Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Bow length

Messages posted to thread:
SdDiamondArcher 13-Feb-18
George D. Stout 13-Feb-18
Gray Goose Shaft 13-Feb-18
Lowcountry 13-Feb-18
Gray Goose Shaft 13-Feb-18
Dao 13-Feb-18
Longtrad 13-Feb-18
SdDiamondArcher 13-Feb-18
Longtrad 13-Feb-18
GF 13-Feb-18
StikBow 13-Feb-18
JusPassin 13-Feb-18
SdDiamondArcher 13-Feb-18
TGbow 13-Feb-18
foxbo 14-Feb-18
3Ditional 14-Feb-18
camodave 14-Feb-18
Renewed Archer 14-Feb-18
Babbling Bob 14-Feb-18
Red Dogs 14-Feb-18
gluetrap 14-Feb-18
Bowmania 14-Feb-18
The Whittler 14-Feb-18
Live2hunt 14-Feb-18
Cameron Root 14-Feb-18
crookedstix 14-Feb-18
Pdiddly 15-Feb-18
Linecutter 16-Feb-18
MStyles 16-Feb-18
From: SdDiamondArcher
Date: 13-Feb-18

Alright, my obligatory daily post! How does bow length affect its performance?

Based on looking over a lot of bows, I’ve found that the average length is 56-58”, I would assume these bows are, in general, easy shooting and forgiving. . What are advantages/disadvantages of bows that are shorter or longer?

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 13-Feb-18

Bow length isn't a sole contributor to performance. Lots of variables including limb length, limb design, as well as other gozintos.

From: Gray Goose Shaft
Date: 13-Feb-18

Gray Goose Shaft's embedded Photo

I feel like I'm sticking my neck out, but Sd, this is for you. A short bow is handier to hunt with, a longer bow is generally more shootable - more stable through the shot.

This short, 52" Pearson is a blast to shoot.

From: Lowcountry
Date: 13-Feb-18

In theory, or on paper, it is often accepted that longer bows will be "easier" to shoot well. You hear things like longer bows being more "stable", or more "forgiving". Those things may be true, however, these are really more of general rules of thumb and should not be taken as fact. As George stated, there are tons of variables, so bow length by itself does not mean superiority. I'm sure there are people on here who will tell you that they shoot certain shorter bows better than longer bows.

From: Gray Goose Shaft
Date: 13-Feb-18

Gray Goose Shaft's embedded Photo

A heavy, long bow is easier to shoot more consistently.

From: Dao
Date: 13-Feb-18

...when I carry my "short" bows from my "bow room" to outside, I don't have to worry about navigating through narrow corridors, stairways, and multiple doors.

...I hit walls and door frames with my longbow... :P


From: Longtrad
Date: 13-Feb-18

It would be easier to talk about limb length than bow length for a performance comparison.

From: SdDiamondArcher
Date: 13-Feb-18

We can go by limb length. But isn’t limb length a direct correlation to if a bow is longer or shorter? I’m just trying to start a friendly discussion, like learning as much as I can

From: Longtrad
Date: 13-Feb-18

well you could have a short bow with a longer working limb and shorter riser, and a long bow with a long riser and shorter working limb.

For sake of conversation I think a rule of thumb is shorter limbs are faster and longer limbs are smoother.

From: GF
Date: 13-Feb-18

Interesting to see your POV on that.... I started with a Howatt Hunter at 62", and it's still my shortest bow (I'm up to three 62"s, a 64" and a 65"), so I think of the lengths you're talking about as being remarkably petite. Even my son's Bear Repro (by Nemah) is 60"...

(I'm only 64" myself, so a 66" LB seems kind of like a whopper to me!)

FWIW, I never had any issues whatsoever hunting with the Hunter (Shocker there, eh?), and more recently I've been getting interested in longer bows... Still not sure I'm ready to commit to a girl who's taller than I am, though.... LOL

Overall, though, if you want "easy shooting and forgiving", I'd say go long, and get as beefy a riser as you're willing to carry on a hunt.....

From: StikBow
Date: 13-Feb-18

None of my longbows are in the 50’s. 60-62-64 and 66 inchers. The longer bows draw smoother with less pinch. They are more pleasant for long days on the range. My opinion

From: JusPassin Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 13-Feb-18

Many of the "old timers" who shot back in the 50's or 60's think anything less than 64" is ridiculously short.

