Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Poundage question

Messages posted to thread:
56' Kodiak 05-Jan-18
Gray Goose Shaft 05-Jan-18
Fields 05-Jan-18
kokosing 05-Jan-18
Rotten: 05-Jan-18
Shooter 05-Jan-18
GF 05-Jan-18
deerhunt51 05-Jan-18
Bowguy 05-Jan-18
Thumper 05-Jan-18
ModernLongbow 05-Jan-18
Candyman 05-Jan-18
moosehunter 07-Jan-18
Dan W 07-Jan-18
zwickey chad 07-Jan-18
Tree 07-Jan-18
Brian B 07-Jan-18
Deadringer 07-Jan-18
Babbling Bob 08-Jan-18
Bowmania 08-Jan-18
George D. Stout 08-Jan-18
Babbling Bob 08-Jan-18
wytex 08-Jan-18
George D. Stout 08-Jan-18
76aggie 08-Jan-18
ny yankee 08-Jan-18
Bowmania 08-Jan-18
Red Beastmaster 09-Jan-18
Michael Schwister 09-Jan-18
gluetrap 09-Jan-18
Buzz 09-Jan-18
bluesman 17-Jan-18
Bowlim 17-Jan-18
BOHO 17-Jan-18
Fisher Cat 17-Jan-18
Ollie 17-Jan-18
Jim 17-Jan-18
From: 56' Kodiak
Date: 05-Jan-18

I'm ordering my first custom bow that I plan to keep for a very long time. My question is about draw weight. I've shot anything from 40 lb to 57 pounds. 48 to 50 lb is my sweet spot but I'm young. Someone ordering a bowl should I get it 44 lb or 46 lb? Thanks for your help! I mainly hunt small game and whitetails

From: Gray Goose Shaft
Date: 05-Jan-18

I know hunters that have taken deer with 39# draw weight bows and up, so 44 or 46 will do for the deer. I'd stay on the higher side to move heavy hunting arrows. Small game will not know the difference. If an archer shoots regularly, or exercises a bit, draw weight becomes less a factor. I'd ask for 48 to 50 pounds draw. I'm 58 years old and shoot bows from 35 to 58 pounds. Enjoy spec-ing out the bow!

From: Fields
Date: 05-Jan-18

i don't think you'll notice much difference between those weights... if 48-50 suits you, get that. It won't be the last bow you ever buy!!!!!! LOL..

From: kokosing
Date: 05-Jan-18

Order 48-50 because you can have it lower at a later time if needed.

From: Rotten:
Date: 05-Jan-18

If your going to order a one piece I would order it 50, plus or minus a couple pounds. If it's a T/D order it at 50 plus, then get a second set of lighter limbs later.

From: Shooter
Date: 05-Jan-18

Get a 45-47!# bow and live happily. No need to ever worry if you went wrong.

From: GF
Date: 05-Jan-18

If you really plan to keep it for a long time, I would go no higher than #50. That way, you will be able to shoot that bow well into your advanced years, and it will be Heavy Enough for anything you are likely to want to pursue.

And if you change your mind about that bow and want to sell or trade it off at some point, it will be a lot easier to move at #50 than if you go much higher.

My older son is soon to be 15. He owns 1 bow; one of Nemah’s repels. It’s #42@28” and he can shoot it now, he can hunt with it, he’ll never out-grow it, and he’ll be abqle to shoot it for a good 60 years before he’ll need to think about handing it down.

If a guy’s only going to own one bow, there’s nothing wrong with one that will kill anything you want to hunt with it, and do it without killing your shoulders in the procesd!

From: deerhunt51
Date: 05-Jan-18

Order 45#. You can hunt anything in North America with that weight and be successful. You can gain performance when not over bowed through good form which often leads to slightly longer draw. A longer draw equals a longer power stroke, equals more arrow speed.

