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Thread: Good beginner longbow

  1. #1
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    Good beginner longbow

    What would be a good starter longbow under $300 to share with my husband for target fun only? Looking for something probably 35# and under.



  2. #2
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    AA -

    That's really a tought question, as the term "longbow" today is pretty vague. The Hill style straight limbed, slightly reflexed lbs are a world apart from the hightly R/D longbows that are more similar to recurves in shooting qualities.

    For the former, a standard has been the Bear Montana and it should still be in your price range. For the latter, really hard to say, just too many out there and a lot of the custom and even semi-custom ones are getting top dollar.

    BTW - sharing a bow with hubby generally doesn't work. Techical issus aside, you might just start fingting over who's turn it is ... and no, I'm not kidding

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your reply, Viper.

    I've looked at the Montana, but everything I've seen says that it doesn't come in a low enough poundage. I was shooting with 45# with my compound, so I know I won't be shooting with much more than 35# with a trad to start. I also have a joint disorder, so I don't want to push things too much.

    Right now, we don't want to purchase more than one because we may not be shooting for a real long time. We're going to be moving to a city that does not have an archery range within an hour's drive. We recently sold all of our compound equipment in anticipation of the move. However, although we were supposed to be moving this Summer, the transfer has been delayed and we may not move for a year or so.

    In the meantime, our children would like to take part in the Hunter's Challenge for our state. It has an archery component in addition to the gun sports they do. They've asked us to continue shooting bows with them, so we all decided that a more traditional approach might be fun.

    Aside from all of that, because our children are young, we always have one of us supervising while the other shoots. But yes, in a situation where we could both shoot.....I totally agree.....we would fight over the bow .

    It's been pretty hard to find a bow because the low poundage pretty much means that we need to look in the "youth" area, but that seems to limit the length of the bow to below 60". We've found a Ragim Fox and Wolf that will work, but can't seem to find much on the quality of it. If anyone has any experience with these, I would appreciate it......or happens to know of any other options.

    We've also seen a Samick (but have read that people had issues with their low-end line of bows) and a Chiron (had a recurve in this brand briefly with some really twisted limbs).

  4. #4
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    AA -

    Yup, you're certainly on the right track, and with a 45# compound, you're probably holding about 10#. (Not sure if Bear/Escalade Sports will custom make a lower weight Montana, but you can ask.) If you just want to transition to a stickbow' you might just be better off with a recurve for starters. More around in the draw weights (I'd really think about 25# tops at your draw length) and price ranges your looking for. We've gotten a number of people started with the PSE Optima with good results for under $200. At about $300, the T-Rex is a great starter, but they are target type recurves.

    The Ragim bows are entry level, but the ones I've played with (Impala, Kudu) weren't terrible. The older Viper longbows (no relation) were in the same class, but they came will all the HILL "features" of hand shock etc, you'd expect from that bow design.

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  5. #5
    i agree with some of the comments that viper shared.

    sharing is difficult. visit the lancaster archery website ( i think)

    they have a lot of bows.

    it is important to try b/f you buy.

    you may have to find a used bow in that range.

    have fun

  6. #6
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    I can comment on both the Ragim (PSE) Impala and the Kap T-Rex because I started with both and still have the KAP.

    The Ragim Impala is a terrific take down to start off with IF your draw length is below 28". Over 28" and it might stack. I started with 30lbs limbs and that was more than enough to learn properly on. You can get a new (blemished) Ragim Impala for 127.00 off of Ebay, with your choice of limb weight. You have to use the same make of limb on it though. If you do look seriously at the Ragim, I would suggest getting the one that has a radiused shelf (shoot off the shelf) AND the bushings for accessories installed. This way you have the best of both worlds.

    I was gifted the KAP T-Rex with 42lbs limbs, and that bow is too heavy right now. However, the ability to interchange the limbs (ILF fittings) makes it a terrific bow for the price. It shoots very, very good and limbs can be extremely cheap or extremely expensive...your choice! It doesn't have a radius shelf but I put a piece of leather on it, to shoot it that way, and it shoots fine.

    Both bows can be adjusted for weight and tiller...benefit for a newbie.

    As for a longbow, I have a 35lb Martin Vision that I use, and I'll say that it's pretty hard to beat. You can sometimes find them for a good price in the classifieds and on Ebay.

