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PSE Optima Heritage Review

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Thu, 29 May 2014 15:58:21 +0000

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Compare To Other Recurves   Pros: Excellent accuracy, great for target shooting Interchangeable limbs allow the bow to grow with the shooter Cons: Not enough draw weight for any serious hunting Small sight window PSE Optima Heritage Package Contents Welcome back! This time around, we are reviewing the PSE Optima Heritage. PSE has […]

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ImageLengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?

62″2 lbs.

15-35 lbs.Yes

Pros:

Cons:

PSE Optima Heritage Package Contents

Welcome back! This time around, we are reviewing the PSE Optima Heritage. PSE has designed the Heritage Optima recurve bow for target shooting by shooters of any size or age. Each package delivered by PSE includes the following items:

Assembling The Bow

The Optima Heritage is easy to put together, consisting only of attaching the limbs to the riser pockets and then stringing the bow. The bow does not come with a bow stringer, however, so you should invest in one if you are serious about archery.

How Powerful and Accurate is the Bow?

This bow proved to be very accurate, once I’d broken in the bow and gotten used to it. Within an hour, I was shooting 1” groupings from 25 yards, and the accuracy continued to hold up until I was shooting 3” groupings from 50 yards.

The Optima’s power depends on which configuration you use, with draw weights available in 5# increments from 15# to 35#. This flexibility allows you to increase your draw weight as you grow, working your way up to a bow with a draw weight almost high enough for hunting.

Is The Bow Suitable For Hunting?

The PSE Optima Heritage is optimal (no pun intended) for all sorts of target shooting, but its

is still 5 pounds shy of the minimum recommended draw weight for hunters. In addition, the small sight window and low clearance prevents the use of arrows with plastic vanes or spin wings, since the spin wings come off too easily and the plastic vanes will leave marks on the bow.

Is The Bow Suitable For Beginners?

The adaptability of the PSE Heritage Optima to shooters of different sizes makes it an ideal bow for anyone just getting started in archery. Whether you are looking for a target bow for your children or for a Scout troop, the Optima will grow with them through the interchangeable limbs and risers.

The sturdy construction of the bow is also good for beginners, since the bow can drop on concrete without being damaged. Finally, the bow is very forgiving to poor shooting technique, allowing new shooters to learn their technique without becoming frustrated with the bow.

Does This Recurve Accept Accessories?

The PSE Heritage Optima does come with holes predrilled, so you can easily add accessories such as a sight, stabilizer, quiver, or Berger button. The bow does not include bushings, however, so make sure the accessory you purchase comes with all required attachment hardware.

Arrows For The PSE Heritage Optima

I have tried out several types of arrows with the PSE Heritage Optima, with good results almost all around. As stated earlier, there is a problem with low clearance in the sight window, however, so you might want to avoid spin wings or plastic vanes. I tried spin wings, and they simply did not work because the wings came off quickly. Plastic-vaned arrows worked fine with the bow, but left vane marks. If you’re a complete beginner, check out our  to get started.

Is This Bow Comfortable To Hold?

I prefer the more traditional wooden recurve bows, but I was surprised at how comfortable the aluminum riser of the PSE Heritage Optima is to hold. The plastic grip feels almost natural in my hand, and the light weight of the bow makes it a joy to hold and shoot for hours on end.

Materials And Durability (Riser, Limbs)

The PSE Heritage Optima has a machined aluminum riser, which comes in either red or blue. The limbs are white ash and bear the Optima logo. PSE has designed the Optima to be the most versatile of its Heritage lineup of recurves, available in two different riser sizes which each accept two different limb sizes. This variety of parts allows the bow to grow with its shooter. This variety of interchangeable parts allows the shooter to find Optimas ranging from 56” AMO length to 66”.

The integrated pockets on the riser allow adjustments, to accept different limb sizes. The one-piece stainless steel limb bolts hold nicely, and the aluminum riser has a very high-tech, durable design.

I found the PSE Heritage Optima quite sturdy with repeated use, able to withstand hours of use and the occasional drop.

What String Fits The PSE Heritage Optima?

Any string up to 35# should fit the PSE Heritage Optima. I would advise buying a new string early on, especially if you plan to shoot frequently, as the included string is a poor one and will not last very long.

Is The PSE Heritage Optima a Heavy Bow?

With its aluminum riser, the PSE Heritage Optima is very lightweight for its size. Mine weighed in at just less than 2 pounds, and felt much lighter in my hand. I probably put in 6 to 8 hours of shooting the first day I tried out the Optima, without any fatigue or soreness afterwards. PSE has done some fine work designing a quality bow with such a light weight.

How Loud Is The PSE Heritage Optima?

Out of the box, the PSE Heritage Optima is no louder than some of its more expensive cousins. The aluminum riser and the rubberized pocket washers leave little room for vibration, so the only sound I was able to hear was the soft “twang” of the bowstring.

PSE Optima Heritage Review – Summary and Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading my review of the PSE Heritage Optima. I love shooting this bow, and I think it’s an ideal choice for beginning or more advanced archers. I also appreciate the idea of one riser fitting multiple sizes of limbs, allowing the bow to grow with the archer. Check out .

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OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter Review

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Wed, 28 May 2014 17:08:20 +0000

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Compare With Other Recurve Bows Intro & Package Contents Welcome to the site. Today, we’re looking at the OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter. This is a 62” bow that ships in draw weights ranging from 35# to 55#, in 5-pound increments. This bow is very nicely constructed, and is designed to be easily taken down for […]

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ImageLengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?

62″2.95 lbs.

