Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Gamemaster Jet, Jack Howard Recurve?

Messages posted to thread:
MedicineBow 15-Nov-09
Viper 15-Nov-09
GLF 15-Nov-09
Andyman 15-Nov-09
oldbow 15-Nov-09
Viper 15-Nov-09
oldbow 15-Nov-09
McK 15-Nov-09
oldbow 15-Nov-09
Phil Magistro 15-Nov-09
Cody R 15-Nov-09
bowdoc 15-Nov-09
Phil Magistro 15-Nov-09
Phil Magistro 15-Nov-09
Andyman 15-Nov-09
3arrows 15-Nov-09
grizzley21 15-Nov-09
Phil Magistro 15-Nov-09
Phil Magistro 15-Nov-09
oldbow 15-Nov-09
Phil Magistro 15-Nov-09
Frisky 15-Nov-09
Kelly 15-Nov-09
Frisky 15-Nov-09
barebow626 16-Nov-09
Manfromthepast 16-Nov-09
high country 16-Nov-09
kodiaklectomy 14-Jan-10
From: MedicineBow
Date: 15-Nov-09




"I'm kicking myself in the arse now,"

Me too! I actually owned one then sold it about five years ago. Excellent bow. Used ones are pricey nowadays, start saving. :^) Didn't save any pics, sorry.

From: Viper
Date: 15-Nov-09




Hit -

They are really nice shooting bows. Well made with classic lines. One of the reasons for their speed claims (which were accurate, btw) was that Jack built them to handle relatively light arrows and made his own strings. I forgot what they were made of, but IIRC it wasn't dacron.

Even with dacron, my 1974 57# GM Jet would throw a 2114 (which he recommended) at speeds matching most of today's better customs.

Also, IIRC, his GM, (not the Jet) had a metal rod in the riser for added rigidity. Yup, old Jack had a few tricks up his sleeve.

Viper out.

From: GLF
Date: 15-Nov-09




I bought one of his last run bows in the late 80's or early 90's, of course he had 2 or 3 more final runs after that,lol, but anyhow it was one fine shooting bow. It didn't handle heavy arrows that well but then it wasn't designed to. He suggested 2213's for me. Jack didn't leave anything to chance when building bows, he even spine tested lamns and his glass and paired everything up. Lots of luck finding a shooting model Gamemaster Jet for sale. Actual Donnie Assenheimer copied Jacks design for his bows even to the grip except he built the recurves up a bit to accomodate heavier arrows. He's since changed the grip tho. Not sure about his limbs now a days.

From: Andyman
Date: 15-Nov-09




my brother has a few of the Jack Howard bows- he loves them, unbeliveable Brazilian rose wood in the handles- they shoot every bit as fast as my new Widows- very stable accurate bows-

From: oldbow
Date: 15-Nov-09




The Gamemaster Jet was made by Damon Howatt for Jack to put his logo on and sell unless I am mistaken; that's why the Jets look so much like the Damon Howatt early Hunter Models. A few months back there were several of these Game Master Jets for sale on Ebay; they were all "wall hangers" due to the fact that they were ruined from having Fast Flight Strings put on them so if you by chance happen to have or obtain a Gamemaster Jet, made sure that you don't use Fast Flight Strings or you will have a Wall Hanger to look at instead of a shooter.

From: Viper
Date: 15-Nov-09




old (and Hit) -

Yes, you are both sorta mistaken. Jack offered a "Howard Hunting Bow" in addition to the GM and GMJ, at a considerably lower price. That one WAS a DH Hunter with Jack's decal on it. Remember, back then decal swapping was a fairly common practice. He personally made all the Jets and the regular Gamemasters.

Again, not sure about what string materials he used, but I don't think they came with FF. Back then (70's to early 80's), the only alternative was Kevlar, and most of us figured out pretty quickly that that wasn't the way to go. IMHO, it's a Dacron only bow.

Viper out.

