If you are into archery, you would know that it is never easy with the amount of force you exert. The Olympic bows alone require 50lbs of strength to draw the bow. For others, it would be more.
There will always be a lot of misunderstanding regarding longbows and their users. Here are a few facts that you should know about longbowmen.
The English longbows require more power than you can ever imagine.
Most people assume that longbows are straightforward; however, it is hard to emphasize the power required to use longbows.
If you have been into archery for a long time, you would be familiar with the Olympic longbows.
Olympic bows come with a reasonable poundage of about 50lbs. It means that it requires about 50lbs of force for a person to draw the bow.
Modern technologies reduced the amount of force required. The technologies and mechanisms these days make it easier for archers to draw.
Also, modern bows come with sights and rest. These add-ons make aiming so much easier for the archer.
However, with medieval longbows, we are seeing no luck.
English longbows are manual in all senses of the word. You use your knuckles to rest your arrow as you draw it back.
Aiming with English longbows uses muscle memory and a lot of practice. Plus, you also have to take into consideration the use of about 100 to 200 lbs of draw weights.
How strongly do you have to be to pull a bowstring?
Some bowstrings require 30 pounds of force to pull. Others go to about 35 to 40 pounds. However, if you can exert about 50 pounds quickly, you will undoubtedly perform well when pulling a bowstring.
The measurement of the force that you need to draw a bow is what you call draw weight. You can also call it poundage.
For example, you can say, “I shoot a 50-pound bow.”
In the statement above, you were about the bow’s draw weight, which is 50 pounds.
Each bow has its specific draw weight.
There are compound bows that you can adjust over a 50-pound range. For example, the adjustments would be anywhere from 15 to 65 pounds.
Others can only offer you a smaller range of poundage adjustments of about 10 pounds.
Similar to bows, each person also has an ideal draw weight.
Some archers can easily pull 30 pounds. For others, such a weight will be difficult. Other archers can quickly pull even more than 70 pounds.
As an archer, it is essential to determine your ideal draw weight. This way, you would know the perfect bow for you.
Experts say selecting the perfect draw is essential when choosing a bow.
The perfect weight of a bow depends on the archer’s experience. There is also dependency on the physical ability of the archer.
These two will help an archer maximize the control of the draw cycle of the specific bow. These two will also ensure that the archer can execute consistent and accurate shots.
When you are a bowhunter, you should be able to point your bow at the target and draw the bowstring straight back. It would be ideal if you did this smoothly and with the slightest movement.
The draw weight is heavy. If you raise your bow skyward to draw the bowstring fully, the draw weight might be too heavy. It is also the same if you lean forward or backward when pulling the string.
You have to adjust the draw weight.
If you continue to draw weights heavier than your ideal draw weight, there is a tendency for injuries.
Also, you can test the draw weight in simple ways.
Try to draw your bow while seated. The draw weight is perfect if you can draw your bow quickly while seated. You can manage your weight.
Once you get your ideal draw weight, you can now shoot confidently.
Draw weight is not the only factor that can assure you of a perfect fatal shot. There are other considerations to look at, as well.
A bow with a high draw weight could better penetrate vital organs. The bows with lower draw weights can also harvest animals, but only if the shooter gets to have an accurate shot placement.
When shooting low-poundage bows, think of the following.
It would help if you targeted the animal’s vital organs for the shot to be fatal.
Even if you are using a bow that requires 70 pounds of draw weight, a shot to the leg of the animal will not kill the target.
Targeting the heart or the lungs will ensure a fatal and humane shot.
When you shoot closer to the target, your shot will be faster and more powerful.
Close shots are easier to make. It is because, in close range, your targets are larger.
Because of their heavier weight, the heavier arrows can penetrate the animals better than the lighter ones.
The heavier arrows carry more energy than their lighter counterparts.
A fixed-blade broadhead can penetrate the animal well.
As such, these broadheads will be your excellent choice when you are targeting a larger game.
The draw length measures how far you can draw the bow to the anchor point.
You transfer more energy to your arrows if you have a long draw length. The power here exceeds the energy of someone shooting with a shorter draw length.
Most experts can help you in choosing the perfect equipment for you. Visit the nearest archery shop so the experts can help you.
What draw weight do Olympic archers use?
In Olympic archery, the athletes use bows with an average draw weight of about 48.5 pounds for the males. For the females, it would be 33 pounds.
Here are a few more details and numbers you must know in Olympic archery.
Main stabilizers in the Olympics range from about 29 to 36 inches long. These parts balance and stabilize the bow when athletes raise them.
Top and Bottom Stabilizers
These stabilizers measure about 12 to 15 inches long. These parts also balance and stabilize the bow whenever the athletes raise them.
