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Discussion Starter #1
....searching for expert tutelage.
Enjoyed Archery when a kid at summer camp using the very basic recurve equipment. Got really good at it, and received most of the awards. As a teen, I had a Ben Pearson compound, maybe 30#, and enjoyed it then too, but it went to the wayside as well.
I want to get back into it. Took a local Adult Archery Intro class with the wife a couple of weeks ago.
I am now looking at some new equipment. This is where I ask for your advice.
Considering Bear Montana Long Bow, 50#. Heard this was great for someone with my limited experience.
Other Recommendations? (just targets, no plan to hunt at this point)
Also, I am pricing the equipment. For the bow itself, Bass Pro seems to have a good deal at 360, but I came across Hunters Friend (online) with a package deal that sounds really great.
Any one have experience with Hunter's Friend? Is it wise to purchase a package like this, online, or pay more, in the long run, for person to person interaction at a place like Bass?
Thank you
-Drew in Chicago
 

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Welcome to TT!

First off 50# is way too much weight to start with. 30# at your draw length is going to result in much more success.

Generally I like to see beginners start with a 3-piece recurve so that they can have a set of lightweight limbs to learn on and then progress in weight as they build muscle.

Did that beginners course happen to measure your draw length?

-Grant
 

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DREW, welcome to the forum.
SInce you say you plan to punch targets & no plans to hunt, I would say no need for 50#, period.
Not being critical, here, please don't take it that way.
With lighter bows say 32-35# to 40# and lighter arrows, you can still shoot the same grains per pound as a 50# bow, and get good similar speeds & arrow cast with the lighter rigs.
Lighter rigs allow you to shoot a lot more arrows without fatigue, and that's what target shooting is mostly about, longer sessions, and more fun.
Good advice from Grant.......
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not critical at all, that's what I want to hear. If 50# is over kill, tell me. Its all good.
At the Adult class, no, they did not measure my draw. I am 5'11", if that tells you anything about where my draw should be. 26 to 30?

In the class, we were shooting at 10 yards (it was a beginner class, but having my past experience, I was in the yellow most of the time). When I was a teen, with my Ben Pearson (compound), I was probably shooting at 50 yards with ok results. I was thinking 50# due to the distance, but if 30# to 40# gets me there, then...

As for Hunter's Friend, any experience with them, or even heard of? I am sure they would have recurve packages too.

Thx
 

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I've bought a few new bows, or risers, or limbs, but the vast majority of my purchases have been USED items off the trading blanket ads here on this forum.
I'm far from the end-all/be-all of bow knowledge, so forgive me, not to be unkind.....but I think for the money you're mentioning, you could spend more wisely than the Montana longbow.
Are you bound to get a longbow, have you shot some longbows, is there a particular reason you are choosing a longbow over a recurve?
Just asking, as sometimes there is a family history or just a KINSHIP with the longbow, the draw of it, etc.
Some people will say a recurve is a lot easier for getting into archery, easing into it, then after some good form and repetitions are behind you, later on it's easier to get the hang of shooting longbows.
Just some thoughts.....
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Not opposed to a recurve, but...I like the historical significance of the longbow. May sound a bit dorky, maybe a lot dorky, but I like the idea that it kinda connects me more to the life and times of my ancestors.(Ive traced and confirmed my roots to the 1200s). I am willing to put in the effort to adopt proper form and function, in order to use it, even though it sounds like it may take me more time and effort than if I were to start with a recurve. And I will keep it at 40# or lower, as recommended. As for bringing up the Bear Montana, I have read that it is a good bow for beginner types and that the cost isnt crazy high. I am open to other longbow suggestions though. And havnt ruled out the takedown 3-piece idea that Grant brought up.
PSE bows?
I welcome and am open to other recommendations. Wont be buying anything for a while yet. Plan on going back for some free shoot sessions. Besides, my tax refund is ear-marked for a new furnace/boiler, unfortunately.
 