40-55 lbs.Yes

Intro & Package Contents

Welcome to the site. Today, we’re looking at the OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter. This is a 62” bow that ships in draw weights ranging from 35# to 55#, in 5-pound increments. This bow is very nicely constructed, and is designed to be easily taken down for transport and storage. A good all-around target or hunting bow, each bow delivered by OMP includes the following items:

Other accessories are not included so make sure you know .

Assembling The Bow

To assemble the Smoky Mountain Hunter, you have to attach the limbs to the riser using the included hardware, and then string the bow. This process is very easy to begin with, but stringing the bow might be a challenge if you do not use a bow stringer. There was no bow stringer included in my package, but I had several already laying around. Make sure you invest the extra money in buying a bow stringer, if you do not already have one, as they make the entire process of stringing the bow much safer and much easier.

How Powerful and Accurate is the Bow?

My Smoky Mountain Hunter has a 45# draw weight, and was quite powerful in my testing. In this draw weight, the bow is powerful enough to drop a buck from 35 yards, and a more powerful draw weight will open up farther ranges and more game possibilities.

I found my Smoky Mountain Hunter to be very accurate, and I was able to maintain 2” groupings from 30 yards without a sight or stabilizer. After installing the sight and stabilizer, my groupings from 30 yards dropped to an average of 1.5”, and I was able to maintain 2.5” groupings from 45 yards.

For the cost, the OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter rivals many of its more expensive counterparts in both power and accuracy. To make things even better, the smooth draw and release yields very little in the way of vibration, making the bow an absolute joy for target shooting.

Is The Bow Suitable For Hunting?

As long as you equip the bow with at least 40# limbs, the OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter is good for small- to medium-sized game. During one hunting season, I was able to bag my limit in turkeys and two whitetails using this bow. From 35 yards, my arrows flew true to target and left the deer with barely enough energy to run 50 yards before dropping from blood loss.

If you aren’t sure what kind of draw weight is right for you, check out my

to settle this matter.

The OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter isn’t the smallest recurve, but it’s compact enough that tracking through the woods with it isn’t difficult at all, and its lightweight enough to reduce any fatigue from carrying it around all day. With whisker biscuits on the string, the release is so quiet the deer barely hear anything, so they are much less likely to string-jump on you.

Is The Bow Suitable For Beginners?

Whether you’re a beginning archer looking for a top-quality, beautiful recurve within a budget or a more advanced archer, the OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter is an excellent choice. I have never experienced any limb twist with this bow, and the few times I’ve had beginners try it out, I’ve noticed that it’s quite forgiving of poor stance and technique.

Does This Recurve Accept Accessories?

Bushings for a stabilizer, sight, and plunger come pre-installed on the OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter, but these accessories are not included. Installation of them is definitely easy and quick, so much so that I had my bow tricked out and ready to go in minutes.

Arrows For The OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter

The OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter will gladly fire any arrows you might want to use with it. I had very good results with my Carbon Express arrows with both field tips and Rage broad heads, so feel free to build your own combination that matches your hunting or target-shooting style. If you would like a bit more guidance on choosing arrows for your bow, be sure to check out our guide and arrow selection.

Is This Bow Comfortable To Hold?

Does a bear do his business in the woods? Yes, the OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter is a delight to hold and fire. It is lightweight and ergonomic, which allows the target shooter or hunter to carry and fire the bow for hours without hand cramping or sore arm muscles. During my hunting trips, I’ve probably carried this bow around for six or seven hours, at least, and barely noticed I was carrying it. I can target shoot this bow for hours, too, without feeling tired from holding the bow.

Materials And Durability (Riser, Limbs)

October Mountain Products’ Smoky Mountain Hunter features a riser made with hard maple and Dymondwood, and multi-laminate limbs of hard maple and black fiberglass. The traditional design is as polished as it is simple and effective.

The laminated hard maple and dymondwood materials help the bow to be extremely durable and able to take a beating. I was surprised at how well the bow held up to a hunting trip, even after being dropped nearly 10 feet when my hand slipped when I was hauling the bow up to my tree stand. This bow will stand up to years of use and even a bit of abuse, so I’m confident in recommending it to anybody looking for a relatively inexpensive bow for hunting or target shooting.

What String Fits The OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter?

The Smoky Mountain Hunter ships with a Dacron string, but the bow features reinforced limb tips to make it safe and simple to replace the manufacturer’s string with a FastFlight string. Any string that matches the draw weight of your particular model of the Smoky Mountain Hunter should shoot well for you.

Is The OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter a Heavy Bow?

The Smoky Mountain Hunter isn’t the smallest recurve in its class, but it still features a lightweight design. Weight just less than 3 pounds, this recurve is barely noticeable in weight and is designed to be transported easily both in the woods and out.

How Loud Is The OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter?

The Smoky Mountain Hunter has a very smooth draw, and a quiet release. The bow has very little vibration, and the string is but a whisper when you fire the bow. After installing whisper biscuits, my Smoky Mountain Hunter is almost silent when shot, an amazing feat for a sub-$200 recurve bow.

OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter Review – Summary

Thanks for reading this review of the OMP Smoky Mountain Hunter. While the price tag of the bow may be less than $200, the bow shoots like a much more expensive bow. I would strongly recommend this bow as a good investment for any type of archery, but especially for hunting. Try taking a look at

if you’re looking for a great price.

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Help, I’m a Beginning Archer and I Don’t Know What to Buy!

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Sun, 08 Dec 2013 21:36:50 +0000

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Whether you’re just getting started in archery or you’re getting back into the sport after being away from it a while, it can be confusing to know what equipment you should and should not get right away. There’s a ton of fancy and not-so-fancy stuff out there, but some of it is not really needed […]

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Whether you’re just getting started in archery or you’re getting back into the sport after being away from it a while, it can be confusing to know what equipment you should and should not get right away. There’s a ton of fancy and not-so-fancy stuff out there, but some of it is not really needed until you build up your skill level a bit.

