Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Self bow shootability?

Messages posted to thread:
Arrowbuster 28-Feb-23
Don T. Lewis 28-Feb-23
Runner 28-Feb-23
bentstick54 28-Feb-23
tradslinger 28-Feb-23
Jeff Durnell 01-Mar-23
Steve Milbocker 01-Mar-23
Viper 01-Mar-23
George Tsoukalas 01-Mar-23
dgb 01-Mar-23
Will tell 01-Mar-23
tradslinger 01-Mar-23
Michael Schwister 01-Mar-23
Runner 01-Mar-23
bentstick54 01-Mar-23
Jeff Durnell 01-Mar-23
Bjrogg 01-Mar-23
Jeff Durnell 01-Mar-23
Steve Milbocker 01-Mar-23
bentstick54 01-Mar-23
George Tsoukalas 01-Mar-23
Arrowbuster 01-Mar-23
MStyles 01-Mar-23
Runner 01-Mar-23
Steve Milbocker 01-Mar-23
Steve Milbocker 02-Mar-23
Steve Milbocker 02-Mar-23
Pappy 1952 02-Mar-23
PEARL DRUMS 02-Mar-23
Bjrogg 02-Mar-23
Dan Jones 02-Mar-23
PEARL DRUMS 02-Mar-23
Runner 02-Mar-23
grouchy 62 02-Mar-23
Dan Jones 02-Mar-23
Jeff Durnell 02-Mar-23
Dan Jones 02-Mar-23
Arrowbuster 02-Mar-23
Bjrogg 02-Mar-23
bentstick54 02-Mar-23
Altitude Sickness 03-Mar-23
Arvin 16-Mar-23
Burnsie 16-Mar-23
bugsy 49 16-Mar-23
bentstick54 16-Mar-23
Jeff Durnell 16-Mar-23
Bjrogg 16-Mar-23
Bjrogg 16-Mar-23
Jeff Durnell 16-Mar-23
bodymanbowyer 16-Mar-23
Bjrogg 16-Mar-23
bodymanbowyer 16-Mar-23
Bjrogg 17-Mar-23
bradsmith2010santafe 17-Mar-23
Steve Milbocker 17-Mar-23
Arvin 22-Mar-23
PEARL DRUMS 22-Mar-23
George Tsoukalas 22-Mar-23
Arvin 22-Mar-23
George Tsoukalas 22-Mar-23
Bjrogg 22-Mar-23
Bjrogg 22-Mar-23
George Tsoukalas 22-Mar-23
Steve Milbocker 22-Mar-23
ottertails 22-Mar-23
Arvin 22-Mar-23
carpenter 23-Mar-23
Arvin 23-Mar-23
wooddamon1 24-Mar-23
From: Arrowbuster
Date: 28-Feb-23




I have built a few selfbows. They have not been beautiful works of art and definitely have not burned my chronograph up. But they truly hit where I look and they are oh so quiet. Has anyone else had these same results?? I am just curious if I am delusional. But whether I am or not I'm gonna keep whittling on them because I truly love it.

From: Don T. Lewis
Date: 28-Feb-23




It sounds like your on the right path to me Bill. Enjoy the journey…

From: Runner
Date: 28-Feb-23




Sure but you can burn up a chrony with a selfbow if you want to chase that.

From: bentstick54
Date: 28-Feb-23




Just depends on what you want. I’ve made some down right ugly selfbows, and some just bare bones, no frills basic ones. Of the ones that survived, all are shootable, decent bows, little hand shock, average speed, and will kill a deer. That’s my main goal. Nothing delusional about it. Or you can chase speed, flight records, beauty, or any combination you want to. That’s what’s nice about building them, you can push for whatever you want to get out of them. It’s all about self satisfaction.

From: tradslinger
Date: 28-Feb-23




I love shooting mine because they do shoot good and are out right fun to shoot. At the ranges that I plan to hunt anyways, as I did this season, I don't see any problems. They will do their part easily if I do mine. I just wish that I had built one 40 years ago or earlier. I probably would have never had a need for a laminated bow. Besides, making one is sheer fun.

