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Thread: What recurves are good bows for beginners?

  1. #1

    What recurves are good bows for beginners?

    I have my eyes on the PSE Impala or PSE Kingfisher recurves because of their price and their multi-purpose design or the Martin Jaguar Take-Down recurve because of its price and durable build. Would any of these be good recurves for beginners, and if not, which ones would you recommend? My budget is $200 or less, so the price must stay below that. Thank you.

    Oh, and for those who have read my previous posts, I decided to move away from the PSE Coyote because of its price and the controversy surrounding it.



  2. #2
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    Martin has been making traditional archery stuff for a good many years. PSE is primarily a compound maker who offers some recurves, most of which are imported and not that well made.

    I think most here would say the Martin is superior to either of the PSEs.

    Dave

  3. #3
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    For a bow in your price range, I'd look at Samick--primarily the Red Stag td and one-piece, as long as your draw length is 29" or less.

    Chad
    Support the Future of Archery--Support the NASP

  4. #4
    I have a Jaguar TD in my collection. It's a good shooter. It's has caused me to consider using it this year hunting. It's not going to be easy leaving a Tomhawk longbow at home, and walking out the door with a Jag TD, but the way it shoots that's where it's headed.

  5. #5
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    You might look at some of the Samick recurves that Lancaster archery offers as well.They have models that will come in within your budget.The newer models are much better than some of the bows in past years.The quality and designs are better and are still priced to be had by guys with tight budgets.

  6. #6
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    Ben Pearsons, Bears, York, Martins,,,all good and all can be had on ebay for under 100. Shop around you can find a couple for a 100 total and stay light!

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    octacon -

    There are so few "bad" bows out there, that's it hard to make a call or recommendation. The only real "gotcha" on entry level bows usually draw length related. Some "stack" (increase weight at an accelerated rate) earlier. The PSE Impala (made by Ragim in Italy) is a good entry level bow, but will get difficult to tune over 29/30". Obviously that's not an issue if you have a 27" draw. The Martin Hunters, while a great shooter, has a similar problem.

    Basic rule of thumb on a first bow is: go longer than you expect (re: stacking issue), lighter in weight (so the weight doesn't factor in to your learning how to shoot) and less expensive than you can afford (like it or not, there WILL be other bows in the future).

    Most important thing is find something that meets the above criteria and appeals to YOU on some gut level. "Vintage" bows can be a real good staring point and most new folks are amazed at how well they measure up to some of today's higher $$$ offerings.

    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.”

  8. #8
    Yeah...I'm looking at a 45# Martin Jaguar Takedown, mainly for its price ($140 USD), its durability, and its carry weight of only 2 pounds 12 ounces. I want to keep the total carry weight of the bow, arrows, and other gear as light as possible in case I have to stalk the animal instead of waiting for it to come to me. Here is the full kit I am looking at:

    Martin Jaguar Takedown Recurved Bow
    Martin Cedar Hunting Arrows - 10 grains per inch, 30 inches total
    100-grain RedHead Blackout fixed-blade broadheads
    Deluxe Traditional Arm Guard
    Beaver Hide Silencer
    Neet Back Quiver
    Traditional BearHair Elevated Arrow Rest
    Neet Bow Stringers
    Traditional Shooting Glove
    Smithy's Broadhead Sharpener
    RedHead True Fit Camo Long-Sleeve T-Shirt
    RedHead SilentHide Camo BDU Pants
    Hunter Orange ballcap

    My goal is to be able to hunt and kill animals without the need for a blind or other tree stand - I want to be able to stalk and kill my dinner like ancient peoples did, so I can't carry large amounts of gear nor can the gear I carry be very heavy (I am hoping to keep the total carry weight below 20 pounds).

    Other than that, my other goal in archery is to be able to re-create ancient battles - show the world how ancient peoples lived (I am talking the Bronze Age and before time frame).

  9. #9
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    octacon -

    You might be over-thinking the light-in-the-hand thing. Typically the lighter the bow, the less pleasant it will be to shoot and the less stable to hold (a lot of variance there, based on bow design). While not show stoppers, probably not the best to learn on. After several thousand (or more) arrows down range, you'll have a better idea of what will really work. Sorry, can't help ya with the re-enactment stuff.

