[English Longbow] Suitable longbow draw weight?

Jumile

New member
Ironman
I shoot a 36lb target bow and am about to buy my first longbow. While chatting with a bowyer this afternoon he stated that - as my target bow is 36lb - the draw weight I should be looking at for a longbow is 40-45lb. It strikes me as a little low after hearing 50-60lb longbow weights bandied about based, I assume, on the fact one doesn't hold at anchor for very long.

I've shot a few dozen arrows with Tarkwin's longbow without difficulty (which I think is 50lb), so I'm a little intrigued as to how hard and fast the recommendation I've received is. Is it a broad-stroke general idea, or a well-known formula? Is there any way to determine which weight is best?

Matt
 


Macbow

New member
A good 45lb longbow will perform better and shoot sweeter than a not so good 60lb longbow so poundage isn't everything. Personally I would buy the best bow you can afford (then spend a bit more!) as you really do get what you pay for when it comes to traditional bows - and take advice from the bowyer. As your form is probably already OK and you have no difficulty pulling 50lb I'd personally go for something 45-50 depending on what you want to do with it.
 


Tarkwin

Prince Of Dorkness
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
American Shoot
I shoot a 36lb target bow and am about to buy my first longbow. While chatting with a bowyer this afternoon he stated that - as my target bow is 36lb - the draw weight I should be looking at for a longbow is 40-45lb. It strikes me as a little low after hearing 50-60lb longbow weights bandied about based, I assume, on the fact one doesn't hold at anchor for very long.

I've shot a few dozen arrows with Tarkwin's longbow without difficulty (which I think is 50lb), so I'm a little intrigued as to how hard and fast the recommendation I've received is. Is it a broad-stroke general idea, or a well-known formula? Is there any way to determine which weight is best?

Matt
My longbow is not 50#...

it was sold to me as 35#...

T.
 


dino1300

New member
I have a 38# which comes out at about 45-50 with a 30" draw. This is very easy to shoot as my recurve bow is 43#.

I have two 50# (around 60#) which are ok for clout, roving, but i get a bit twitchy on target.

If i actually had the right arrows for the lighter bow, then the performance up to 80 yrds would probably be similar, but i find i can shoot the lighter one at clout target without much practice, whereas the others need weeks of dedicated practice to be reason.
 


Jumile

New member
Ironman
Thanks for the replies everyone. Having a second opinion is a good thing. :cheerful:

Now to call him back next week to get him to make me a bow. :D
 


Quadratus

New member
Anybody shooting 100yd and gents clout with a longbow of 50lb or less (28"-ish draw)? If so, what type/maker? I want to get back into longbow after 20-odd years, but just can't handle the weight I used to.
 


Kae

The American
American Shoot
Anybody shooting 100yd and gents clout with a longbow of 50lb or less (28"-ish draw)? If so, what type/maker? I want to get back into longbow after 20-odd years, but just can't handle the weight I used to.
One word, bamboo!

It is a very fast wood, and you get a similar cast to bows of roughly 15# heavier weight.

Not cheap, but I haven't seen a faster wood.

Kae.
 


not dead yet

New member
Ironman
shot with a gent down burnham last october, i was winnig at first, but he had a new bow with bamboo front lam. the cast was remarkable, 43 lb aiming on the gold, not sure if it had fastflight string....mine 65lb ,f/flight string aiming on the gold. this was at 100yds. he won but not by many i had only shot mine 4 times.
 


maninthemoon

New member
People tend to be very enthusiastic about bamboo but there are downsides to its use. It tends to be heavier than the alternatives. If not carefully chosen it can be less stable and less consistent than hickory. Some bowyers are moving towards its use as good hickory is sometimes difficult to come by and good bamboo can increase cast somewhat although I would not like to place a figure on it.

The BLBS asked in a survey last year how its membership felt about its use. Not sure what the outcome of that was but it can look odd for the traditionalists especially if the nodes are left on. And remember it is a grass not a wood.
 