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 01-Mar-23




Yes, a good selfbow is silent, balanced, forgiving, durable, and shoots where ya look with authority. They can certainly be pretty too, but don't have to be.

From: Steve Milbocker
Date: 01-Mar-23




While I have taken a few deer with and have shot selfbows pretty accurately, they have lead me to snap shoot and that’s a road I don’t want to go back down. I was always told not to hold them at full draw for any length of time. Always feeling like they were about explode. Even still, they are archery in its purist form to me.

From: Viper
Date: 01-Mar-23




Arrow -

Shoot a self bow and a modern laminated recurve back to back - then you tell me.

Viper out.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 01-Mar-23




Yes, Arrowbuster, I have had those results. I've been making and shooting them since the early 90s. I love selfbows and that's the crux of the matter.

Jawge

From: dgb
Date: 01-Mar-23




I have a bunch of them. I tend to shoot production bows a tad better but not much better - and not enough to worry about at my shooting distances. Unlike yours, mine are not works of art! But I still love making and shooting them!

From: Will tell
Date: 01-Mar-23




Out to 20 yards I’m pretty deadly with a self bow. I’m more comfortable shooting 15 yards. They are a primitive weapon and are slower compared to the laminated recurves and longbows. I’ll take a ugly self bow over a pretty recurve. I hunt with recurves, longbows and self bows. I’d like to kill a deer with a self bow off the ground before I’m done hunting.

From: tradslinger
Date: 01-Mar-23




Ah but then, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and mine are beautiful to me no matter what anyone else says. I made two risers this year and put DAS limbs on them, they shot good and felt good but I still go back to my Selfbows. I don't put a quiver on mine, just my left hand and an arrow.

From: Michael Schwister Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 01-Mar-23




Over time your bows will improve as your skills improve. After 32 years my osage selfbows shoot identically to custom fiberglass bows of the same design and limb profile. Same specs, same arrow, same chronogragh, rotating back and forth after 1 arrow on the same target

From: Runner
Date: 01-Mar-23




It's a myth that selfbows have to be shot quickly.

If you think there's a huge difference between a good selfbow of the same profile as a modern laminated bow, you haven't shot a good selfbow.

From: bentstick54
Date: 01-Mar-23




Runner x2

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 01-Mar-23




What he said.

I've tested and compared selfbows, backed bows, and fiberglass/wood bows of various combos, the same weight, same front profiles, same side profiles, same cross section(as similar as possible considering material differences), all shooting the same arrows. Glad I did.

I suggest others do likewise before making assumptions.

From: Bjrogg
Date: 01-Mar-23




I tend to agree with Runner, but I don’t have a lot of experience shooting production bows. The couple I have shot seemed very similar to the Selfbows I make now.

Whenever anyone shoots my bows the first thing they say is. I can’t believe how quite it is.

There is more to making a good Selfbow than just doing a little whittling.

There is a lot to figure out and experiment with.

I’m sure they aren’t as forgiving to improper handling as glass bows. If taken care of properly though they should last a lifetime.

Being overdrawn, left strung for very long periods of time. Not talking about a day hunting. Strung backwards, even just not using the proper technique stringing them can all be the slow or sudden death of them

Bjrogg

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 01-Mar-23




There's not a modern production bow thats even remotely similar to the selfbows I/we make, but I think I know what you meant Brian.

From: Steve Milbocker
Date: 01-Mar-23




Runner, actually Ive owned selfbows built by three very highly regarded bowyers so I’m quite aware how nice these bows can shoot. However I still can’t bring myself to hold at full draw like I try to do with my glass bows. When something like this gets ingrained it’s quite difficult for me to overcome.