    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.”

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by otacon122 View Post
    Other than that, my other goal in archery is to be able to re-create ancient battles - show the world how ancient peoples lived (I am talking the Bronze Age and before time frame).
    This isn't meant as criticism so please don't take it that way. I am curious why you are considering a modern, take-down recurve when your interest is in Bronze Age history? Self wood long and flat bows or the earliest recurves (Turkish, Hun, etc.) would seem to be more in keeping with your interest.

    Also, as Viper indicated longer and lighter is always better to learn on. 45# is generally considered a bit much for a beginning archer. Start with something in the 30#-35# range. Learn proper form and technique. Then you can graduate to any weight you want with practice and that proper foundation.

    Dave

  11. #11
    I don't plan on doing the re-creation stuff until after I become proficient with recurved bows. I am starting out with a long and light modern recurved to learn on then I may graduate to something more authentic. The reason for the 45# draw is because I want enough resistance that I can build up strength as I use it but I also want it easy enough to draw that I don't get worn out after just a few arrows, and the 45# draw seems to fill both of those categories. I am 6'2" tall and I weigh in at 150lbs, most of which is muscle. I tested my draw distance on a 50lb longbow and was only able to pull back about 21 inches, so for my goal of a 27 or 28 inch draw, I was told I needed to start with a 40 or 45 pound draw on a recurve, and the Martin Jaguar TakeDown does not come in anything less than a 45. The 60 inch length of the Jaguar TakeDown should be adequate for my intentions.

    Mark

  12. #12
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    octcon -

    Sorry, but you may have a few misconceptions going on. Your draw length is what it is, based on your form and choice of anchor. At 6'2", the odds are your draw length will be considerably longer than 28", once your form settles.

    If you couldn't get a 50# bow passed 21", then a 45# is way too much. It has nothing to do with what you "can" pull", and everything with what you can learn to shoot with. Also remember that, the longer your draw, the heavier the bow, so a 45# bow at 28" may be a 50# at 30".

    It really is a better idea to learn to shoot before you get into the hunting part. Just makes life easier.

    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.”

  13. #13
    I asked Martin themselves for a quote on a custom Jaguar TakeDown made of Oak or Maple as the core and Bone or Sinew as the outer shell with a Cedar riser (the reason for Cedar as the riser is because cedar is much smoother to the feel than the other woods and because its a natural bug repellant) with the thing tuned for 25 to 35 yards against deer and other medium game as well as having the riser tapped for an elevated rest and sights if I want to use them. I told them I wanted it at 45# draw with 28 inch draw length (my actual draw length should be somewhere around 30 to 32 inches, but I want to stick with 28 until I get my form worked out) and I told them I wanted to use Martin Cedar Arrows with 100-grain broadheads. I am still waiting for a response back from them, however. Bass Pro said that at 45# draw weight with 28 inch draw length, a 400-grain arrow will still have enough penetration power at 30 yards to clean-kill deer and other small and medium game.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by otacon122 View Post
    I told them I wanted it at 45# draw with 28 inch draw length (my actual draw length should be somewhere around 30 to 32 inches, but I want to stick with 28 until I get my form worked out) and I told them I wanted to use Martin Cedar Arrows with 100-grain broadheads. I am still waiting for a response back from them, however. Bass Pro said that at 45# draw weight with 28 inch draw length, a 400-grain arrow will still have enough penetration power at 30 yards to clean-kill deer and other small and medium game.
    You have a misunderstanding. If you have a draw length of 30-32 inches you need to get a bow that will pull smoothly to that draw length. If you can't pull a bow all the way back the answer is not to short draw to the weight you can pull but to get a lighter bow with a weight you can pull to your full DL. You are absolutely not going to get the right bow if you tell people the wrong specs, like 45# at 28" if you have a DL of 30-32 inches. You would need a bow that is 45# **at your draw length**, not at 28". The 28" standard is just a convenient way to compare bows to one another, not a suggestion of what you should pull to.