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....nothing wrong with "wanting to shoot a longbow".
We all have our individual likes & dislikes as far as types of bows goes.
I'm not saying they are harder to shoot than a recurve, but I HAVE read it.
My first bow back in early 2009 - after being away for 23 years - was a too-heavy 1-piece longbow. I liked it, shot it well, and it turned out ok.
But no one told me it was too heavy.....but it was....at the beginning.
I did end up selling it, after shooting it 2 years.....and started into ILF and DAS 3-piece bows.
 

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Drew, good advice above. If you are of 'normal' build, a 35-40# bow should probably be your upper limit with 30-35# being an ideal starter bow to help you learn form and give you good control over the bow. From an overall length standpoint, bear in mind that the longer the bow, generally, the smoother it will be to draw. Whether you choose a longbow or a recurve is a personal decision but the general consensus is that the recurve may be a bit easier for starting out.

Not many good trad shops in the Chicago area. Call Archery Custom Shop in Forest Park, IL. The owner knows trad bows and may have the best selection of trad bows locally. Two other online places to look at new bows would be 3Rivers Archery and Lancaster Archery Supply. Lots of guys like the Bear Montana but have a good look around before you make a decision.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Dave. Wife and I went to BASS past weekend to pull back a few bows, to get a feel for the pull weight, and your recommendation is right on target. They have a 45# Montana and it felt comfortable.

Talking arrows, it seems carbon might be the way to go instead of aluminum?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you, all, for your advice here. Picking up my new Sky Trophy tomorrow.
Now I need some arrow technology advice.
What is the difference when some vendors sell 500, 400 and 350 arrows, and others 18/16, 19/16, 20/16, etc? I get where those 18/16 numbers are coming from (OD/ID) but how does it translate to the 500, 400, 350 numbers?
With a 35# bow, where should I be?
 

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Drew, carbon numbers are easier to relate to, for me, all the odd numbers in the aluminum arrows can be a bit daunting.
Carbon numbering goes heavier to lighter spine - - 300 is heavier, 900 is lighter.
Aluminum goes heavier to lighter - - 2217 is heavier than 1816....as an example.
Dunno if there is a crossover chart - but I bet there is someplace.
Some aluminums will be marked with the easier-to-understand carbon-type spine numbers suchg as 500 or 600 etc.
Carbons, for 35#, you might want to be in around the .700 spine range, depending also on point weight and how long you leave the shafts.
Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will join in.
There are arrow calculators such as EASTON that you plug in details and it spits out what arrow you need.
They are "guidelines" and point you in a general direction.
I've given you just a bit of a primer here, more general than good detail.
YOu might get better quicker help if you post this "help" question on a main forum thread ..... include you bow weight and your draw length.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have been thoroughly enjoying my 68" SKY Trophy and the wife enjoying her PSE Razerback. Shooting as a youth all came back to me. Im actually hitting the square cardboard target at 40yrds, but putting it in the colors at 30yrds, but my grouping is inconsistant.
Being still a newb, is there any reason to NOT use carbon arrows other than the higher cost? I am having 6 new Carbon Express cut down for me this week, as they were recommended by the shop owner, instead of Easton Jazzy arrows, which the wife is getting. Just concerned if I am getting arrows too advanced for my skill level and will end up screwing them up.

Thanks.
 

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I don't think that there is any reason not to use carbon arrows. I have been shooting about 2 years and started with carbon arrows. I still have a few of the original ones. They are very tough. The don't bend. But if you put one into something really hard, like a rock, they will shatter, if you are close enough. I have a 40# bow. So will anything else I think.

As you know, archery is all about doing everything the same every time. Your inconsistency on the target means something is not the same with your stance, grip, release, breathing, whatever. There are a lot of variables. I also practice at 30 yards. The distance magnifies the errors, although I sometimes go up close so I feel good about my groups.
 

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you might consider a used target recurve too. they are normally longer in overall length, and easier drawing in my experience. look at ebay for recurves over 62" AMO from 64" up to 69". Bear & other makers made lots of them. the draw weight advice you are getting here is excellent.
 
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