A longbow is good for beginners because the draw length is longer, which creates less tension on the fingers and joints when the bow is pulled back at full draw, held, or released.
The draw length of the longbow also causes less pressure on the body, which makes it much easier to shoot with precision.
A longbow also has a thick body, which reduces torquing or the tendency of the bow’s limbs to twist when you release the string. Less torquing make the arrows fly straighter into the target, which is good for beginners who want to practice target archery.
For a beginner, there are also several factors you need to consider when deciding if a longbow is suitable for you to use. Learning about the proper specification that is compatible with you will help make your overall archery experience fun and easy.
If you’re wondering whether or not the longbow suits you, here is a comprehensive guide about everything you need to know about the longbow.
You can read the following information below on the important factors you need to consider to determine if a longbow is good archery equipment for a beginner like you.
It includes the ideal draw weight, the draw length, bow length, shooting range, and shooting techniques.
What is a good draw weight for a longbow?
The standard draw weight for a longbow is 30 – 40 lbs. To check if the draw weight is compatible or too heavy, you can try to do the 30-second test wherein you will pull the longbow back at full draw and hold that position for 30 seconds.
If you feel your bow hand is shaking, feel a strain on your muscles, or feel like you’re struggling to maintain the form, that means the draw weight is heavier for you.
Testing this method will help you get the idea of what is suitable for your current strength and if your current draw weight is comfortable for your body.
Using a longbow with a heavier draw weight will not only cause strain to your body but will also cause inaccuracies and inconsistencies when shooting.
Finding the correct draw weight or poundage for your longbow is important because it will reduce muscle fatigue, soreness, and injuries during practice shooting, especially for beginners.
It will also help improve the overall archery experience and speed up the process of learning.
How long is a longbow?
The average length of a longbow ranges from 68 to 70 inches or 1.7 meters. The overall measurement includes the top string groove on the bottom limb to the top of the string roof of the top limb.
Determining the correct draw length is important because it can cause decrease comfort and cause inaccuracies and inconsistencies. It can also likely cause injuries when shooting.
If the draw length is shorter, the elbow of an archer must bend to compensate for the shorter draw length, while a longer draw length requires an archer to overextend the bow arm while shooting.
Both circumstances cause discomfort and decrease accuracy.
For an archer, how long a longbow may vary. It will depend on your draw length, the shooting style you’ll use, and the length you’re most comfortable shooting.
Draw length, which is measured in inches, is the distance of how you pull back the longbow at full draw or the distance from the pivot point to the nocking point at full draw.
To determine your draw length, stand straight, spread both your arms to your sides and use a measuring tape to measure the wingspan or the distance between the tips of your middle fingers. After that, divide the measurement by 2.5. Now, you have your proper draw length.
In general, the ideal bow length for a draw length under 24 inches is 64 inches. For draw lengths ranging from 24 inches to 27 inches, the bow length should be 66 inches.
For a draw length ranging from 27 to 28 inches, the ideal bow length should be about 66 to 68 inches, while a draw length of about 28 to 30 inches must have a bow length of 68 to 70 inches.
Lastly, a draw length of 31’ inches and up should have an ideal bow length of 70 to 72 inches.
The bow length you’ll use may also vary, depending on your preference and which one is most comfortable for you. Ensure that you are not over-bowed because it will affect the accuracy and consistency of your shooting experience.
How far can a longbow shoot?
An average longbow can effectively shoot up to 120 to 300 yards. The maximum efficient shooting range may vary, depending on several factors that can impact it, including angle, level of skill, and environmental factors.
Aiming with a correct angle is important because it can affect the accuracy of the arrow hitting the target. A slight change in the angle of aim can cause a shift of the arrow’s trajectory and miss the mark.
Proper aiming angle also helps your body perform shooting techniques efficiently without causing too much stress and fatigue on your body and muscles, which helps enhance your consistency and accuracy.
The level of skill of an archer also plays a big role in the distance an arrow can travel. A highly skilled archer has good coordination and balancing skills, which helps execute shooting techniques with focus and concentration.
A highly skilled archer can also assess the distance of the range to precisely hit the target with fewer errors.
Moreover, environmental factors such as air density, wind, weather, humidity, and temperature can influence the trajectory of an arrow. Strong winds can affect the arrow’s flight and send it off course. It can also affect the speed of the trajectory of an arrow.
How to shoot a longbow for beginners?
Understanding the fundamentals of the longbow is just as important as learning the different methods to accurately and consistently aim your longbow, especially for people who are starting to learn about archery.