We hope this article will help you understand what things you absolutely have to have to get started, what accessories are a good idea but you can do without at first, and which items you might start planning to pick up along the way.

Items You MUST Buy to Get Started

These are things you simply cannot do without, because they’re essential to the sport of archery, whether you’re just kicking around in the backyard or getting ready to take your archery out onto the competition range or the hunting lands.

a) The Bow

You will need a bow, of course. You can’t practice archery without a bow, and you should make sure you buy the best recurve bow that fits your budget. Fortunately, we have a list of the

for every budget range. Our

are also a must-read.

b) The Bow Stringer

A bow stringer is essential to any recurve archer’s kit, because it is the only way to safely and consistently string a bow. The bow stringer helps you safely use your body weight to bend the recurve bow enough to slip the string over the limb tips. Your grandfather might have used a “step-through” method to do this, but that is dangerous for both you and your bow, so make sure you always use a bow stringer to put the string on your recurve bow.

c) Arrows

Arrows, along with field tips, are the next required item, and you should purchase more than one. Most sporting goods stores will sell you a 6-pack or more of arrows. It’s often a good idea to buy arrows at the same time that you’re buying your recurve, since the bow technician who helps you pick out a good recurve will be able to measure your draw length and help you buy the right size arrows. If this simply doesn’t work out for you, though, we have a .

d) Nocking Points

The purpose of a nock point is to provide you with a constant place on your bow string to nock your arrow. This is important, because it will provide consistency of shooting so your arrow has a better chance of going where you want it to go every time to shoot your bow. It also helps make sure you don’t nick your bow hand with the arrow’s fletchings or vanes. You can make a nock point from brass points, from serving string, or from tape. The bow technician who helps you set up your bow or any experienced archer can help you with setting your nock point where you need it.

e) Targets

Once you have all your essential gear together, it’s time to go cast some arrows. But wait, what are you going to aim for? Targets are essential, and can be as simple or as fancy as you’d like. Some days, I’ll just draw a picture of a cottontail rabbit on a piece of paper and shoot at that, while other days I’m looking for more refined knowledge about where my arrows are landing and will use a circular bulls-eye target. In addition to the target, though, you need some sort of a backstop to stop your arrows from going straight through the target and out into somebody’s fence or arm. Archery shops and sporting goods stores sell foam blocks that serve nicely, but you can also use a few bales of hay.

Recommended, but Not Required Items

This list will let you know some items that are nice to have, but you do not absolutely have to invest in them right away. Most of these items are comfort-related, though, so you may consider purchasing or making the first two items no matter what, just to make sure you can get the most enjoyment possible out of the sport.

a) Arm Guard

An arm guard covers your forearm, and sometimes your entire arm, to keep your sleeves, hair and skin out of the way of the bowstring as you release your arrow. As you start learning the proper technique, you should learn how to adjust your elbow vertically to keep most of your arm out of the way of the string, but until then, you should wear an arm guard that covers as much of your arm as possible. The string will smack or drag along your arm from time to time, especially as you’re learning the sport, and you don’t want your skin to be in the way when that happens.

b) Glove or Finger Tabs

If you shoot a bow without something to protect your fingers, you will end up with painful blisters that will eventually lead to problems with your release. You can wear a leather glove or finger tabs on your shooting hand to prevent these blisters. Modern finger tabs sometimes also include spacers that spread the index and middle fingers apart, helping to keep the archer from pinching the arrow.

The good news is that you do not have to buy this item. You can make your own finger tabs—Scout troops quite often make their own finger tabs, and the patterns or kits are readily available.

c) Arrow Rest

If your bow doesn’t include an arrow rest, this is something you may want to invest in early on. The arrow rest is what the arrow sets on as it is drawn, and can be a simple fixed rest or a complicated drop-away rest that falls out of the way as the arrow is released. For short-term use, some archers can use their hands as a makeshift arrow rest, but an actual rest is something you’ll want to install on your bow after you get it broken in and know you’re going to continue practicing archery. We will be adding an article soon to help you select the right arrow rest for your need, so stay tuned!

d) Broadhead Wrench

A broadhead wrench allows you to unscrew a broadhead tip from your arrow without slicing your fingers open. If you are only using field tips for your archery, this might be something you can wait on until you’re doing some sort of archery that requires broadheads.

e) Bow String Wax

If you look at your bowstring through a magnifying glass, you’ll see millions of fibers that make up just one strand of your string. If not properly lubricated, those fibers rub together and create friction that can lead to the strands snapping, thus shortening the life of your string. To help prevent that from happening, archers was their bow strings with bow string wax, which provides good lubrication while also providing a layer of protection against water and other elements you might encounter in the outdoors. Buy quality bowstring wax, wax your bowstring every 2 to 4 weeks, and your bowstring will last much longer.

Optional Items

The rest of these items are handy, but they are not necessary to have. They’ll make your archery a bit more fun, though, so these are definitely things to put on your wish list for later on down the road, when you know that archery is something you’re going to stick with.

a) Sight

A sight is used to help you aim your bow. Most recurve bows don’t include sights, because many recurve bow archers prefer the challenge of instinctive shooting, or shooting without the aid of an aiming aid like a sight or another point of reference. Still, sights are perfectly legitimate to use, and can sometimes help the beginning archer learn where to look and how to aim for instinctive shooting. See our  for specific recommendations.

b) Quiver

A quiver is a container used for holding your arrows before you shoot them. Sometimes, archers will just stick their arrows into the ground, but this can be tough on the arrows and arrow tips and inconvenient for the archer. Some quivers attach to the bow while some are worn around the waist or shoulder. Quivers make it much quicker to pull a new arrow for the next shot. It’s not an essential bit of equipment, but it’s definitely nice to have.

c) String Whisker Silencers

Whisker silencers are lightweight rubber silencers that reduce the noise of your bowstring without compromising the performance of your bow. These are not so important for backyard or target archery, but they are wonderful add-ons to your bowstring when you start bow hunting.