From: oldbow
Date: 15-Nov-09




Another piece of advice I'll add if you score on a Jack Howard bow, if you find one and it comes from another state or area or from close by, I'd wait several days or a month before I tried stringing the bow due to woods in the bow drawing moisture and expanding and or shrinking; I always wait several days after buying a bow now before attempting to string it and then I use a string about two to three inches longer than the bow requires in order to let the laminations start stretching, like they will end up after they full length string is attached;

I feel like those old laminations are kind of like my body, they need to be stretched before being put to work.

This area where I live is high in moisture content in the air so I figure it's better to be safe than sorry concerning letting the old bows draw in moisture.

Whatever you do, don't get a bow in the mail and drag it out of the box, string it up and start pulling on it or you might have a broken bow.

And don't use the across the leg stringing method either as that method has ruined more bows that you can count.

If you don't have a pocket Bow Stringer and your wife has those nice wooden straight backed Kitchen Chairs then place your bow on towels on the chair backs, push down on the bow handle until you or someone else can ship the string on, just make sure the chair seats are facing each other when you do this and don't let the wife catch you.

From: McK
Date: 15-Nov-09




Hit-or-Miss, I have a Jet I purchased from Jack in 96, 64# at 28". It is a fine smooth shooting bow with plenty of mass in the riser. He supplied a string made of a material he preferred, believe it was what he referred to as an earlier "strechy" dacron, white in color. He didnt think low stretch strings were appropriate. He stated that he personally made every jet, (not the hunters). He had a catalog,still have it somewhere, with a lot of info in it. Dont shoot it much anymore as it is heavier than I currently prefer, but it was very fast, compared through my chrono against many other custom bows. Also need to use a stringer with cups at both ends, get/make one thet fits the tips correctly. Jack had many strongly held opinions and was big on testing things. McK

From: oldbow
Date: 15-Nov-09




Hit-or-Miss, here's a story that will make you sad, I am sure. back in the early 1990's a Archery Shop at Mountain Home Arkansas was having a Going Out Of Business sale, and guess what they had for sale? A Jack Howard Gamemaster Jet Bow for $150 and I passed it up because it was a sixty pounder and I wasn't into that poundage back then and that was about the time that you could but Super Kodiak or most any other top on the line hunting bow for 20 to 30 dollars at Pawn Shops so that made the Gamemaster quite overpriced for the time. I would bet that Old Bow is still around Mountain Home if one could did it out of the wood work.

From: Phil Magistro
Date: 15-Nov-09




I had many conversations with Jack prior to his passing. I also put together a few web pages of his bows and some for when he was selling his business. Here's the link -

http://pmagistro.com/bows/gamemaster/cbphotos.html?image=cbphoto01.jpg

From: Cody R
Date: 15-Nov-09




Mr. Sackett I am not trying to start anything.. But I have no clue where you get your info.. Jack Howard Archery is still for sale.. Ms. Dorothy (Wife)is still trying to sell it to someone.... So maybe once agin these great bows will be sold down the road.. I have saw a few of Jack Howards bows and shot one or two of them there some very very fine bows and very well made..

Cody

From: bowdoc
Date: 15-Nov-09




oh yeah DH made bows for Jack he had to buy like 50 of them at a time.As Cody mentioned the business is or was at least up for sale a short time ago.bd

From: Phil Magistro
Date: 15-Nov-09




After Jack died I talked with his wife. She was getting advice from a number of folks on what to do with the business. I know a couple of people that were interested in buying it but either the price was too high or the cost of moving all the machinery was too much. The last that I heard - and it's been quite a while - was that Dorothy was thinking about selling off the machinery piece by piece. In that sense it wouldn't have been worth nearly as much as a complete package.

From: Phil Magistro
Date: 15-Nov-09




Sorry for being out of synch here but I'm reading these posts and it's bringing back some fond memories. I spent may hours talking with Jack for the two years prior to his death.

The material that Jack used in his strings wasn't B-50 or fast flight. It was a stretchier material. Charlie Lamb on TradGang was told the material by Jack and did sell strings for a while. Don't know if he still does or if he's still on TradGang - haven't been there in some time.