From: Bowguy Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 05-Jan-18

Here's a couple things to ponder. As someone said its not gonna be your last but once you get a new bow you may shoot it a bunch and get stronger. I'd say err just a tiny bit on the heavy side but don't overbow yourself if that makes sense. I personally like the look of one piece bows. Being you're undecided get a take down. You can order different limbs if you decide to go up/down.

From: Thumper
Date: 05-Jan-18

I look at it this way:

If it's a short, lightweight, pure hunting bow, err on the light side. (Like the little hybrid longbows and shorty one piece 'curves)

If it's a longer, heavier, takedown bow err on the high side. (Takedown recurves and longbows over 60")

I find the first type of bow to be a little harder for me to shoot accurately so I like a little less poundage.

The second type is much easier for me to shoot accurately, so I feel like I can get away with a fuzz more weight.

Just how I look at it, might seem ridiculous to most people though hahahah

That being said, I usually hunt with a 3 piece 42# static recurve and have no problem killing deer within 20 yards. Very forgiving setup. But I don't have much choice, I'm a lil o scrawny 145# dude!

From: ModernLongbow
Date: 05-Jan-18

If its a longbow i like 43-45lbs, recurves 41 to 43lbs. Why? Full length 600s spine perfect. I know its wierd but its a weight thats easy to shoot and very accurate.

From: Candyman
Date: 05-Jan-18

You didn't say exactly how young you are but if you want a bow that you can grow old with then 45# is the ticket. That was the most popular weight for production bows before they called it traditional archery. I started out with a 47# recurve when I was young and then went to compound bows for many years. Being young and in shape I was shooting a compound maxed out at 75#. I shot a lot of deer with that bow but found that it was a lot harder to break over after sitting on stand for several hours in very cold weather. It took a long time for me to realize that I didn't need that much weight. After all I had many pass throughs with that first recurve at much less draw weight. When I went back to recurves and longbows I once again went on the high side, 64#. Again I found it tough to handle after several hours on stand in cold weather. I dropped down to 45# and shot several deer with complete pass throughs at that weight. Don't get caught up in the draw weight thing. Comments like "girly bows". Shoot what is the most comfortable for you both now and down the road. 45# is more then enough for deer.

From: moosehunter Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 07-Jan-18

You only need 50lbs to hunt every thing in North America so order a weight you shoot well now, you can always buy heavier limbs later if you want. Most states require 40lb for deer so check your regs of where you want to hunt and stay in the 40’s pound ranges, you will have plenty of power.

From: Dan W
Date: 07-Jan-18

Thumper nailed a few things beautifully, short vs. long. If you like the feel & shooting qualities of 3 pc. TD, you can have the best grip and riser/sight picture package that's not likely to change- and limb length/draw wt. options to cover every contingency possible.

But, nothing is forever! After my first two years in archery (Yes I was young too, once. Gazillion years ago). I switched from RH to LH. No getting around that. Then I started working on RH shooting again a few years ago- no getting around that either!

One bottom line to take away- esp. if you're young- THAT AIN'T GONNA BE YOUR LAST BOW! ;-)

From: zwickey chad
Date: 07-Jan-18

45-47lbs the sweetest! Deer ain't gonna call you girly when its bleeding out.

From: Tree
Date: 07-Jan-18

Get a takedown with 2 sets of limbs 50 & 45, you'll be set.

From: Brian B
Date: 07-Jan-18

Brandon, that is my oldest sons name, it doesn't make much, if any difference, but since You asked, get that number 7 in there, as in 47, 7 is a good number.

From: Deadringer
Date: 07-Jan-18


From: Babbling Bob Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Jan-18

The way a bow pulls and feels varies as much as how we look. Draw weight doesn't mean much at those mid weights of mid 40's to 50lb if you can pull them back comfortably.

Most my retired friends who shoot part time have no trouble with 45lb and it is a great draw weight for hunting and for small archery events as well. I shot a 49lb takedown for years when I was young and it was the only bow I could afford.