From: bentstick54
Date: 01-Mar-23




There is differences in species of wood, and the only experience I have is with Osage. Due to my tillering, all have taken 1-1/4” to 1- 1/2” of set, but have not increased with age. I shoot a lot of 3d, and have no problem holding them at full draw for as long as it takes to settle in to where everything feels right. This could be anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds or possibly more. When using them I leave them strung until I’m done for the day. When hunting I string them at the truck, and unstrung them when I get back. YMMV.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 01-Mar-23




Comparisons don't matter to me. I just love shooting selfbows. Jawge

From: Arrowbuster
Date: 01-Mar-23




I really think that selfbows are a lot like the Jeep slogan. If I have to explain it you wouldn’t understand. Its a self bow thing.

Been working on a hickory bow tonight, first one for me. Not sure how it’s going to like this Ky humidity.

From: MStyles
Date: 01-Mar-23




There are few things that are as satisfying as shooting a self bow or board bow you made with your own hands. Especially if it stays together.

From: Runner
Date: 01-Mar-23




Steve, no doubt as long as you're not saying it's true that they are about to break.

People with that fear should maybe get a sinewed bow to see if that gives peace of mind.

From: Steve Milbocker
Date: 01-Mar-23

Steve Milbocker's embedded Photo



I never said that it was true they were going to break. I said I didn’t like the feeling that they were going to break. I’ve had a couple not make it through the tillering process but the only one I’ve ever had break that I’d been shooting awhile was one I foolishly decided to cut a little closer to center. She was a snakey Osage with western diamond back skins and bone tips. 20 coats of Tru oil. Prettiest bow I ever built, not that I’ve built that many, but I could have cried!! Truth is my first bow I built in 2010 is still going strong but I can’t bring myself to hold it at full draw for too long!

From: Steve Milbocker
Date: 02-Mar-23

Steve Milbocker's embedded Photo



Even though I can’t seem to stop myself from snap shooting them I indeed find them very shootable

From: Steve Milbocker
Date: 02-Mar-23

Steve Milbocker's embedded Photo



From: Pappy 1952
Date: 02-Mar-23




Yep, shoot them all the time and have for years, they will do their part if I do mine, I love making them, shooting them and hunting with them. Pappy

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 02-Mar-23




I love arrow flingers of all makes and varieties. But, self bows hold a special place for me. Each is its own personality and no two are ever alike.

From: Bjrogg
Date: 02-Mar-23




That is so true Chris.

Not even if you are trying. They just are all different individuals.

Bjrogg

From: Dan Jones
Date: 02-Mar-23




I don't know which provides a greater sense of satisfaction - shooting a bow that you made with your own hands or having a big river smallmouth bass slam into a surface plug that you carved and finished from a piece of scrap wood.

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 02-Mar-23




Now you're pushing me in a corner Mr. Jones :)

From: Runner
Date: 02-Mar-23




Satisfying for sure but it doesn't take much of a plug to fool a bass.

From: grouchy 62
Date: 02-Mar-23




To answer your question. yes you are delusional and should seek professional help!

From: Dan Jones
Date: 02-Mar-23




Runner: Which is the more intelligent creature - the Susquehanna River smallmouth bass or the sorry specimens of Homo sapiens who have polluted the river to the point where the amount of fecal bacteria in the bass's habitat is 10 times the so-called "safe" level?

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 02-Mar-23




Well fish crap in their OWN water, so...

:^)

I once finished a topwater plug on a slow 3-11 shift at work, and went straight to the lake afterwards and caught a big hybrid striped bass. Paint was still soft but I couldn't resist. It felt good, but not nearly as good as taking a deer with a homemade selfbow and wooden arrows.

From: Dan Jones
Date: 02-Mar-23




Jeff Durnell - Fish and other riverine creatures would be forever grateful if Homo Sapiens defecated in their own living space. Or at least spent more of their time and considerable wealth to pay for cleaning up the mess.

From: Arrowbuster
Date: 02-Mar-23




I love that this thread is still going. Grouchy I think you are right! But I have hopes this hickory bow is gonna shoot 170 so damn the torpedos and full speed ahead!!! I will go to the shrink when I am am not able to use my draw knife.

From: Bjrogg
Date: 02-Mar-23




If he’s a good shrink he will prescribe a draw knife. It’s good therapy.