Summary

This list of items should get you started, as well as give you a wish list of items to buy as you build your skill as an archer and branch out to other forms of archery. If you have any questions about any of these items, or product recommendations, just let us know and we will help you out.

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How To Buy a Recurve Bow: Ultimate Guide

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Fri, 23 Aug 2013 18:19:38 +0000

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Important Note: Once you’ve decided what recurve and arrows you want, we recommend reading our list of bow accessories you need to get to start shooting your recurve. Step #1: Determine Your Draw Weight Requirements Your first step should be determining your draw weight. This refers to the amount of force you need to apply […]

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Important Note:

Once you’ve decided what recurve and arrows you want, we recommend reading our

to start shooting your recurve.

Step #1: Determine Your Draw Weight Requirements

Your first step should be determining your draw weight. This refers to the amount of force you need to apply to fully draw your bow (pull the string). To figure out a safe draw weight range for yourself, please see:

This is a critical step and you should start with it before you start looking at actual recurve bow models to buy.

Step #2: Do You Want To Hunt?

Every recurve bow is appropriate for target practice, but not every recurve bow is appropriate for hunting. Whether your bow will be suitable for hunting is determined primarily by its draw weight. Not everyone though is capable of handling the draw weight required for hunting (see draw weight chart above).

To figure out how much draw weight you need to hunt, see:

Will take you 30 seconds to read it.

Step #3: Compare Recurve Bows

Now that you know what draw weight you need, you can choose your recurve bow. We have prepared a number of excellent comparison charts to help you do just that. Each chart makes it easy for you to compare draw weight and other stats. Here are our most popular comparison lists:

Take your time to browse through these lists and find a few recurve bows that you like. Make sure they feature a draw weight appropriate for your needs as determined earlier.

Step #4: Read Our Reviews

The next step is to read reviews of the recurve bows you are interested in. You want to learn about the pro’s, con’s, what to expect, how much they cost, and so on. Please see:

Each of these reviews was written by an expert who has shot the bow in question on multiple occasions.

Step #4: Choose Your Arrows

Important: there is some experimentation involved with arrows. Don’t attempt to buy the “perfect arrows” your first time around as this is impossible. Start out with some good arrows and after you acquire a bit of experience, you can buy some different ones and experiment. Arrows behave differently depending on the archer, the bow you have, shooting distances etc. There is no such thing as “the right arrows for a certain bow.” You’ll need to experiment a bit, there’s no way around this.

To get you started in choosing the right arrows for a beginner, please see:

Again: don’t waste your time trying to buy the perfect arrows if you haven’t got some experience shooting a bow yet. Just get some good ones and experiment.

Step #5: Other Necessary Items To Buy

Highly recommended reading:

Most recurve bow packages you buy come “raw.” The package will only include:

Arrows are almost never included with quality recurve bows. Follow the instructions in step #4 above to choose the right arrows and buy them separately. There are two other things you will need to buy:

The nocking point is attached to the string and its the part that comes in direct contact with the nock of the arrow. Without a nocking point, you can’t shoot a recurve bow. Nocking points are typically not included with recurve bows (unless you buy a whole set). You must buy the nocking point separately.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Some questions you might be asking yourself:

Q: What should the draw length of my recurve be?

Answer: pretty much all recurve bows are “set” for a draw length of 28″. Even if your draw length is 30″ or 31″, you will still be able to comfortably shoot a 28″ draw length recurve bow, albeit it may feel slightly heavier to draw.

Q: What should the length of the recurve bow itself be?

Answer: you should strive for a minimum length of your draw length x 2. So if your draw length is 30 inches, a 60″ bow or longer will be ideal. While longer bows are generally more accurate, keep practicality (transport, etc.) in mind as well.

Q: What should the weight of the recurve bow itself be?

Answer: as long as it weighs 3.5 lbs. or less, you’ll be fine. The only difference the bow’s weight makes is in how easy it is to carry on long hunting trips. Bows for youth and women will usually weigh closer to 2 lbs. If you’re an adult male, don’t worry about the weight.

Q: Will the bow be ready for shooting out of the box?

Answer: no it won’t. You’ll need to string it first, and then tune it. The tuning process can take a few hours, but it’s really fun and will teach you a lot about the weapon. Please see:

How To Buy a Recurve Bow – Summary

Here’s a really quick rundown of what we’ve learned above:

Determine your draw length

Determine whether you want to hunt or not

Compare recurve bows together and find a few that you like

Read our detailed reviews to determine pro’s and con’s of each model

Use our guide to quickly determine proper arrow length and type

Buy the bow, arrows, some nocking points, and preferably an armguard as well

Hopefully this helps, and that you are satisfied with your purchase. Good luck.

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How To Choose a Recurve Bow

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Thu, 13 Jun 2013 01:16:09 +0000

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Important Note: Once you’ve decided what recurve you want, we recommend reading our list of bow accessories you need to get to start shooting your recurve. Deciding on how to choose a recurve bow is much easier than you could imagine. Looking through all the different models out there, you might have gotten somewhat confused. […]

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Important Note:

Once you’ve decided what recurve you want, we recommend reading our

to start shooting your recurve.