I like what someone replied above with 47lb. It will sell good later at that draw weight if you need to. Older folks with spending money will shy from a 50lb bow but will buy something slightly lower, like buying something marked $2.99 as opposed to $3.00, like they mark for the price of gas.

From: Bowmania Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Jan-18

I think you should pick what you're most accurate with. IF you made a mistake, you can always buy another set of limbs, IF YOU BOUGHT A 3 PIECE BOW.

Same applies if you go light and decide to go elk hunting...


From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Jan-18

Well a lot of this and that with opinions here but facts is facts, or so they say. A 45# bow set up with a modern string and well tuned will shoot right along side a 50# bow set up with a Dacron string, so it's really not advisable to put a weight number on big game anymore. Also, two guys can shoot the same bow and have a huge difference in the performance output of that bow. Personal dynamics can affect performance in a huge manner.

Bottom line is to buy a bow you can shoot accurately with for your first one. I wouldn't spend a lot of money either on a first bow, since your tastes will likely change. Another fact is you may be able to handle a 60# bow easily after a bit of shooting, so don't confine yourself to a limited selection.

If I were buying a first bow now, I would probably get something like the Southwest Archery Spyder with a set of 40# limbs then opt for another set of 45#. You have a total investment still under $300.00 and it will allow you to work at it and see if that is suitable or if you want or need more. Then you can opt for a custom bow, or just a different one of different weight/setup, etc.

From: Babbling Bob Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Jan-18

Think Bowmania has got it.

From: wytex
Date: 08-Jan-18

If you ever want to hunt elk or moose you'll need a 50 # bow to meet draw weight requirements in Wyoming. Other states have similar requirements.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Jan-18

And some don't. If you read the rules and regs, many are lower. Anyway, since you are young and comfortable with 50#, then there is no reason....if you want to hunt elk in get a 50#'er. I'm 72 and can still shoot 52# comfortably from my old 1970 Carroll's recurve. Likely you will be owning many bows over the years, so if you want mid 40's, then get a heavier set of limbs in case you want to hunt elk in Wyoming. ))

From: 76aggie
Date: 08-Jan-18

Brandon, everyone has their opinions so I'll throw mine out there. I will be 64 this year. I wanted a 55 lb bow for my first custom. The bowyer talked me into a 50 lb bow for many of the reasons stated above. When it was finished, it was actually at 49 lbs and that was fine. I can still shoot it just fine but in recent years I got a 45lb and a 46lb and I mainly shoot the 46 when hunting and the 45 at 3D but will hunt with both. I shoot the 45 off the shelf and the 46 off a little plastic stick on rest. They just feel a lot better for me and are easy to pull. It is kind of like the portly guy who told me he wore 38 size britches but 42 size was a lot more comfortable. You make the call.

From: ny yankee
Date: 08-Jan-18

According to the rules of the Leather Wall, 45 pounds will kill anything on this side of the world so deciding on 2-4 pounds difference is a moot point. Get a lighter bow you can shoot when you are 75 yrs old.

From: Bowmania Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Jan-18

Oh, I didn't know that we were suppose to give opinions.

Soooo, here's my opinion. Brandon you should move to New Berlin, WI and become a Cheezehead. Don't buy a bow and introduce your self to me. You can come over and shoot a learning weight bow of 25 to 35 pounds and I'll coach you. Once you learn, you can try my 'hunting' weight bows and make a more informed decision about what you want to buy. You'll end up being a much better shot with some lessons, then if...

... you stay in MN and keep routing for the Vikings to win the Superbowl (which I am also doing), you can go to USA Archery and get a coach in your area.

Da*&^d, that's pretty much fact also, guess I don't have an opinion. LOL. GO VIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


From: Red Beastmaster
Date: 09-Jan-18

My last custom was ordered in a weight I figured I could take to the grave. It's a 45# takedown recurve that seemed light at first but is feeling pretty good as the years go by.

