Bow draw length question

Rob P.

Well-known member
Ok, FIRST let me say that I haven't shot a bow since I was about 12. Now let me tell you that I have a blown spine and I have no real intention of drawing a bow again.

That said...

My mother has 2 vintage recurve bows on her wall. One is a Ben Pearson Silver Sovereign Silver Tartan. It has an AMO of 64" and a draw of 26# @ 28". There is no delamination of the bow layers but it looks like it has 2 vertical "cracks." 1 above and 1 below the grip which run lengthwise for about 3" (below grip) & 6" (above grip). I cannot tell if these are structural or not but they run lengthwise and not across the bow. Both cracks are where the stave widens just after the grip as if the grip portion continued straight into the stave and the "wing" is "cracking off." Is this damage from drawing and releasing without an arrow in the bow?

The second bow is a Hoyt Scout. It has an AMO of 62" and a draw of 20X# (21#) @ 28". It has no cracks or delamination that I can detect by sight or tapping.

IF (huge "if") I were to get strings and things for these bows, could I safely draw & shoot them without snapping? I know that they are target only since they don't have enough draw weight for hunting but it might be "fun" to shoot them in the backyard some day.

Oh, I'm 78" tall and can span that distance from fingertip to fingertip if that helps. My full draw length is probably around 27-28" based on a quickie measurement with a tape measure but I don't really know my actual draw length.

What say you?
 

Grey Taylor

Well-known member
Pretty difficult to say what caused the cracks on the Pearson, especially without seeing the bow or at least good pictures of it. Given that I can't see it I'd have to say don't draw it or shoot it.
On the Hoyt, if it's in good shape with no obvious issues then it's a good chance that it will be good to use.

Realize that there are a lot of probablies, maybies, and could bes in all this. Not being able to see the bows in person introduces a large "maybe" factor.

Guy
 

Shoobee

Banned
I would not draw an old bow either. Nothing lasts forever.

For about the first 5 years you are safe with about any bow, unless you find a crack or flaw.

After 5 years it is wise to get it inspected at your favorite archery service shop.

Beyond 10 years, I would get a new one.

If a limb breaks during your draw it will give you a very nasty face wound, if not blinding you in one or both eyes as well.

Not worth the risk.
 

Grey Taylor

Well-known member
With all due respect, Shoobee, I disagree.
There's no telling how many thousands of old laminated 'glass bows are out there and they're doing fine. I've got four or five myself that are well over fifteen years old and I don't hesitate to use them a bit.
If the bow has been properly cared for there's no reason for it to be put aside.
Most of today's archery shops don't know diddle about traditional bows. They sell compounds and that's what they know. Bring an older bow in and they're liable to relegate it to the wall simply because they don't know what else to do with "one a them antiques." Hell, a lot of compound archers don't even think a trad bow can kill deer!
I've been around breaking bows and I've held breaking bows. It's not a given that the pieces will hit you and it's certainly not a given that you'll get a nasty face wound or injure your eyes. The possibility is there and that can't be ignored, but it's not a sure thing.

Guy
 

henmar77

Well-known member
With all due respect, Shoobee, I disagree.
There's no telling how many thousands of old laminated 'glass bows are out there and they're doing fine. I've got four or five myself that are well over fifteen years old and I don't hesitate to use them a bit.
If the bow has been properly cared for there's no reason for it to be put aside.
Most of today's archery shops don't know diddle about traditional bows. They sell compounds and that's what they know. Bring an older bow in and they're liable to relegate it to the wall simply because they don't know what else to do with "one a them antiques." Hell, a lot of compound archers don't even think a trad bow can kill deer!
I've been around breaking bows and I've held breaking bows. It's not a given that the pieces will hit you and it's certainly not a given that you'll get a nasty face wound or injure your eyes. The possibility is there and that can't be ignored, but it's not a sure thing.

Guy
Agreed. My only reservation in this scenario would be if they had an sentimental value. If so, i wouldn't try to use them not know the condition and whether or not they would break. With that said i would try them and if they break, oh well. Damage to your face should be minimal. ;)
 

Rob P.

Well-known member
Ha! Damage to this old face might be an improvement.

I think I'm going to leave them alone for now. I need to concentrate on getting ready for my first ever hunt and not get distracted by the fact that a bow would probably be easier to shoot in the field. If I decide to mess around with archery in the future, there are tons of recurves available over on that auction site.
 

THE ROMAN ARCHER

Well-known member
i have had a couple of recurves i wasnt sure about so i brought them to my pro guys to determin if its to old to shoot with no issues. so if i were u i would take the recurve to a pro shop and let them string it up and draw if u are not certian, butt sometimes they wont do it too worried that it might snap a classic. if thats the case and i am not worried what happens i tell them to go for it, if it breaks so be it if its still a good shooter u are good to go....tra
 


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