    The good news is that you haven't bought a bow yet, the bad news is that you think you can buy your hunting weight bow and quickly work your way into it. That way lies bad form, bad habits, frustration, etc. Because you are new to archery you should learn to shoot a bow first, with a light bow, rather than trying to plunge straight into hunting with a hunting weight bow. It is going to take you a while to learn to shoot, but it will take you less time if you get a lighter bow to learn on.

    If you can, you should look into seeing if there are archery ranges in your area and find a coach--which is advice I hated getting because it was so inconvenient, but it really is the best advice anybody here can give you, other than **get a bow you can actually pull back comfortably to full draw**. It is some of the hardest advice to take, and even experienced archers, who should know better, will often try and skip this step. But your case is as clear as an example as I've seen that you should get a lighter bow. You can avoid the mistake that so many people make, a mistake that causes many to get frustrated and or injured and give up the sport of archery that they were hoping to take up.

    And remember, your ideas about killing deer at 25-30 yards mean you will have to learn to be a good archer. A clean kill shot at 30 yards in hunting conditions with a recurve is a skilled shot--even with sights and a stabilizer. So give yourself the advantage you need and start with a lighter bow for learning. Or at the very least, get a bow that is 45# at your actual draw length and is designed for a long draw length, not for 28#.
    <evidence><
    ..../............\.......
    Hoyt GM OR - Adcock ACS LB - Bickerstaffe ELB - USA Archery Level 2

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  15. #15
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    As others have pointed out, your draw length isn't a variable, or something you work your way into, it is what it is. Trying to get your form situatated while pulling a few inches less than your drawlength would be kinda like pushing a wagon uphill with a rope.....it just aint gonna work.

  16. #16
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    Actually you can adjust your draw length some, depending on your anchor point(s) and grip style. I used to draw 32" on a low wrist longbow, but I changed my anchor and now draw 30.5" on a medium wrist longbow. I still draw about 32" on a bow with a high wrist grip. If I shot Olympic style (under the chin), I'd probably draw 33" or more.

    I don't know how much of it is true, but I've read that Howard Hill shortened his draw length by making some adjustments, because it was so hard to find arrows spined heavy enough.

    It's not a good idea to try and make yourself fit a particular bow, especially if you can't get a consistent anchor with it, but you can make small adjustments in your draw length.

    Chad
    Support the Future of Archery--Support the NASP

  17. #17
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    Well first if you could only pull a 50lb bow 21" that should tell you about 30-35lbs at a 28" draw is the heaviest bow you should start with.Trying to start with something 10 or 15lbs heavier in all honesty is a waste of your time and money if you really want to acheive your goals one day.You have to learn to walk before you run or you will fall down a lot.

  18. #18

    Quinn bows!

    You need to take a look at the Quinn bows...great price for an exceptional shooting bow. www.quinnsarchery.com
    Hoyt Vectrix
    Quinn Stallion Classic
    Quinn Comet XL
    "Hunting inside a fence, think about it, that's an oxy-moron" flyboy718

  19. #19
    (the reason for Cedar as the riser is because cedar is much smoother to the feel than the other woods and because its a natural bug repellant)

    WOW! I didn't know that. Be sure to let us know the price quote from Martin.
    Form is everything.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbow View Post
    If you can, you should look into seeing if there are archery ranges in your area and find a coach--which is advice I hated getting because it was so inconvenient, but it really is the best advice anybody here can give you,
    It never ceases to amaze me that someone would go out and drop several hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on all the high-speed, low-drag kit and balk at spending $30/hour for a one-on-one session. In my opinion this should be the very first investment you can make. Before you even purchase your first arrow. This serves to start you off correctly learning good form, and will save years of frustration and effort down the road to unlearn.

    Also a coach can work with you to determine what gear is best suited for you, and be able to put several bows in your hands so you can shoot them yourself before you commit to purchasing. When my daughters and wife were interested in "trying it out" I talked to one of the other coaches at the local range and set them up with some private lessons. After only 4 lessons (1 per week) and about an hour practice each day, they were already out-shooting folks who had been shooting for 10 years, and had no bad habits. After only 3 months my wife and daughter both took the State Championship in their respective divisions. I am absolutely convinced that this would not have been possible without good coaching. Now they are both certified coaches and teaching others.