This part is the one you see running from the bow’s handle to the tip. A common limb can tolerate a draw weight of about 48 to 51 pounds.
The shaft is the long and narrow middle part of the arrow. It connects the pile to the nock.
This arrow part can be made of wood, aluminum, or carbon.
The shaft during competitions should never be more than 9.3 mm. In diameter, this equates to about ⅓ of an inch.
The shaft also has the archer’s name. Sometimes, it is the owner’s initials.
Typically, targets are about 70 meters away from the Olympic archer. There is an incline of about 75 to 80 degrees along the way.
The target usually comes with a diameter of 122 cm. There are ten equal rings—each ring within the target measures about 12.2 cm.
The target rings also have colors. Rings 1 and 2 are white, while rings 3 and 4 are black.
Rings 5 and 6 are light blue, while 7 and 8 are red. Rings 9 and 10 are in yellow.
These colors are indicators of the athlete’s scores.
What pound of the bow should I start with?
You can choose a bow with a draw weight of around 40 pounds. With this weight, you can easily hunt smaller games like turkey and rabbits. You can use a 35-pound bow for smaller ones and 40 for larger targets like deer.
Before anything else, you must identify the purpose of using a bow. Will you be using it for hunting? Or for target practice?
Any bow will do if you use it for target practice only. You can purchase a bow within your budget. You can also get something that looks good in your eyes.
However, if the purpose is for hunting, there are specifications. Not all bows are suitable for hunting.
One primary consideration you have to think about is the draw weight of the bow, not the model.
For your information, the draw weight is the force you must exert and apply to the bow string. It would help if you pulled this force over a distance of about 28 inches.
The higher the draw weight, the more potent it is. Also, the higher the draw weight, the more distance your arrow will cover.
In target practice, the draw weight is not needed. You do not need to have a powerful bow for practice.
Target versus Hunting
You only need to penetrate the bullseye’s foam or cardboard with target practice. And with this requirement, there is not much energy needed.
On the other hand, if you are into hunting, the arrow you use must go through a lot.
The arrow has to penetrate thick skin, fat tissues, and sometimes, even the bones of your target.
And that is why you must choose a bow with a draw weight of about 40 lbs for hunting.
With a 40-pound draw weight, you can quickly shoot at smaller targets like rabbits and turkeys using a bow with a 30 or even 35-pound draw weight.
If the target is anything larger than a turkey or a rabbit, you can use a 40-pound draw-weight bow.
A Take-Down Bow
When looking at bows, you must decide whether you want a take-down bow.
A take-down bow is a bow that comes with two limbs. You can separate one bow from the riser.
Here are the three reasons why you should go for a take-down bow.
It is easier to transport take-down bows. Because you can remove the limbs from the riser, it is easier to transport and fit the bow into a small bag. If this advantage is something you prefer, go with a take-down bow.
Take-down bows are easier to service. You can always remove the broken part when it breaks and send it for repair. You do not need to send the whole bow for repairs.
Take-down bows are suitable for beginners. You can adjust the draw weight with take-down bows. When you want to change from one weight to another, there is no need for you to buy a new bow. Just get a new set of limbs.
Draw weight is not the only thing that matters here.
The actual weight of the bow is something you should also consider. Always consider that you will be holding the bow for a long time while you are shooting.
Most of the bows weigh around 2 to 3.5 pounds. And these are safe for you if you are a beginner.
However, if you are unsure of the weight you can handle, play it safe. Choose a bow that is about three pounds or less.
When choosing a bow, you must choose something at least twice the length of your draw strength.
If your draw length is about 28 inches, your recurve should be about 56 inches or more. Remember that the longer the bow is, the more accurate your shot is.
One more thing to consider when purchasing a bow is to choose whether you need accessories.
Some accessories include a bow sight and many more.
Traditional archery enthusiasts prefer not to use any accessories. Most traditional archers go with what they call the stick and the string.
However, accessories can help you with your accuracy.
What arrows should I get?
In choosing an arrow, the most vital factor to consider is the length of the arrow. Aside from the length, it would be helpful if you also thought about the materials, the nock points, weight, and the diameter.
Choosing an arrow is critical in archery. Aside from all the specifications mentioned, you must consider a few other things.
Are you also going to get accessories?
As a beginner, you might need a few essential accessories. In addition to the bow, you would also need to get a bow stringer, nocking points, and a glove or some finger tabs.
A quiver is also something that you need. And yes, these are the things that you need for a start.
Aside from these, there are other optional accessories like the arm guard, the sight, the arrow rest, and the string whisker silencers. You might also need a bowstring wax and an arm guard.
Again, these are optional accessories. Depending on your needs and comfort level, you may or may not buy them.
It is your comfort and confidence that matters.