99
Your bottom end learning Long Bow … And a good one for the price

http://pse-archery.com/products/category/Chief/445.5.1.1.2465.88011.0.0.0


Martian Archery XR 136   $37.88 at Wall Mart
Stepping up to smoother shooting  recurve takedowns, the XR-136 looks like a good choice.
Draw weights available run from 10 to 20 pounds and overall length is 46”
Take down bows also offer the advantage of breaking down into three pieces for easy storage.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Martin-XR-Recurve-Bow-136/21647748#ProductDetail


PSE Junior  $99.99
A good rugged takedown, that also comes in blue.
Available with limbs from 15-25 pounds (Stay with the 20 pounds to learn on)

http://pse-archery.com/products/category/445.5.1.1.16352.9293.0.0.0


PSE Razorback Jr. $104.99  ….
Only 5 bucks more gets a fine looking bow that will shoot very well too.
Also available in 15-25 pounds.

http://pse-archery.com/products/category/445.5.1.1.16352.74369.0.0.0


Looking down the line for an intermediate bow to move up to there are several good modestly priced takedowns that bridge from about 25  to over 60  pounds draw weigh with extra limbs available in 5 pound increments in between to fit any desired use.

An example would be the Vista Sage 62” Takedown at about $140.00 with extra limbs at $73.00 a set.
3 Rivers Archery calls it the Samick Sage, but it is the same bow.

http://www.3riversarchery.com/product.asp?i=2490X

http://www.3riversarchery.com/product.asp?i=2492X

Don’t consider this one as a first bow for a 12 year old.  Stay at 20 pounds.

Disclaimer: 
I have no actual hands on experience with any of these bows, but the manufacturers are well respected.

Do not scrimp on arrows… Get good ones cut to the correct length.
Also, get good quality shooting glove and arm guard.
Nothing kills the desire to practice more than blistered finger tips and a string burn on the bow arm.

Hope this helps,

Steve
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Offline jcampbell

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2013, 10:46:51 AM »
I'll second the vote for the Samick Sage. It's my first (and so far only) grown-up bow, and I've enjoyed it a lot. The price point is good, availability is everywhere (Sportsman's Warehouse, 3Rivers, etc), and it packs up well.
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Offline JD

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2013, 06:19:09 PM »
I'm trying out the PSE Snake - 22 pound recurve - made of some kind of hard to break plastic but it's cheap ($40 US) and cheerful, nice and smooth draw.
You can shoot it left or right handed

Arrowbreaker, I have no experience with archery, but have been looking @ the PSE Snake.  Would it be good to start out with for a complete beginner?  Is yours still holding up?

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2013, 09:43:06 PM »
This is youth oriented, but got my almost 9 year old son this for Christmas:
http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Archery-136-Recurve-Bow/dp/B00213UEYQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357965334&sr=8-1&keywords=martin+xr+recurve

It's of course not full size for a grown man, but I'm a newbie and the 20lbs. is easy to manage.  We've been having a blast at the archery section at our gun range.

