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Lowered expectations
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"AMO bow length" is supposed to be a standard that all participating manufacturers use to measure their bows so that an archer can obtain a string for a bow of any given length and have it be the correct one.

In theory, if you have a recurve that says it's AMO 60, then you should be able to get a string that says AMO 60 and it will be correct, regardless of the manufacturer.

That's the theory, anyways, and often it doesn't work.

"Bow length" on the other hand can mean anything you want it to mean. Strung, unstrung, tip to tip, nock to nock, along the recurves, not along the recurves, you get the idea.
 
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