Here are the points you have to take into account to help you shoot better and boost your confidence in your shooting ability.
- Know the Basics
- Repeatable Shot Sequence
- Aiming Methods
The first thing you need to do is take the proper stance. Start by standing in an upright position with your feet set shoulder-width apart and keep your head focused on the target. Ensure you are distributing your weight equally to maintain your body’s balance and keep it steady. Don’t forget to place your non-dominant foot forward.
Having the right posture and stance will help you shoot more consistently and accurately.
Another example of aiming basics you have to learn is properly nocking your arrow or putting the arrow on the string. To do this, you have to hold the arrow in between your index finger and thumb of your dominant hand and lay the arrow shaft on the top of your index finger or on the arrow rest.
Next is to place the nock on the nocking point. Make sure the fletching is placed facing you. To know if the arrow is placed correctly, you will hear a slight click.
Another important aiming basics you have to learn is positioning your hands. Remember that one hand will hold the longbow, and the other one will draw the arrow back.
To pull the bowstring, place your index finger above the arrow and both the ring and middle finger below the nock. You can also try placing all of your three fingers under the arrow. The method you’ll use may vary, depending on what feels comfortable to you.
Moreover, an important aspect when drawing the bow is knowing the anchor point suitable to you because it will help you shoot more accurately and consistently. Knowing the suitable anchor point for you also ensures your position is in the right alignment to properly hit the target.
It is the reference point on your face wherein the bowstring or your bowstring hand will touch when you draw back the string at full draw. The most common examples of anchor points are by the corner of the mouth, under the jaw, and string to the mouth.
One of the primary components you have to consider for consistency is a repeatable shot sequence or doing the same thing for each shot, each time. Practicing repeated shooting will help enhance your capability to draw your longbow without much fatigue or strain.
Shooting with a consistent draw length is also important because it will allow you to have a more reliable full draw position and ensure you’re hitting the same frequency on your target. To check if you’re shooting with a consistent draw length, you can consider putting a clicker on your longbow.
A clicker, also known as the draw checker, is a device made of thin plastic, spring, or carbon steel that is located either on the bow’s riser or the bow limb. It works as a signal for the archer that the desired or correct draw length is finally made or achieved by giving an audible clicking sound.
Once the archer hears the click, the archer can now release the arrow.
Here are the different aiming methods you can practice to better enhance your shooting ability.
Gap shooting is an example of an instinctive aiming style and is often one of the basic shooting techniques taught for traditional archers. This type of method uses the point of the arrow as a reference point at full draw, instead of sight, for aiming.
Gap shooting is for determining where to place the arrow point, either on, above, or below the target, for the arrow to hit the center at the designated spot.
To find your gap at a given distance, you can try to shoot point on at every different distance you shoot from. The first have to put a pine cone or any reference object at the base of your target and shoot from various distances—10 yards, 15 yards, or 20 yards.
How far above at a given distance or the space in between the pine cone (reference point) and the arrow after being fired at the target is your gap or where the archer’s line of sight and the trajectory of the arrow meet together.
The ‘O’ Ring
The ‘O’ ring method is done by adding a mark, either a rubber band, loom band, or an O-shaped ring, as a sight. This mark helps make the gap more visible and allows the archer to shoot with an under-the-chin style anchor point to hit the bull’s eye when the arrow is at full draw.
During practice, roll the rubber band up and down the longbow’s limb until you get the accurate spot where you can hit the center of the target at the desired distance. After finding the consistent mark, you can use a ruler to measure and mark down the distance from the top of the arrow pass or handle to the band.
The ‘O’ Ring method is also one of the most popular aiming techniques using an English longbow.
This aiming method is done by placing an object, preferably 6×3 inches, on the range at the start of the series. The object will act as a reference for your arrow point.
For this method, you just have to focus on properly placing your arrow on the designated mark on the range. Always remember that the ground marker cannot be adjusted during an ongoing series of shootings, unlike the rubber band used in the ‘O’ ring method.
The String Walking method is done by moving the fingers or string hand up and down the string or away from the arrow nock to find the accurate point to drag. This movement of fingers to different points on the string is called crawling down the string.
In general, the arrow’s trajectory is changed by the archer by adjusting the angle on where to shoot the arrow.
A longbow is good archery equipment for beginners because it is versatile and more forgiving. It also offers the ease of shooting and accuracy that helps beginners enhance their shooting abilities.
There are several factors you need to consider to know if a longbow is suitable for your preference and needs. It includes the draw weight, the draw length, bow length, shooting range, and shooting techniques.