English Bowman

Well-known member
A friend of mine is shooting a Bickerstaffe 52lbs Lemonwood / Hickory bow and putting them onto the target at 100yds. He can also reach the clout with his target arrows. (5/15 100grn pile and 4" parabolic fletchings)

Daniel
 


alanesq

New member
I shoot a 36lb target bow and am about to buy my first longbow. While chatting with a bowyer this afternoon he stated that - as my target bow is 36lb - the draw weight I should be looking at for a longbow is 40-45lb. It strikes me as a little low after hearing 50-60lb longbow weights bandied about based, I assume, on the fact one doesn't hold at anchor for very long.
Matt
I find this a problem - It is difficult to find out what weight bow you can handle as really you need to try a few but people don't like to let someone else shoot their longbow (with good reason as they are easily damaged if draw further than normal etc.)

but there is a big difference between a bow you can easily pull once and a bow you can shoot 200 arrows from in an afternoon

I guess it depends what you want to use the bow for - if its target then a lighter bow will be easier to handle
If you plan to get a medieval longbow (warbow) then you need as heavy a bow as you can handle to build up your strength?


BTW - It is possible to increase the weight of a bow by shortening it so once you get one there is the possibility to have it increased later on
bows can lose quiet a bit of draw weight from new so you may find your 50lb bow will only be 45lbs after you have shot a few arrows with it
 


English Bowman

Well-known member
I find this a problem - It is difficult to find out what weight bow you can handle as really you need to try a few but people don't like to let someone else shoot their longbow (with good reason as they are easily damaged if draw further than normal etc.)

but there is a big difference between a bow you can easily pull once and a bow you can shoot 200 arrows from in an afternoon
True, good point, well made. :thumbsup:

I guess it depends what you want to use the bow for - if its target then a lighter bow will be easier to handle
If you plan to get a medieval longbow (warbow) then you need as heavy a bow as you can handle to build up your strength?
Whatever style of shooting you are doing you want the heaviest bow you can shoot comfortably. There is no point in getting a heavier bow than you are comfortable with as this can lead to problems in form and in the worst cases injury. This applies to "medieval style" as much as to target style.

BTW - It is possible to increase the weight of a bow by shortening it so once you get one there is the possibility to have it increased later on
bows can lose quiet a bit of draw weight from new so you may find your 50lb bow will only be 45lbs after you have shot a few arrows with it
Only if the bow is tillered to take it, or your draw is short enough. If you take a bow tillered to 28" and shorten it to increase the wieght and still draw it to 28" you are over-stressing the wood, and asking for the bow to break. Unless the bow is made for a longer draw than you have don't get it shortened.

Daniel
 


clickerati

The American
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
American Shoot
Anybody shooting 100yd and gents clout with a longbow of 50lb or less (28"-ish draw)? If so, what type/maker? I want to get back into longbow after 20-odd years, but just can't handle the weight I used to.
I shoot clout between 100-140yds. My bow is 28lb, draw is 28". Hickory back, lemonwood, purpleheart, yew belly. I've hit the clout with that bow a few times at 100 yds.
 


Kae

The American
American Shoot
I shoot an old Bickerstaff longbow, and can shoot 100 yards and 180 yard clout.

45# @ 28"

Hickory, Purple heard & Lemonwood.

I pull the bow back to my ear to achieve a 31" draw for the clout.

Kae.
 


gino

New member
I shot 37lbs as my first longbow, with the right arrows had no trouble getting a decent distance. I'm now shooting a 57lb bow but for a while I shot both. I'd shoot my 37lb bow for 2 or 3 ends then shoot 57 for an end, It wasn't until I was comfortable with 57lb every end and that i started shooting more accurately with it that I moved onto my 57lb full time. I know it's expensive to do that but I managed with my 37lb bow for a long long time, you should be able to shoot fine with a low poundage if you use the right arrows. I wanted to shoot higher poundage because I shoot medieval arrows at displays at times and they're very heavy!
 


jaarus

New member
Cool - who is making it by the way?
I get mine in a few weeks I think, just told this morning that it should be finished towards the end of next week.
:D

Cant wait!!
 


jaarus

New member
I am getting mine from Yew tree archery.

Cant wait...now all I need is a time machine and it would be in my hand.
And a teleporter and....

*WURR WUURRR*

... I am at the range right now!!
:)
 


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