Deciding on how to choose a recurve bow is much easier than you could imagine. Looking through all the different models out there, you might have gotten somewhat confused. This is normal for a beginner, but the truth is you choose any recurve to start with you will be very happy with the outcome, as long as you accurately answer a few questions:

Do you want to use your recurve for hunting, or target practice?

If you want a bow for target practice only:

Pretty much any bow will do.  You should simply choose one from among our , or just view our shorter list of . We only list the highest quality bows on those lists, and each of them is a good choice for target practice, regardless of your level of skill. So you can pretty much just buy one which is within your budget and which looks good to you – our

will help you understand the pro’s and con’s of each model.

If you want a bow for hunting:

While every single recurve bow is suitable for target practice, not all will be suitable for hunting. However – and this is important to understand – the main parameter that determines if you can hunt with your recurve is the draw weight on the bow, not the actual model you purchase. In case you don’t know, draw weight refers to the amount of force you need to apply to the bow string in order to pull it over a distance of 28″ (in the case of recurve bows). The higher the draw weight on your bow, the more powerful it will be and the further your arrow will travel (and with more force). Let me explain why this is important.

When target practicing, you don’t need a very powerful bow. Your arrow only needs to penetrate the foam or cardboard of your bullseye, which doesn’t require much energy. On the other hand, when you’re hunting, your arrow often needs to go through the thick skin, fat tissue, and sometimes even the bone of your pray.

So what’s the solution? Simple: choose a recurve bow which has a draw weight of 40 pounds minimum. Now, you can hunt perfectly well for smaller game like turkey and rabbit with a 35 or even 30 lbs. bow, but for anything larger than that (deer, elk) you’ll need 40 lbs. or more. But there’s a small catch here: not all beginners are capable of handling a 40 and higher draw weight bow. So how do you determine whether you can handle it if you’ve never shot a recurve bow?

All you have to do is take a look at my . With the help of this chart you can quickly determine the approximate draw weight range you’ll be able to handle as a beginner, by simply finding your body weight in that chart. It’s worth remembering that you can quickly build up your draw weight as soon as you start. So while you might not be able to handle more than 30 lbs. according to the chart above, after a few weeks or months of practice a 40 pounder will be more than manageable.

Quick Summary:

If your main goal is to hunt, then any recurve bow will work too, as long as you choose one with a draw weight of 40 lbs. or more. Almost every single bow available on the market can be purchased in the 40 lbs. variety, so you won’t have any trouble choosing a recurve bow suitable for you.

When you are choosing a recurve bow, you need to decide if you want a “Take-Down” or not. A bow is considered a Take-down when the two limbs of the recurve can be separated from the riser. There are three reasons why you’d want to choose a take-down recurve rather than a “one piece”:

A take-down recurve is easier to service. If anything were to break by accident, you can simply remove the part that needs fixing and send that for repair / servicing, rather than having to send the entire bow.

Finally, a Take-down bow is good for beginners because it allows you to adjust your draw weight. Basically, the draw weight of your bow is determined by the stiffness and construction of the limbs. So if you were to buy a recurve with 30# draw weight, and you were to decide a few months later than you want to upgrade to 40#, you don’t need to get a whole new bow – all you have to do is purchase a new set of limbs with the draw weight that you would want to upgrade to, and replace your current limbs.

Every bow mentioned on this website comes with information regarding whether it’s a Take-down (3 parts) or not. Here are a few lists to get you started:

Draw weight isn’t the only thing that matters. The actual weight of the bow itself is also somewhat important. Keep in mind that you will often need to hold the bow in front of you for extended periods of time while shooting. The majority of solid recurves weigh between 2 and 3.5 pounds, and these are typically safe to go for if you’re a beginner. If you aren’t sure of how much you can handle, just play it safe and choose a bow that weighs 3 pounds or less. This isn’t something I’d personally concern myself too much with though.

You want a bow that is at leas twice as long as your draw length. If your draw length is 28″, you want a recurve that’s 56″ or more. The longer the bow, the more accurate it generally is. If you don’t know what your draw length is, .

Another thing to consider when deciding which recurve bow to choose is whether you want to attach a

and

to it. Some recurve bows come pre-drilled for such attachments, while others don’t. Many traditional archery enthusiasts prefer not to use any sort of sights or accessories, simply because they prefer the pure “stick and string” experience.  However, even if a riser isn’t drilled for these accessories, you can still add a simple peep sight (which can be attached to the string of any bow), or a glue-on arrow rest. See the “Extra Accessories” section below for more info.

Since the subject of arrow selection is quite subjective, you should read our article dedicated to the subject: . This will get any beginner started.

You will need to get a few extra accessories, in addition to your bow, before you can start shooting. For a complete list of what you need to get started and what is optional, see our .

Here is a recap of how to choose a recurve bow:

Decide whether you want a Take-down bow or a one-piece based on the information provided above.

Make sure that the weight of the actual bow is no more than 3.4 pounds for starters.

Get a bow that is at least twice as long as your draw length.

Decide if you need a bow that is drilled for extra attachments such as a bow sight.

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Choosing Arrows For Your Bow – Rank Beginners

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Sun, 09 Jun 2013 01:58:11 +0000

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First you need to figure out your draw length, and there are two ways to do this at home without access to a bow. Draw Length: arm-span All you have to do is spread your arms while making sure they both remain parallel to the floor, and without pulling your shoulder blades together. Have someone […]

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First you need to figure out your draw length, and there are two ways to do this at home without access to a bow.