    I am in a unique situation where I get to start "fresh" and re-learn proper technique, hopefully without all the bad habits that have been plaguing me sine 1982. A week before hunting season I tore my bicep tendon and labrum, and I have not been able to shoot a bow right handed since. In March I started shooting left handed for the first time ever, and by then end of only a month I was shooting better left handed than I ever did right handed. Hopefully once my shoulder fully heals, and I can actually lift a bow with my left hand, I can start re-learning how to shoot an that side. By that time my brain should have had enough time to forget all the bad traits buried in my subconscious muscle memory.

    I'm sure that if you posted your general location someone here could recommend a good coach or even offer to help you out themselves.
    If you are anywhere near Memphis, TN I'd be more than willing to give you a few sessions, gratis.QUOTE]

  21. #21
    I don't know what it is with people trying to talk me out of doing one thing and into doing something else. I have one guy offline who keeps trying to talk me into buying a 150# compound bow with carbon arrows for hunting, claiming that a 350fps compound will shoot faster than a deer can react and he keeps trying to tell me that faster is better when it comes to arrow speed for hunting and when I try to tell him I like recurves better he says things like "its sad that you want to hunt with a stick that the deer can dodge really easily. Its sad that you want to play around with primitive technology that was out-dated centuries ago. Its sad that you want a bow that's good for maybe 15 yards at the most and even at that range its still too slow to kill." and things like that. His bragging about compound bows is getting annoying. Then I come on here and people are trying to talk me out of buying a 45# recurve and buying something a baby can shoot. To make matters worse, 35# bows aren't even legal here for hunting, and I don't have the money to buy tons of different bows. I want ONE bow I can use for everything - target practice, hunting, fishing, competition, all of that.

    Unless some of you want to part with an old bow and give me one for free that I can learn with, don't come in here and try to do what my friend is doing and pressure me into doing something that I don't want to do. I HATE that.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by otacon122 View Post

    Unless some of you want to part with an old bow and give me one for free that I can learn with, don't come in here and try to do what my friend is doing and pressure me into doing something that I don't want to do. I HATE that.
    They are just trying to help out. You will develop bad habits and wont have as much fun with a bow you shoot very well.

    also, dont come in here and ask for opinions and then get all pissy when you get advise you dont want to hear.

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  24. #24
    The thing I have against coaches is they are so dead-set in their ways that they have a "my way or the highway" mindset. I know its because they know what they are doing, but it gets annoying when people boss me around like I'm a slave. I hate taking orders, and I prefer doing things my own way and developing my own techniques. This mentality is because of the way I was raised - I was taught to resist peer pressure with phrases like "if everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?" Because of that, I try to stay as far away from the Status Quo as I can, and I try to do things my own way any chance I get. My parents do not believe people should do things "just because everyone else does it". My parents call those kind of people "lemmings", and my mom doesn't want me to become a lemming.

    My habit is to do things my own way and develop my own techniques at everything I do. I have my own techniques in everything, including driving. My technique in driving is such that I am 100% in tune with everything the car is doing - I can tell when the car is losing power, I can tell when the car is losing traction, I can tell when the car is being pushed too hard, I can respond to situations in less than a second, and I know what equipment I need for the situations I will be in. For example, the weather here is as unpredictable as the traffic, so I buy expensive hardened-steel twin-blade wiper blades with de-icer washer fluid, carbon ceramic racing brakes that are guaranteed never to need maintenance under normal street conditions, I buy the brightest headlights and taillights I can find, I buy tires that grip the road like glue, and I buy suspension that allows me to latch onto and match a Subaru WRX STi maneuver for maneuver. This ability spills over into everything else I do, and it will be the same way in archery.

  25. #25
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    can't buy skill......

    or wisdom......

    gotta earn them the hard way, i guess.

    good luck!

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