From: Michael Schwister Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 09-Jan-18

I know most folks do not agree, and many have their own reasons (mostly driven by shooting lots of 3d shoots with several hundred targets in a day, without training to that level of effort). IMHO for primarily HUNTING use we should be selecting draw weights based upon effectiveness. Yes, mid 40s is highly effective for small game and most whitetail hunting from treestands. What happens if in ten years you want to go elk hunting or float a river for moose? Yes you can kill a moose with a 45# bow, you can also kill a moose with a .22 rimfire, but I would not recommend it. If you are in your 20s you should only look to get stronger for the next 20 years at least. When I was 14 my 48# herters recurve was too heavy. When I was 38 my 77# Byron Ferguson patriot was merely a toy. Age, lack of excercise, and injury have all impacted most of the recommendations you see here. Here is now my recommendation: 55# should be the minimum draw weight for a general use hunting bow, and 65 is really an ideal weight for most use. If 46 is what you buy when you are young, and do not build fitness, you will be posting here about using a 30# longbow for hunting before AARP starts sending you monthly mail. Either you build strength through training or loose it through disuse. Last year at age 55 i was diagnosed with cancer, and after chemo and radiation treatment I was so weak I could not draw a 46# bow. Over a couple months of training I managed to get back to using my low 60# ish selfbows, just in time for season, and took two nice whitetails. Had I not been at that level before this occured, I may not have been able to handle a legal hunting bow this first season post treatment

From: gluetrap
Date: 09-Jan-18

op imo if you comfortly shoot 50 lb now you most likely will always be able to shoot it barring injury or deseise. genetics. now if you go to the gym and ect. you can do more, but age will have an effect on that. get a cheap 55lb and shoot it too.

From: Buzz
Date: 09-Jan-18

Buzz's embedded Photo


Still have my first bow, a #45 Checkmate.

From: bluesman
Date: 17-Jan-18

Tough to help you out not knowing your stature. If your a big guy , or athletic I would think you could handle 55 lbs well into your 60’s .. and 50lb will kill elk or moose with a well placed arrow . At worst if the custom gets too heavy when your older . You could become a collector of vintage Bear bows.. they are not cost prohibitive LOL ... good luck

From: Bowlim
Date: 17-Jan-18

Really guessing doesn't work. Others people's guesses probably even less useful.

When you think of how much effort people put into other tuning issues, I think we need to put more effort into draw weight. I finally broke down and picked up a limb set in every weight category from about 20 pounds to 80 pound (the heavier ones I have in custom bows). I have learned a lot, and no longer need to guess on weight issues, it is also great for conditioning, and introducing other archers to archery.

Throughout most of my career I just worked with the draw weight I though I should have, and bought many many bows in pretty much the exact same range. I think cheap bows in many draw weights (or expensive if you can manage it) are more useful than a lot of similar bows.

From: BOHO
Date: 17-Jan-18

I’d look at it like this. Most hunting arrows are generally around 500-550 grains for a trad set up. You can play with that with spine and length but if you shoot 47-48# with that weight , your at a great gpp ratio.

From: Fisher Cat
Date: 17-Jan-18

George (among others) provided some really good advice, especially concerning interchangeable limbs and the fact that you might eventually get bored with the bow no matter how much you like it initially. Since you are young, I would order it in your "sweet spot."

Another variable to consider is the force draw curve of the bow. Some bows gain draw weight fast and you really feel it by the time you get to full draw. Others add weight more slowly and tend to feel lighter than you would expect. Trying a similar bow first would really help, especially if you are buying a new custom.

To me, you should know EXACTLY what you want and what to expect when ordering a new custom bow. You can buy and sell a lot of used bows for the cost of a new custom and doing so will give you a better idea of what you really want/like in a bow.

- John

From: Ollie Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 17-Jan-18

I am a firm believer that one should shoot as much poundage as you can shoot accurately and with comfort. A three piece bow would permit you to change limb weights depending on what you are hunting and how strong you are feeling.

From: Jim Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 17-Jan-18

Buy what you feel comfy with. I also believe you should start with an inexpensive 3 pc. takedown.

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