From: SdDiamondArcher
Date: 13-Feb-18

I was thinking more along the lines of recurves, but I guess you long bow guys can be involved! I have a 68” longbow sitting at home waitin for a string. Not sure if I want to shoot it or pole vault with it

From: TGbow
Date: 13-Feb-18

I have a Bear Black Panther that is 52 inches long. Real good shootin bow. It is stable for a 52 inch bow but I have to admit that when I shoot it a while and then shoot my 58 or 62 inch bows, I can tell a big difference in string angle. Finger pinch dont bother me but the longer bows are certainly more pleasant to shoot for me.

From: foxbo
Date: 14-Feb-18

I have recurves from 48" to 68". I own longbows from 48" to 68". My favorite recurve right now, is a Rocky Mountain Recurve which is 52". I own many longbows and enjoy them all. If I had to pick just one, it would be one of my Elburgs which are 48" to 68". :)

I don't believe length has as much to do with it as bow weight and arrow combination being matched.

Any bow and arrow combination will do well if the equipment is matched and the archer has good form.

From: 3Ditional
Date: 14-Feb-18

Depending on the type of terrain you hunt in. If you hunt in a brushy area or from a ground blind, you may be better off with the shortest bow you can handle well. If you hunt in a less brushy area, you may do well with either a short or longer bow.

If you're talking targets, a longer bow would be more stable.

Ultimately, it's the person shooting the bow that can determine what works best for them.

From: camodave
Date: 14-Feb-18

For me bow length is just another of those personal preference factors. When I started shooting seriously about 9 years ago, I had a thing for bows that were 66 inches. Today one of my favourite bows is a 52 inch Kodiak Magnum. And I shoot two bows that are 69 inches long. My other 25 bows measure somewhere in between.


From: Renewed Archer
Date: 14-Feb-18

Dave, you should mention you have big fingers and a long draw, too! Amazing you can shoot that KM.

I agree with Dave, it seems to be personal preference. But that personal part is based on many things. Like, how tall are you? I've found that I love shooting 66" bows, but anything longer and I start worrying about hitting the ground with the tip. Not to mention doors and overhead lights. If I were 2" taller (as I used to be before compression fractures) I would shoot 68" bows. It's sort of like asking how high a chair should be. Your feet should reach the floor, and it should be comfortable. But a lot of heights can be comfortable.

Generally I've found that the longer the bow, the easier it is to shoot accurately... whether or not it's smoother. If pinpoint accuracy from longer distances is your goal, in my limited experience I would say, shoot the longest bow that's comfortable to shoot. If you shoot shorter distances in close quarters and don't need to shoot a small spot each time, use a shorter bow.

On the other hand, a shorter bow will teach you to shoot better. You will have to improve your form to be as accurate with a shorter bow as a longer bow.

Those are just generalities. I have a 66" 1962 Polar that's 33# at my draw. It' one of the best shooting bows I have. Recently I got a 56" 1962 Polar that's the same weight at my draw, but rated much lower. And guess what? It shoots as accurately, and faster, than the 66" bow. They are both fun to shoot.

I think it's great to have bows of many lengths! In fact I use that as an excuse to get more bows. Works for me.

From: Babbling Bob Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Feb-18

My two fastest bows are a 52-inch and a 64-inch bows. Limb and riser/limb design effects I'm sure.

Both are my smoothest drawing bows too.

From: Red Dogs Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Feb-18

SD - I didn't see you mention your draw length. I think that influences how a particular bow/bow length shoots and performs as much as anything. I have a shorter (26-27") draw and don't find short bows difficult to shoot. Lots of folks with longer draws do. Performance wise, as mentioned, a lot of things about an individual bow may vary and affect performance, but IMO, generally shorter bows (relatively speaking) perform better with a shorter draw length. That said, I like shooting my longbows (62-64")as much as any, but not sure I get the maximum performance out of them. But enough.

From: gluetrap
Date: 14-Feb-18

there are 5ft guys that shoot 68" bows ground hunting and tree stand hunting with ease. there are women that shoot bows with their feet standing on their hands.. soo... for joe average who shoots factory bows.. the longer the smoother. now if you .. like me, cant chew bubble gum and walk at the same time a short bow is nice . if I had a 30" draw I would not shoot anything shorter than 64" exploit your advantage. the advantage in performance for short bows (if any ) is for the short draw guys. otherwise it is in maneuverability only. jmo..ron

From: Bowmania Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Feb-18

Compounders shoot a release, because their bows are short.