Bjrogg

From: bentstick54
Date: 02-Mar-23




I have to agree with Bjrogg, the best part of building and shooting selfbows is the therapy they provide.

From: Altitude Sickness
Date: 03-Mar-23




It’s very good for people to work the mind and hands at the same time. Solving problems and using the left and right part of the brain. That’s what the process does for me anyway.

From: Arvin
Date: 16-Mar-23




As far as speed. Well I have built them in the 180s FPS consistently. Most 50# glass bows don’t do any better. Quiet yes. Kill game as well yes. But for me making them is as satisfying as shooting them. I haven’t shot a selfbow arrow as far as the modern longbow record but I have with a bamboo back on one. Yes I built a selfbow and then backed it with boo and retillered . Probably not required but they broke records that way. Both unlimited and 50# class. Don’t underestimate selfbows that’s are made good.

From: Burnsie
Date: 16-Mar-23




I am still a newbie at the self bow game, making lots of mistakes and learning from them. But as a few have already mentioned, its good therapy for me. I can go to the shop after dinner and spend 3- 4 hours straight chasing a ring and never look up. I am not thinking about any of the other junk in the world today, just diligently making shavings carefully exposing that ring - it is calming and therapeutic - My wife thinks I'm crazy sitting out there making a big pile of yellow chips on the floor.

From: bugsy 49
Date: 16-Mar-23




It has helped to keep my winter time sanity for past 20 years. I averaged better than 10 a year from all types of bow wood. Broke my share. Made some sub average bows, some average, some good, and few excellent. One of the last sinew backed Osage bows I made shot equal to a Howatt Hunter hi speed glass bow through a chrony. My friend owned the Howatt, and was in shock at the results.

From: bentstick54
Date: 16-Mar-23




My wife thinks I’m crazy anyway, so it gives me therapy and relief from her at the same time LOL.

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 16-Mar-23




I was out in the shop one day and the wife came out and said she was going to the store and kissed me goodbye. Then she said, 'What are you chewing on?" A deer tendon, I said, to tie on these feathers. "Gross. There's something wrong with you." Lol.

From: Bjrogg
Date: 16-Mar-23




My wife sometimes asks me. Don’t you have to go to the shop or something?lol

One of the advantages of getting older. When we were younger she would ask me do you have to go to work? Love that woman

It is definitely where I go when I need to clear my mind. I might as well be in a different world. I have several hobbies that take me there. I really think everyone should.

Bjrogg

From: Bjrogg
Date: 16-Mar-23




Yeah Jeff I have several stories that probably aren’t appropriate for the general public.

My wife probably isn’t the only one who thinks I have a screw lose

Bjrogg

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 16-Mar-23




My wife says the same thing... Don't you have a bow or something to work on out there?

She likes that I like my shop time though. Keeps me centered and out of trouble and she knows right where I'm at if she needs me. She likes to poke her head in there once in a while and give me some crap if I'm not wearing safety glasses or a dust mask, or have the shop full of paint fumes like yesterday :^)

From: bodymanbowyer
Date: 16-Mar-23

bodymanbowyer's embedded Photo



Well my selfbow made by PearlDrums is no slouch. It's bits at 11 to 12 green arrow out. Pretty damn quick. I'm impressed! JF

From: Bjrogg
Date: 16-Mar-23




I have a very nice shooter from the drummer too. Price was right. He got one of my turds in exchange.lol

Bjrogg

From: bodymanbowyer
Date: 16-Mar-23




I hear ya Bjrogg. He got one of my junk Osage ASLs to. LoL Fortunately it turned out to be a great Longbow. JF

From: Bjrogg
Date: 17-Mar-23




I have several from other bowyers. Good friends and good bowyers. Most have come from trades. A couple have come from benefit raffles or auctions.

Probably most of them only known by a few hundred people.

I like collecting like that. I know their work and have shoot the course with most of them.

I don’t plan on selling any of them anyway.