Draw Length: arm-span

All you have to do is spread your arms while making sure they both remain parallel to the floor, and without pulling your shoulder blades together. Have someone use a measure tape to figure out the exact distance between both of your middle fingers, and then divide the value by 2.5. This will give you a very solid estimation of your draw length. The image below illustrates this:

So if your arm-span is 70 inches, divide that by 2.5 with the result being 28″ – that’s your most accurate draw length

Draw Length: wall measurement

Face a wall sideways, extend your bow arm in front of you with your hand forming a fist, and place your fist flush against the wall while keeping your arm parallel to the floor.  While keeping your body facing the wall sideways, turn your head to face the wall directly – basically what you’re doing is simulating the stance you would be in when holding a drawn bow and preparing to shoot. Now just have someone measure the distance between the highest point on your fist, and the corner of your mouth. This will be your draw length. See the picture below:

Ideally you should use both this method, as well as the arm-span method mentioned earlier, just for confirmation. If both methods give you slightly different results (for example 28 and 29 inches), simply add the two together and divide the result by 2 (two) to get the average, and use that as your draw length.

What Arrow Length To Get?

Once you’ve determined your draw length, simply add 1 to 2 inches to that, and this will be your ideal arrow length. So if your draw length is 28″, you should be using arrows that are between 29 and 30 inches long.

The vast majority of people will have a draw length of roughly 28″, and for those people here are our arrow recommendations:

For Target Practice:

For hunting:

Please note: while the arrows above are listed as being ranked for bows with 50# to 70# draw weight, they will work just fine with a 40# and 45# draw weight recurve as well.

Explanation (Please Read This)

The goal of this guide isn’t to be a comprehensive tutorial on choosing arrows for a recurve bow. Rather, I want to give beginners an idea on what they should be buying. You could spend weeks upon weeks researching the most appropriate arrows for your recurve, and you would end up being more confused than you were at the beginning. I want to spare you all of that and simply give you some basic guidelines to follow as a novice archer – as you advance, you’ll be able to fine-tune your arrows (spine, diameter, etc.) to your particular needs.

The Difference Between Hunting And Target Arrow Shafts

Suffice it to say that the most important difference is in total arrow weight. The heavier the arrow shaft, the deeper it will penetrate on impact (although it will also lose velocity faster) due to higher kinetic energy. When you are target practicing, you usually don’t need much penetration as you only want the arrow to pierce some compressed foam or cardboard. When hunting however, you might some times need to go through thick layers of fat and even bone.

The good news is that none of this matters that much if you are a beginner, because you are likely not going to be shooting accurately at a distance of more than 20 or 30 yards. And within that distance range, a target arrow will do fairly well both for target practice as well as hunting, simply because this distance traveled is short enough that even a light arrow will still penetrate deeply both a foam target as well as flesh. Just make sure to get appropriate hunting broad heads as described above.

To Summarize

There is of course much more to choosing the best arrows for your recurve bow than this. You could analyze fletching length and materials, different nock points, arrow weight, materials, diameter, etc.. My goal though, as stated in the intro, was to give you a really simple guide which can be used to dive right into archery, without having to spend countless hours researching the subject, only to later realize that the arrows you purchased were not ideal for your bow anyway. By following the guidelines on this page you can get your feet wet real quick with some good, quality, and universal arrows.

What Next?

Now that you know which arrows to go for as a beginner, consider browsing through one of the following recurve bow comparison charts on my website to figure out which model to buy:

Good luck, and if you have any questions feel free to contact me directly or post here in the comments below.

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Capabilities of Different Draw Weights

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Sat, 08 Jun 2013 23:39:20 +0000

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A question I get asked often is what you can do with a recurve bow with a specific draw weight. It’s a very valid question, and I can understand how someone who’s never used a recurve in his life might have troubles understanding what a 25# can do in comparison to say a 45# bow. […]

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A question I get asked often is what you can do with a recurve bow with a specific draw weight. It’s a very valid question, and I can understand how someone who’s never used a recurve in his life might have troubles understanding what a 25# can do in comparison to say a 45# bow.

Please keep in mind that everything written here is based on my experience with recurve bows exclusively, and that this information will likely not apply to, say, a compound bow – although the difference should not be huge.

What Can You Do With 25# to 30# Recurve?

Contrary to what most people think, a 30 or even a 25 lbs. draw weight is more than enough for recreational target practice. If you have the aim for it and your form is on point, you can successfully hit a target from 60 or even 70 yards away with this kind of draw weight. Again, this will depend on your skills – the bow itself will never do any of the work for you (although some designs are more forgiving, such as the r or the , to name a few cheaper ones).

This is particularly good info for youth as well as small-frame females, who often have trouble with anything higher than a 30 lbs draw weight – they’ll be able to enjoy the recreational side of the sport without much limitations. It’s important however to keep in mind that the majority of high quality recurve bows will usually be available with a #30 minimum draw weight. And to be honest I’m not exactly sure why this is the case, though I can guess that most people are simply more excited about owning a “powerful” bow, so there isn’t as much of a market for the lower poundages.

Here is a video you will definitely find interesting:

:

The bottom line is: as long as you are only looking to do some target practice and do not plan to do any hunting, #30 and #25 pounders will do just fine. Heck, even a #20 will still do well. If possible, I would only make sure that the bow comes from a respectable recurve bow manufcturers – a comprehensive (though not all-inclusive) list is .

How About 35 And 40 pounders?

You can obviously still target practice with those and easily hit targets from well over 80 yards if you have the eye and concentration for it.

While a 35# might be suitable for hunting in some conditions, I would advise against it – the reason being that these bows will often times not deliver enough kinetic energy to pierce the flesh of your pray, particularly if shooting from a distance greater than 15-20 yards. Because of that, if you plan to do some hunting, I’d strongly recommend going for a 40# draw weight or more. For more information on this subject, please check out my short but comprehensive guide: .