    I have also heard that the Samick longbows are a very good value, and that the Quinn recurve bows are worth a lot more than they sell for, but have never shot them personally.

  7. #7
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    I appreciate all of your input, thank you.

    We're definitely not looking to use sights, rests, etc. We briefly shot accessorized recurves before we got into compounds, and we'd really like to get away from all the "extras". We're not into it to compete, or even hunt. It's just to shoot and have a good time. Our kids are all young enough that they will only be on the "novice" level of the Hunter's Challenge for awhile and therefore don't really "compete" in it either.

    We found that with all the accessories with compounds and more modern recurves, we were always unhappy with one thing or another and spent more time fussing with it all of that than we did shooting. It just seemed to take the "fun" out of archery for us. We want to keep things as simple as we can.

    We're also looking to stay away from the take downs. Just a personal preference.

    We've looked at bit on Ebay though. How are the older bows by Bear, Pearson, Wing, etc? There's some that seem to be in decent condition and are inexpensive enough that we could get one for each of the 5 of us.

  8. #8
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    AA -

    The older Bears, Pearsons (some of my favorites), Wings, Hoyts (top of the line, iMHO) will serve you quite well. Bows like the Brownings, Herters and some Shakespears are highly UNDER rated, and super shooters. Only thing to remember is that they pretty much are Dacron string ONLY bows. The better ones will perform on par with some of the high $$$ ones currently out there.

    There are two many to list, but if you see any you like, post the name (manufacturer and model) some one here will have two cents to offer.

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  9. #9
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    Viper....thanks for the help.

    So far, for myself:

    Herter's Match Hunter, Wing Gull, and a Darton Clipper.

    For my husband:

    Blackhawk Scorpion, Bear Black Panther, Browning Wasp, Bear Grayling, and a Martin x-200

    For the kids:

    couple of Bear Little Bears, Browning "youth", and a Wing Falcon

  10. #10
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    AA -

    Here's my experience:

    Herter's Match Hunter - Usually georgeous Rosewood risers, so-so workmenship, some are OUTSTANDING SHOOTERS.

    Wing Gull - Incredible "sleeper". Good length (64") and with the right arrow, surprizingly fast.

    Darton Clipper - Most of the Dartons, I've played with in the 70's and 80's were not real good shooters. All were T/Ds, don't recall the Clipper.

    For my husband:

    Blackhawk Scorpion - No idea (Just looke at pic on eBay) looks entry level, but again no personal experience.

    Bear Black Panther - No idea. If it's a shorty, I'd steer clear.

    Browning Wasp - Check the length. Most of the LONGER Brownings were/are superlative shooters, Any thing under 56" got real stacky and squirrelly in the nad, for me anyway.

    Bear Grayling - No sure about that one, is that the model?

    Martin x-200 - OK, if the price is right. For retail, you could do a lot better. I've set up several for people from 35# to 55# and the smoothness of draw and cast just weren'y there. Have tried the '08 models. Most of the Martins (except the Hatfield) have a early stack point. Anything over 29" (sometimes less) not pleasent.

    For the kids:

    couple of Bear Little Bears, Browning "youth", and a Wing Falcon

    I'd put them into age/height catagories

    Little Bear - youngest kids, might max out at 24" draw.

    Browning and Wing - older kids, probably even beginning adults. I'd go for the Wing first.

    OK, please remember that what I just typed was based on MY expererience with these or similar bow. While not likely, when dealing with wood bows, items with consecutive serial numbers may not shoot the same. So take it with a grain of salt.

    Hope that helped.

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

  11. #11
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    Big help....thanks

    Yeah, our kids are young, so the Little Bears should fit them for quite awhile. Our oldest is 10, so he might need something a bit larger.

    I like the Herter's the most for me. It and the Darton look the best condition wise.

    My husband likes the Wasp the most so far.

    I hate waiting for Ebay.........but we'll see how it all goes. Might have a few more to inquire about if those go up too high.

    Thanks again!

  12. #12
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    AA

    eBay's not that long a wait.

    See if there are any of the longer Ben Pearsons

    Viper1 out.
    “Simple and innocent, however, as it (the bow) appears, and capable as it is of being a trusty friend and ally, a bow is at the same time a watchful enemy, ready to take advantage of the smallest slight.”

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