Oly guys shoot 70ish inches.

It's all about string angle. You shoot that 36 inch (I don't know how long they are these days) compound with fingers and I'm betting you have an inch more string on your fingers than a 70 inch Oly bow at full draw. Think about getting your fingers off that string. Byron couldn't shoot that compound with fingers.

SD, your fairly new and going out west elk hunting. DON'T get a short bow. All these guys that are saying they shoot short bows so well fall in to two catagories. THe 17.4 accuracy guys and the really good shots that have a perfect release. My last elk was 28 yards (64 inches). The one before that was 45 with a 66 inch bow. Twenty yards out west is a pretty short shot.

Oh, and when it comes to the 20 yards at the Lancaster shoot, how many do you think were shooting under 68-70? I've killed a few deer out of a treestand with 70. You just can't get away from that string angle.


From: The Whittler
Date: 14-Feb-18

It's like asking if you like white or black. You'll get every color in the rainbow. Everyone has their own version and your not going to change them.

Ask an Olympic/BB shooter and see what you get. It's basically what you want it for.

From: Live2hunt
Date: 14-Feb-18

I have a 30" draw and find any bow under 60" difficult to shoot. I have a bear Grizzly that when I draw my neighbor, who watch's me at times, always thinks either the string is going to pop off the bow or the limbs are going to break right off. It's just not a comfortable bow for me to shoot because of how short it is. I stay with the 62" bow for me. I think your draw length let's you know what to use for bow length.

From: Cameron Root
Date: 14-Feb-18

Oh man

From: crookedstix
Date: 14-Feb-18


It's really quite simple, if you just follow the laws I've established here in New Bowmania:

1) Longbows don't count; only recurves.

2) Any recurve longer than 64 inches is what we call a Target Bomber; sort of the archery equivalent of a B-52. These are illegal here.

3) Any recurve shorter than 58" is what we call an Evil Dwarf Bow. These are even more illegal, if such a thing can be said.

4) Any recurve shorter than 52" falls into the Chuckie category--very short, and very evil. You may shoot one, but only if you're standing inside a pentagram, and reciting Latin backwards as you release.

This basically leaves you free to choose anything between the lengths of 58" and 62", and of course that's where all the best bows fall anyway. Within this group, I encourage you to find one that was also made north of Oregon, west of Idaho, and prior to 1964.

I hope this clears things up you!

From: Pdiddly
Date: 15-Feb-18

Hmmm...I can tell crookedstix must have sold his 56" BP Golden Crusader as the limit for an Evil Dwarf bow is now back up to 58". It was also lowered two years ago when a 56" EDB Browning Explorer was all the rage.

I have observed that the size limits in New Bowmania tend to yo-yo around depending on His Royal Highness' suddenl tendency to fawn over an toxophilic opportunity from a foreign land, like a recent 66" Firedrake that somehow beat the Target Bomber limit and is now the King's favourite.

ANYWAY....I digress!

Length is not as relevant as limb and riser design. Longer is somewhat smoother but can be a PITA to carry through the bush.

I hunted with a 62" Chek-Mate Hunter last year.

The year before my bow was a 56" Browning was fine for me out to 30 metres.

A 54" bow like the Super Necedah, Browning Safari/Nomad or the Howatt Diablo/Hi- Speed is very smooth and not objectionable to shoot. Lots of people hunt with those models.

The 52" Kodiak Magnums and Browning Nomad Stalker are also smooth with no pinch for me.

And I don't have to be exorcised after taking a few shots with one!!

My advice would be to try and see for yourself.

From: Linecutter
Date: 16-Feb-18

A lot depends on bow design and your length of pull. I draw 30 inches, I have tried many different short bow 58" and under. they are more critical for me to shoot due to finger placement, finger pressure on the string, and bow hand pressure. The limbs on shorter bows are almost parallel when I am full draw, they stack bad for me and any little change in draw length can make a big change in poundage when at full draw because of the stacking. Shorter bows "to me" are for people with a max draw of 28" preferably 27 inches and under. The limbs will flex more for their shorter draw and impart more energy because even with their short draw they will be working more of the limb than with longer bows. Again though it does have to do with limb design. DANNY

From: MStyles
Date: 16-Feb-18

Crookedstix, you crack me up! “New Bowmania”!

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