It’s also worth remembering that in certain States and counties, it’s illegal to hunt with a recurve bow that has a draw weight of less than 40 lbs. Unfortunately I do not have an exact list of these states, and things could have changed a little over the years, so what I recommend is getting in touch with any Archer’s federation or even an Archery range located close to where you plan to hunt – they will definitely know what laws apply in that particular part of the country.

Regarding hunting, a 40 pound recurve bow can be successfully used to hunt wild turkey and deer. However, if plan to specialize in hunting larger game (elk for example), then I would recommend getting a #45 (or heavier) bow for optimal performance, simply because it will help you feel more confident no matter your distance from the prey.

45 lbs. And Higher Draw Weight?

These can be used for pretty much anything, be it hunting or target practice. You’ll never feel restrained, and if anything – it is you who will need to try and keep up with the capabilities of a quality 45#+ recurve bow.

As you can see, this list is longest – that’s because these type of recurves provide the most versatile capabilities, so there is a huge demand for them.

120+ Lbs. Bows?

Although I do not know of any recurve bows with this kind of draw weight and which would be available for sale nowadays, I thought it would be interesting to mention that, historically, this kind of draw weight was very often used – particularly in the English longbow which was extremely popular during the middle-ages.

In fact, the English Longbow had to be a minimum of 110 lbs. to be deemed suitable for combat, and the strongest Archers would even carry 130+ lbs. bows. You can imagine just how much effort these took to shoot, but also how devastating they must have been. History teaches us that these bows were well capable of deeply piercing a human being from as far as 235 yards!

So which draw weight should you choose?

This will depend on your goal. I will refer you to two of my resources which will help you answer this question:

This two sources will make it more than clear to you which draw weight you should go for. Once you know, feel free to use the various comparison charts and reviews available on this website to choose the recurve bow most appropriate for your needs.

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How Much Draw Weight Should You Get?

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Fri, 07 Jun 2013 16:04:11 +0000

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What is draw weight? It’s the amount of force you must apply to the bow string in order to pull it through it’s full range of motion. It’s usually calculated in pounds. What draw weight should I choose? If you want to use the recurve to hunt for the most popular game (deer, elk, turkey), […]

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What is draw weight?

It’s the amount of force you must apply to the bow string in order to pull it through it’s full range of motion. It’s usually calculated in pounds.

What draw weight should I choose?

If you want to hunt for the largest game (grizzly bear, ox, cape bufalo), you’ll need

If you want to use the recurve for target shooting, any draw weight will do –

If you want a recurve for both hunting and target practice, go for

You will adapt to higher draw weights very quickly; what may seem somewhat difficult one day, will become much easier after shooting a few hundred arrows. Stay patient and don’t push yourself – your muscles will adapt rapidly. See a list of our recommended .

Very Important Note

If you’ve never shot a recurve bow before, then you probably don’t know what kind of draw weight your muscles can handle. The smaller your frame, the less of a draw weight you’ll be able to work with. For this purpose, I’ve created a

– simply look up your body type in the chart and see the corresponding draw weight range to know what you will be able to handle. Also, you might want to read up about the

on a recurve bow.

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Cheap Recurve Bows

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Thu, 06 Jun 2013 18:55:19 +0000

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You might have already seen my list of the best recurve bows, however for those of you looking only for a list of cheap recurve bows I have prepared this separate guide. All of these bows are high quality despite not being expensive, and you’ll be getting great value with each one. Above is a list of the […]

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You might have already seen my list of the , however for those of you looking only for a list of cheap recurve bows I have prepared this separate guide. All of these bows are high quality despite not being expensive, and you’ll be getting great value with each one.

Bow length64 inches62 Inches60 inches46 inches

Bow weight3.4 lbs3.4 lbs2.7 lbs1.5 lbs

Draw Weight30, 40, 45, 50, 55 lbs.30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 lbs.30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 lbs.10, 20 lbs.

HandRightRightRightRight/Left

Take-Down?

Above is a list of the most inexpensive recurve bows currently on the market. These are all made by excellent  and have been proven to deliver quality despite the low price.

Cheap Recurve Bows For Hunting

A good but affordable recurve for hunting must be long enough to provide power and accuracy. It also must have enough draw weight so that the arrow can actually pierce your prey deep enough to put it down, and needs to be quiet and capable of handling different weather conditions properly.

With this in mind, my recommendation would be the . It offers excellent quality and possibly the best value for anyone on a budget. If however the $199 price tag is a little too much for you, then the next best thing is the Samick Sage. Both of these recurve bows are great for hunting though and you’ll be pleased no matter which one you go for.

Cheap Recurve Bows For Target Practice

This would have to be the

recurve bow – an excellent value.  A solid and strong piece of equipment, which is actually suitable not only for target practice but also for hunting. The only reason I listed it as a cheap target practice bow is because I found it not to be the most quiet out of the models posted on this page; a hunting bow needs to be quiet – a target practice bow doesn’t.

The

is an excellent choice for youth and children. You can get it for as little as $37, so I’d say that’s pretty cheap! You shouldn’t be expecting excellence from this bow, however it’s a great choice if you’re looking to introduce your children/grand children or younger siblings to the world of archery. They’ll have a blast shooting it (under your supervision) and it’ll pave the way towards more advanced recurve bows as they grow a little older.

What to look for in an inexpensive recurve?

Everyone will have a different definition of what an inexpensive recurve bow is. To me, this is anything below the $200 mark. If it costs less than $160 I consider it a VERY cheap recurve bow. In light of this, the first thing you want to look at is obviously the price.

Once you’ve decided what your budget is, you then need to decide on a draw weight. I have a handy which will help you determine the optimal weight based on your physique, so make sure to check it out.

