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Thread: Brackenbury Custom Bows..........anyone know about them?

  1. #1
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    Brackenbury Custom Bows..........anyone know about them?

    I have been able to find very little information on them besides the website.

    A very good friend of mine is offering his Brackenbury Quest Takedown for use as long as I want. I'm so green to traditional archery and never expected to get my hands on a bow of this caliber. The couple things I've located on it indicate they are some very fine bows.

    Has anyone ever handled one? What was your thoughts. My buddy says it is a blazing fast recurve and hits where you point it. Proably the best instinctive bow he's ever used!

    Here's the website for ya'll to look at:



    http://www.brackenburybows.com/

    Thanks for any info!
    Athens Factory Staff Shooter


  2. #2
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    There was a time when having a Brackenbury custom-made bow was the dream of many shooters.

    I believe that Brackenbury sold his company but don't know when. So can't say that the bow being loaned to you is an original Brackenbury or what the quality is. However, if made in accordance with the original Brackenbury methods/materials, I would say you are being loaned a very good bow.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by WindWalker View Post
    There was a time when having a Brackenbury custom-made bow was the dream of many shooters.

    I believe that Brackenbury sold his company but don't know when. So can't say that the bow being loaned to you is an original Brackenbury or what the quality is. However, if made in accordance with the original Brackenbury methods/materials, I would say you are being loaned a very good bow.
    Agreed. Although I've never personally shot one, damn near every comment I've ever heard about Brackenbury recurves was that they are the cream of the crop/best of the best. Enjoy your "Brack", as they are sometimes called, good shooting, God and Christ Bless!

  4. #4
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    The story I heard was the original guy died and another guy took it over, I have spoken to him on the phone, nice guy, I have seen other older bows for sale and that is why I called. B-50 only on most bows and he prefers risers to be laminated with a few pieces of wood. The older bows made with solid risers can't take the abuse the new ones do. He can still make you limbs for the older bows and needs the riser to do it. After speaking to him I didn't buy the older bow.

  5. #5
    few years ago i called them to ask about their bows, as was wanting to have one built. was to busy to talk to me as was getting ready to go on an elk hunt; sooooooooo talked with Black Widow boys 5 minutes later & got my bow in no time. one guess who gets my business from then on.

  6. #6
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    Bill Howland bought and builds the Brackenbury lines. One thing though, there is a long wait time from the time you place your order till you get one. I've heard as long as 18-24 months.

    Wes Wallace used to work for Jim Brackenbury and after Jim died, Wes now builds his line of bows that look a lot like a Brackenbury. Here's his website and the wait time for one of his bows is around 8 months the last time I checked.

    http://www.weswallacebows.com/index....=recurves.main

  7. #7
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    cartman308,
    You must have a very good friend if he is lending you his personal bow. The Quest is Bill Howland design and is faster than his other models. I did have a Quest that was a looker but at 62lbs it was slightly too heavy for me and too nice to hunt with it. Bill did use a tougher finnish on his bows. My good friend has it now. I do like a shorter bow and I still have my Brackenbury Phantom 58" 60 lbs D97 string with bocote riser by Bill. They all shoot where you look and do not use light arrows with the Quest. Shooting the Quest is a no brainer for me. How about given us some specs on that bow and photos?

  8. #8
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    Bracks by Bill Howland are better built, faster and much nicer than Jim Brackenbury's bows were. They are also more valuable in my opinion.

    Jim Brackenbury died in a canoe accident around 1991.

    Bill is a nice guy but he's always busy, even with a 2 year wait.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nmlongbow View Post
    Bracks by Bill Howland are better built, faster and much nicer than Jim Brackenbury's bows were. They are also more valuable in my opinion.

    Jim Brackenbury died in a canoe accident around 1991.

    Bill is a nice guy but he's always busy, even with a 2 year wait.
    2 year wait?! Geez, I thought Chek-Mate took a long time...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiarcher View Post
    cartman308,
    You must have a very good friend if he is lending you his personal bow. The Quest is Bill Howland design and is faster than his other models. I did have a Quest that was a looker but at 62lbs it was slightly too heavy for me and too nice to hunt with it. Bill did use a tougher finnish on his bows. My good friend has it now. I do like a shorter bow and I still have my Brackenbury Phantom 58" 60 lbs D97 string with bocote riser by Bill. They all shoot where you look and do not use light arrows with the Quest. Shooting the Quest is a no brainer for me. How about given us some specs on that bow and photos?
    I'll get the exact specs once I get it in hand. As far as pics. My buddy's only instructions were he didn't want pics of it circulating the nets various forums. I'll respect his wishes on that.

    Thanks for all the info fellas! A 24 month wait for a custom bow! WOW!!!! I about went crazy waiting around a month for my compound!
    Athens Factory Staff Shooter

  11. #11
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    I've shot them extensively since the late '80s when I had Jim build me a custom Legend that I still have and shoot. I also have two Quests that Bill Howland designed and built. As much as I love and will never part with my Legend, I have to admit that Bill Howland's bows are better in all respects. He's a perfectionist and an accomplished bowyer that builds his bows one at a time and each bow is an individual, hand fitted piece of extraordinary equipment.

    I also have a couple of Widows and they simply don't measure up (except for the older MA's). Widow uses Birch laminates now and Howland still uses Maple which is far superior in every way. Why do you think Widow pushes the Phenolic?

    Shoot the Quest for awhile then go shoot a Widow and you'll see what I mean.

    As to the backlog and waiting time, Howland had an arm injury some time back that put him behind schedule. He's catching up now. Remember, he's a one man shop and artisan, not a factory.

    I'm not trying to knock Widow's in any way. I really like mine. It's just that one is now a CNC machined, semi mass produced bow with interchangeable limbs and risers and the other is a hand made, hand fit, one at a time item. Put them next to each other then shoot them next to each other and you'll see what I'm talking about.

  12. #12
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    All good history here. One more point. Norm Johnson was a fishing/hunting friend of Jim Brackenbury and Jim helped instruct Norm on how to build quality bows. It's my understanding that before Jim died in a canoe accident, he had Norm building all his one piece bows for him. After Jim died, Norm went on his own and now makes Blacktail bows. Brackenbury bows, Wes Wallace bows, and Blacktail bows share similiar characteristics and are all very well built bows.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the great info guys! This bow is truely a work of art! The spec (I'm going off memory so weight may be slightly off) 56# @ 28". 62" model.

    I've been covered up in "honey-dos" so I haven't had the chance to shoot it yet. It's killing me that I haven't got to pluck it yet!!
    Athens Factory Staff Shooter

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boberau View Post
    All good history here. One more point. Norm Johnson was a fishing/hunting friend of Jim Brackenbury and Jim helped instruct Norm on how to build quality bows. It's my understanding that before Jim died in a canoe accident, he had Norm building all his one piece bows for him. After Jim died, Norm went on his own and now makes Blacktail bows. Brackenbury bows, Wes Wallace bows, and Blacktail bows share similiar characteristics and are all very well built bows.
    Are you sure it was Norm Johnson? I thought it was Wes Wallace. See the link below.

    http://www.weswallacebows.com/index....n=home.profile

  15. #15
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    We should all consider ourselves lucky that Jim Brackenbury had the foresight to pick his friends and associates as well as he did. His legacy (and our good fortune) is living on in the beautiful bows now being built by those fortunate enough to have known him.

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