Offline TOWcritter

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2013, 09:38:14 AM »
Hi.  I'm in the same boat looking for a beginners bow for me and the wife.  I am a righty and she is a lefty so using the same bow isn't going to work.  We have shot several different types (we are lucky to have an indoor range near bye).  We want to get a ow that is capable of scaling up or down as needed as well as for both target shooting and hunting.  I think I have found the perfect (close enough) bow for us.  The interesting thing about a bow is that is what you pay for.  The bow.  Then you have to add an arrow rest, sight, balancer etc..these all add up to be almost as expensive as a bow itself!  The PSE Rally hat I like has an adjustable draw weight from 15 to 70 plus pounds and a draw length adjustment of 12 inches or so.  Very adjustable I'd say.  The best thing though is that you can get a ready to hunt package for under $500.  I don't sell these if you're wondering...I'm just excited to find something that I can actually buy and it can grow with us as we gain more experience instead of having to buy new when you reach the next learning plateau.  Good luck in or hunt.
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Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2013, 09:31:43 PM »
Hi.  I'm in the same boat looking for a beginners bow for me and the wife.  I am a righty and she is a lefty so using the same bow isn't going to work.  We have shot several different types (we are lucky to have an indoor range near bye).  We want to get a ow that is capable of scaling up or down as needed as well as for both target shooting and hunting.  I think I have found the perfect (close enough) bow for us.  The interesting thing about a bow is that is what you pay for.  The bow.  Then you have to add an arrow rest, sight, balancer etc..these all add up to be almost as expensive as a bow itself!  The PSE Rally hat I like has an adjustable draw weight from 15 to 70 plus pounds and a draw length adjustment of 12 inches or so.  Very adjustable I'd say.  The best thing though is that you can get a ready to hunt package for under $500.  I don't sell these if you're wondering...I'm just excited to find something that I can actually buy and it can grow with us as we gain more experience instead of having to buy new when you reach the next learning plateau.  Good luck in or hunt.

Who says you can't shoot the same bow?  An English style longbow is ambidextrous, and is shot off the knuckle.  If her draw length is shorter than yours, it'll also be lighter for her than you.  For learning form, not a bad option.

Now, if you want widgets, bait and tackle, and being able to go from 5-75# at variable draw lengths, you wither need multiple bows, or something like the Diamond Infinite Edge compound, or a recurve riser with an assortment of limbs.  ILF parts make recurve adjusting much easier than being stuck with one bow/limb option.

Don't get too hung up on gear.  Native Americans killed entire species with bent sticks and sharp rocks.

Offline Shamsun

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2013, 12:45:56 PM »
Same boat here. My wife out of the blue the other day says "i would really like to take up archery" shes a small frame 120lbs and shes a lefty. So i decided to get her a beginner bow fir her birthday. Is there any difference right vs lefty?

Offline Steve Cover

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2013, 01:18:07 PM »
Same boat here. My wife out of the blue the other day says "i would really like to take up archery" shes a small frame 120lbs and shes a lefty. So i decided to get her a beginner bow fir her birthday. Is there any difference right vs lefty?
While basic long bows are ambidextrous like PistolWhipped said, modern recurve bows have a cutout on the side of the bow to allow the arrow to be placed more in line with the center of the bow.

Right handed shooters place the arrow on the left side of the bow.
Left handed shooters place the arrow on the right side of the bow.

Thus bows for left handed people are mirror images of right hand bows.

Unless you start with a long bow, she will need a bow designed for left handed shooters.

Suggestion:  Until she decides that she really likes archery, don't sink a lot of money on a beginner bow.
Also, because archery muscles are not developed, I suggest a very light bow to learn on.

Once her muscles are in shape and she has her technique down, a better bow in a heavier weight will be in order.

Good luck,

Steve
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 01:23:52 PM by Steve Cover »
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Offline slidin

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Re: Beginner bow?
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2013, 09:13:09 AM »
I just typed this message for another question Ill cc it:
I had not shot a bow since I was a boyscout 30 years ago. I was interested in getting into hunting for my 13 skills. I went to Cabellas and picked up a Diamond infinity. The thing is all ready to go to start your practice. It sets from 5-70lbs. I started at 50lbs thru the summer and worked to 60lbs. I got two deer tags filled with the bow having never hunted in my life a few weeks ago.
The bow is one of the lower cost models and allows all the adjustments plus comes mostly equipped. I will say if you are planning on hunting with it you probably will want to change the sight but that's mainly for low light situations. Im shooting kill zone shots at 40yrds all day with the thing.
If you dont know about bows make sure you go to a shop that will fit you for the bow. Specifically, the pull length, poundage and arrows. Good shooting.

Oh and BTW my wife picked up one of the bows as well. She has it set for 25 lbs and loves it. She shoots pretty good out to 20yds.