At this point please keep in mind that if your looking for cheap recurve bows to hunt with, it should have a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds. This is because weaker bows tend to have trouble piercing the thick skin of your prey, especially if shot from a distance greater than 20 yards, and particularly so if you’re hunting for bigger game like Elk for example. So if you’re going for an affordable hunting bow, make sure it’s 40 lbs. or more. If you are only looking for an affordable target bow, then any draw weight will do.

Cheap Custom Recurve Bows

Unfortunately there is no such thing. Custom bows are expensive and take a lot of time to make, so if you are looking for something durable (like a Bob Lee or a Black Widow), then expect to pay hundreds and often over a thousand dollars for your custom bow. The word “cheap” just doesn’t belong here.

To be honest, I think a custom bow should only be bought after you have already gained experience with at least a few mass-produced, inexpensive recurve bows. Only then – and after you come to understand your preferences as an archer – should you consider going for a custom design of higher value.

Affordable Recurve Bows For Sale

I honestly wouldn’t go for those. Granted, you can probably find reasonably cheap recurves on auction sites or Craigslist if you look well enough, however I’ve personally had a bad experience buying second-hand bows, and I’ve also heard many horror stories associated with such purchases. Often times the person selling his bow has no idea what is wrong with it (or doesn’t want to admit to it) – scratched / bent limbs, loose limb sockets, over-used shelf or arrow rest, cracks in the riser; these are all really common issues with second-hand recurves.

My advice would be to try and avoid these at all cost. If it’s used, you shouldn’t buy it unless you can check the bow personally before paying for it, and only if you know what to look for. It’s almost always better to pay a little extra and sleep well knowing that your recurve will arrive in tip-top shape, and that you can always return it / exchange it / service it if anything were to go wrong.

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7 Tips on Buying a New Recurve Bow

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Wed, 05 Jun 2013 17:52:03 +0000

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Important Note: We strongly recommend reading our guide on How To Choose a Recurve Bow. It contains everything you need to know, including the accessories you should get. Below are 7 basic tips to help you determine what recurve bow to get. For a more detailed guide, please visit the link in the dotted green […]

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Important Note:

We strongly recommend reading our guide on . It contains everything you need to know, including the accessories you should get.

Below are 7 basic tips to help you determine what recurve bow to get. For a more detailed guide, please visit the link in the dotted green box above.

This should be the first question you ask yourself. There are many companies that make recurve bows out there, however the majority of them offer inferior products with one of the following problems:

1. Terrible riser with an uncomfortable grip

2. Non-flexible limbs

3. Lack of resistance to atmospheric changes

4. Low-quality strings

To help you determine whether a brand is worth your time, I have compiled a list of the . I’ve probably missed out on one or two, but in general anything from that list is a safe pick.

The lighter the bow, the longer you’ll be able to carry it around and the longer you’ll be able to shoot it without tiring out. Your decision here will vary depending on what you plan to use the bow for (do you plan to ? or just target practice?), and how long you expect you’ll need to carry it around. In general, if you’re going for a long hunting trip, it’s a good idea to have a recurve bow that is lighter than 3 pounds. If you’re going for target practice, bow weight isn’t much of an issue.

The draw weight is basically the amount of force you need to exert on the string in order to use the bow to its full potential. If you are going hunting, you need a bow with a minimum draw weight of 40 lbs. (and preferably even 45 or more if you plan to hunt for bigger game such as elk). This is because a lot of force is required to make sure your prey is pierced deeply enough. If you are only interested in target shooting, then the draw weight won’t matter that much; of course the higher the draw weight, the further you’re arrow will travel, but even a 30 pound draw weight recurve bow will be more than enough for almost any beginner. Here comes the important part: if you’ve never used a recurve bow before, then you should consult my  – it will help you determine the appropriate choice for you based on your body frame.

The rule here is simple: longer bows will typically shoot further and more accurately than shorter ones. To put things into perspective, the medieval English longbow was usually a few inches taller than the archer shooting it, and the estimated effective range of such a bow was over 200 yards. A 60+ inch bow is considered long for a recurve, while anything below that is average. If you are planning to hunt big game from a large distance, then it stands to reason you should go for a long bow, such as the excellent .

Keep in mind though that for most uses, even a 58″ recurve is more than enough. You can easily compare the length of various recurves with the use of my . One thing to keep in mind is that it should not be long enough that the bottom limb would touch the ground when the recurve is held in front of you. Don’t worry though – even if you were to buy a bow that is 10 inches longer than your height, it will still do fine. Just make sure not to do anything unreasonable and purchase a 64 inch bow for a 6 year old kid

The riser should feature a very comfortable grip, and provide for reduced vibration during string release. All of the bows reviewed and mentioned on my website have these two qualities. Additionally, it should include brass bushings for installing additional accessories such as additional stabilizers and a bow sight. This is pretty much the standard nowadays in all modern recurve bows, so you should pretty much assume it is available unless noted otherwise. The material used to make the riser should be a type of hardwood or aluminum – both of which are very durable and light-weight.

Ideally, the limbs should include fiberglass. This makes them more resistant to bending and breaking over time. And once again – you’ll find that fiberglass is a component in the limbs of all the bows mentioned on this website. Check out my  section for some more information.

In case you did not know, a take-down bow is one where the two limbs can be detached from the riser by unscrewing two screws. The advantage of this is that it makes the bow much easier to transport and store; and in case anything were to ever break, you wouldn’t need to send in the whole bow for repair – just the part that actually broke. Again, to find recurve bows that are take-downs, check with my .

Now that you know what to look for, feel free to explore the many helpful pieces of content I have prepared for you. Here are a few places to start:

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