There are a few articles written by Jack on TradGang. Just search on Jack Howard in the Article and Stories section.

Rich Lopez bought the remaining unfinished bow from Jack's wife, finished them and put them on eBay. Don't know if they sold.

The Gamemaster (original) was 66" long. The newer Classic Gamemaster is 64". I've owned a few of each. The Classic Gamemaster has a fairly square, blocky handle. It has a peice of steel rod in the black plastic section of the handle for added stability.

The handle on the Jet is the best of any recurve I've ever held. I kept one Jet - my favorite one and the one in the photos with the light spot on the lower part of the riser. It's a tremendous bow. Fast, stable and beautiful.

Jack put a feather rest on his bows. He made the rests and they were, like most of what he did, special. He used six feathers - 3 of each wing so that each three leaned to the middle.

From: Andyman
Date: 15-Nov-09




the strings were pre dacron, endless loop stretch polyester-he was adamant about them and he made them himself putting wax under the loop servings. He considered the Jet the best bow, the classic was his favorite bow. The classic had the metal rod in the riser at an angle so not coming out of the shelf, vermilion wood risers in these..The Jet was all brazilian rose wood with no rod.

From: 3arrows
Date: 15-Nov-09




Jack used VEE polyester fiber for his strings,made before the prefex polyester,clamed it was faster.Have a large spool if anyone is interested.

From: grizzley21 Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 15-Nov-09




i have a gamemaster jet. f-877, 60lbs, last edition, made in may 1996. the riser is bubinga not rosewood like the older ones.black and white limbs, if i remeber it was a pain to string up, you needed a special stringer from mr howard. yes it has a feather rest and a small leather side plate. also the riser is very beefy. sorry, no way to take a photo,

From: Phil Magistro
Date: 15-Nov-09




Sackett, That was mine if it was on the cover of TBM.

Here's a photo of three different Jets. The one in the middle was all dark rosewood. The one that I kept is the one on the left with a stripe of vermillion in the riser.

From: Phil Magistro
Date: 15-Nov-09

Phil Magistro's embedded Photo



Sackett, That was mine if it was on the cover of TBM.

Here's a photo of three different Jets. The one in the middle was all dark rosewood. The one that I kept is the one on the left with a stripe of vermillion in the riser.

From: oldbow
Date: 15-Nov-09




Boy they sure look like Damon Howatt Hunters.

Doug Kittredge sold Jack Howard bows and in his Catalog I saw nothing that stated that Jack Howard personally hand made the Gamemaster Jet; the catalog states that Jack personally made the Gamemaster but not the Jet Model.

Anyone know for sure if Damon Howatt was contracted to make the Gamemaster Jets?

From: Phil Magistro
Date: 15-Nov-09




I do straight from Jack himself. Jack made all of the Gamemasters, Gamemaster Classics and Jets. It also says the same in the Jet catalog. DH did make some "Howard Hunting Bows" for Jack but I believe Jack told me that he he got the semi-finished bows from DH and finished them.

From: Frisky
Date: 15-Nov-09

Frisky's embedded Photo



Compare the risers to my Hunter. They do look similar. So, maybe Jack copied the Hunter riser design? I believe Bob Savage told me Jack Howard taught him how to "spine" glass, as GLF mentioned above. That was the Howard influence in the Deathmaster design. GLF is right on that Jack didn't leave much to chance with his bows.

Joe

From: Kelly Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 15-Nov-09




There might be similarities in the handle shape but so are a lot of other bows made today-they resemble other shapes.

The Jack Howard Gamemaster Jet was designed and put on the market before any Damon Howatt Hunters were built with a similar shaped handle.

Similarity is handle shape is where it ends. Everything else about the Gamemaster Jet is unique to Jack Howard.

The Assenheimer takedown was designed after the Gamemaster Jet with the help of Roger Rothhaar. Roger broke the limb on his Gamemaster Jet so with Donnies woodworking expertise and Roger Tool and Dye making expertise they went about copying the Jack Howard Gamemaster Jet limb design and used the handle from Roger's broken Gamemaster Jet to mount the first set of limbs on. Later they designed the handle which was also very similar to the Jet's. Since then Donnie has changed both the handle shape/limb angles and limb design. So much so that it no longer looks like nor shoots like a Jack Howard Gamemaster Jet.