Bjrogg

From: bradsmith2010santafe
Date: 17-Mar-23




I love my self bows,, they are accurate if you practice,, I love hunting with something that I made from a tree,,

From: Steve Milbocker
Date: 17-Mar-23

Steve Milbocker's embedded Photo



One of Pearl Drums beauties

From: Arvin
Date: 22-Mar-23




Selfbows shoot as good as the archer is. It helps go back and forth from production bows to selfbows if you just cut the shelf in to center . The arrow gets better flight . Now you will here you just need to tune your arrow to bend more. It’s all hog wash . Tuning the arrow more gives you worst arrow flight and slows the arrow down. I know this to be true. Just facts.. I shout flight and know.

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 22-Mar-23




Bingo, Arvy. Cut to center shelf style, or, at least narrow up the top of the grip at the pass to 3/4", or so. Trying to tune a bow with a wide pass is an absolute nightmare and the bow becomes incredibly fidgety. A pound or two on spine changes everything. That's not my cup o tea.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 22-Mar-23




So the phrase a selfbow is 9/10 broken was coined by the Thompsons in the Witchery of Archery. Me thinks.

I also think they were the first to use the term selfbow (one piece of wood unless spliced) but I am not sure.

I've never made a center shot selfbow and I don't think I ever will. It's a personal preference.

I have no trouble tuning selfbows with 1.5" wide handles.

Jawge

From: Arvin
Date: 22-Mar-23




Jawge make one . Just one. Then we can talk. They shoot more reliable and faster. But if You want less in a bow by all means Keep building the wide handle bows. I’m still going to love ya in a manly way.??

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 22-Mar-23




It is a personal preference, my friend. Just taking a stand.

Same here, Arvin...in a manly way. of course.

Ah no. My goal has always been to emulate the Native American bow as much as possible for an old guy,

I was just saying that I've tuned 1.5" wide bows and not that I build them all the time. It has been years since I have.

My last red oak bow pulls 43#, is less than an inch wide throughout, including the handle...which bends.

From: Bjrogg
Date: 22-Mar-23




I would agree with Arvin about getting the best performance possible from any bow the closer you get to center shot the better.

You can shoot a stiffer arrow and a wider range of spines too.

I’m sure the more you have to give up to get around that handle the more you give up in speed and cast.

I’m not saying you can’t have a nice shooting hunt worthy Selfbow without a shelf or center shot. My favorite hunting bow doesn’t have a shelf. It does have a very narrow handle though.

Bjrogg

From: Bjrogg
Date: 22-Mar-23




And as demonstrated by George.

Sometimes max performance isn’t necessarily what everyone is after. Sometimes it is a very shootable but Native American style.

Or a narrow handle without a shelf.

A pyramid

A flat bow.

Highly reflexed or slightly deflexed

They are all shootable but some may perform better than others.

Some may fit my needs at 25” draw but not be a good match for Arvins 28”

They are an individual choice to fit an individuals expectation.

I like em all and appreciate their uniqueness.

Bjrogg

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 22-Mar-23




I would agree too, Bj. :)

From: Steve Milbocker
Date: 22-Mar-23




From: ottertails
Date: 22-Mar-23




Really liking this thread. You guys are starting to get that fire under me to cut some Osage...(tons of it that I have access to).

My sons and I cut a few primo logs about 20 years ago...Osage and hickory. Never got around to them, always too busy. My oldest mentioned recently that he'd like to have a go at it again. We'll see.

From: Arvin
Date: 22-Mar-23




We’ll wait said BJ.

From: carpenter
Date: 23-Mar-23




I am making my first one right now. Went to OJAM last weekend,it was cold and extremely windy,trying to get it finished now.My daughter made a nice shooter last year and talked me into trying it and I thank her for that!

From: Arvin
Date: 23-Mar-23




I had plans for OJAM but that cold windy weather made me punk out. So how was it?

From: wooddamon1 Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 24-Mar-23




I haven't made many bows, but the right arrows make all the difference. Bows from 34# to 60# (excluding my son's and grandson's little missile launchers) with matched woodies all hit where I'm looking when I do my part. Most fun I've ever had since I started shooting.

Time to get the shop back in order and start whittling again ;)





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