Jack Howard made the Gamemaster(66" bow) model first. Then had to design a new bow because of too many limb failures in the Gamemaster, hence the Gamemaster Jet(also 66" bow) was born and was his greatest acheivement. After trying to retire/sell his bow business for over 20 years he designed the Gamemaster Classic which incorporated the original Gamemaster handle(Jack had 100's of these vermillion blanks already cut to shape and there still are nearly 100 left) and the Gamemaster Jet limbs(which were shorter than the original Gamemaster limbs hence the resulting 64" bow.

Not only was he running out of Brazilian Rosewood but also glass. He used the old tear strip glass(also known as urec glass) so both these reason percipitated the end to the Gamemaster Jet and the birth of the Gamemaster Classic since its shorter length enabled him to use up the lower spine weights of glass that he had left.

If a bow is fast it is fast no matter the weight of the arrow. If it is the fastest with light arrows it is the fastest with heavy arrows, too. My 67# Gamemaster Jet would routinely shoot 650 grain arrows 200-204 feet per second. I once shot it through a chrono at the Moses Lake shoot with 550 grain arrows at 213 fps. Also, that same year I shot a 70# Fedora 560 Hunter one piece with those same 550 grain arows at 207 fps. This was a fingers pull through release which is always faster than ones normal hunting type release.

Virtually everyone of the Gamemaster Jet's had that small piece of African Vermillion. The bow in the middle of Phil's pictures was the only two striped(white accent stripe-all Jets had 3 of them)and solid rosewood Gamemaster Jet I've ever seen. Asked Jack about it one time and he couldn't remember making it. Then I told him the serial number and at a later time he told me it was custom made that way for a good friend/customer who wanted a Jet that was unique/different.

Sackett is correct that most of the machines were custom made by Jack and for specific bow making purposes. Anyone that knows Jack Howard bows knows that every bow of a particlar model is identical in shape to another of that same model. So much so that only the laminations of maple and glass thicnesses are the only differences. He even had a machine to custom shape the tip overlays and string grooves.

Jack Howard was the only bowyer I know of that pre-cut and shaped his handles, maple lams and glass lams before glue up. Afer glue up all he had to do was run the bow through his duplicater to finish the shape. Plus, since the bottom limb of the Gamemaster Jet was shorter than the top limb he had to know which limb was which before glue-up.

From: Frisky
Date: 15-Nov-09




Thanks Kelly! It looks like the Hunter riser is a copy of the Jet! You are correct that the fastest bow with light arrows will be the fastest with heavy arrows. I first got interested in the Deathmaster when Steve Gorr wrote, back in 79', that he'd never seen a compound that could outshoot the Gamemaster Jet or Deathmaster in flight shooting competition, provided heavy arrows were used.

Joe

From: barebow626
Date: 16-Nov-09




Arent these bows truly works of art?......i also love bill stewarts multicam bows......these guys were just such good craftsmen

From: Manfromthepast Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 16-Nov-09




I have a few Jets and one Classic. I shot my 62# Jet with a Jack Howard stretchy string in comparison with my 65# Black Widow MA equiped with fast flight. Both bows were within 1-3 fps of each other in the high 180's at 9 grains per pound. Draw was 28" and anchor/hold was deliberate. All of my Jets seem to be in the high 180's at 9 grains per pound with one of Jack's strings. I find the stability of these bows to be even more impressive than the speed. Personally, I shoot a Jet more accurately than any other bow I have ever owned.

From: high country
Date: 16-Nov-09




3arrows, I sent a message about the spool of Vee. I have a "few" of Jack's works of art!

From: kodiaklectomy
Date: 14-Jan-10




BTW, the bows I did not buy. Mrs Howard sent them to me, they where redone/repaired, sold on Ebay and the money went to her just for the record!

Rich Lopez





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